If you’re thinking of opening a laundromat, you need to start with a well-written business plan. A business plan should be your first step — before scouting potential laundromat locations, securing financing, or any other step in the process.
Why? Because your laundromat business plan is your guide throughout the entire process of opening your laundromat. It helps make sure you’re on the same page as your employees, business partners and anyone else you may connect with during the process (laundry distributors, lawyers, financial advisers, etc.)
Business plans are important documents and help you:
● Prioritize goals, objectives and action items as you start your coin laundry business.
● Secure financing. No one wants to invest or loan you money if you don’t have a solid plan.
● Make smart business decisions throughout the process.
The next question is how to write a business plan for your laundromat and what to include. We’ve put together a few of the key elements of a solid laundromat business plan.
This is a short and sweet overview of your laundromat. Think about the big picture and give a top-level view of your new laundry business. This is among the first things people will read — particularly potential financial investors — so it has to be informative and attention-grabbing to get others to believe in you and your business.
Things to consider including in the executive summary:
● The specific purpose of your business plan: to obtain financing or start a business partnership.
● A summary of your laundromat, including how it will solve a need in the community and descriptions of all products and services offered at your laundromat — from soap/detergent sales to fluff-and-fold services.
● Big-picture goals and financial projections.
● Your laundromat’s mission and vision statements. Spend some time creating these and use them as a guide for all future business decisions.
Similar to an “About Us” section or profile you might read somewhere online, a company overview answers all the basic questions and shares main details about your business, including:
● A brief history of when and how your laundromat got started.
● Location and business hours. Some laundromats operate on a 24-hour model while others have more limited hours of operation — what will yours be and why?
● The legal structure of your business (generally an LLC or partnership for laundromats).
● Other important details or statistics that set your coin laundry apart from others in the industry.
Market & Competitor Analysis
Market & Competitor Analysis Savvy business owners spend a significant amount of time digging into their industry and learning the ins and outs. Showcase your knowledge of the industry and competitors in the area. Give a basic overview of the market and define your target audience in this section.
A few things you might want to include:
● An overview of the laundry industry and future outlook. It is good to include statistics, charts and graphs in this section.
● Trends and innovations that are currently impacting the laundry industry, such as app-based payment systems, eco-friendly features and other laundry technology.
● A detailed description of your target audience and demographics. Are your laundromat location and services ideal for reaching this group?
● An evaluation of surrounding competitors. Consider a full SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to help determine where your business both exceeds and has room to grow. Think beyond other laundromats and consider multi-housing laundry options, dry cleaners and full-service fluff-and-fold businesses that may also be capitalizing on your customer base.
● What commercial laundry equipment you’re using and why. What makes it a better fit than other key brands on the market? (You can learn more about what makes Huebsch commercial laundry equipment special here or see our video below.)
Organization and Management Team
This section is where you dive into your laundromat’s organizational structure and key players. Dive into putting people in the right roles as potential investors and business partners look to support your team.
Here are a few things to include in this section:
● An organizational chart with job descriptions and key employees. Who’s in charge? Who reports to who?
● Background and key details about the business owner(s), including what percentage of the laundromat you own, how involved you’ll be with the business and key skills and background information.
● Notes regarding any key business advisers — such as accountants, attorneys and laundry equipment distributors — that will guide you through the process of opening a laundromat.
● Any other potential roles you may need to fill.
Many laundromats are small, one-man operations starting out, and that’s OK. Use this section as a way to plan for future growth and what you’d like your laundromat to look like as it grows. It’s a great way to start thinking about skill gaps and potential future hires.
Marketing & Sales Plan
While word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, your laundry business is likely going to need some additional marketing to be successful. This would outline how you plan to reach your target audiences.
Some potential ideas to include in this section:
● Describe your brand positioning and key message points. How do you want your laundry business to be perceived and how will you showcase that across your marketing efforts?
● Highlight your marketing goals and objectives.
● Develop a marketing budget and distribution plan (print, broadcast, digital, etc.)
Be sure you spend some time on this subject. Consider consulting with a marketing and branding agency to get you started on the right foot. You’ll also be referencing your marketing plan and budget in the financial section of your business plan, so don’t rush this part.
Financial Plan & Projections
This is where you lay out all financial aspects of your business — from your laundromat start-up costs and monthly ongoing expenses, to expected future business expenses such as upgrading your laundry equipment. This is an important step in securing financing for your laundromat and equipment and budgeting properly to set up for success.
The financial section should address:
● The costs needed to start your laundry business.
● A breakdown of ongoing business expenses, such as utility costs, salaries, insurance, marketing, etc.
● A forecast of future revenue and expenses, or projections, for the next few years.
● Other relevant financial information.
Every coin-op laundry business is a little different, so every laundry business plan is going to be too. What’s important is taking the time to create one; having a solid foundation to start your business.
If you still have questions, our laundry experts are always willing to offer advice and insights to help you make your laundry business a success. We also have tons of insights, success stories and additional information for you to check out on our blog.