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 (which I covered in Part 1), and ancillary projects that can be add-ons to your main business purpose.
ANCILLARY PROFIT CENTERS
Ancillary profit centers allow Laundromat owners to be creative with their offerings. While customers are waiting for the wash, you have a captive audience who is looking for ways to keep busy. Additionally, ancillary services make more customers aware of where you are and what you offer. Think about what your customers need, then put together a plan to deliver them entertainment or convenience. The services you offer are only limited by your creativity.
U-HAUL TRUCK RENTAL
An example of a creative ancillary profit center is offering U-Haul trucks for rent. Some stores have extra parking spaces, enabling them to establish a partnership with U-Haul that allows the company to keep trucks on store properties. Owners receive commission from the rentals, and attendants also set up reservations for other locations, which also nets owners a percentage of the rental. The only cost associated with this extra profit center is affiliated with office supplies such as printer ink.
Additionally, U-Haul lists the store’s location on its website, which helps increase web traffic and visibility.
OTHER ANCILLARY SERVICES
There are many other services that your store can offer, but remember, you must consider your target demographic and know what is important to them. Services that are quick and helpful will best serve them and you.
Some ideas that could potentially work in your store include the rental of rug cleaners, DVDs or propane tanks. Also, some owners have lottery terminals in their stores. From these, you make about 5% of every ticket sold.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SERVICE
As with every business move, there are some considerations to understand before committing to one of these extra profit centers.
Resources are a huge concern for laundry owners. For any of these services, you will need to have an attended or partially attended store, along with staff that is capable of running these services. You must train your employees so they not only know how to manage laundry, but also know how to use these services, such as booking a U-Haul reservation.
A benefit for you is that the profit centers can offset the costs of employees—especially if you require additional staff to run services.
Don’t try to jump into multiple extra profit centers at once. Become successful with your core business, and then add profit centers one at a time as revenue increases. Offering new services requires additional oversight and time from you along with training of employees. Remember to not let your primary business suffer as you expand.
As with any big business decision, make sure to do your due diligence on the service you consider offering. Consult with your distributor who can help you see what is working at other locations and give you suggestions. Extra profit centers are a great way to be a little creative and bring in extra revenue for your store.