So, you’re considering expanding your laundry business to include wash and fold services… There’s actually never been a better time to add this service to your laundry business! American adults work an average of 47 hours per week, according to a Gallup poll conducted in 2021.
Another study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 60% of American adults feel that they don’t have enough time to do everything they want to do. These statistics suggest that people are juggling longer work hours and spending less time than they would like on leisure.
As a result, the demand for time-saving services like wash and fold laundry is likely to increase, making it a smart business move. Laundromat owners that want to double down on the full-service experience can offer pick and delivery, so customers never have to step foot in the laundromat! This is true for both residential customers as well as commercial clients, allowing you to extend your potential market even further!
Advantages of starting a wash and fold laundry service
Wash and fold services are popular among busy professionals, students, and families who need to free up their time for other activities. Starting wash and fold laundry services can be a lucrative business opportunity if done right. Here are some of the top reasons you should start offering these services to your customers:
New customers: By offering wash and fold services, you open your business to a whole new market of customers like residential customers looking for a convenient solution to laundry day, restaurants, bars, boutiques, hotels, and other commercial clients.
High demand: Laundry is a basic necessity, and many people don’t have the time or energy to do it. Starting a wash and fold laundry service can cater to this high demand.
Low overhead costs: Compared to other businesses, a wash and fold laundry service has relatively low overhead costs. If you already have a laundromat, you likely have everything you need to service wash and fold customers.
Repeat business: Laundry is a recurring need, and customers who are satisfied with the service are likely to become regular customers.
Flexibility: A wash and fold laundry service can be operated even if you are limited on space and can be easily scaled to accommodate growth.
If you’re a laundromat owner looking to grow your business, expand your market, and bring in more revenue, you could be a perfect candidate for wash and fold services. Learn everything from conducting market research to managing the business. By following these tips, aspiring laundromat moguls can set up and run a profitable wash and fold laundry service.
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Five tips for a successful wash and fold laundry service
1. Conduct market research
Getting a solid grasp on the lay of the (laundry) land is essential for setting your wash and fold business up for success. There are three main components to conducting comprehensive market research.
Identify your target market
One of the important steps in starting a profitable wash and fold laundry service is identifying your target market. This should include residential customers or businesses (or both) that require laundry services. Here are some potential target markets for a wash and fold laundry service:
Busy professionals: Many professionals work long hours and have little time to do laundry. Offering wash and fold laundry services can be an attractive option for this market.
College students: College students often have limited access to laundry facilities and–as a result–may require laundry services.
Families with young children: Families with young children may have large amounts of laundry to do, and wash and fold laundry services can be a time-saving option.
Tourists: Tourists may require laundry services during their travels, providing another potential market opportunity (especially if you partner with local hotels).
Restaurants and bars: Food and beverage businesses go through tons of towels, linens, tablecloths, and aprons, so taking on customers like these provides high-ticket laundry orders that you can expect to cash in on every single week.
Boutiques and department stores: It’s common for clothing stores to seek laundry services for returns. Consider yourself their new resource for stain removal!
Research the competition
It’s essential to know your competition front and back when starting a wash and fold laundry service. Researching the competition will help determine the services to offer, pricing, and marketing strategies. Here are some ways to research the competition:
Conduct a web search: Search online for wash and fold laundry services in your area. Look at their website, services offered, and pricing. Use this data as a compass for making decisions about your wash and fold services
Visit local laundromats: Visit local laundromats and gather information about the services offered, customer service, and pricing. Take time to observe what you like and don’t like. It also gives you the opportunity to gauge the supply and demand of wash and fold services in your local area.
Talk to customers: Talk to potential customers to understand their preferences, needs, and what they like or dislike about the current laundry services available.
Determine the services to offer
After identifying the target market and researching the competition, determine the services to offer:
Wash and fold: This service includes washing, drying, and folding the laundry before returning it to the customer.
Dry cleaning: Offering dry cleaning services can attract more customers who require special care for their clothes.
Pickup and delivery: Providing pick-up and delivery services can attract more customers who require convenience.
Tailoring and alterations: Tailoring and alteration services can attract more customers who require clothing repair or alteration services.
2. Set up your laundromat to accommodate wash and fold
Setting up your laundromat to accommodate wash and fold laundry services is a critical step that shouldn’t be overlooked. In order to add these services successfully, you need to ensure your space and equipment are up to snuff. Here are some steps to follow.
Determine the space needed to offer wash and fold
Your ability to scale is in part dependent on the physical space in your store. Consider the number of customers you expect to serve and the amount of laundry you anticipate handling daily. The facility should have enough space to accommodate laundry equipment, storage for supplies, and staff workspace.
Purchase more laundry equipment if needed
The quality of laundry equipment is crucial with a wash and fold laundry service. The equipment should be durable, energy-efficient, and easy to use. If you’re starting your wash and fold from scratch, here are some essential laundry equipment to consider:
Washers: Choose washers that can handle different sizes of laundry loads and offer different cycles to accommodate various fabrics.
