While long-time, loyal laundromat users keep your business steady, you’ll need additional patrons to experience real growth and take your revenue to the next level. Gaining traction in new markets isn’t automatic, but with the right tactics you can help generate awareness and reel in new customers—even if they have at-home laundry. You’ll need to improve your brand visibility, appearance, amenities, and offerings to make your business the choice for frequent coin-op laundry users and new clientele. Here are six ways to enhance your laundromat to gain a larger customer base and grow your business: 


1. Build Your Brand Locally

Unless you’re located in a tourist destination, the overwhelming majority of your patrons live near your laundromat, so get involved in community activities to improve your business’ visibility in the neighborhood. Whether it’s a summer recreation league or little league, sponsor a team. It’s likely you’ll get your logo placed on the schedule, fence or court banners, or programs—all in parents’ and spectators’ eyelines. Host a booth at a local festival or participate in a parade. Either will be an opportunity to be seen by potential customers who may not be aware of your business. Skip the candy and hand out coupons for a free wash or dry to encourage stop-ins. 

Other community involvement ideas include donating to a local charity, sponsoring a neighborhood 5K, or helping out with a charity drive. Most organizations feature sponsor branding in their promotional materials, but you can also wear a branded shirt while volunteering to help further increase brand awareness for your laundromat. Whatever event you participate in, getting your business recognized as a neighborhood brand associated with positive community action will stick in the minds of prospective clients so when they need laundromat services, they’ll think of you. 


2. Improve Your Curb Appeal

To get the attention—and approval—of potential new clientele, consider what your laundromat building communicates to outsiders. It is vital that your laundromat looks cared for, safe, and welcoming. Fix peeling or chipped paint, trim shrubs, maintain your landscaping, and clean up debris or trash in the area. If your business is open at night, add security lights to help make patrons feel safe.  A well-lit “open” sign also conveys a welcoming spirit and communicates your hours to passersby. Regular upkeep of the outside should include window cleaning, sweeping and trash removal, and straightening tables and chairs. These improvements are simple, but can make a significant difference in attracting potential customers to your laundromat. 


3. Expand Your Amenities

Amenities can be the reason someone chooses one laundromat over another. Take a look at your facility offerings and find areas where you are lacking. Attract a younger crowd with cashless payments like the DexterPay mobile app, or add a wash-and-fold service with easy pickup/drop-off to draw in busy professionals, senior citizens, and even short-term rental owners. For patrons with children, wi-fi and clean restrooms are a necessity. On-site vending and food options can also be lifesavers to those fitting a quick wash and dry into their schedules, and for the patrons who make laundry day an event, comfortable seating is a must. None of these upgrades need be especially costly, but can make the difference between someone choosing your business or continuing a few blocks to the next laundromat. Whatever amenities you offer should be clearly listed at your attendant counter and on your website or promotional materials to help attract new customers.


4. Partner With Local Merchants

Partner with other local businesses for cross-promotional opportunities. Scope out nearby businesses and inquire about working together on a “show your receipt” discount. For example, a laundromat customer could show their DexterPay app with real-time laundry tracking to receive a discount at the coffee shop while their laundry is in progress, and your laundromat could offer a free wash or dry after so many cups of coffee. This will attract new customers who are already frequenting the area while building rapport with a fellow small business. Some other advertising opportunities with other companies in the area could include a mention in an extended-stay hotel’s promotional materials, an ad in a flier on their check-in counter, or a recommendation from a local apartment complex landlord. These are all great opportunities to showcase your services to a new audience and grow your customer base.


5. Update Signage & Messaging

If you have signage in your storefront, update it to appeal to the clientele you’re looking to attract: parents, busy professionals, and Earth-conscious consumers are a few examples. Don’t forget that your untapped customer base includes people who have access to laundry at home. Target these future customers with your window signs, counter pamphlets, and online messaging—they may appreciate the convenience of a fluff and fold service to take laundry off their to-do list or large-capacity washers and dryers that can handle large duvets without a costly visit to the dry cleaner, and most will be surprised to realize how much a laundromat can do for them. Dexter out-performs home laundry by a landslide: Communicating that you can cut wash and dry times in half with your Dexter C-Series large capacity washers can turn potential customers into frequent users. Modern patrons who are excited about tech will love having real-time updates on their phones, so remember to also market your mobile app capabilities online. Update your window signs throughout the year, too.Appeal to those overwhelmed with extra linens and guest laundry during the holidays, hang signs for spring cleaning “done in a day,” and don’t forget to boast about your energy-efficient equipment in April for Earth Day. Promote your add-on services between holidays and events to alert customers to any other unique offerings. 


6. Upgrade Equipment

When trying to grow your customer base, retooling your store with new vended laundry equipment is one of the most valuable ways to gain attention. Use new equipment to anchor a grand reopening, complete with updated branding and on-target messaging to persuade passersby to take notice. Vended laundry has come a long way and has many premium features that are sure to gain interest with new customers. Quick turnaround times for fluff and fold services and time-saving self-service loads are just a few of the benefits of having Express Washers and Dryers. Invest in an Ozone Wash system to attract health-conscious customers looking for an exceptionally sanitary wash. New equipment also allows you to offer upgraded wash and dry cycles with the DexterPay mobile app to impress the most persnickety customers. 

Implement these improvements to increase your frequent users and attract new customers. The uptick in revenue will speak for itself. Improving your visibility within the community will build brand awareness, and state-of-the-art
Dexter laundry equipment will turn new customers into loyal ones. Contact a knowledgeable Western State Design expert to request a quote for vended laundry equipment to help attract new customers and accommodate your growing business.