These days, most experts will advise you to create a business plan before you decide to take the risks associated with starting a business. A laundromat is often a bit more complicated than other small business models, making the need for research, […]
These days, most experts will advise you to create a business plan before you decide to take the risks associated with starting a business. A laundromat is often a bit more complicated than other small business models, making the need for research, planning, and clear direction even more essential for entrepreneurs entering the coin-operated laundromat industry.
A laundry business plan will help you prove to yourself that your ideas are viable. With a plan in place, you’ll be able to set clear goals and chart a path to achieve them in an organized way. A solid business plan can become essential if you have to show it to financiers or investors before you get the start-up funds you need. Lastly, it will help you be more realistic and ask yourself some tough questions about your ideas.
In this article, we have laid out a sample laundry business plan layout. We have set out some examples of titles and content that you might consider using. Feel free to use it as a template as you proceed to put together your own plan.
Your plan should be laid out neatly in a folder with a cover page that describes what the report is about and who contributed to it. Your plan is likely to be read by many different parties, so you may consider attaching a cover letter to each one that specifically addresses the reader, outlining the concerns they will have.
If the plan is longer than a couple of pages, it should include a table of contents. This includes a list of all headings and subheadings along with a reference page so the reader can quickly locate the information.
An executive summary is a simple introduction to the report. Give the reader a brief introduction to your business plan and summarize each section of the plan.
While not essential, some companies like to establish a mission statement that describes their purpose or business philosophy. It usually covers non-financial reasons. For a laundromat, it could say that you strive to provide the best service to your customers, or that you want to provide them with a clean, safe, and efficient way to do laundry. Your mission should be to do what’s best for the customer and be better than your competitors.
Provide readers with some background on yourself and anyone else involved with the proposed laundromat. Readers may want to know what your qualifications are and if you have had any experience in business or in the coin laundering industry.
Provide background on the local coin laundering industry so that readers better understand the opportunities available.
If your planning has been in progress for a while, you may want to update the reader on the stage you are at. If you are considering purchasing an existing laundromat, you will also want to describe the history of the business in this section.
Give readers a basic overview of the proposed coin laundering business. When will your new unit open to the public? Where will it be found? Will you have a laundry attendant all day or just part time?
Objectives and goals
Set a list of realistic goals that you want to accomplish with the business in the first year or two. These objectives can be financial and be related to gross or net monthly profits. They could also be related to other metrics, such as number of members or customer satisfaction rates. Thinking longer term, you can also set goals to expand into new locations.
Before you can launch your new laundry business, you need to know exactly what you’re going to need and how much it will cost. Costs will include everything from equipment purchases, renovations, and marketing, along with professional fees and compliance costs.
Once you’ve listed everything, you can calculate your total startup cost. From here you can mention some of the options you have to finance the laundry. Mention how much you will be able to contribute yourself and how much external financing you will need.
Products and services
Review the services you plan to offer to customers. In addition to a basic machine washing service with washers and dryers, you can also offer more exclusive services such as ironing or dry cleaning. Take note of the products that will be sold on the site. Obviously, you’ll be selling laundry-related products like soap powder and fabric softener, but you can also offer unrelated products like coffee and soft drinks.
As a prerequisite for writing a plan, you should have done at least a little market research in the area where you propose to open your self-service laundry. You can present your findings in this section of the plan.
In your research, you should try to find out if there is enough demand for a laundromat in the area in question, and if so, exactly what kind of services people within this target market want.
You should also consider the competition you have in the local area. Create a map showing the catchment area of your customers keeping in mind that customers will generally go to the laundromat that is most convenient for them to get to. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Will it be possible to get customers out of the catchment area of competing laundromats? Can you make your service much more attractive than theirs?
Set up a plan to attract new customers to your laundromat and convert them into repeat customers. The marketing component of your plan should cover everything from developing your brand, pricing, advertising, other marketing methods, and customer service.
Remember that in the laundry business you will depend on building long-term relationships with repeat customers. Not only do you need to focus on attracting new customers, but you also need to focus on satisfying and ‘over-delivering’ your existing customer base. If you retain your customers and please them, you’ll also benefit from referrals and word of mouth.
Establish a plan for the daily operation of your laundry. Take note of the equipment you will have installed and how the demands for water and power will be met. Mention how you plan to maintain the machines.
Discuss your daily staffing needs. What role will you, as the owner, take on in the day-to-day operation of the laundry? How many employees will you need and what will their responsibilities be?
What other systems will you have in place to ensure the laundry runs smoothly every day and that you can control and manage the business efficiently? Will you have a computer system to keep track of stocks and cash flows? What about a security system?
Last, but most important, a solid business plan will include detailed financial forecasts over a period of two to three years. This data is best displayed in spreadsheets so you can set up a column for each month. Some companies include more than one spreadsheet to allow for different situations. You might consider including one as a best-case scenario and others that show revenue growth at a slower-than-expected rate.
Try to identify a break-even point where the business would basically be running without making a profit, but not losing money at the same time. Then you will have an idea of the volume of clients that you will have to aim for. To calculate the break-even point, you need to assume an average customer spend per visit, and then calculate the number of customer visits needed on a monthly basis.
If you are borrowing money to start the business, you should also include a repayment schedule to show how quickly the loan will be paid off.
Many assumptions are made in business plans, so it is important to be able to give reasons for why you made those assumptions. Instead of guessing, you should try to include data that supports his theories. Include an addendum at the end of your plan that lists any supporting materials that do not fit neatly on the report pages. These could include maps, images, spreadsheets, tables, and lists of references and sources, to name just a few examples.