Dryers: You may consider purchasing industrial-size dryers that can handle different sizes of laundry loads and have different temperature settings.
Folding tables: Choose folding tables that are sturdy and easy to clean so your employees have a reliable workspace for folding.
Carts and baskets: Upgrade your carts and baskets so you can enable employees to perform wash and fold services efficiently.
Packaging: A perfectly folded order can be ruined by poor packaging. You may need to purchase bags to transport the clean clothes in safely. The Folde explains the art of packaging very well.
Set up the layout of your laundry facility
The layout of the laundry facility is essential in ensuring the smooth operation of the business. Here are some tips for setting up the layout of your laundry facility:
Create a separate space for wash and fold: Designate a separate space for wash and fold laundry service to ensure efficient operation and easy workflow.
Organize equipment: Organize the equipment in a logical and efficient manner to ensure easy access for staff.
Install storage space: Install adequate storage space for supplies, including laundry detergent, bleach, and fabric softener.
If you’re looking for more information on setting your laundry up for success, download our Wash and Fold 101 Guide which provides you with resources on folding, packaging, organization, and storage.
3. Hire more staff (if necessary)
Adding wash and fold services to your laundromat means extra work, and it’s possible you’ll need to add staff members to handle the new volume. Here are some steps to bringing on the right team members to ensure your new service offerings run smoothly:
Determine the staff size
Your staff size will depend on the size of the store and the scale of the business. Consider the number of customers you expect to serve and the amount of laundry you anticipate handling daily. You may decide to add an extra laundry attendant to help create a great customer experience, operate the laundry equipment, and sort, wash, dry, and fold the laundry. They could also do pickup and dropoff laundry orders if you plan on including that service.
Create job descriptions
Creating job descriptions will ensure that staff understands their roles and responsibilities. Include job title, duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required for the position. Be clear and concise in the job description, specify the qualifications and experience required, and define the work schedule and compensation for the position.
To consider when hiring staff
When hiring staff, it is essential to consider the qualifications and experience required for the position. First, you should advertise the position on job boards, social media, and local newspapers. When you start getting resumes, conduct interviews to determine the most qualified candidates. Don’t forget to check references and run background checks to ensure your potential hires are reliable. Lastly, train new and existing staff on how to deliver gold-standard wash and fold services, operate laundry equipment, offer excellent customer service, and safely perform their job.
4. Create a marketing plan
It’s one thing to add new services, it’s another to let everyone know that you offer them! This is why it’s important to incorporate a well-planned marketing strategy in tandem with the launch of your wash and fold services.
Develop a pricing strategy
Step one to running an effective marketing program is nailing down a pricing model for your wash and fold services. Developing a pricing strategy is essential to attract customers while also ensuring profitability. Here are some tips for developing a solid pricing strategy:
Research the competition to determine the market rate for wash and fold laundry services in your area.
Determine the cost of materials and labor to ensure pricing covers expenses and yields profit.
Consider offering custom pricing and discounts for bulk orders or regular customers.
Offer competitive pricing and quality service to attract and keep customers.
Develop a promotional strategy
Developing a promotional strategy will help you increase awareness of your wash and fold laundry services and get new customers through the door. Here are some ideas for your promotional strategy:
Offer promotions such as discounts, free pickup and delivery, or referral programs.
Update your website to include any new services you plan on adding, like wash and fold and pickup and delivery.
Canvas your neighborhood, the old-fashioned way, and let local businesses know how you can help.
Advertise through social media, Google, local newspapers, flyers, and billboards.
Participate in local events and sponsor local organizations to increase brand awareness.
Offer exceptional customer service to encourage word-of-mouth referrals.
Download marketing plan template
5. Upgrade the technology in your laundromat
With added services comes more tedium and greater responsibilities. Don’t leave the success of your business up to chance and human error. Cut down on daily tasks and increase accuracy in your laundromat by upgrading your system to include laundromat management software!
Cents is a comprehensive laundromat software that can help you manage your laundromat business from top to bottom, including your new wash and fold services. With Cents, you can streamline your laundry service operations by tracking customer orders, managing inventory, and generating reports. The software allows you to assign unique barcodes to each order, ensuring that no laundry gets lost or misplaced.
Cents also offers features that allow you to manage customer accounts, including billing and payments, and automatically calculate the cost of the wash and fold laundry service. With Cents, you can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and provide exceptional customer service to grow your wash and fold laundry service.
How to profit from your wash and fold business
Starting a wash and fold laundry service can be a profitable and rewarding business. Firing it up may require careful planning, hard work, and dedication, but the juice is worth the squeeze! With the right strategies and techniques, you can create a successful business that provides exceptional service and meets the needs of your customers.