Are you thinking about purchasing a card system for your laundromat? Do you have worries about it being an investment without a return? Here are three reasons why investing in laundry card technology has a high ROI and benefits laundromat owners and investors.
Build Float By having customers pay first and use a card system, it establishes customers with a sense of loyalty and encourages them to return. Float is the amount of money added to cards but has not been spent yet. As customers add more value to their cards, the ‘float’ of your business increases.
Ability to Sell Upgrades increase profits with a card system by offering your customers the ability to upgrade their cycles. Offset utility expenses by charging more for hot water.
Time of Day Pricing With a card system, you can charge different prices at different times of the day or different days of the week. This allows you to offer specials during slow times to attract business and raise prices during busy periods to maximize profits.
Marketing Tools Entice new business and reach new sales goals with marketing programs available through a card system like Loyalty Points, Bonus Packages, Free Dry and Group Discounts.
Simplify Employee Management Remote management of employees is possible with a card system. Create, edit and monitor one-time and ongoing employee work schedules for multiple locations. Allow employees to clock in and out for their shifts using the system for hands-off time management.
Remote Monitoring of Your Laundromat When you can’t physically be at your store, it is comforting to know that you can always access your laundromat from any remote location. Configure vend prices, specials, run reports, configure alerts, and monitor the status of the system and equipment in real-time from your laptop or smartphone.
Make the Most of Your Time Collecting coins from each machine in your facility is a time-consuming business and your time as an owner is valuable. As vend prices rise and stores get bigger, the physical task and limitations of accepting coins becomes greater, making eliminating the need for coins with a card system a popular choice.
Take Control of Your Revenue If you are paying another company to collect coins for you, that is money out of your pocket, combined with the uncertainty of how much is actually being collected. With a card system, you can see real-time profits and sales data for each machine without having to collect coins.
Decrease Security Risks Having to collect coins and carry around bags of money can compromise the safety of you and your employees. Your machines are susceptible to vandalism and theft, that can leave you with costly damage plus the loss of revenue until those machines are repaired. With a card system, you can minimize or eliminate these issues.
All of the features above can be found in CCI’s payment systems. Whether you’re just starting out in the laundry business or a long-time owner of multiple stores, CCI has a laundry card system to fit your needs. Our FasCard system is a hybrid solution that allows you to accept both coins and cards. The FasCard system works with existing coin laundry machines and doesn’t have a minimum card reader purchase, allowing you to start small with card readers and add more over time. If you are looking for a ‘card only’ solution for your Laundromat, our LaundryCard system is perfect for new and existing stores with 40 or more machines. LaundryCard is completely coinless, totally automated and rich in features.
If you’re a laundromat owner or investor looking to set your business apart from the competition, contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the right technology can benefit your laundromat business!
Are you looking for ways to increase revenue on your property? Here are three profit generating resources that won’t require a lot of staffing, financial investment or management.
Vending Machines provide a convenient amenity for guests / residents and a simple source of income for property owners.
Having an on-premise laundry room can add value and an additional revenue source to your property.
The FasCard System for Multi-Housing Properties allows you to implement incremental vend pricing, accept debit/credit/loyalty cards, save time collecting coins and offer mobile technology in your laundry room. Contact us to see if the FasCard system is a good fit for your laundry room.
Parking can be a luxury, especially in high density areas where there is a parking shortage. Parking is a desired amenity and by charging for it at your property you can increase your bottom line.
By implementing these three sources of additional income at your property, you can increase revenue with virtually no extra effort or major staffing needs. After you take care of your upfront costs to make these changes, it’s pure profit moving forward!
Laundry equipment manufacturers are continually upgrading their equipment with the latest technological advances. One of the latest innovations are machines with a high “g-force” number. But what is g-force technology, and what are the opportunities and costs for your laundry business?
A high-speed washing machine or high g-force machine has a faster spin with greater pressure during the final cycle that removes water from clothing. As g-force increases, the amount of water that is taken out during the spin cycle increases. The advantage of less water being retained in the load after washing is that it will then take less time to dry.
