Investing in a Coin Laundry

The self-service laundry has tremendous advantages to offer those interested in owning and managing their own business. According to most industry experts, there are some 34,000 self-service laundries in North America alone. These "stores" generate approximately $8 Billion in retail sales serving some 30 million people.

The Customer

The bottom line is everyone does laundry. Each of us either uses our own washers and dryers, or someone else's. If you're a homeowner you most likely have your own machines, although you may wash larger items in a self service laundry. If you're a student you most likely use the school's machines or a self-service laundry. If you rent your home, sometimes you rent machines or use a self-service laundry. If you are away from home, traveling, or on vacation, you'll wish a self service laundry was near.

Self-service laundries cater to people needing to temporarily "rent" laundry equipment. They pay for the opportunity to use your washers and dryers instead of their own. People will use your laundry because they don't have access to other machines. The "vend price" customers pay compensates you for your rent, utilities, employees, other expenses and profit.

Sometimes, customers will use your laundry because you have available capacity. They may have access to one washer and one dryer, but you have many. By using all your high performance machines they can save a lot of time. Apartment renters may have access to equipment but share it with many other tenants. Most would rather use your laundry than wait for available machines in the apartment building.

The Opportunity

So, how do you maximize on an investment in a self-service laundry?
  1. Pick a good location.
    • Close proximity to dense population.
    • Easy ingress and egress.
    • Safe, ample parking
    • Affordable rent or acquisition cost
  2. Consult with a qualified equipment distributor.
    • Use only reputable companies who are willing to share existing customer testimonials.
    • Look for longevity in business and get to know your distributor.
    • Listen to your distributor's advice without taking installation shortcuts.
    • Learn from your distributor's mistakes to avoid your own.
  3. Use modern equipment.
    • Save Water.
    • Save Electricity.
    • Save Gas.
    • Reduce cycle times to maximize customer turnover.
    • Reduce downtime to increase customer satisfaction.
    • Increase capacity to win new customers.
    • Use a card system to make more money.

We believe to compete and excel in the self-service laundry business you need to make doing laundry as easy and fast as possible. Make it easy to find your store, park and gain access to the machines (automatic doors). Have your machines in working order, and simplify change making or use a card system. Place large capacity washers near the front of the store and dryers along outside walls. Always provide laundry carts and spacious folding areas. The key to success is efficiently processing happy customers.


The self-service laundry business provides many operational advantages to the small business owner.

Historically, our industry has weathered weak economic times and grown steadily as the population increases. Washing and drying clothes is a basic function in life and a simple business.

As a cash business, customers pay for their services upfront and there are very few accounts receivable. While self-service laundries do require a capital investment upfront, they do not require much labor to operate. The machines do the job - and never show up late for work.

Source: Dexter Laundry, Inc.

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