Laundromat Conveniences to Attract and Keep Customers

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While clean clothes are a necessity for everyone, actually laundering the clothes is a time-consuming chore, and is rarely how your customer wants to be spending their time. While your most important equipment will always be your washers and dryers having other amenities and conveniences for your patrons can raise your facility above that of your competitors and even open up other revenue streams. If your laundromat is, if not fun, at least a pleasant place to spend time while clothes are being washed, your customers will definitely notice. Take a second to peruse the following ideas:

  • Security Cameras: At first, you might think that having a plainly visible security system would make customers nervous. You definitely don’t want them to feel unsafe at your facility. Wouldn’t cameras mean that the area isn’t safe? Actually it’s the opposite. The thing is, your customers don’t know each other any better than you know them. So a camera system that watches the doors, the aisles, and the ATM lets the customers know that you care about safety, and will deter people from causing problems for them just as much as for you.
  • Free Wi-Fi: Most people will know to bring something to occupy their time while waiting for their laundry to finish. For a lot of people, that will mean a smartphone or tablet. Being able to use Wi-Fi and conserve their data plan will be a great benefit for them. If other laundromats in the area don’t offer this service, then you’ve got an advantage. But there’s another reason you’ll want an internet connection in your laundromat; if you get the right kind of security system, it will be internet-enabled, and you’ll be able to monitor your business from anywhere from your personal computer or smartphone. Opening a guest account for your patrons makes it a win-win.
  • Vending Machines: People may get hungry or thirsty while they are at the laundromat, but no one wants to abandon their clothes to go get food. They’ve already got a pocket full of coins—vending machines for snacks and soda will provide you with another opportunity to make money while keeping them satisfied and on the premises.
  • Comfortable and Clean Seating: Too many laundromats consider seating to be an afterthought, with only a couple of old chairs with ratty cushions stuck in corners. If you have space that you dedicate to convenient, comfortable seating for your patrons while they wait, they won’t find their time there disagreeable.
  • Dollar-coin Machines: If you have a lot of machines that do multiple loads at once, consider whether dollar-coin operation would make more sense for your facility. Feeding 16, 20, or 24 quarters into a single machine is tedious. If the option to use 5 dollar-coins were available, customers would notice and appreciate it.
  • Arcade games: This was once a staple of the laundromat, but the heyday of arcade machines has passed. Still, one or two classic games could be fun, if you attract the right kind of clientele, as in a college town. This suggestion’s not for everyone, but is still worth thinking about.

Get More from Owning a Laundromat in an Unexpected Way

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Owning a laundromat can bring a lot of financial reward while helping out the local community. Including vending machines with snacks or detergent and fabric softener as well as an ATM and additional services like dry cleaning can bring in extra income and boost your profitability. If you already have these or they just aren’t for you, consider offering stain removing services.

Post a list of common stains that are difficult to remove. Include the remedies to get them out and offer those products in your store. Because stains may not be noticed immediately or cannot be treated right away, customers will be grateful for the added services and your revenue can rise.

Here is a list of some of the most common stains and the best ways to treat them and get them removed.

  • Remove any excess chocolate and soak the item in cool water. Use a pre-wash treatment and then wash the garment in the hottest water that is safe for it. If the stain remains, rewash using safe bleach.
  • Rinse fresh coffee stains in hot water. If the stain is older, soak in dish soap and treat with a stain remover.
  • Use dish soap on the stain and then rinse. If the fabric is sturdy, scrub with a toothbrush to help break up the stain. If the stain still hasn’t been removed, consider using an alcohol-based solution such as rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  • Baby poop. These stains can be tough. Try using a laundry spray or gel as soon as possible and scrubbing with a toothbrush or scrub brush before washing. If all else fails, use bleach.
  • Fruit juice. Soak item in cold water and leave until the stain is gone. If it isn’t dissipating, soak in warm water with a biological detergent and then give it a thorough wash.
  • Soak item in cold water and gently rub the stain. Keep changing the water and rubbing the stain. If stain will not come out, dab with hydrogen peroxide. Once the stain is gone, rinse and wash as normal.
  • Use warm water to soak and then add some biological detergent. Leave for a bit to soak, then wash as normal when the stain is removed.

Keep your machines up to date and in proper working order to ensure that they help remove even the toughest stains your customers deal with. Whether you need washer and dryer machines, parts, or washer and dryer service and maintenance, at Automated Laundry Services we’re ready to help you with your laundromat needs.

Equipment Makes or Breaks a Laundromat Sale

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During a laundromat sale, the condition of the equipment will be a top priority for both the buyer and the seller. It’s not the only thing that will be considered, of course, but since the machines are the lifeblood of the store, if you’re selling yours, you’re going to need to be prepared to prepared to present all the facts about your laundry equipment.

