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Extra Creativity Can Lead to Extra Profit (Part 1 of 2)

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(Photo: © iStockphoto/John DeFeo)

Todd Santoro |

OMAHA, Neb. — Customers come to your Laundromat to do their laundry, but what if you could offer them extra services, drawing them into your store more frequently, while producing more profit for your business, and reducing your actual staffing out of pocket costs?

Extra profit centers provide a variety of additional revenue opportunities, and some require little extra work from you and your employees. 

These business opportunities can be broken up into two categories: those that lie within your core competency and directly relate to laundry, and ancillary projects that can be add-ons to your main business purpose.

LAUNDRY-RELATED CENTERS

There are some extra profit centers that are common to the laundry industry, such as vending machines for everything from soda and snacks to detergent. These are an easy, low-maintenance option for a small amount of extra work that can easily result in 10% more revenue per month.

As the laundry industry changes and grows, many owners have added or are looking to add wash-dry-fold (WDF) services to their offerings or to increase their existing offerings to include commercial accounts. There are several ways that owners can adapt this service to fit their businesses’ needs.

One way to increase your existing service is by partnering with a local dry cleaner. Establish a program where customers can drop off at your location for both services; work with the dry cleaner to determine the timeline and revenue split. It’s important to choose a dry cleaner that is in close proximity to your store, but is far enough away that it also will benefit their business—this is a partnership and both sides must profit to be successful.

A word of caution when choosing your dry cleaning partner: evaluate their prices in relation to your core demographic before making a deal. Some stores charge $1.15 per pound for drop-off and have a 10-pound minimum to ensure profit.

Pick-up service is another way you can adapt WDF to suit your business. Set a delivery radius around your store, up to 20 miles, and charge per pound to accommodate the increased costs. The amount you charge will depend on your area of the country, but make sure to set a poundage minimum to ensure profitability. Also, make sure to target not only residential areas but also small businesses that may not have laundry on-site. Pick-up is particularly important for growing your commercial laundry revenue to include clients such as spas, catering companies and salons.

If your store is close to a college campus, offering a WDF service for students can be profitable. A way to do this is by offering a flat fee for the semester that is automatically charged to a credit card at the start of each term. Programs like these have become popular over the past year. An easy way to quickly grow your student business is partnering with an established provider, such as dormmom.com, which provides student and residential laundry service across the country.

Lastly, if you begin offering WDF service, be sure to let your local special events centers know. Entertainers have laundry needs, and you can quickly make yourself indispensable by making them aware of your services.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2: The ancillary services you may offer are limited only by your imagination...

About the author

Todd Santoro

CleanWash Laundry Systems

President

Todd Santoro is the president of CleanWash Laundry Systems, an IPSO distributor located in Omaha, Neb., serving Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. He can be reached at 888-990-7191 or tasantoro@clslaundry.com.

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