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Renegotiate Rent, Cut Costs to Survive

CHICAGO — It brings me great pain to witness landlords choking their tenants with escalating rents and offering no relief during these tough times.

I have witnessed more laundries close their doors in the past two years than I have in the past 22 years served in the coin laundry industry. Owners are faced with the potential of losing their businesses and, in many cases, their life savings because business is down and they cannot afford to pay their rent.

If you’re one of those owners, take this message as a call to action. Renegotiate your rent if you plan on surviving in this industry. Consult with your attorneys and get the help you need before it’s too late.

I’ve spoken with some landlords who are making rent concessions to avoid seeing their tenants close their doors and produce no rent at all. This is a good move—a win/win for everyone!

Of course, there are those landlords who will tell you “the lease is the lease.” Again, I suggest you get legal advice to provide the direction you need to protect you and your family.

Now is the time to buckle down and look for ways to cut your costs. Here are some suggestions for trimming the fat:

  • Lower the heat in the laundry during the winter months.
  • Make sure you are not wasting resources (water, gas or electricity). Working with an energy broker could save you a large percentage of what you might be paying.
  • Consider subletting space in your laundry to create more revenue.
  • Consider working additional hours to lower employee payroll.
  • Make sure you have energy-efficient washers, dryers and water heaters.
  • Consider acquiring refurbished or rebuilt machines when making replacement purchases.

Don't be one of the owners who will close their doors in 2012. Now is the time to take action to protect your Laundromat businesses.

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Photo: ©iStockphoto/alexskopje

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].