New Year, New Laundromat: 8 Ideas to Rise Above the Competition

The new year is the perfect time to implement a new plan of action to help your business increase sales, expand your customer base, and differentiate from local competition. Fortunately, innovation doesn’t have to be expensive. With some imagination, entrepreneurs can use a small investment to drive increased revenue, improve customer satisfaction and retention, and set the business apart.

Here are eight improvements you should consider making in 2020 across your business’s services, marketing efforts, and amenities:

Laundry Services

Audit local laundromats to determine if there are any unique services that you could offer. Expanding your service offerings can help set your business apart, drive new streams of revenue, and potentially tap into new customer segments.

1. Wash and Fold

A premier service, offering wash & fold is one way to attract customers with a higher disposable income – and greater time constraints – than the average self-service or coin-op laundry customer, opening the business to a new and different clientele..

2. Delivery / Curbside Drop-Off

Delivery can be offered as an additional way to attract new revenues, along with curbside dropoff and pickup. Technology can be applied to help manage these services: customers can text from curbside for pickup/delivery; home delivery can be confirmed by a smartphone photo or text.

Marketing and Promotions

3. Time of Day & Day of Week Promotions

By analyzing sales and machine usage data, you can find the slowest periods for your business, and set a promotion or coupon to drive business at that time. Offering a significant price discount or special offer can help a company stand out among the competition. For example, a laundromat in Queens, New York provides free soap on Tuesdays (presumably their slowest day during the week) to drive more business.

Related Reading: Laundromat Marketing Tips For Your Grand Opening and Beyond

4. Social Events

Identifying and promoting your business as the ‘social’ laundromat is a low-cost, but creative way to drive sales and attract new customers. Perhaps you could start a regular Singles Night event to encourage people to do laundry while meeting neighbors. A retirees event is a good way to draw people out by offering a discount and engage with a typically socially-underserved group.

A Children’s Playdate is a great way to draw parents in who may appreciate the opportunity to socialize while completing a necessary chore. Offering entertainment for the kids at this time (stream a movie, or hire a face painter) is an additional draw – even parents with laundry facilities at home may welcome the chance to use a high-capacity laundry system to complete a week’s worth of laundry in an hour or two while socializing.

5. Loyalty Programs

One way to retain customers is to institute a loyalty program that offers a discount or free service to regulars. A recent study found that 79% of customers will stay with a company that has a loyalty program, and 73% would recommend it to others.¹ Rewarding your regular customers not only helps convince them to stay – but it can also bring in new business.

Marketing and Promotions

6. Upgrade Washers and Dryers

There are many benefits to upgrading your laundry systems. High-efficiency machines can get customers in and out of your laundromat more quickly while providing significant savings on utilities including water, electricity, and gas. Additionally, new machines can contribute to a pleasing, clean atmosphere while offering modern features like card payment systems that customers have come to expect.

7. Upgrade Ancillary and Vended Products

Your customers might appreciate a wider selection of laundry products for sale, including eco-friendly laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Also, consider upgrading the type and selection of vended snacks and beverages that you have available, including kid-friendly products.

8. Time of Day & Day of Week Promotions

Replace wooden benches and plastic chairs with more comfortable seating. Purchase large laundry carts to move clothes from one station to the next, and install large folding tables. Improve your interior lighting to provide a more welcoming environment for customers. Upgrade your internet connectivity to provide faster wifi speeds to customers. And lastly, consider creating a safe and visible kid’s play area with age-appropriate books, large toys, and floor padding.

Prioritize Your Customers

The most important thing that you can do as a business owner is to think about your customers – their expectations and their needs, and what your business can do to meet them.

For example, when setting up The Laundry Room Westside, owner Nicole Wicker realized that she could serve her community by setting up pet-specific washers and dryers. A large number of horse owners and veterinarians in her area were grateful for a high-capacity machine capable of cleaning horse blankets, while other customers were pleased to know that animal equipment was treated separately. Consider whether your customers have a specific need that’s not being met, and use that insight to set yourself apart from the competition.

Laundrylux has six decades of experience with planning, designing and managing commercial laundry systems, and as the North American distributor of Electrolux and Wascomat machines, they provide access to the highest quality equipment available. Contact Laundrylux to learn more and leverage our decades of industry expertise to improve your laundry business.