Washing machines with a higher g-force provide convenience to your customer. There is a decrease in the amount of time it takes for laundry to dry, and with less time in the dryer, wait times to use machines are reduced, which increases the speed in which your machines turn over. Thus, making the entire process of doing laundry easier.
When you use high g-force machines in your laundromat, you benefit from reduced utility expenses, since less gas and electricity are used when the drying time is shortened. Energy efficiency is maximized, which is better for the environment.
Your customers will spend less time using dryers, so your total sales from dryers might see a decrease. In order to offset any potential decrease in dryer sales, you can sell cycle upgrades (i.e. extra rinse/wash, charge more for hot water). Selling upgrades can have a positive impact on your bottom line, but only if your laundry payment system can support them properly. FasCard and LaundryCard are fully compatible with selling upgrades because of their multi-vend interface.
If you’re a laundromat owner or investor looking to set your business apart from the competition, contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the right technology can benefit your laundromat business!
Your customers are the key to the success of your laundromat. Understanding what their needs are, what they have come to expect in a laundromat, and their frustrations can help you increase customer satisfaction and in turn, the profits of your laundromat. On the other hand, failing to understand those needs can be detrimental to your business.
Below are four common laundromat customer complaints and how you can turn those problems into opportunities, by using the latest technology in your store.
A large percentage of your customers rarely, if ever carry cash and find that it’s a big hassle to obtain cash and quarters. With our world becoming a cashless society, people don’t want to have to visit a bank or an ATM to do laundry, carry around a bag of coins or find out they can’t keep a load of laundry going because they’re shy a couple of quarters.
Eliminate the need to pay solely with coins by offering card acceptance. Give your customers the choice to pay any way they choose! CCI systems allow you to accept credit/debit cards and loyalty cards. With FasCard, customers can even insert some coins and swipe their card for the remaining balance.
Smartphones play an integral role in our lives. Today’s smartphone wallets store credit cards, tickets, coupons and more. Everything that was once in a consumer’s physical wallet is now in their digital wallet on their phone. Customers want to be able to pay with their phones and have come to expect to be able to do so with most goods and services.
CCI’s FasCard system has a smartphone app that acts as a loyalty card. Customers who use the app no longer need to own a physical card but can use the app in the same way. They can take advantage of any of the loyalty programs you offer, and the app will keep track of it all.
Our complete card systems allow you to accept mobile payments, NFC payments, credit/debit payments and can even work with existing coin laundry machines.
Your customers have busy schedules and don’t want to spend leisure time doing laundry. Their time is valuable, and they don’t want the process of doing laundry to be time-consuming. If a customer’s laundry takes longer than expected due to events such as all machines being in use, it can create frustration and turns the experience of doing laundry into a negative one, likely preventing them from returning to your store.
FasCard App users can see what machines are available without needing to physically be in your store, and they can also see the remaining cycle time of machines currently in use, giving them time to plan their commute and how long it will take to do their laundry. In addition, app users can request cycle completion notifications and even start a machine. When your customers do have to wait in your establishment, consider making it convenient by providing amenities such as free Wi-Fi or coffee (which can also increase your revenue).
It’s like the lyric in the Cheers theme song, “You want to go where everybody knows your name”. It’s cheesy but true. Customers desire to feel like they are wanted. They want to be appreciated and treated like a valuable part of your business. If a customer doesn’t feel welcome, they will most likely go to a competitor, and might even leave a negative review on your Google or Yelp page.
FasCard and LaundryCard loyalty programs offer personalization by letting you establish discounts for certain groups (i.e. college students) or giving bonuses near your customer’s birthday. They also provide the ability for your customer to choose the language they prefer, and the system will remember their language preference and continue to display appropriately in the future. CCI systems offer many features that help you truly get to know your customers and effectively market to them, creating a memorable customer experience that can increase loyalty to your store.