What Buyers Want to Know

Replacing equipment can be costly—that’s a fact. And it’s one that persuades many laundromat owners to sell their business rather than reinvest in it. But that means that too many laundromat sales are taking place when the equipment inside it is nearing the end of its life cycle. This has made buyers wary—when they’re looking to invest in an existing business, they’re not necessarily looking to sink even more capital into replacing all of the machines. Keeping your machines in good order and not putting off the sale of your will help you to stand out from other sellers. If you’re considering selling, do it while your laundry equipment still has several years of life left in them.

In addition to the age and vitality of your machines, buyers will also want to know how efficient they are. This is sometimes considered a separate “utility bill” concern, but it’s closely related to your equipment, since more efficient machines will be able to pull in the same amount of revenue for a smaller cost.

How You Can Prepare for the Sale

To prove that your store is worth the price you’re asking for it, you’re not going to want to put your business up for sale without doing some preparation. You probably keep plenty of records of your business. Be prepared to pull them out again to show potential buyers.

Maintenance records are your first tool. Buyers will want to know not only how old each machine is, but how long it has been since they were last serviced. Having records that prove regular maintenance goes a long way in showing that your machines will last as long as you expect them to. While not all buyers will ask, be prepared to show who maintained your machines as well, as the reputation of the mechanic may factor into the buyer’s decision.

Automated Laundry Systems has been helping laundromat owners maintain and upgrade their facilities since 1976. We also help facilitate laundromat sales between owners and investors. If you’re looking to buy or sell a laundromat in California, contact us today.

The History of Laundromats

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The method of clothes washing has come a long way from using our hands and a nearby river. But given how long we have had clothes, we didn’t have washing machines until the late 19th century when steam-powered washing machines were released. Here is a look at how laundromats came to be.

The 1920s-30s

The first real laundromat opened in Fort Worth, Texas and was called a “wash-a-teria” at the time. It was a novel idea that a lot of people were open to. Patrons enjoyed the self-service aspect as well as its affordability. At the time, commercial washers and dryers were a luxury set that not a lot of people owned because it was so expensive. Customers would drop off their laundry and pay by the hour to use a wash-a-teria’s electric, coin-operated machines. This business model boomed despite the Great Depression and soon laundromats began opening all over the country.

The 1950s-70s

It was this period in American history that the public laundry concept boomed. Laundromats became the norm in laundry and became more and more accessible. But because of this, laundromat washers were subject to abuse. As a result, new customers coming in would be turned off by the battered state of the machines and the interest declined in the late 50s. It was only after investment in commercial washer repairs, janitorial services, and other related services such as dry-cleaning and wash-dry-fold that laundromats became popular again.

Today

Improvements in technology upgraded commercial washers and dryers to new heights. The equipment became more energy-efficient, used less water, and dried clothes much faster. This meant more washers and dryers available in laundromats as well as affordability in equipment service and repairs.

Recently, laundry machines have been equipped to receive payments via credit card which creates a higher level of convenience. Because laundromats are automated on the front end, it frees managers to focus on making their business grow and manage their store from afar. Today, laundromats are equipped with TVs, Wi-Fi, vending machines and children’s play areas to combat idleness while waiting for customers’ laundry to finish.

Despite many households owning a washer and dryer set, laundromats are still very successful because it serves apartment renters who do not have access to washers and dryers. House owners still use laundromats for items they cannot clean with their own set such as comforters, rugs, drapes, and sleeping bags.

The self-service laundry industry makes more than $5 billion every year with over 35,000 establishments across the United States. If you are interested in purchasing a laundromat, consult with Automated Laundry Systems who will teach you about the business and equip you with the IPSO washers you need to get started. Visit www.automated-laundry.com to learn more.

The Benefits of Receiving Maintenance Training for Your Laundry Appliances

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Whether you are a property manager for a small apartment complex, owner of a laundromat, or a DIY repair enthusiast, you could benefit from maintenance training for your washer and dryer appliances. If you don’t have the time, you can still benefit by having employees get some training. Learn about a few of the advantages below:

 

No more waiting

Is there anything worse than waiting all day for the appliance repairman to show up, and then having to reschedule when he’s a no-show? When you handle these types of repairs yourself, you don’t have to worry about anyone’s schedule but your own!

What are you waiting for? Take care of the problem as soon as you need it fixed.

 

It will save you money

Are you sick of shelling out cash for costly repairs to your washers and dryers? When you receive training, you’ll benefit with the following savings:

  • Time is money: If you run a laundromat or offer coin-operated laundry machines, you can lose money every minute the machine is out of service.
  • Stop paying for subpar service: If you’ve been trusting the wrong repairman, they might be charging you for services you don’t need or they could be pocketing your money without fixing the problem at all.
  • Inefficient machines cost you money: If your washing machine is leaking water or a blocked dryer vent is forcing people to run multiple drying cycles, it could raise the cost of your utilities drastically.

