What hours should you be open?
Deciding what hours your laundry business should stay open is an important task that is distinct to every establishment. While every hour that you remain open increases the window during which you can be making money, staying open for hours when people aren’t doing laundry will cost you money in electricity and labor. Finding the right balance may take a little bit of trial and error.
Many laundromats have different open hours for the weekend and weekdays. This is because weekends tend to be the busiest days of the week. However, weekend nights may be the least busy, especially if your customer base is mostly comprised of young people, who tend to be out having fun on these nights.
In some areas, the early morning may be a popular time for doing laundry, while in others it may not be. This depends on the needs and demographics of the population that you serve. If you offer wash & fold services, you may get a morning rush of professionals dropping off their laundry for pickup after work. On the other hand, in areas where households tend to have only one working member per household, the morning may be quiet.
Generally, laundromats tend to be open until at least 10 p.m. to catch people who work late. In some areas, you may find that there aren’t enough customers coming in at this time to justify staying open. In others – such as student neighborhoods or areas in which there are a lot of third-shift workers – staying open 24 hours could help set you apart from your competitors.
Remember to count the turns
If you are debating an adjustment to your hours, counting turns may help to make the decision for you. Simply count the number of turns being done at the hour you are thinking about cutting, multiply this by the cost of a load of laundry and subtract the amount of money you are spending on labor for this hour. If you aren’t making substantially more than you are spending on labor, chances are good that you are losing money after the cost of electricity, water and heat.
Similarly, if there are a lot of people who still want to do laundry at closing time, it may be worth extending your hours.
Trial and error is a big part of making this type of business decision. Find out what makes you the most profit and be constantly willing to make adjustments to your strategy.