With their potential generous profit margins and high rate of success, laundromat businesses are attractive for entrepreneurs. However, there are myriad factors that influence a retail commercial laundry’s chance of success. Beyond selecting a convenient location and outfitting your laundromat with the right coin laundry equipment, the key to a successful laundromat is an owner-operator who possesses varied interests and skills and is eager to learn more. Check out these seven skills and traits you need to succeed in the laundromat business to determine whether you have what it takes:

  1. Financially-Focused
    You may be shocked to learn just how many small business owners lack financial literacy, using the wrong metrics to measure their business’s success. If you are going to manage a successful laundromat, you need to understand and manage your balance sheet carefully. Take a business finance class online or at your local community college to ensure that you understand how to manage your business’s cash flow, equipment amortization and depreciation, and more, so you can set realistic goals for growth. If you do not feel comfortable managing this aspect of your business, hire an accountant who can serve as your trusted advisor. Whatever you do, do not ignore your business’s finances. 

  2. Handy
    Commercial washers and dryers are the backbone of a successful laundromat, so it’s important to be able to keep your equipment running smoothly. While you should always outsource major repairs to the experts, you should be comfortable performing regular routine maintenance and minor repairs yourself. This will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run because you won’t have to pay for expensive service calls and spend unnecessary time waiting for a repairman while your equipment remains out of order. 
  3. Continually Learning
    Laundromat owners should always be learning and improving. From staying abreast of new laundromat products and technology to adopting the latest digital marketing practices and optimizing your management style, there are always opportunities to do better. Dedicate time to attend relevant training classes and seminars, either online, at your local college, or through your trusted laundromat equipment provider.
  4. Realistic About Strengths and Weaknesses
    As a small business owner, you’ll wear many hats. From equipment repairs to accounting, employee management, marketing, and more, there are countless jobs to be done and limited resources to accomplish them. While it is important to get involved and learn new things, it’s also important to know your strengths and limitations; for instance, if you’re not handy with tools, trust equipment repairs to the experts. Identify which areas you excel in and focus your energies there, then spend time building a strong team to help fill in the gaps. 
  5. Teamwork Mindset
    While one of the benefits of managing a laundromat business is the low volume of employees relative to other service businesses, this doesn’t mean you can take your team for granted. In fact, having only a few employees means that it is even more important that you take care of your team, since they are the backbone of your business. High employee turnover can degrade the customer experience, so take the time to hire top-notch employees and treat them well. When your team is happy, your customers can feel it.
  6. Persistent
    Owning a laundromat comes with its fair share of challenges, from long hours and daunting management decisions to difficult customers and equipment issues. Successful business owners are dedicated to their success and won’t quit when the going gets tough. If you can survive through the hard times, you’ll be rewarded with a successful and profitable business. 
  7. Customer-Oriented
    Above all, a laundromat needs a steady stream of satisfied customers in order to be successful. Profitable laundromat owners need to keep their customer satisfaction top of mind, making business decisions with the goal of attracting and retaining customers. From your location and hours to laundry equipment, pricing, promotions, payment options, decor, ancillary services, and more, every decision should appeal to your potential customers. 

The Key to Success in the Laundry Business

If you have what it takes to be a successful laundromat owner, partnering with the right commercial laundry equipment distributor is your key to success. Leading providers, like Western State Design, are here to help with the technical side of building your business, from choosing the right location and equipment mix to planning your grand opening and supporting ongoing customer acquisition and retention. WSD also provides training — on site, or via its fall and spring Service Seminars. WSD has the experience and expertise to help you avoid the pitfalls common to opening and running a laundromat business.