Phone Number: +1 310 623 2477
228 N Ave 50, Highland Park, Los Angeles 90042
After watching Codie Sanchez the financial influencer on Instagram talk about buying simple or boring businesses, and updating them to x10 your investment in just a few years. I got inspired. I had always had competitive, sought after jobs and although I had done well as a graphic designer, advertiser and web developer. The competition for those jobs had always gotten in the way of being able to make really good money.
I was going to find a boring business as Codie describes them. A boring business is one that provides and simple service that nobody wants but instead needs. Car washes, laundromats or plumbing service, the list goes on. These business are not glamours but people need to wash their cars wether the economy is good for not and as the baby boomer generation retires lots of these businesses will become available to buy. Part of the plan is to find an operator to run the business for you anyway so you don’t need to have a ton of experience to take the business over and implement the steps needed to make them profitable.
I went out and looked for a business to buy in various sectors. Car washes for sale - which are typically sold with the land so the price tag in LA, where I am based is well over a million. Plumbing companies and the likes seemed too complicated as I really didn’t want to have to jump under someones sink when my plumbing contractor didn’t show up to a job I had booked in.
So a laundromats for sale it was. I looked at 20 laundromats and they were all terrible. Run down machines, in horrible neighborhoods and with pretty undesirable customers hanging out all day looking homeless. Also when I did my due-diligence on the P&L sheets none of them made any money.
After a few months looking I found one that made money and tried to buy it. My business buying broker told me to low ball the owner on the price. That advice cost me the opportunity and it was sold to someone else with more experience than I had, the owner that got the business probably jumped at the opportunity to own LA’s only profitable laundromat for sale.
I was feeling dejected and thought I was never going to make buying a business a reality when I drove past a laundromat in my own neighborhood, Highland Park in LA. Which by-the-way is quite nice. It was closed down but there were people going in and out of the building that looked like property developers or builders that were fixing the place up. I did an immediate U turn in went in and introduced myself as someone looking to buy a laundromat.
It was my lucky day. This laundromat was for sale and was just renovated so it looked great. The business had been closed for 8 months while the building had been updated so there was no relevant data on how much the business brought in and how much the expenses where but with no other viable options I pursued becoming the new owner. Unfortunately it turned out that to buy a laundromat that wasn’t falling to pieces was expensive in the form of extremely high rent. Instead of $3000 a month rent for a 2000sf place it was $7000.
I should have walked away when I found out that the place was going to be almost three times the rent of other laundromats in the area. And that there was no existing clientele to speak of as the business was not currently operating. With no other options I went home and thought about how I could make this nice looking laundromat profitable.
Pickup and Delivery service was the answer. I could negotiate a period for a few months where I didn’t pay rent while I got the business up and running again. I could build a pickup and delivery book of clients and move those clients to a different laundromat if the nice looking laundromat didn’t end up not at least paying it’s own expenses or the three times the going rate for rent that it needed to make.
Now I had a plan, I was going to need a killer website that could cost effectively and cost effectively capture the web traffic of people looking for this new service and to set up the procedures to service these customers I was going to be attracting.
I went a visited a successful laundromat Super Suds down in Long Beach that offered Pickup and Delivery to it’s clients and started figuring out a process.
A typical laundromat can ideally open it’s doors and customers can use the machines and the place can almost run itself as long as you have good signage, the machines are all maintained and the coins are collected once every two day. Well thats not the case with Pickup and Delivery. With pickup and delivery wash and fold services you need staff and plenty of them.
You are going to be taking in orders, picking up in vans and need knowledgeable washers to wash and fold the laundry ready to be delivered back to the customers the next day.
After visiting Super Suds and talking to their software team at Curbside. I worked out that Laundry pickup and delivery service workers take about 2 months, working as a wash and fold assistant before they are ready to take the test to become an expert wash and folder. That’s 320 hours of wash and fold just to take the test. Expert laundry wash and folders have to be 100% accurate and are expected to wash and fold at least 250 lbs of mixed laundry orders a day.
When a washing order arrives at the store, either by customers walking the laundry in or our vans bringing it in it is weighed and logged into our computer system provided by Super Suds. Each customers washing is allocated a group of machines and then separated by colors and whites and delicates. Custom detergents and softeners are added at the exact amounts per weight of the laundry loads and any specific instructions on how a customer likes their washing done can be found on the computer system.
Once washed it’s moved over to the driers and items, are sorted by the density of the garments so the drier loads are done at the same time.
Then the drier is opened and the clothes are smoothed flat and laid in a stack, face down so they can settle. Then the folding begins.
A folder learns accuracy over speed at first and becomes quicker over time. Certain folders can get in a zen like state, earphones on, dancing while they, creasing, smoothing out, fold and flip garments until there’s and neat pile of perfectly squared clothes all buttoned and facing up.
