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How to set up a launderette business

Updated April 17, 2017

Starting a launderette or laundromat business is a popular investment for semi-retired people or those seeking secondary business interests. Some launderette businesses are set up as unmanned operations and require periodic visits by the owner or manager to open at the beginning of the day, check up on machines, stock change machines, and lock up at the end. Coin-operated laundry small business have been successfully operated in many communities. Below are some steps towards opening a launderette business.

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  1. Study the local market to determine the best location for establishing a launderette business. Location is key to the success of this business. Consider high traffic areas supported by a strong residential community that contains a mix of homeowners and tenants. Zoning and parking will also be important considerations.

  2. Speak with local gas, water, and electricity suppliers to project costs as these will be the main business expenses. Verify machine specification to assure that the establishment is properly equipped for the demands of commercial laundry production. For instance, the boiler room is not often seen by the public but is where the water storage tank and pump is located in a launderette business.

  3. Build a new launderette location or purchase an existing business. If an existing business is purchased, laundry machines will already be in place and a customer-base will already be established. Before purchasing any business, however, establish why the business is for sale and have a professional check the premises, equipment, and outlets to ensure that the negotiated price is a good one.

  4. Purchase launderette equipment such as washing machines, tumbler dryers, tables, laundry baskets, chairs, tables, and bill changers. Install vending machines with small laundry supplies and customer snacks and drinks. These may be a good source for residual income.

  5. Purchase office equipment such as computer and printer for generating signs (e.g., out of service notices) and flyers, as well as business correspondence. Make sure the computer software includes small business word-processing, database, and accounting programs. Record keeping will be important to follow the valley and peaks of sales and to prepare for taxes.

  6. Attract customers with a grand opening. Some marketing ideas include advertising in local publications and on radio stations.

  7. Warning

    Learn about health and safety requirement from local and state agencies.

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Things You'll Need

  • Utilities
  • Washing machines
  • Tumbler dryers
  • Tables
  • Baskets
  • Chairs
  • Bill changer
  • Vending machines
  • Office equipment

About the Author

Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications such as the "Chicago Tribune" and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.

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