Things a Laundromat owner can do to make 2011 a much better year
As most of us enter 2011 we begin to think about how we can better our lives. Lose weight, workout more; make changes or additions to family and friends. Or maybe just catch up on some important tasks we have neglected for one reason or another. For those of us who own a Laundromat this can mean doing whatever is economically possible to either fix, change, add or eliminate anything or anyone, with the goal of making 2011 a measurably better year than 2010. The following is a TASK LIST, or a THINGS TO DO LIST, to make life better for the Laundromat Owner:
First the easy stuff:
- Clean out all the dryer filters, and either fix or replace broker filters
- Clean out the dryer vents. This on its own will greatly improve costly dryer efficiency.
- Clean out the lint trap and fix or replace the lint screen(s).
- Snake out the drainage lines for all the washing machines.
- Clean the HVAC or Heat Exchanger coils and lint filters.
- Touch up any dings or scratches to washers or dryers
- Paint or touch up the walls, doors, and molding around the store. Give it a very clean and cared for look.
- Change out any old or stained ceiling panels. Either clean, replace or paint them where needed.
- Change out old worn florescent or other bulbs. Brighten up the store.
- Clean, buff, or refinish the flooring.
- Blow off the accumulated lint behind each dryer.
- Systematically take off each of the dryer front panels and remove any accumulated lint or other accumulation of dirt or damaging debris.
- Repair chips or damage to counters and cabinets.
- Maybe think about giving a tired looking store a clean and refreshing new look with paint, patching, decals, tiles, refinishing or replacing folding tables, and bulkheads.
- Adding or replacing laundry carts. Or just fixing the ones you already have.
- Do preventative maintenance to the Washers and Dryers….maybe replacing belts, or motors, replace old water valves, or high and low temperature limiters, clean out any sediment in the water pumps, check for loose fittings, clean and lubricate coin mechanisms.
- Fix or replace signage
Then the harder stuff:
- Reassess your employees. Which ones are assets to the business, and which ones either require more training or need to be replaced. Poor employees can cause the storeowner a lot of trouble and loss of customers.
- If you are currently using propane gas, is there any way to convert to natural gas if it is being offered in your area?
- If you have a lot of top loaders, consider buying the new and very efficient small front loaders being offered by your equipment distributor. The cost associated in making this change may be much more economical than you think due to the very significant saving in water, hot water, gas, and electric. Definitely something to consider.
- Look at the value of changing out old gas guzzling dryers for new and more efficient units.
- Analyze each washer in your store and determine if any of them need to be replaced because of high repair costs, and very inefficient use of utilities. Many of the distributors and manufactures are offering some very attractive financing of new equipment. You should also take into consideration some very generous tax advantages for purchasing new equipment now rather than later.
- Put a plan in place for promoting your newly refreshed Laundromat. Maybe a direct mail campaign, or flyers handed out as well as doorknob hangers.
- Contact a local web designer and put together a Website that will promote your store and all of your services.
- Put together a new Business Plan for 2011 with goals for both increasing income as well as decreasing expenses. Then monitor it very closely for the whole year.
Feel free to contact me to help you with any of the ideas discussed in this Blog. That is what I am here to do. Let us all make 2011 a happy, healthy and more profitable New Year. Thank you all for your continued support and patronage.
ADL Consulting Services, Inc.