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September 27, 2018

Don’t Overlook These 4 Points When Picking a Laundromat Location

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It’s no secret that picking the right laundromat location is important for the success of your business. Location dictates your customer demographics, the layout, and flow of your laundromat, and more. However, when you’re in the midst of research and touring multiple options, it can be easy to lose track and miss important details. If you’re at the process of looking for a new laundromat location or expanding your current laundry empire, there are a few best practices and things to keep in mind...

1. Parking & transportation

 This is a big one. If customers can’t easily get to and from your laundromat, they’re less likely to utilize it. When visiting locations, be sure to pay special attention to parking and transportation issues.

  • Is there off-street parking?

  • How many spaces are available?

  • Are parking permits required?

  • Are there any parking laws or ordinances that may impact you or customers?

  • How far are you from public transportation stops?

 If you share a parking lot with other businesses, note any special instructions and rules within your rental agreement to avoid surprises and complications down the road.

2. Permits and zoning laws

 It’s important to check if the property you’re interested in is zoned properly for vended laundry. If not, that’s a problem. You’ll need to find out if you can obtain the proper zoning, what the process entails, and how long that process will take. Everything else, such as equipment installation and your grand opening, will need to be timed accordingly. Your best bet is to find someone to talk to about zoning at the town hall or municipality’s headquarters.

Also, consider your long-term business plan. Is there anything else you might want to do with the land or the building itself down the road? Regulations, restrictions, and laws change and permit prices often rise, so it is in your best interest to tackle any future zoning and permit issues from the get-go.

3. Environmental concerns and regulations

Of course, we all want to do the best we can for the environment. That’s why many laundromats utilize machines that are as energy-efficient as possible. You should keep environmental issues in mind as you’re looking at potential locations — especially if near water, parks, or government land.

  • Are there any environmental issues that may limit future expansions and growth?

  • Is the location at a higher risk of flooding, fires, or other natural disasters? This may cause insurance rates to be higher.

  • Are there any environment-related laws or ordinances that may impact you? Water regulations are common.

  • Are there trees and other landscaping that will need to be removed?

  • Is there any protected wildlife in the area that you need to be aware of?

  • Are there issues with the soil or groundwater that will impact building?

Of course, living in Illinois and Indiana areas means we deal with all types of weather as well. While people always need laundry services, rainy, snowy, and overly hot conditions can still impact your business if it is unsafe for customers, service technicians, and delivery drivers to travel. Other weather-related factors to consider include:

  • Is snow removal included in the lease or is that an additional expense?

  • How will local weather impact insurance coverage and rates?

4. Building issues

 Unexpected flaws in your building can end up costing you money down the road. Just like when buying a home, you’ll want to have a professional inspect your laundromat building for potential issues before making a commitment.  

For a coin laundry business, you should pay special attention to the HVAC unit, water heater, electrical system, pipes, and so on.

  • Does anything need to be replaced? If so, when?

  • How energy-efficient is the building?

  • What are average heating, cooling, and water costs?

  • Is the building equipped to handle the machines you plan to install? 

Lease agreements and city ordinances often specify any changes and updates you can make to the building, which may limit your options for expansion, building signage, and decor. Be sure to review any and all contracts carefully in order to understand if the building meets your future needs. 

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the perfect laundromat location. While finding a home for your laundry business may seem daunting, it’s not impossible. The laundry experts at Coin-O-Matic are here to help!

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