Has there ever been a better time to start a business than today? Our economy is improving, consumers are more confident, technology is easier to use than ever – the list goes on and on.
Since the Great Recession, the past few years have been favorable for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. That includes the laundry industry as well, and new owners are opening stores with increased frequency. If you have saved and planned for your own laundry business, then now may be the perfect time to strike.
The surge in first-time laundromat owners has been noticed by our team at Eastern Funding. Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, Marc Stern, explained that the number of financing applications from first-time borrowers has been on the rise over the past few years.
“Many of these people were victims of the recession, but had money saved up and are looking to go into business for themselves,” he added.
Does this sound like you? If so, here is what to know about starting your own laundry business:
“Just because you’re a laundry novice doesn’t mean you won’t be successful.”
Do your research ahead of time
You can’t just jump into business ownership. The most successful have done their research, and that should go for you as well.
Stern noted that first-time laundry borrowers may even face a bit more scrutiny compared to seasoned owners.
“Lenders do tend to be a little tougher on first-time buyers, primarily because of their lack of knowledge of the industry,” he reasoned. “For most first-time investors, this is a huge investment, and we want to ensure that they are properly prepared for entering the industry so that they will be successful.”
With this in mind, your greatest ally can be research. Learn everything about the industry before seeking financing.
Don’t hide from your experiences
Say you have years of retail experience, but no laundry experience. Will that make you less likely to get the financing you need? Not exactly.
According to Stern, first-hand experience in this industry can be helpful, but isn’t a must-have. It is much more a case-by-case basis.
“Many people forget that the laundry business is actually a retail business, and if an applicant has had experience in the retail business that goes a long way to helping them get approved,” Stern added.
Get your finances in order
In an article for USA Today, Steve Strauss, a small business and entrepreneurship lawyer, pointed out that funding your new business is a very important step. He suggested saving your own money, asking friends and family and more traditional financing options.
“Organization is your friend when starting a new business.”
No matter your choice, you’ll need to get your finances in order before moving forward. This includes every detail. Stern recommended full financial disclosure from the borrower.
“We will ask questions not only about their financial wherewithal, but about the project in general since our job is to ensure their success in this business,” he said. “We can help as little or as much as the customer wants.”
Take note of these tips if you want a smooth process. Starting your own business is never easy, but the current state of the economy has made things a bit simpler for the entrepreneurs among us.