Whether you’re taking the first steps to becoming an entrepreneur or are looking to expand your current venture, the proven success of a retail or coin-op laundry business could be just what you’re looking for. From low labor costs to easy-to-track ROI, coin-op laundry businesses provide a simple operation with potential income that’s found in almost no other industry.
In the following video, Coin Laundry Association President Brian Wallace explains what you can expect from your startup retail or coin-op laundry, as well as some tips for success. Watch the video and read below to see if the coin-op or retail laundry business is right for you, and then get in touch with one of our representatives to learn more. Here’s what Mr. Wallace touches on in the video:
Why Retail or Coin Op Self Service Laundry?
- Provide a basic necessity in a recession-resistant business.
- Proven steady, stable industry for 60 years.
- Demand for service on a weekly, repetitive basis.
- Customers provide the primary labor.
- Simple to operate in comparison to other small business endeavors.
- Good cash flow and return on investment in comparison to other small business endeavors and other investment options (equity markets, real estate, franchises).
- “Cash in advance” business; no receivables.
- Very little inventory.
So, why should you consider starting your own retail or coin-op laundry?
In recent years the US economy has been put to the test in every sector and the coin-op laundry business has proven itself as a stalwart. As Wallace explains, “If you were in any business that was holding its own [during the recession] you gotta feel pretty good about that.” And since the recession, coin-op laundromats have been more than holding their own – their business has been growing! While no business is a sure bet, retail and coin-op laundry businesses have proven themselves time and time again over the past six decades.
Where does the coin-op and retail laundry business derive its recession resistance?
Laundry is a basic necessity and a neighborhood business. Wallace points out that even in a recession, people still need to wash their clothes. “People might go a little bit longer, or wear a garment twice, maybe jam a few more garments into a single washing machine, but at the end of the day, they need the service every week,” he adds. It’s that repetitive basis that stabilizes the coin-op and retail laundry business. As long as you continue to provide a good service, in a clean space, with quality coin-op laundry equipment, you can expect to thrive as long as your neighborhood thrives.
A coin-op or retail laundry business is by its very nature a self-service operation. Wallace mentions, “That doesn’t mean you won’t have employees, but it means at the very base, it’s less reliant on employees than most any other retail business or service business you can think of because the customers are there to do it themselves.” Where most service businesses count labor as their top cost, your coin-op or retail laundry will find it towards the bottom.
What about costs and your return on investment?
“This isn’t a business where you’re chasing receivables or trying to juggle inventory,” says Wallace. The basis of the coin-op or retail laundry business is that your customers pre-pay for their service by dropping their coins into the machines or loading up their card. The transaction is complete. Wallace describes it as “cash on the barrel.” What little inventory you may carry – including vending machine products like soaps, or food and drinks – is secondary to the core coin-operated business and you can control your stock while remaining versatile to meet customers’ needs. Recurring costs are limited to maintenance, the minimal labor mentioned above, and general operating costs, so budgets are easy to plan for and your money’s not tied up in stock in a warehouse. Your ROI becomes easier to account for when money coming through the door is going into your machines and you know exactly what your costs are.
How do you get started?
Western State Design hosts regular events throughout the year that will help you get started in opening your own retail or coin-op laundry business. You can get started today by speaking to one of our representatives who have helped people like you start their own successful coin-op laundromats or attend one of our regular seminars on starting, owning and operating your own coin-op laundry. Visit our events page for more information on our seminars.
About the Coin Laundry Association:
The Coin Laundry Association has represented a network of laundry owners, distributors and manufacturers throughout the United States since 1960. CLA provides superior education, products and services to laundry owners to help them get the most out of their business.