No matter if or how you voted, there’s no doubt that there was a lot at stake in this year’s presidential election. Like it or not, the president can have an impact on business, including small businesses like laundromats. With Vice President Joe Biden as our apparent president-elect, there are still a lot of questions and unknowns up in the air. Matt Miller, the president here at Coin-O-Matic, and Tony Fremarek, our chief financial officer and owner/founder of A Fractional CFO, shared what this election could mean for laundry businesses moving forward.
Potential Concerns for Laundromats
Increased fuel & utility costs
Under President-Elect Joe Biden, one of the big things that will likely impact laundromats and other small businesses is an increase in fuel/natural gas costs and other fuel-related expenses.
That means that laundromats may see higher operational costs overall. Laundromats that offer a laundry pick-up/drop-off delivery service — which has become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic — may also see an increase in their transportation expenses.
Higher property taxes
Another expectation under a Biden administration is an increase in taxes, particularly property taxes, for business owners.
We don’t know exactly what this increase will look like, but it’s definitely something businesses have to gear up and budget for over the next few years. Keep in close connection with your financial and tax professionals so you’re in the loop on any changes and increased expenses moving forward.
As a result of increased property taxes, those laundromat businesses who rent or lease their business space may also see property owners/managers attempting to off-set those additional costs with higher rental rates and other costs. However, that depends heavily on the property owners themselves and the existing rental agreement you have.
Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
No matter who’s president, we’re still dealing with the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Laundromats and other laundry businesses are considered “essential businesses” and we don’t see that changing, which is a very good thing for those of us in this industry. We continue to provide an important service, especially at a time when sanitation and cleanliness are more important than ever.
While we don’t expect another full shutdown, we may see increased limitations on capacity or more stringent masking orders that could result in changes to your existing operation. At this point in time, those kinds of rules and regulations vary from state-to-state and it’s unclear what they might look like on a federal level under Biden.
We may also see another stimulus package and monetary help, which would be great for those laundromats, other businesses, and your customers that are currently struggling. When and how large that stimulus might be remains to be seen.
Due to many businesses closing their doors or opting for a remote, work-from-home operation, we may also see some prime real estate come available, with competitive rates. This is good news for existing laundromat owners who are looking to expand to a new location or for those who want to open a laundromat in the near future.
How to Best Move Forward
While we can speculate all we want, the truth is, no one knows exactly what things will look like under a new presidency and newly-elected state and local officials. No matter how you’re feeling during these turbulent times, the best thing is to stay positive.
Here are a few pieces of advice to keep laundromats moving forward in the coming months and beyond...
Focus on cleanliness.
Keep your laundromat clean, disinfect frequently, and follow COVID-19 protocols. There’s never been a more crucial time to improve your sanitation efforts in an effort to provide a safe and top-notch laundry experience.
Market your laundromat properly.
What do your customers need right now? Increased messaging focused on your COVID-19 safety precautions, no contact laundry drop-off and delivery services, and the cleaning power of your commercial-grade equipment can help alleviate fears and guide customers in the door.
Consider upgrading your commercial laundry equipment.
There’s never been a better time to consider investing in new commercial laundry equipment for your laundry business. Here’s why...
- New laundry machines and advanced technology provide increased efficiency and more customization options, which can help lower your utility expenses and increase revenue dramatically. This is a great way to combat any future fuel or property tax increases.
- New equipment from top commercial laundry brands like Maytag Commercial and Electrolux Professional are designed to provide a superior clean when compared to older, outdated equipment. Electrolux even has a cycle that’s certified to kill viruses, which is a great selling point for your business.
- The increased efficiency of today’s commercial laundry equipment will allow for a faster laundry experience, which means customers are in the laundromat less time. This is key as today’s consumers are trying to limit their time in public areas. It also minimizes wait times and congestion, so there’s less contact among customers and you can still operate efficiently under any capacity limitations.
- Consider alternative, touchless payment methods. App-based payments, smart cards, and credit/debit cards all limit contact, which is important during these times. It also helps your laundry business combat the ongoing coin-shortage problem.
If you’re interested in investing in new commercial laundry equipment for your Midwest laundromat, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Overall, our best recommendation is not to worry too much. Just focus on your business and making customers happy. If you do that, you’ll thrive no matter what the future holds.