4 Laundry Business Ideas to Help You Get More Customers
October 2, 2021
Laundry is big business. In fact, it’s estimated that the dry-cleaning and laundry-services market will be worth $180 billion by 2022.
A small dry-cleaning business can make $30,000 a year after expenses, while a self-service laundromat can annually generate cash flow between $15,000 and $300,000.
Clearly, the laundry industry is a lucrative one. And no matter what kind of laundry business you have, there are loads of ways to grow your business.
To acquire more customers and increase your revenue, start by incorporating these four laundry business ideas into your business model.
Let’s get started.
- 1. Expand Your Services
- 2. Use Route Optimization Software
- 3. Focus on Local Marketing Strategies
- 4. Scope Out Your Competition
- 5. Grow Your Laundry Business with OptimoRoute
1. Expand Your Services
Expanding your laundry business’s service offerings also helps expand your customer base.
Offer wash-and-fold services
Laundry is one of the most hated chores, so taking all aspects of the task off a customer’s plate has its appeal (not to mention that many people don’t have easy access to laundry equipment like a washer and dryer anyway).
Wash-and-fold services are when customers drop off dirty laundry, and you return it washed, dried, and folded. This offering attracts new business because it’s considered a luxury service and appeals to a different clientele than your typical laundromat customer. Plus, it can help dry cleaning services that are experiencing declines, attracting new and repeat customers.
Frequent laundromat business customers are historically low-income, but customers who take advantage of wash-and-fold services tend to have more disposable income. For example, Beverly’s Concierge Laundry Services launched in 2005 as a new laundromat, and when the business expanded to offer wash-and-fold services, its customer base expanded as well. “Our wash-dry-fold customer base has been as follows: blue-collar single males, college students, tourists, hotel guests, convention-related vendors, small hotels, restaurants, other small businesses, and working couples with no children and disposable incomes.”
Dry cleaners may also want to get in on the wash-and-fold business. Demand for dry cleaning has declined in recent years, as customers shift to coin-operated laundromats, household washing machines, and other substitute products, so adding an additional service can help dry cleaners appeal to new customers. To add further services, you can even offer ironing as well as dry cleaning.
Adding delivery of completed laundry to your roster of services has the potential to increase business even more because consumer demand for delivery has grown across numerous industries. Beverly’s Concierge Laundry Service has had great success with this. While the majority of its delivery customers live within five miles of the store, the addition of delivery services has expanded its customer base to a 12-mile radius.
Opt for on-demand laundry services
Take laundry delivery a step further with on-demand services.
Often called the “Uber for laundry,” on-demand laundry allows customers to conveniently request laundry services when they need them. Similar to requesting an Uber through an app or website, users can schedule laundry pickup and choose the services they want. Then, their clean laundry is delivered when it’s ready.
And it’s certainly a lucrative offering, with the on-demand laundry service market expected to grow by $58.02 billion by 2024.
Rinse is the fastest-growing brand in the laundry-delivery game. It’s experienced steady margin expansion at a time when the consumer on-demand market hasn’t been kind to startups. In addition to on-demand service, it also offers smart scheduling, which involves picking up and delivering laundry to customers weekly.
2. Use Route Optimization Software
If you implement one of these laundry-business ideas, such as on-demand laundry services or smart-scheduling laundry services, you’ll need route optimization software. An investment in such software will save you time, increase efficiency, and provide customers with a better experience, all of which will benefit your bottom line.
Here’s what OptimoRoute can do for your commercial laundry business:
Save time scheduling and planning deliveries and pickups.
Just upload an Excel file with delivery and pickup destinations, and OptimoRoute’s software will plan the most efficient route for you. It’ll also balance workloads among drivers.
Decrease pickup and delivery expenses.
When you take the most efficient routes, you’ll save money on mileage and gas expenses. And, by maximizing the efficiency of your routes, you’ll also minimize labor costs and get the most value from your workforce.
Plan your schedule weeks in advance.
You can plan pickups and deliveries up to five weeks in advance, which is a great benefit for your regular laundry-service customers. Plus, OptimoRoute is the only route optimization software that factors in all your planning constraints, including available days, time windows, and driver and vehicle requirements.
Quickly add an on-demand delivery.
Customers expect on-demand laundry services to be prompt and efficient, so OptimoRoute is essential. When you receive a request for laundry pickup, simply insert the last-minute stop, and the software will automatically recalculate routes and notify drivers.
Provide customers with tracking in real-time. Keep customers informed about when their clean clothes are on their way by sending updates via text or email. Updates even include a live tracking link.
Get Proof of Delivery. Drivers can use the OptimoRoute app to collect signatures, take photos, or make delivery notes, giving you all the information you need to answer customers’ questions about the status of their orders.
3. Focus on Local Marketing Strategies
Focus on local marketing strategies to promote your business.
Optimize your Google Business Profile.
Boost your local search rankings by taking advantage of this free tool that enables potential customers to quickly find your business, learn about it, and contact you.
Your Google Business Profile, such as the one pictured above, includes your laundry business’s website, hours, phone number, photos, customer reviews, answered questions, and more. A comprehensive profile improves engagement, boosts your Google ranking, and converts more customers. Eighty-eight percent of consumers who search locally on their smartphones visit or call a business within 24 hours.
Check out this guide to optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Increase your social media presence.
Seventy-six percent of consumers use social media to search for local businesses, so ensure that it’s easy to find your laundry business by establishing social media accounts and being active on the platforms.
However, you don’t need a presence everywhere — focus on the social networks that are most important for your business. It’s important to be active on Yelp so you can reply to consumer questions and reviews, for example, but it’s unlikely you’ll need a TikTok account to reach local customers.
Invest in local digital ads.
Both Yelp and Google are ideal platforms for advertising your laundry business because they’ll help you reach the very people who are searching for your services.
Google’s Local Services ads appear within your service area when someone searches “Seattle laundry service,” for example. Plus, you don’t have to pay for the ad unless someone contacts you through the ad.
Yelp ads, such as the one above, are also a great laundry-business idea because 82% of users visit the site with plans to purchase a product or service, and 89% of them make that purchase within a week.
Highlight reviews from satisfied customers.
One of the most effective laundry-business ideas is to share social proof, such as reviews, with potential customers.
Eighty-seven percent of consumers read online reviews of local businesses before using them, and sharing endorsements from happy customers is a surefire way to get more business since 92% of people trust recommendations more than a business’s claims.
There are numerous strategies to get more customer reviews, such as creating incentives and identifying the ideal part of the customer journey to request a review. And once you have that valuable user-generated content, make it easy for potential customers to find it. Feature reviews on your website, share them on social media, and more.
4. Scope Out Your Competition
You can charge more for your luxury laundry services if you can provide a better experience, so check out the local competition, and determine what your business can do better and what the best pricing is for your services. Beverly’s Concierge Laundry Services in Los Angeles was able to charge more than their competitors because she tried all their services and provided a better one.
Trying out what other laundry services have to offer can also help spark ideas that you can implement in your own laundry business.
Grow Your Laundry Business With OptimoRoute
As we’ve established, wash-and-fold delivery and on-demand laundry services are what people expect from a modern laundry business, so give your customers what they want — and let OptimoRoute help you deliver the best service possible.
With our route optimization software, incorporating pickup and delivery into your business model has never been easier. It enables business owners to save hours of planning time, as well as save money. And it allows you to provide a better delivery experience for your customers, which leads to repeat customers and rave reviews.
Sign up for an OptimoRoute trial today.
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