Thinking of Buying a Laundromat? Here’s What You Need to Consider

If you’re looking to get into the laundromat industry and want to learn the ropes, purchasing an existing laundromat is a great opportunity. When you buy a laundromat business, your purchase will include the equipment (though this will likely need upgrading) and an established clientele, so much of the groundwork will already be done for you. There may even be laundromat staff who wish to stay on after the sale – another great advantage! When you find a laundromat for sale in your desired area, you’ll need to take time to decide whether or not it’s the best option for your business plan. We’ve compiled a list of things for you to consider before rushing in with your checkbook.

Did you know that Laundrylux has a nationwide network of expert laundromat brokers ready to find you the best businesses for sale in your area? Contact us today to get started!

An image of two young adults in jackets smiling at the camera. The photo is on a blue backdrop. The text reads: "1: type of laundry business"

Decide what kind of laundromat you want to operate

Before jumping into buying a laundromat business, it’s worth asking yourself what kind of store you want to run. This decision will depend on how much time and energy you’re willing to commit to your business. Some owners might want to operate a fully staffed store that offers extra profitable services like commercial laundry, wash-and-fold, and even delivery, while some may want to set up an unattended or partially attended laundromat as a side hustle in addition to another source of income. When you’ve decided what kind of laundromat you want to operate, you can look for businesses in your area that meet your requirements.

An image of an older Asian couple smiling and looking at their phone. The photo is on a blue backdrop. The text reads: "2: why are the owners selling?"

Find out why the owners are selling

Once you’ve found a potential laundry business to buy, you should inquire why the current owners are selling. A “For Sale” sign doesn’t necessarily mean that the business is failing – it could be something as simple as the owner retiring or moving to another part of the country. On the other hand, you might discover that the store is an unsuitable location, or perhaps a new mega-laundromat has just opened up down the street. If this is the case, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to compete.

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Check the finances

Checking and verifying financial records is an essential step when purchasing any kind of business. By assessing the numbers, you’ll be able to look deeper into the profit margins of the current operation. If these are less than optimal, can you pinpoint a reason why? Is it something you can easily change, like retooling the store with high-efficiency equipment, offering extra profitable services, or hiring friendlier staff? Or is it because the store is in a part of town that’s out of the way and difficult to travel to – in which case, maybe you should look elsewhere?

An image of an Asian man in a plaid shirt holding a laptop and thinking. The photo is on a blue backdrop. The text reads: "4: assess the location".

Assess the location

Where your laundromat is located is a critical factor for its success. Ideally, you are looking for somewhere in a part of town with a good amount of footfall. If the store’s location is close to an anchor point, such as a supermarket, not only does it increase your visibility, but it offers extra convenience to your customers. They’ll love the fact that they can tend to their grocery shopping while waiting for their laundry to finish! Ample off-street parking near your laundromat is also essential, as many customers could be dropping off heavy loads of washing. If the laundromat is located close to other businesses that go through lots of laundry, such as a hospital, vet, or salon, you might even be able to pick up some commercial laundry clients to further boost your profits.

For a deeper dive into what makes a great laundromat location, check out our article, “How To Find The Best Location For Your Laundromat.”

An image of two white men in hard hats looking at an iPad. The photo is on a blue backdrop. The text reads: "5: assess building structure"

Assess the structure of the building

When visiting the laundromat for sale, look out for potential structural issues – if you spot any damp patches or cracks in the wall, these will all have to go towards your renovation costs and could end up being expensive. Of course, when you partner with Laundrylux, our team of real estate and construction experts will advise you on the store’s condition and complete all the necessary checks on the building before your retool.

An image of a smiling white woman in a plaid shirt and glasses holding a laundry basket and smiling. The photo is on a blue backdrop. The text reads: "6: check if staff will stay"

Check whether any staff will stay on

Is there any staff at the current laundromat who are willing to stay on after the change-over? If you’re new to the industry, it will be a great advantage to have someone around who knows the ins and outs of daily operations at a laundromat. Building a solid relationship with customers can sometimes take years, but if someone working in your laundromat is already a familiar friendly face in the community, then the hard work is done for you!

An image of a smiling older Black man wearing a ball cap and a jacket. The photo is on a blue backdrop. The text reads: "7: assess the equipment"

Assess the equipment

When you purchase a laundromat, you’ll inherit any equipment already in place. Depending on how old the washers and dryers are and how well they’ve been maintained, you might need to completely replace what’s there. Every laundromat owner should avoid “Out of Order” signs at all costs, so if the equipment isn’t up to scratch, you should get rid of it before it becomes a liability. One of the most important things about running a successful laundromat is to ensure your utilities are kept to a minimum – if you’re not careful, revenue can end up going down the drain in expensive water and energy bills. The best way to tackle this is by installing high spin washers and efficient dryers that will take your laundromat profits and customers’ experience to the Next Level.

Did you know that Laundrylux has an in-house financing team that specializes in laundromat acquisition? We can help you purchase the business of your dreams and provide the necessary financing to retool your new store into a money-making machine. Contact us today to learn more!

What if you can’t find any suitable laundry businesses for sale?

Purchasing an existing laundromat has fantastic potential, especially if you’re entirely new to the industry. However, if there are no suitable businesses for sale in your chosen area, you can look for other available lots and decide to build a new laundromat from the ground up. When you partner with Laundrylux, our nationwide network of local distributors will help guide you through the entire construction process – from finding the right location to designing your store and providing you with the most profitable equipment available. We’ll even give you and your staff all the necessary equipment training and be on call for future technical support.

Whether you’re retooling an established laundromat or building a brand new store, contact us today to find out how we can help your road to success!