RIPON, Wis. — Whether you are opening a new store or rehabbing and retooling an existing location, there are many decisions to be made. From determining the right equipment mix and best layout to the overall aesthetics and design, your laundry equipment distributor can serve as a trusted resource and partner to help you make these important choices that will have an impact on your business operation.
With their experience and knowledge of the industry, there are many reasons you should turn to your distributor for support. If you are partnering with a top-notch distributor, he or she will truly be invested in you and your Laundromat – not only when your store is open for business, but from the early planning stages to ultimately help set you up for success, as well as assist with ongoing business needs.
Read on in Part 1 to learn about two key reasons why your distributor can be your best resource to help design a winning Laundromat.
REASON NO. 1: INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
Your distributor’s role in your Laundromat goes far beyond selling and installing equipment. If you are working with a first-rate distributor with many years in the industry, they can provide their guidance and expertise no matter what question or challenge you may have.
This support and advice can be extremely important when opening your Laundromat. Whether you have owned multiple stores, or are opening your first, no Laundromat is the same, and therefore your distributor can help support you with any unique circumstances associated with the location.
“We often begin working with our customers before they have even chosen a location for their Laundromat,” says George Pierce, president of Pierce Commercial Laundry Distributors, a Huebsch® distributor based in Mandeville, La. “With more than 20 years in the industry, we are very familiar with what a location needs to be successful. We’ll review traffic patterns, neighborhood demographics, surrounding business facilities and competitors in the area to ensure that our customers open their business in a neighborhood with a strong customer base.”
In addition to their own experience working hand-in-hand with customers, distributors also have a great understanding of industry trends and know what it takes for a store to be profitable.
A top distributor frequently attends trade shows, conferences and other events, as well as reads industry publications and articles to enhance their knowledge. This raises their awareness of trends in the marketplace, and new equipment and technology available in the industry, allowing them to make comprehensive recommendations for businesses like yours.
Once you find your location, your distributor will continue to share his or her knowledge and expertise as you work to determine your equipment mix, design your store and prepare to open for business.
REASON NO. 2: THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT TO MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS
After you’ve identified the perfect location for your Laundromat, the next important decision will be determining your equipment needs.
Are you installing equipment in a new store? Or purchasing an existing store with outdated equipment? Your distributor has in-depth knowledge of the available equipment, including its technology and energy-saving features, as well as an understanding of the equipment needed to best serve your potential customers.
“While all Laundromats are different, and there is no magic formula to determine the best equipment mix for each store owner, with our knowledge of the industry and analysis of the neighborhood, we are able to make informed decisions to recommend the right equipment for our customers,” says Pierce.
Your distributor has access to demographics of the surrounding area that they will review, in addition to analyzing nearby competition and the size of your Laundromat, to help you determine the best equipment to differentiate your store and meet customer needs.
Good distributors understand the value of investing in industry-leading equipment built for optimal performance and will help educate you on the available equipment technology that can help with water and energy efficiencies. This is especially important if you are considering retooling an existing location, as your distributor can help you analyze usage trends to identify what capacity machines are bringing in the most profit, as well as identify potential utility savings if you move forward upgrading your equipment.
“Once a customer makes a decision on the type of equipment they want to install, we spend time educating them on the equipment so that they have an understanding of the control system and the modifications they can make to cycles and water levels that will ultimately impact their utility expenses,” Pierce shares.
A knowledgeable distributor will also help you find the right financing options to meet your specific needs, such as financing through your equipment manufacturer. Manufacturer financing solutions are specifically designed for the laundry industry and provide store owners with the best cash flow potential and low, competitive rates.
In our conclusion tomorrow, could you handle store design and construction yourself?