FasCard and LaundryCard from CCI offer the industry’s most advanced card payment systems, designed with both the operator and end user in mind. Contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the right technology can help you meet the needs of your customers and increase the profits of your laundromat business!
Today’s laundromat customers prefer to use their smartphone for purchases and have come to expect to be able to pay for goods and services via mobile device. Mobile-pay is a great option for laundry purchases because it is fast, secure, easy and convenient. However, if you’re using a mobile-pay only system, you could be missing out on the benefits of a complete card payment system. CCI’s complete card systems allow you to accept mobile payments, NFC, credit/debit payments and can even work with existing coin laundry machines. In addition to accepting payments, CCI FasCard and LaundryCard systems offer benefits that will take your laundry business to the next level. Here are five reasons to consider investing in a complete card system over a mobile-pay only system.
With a CCI system, customers can add value to a loyalty account and have the choice to purchase a flat amount or preconfigured value packages (i.e. Buy $10, Get $11). With loyalty accounts, not only will customers be encouraged to pay you in advance, you now have them obligated for that amount of money in service! The more they add, the more loyal they will be to your business.
CCI’s FasCard system has an app that acts as a loyalty card. Customers who use the app will no longer need to own a physical card but can instead use the app in the same way. They can take advantage of any of the loyalty programs you offer, and the app will keep track of it all. If they forget their loyalty card one day, they can use the app, because the functionality between the app and physical cards is interchangeable. For some mobile-pay only systems, if customers add money to their account, they may be able to use that at several different laundromats, therefore their loyalty is to the mobile-pay company and not your specific laundromat. With CCI’s system app, the customer’s float is your money and can only be used at your business, so their loyalty stays with your laundromats.
CCI FasCard and LaundryCard systems offer advanced marketing and loyalty programs. Loyalty programs include Loyalty Points, Bonus Packages, Free Dry, Group Discounts and more. Utilizing the integrated marketing programs will help you attract new business and encourage loyalty with your current customer base. Mobile-pay only companies make a one size fits all product that doesn’t take into consideration the marketing and management that goes into a laundromat business. CCI was born from over 40 years of experience in the vended laundry industry and designs all products with both the operator and end user in mind.
Managing your laundromat with a CCI system is simple and can be performed from any web browser at any time. You can remotely control, view and configure your laundromat in real-time. Run profit reports, see usage statistics and sales data for each machine and change vend prices all from your smartphone, tablet or computer!
Managers can create, edit and monitor one-time and ongoing employee work schedules in a FasCard or LaundryCard system. Your employees can use the system to view upcoming work schedules as well as clock in and out for shifts. Our task scheduler ensures employees are reminded of what they are supposed to do and lets you run reports on what tasks are not getting done.
CCI’s solutions give store owners additional tools to increase success in one integrated system. If you’re a laundromat owner or investor looking to set your business apart from the competition, contact us today to learn more about our payment solutions and how investing in the right technology can benefit your laundromat business!
Marketing is a large component of increasing business for your property. Having a marketing plan in place will help you attract renters to your property and turn them into residents. Here are five steps to developing a winning marketing plan for your property.
Make a list of your property’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Define the amenities and services that offer value to your residents and give you an advantage over competitors. Outdoor spaces, extra storage, ample parking, a modern laundry room, smart technology, a fitness room, and new kitchen appliances are examples of value added amenities to advertise.
Look at your current residents and what they have in common. Analyze your competing properties and their residents. Decide what your ideal resident looks like. Define the demographics, lifestyle and motivations for the market you are trying to reach. Consider what that ideal customer will be looking for in a property.
Make your goals measurable and time specific. If you want to reach prospective residents on social media, make the goal clearly defined by saying you want to reach X number of followers on X social platform by X date. If you want to increase sales, you can make it quantifiable by saying you want to increase new leases by X percent in the next X months.
