It is amazing how many entrepreneurs think that the laundromat business does not require much in the way of a marketing strategy. A common school of thought is that if you are in the right place then people will come and they will tell their friends and neighbors. While this is true to some extent, what these people don't realize that you could do so much better if you did have a marketing plan in place.
You need a good coin laundry marketing plan if you want to maximize the potential of your location. Basically, you should start by trying to understand your prospective customers and figuring out what kind of branding and services will appeal to them. Then set out a plan to bring them in to your coin laundry and treat them in a way that makes them want to return. Below are some coin laundry marketing ideas that you may consider incorporating into your business.
Before you can truly understand the needs of your customers you need to identify them first. Study the area around your laundromat and try to put together some typical customer profiles. Not only do you need to know if the area has enough potential but you also have to know how to best serve the people living in the area. If you target students then you would need commercial washing machines with smaller capacities than you would if you targeted families. If you are in an upmarket area then you would consider also offering a 'wash and fold' service or partnering up with a dry cleaner.
Distinguish Your Coin Laundry From the Competition
If you will be facing some tough competition then you should look at how you can create a better experience for people than what is currently on offer. At the basic level you can offer better equipment that is more targeted to people needs, but there is so much more that you can do as well.
Think of a way to design your laundromat to incorporate some unique facilities that you feel would be appealing to your target market. If your clientele include a large number of young mothers with children then you might consider having a small play area built in. Internet service, video games and snack counters are other things that you might try.
One way to distinguish your laundromat from others in your area is to design it with a theme in mind. You could have a 'retro' theme or an ethnic theme for example and use signage, wall space, TV and music to compliment this theme and to develop a unique experience.
Just like any other business, a laundromat needs to develop a brand that is respected and trusted in the market. Start out by choosing a great name and getting a logo designed as this will add to your image and help to enforce perceptions among customers that you are running a professional operation. Brand development is more about the customer experience over time and what they come to expect from you. Good branding is about making a promise to customers and always living up to their expectations.
Marketing with Advertising and Promotions
Laundromats can benefit from advertising campaigns just like any other business. Test out all of the regular local business advertising options and see which ones prove to be more effective. Set aside a small percentage of your profit each month for this purpose.
Flyers are a great way to get the word out about your coin laundry for minimal expense. Have some nice looking flyers printed up that highlight the facilities that you offer and then get them out into the hands of local people. Make sure that you distribute them using only methods that comply with local ordinances about such unsolicited mail drops. Make sure that you include a detailed map on the flyer so that everyone knows exactly how to find you.
There are all kinds of promotions that you can try to bring people into your laundromat and to generate some publicity. You c hold 'singles nights' for couples who are interested in dating while they do their washing for example.
There are many ways that you can market you laundromat on the Internet. Once you have a website set up, the best way to start is by getting listed with some of the laundromat directories that are out there. These directories are the starting point for many who go online looking for a laundromat.
You can also look at having some 'search engine optimization' done on your website or buying some 'pay per click' advertising on Google or other popular search engines. If you target the right keywords then you will ensure that anyone looking for a laundromat in your area will find you.
Try to build up an email list so that you can keep in contact with your clients. Send them the occasional coupon or special offer to remind them about you. It is amazing how email can help you to re-connect with customers that haven't been in for a while.
One great way to market your laundromat is to network with other local business owners. One great example would be that of a coin laundry owner who is located in a tourist area. Travelers staying in local accommodation will often ask the owner or receptionist where they can find a laundromat. Under this scenario you would want to make sure that every local motel or backpackers lodge knew about you and would happily refer business to you.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you need a marketing plan that puts special emphasis on customer retention. If customers have a positive experience with you then they are likely to return and tell other people about you. If they don't then you risk losing them to a competitor. It is often said that it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to maintain an existing one. A good customer could be worth hundreds of dollars to your business each year.
Focus on keeping your customers happy by always providing first class service. Ensure that machines are well maintained and that you respond to complaints promptly. Make sure that your store is clean, that customers know how to use the machines and that any attendants you have on duty are polite and helpful.
With the right marketing strategies in place it is possible to drastically improve the performance of a laundromat without necessarily going to a lot of expense. Set out to make your laundromat a success with a winning marketing strategy.