Time To Wake Up — And Make Money

Robert J. Renteria |

It seems that between all the news media reports and talk about the economy, laundry owners have fallen asleep when it comes to running their businesses and finding new ways to drive profits.I understand what it’s like to be scared and afraid of what the future might hold, but you need to look fear right in the eye, get beyond it, and do something about getting back to business.I have written about the many ways to make money by selling various products and offering different services, but laundry owners tend to get lazy and fall asleep at the switch, which is why it seems like the lights are on but nobody is home.STICK TO THE PLANPreparation is key. In the past, I have reminded you to sit down and map out your business and marketing plans so that you know which direction you are headed; otherwise, you are playing darts blindfolded. Let’s wake up and discuss services. You have a captive audience for about two hours while people wash their clothes. How can you take advantage of this? Follow my lead, and it’s as easy as giving a baby a bottle.Here are some things to consider:

  • Internet terminals
  • Snacks/candy
  • Drop-off service
  • Gumball machines
  • WiFi
  • Sandwiches/packaged goods
  • Lotto
  • Nachos/popcorn
  • Jukeboxes
  • Ice cream
  • Video games
  • Fax machines
  • Soda/water/coffee
  • Softeners
  • Mail
  • Laundry bags/hangers

If you offer some of these things, you may generate as much as 30% to your gross income. That’s a lot of money!ALL ABOUT PEOPLEThis is a simple business, which is why it’s easy to become lazy and nod off. However, if you push yourself to run your laundry like a business, you will reap the rewards for your efforts, and find that the self-service laundry business can also be fun. But you need a plan, and you have to stick to it. You must make the commitment to get out of your comfort zone and develop relationships with your customers. Remember, people buy from people.The edge you need to succeed is you, so remember that nobody wants to be sold, but everybody loves to buy. That being said, people buy from people they like and trust. In order for this to happen, you need to know your customers so they feel comfortable with you. Then comes the loyalty of a customer base, with friends and family toting bags of dirty laundry to your location.And when these customers arrive, they are going to spend money on your service and products.It’s as easy as one-two-three — simply take the time and effort to implement a program and stick with it. Be consistent, and whatever you do, stay awake! 

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].


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