What marketing strategies will you put in place to reach your objectives? How will you market to your target audience at every step of the sales process, from those who aren’t aware of your property to those that are ready to sign a lease? Consider print, email, online advertising, direct mail and promotional products.
List which marketing strategies you are going to implement at each stage of the customer life cycle, from a cold prospect to a hot lead. For example, you could use social media advertising to build awareness, email marketing to those that have taken a property tour and promotional gifts to those ready to become a resident. Make sure your strategies are aligned with your marketing goals.
Our FasCard system for multi-housing properties is a great way to market to potential residents. FasCard gives your property a valuable amenity and helps attract new residents to your property. Our “Roll into Rent” feature allows you to advertise your property with “Free Laundry” and our Smart Technology adds a cutting-edge service to your property’s laundry room.
Want to learn more about how FasCard can add value and an additional revenue source to your property? Let’s Talk!
Even if your apartment complex or other rental property is one of the best in the area, a decent amount of resident turnover is both healthy and expected. As such, attracting new residents to your property is always at the forefront of a property manager’s mind. Below are some effective strategies for enticing new residents to rent at your property.
First and foremost, you need to establish an excellent property management team. A team that makes residents feel welcomed, heard and cared for is your most valuable asset in attracting new leaseholders to the complex.
When you have an excellent management team, positive online reviews should come easily. Don’t be afraid to send out automated emails encouraging residents to review your property on your Google Business page, Apartments.com or similar sites. When potential residents are trying to decide between your property and another, positive online reviews could be their deciding factor.
One thing that can be the deciding factor on whether or not a potential resident chooses your property is the lease specials and incentives you offer for new residents. Many properties will offer 4-8 weeks free, Visa gift cards or other rewards for simply signing a lease. This can greatly reduce moving costs and draw in new residents. You can also advertise “free laundry” by utilizing a FasCard system in your laundry room.
Potential residents may use social media to get a better sense for your property. By posting frequently on social media, you can show off your property as well as specials and events.
Today, most newer properties have adopted a friendly outlook on pets. Pet parks, dog washing stations, and reasonable pet fees or deposits can help bring in new residents. Consider revising your pet policy if necessary and you’ll expand your pool of potential residents.
Sponsor or organize fun events in your area and set up a booth where attendees can learn more about your property, get free swag and even schedule a tour. Even if they aren’t in the market for a new place, there is a higher chance they will remember your property when they start their search.
Unique amenities such as pet parks, spacious 24-hour gyms, large outdoor lounge spaces, card laundry machines that can be controlled via smartphone, private garages or storage spaces, and package lockers can push your property above the rest.
Integrating technology conveniences into your property can reduce costs, save time and give your property additional revenue opportunities. Adding technological enhancements is a great return on investment and will take your property to the next level with current residents and marketing to potential renters. Here are our top ten technology-based amenities to consider adding to your multi-unit property.
Reduce paper by putting leasing applications and renewals online and allow your renters to sign documents electronically.
Allowing online payments makes collecting rent and utilities easy. Give renters the option to set up recurring payments making it easy for on-time payments.
Give renters the ability to put in 24/7 requests for maintenance online and submit pictures if applicable. This reduces the amount of calls coming into the property office and makes it easier for you to manage maintenance priorities.
Consider replacing mechanical locks with keyless locks that can be opened with a smartphone. This gives your property better security, makes it easier to change locks when there are resident changes and saves you money by eliminating the need to make and copy keys.
Package lockers are electronic lockers used for package deliveries. Adding package lockers saves you the time of receiving and distributing package deliveries and offers your residents a secure delivery place for their packages.
Almost all of your residents own a smartphone. Adding outlets with USB ports for charging devices provides a convenient, tech-based amenity for your residents.
Installing smart, programmable thermostats and light bulbs makes it convenient for your residents to control utilities in their unit from anywhere, at any time and reduces energy costs.
Installing video monitoring doorbells makes it convenient for your residents to answer their door from their smartphone and provides enhanced security for both your residents and your property.
