Laundromat Business

Laundromat business, a segment with huge potential in India

What is a Laundromat?

A Laundromat is a laundry location that provides washing, drying, ironing, and folding services on a pay-per-service basis. A Laundromat business is accessible for general public and businesses on a self-service basis either as coin operated or card operated. Read below for more details.

How does a Laundromat work?

A Laundromat is a laundry complex that houses several washing machines, dryers, ironers and folding tables for public use. People can take their laundry to the complex and use any available machines to wash, dry and iron their cloths. Folding tables will also be available to fold their clothes neatly. A Laundromat will be having an office staff who will be assisting customers with operating the machines and dispensing laundry accessories.

Laundromats provide prepaid services, where customers are requested to pay using cash or card before availing any service. Some Laundromats will be providing snacks and drinks through vending machines, which customers can buy while their laundry is being cleaned.

Potential of Laundromat business in India

In the olden days, local dobbies were the people providing laundry service for Indian households and even that for the upper crest only. But the economic condition of India is fast growing, helping even lower middle class families to afford laundry services. The laundry market in India is estimated to be worth a billion dollar, which obviously is going to increase year after year. So Laundromat business seems like a segment with huge potential in India.

How to set up a Laundromat?

You can either take a franchisee or setup a Laundromat from scratch. For setting up a Laundromat on your own, things that need to be considered include location, equipments, office furnishing, availability of water and electricity and legal formalities.

Location: Location is the most important aspect one should consider while setting up a Laundromat. The Laundromat complex should be located in a residential area with good visibility and parking facilities. Lower socioeconomic areas have proven good markets for Laundromats. Security and safety of the shop and equipments is yet another important factor to consider while selecting a location.

Equipments: Equipments and accessories needed for starting a Laundromat include washers, dryers,ironers, pressing machines, change machines,heating systems,durable laundry carts, food/snack vending machines, furniture, folding tables and entertainment devices. Visit an existing Laundromat to get better insight.

Other Requirements: Proper water and power supply are the essential requisites for starting a Laundromat Business. Ensure adequate water and power supply at the selected location.

Good interior design and furnishing ensures 100% usage of available space and keeps your shop attractive. This will improve your customer experience and equipment upkeep.

You should be well aware of the legal formalities in your locality while starting a Laundry business. These include commercial licensing, health department permits, pollution control certificates, power and water supply regulations. Consult an attorney before proceeding.

Who are the potential Laundromat clients?

Healthcare facilities, religious institutions, educational institutions, event management companies, IT firms, government institutions, transporting companies and general public are the common Laundromat customers.

How much investment is required to start a Laundromat?

Total investment required to start a Laundromat business depends on many factors, say size of the laundry and kind of service provided. Some of the elements are listed below.

  • Number of machines (washers/dryers/ ironers)
  • Type of washers (front loaders or top loaders)
  • Office furnishing and furniture
  • Vending machines (tea/coffee, snacks)
  • Change machines
  • Entertainment devices
  • Laundry accessories (detergents, carts, buckets, etc.)
  • Legal expenses (licensing and formalities)

You could either buy or lease the equipments. Starting a Laundromat business in India would require an initial investment up to 15 lakhs.

What are the sources of income of a Laundromat?

  • Washing/drying charges
  • Ironing/folding charges
  • Retail margin from selling detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners and other laundry accessories
  • Profit from snack and drink vending machines
  • Pickup and delivery charges

How much money can I earn from a Laundromat Business?

How much profit you can generate from a Laundromat depends on a variety of factors, i.e. number of machines, location, competition, marketing skills, service and maintenance expenses, wages, etc. Anyway, average profit percentage of a Laundromat business is 20 to 30% of gross income.

Advantages of Laundromat Business

  • Reliable revenue stream
  • Recession-proof
  • Minimal monthly expenses
  • Passive income source
  • Franchisees available
  • No inventory to manage
  • Minimal labor requirements

Drawbacks of Laundromat Business

  • High initial investment
  • Location specific business
  • Laundry incomes are seasonal
  • Visibility and access of Laundromat complex is important
  • Experience in basic mechanical and electrical system repair is advisable
  • Equipments require years of close supervision and maintenance

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