How to open a successful laundrette

December, 21 2020

If you’ve come here, it’s because you want to open your own laundry or dry cleaning center. You will find all the steps to open a successful laundrette in this guide. 

Why open a laundrette?

Before opening any business, it’s important to know information and statistics about the sector. The laundry market is currently one of the most profitable sectors. The industry moves around 181.4 billion dollars worldwide each year.

Discover how to open your own laundromat

What makes the sector so profitable?

Mainly due to 3 important factors:

  1. Demand has increased considerably. According to market studies, half of Spanish people spend between 30 minutes and 2 hours a week ironing, while other data shows that 79% of Spanish people would be interested in a monthly home delivery laundry subscription, either once a week or once every fortnight.
  2. Recurrence is another factor. Washing clothes is something that needs to be done once or twice a week. A laundrette ensures a flow of customers and generates more and more income.
  3. The initial investment is much lower to open a laundrette than any other business, staff costs are very low or zero, fixed and variable costs are minimal and there is a fast return on investment (ROI). 

If you want to further reduce the financial or business risk, you should consider opening a laundry franchise.

What requirements do I need to open a laundrette?

  1. First of all, you need to educate yourself about the sector and industry. It’s important to know all the data, the business operations and the services that you are going to offer in order to make the correct decisions and avoid making serious mistakes that could cost you dearly or even shut down the business.
  2. You need to know the rules of the country where you are going to open. This includes documentation, legal issues, licenses, taxes, insurance, regulations and premises approval, etc.
  3. Understanding the culture of the country very well is more important that you may realize. This includes traditions, customers, behaviour and knowing how to communicate with your customers and suppliers.   
  4. Having a business plan with all the steps necessary to open the laundrette, detailed and supported budgets and clear entrepreneurship goals. 



Steps to opening a laundrette

Before making the decision to set up your laundrette, you must study the different aspects you need to bear in mind. Regardless of the country, city or location, there are general aspects that apply to anywhere. The results will vary according to the culture, laws, politics and demography. 

If you choose to open a laundry franchise, the franchisors provide you with all the necessary information, prepare and train you so that you grow a successful business, so that you don’t have to worry about these steps. In addition, it’s months of work, effort and money saved.

But if you want to set up a laundry on your own, here’s a list of steps that we consider useful:

1. Market study

Like any new business, you need to have studied the market. Being clear that laundry will be your business focus, you must investigate what your target audience is looking for, what they ask for, what they like, look at existing companies, analyze the competition, what they are offering and what they are lacking, as this is where you can take the opportunity to make yourself stand out.

Use tools to carry it out without investing a lot of money. It will help you to segment not just your customers, but also your services and tools such as: online surveys, monitoring social networks or studying online trends, etc. 

Download your laundromat busines plan

2. Business plan

At this point, you should start to compare more specific business issues such as the plans, objectives and tools necessary to start out in any sector. This section is a guide for the proper functioning of your company and can show you how the laundry will be viable. You can include methodologies such as the SWOT analysis, which analyzes the situation of the company both internally and externally. From there, you can create strategies that allow you to see the different scenarios and the application of solutions.


3. Documentation and legal issues

This is an essential point to open the laundrette or for the makeup of the company. It’s a tedious step due to the process and time involved, but impossible to avoid. The necessary requirements will vary depending on the country you are in.


4. Choosing a premises

The location of the laundrette is where business will take place and it will be a determining element for the profitability and success of the business. It’s necessary to take certain characteristics into account, such as: moderate or high pedestrian flow on the street where the premises will be located, that the premises is visible and preferably on street level, that there is parking nearby and surrounding businesses which are not competition. Also take into account the purchasing power of the area.


5. Budget

Although it starts from when you have approved capital or credit for the investment, it’s important to analyze the previous steps to have an objective and grounded confidence. In the budget you have, you must include different factors that can increase or decrease the investment. Depending on the type of services, the type of customers and the location, the amount will vary significantly. Adapting your premises will take a large part of this amount.


