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Laundry Business

Essay by   •  August 29, 2010  •  1,253 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,695 Views

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Coin Laundromat

Small business case study

THE BEGINNING OF A LAUNDROMAT

After driving for many years as an interstate truck driver with many sleepless nights and away from home, Jose evaluated his current work schedule and driving career so he sought out an alternative plan other than continuing his mundane driving job. Jose had an entrepreneur itch and wanted to build something for himself. He wanted a more stable personal life and decided to save his money until he could devise a plan to invest in a turnkey business. Spending about a year and a half on researching a variety of business models, Jose and his wife pulled their resources together and decided to start up a coin laundry business.

THE INDUSTRY

The coin-operated laundry industry has undergone a revolution. No longer are dingy, unsafe, boring places that customers must endure on a weekly basis, Laundromats becoming fun and attractive multiservice centers that customers enjoy visiting. Laundromats aren't limited to just lower income areas in which residents do not have laundry facilities in their home. The industry is now also catering to two-income families, suggests that convenient services such as wash-and-fold will continue to grow in popularity as working parents have less time to attend to other household chores like laundry. Laundry owners are beginning to capitalize on this reality by offering their customers time-saving convenience in the form of wash-and-fold (drop-off service) and dry-cleaning service. Some are even picking up laundry from customers' homes and delivering it back to them clean and folded. In addition, owners have realized that they can maximize their profits by providing customers with access to multiple services such as serving food, renting mailboxes.... Another trend laundry owners have recognized is that customers prefer to visit Laundromats with a more pleasant atmosphere and offering free internet access.

STORE LOCATION

Jose determined to open up his laundry business in Fort Lauderdale where it is surrounded by a large Spanish population to optimize his bilingual communication with both English and Spanish. He found a vacant storefront in a shopping plaza on Davie Boulevard just west of I-95; this location has a high volume of traffic. The community residences are low to medium income families.

COMPETITION

Jose visited local Laundromats and found one facility approximately a half mile west from his location. He interviewed his competitor's customers and got their feedbacks about their experiences of washing and drying their cloths and what they would suggest to have a better experience in their cloths washing and immediate respond was the machines are outdated and inefficient and unacceptable. Jose's visit determine the substandard experience as weathered walls, dirty ceilings and filthy un-waxed linoleum floors; to make matters worst the facility did not have running air conditioning, only using the natural air passing from the back door opening to the two front door openings. To think that was not enough, Jose questioned what if the patrons need to use the bathroom so he walked to the rear area in search and found a small uninviting restroom. Jose's reflection in this visiting experience was to better his future laundry customers experience by avoiding this establishments short comings and providing a warm, comfortable atmosphere in his laundry facility. Jose wrote out his experience to capture every detail of his visit that day to begin his task of planning out a functioning laundry facility and to have repeat customers. In addition to gain their friends and families and long term satisfied customer relationships.

STORE CONCEPT

Deciding to build a brand new store instead of buying an existing Laundromat, Jose hired a construction team to assist him with the remolding and an interior designer to show him the best layout plan. Regarding the laundry equipment, Jose consulted with Noel at State Wide Laundry Equipment, and made his decision to install all brand new washers and dryers which can last up to 40 years with the proper maintenance.

CAPTALIZATION

First, Jose negotiated with his landlord requiring a higher flow water meter, a new sewer line and no rent during the upgrade period approximately of five months. This came out to be about 14,000 dollars. His negotiations with the landlord were successful.

It took the construction team almost three months to excavate through the concrete floor two feet down to install the required plumbing pipes for the new washers and a new bathroom. New copper pipes for gas dryer units were run in place behind the drywall and new electrical wiring for the whole facility was put in. Once that was completed, the walls received blue fresh paint and

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