There has been a huge trend around the world towards convenience culture and the sharing economy. People have started to value convenience far more and are willing to pay extra for it. We see this all over with the explosion of Uber, DoorDash, Amazon Prime, Slice, and a lot more. And with people leaving the house less, these convenience businesses have boomed even further. Laundry is no exception.
The laundry pick-up and delivery business has been exploding and will only continue to grow as more people realize they can outsource their least favorite chore. This boom in laundry pick-up and delivery is probably the best opportunity for significant growth for laundromat owners today.
How to Start a Laundry Pick-up and Delivery Business
I made a video detailing the laundry pick-up and delivery process from start to finish that you can watch below. It will show you what it takes to run a successful laundry pick-up and delivery business. It’s a must-watch for anyone interested in starting a laundry pick-up and delivery business.
If you own a laundromat or are considering purchasing one, adding a laundry pick-up and delivery (PUD) service to your operation can be a great way to scale your business up and increase the radius of your business’s influence. However, it is important to know that PUD is fundamentally different from running a self-service laundromat. It may still be a great fit, however, as you already will have the main assets you need to run a PUD business.
So let’s outline what it takes to start a laundry pick-up and delivery business.
1. Choose the Right Software to Manage Your Business
The software you choose is vital to the success and size of your PUD business. It will be the heart of your operation, so it is important to choose the right software. There are a lot of options out there and it can be difficult to know which one to get. I wrote a post on what to look for in a great laundry pick-up and delivery software to help you navigate the software terrain. There are a lot of great tips in there to make sure you lay the proper foundation for your laundry pick-up and delivery business.
Cents is a laundry software that checks all of the boxes mentioned in that article. Not only is it a great software that has all the features your business will need, it is also backed by a top-notch team.
2. Build Your Website
Many laundromats have ascribed to the philosophy that they don’t need an online presence, but that is just not the case. Not anymore. It is more important than ever to have a presence online that not only communicates information about your laundromat, but that also reflects the experience you want customers to have when they visit your store.
You want to make sure that customers are able to order your services online through your website so you’ll need to integrate your software into your website. It shouldn’t be too tough to do if you’re familiar with website building, but also don’t be afraid to get help with it.
If you want to go the DIY route with your website, here’s a video tutorial on how you can build a laundromat website yourself. If you prefer to have a website built professionally, check out Laundromat Resource Marketing. We specialize in building SEO-optimized websites for laundromats that will rank on the first page of the Google search engine results page (SERPs)!
3. Hire Your Employees
There are many different options on how to start your pick-up and delivery business. You may want to boot-strap it and be the attendant or driver personally, or, you may want to hire that out. The important thing is that you have a plan on who is doing what in your business. Here are the minimum roles you’ll need to fill (either personally or with employees):
- Laundry Intake- Accepts laundry from the driver, ensures it’s properly in the software system, and initiates the process.
- Wash/dry/fold- the clothes need to be washed, dried, then folded. This includes keeping the laundry organized, packaging the laundry in a bag, and replacing it in its proper place for the driver to pick up.
- Driver- Responsible to pick up and drop off the proper laundry at the proper place at the proper time.
There are more roles and responsibilities that will be added as your business grows, but these are the 3 basic roles to fill. One person can fill some or all of these roles, or you may have multiple people doing each of the roles. Whatever your situation, be sure to know who is doing what in your business system.
4. Market Your Services
If you want to grow a laundry pick-up and delivery business, you’re going to need to reinvest some money into marketing your services. Having a great business system, a top-of-the-line software, and great employees won’t help your business grow unless people know about it. That’s where marketing and advertising come in. There are an infinite number of ways to market your business, but let me give you a few tried-and-true ways to drive customer conversions.
- Good signage inside and outside your laundromat- You already have the space, utilize it to let people know what you have to offer.
- Digital advertising- By far the most effective advertising platforms for a laundry pick-up and delivery business are Google and Facebook. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but both together will give you pretty good exposure to a likely customer base.
- Upsell your current customers- design promotions to turn some of your self-serve customers into drop-off customers. And turn your drop-off customers into pick-up and delivery customers.
- Referrals. Referrals. Referrals.- Referrals are a great way to grow your business fast. I suggest including a flyer with a referral promotion into every laundry back you send back. Something along the lines of, “Refer a friend and you both get $X off your next order!”
5. Improve Your Operation Everyday
Laundromats have traditionally been regarded as a set-it-and-forget-it business. Set it up, collect quarters once a week, profit. Easy peasy! However, a laundry pick-up and delivery business is not a set-it-and-forget-it business. It will require diligent work and oversight to allow it to continue to prosper and grow. It’s crucial, therefore, to continue to look for ways to improve every day. Here are a few things to keep improving on:
- Customer service- you can NEVER be good enough at this. Always be looking for ways to create a better experience for customers.
- Efficiency- look for ways to save time, save energy, save effort, and save money.
- Leadership- whether its you or a manager, look for ways to continually lead your team and your business better.
- Growth- look for ways to continue to grow your business, grow your vision, and grow your people.
- Technology- technology can give you a huge advantage.
Start Your Laundry Pick-up and Delivery Business
Using the five steps outlined above, you’ll have a great jump on what it takes to start your own laundry pick-up and delivery business from your laundromat. But remember, action is the only way to achieve your goals. So start taking some action. Here are a couple of action steps you can take right now:
- Listen to the wisdom of other owners on the Laundromat Resource Podcast
- Sign up for a consulting call at http://www.laundromatresource.com/coaching
- Begin researching software solutions.
Remember, it’s our actions that pave the way to our success!
Read more about how to start your own drop-off laundry service.