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!
There are more than 35,000 laundromats in the US alone, making up an industry that nears $5 billion in revenue annually. For each laundry store, sales range from $35,000 to $1 million a year depending on a number of factors, like location, rent and the cost of equipment. But as any business owner knows, it’s always wise to look for ways to increase your bottom line and make more money at your laundromat.
The easiest way to increase your laundromat earnings is by adding additional revenue sources. Additional revenue sources will provide more value to your customers and give them more reasons to choose your store. By adding other ways of bringing in profit, not only will you make more money from your current customers, but you will also draw in new customers who come to you because of the additional services you offer.
Food and Drink Vending
This is the quickest way of bringing additional revenue to your laundromat. Profit from vending machines vary based on volume and whether or not you stock and manage your own machines, but can add valuable revenue to your store.
Sell Upgrades on Your Machines
Traditional laundromats are coin operated, and customers receive a standard wash in exchange for a standard fee. However, cycle upgrades (extra rinse/wash) and variable priced cycle options (more for hot, less for cold) are unique capabilities that make a positive impact on a store’s bottom line. You can use a laundry payment system like FasCard or LaundryCard to facilitate this and charge more than your standard price for these upgrades, boosting profits.
Vending That Offers Detergent, Dryer Sheets, Fabric Softener and Other Laundry Items
In addition to offering food and drink vending machines, provide machines that sell small sizes of laundry necessities, like laundry detergent, boxes of dryer sheets and bottles of fabric softener. While a laundry vending machine is another way to make money, it also makes doing laundry at your store easier and more convenient for the customer, which increases profit as well.
Laundry Drop-off Service
Commonly called wash and fold, adding a laundry drop-off service to your laundromat expands your customer base. Clients that are too busy to spend time at your laundry store will love the idea of being able to drop off their clothes and pick them up clean and dry at their convenience, and your profit will grow.
Pickup and Delivery Service
Though it might not make sense for every store, high volume stores and busy locations might find it valuable to give their customers the option of scheduling laundry pickup and home delivery. Like with offering a drop-off service, pickup and delivery will allow your store to reach more people who might not typically use a laundromat.
Another popular way to diversify revenue at your laundry store is by adding arcade games. An upfront investment is required, but over time these machines will pay for themselves and encourage your customers to stay at your store for longer periods of time.
You can also make more money at your laundromat by adding one or two car vacuums outside your store. Many customers will see this as a convenient tool and vacuum their car while their laundry is going inside, netting you extra dollars per month.
While not technically an additional revenue source, giving your customers access to free wifi will encourage people to hang around your store while they wait for their laundry to finish, increasing the likelihood that they’ll spend their cash at your vending machines or vacuums.
When you diversify the revenue sources in your laundry room, you provide new ways for your clients to receive value from your store, which differentiates you from your competitors and increases your profitability. With only small tweaks to your current operation, you can increase your margins and serve more customers. Services like FasCard and LaundryCard simplify this process and make it easy for you to sell upgrades and adjust your vend price based on demand.
See how much more money you could make with a system like LaundryCard by using our profit calculator.
Karl Hinrichs has been in the commercial laundry business since 1980 and is the president of HK Laundry Equipment, Inc. Since 1967, HK Laundry Equipment, Inc. has been serving New York and Connecticut with laundry equipment, service and repair and training and support. HK Laundry Equipment, Inc. is a distributor of CCI’s FasCard and LaundryCard systems.
How did you get involved in the commercial laundry industry?
In 1967, my father and neighbor formed a partnership equipping stores with washers. When I was 13 years old, I would bring my toolbox up there, and by the time I was 16 years old, I was out fixing the machines. In 1980, I was working as a chemist and my father made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I went to work with him and I have not looked back. I’ve now been in the business for 36 years.
What are the challenges that laundromats are facing today?
The biggest challenge is maintaining profitability with the increase in water and sewer rates. Water and sewer costs have become a very expensive utility expense for laundromats. Many water supply and sewer improvements have caused huge capital costs that local towns and counties have passed along to water consumers. Laundromats are one of the biggest consumers of water and are at the mercy of local water municipalities and their water rates. To maintain profitability, laundromats need to keep an extra eye on their expenses and increase vend prices accordingly.
What major trends are you noticing in the laundromat industry today?
More and more people are going to a cashless society. This month I saw a study come out that said over 50% of transactions are now electronic. The time spent in coin laundromats emptying quarters out of the machines, counting them, and filling bill changers two to three times per week is very non-productive. Until you go to an alternative payment system, you are going to max out at 12-16 stores, because after that you are running around processing quarters all day long.
What trends do you see for the future?
Laundry card systems are the way of the future. The biggest evolutionary jump is eliminating the quarter. There is a high initial entry price, however, laundromats save money and time in the long run and the operator doesn’t need to physically run the store. With card operated laundromats, there is no limit to the number of laundromats you can operate and you can spend your time focusing on managing your business rather than processing quarters.
What are your thoughts about laundromats using incremental vend pricing with card systems in order to be able to raise a vend price by a few pennies instead of a quarter?
I like it. I’ve done it with pennies but I actually prefer nickel incremental pricing. Incremental vend pricing is a huge advantage of implementing LaundryCard over FasCard, because you are able to increase your pricing by an amount less than a quarter. When your water rates go up, you can take advantage of incremental vend pricing by increasing the cost of your washers to help you absorb the increase in utility expenses.
What’s the best way today for a laundromat to increase the value of their laundromat business?
Investing in a card laundromat system. You know exactly up front what the revenue is for the store and operating that card store is much easier. With coin operated stores, you have to be there at least 2-3x per week. With a card store, all you need is a trusted individual to collect the paper receipts because you know your true business numbers and exactly how much is in there. When you’re buying a business, it’s based on profitability. You can increase the value of a laundromat by increasing the multiple at which the store is valued. If your store has laundry equipment with a card system, then you are increasing the multiple because the store is worth more. The more automated and hands free you can make your laundromat, the higher the multiplier of the profit and the higher the value of the store. A card laundromat is an investor rich system whereas a coin laundromat is an owner operated system.
What advice would you give a new store owner just getting into the laundry business?
I would suggest doing as much research as possible. A laundromat business is capital intensive and you really want to make sure you have the best distributor, equipment and location. You want to partner with a distributor who has been around at least 10-15 years, knows the area, and knows about running a laundromat.