How to start a laundromat business

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Laundromats are becoming more prevalent in the United States. Many people find it inconvenient to go to a central location and do their laundry. Laundromats can be very profitable if you choose an area that has a high demand for this service. For example, universities often have several small laundromats on campus to serve the student population.

How to start a laundromat business?

The best way to start a laundromat business is to rent washers and dryers while you are in your ramp-up phase and try and build a customer base. Pick geography that does not have another laundromat within 5 miles and near apartments that don’t offer the best washer and dryer options. 

How much does it cost to start a laundromat business?

The typical laundromat costs depend on the size, but you are looking at at least $80,000 to open a laundromat. Of course, this cost can vary greatly depending on your location and how much equipment you purchase. You will spend money on equipment for washing machines and dryers. The washing machines and dryers should be top-of-the-line models because you want your customers to have clean clothes after washing them.

$80,000 is a lot of money to invest in starting up a laundromat, but consider that you are completely avoiding any costs for rent or utilities because you will not be running this business out of an existing building. You can easily break even on your investment with the right location.

How to start a laundromat business in my home?

If you would rather avoid the costs that come with building or purchasing a laundromat, then your best option is to convert one of your existing rooms into a washroom. If you have space, this may actually be easier than buying or building something.

How to start a laundry service business?

If you decide that you want to operate your laundromat as a service, you can solicit customers yourself. However, you will be responsible for advertising your services and finding potential consumers. The major difference between starting up a traditional laundromat and doing it as a service is the expense. If you have employees, you will pay salaries and benefits, which can be quite substantial.

How to start a laundry service business with little money?

If you cannot afford to hire employees or pay for advertising and the other costs of opening a laundromat, consider operating it as a home-based business. You do not need a license to run a home-based business, but you will need an area large enough for the machines. You can also look into renting a cheap building space to use as your laundry facility.

Write a Business Plan

It is important to write a business plan for your laundromat business. You will get a better idea of what you need to do and how much money it will cost if you write down your business plan. This includes an overview of the laundry services you offer, why people want to use your services, how much revenue you can make, and how long it will take for you to break even.

Register the Business

Register the business with the local secretary of state. Doing this is now the first step and required by all states. The last thing you want to worry about later is whether or not your business is legally registered.

Reserve a Name for Your Laundromat Business

Choose a name that fits with what you are trying to accomplish. For example, try to make it descriptive, so people know your business is a laundromat. Something like “Clean-Towel Laundry” might work well for you.

Create a Logo

Create a logo for your business. This is another important component of starting up a laundromat. It will give you something to put on business cards, advertising materials, and even the outside of the building itself. Again, choose something clean and descriptive like “C-Thru” or “Clean Wash.”

Select a location

It would help if you looked for an area near apartment complexes that do not have the luxury of laundry facilities within each building. Also, look for areas that are renting space cheaply. Then you can negotiate with the landlord for a monthly rate, which will save you on the cost of building or purchasing your own space.

Get Licenses and Permits to Operate Your Laundromat Business

All laundromats who wash clothes in machines must have a license from the state’s health department. In addition, you also need to get a permit from your city or county. This process can take up to a month, so make sure that you give yourself enough time before opening the doors to customers.

Get Insurance

It is also important that you have insurance for the laundromat business. Some of your requirements are likely covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy, which means that you can save money by combining the policies. You may want to speak with an insurance agent to find out exactly what you will need to have covered and get rates for different levels of coverage.

Choose and Install Your Washers and Dryers

Try and partner up with a company that already has washers and dryers. Some companies will even install them for you for free in exchange for using the machines themselves. This allows you to save money while providing better quality laundromat equipment to your customers. It may be worth it to rent washers and dryers during your first year while learning how to run the business.

Build and Promote Your Brand

You will want to build your brand by getting it out there as much as possible. You can do this by placing a sign on the outside of your laundromat, printing up business cards, and having an advertisement on the radio that tells listeners how they can get their clothes washed at a low price. You can also hand out flyers in the area to help build your brand and get more people coming in to use your services.

Launch Social Media Campaigns

Work with a social media ads expert to help get the word out and focus on your target geography. Then, create an ad campaign to help bring in more customers. You can include ads on social media sites like Facebook, which is a relatively inexpensive marketing option.

Manage Your Laundry Facility

Once you have all the equipment and facilities within the place, it is time to start-up basis. As with any business, you will need to provide good customer service to encourage people to come back. This means having friendly employees who are well-trained on how to handle problems quickly and effectively. It also means keeping machines clean, ensuring that laundry is done thoroughly, paying attention to your energy costs so you can keep them down as much as operations, and manage the laundry facility on a daily


If you are ready to start your own laundromat business, it can be a lucrative venture as long as you are willing to put in the work. Of course, you will need to do a lot of research and planning before actually opening for business, but this type of career can give you great rewards down the road if done properly.

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