The clothes are then packed into clear bags and the air vacuumed out so the packages are air tight and solid. The clothes can be easily viewed so customers know what item is in what package.
The laundry parcels are then weighed again and checked against the booked in weight to eliminate any chances of mistakes.
And then they are ready to be picked up or go back out on the van to be delivered to a customers home.
Vans will leave every morning fully loaded with deliveries and at the same time collect the days laundry pickup and delivery service orders that have come in via the website ordering system or pre ordered regular customers.
Some customers are meet and we get to say Hi, other orders are left behind a locked gate or in the garage with a keypad. Our Schedule a Pickup system enables customers leave pickup and drop off instructions that our drives have along with each customers phone number in case something isn’t clear.
Once the van is loaded it comes back to the laundromat and the orders are booked in ready to be wash and folded over night. Our drives send automatic text messages to customers just before each pickup and delivery and we will make sure to hire drivers that are always friendly, on time and know how to drive responsibly.
Customers can go to our website and click Schedule a Pickup button. Our system will them have them book a pickup time and input any special pickup and washing instructions. Once they are happy with their order they can input a secure payment method and it will be billed to that same card every time we pickup or you drop off in the future.
Automatic messages are sent out if your payment option needs updating and regular invoices are emailed to commercial clients. Once set up everything should run like clockwork.
For our specific situation we are going to start off small putting our processes into practice and building up the amount of customers until the business can sustain it’s self and afford to have a manager run the day to day.
Following is a snap shot of the local economics surrounding the desire for a more upscale Laundy experience and how I think things well go. A plan of sorts.
See what you think.
Starting a laundromat business is an exciting venture that holds immense potential for success and profitability. With the rapid pace of modern life, people are seeking convenience in every aspect, including their laundry needs. By offering pickup and delivery services alongside traditional laundromat amenities, you can tap into this growing demand while ensuring the long-term sustainability and profitability of your business.
In my case I knew my neighborhood was more affluent than what a the typical laundromat wants. I was going after Pickup and Delivery clientele so my own neighborhood might work for me, also I could drive out to other areas to pick up laundry orders.
Before embarking on any business venture, conducting a comprehensive market analysis is crucial. Identify your target demographic, assess the competition, and analyze the demand for laundry services in your area. This research will inform your decision-making process and enable you to tailor your services to meet the specific needs of your target market.
In addition to offering traditional self-service machines and full-service options, incorporating pickup and delivery services will set your business apart. This added convenience can attract busy professionals, families, and individuals seeking a hassle-free laundry experience. Determine the scope of your pickup and delivery services, including the areas you will cover, delivery schedules, and pricing structures.
Investing in high-quality infrastructure and equipment is vital for the smooth operation of your laundromat business.
Ensure that your facility is clean, well-maintained, and equipped with a range of washer and dryer sizes to cater to different laundry loads. Consider investing in energy-efficient machines to reduce operational costs and attract environmentally conscious customers.
For pickup and delivery services, establish a dedicated space for sorting, folding, and packaging. Acquire reliable delivery vehicles and explore software solutions that facilitate scheduling, tracking, and efficient route planning. Streamlining these processes will optimize your service and enhance customer satisfaction.
Hiring and training competent staff is essential for delivering exceptional customer service and maintaining the smooth functioning of your business. Identify the required positions, such as attendants, delivery drivers, and administrative staff. Seek individuals with a strong work ethic, excellent communication skills, and a customer-centric approach.
Offer comprehensive training programs to your staff, focusing on handling different types of laundry, using the equipment effectively, and ensuring timely and accurate order processing. Emphasize the importance of professionalism, courtesy, and attention to detail. Well-trained staff will contribute significantly to customer satisfaction and repeat business.
Effectively promoting your laundromat business is vital to attract customers and create brand awareness. Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses both online and offline channels. Establish a professional website that highlights your pickup and delivery services, pricing, operating hours, and contact information. Optimize your website with relevant keywords and create informative content to improve your search engine rankings.
Utilize social media platforms to engage with your target audience and share valuable laundry tips, promotions, and testimonials. Collaborate with local businesses, such as hotels, gyms, and residential complexes, to generate referrals and mutually beneficial partnerships. Implement targeted advertising campaigns through digital platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to reach potential customers in your area.
Launching a successful and profitable laundromat business requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a focus on customer convenience. By integrating pickup and delivery services into your business model, you can cater to the evolving needs of your target market and differentiate yourself from competitors. Remember to continuously assess customer feedback, adapt your services accordingly, and invest in technological advancements that are needed.
I hope this article help explain my process to start a laundromat business. Only time will tell.
Thanks for visiting our website and reading about laundry pickup and delivery in LA and how else Laundry Wand want to change the industry...
You can only know the magic of Laundry Wand’s Laundry Pickup and Delivery Service once you order it.
We are happy to pickup whenever it’s convenient with you so let’s get your 1st order scheduled.