Providing a fast, reliable Wi-Fi connection for your residents is a must. Having high speed and reliable internet is probably one of the most important amenities among renters.
Installing a card payment system in your laundry room gives your residents flexible payment options when doing laundry and allows you remote management of your laundry room. With the addition of a card system, your laundry room can become a great source of additional revenue for your property. CCI’s card payment systems can be controlled with a smartphone making doing laundry quick, easy and stress free for your residents.
Having a common laundry room is an attractive, convenient amenity for your residents and can make your life as a property owner easier. Here are some advantages of having a community laundry room versus laundry machines in each unit, from both the perspective of the laundry user and a property manager.
Today’s multi-housing laundry rooms look very different than facility laundry rooms of the past. Property managers who are looking to transform their laundry room into a modern amenity for their facility are turning to the FasCard system. Implementing this system into your laundry room gives you the ability to provide your residents with benefits that will bring value to your property and take the stress out of running a laundry room!
If you’re asking yourself if you should purchase a laundromat, this 6 point checklist will help you determine whether or not it’s the right investment for you.
The first laundromat, then called a “Wash-a-teria”, opened its doors in Ft. Worth, Texas in the Depression-era 1930s. Soon, the popularity of laundromats exploded and storefronts spread across the country. The first laundromats were geared toward self-service—which was a change from the earlier commercial companies that laundered, folded, and pressed clothing as a complete service—which means customers paid by the hour to wash their clothing using early electric coin-operated washing machines.
These coin-operated laundry machines enabled those who were affected by the Depression and couldn’t afford personal washing machines another option: deposit a few coins and rent a washing machine for a period of time. Even after the rise of affordable household or in-unit washing and drying machines, laundromats have since never lost their enduring appeal for the convenience, economy, and ubiquity they offer.
Of course, laundry equipment has radically changed since the early 20th century. Tub washers made of porcelain or copper were replaced by sleek stainless steel top-load and front-load electric machines in the 1950s and 1960s. Large, power-consuming machines were ousted by energy-efficient, low water washers. Coin-slot mechanisms gave way to digital card-operated payment systems, which give laundromat owners abilities to remotely manage their stores in capacities never imagined.
Today, there are some 35,000 laundromats operating in the United States, generating over $5 billion in total revenue annually.
Modern laundromats have had to constantly update and keep abreast of the current developments in laundry technology to stay competitive, including the addition of amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flatscreen televisions, vending machines, and children’s areas with family-friendly entertainment.
Some laundromat owners choose to stay open 24/7—upping their convenience factor—and some are completely automated, meaning an owner, manager or employee doesn’t need to be in the store at all, while some storefronts have several employees to help patrons with services like changing cash or coin into proprietary store credit for vends.
Even considering these new trends in the laundry industry, the basic model of the self-service laundry industry has remained the same as it was over 80 years ago. Many things relating to the business model of laundromats has changed, however, including a higher return on investment with these more customer-oriented ancillary services and the ability for many owners to self-manage their stores remotely as absentee owners. Laundromats are so ingrained in the American landscape that it is considered to be a mature market.
Laundromats have become a canny choice for investors and entrepreneurs looking to play a minor role in the day-to-day operations of a business, who want to tailor a business to their exact wants and specifications—since most laundromats aren’t franchises—and who want the feeling of security that a laundromat’s steady income can bring.
If you’re thinking of buying a laundromat, it’s best to research what to expect in the buying process, management duties, and to add up the potential expenses, costs and bills along the way.
We’ve created this checklist of 6 items to cover in detail when buying a laundromat. With all of these tips come the caution of due diligence: A potential buyer will want to check everything thoroughly; talk to multiple owners, consult relevant professionals, like real estate agents, laundry machine maintenance and repair companies and experts and others.
Want to know the secret to running a profitable laundromat? Download our ebook — From Novice to Veteran: The Savvy Owner’s Guide To A Profitable Laundromat.
