Business Overview

Laundromats make it easier to get laundry done when customers either don’t have a washing machine at home or need to wash more clothing than their machines can handle at home. Laundromats also sell detergents and soaps, dryer sheets, and other related items to help customers get their laundry done.

Who is this business right for?

This business is good for people who are looking for a full-time business but who also want something they can start in their spare time. Running a laundromat can either be a very hands-on or more passive business, allowing the entrepreneur to have flexible hours and scheduling.

However, as this business grows, it requires a great deal of management. Unless you can afford to hire a manager, this is a time-consuming business to own long-term.

What happens during a typical day at a laundromat?

Running a laundromat can be simple or more involved. It all depends on the type of laundromat you want to run. A simple business model for this type of business is an unmanned laundromat service.

A more involved version of this business would include daily monitoring of the laundromat, collecting money from customers, folding clothes for those who paid for full service, and managing the books.

What is the target market?

Preferred clients are businesses with long-term service contracts. However, a laundromat can also service the general public and bring in a consistent stream of revenue. Ideal customers are those living in apartments where there are no onsite laundry services or washers and dryers for self-service. This might mean placing the laundromat near low-rent or poor neighborhoods.

How does a laundromat make money?

A laundromat makes money by charging customers to wash and dry their clothes. A laundromat may choose to operate as a self-serve operation, where customers insert quarters into machines to operate the washers and dryers, or it may be run as a full-service business in which customers pay to have staff do their laundry for them.

This business usually handles transactions in cash. However, some laundromats do offer the use of credit cards, checks, and even laundromat-specific cards. Cash-based transactions help to keep costs down for the customers and owner because there are no credit card fees. However, accepting credit cards increases convenience, potentially leading to more customers.

What is the growth potential for a laundromat?

Growth potential for this type of business is almost unlimited. Laundromats can be operated at a small scale, with a single building servicing many customers with a handful of machines. You can even start a small business out of your home, offering full-service laundry and folding services.

It can also be operated at scale with multiple locations across a town or city. Some laundromats operate near colleges and dorms where college students can easily access the building to wash their clothes.