6. Observe the details

Observing is a continuous action, before, during and after opening your business. It’s one of the reasons why many businesses don’t get the expected result. People are always talking about their needs; with the rise of social networks and their synchronization with companies, customers of products or services are constantly commenting on their experiences; so listen, observe, read, ask and question everything you offer and how your customers are perceiving it; the aim is always the satisfaction achieved by your service.


Services to offer in a laundrette

Laundrettes often also serve as dry cleaners. That is, in addition to washing clothes with soap and water, they also provide dry cleaning and dyeing services.

You must decide what services you are going to offer which complement the main business so that you can generate more income and so that your future customers don’t need to go to the competition.

For example, Mr Jeff laundries offer a clothes washing service, as well as comforters, shoes, suits, dresses, down jackets, sheets, curtains, carpets and the ironing service among many other products, in addition to a home pick up and delivery service and an app so that customers can place their orders without having to go to the store.

How much does opening a laundrette cost?

Knowing exactly how much a laundrette costs is impossible as it depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the country, city, zone and the type of premises, and each one has a different price.

Then operating permits, everywhere, including in different cities within the same country, more or fewer permits can be requested, which also influences the final budget.

We must bear the cost of washing machines and dryers in mind. How many should be bought, which brand and model, and both the fixed and variable costs for the first few months of being in operation.

All of this will influence the cost of opening a laundrette. An approximate cost would be between $40,000 - 60,000 USD.


How to open a self-service laundrette

Opening a self-service laundrette follows the same process. The steps are the same, you will just need machinery adapted to the service.

Keep in mind that by having a laundry you will be washing your customers’ clothes. You must take special and extreme care when treating them, so the processes must be standardized and supervised. This doesn’t happen with a self-service laundrette, because the customers are in charge of washing their own clothes.

Open a laundrette on your own or with a franchise?

This depends on you, but there are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Do I know about the sector and industry? 
  • Do I know how the business and processes work?
  • Which tools and software can I use to keep good business accounts? 
  • Do I have trusted suppliers who offer quality products?
  • Do I know washing machine and dryer brands? Which is best in the long term and saves me the most money?
  • Do I know what type of premises and which area is best for me and which will be more attractive to customers?
  • Do I know how to carry out marketing campaigns, digital management tools and email, Facebook, Instagram and Google advertisement? How should I address my customers?

If you answer no to any of these questions, it would be better to buy into a laundry franchise. Franchises give you all the know-how, everything that this article contains is given to you by the franchisor, but with great detail. It advises you about each of the opening processes, from the choice of the premises, buying machinery, budgets, profitability and financial analysis of each year, market studies, etc. It also prepares and trains you in all the IT tools that should be included in the business, attracting new customers, etc.

Why should you open a Mr Jeff laundry franchise?

Franchises are one of the most profitable business right now and this is confirmed by the Spanish Franchise Association in their report The franchise in Spain 2019:

The Spanish franchise adds its 5th year of growth in all its variables: number of networks, establishments, jobs generated and turnover. - Spanish Franchise Association.

According to the report, in 2018, franchises in Spain obtained €27,707.2 million euros in total, increasing by 0.4% compared to the figure reached in 2017, €27,592 million euros. It also employed 293,872 people, 14,921 more than in 2017, representing a 5.3% increase.

Laundry franchises data....

With regard to laundry franchises in Spain, the increase has been exponential each year. According to the information in the franchise in Spain, by the Spanish Franchise Association:

  • In 2017, the number of laundrettes increased by almost 45%, which meant a turnover of 239 million euros, 51% more than what was registered in 2016.
  • In 2018, the dry-cleaning/laundry sector grew by 5.7%, increased its turnover by 13.6 million euros, opened 92 stores, added 4 new networks and created 223 jobs.

➡️ Open day of a Mr Jeff franchise in Barcelona

Discover how to open your own laundromat


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