Self-Service Laundries: Still a Worthwhile Investment?

Robert J. Renteria |

CHICAGO — In an economy where people are still losing their jobs, houses, cars and various other things, and bankruptcies continue, there is one occupation/business that remains as close to recession-proof as they come: self-service laundries.OK, let’s call this business recession-resistant. But despite the economy, needs haven’t changed. People still need to eat, sleep and have clean clothes.Another positive is that you don’t need a certain degree or certificate to run a laundry.Times are changing, but the formula for success in this industry still revolves around marketing and hard work. As owner, you can set your own working hours, and you don’t have to fret over a dress code or meetings that require your attendance. You are the CEO.I’m sure you’re aware of company downsizing and business closures during the last few years. With this in mind, it’s the perfect time to enter an industry that meets the basic needs of every person.GAZING INTO THE FUTUREFor those of you thinking about opening a Laundromat, you are buying a job that allows you to call the shots and has no financial glass ceiling. As a business owner, it will be totally up to you, and you alone, to show the world what you’re really made of.This goes for all laundry owners: Isn’t it nice not to have to deal with office politics and worry about having to ask for a raise? Being a business owner is what I call the American dream!If you talk to a veteran owner, you’ll probably hear that taking this business step will be a frightening experience. That may be true, but once you get the basics down, it’s all about going forward with relationships and marketing. Are you up to the challenge?Those familiar with my columns know that I stress the importance of customer service, dealing with people in a positive manner and making sure that your laundry represents itself in the most professional way possible.Success is all about getting more people to come in and clean clothes at your laundry. Again, you’re going to determine your future. If you want a nice raise, go out and attract more people to your store.If you remember this next bit of advice, I promise that you will be happy that you entered the business: Every day is a marketing day.If you decide to enter this business, make sure to do your due diligence. Don’t get tripped up before you have a chance to succeed.As always, if you have questions, please contact me. 

About the author

Robert J. Renteria


Robert J. Renteria is a national consultant based in Chicago. He has more than 23 years of industry experience, having helped develop more than 750 coin laundries nationally and abroad. The author of three books, he was named the 2010 Chicago Latino Professional of the Year and is the sole recipient of the 2011 International Outstanding Humanitarian Award. In 2013, he received two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards for his work in civil rights advocacy and educational reform. He can be reached at 312-933-5619 or [email protected].


Latest Podcast

When circumstances beyond your control have your laundry business down, how do you bring it back? Helio Fred Garcia, president of crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group, takes you through the initial response, changing your approach depending on event, the importance of communication, and much more.

Want more? Visit the archive »

Digital Edition

Latest Classifieds

Industry Chatter