CHICAGO — Having a company website offers a wide variety of benefits to a small business like a laundromat, including further establishing its presence in the marketplace, informing customers about store location and operating hours, and marketing the ways in which it serves its area.
Yet, fewer than 30% of laundromats advertise their store using a website, says Brian Henderson, citing a 2020 Coin Laundry Association survey.
“Having a solid, clean website with easy-to-scan information about who, what, where and why someone should visit your laundromat will raise your website to the top of local search listings on Google,” adds Henderson, whose Wash-Dry-Fold POS firm began offering website creation services last year based on industry demand.
“Businesses that have websites are more likely to gain customers than those without,” says Dennis Diaz, president of Spynr, an online marketing services firm that works specifically with laundry businesses. “The reason is that people looking for products and services online might never find you if they can’t locate your website, so suddenly businesses with a web presence will be the ones getting all of their potential clients’ attention first.”
A website can make or break the start of a relationship, according to Diaz: “Your digital storefront should be treated with as much care and attention to detail as your physical storefront, otherwise, you may not receive any business from potential clients who are browsing for products or services like yours. Your website starts the relationship by highlighting what you do and how well you do it.”
He says laundry business owners want to provide customers with the convenience of being able to find information about their store hours, locations, and ways to contact customer support.
“Some also desire features that allow customers a way of checking balances on laundry cards or loading more money onto it,” Diaz adds. “Others would like an order management system so they can keep track of orders from pickup and delivery customers or gift card sales.”
“There are so many ways to build websites these days that the main thing to ‘research’ is to ask yourself how involved you care to be with its creation,” says Henderson. “If you want to learn some basics about website design and hosting … you will learn a lot and save some money in the process. If you hire a service to build and host the website for you, then it will cost more, but assuming it has been built well and ranks well in online searches, then the income generated will easily be worth the investment.”
He says a laundromat website basically breaks down into three parts: information, communication, and a call to action.
“For the information, this relates to providing your store’s address, store hours, and list of services in easy-to-find locations on your site,” Henderson says. “For communication, it is best to provide contact information like a phone number and contact form. … For the call to action, this is commonly achieved by listing some type of promotion that will encourage website visitors to come to your store.”
As for content, he recommends hiring a local business photographer to take pictures of your store, which you can then post prominently on your site.
“You might need to spend a few hundred dollars for this service, but the mileage you will get out of these images for your marketing and advertising will last you for years and the revenue generated will far outweigh what the pictures cost,” Henderson says.
“If you want to create content on your own, it might help if you outline the unique sales propositions of your laundry business and design copy around that,” says Diaz. “You can always hire a specialized online writer to help craft this for search engines, too.”
Check back Tuesday for the conclusion!
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected] .