As is the case with many customer-facing businesses, it’s crucial that laundromat startups consider the area in which they want to operate before they take any further steps. Sometimes a location may seem ideal in a few aspects, but others are so suboptimal that they negate the benefits of opening in that area. Here are a few things that every laundromat owner should consider before signing the lease to buy a location:
1. Nearby population
Different laundromats will have varying operating costs. Some may be able to survive serving small towns. Others may need proximity to bustling residential areas or commercial centers. This is why it’s so important to look at the needs of the laundromat in the context of the customer base – entrepreneurs can only afford to open up shop in areas with enough people to sustain their businesses.
Digging deeper, population size isn’t the only metric laundromat owners should be looking at. Demographic factors such as affluence and age also tend to influence where customers go to do their laundry.
There is nothing more frustrating than going to a laundromat and being unable to find a spot. Entrepreneurs should try to offer as many parking spots as needed to accommodate all of the washer and dryer units available for use in the laundromat, preferably via a nearby lot. However, this may change based on the location as well – some areas, such as Boston, are easily accessible with public transportation, so parking isn’t as important.
Where is the laundromat located in relation to where people are coming from? Visibility is important for both marketing purposes and when simply trying to find the place. Ideally, entrepreneurs want to be easily accessible to customers, and the closer they are to major traffic centers, apartment complexes or other heavily trafficked areas, the better their visibility will be.
Another crucial thing that laundromat owners will need to take into account are fees attached to where the business is established. In some cities, the municipal costs of hooking up water and sewage lines may be prohibitive. Owners should try to calculate these fees – along with impact fees, tap-on fees and wastewater fees – before settling on one location. To get started, owners should contact the local water authority to determine fee schedules.