Use this checklist as a guide for what to expect when buying a laundromat.
If there were ever a time to repeat old real estate platitude, “location, location, location,” it’s when you’re doing research on buying a laundromat. Locations in urban areas near
are the best bets for your laundromat. Multi-Housing facilities and apartment complexes usually have community area laundry rooms, but many residents are loyal to local laundromats. These types of residents that are spread across a sprawling multi-family property are the perfect demographic. Locations near colleges and universities are also attractive, with the vast majority of students using the services of a laundromat.
It is also a wise move to make sure that the laundromat business you’re interested in buying is listed on search engines, as many first-time customers choose which laundry service to patronize based on a Google search for “laundromats near me”.
If the laundromat you’re looking at has a good marketing strategy, they may even have an agency create web-based ads for the store. The more prominent a store’s presence in Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines and the higher its reviews on forums like Yelp!, the more likely the store to be profitable.
Laundromats have few costly recurring expenses, but potential buyers—whether they are searching to buy an existing laundromat or even to build a new store— should be aware of each of these expenses. The lease for a laundromat’s actual storefront will be the highest monthly expense, and buyers in the market today should look for a lease term that is suited to industry standards. If possible, try to find a longer lease term that is amenable to your budget.
In many cases, however—if the current proprietor of the laundromat doesn’t own the location—they have a contract with a leasing company. This would mean that the lease would transfer over to you after you sign the contract.
Naturally, when buying any business, a solid budgetary plan is the first necessary step to factor the initial investment costs of a laundromat and recurring expenses. Whether you’re buying an existing space or building a new store from the ground up. If you are buying an existing space, the costs can range anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000.
Not to be overlooked when calculating overall expenses is possible renovation, which could mean the difference between a rapidly successful store and a business that sees only passersby. If you get a great deal on a store, there may be a reason the owner is selling so low. If the store is just barely hanging on, rundown with equipment in disrepair, completely revitalizing and renovating the laundromat could turn the former derelict store into a profitable business, buzzing with constant activity and foot traffic.
How much time an owner spends in their store is entirely dependent on the owner’s prerogative. An owner can spend as little or as much time in their store as they want. Laundromats are particularly amenable to absentee owners, due to the automated, self-service nature of the business and new technology like digital card payment systems.
If an owner invests in digital card payment systems, loyalty cards which can be used to pay for vends at that store can be dispensed automatically via a payment kiosk without the need for an in-store attendant. Customers also add value, and redeem loyalty program benefits, discounts, and promotions right from the X-Changer kiosk.
Check the existing equipment thoroughly. If you aren’t experienced in testing commercial laundry equipment, do some research on the washing or drying machine operation, read relevant model manuals, or call the specific manufacturer to get some information. You can also contact a laundry repair service and see if you can have a professional assist you in helping to inspect the machines.
Take a fine tooth comb to the machines, are they large industrial washers and dryers? Do they look clean? How old are they? Current maintenance or problems? Do they have digital payment systems, like FasCard and LaundryCard, or is it a coin-only laundry?
Some of the most common problems with washing and drying machines to add to your assessment checklist are:
Also, if the potential store is outfitted with digital laundry payment systems, either cashless card-only and coin-and-card systems, the possibility of a large amount of “float” could add to the appeal of the store.
Is the store you’re looking at buying near another laundromat, you may want to consider doing some commercial recon on your potential competition.
If your competition looks to be fairly successful and nearby, then it may be a good idea to check elsewhere for a store.
Does your store have a good reputation for convenience and comfort? Does it need many renovations?
Does it have extra amenities and new technology, like
A laundromat can be one of the wisest business investments, with due diligence on the part of the investor and a few upgrades, a laundromat storefront can become and continue to be a profitable investment for years to come.
Learn more about investing in and running a profitable laundromat by downloading our guide to a profitable laundromat.
If you would like to learn more about buying a laundromat or digital card payment systems, Card Concepts Inc. is here to help. Contact CCI for more information.