Save some money and give yourself some peace of mind by learning how to fix the units yourself!

 

You’ll get to know your machines better

When you start repairing your own appliances, you’ll start to notice that each machine has its own little quirks—especially if you repair the same machine over and over again. If you’re paying enough attention, you’ll notice the frequency of certain repairs. This could help you prepare for future repairs by stockpiling the parts that you know you’ll need again soon.

If certain parts seem to be wearing out sooner than they should, it will require further inspection and you’ll know you might need to perform a more extensive repair to fix the problem.

 

When you’re ready to enroll for your first service school session, choose Automated Laundry Systems to teach you the tricks of the trade. We can help you follow the proper maintenance techniques and give you the opportunity to purchase parts at discounted rates.

How to Engage Patrons in Full Service Laundry Providers

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The laundromat environment is usually that of a lowkey café; everyone keeps to themselves taking care of their own business. In such places, there is a lot of nothing going on especially when people aren’t loading and unloading the IPSO washers and dryers leaving customers bored. Your laundromat does not have to be this way. You can keep your patrons engaged in something while potentially growing your business. Automated Laundry Systems brings you a few things you can implement.

Wi-Fi

This is the failsafe method of occupying your customer’s time while they wait for their commercial dryers to finish their load. Everyone has their own smartphone so having a Wi-Fi connection strong enough to support a room full of people will draw people in to stay, if only for about an hour or so. Having a Wi-Fi connection will be necessary for the next suggestion.

Allow Content Casting in Your TVs

Some people would prefer to watch their content on a bigger screen than their phone if they can help it. Equipping your TVs with Chromecasts will allow people to watch their content and create a social environment where other customers in your IPSO washer and dryer service shop may see something they like and interact with the person who casted the video. This will create a customer base because people will likely come back if they meet a friend in a place that facilitated the social interaction.

Console Games

Some older laundromats have arcade games for people to play while they wait or for children that were dragged along. The problem is that those arcade machines are probably as old as those laundromats holding those games. Install game consoles in your TV and rent out controllers so customers can play games while they wait. Games are an easy way to pass the time so before they know it, the IPSO dryers will have finished their load. This tactic works best if you are located in a college town where many students would use your IPSO washers.

Host a Charitable Event

Although it may cost you money upfront, hosting or sponsoring charitable events is a great way to spread your brand and to organically engage your customers. Everyone needs clean laundry so for those who cannot afford it, this is a great opportunity for them to stay clean as well as interact with others. Gather volunteers from churches and community groups to help people with your coin operated washers and dryers. Patrons may remember your IPSO washer and dryer service and spread the word of their experience there, garnering good publicity for you.

Invest in the Future with a Laundromat Business

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A Wise Investment Choice

Laundromats in this day and age are more prevalent than they’ve ever been. The whimsical trip to a Laundromat is no longer a big city fantasy—it’s a reality that many people face to get their clothes laundered. Think about it: as long as there are humans occupying the Earth, wearing clothes, and subsequently getting the clothes dirty, laundromats are needed.

 

This is why investing in a laundromat business, or working with a Laundromat, is a wise investment for the future. laundromats will always be needed when there are people around, especially with the increase in population in America. More and more people are moving to urban, big cities, where apartments, condos, and smaller homes often don’t have space to house washing and drying machines. Additionally, the cost to purchase these machines is expensive for the individual buyer.

 

This is where laundromats come into play—they are effective at getting the job done and affordable for those who need it. They free up space in the home and incite people to get out of their homes and meet others. They’re a good space to read a book while your clothes tumble around or pick up a new hobby like crocheting. Laundromats are becoming more and more popular, and now would be a good time to look into providing this service to the community at large.

 

When investing in your own laundromat, you’ll also be able to choose the models of machines for your business, which can, in turn, save water and electricity. This is environmentally sustainable and helpful for the bustling cities we live in, where power usage can be so strong sometimes, we see surges. If you are able to provide a reliable laundry service that saves electricity, less and fewer people will need their own individual machines, thus also saving electricity. It’s a win-win situation for all.

 

Looking for a way to build the laundromat of your dreams? The folks at Automated Laundry have got you covered. You already have some laundry machines? Browse their parts to fix up the goods you own. Are you an owner of an apartment building looking to ease the stress for your leasees? Find an array of laundry machines for the purpose. Looking to begin your commercial business? They have all the machines you may be looking for. Whatever the reason may be, the laundry parts, washing machines, and dryers to invest in your future are waiting for you, at the ready.