The Top 5 Ways to Run a Laundromat Business | (Plus 1 Bonus)

The Top 5 Ways to Run a Laundromat Business

This is a sponsored post by Cents. Find out what Cents can do for your laundry business here. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

There are many different types of laundromat businesses. Which one is right for you? That depends on your goals, resources, and preferences. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 ways to run a laundromat business:

  • Self-service
  • Wash Dry Fold
  • Combination – Self-service and Wash, Dry & Fold
  • Pick-Up and Delivery
  • Combination – Wash, Dry & Fold and Pick-up & Delivery

We will also discuss the pros and cons of each type of business model.

With all of the models we will be going over, it is important to remember that every day we live in a world that sees more and more business being done and marketed online.

Make sure you get your business online so you can be discovered by more people and can provide a great customer experience.

If you need help with that, Laundromat Resource Marketing would love to assist you!

Best Ways to Run a Laundromat Business

Before becoming a laundromat owner or expanding into other areas of the laundry business, consider what kind of business structure you want.

Some laundromat owners want to be more hands-off business owners, while others want to be hands-on and run the laundromat more like a traditional business. It all comes down to preference.

What is your ultimate goal?

Are you looking to create a laundry business that you can eventually sell, or are you content with running a coin laundromat as a more passive income stream?

Do you want to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your laundromat, or would you prefer to be more hands-off?

Do you want to buy an existing laundromat or start a laundromat?

If you buy an existing laundromat, does it need new commercial laundry equipment or is there extensive equipment maintenance needed on the current equipment? Startup costs and maintenance costs could lead to some large business expenses that you need to account for in your laundromat business plan.

If you are building a new laundromat, account for all the expenses that go into starting a new business. New laundry equipment will be a large expense that can put a dent in your business bank account right off the bat but using business credit can make it an affordable investment also.

Do you want to invest in software to run Wash, Dry & Fold or Pick-up & Delivery?

There are a number of different software companies specific to the laundromat industry that help run your laundry business efficiently and effectively.

Do some market research for your area and see if those services would be beneficial for your laundromat business. Many of these companies boast about increasing your customer base and profit margins.

One of those companies, Cents, says your store can see a 25% or more increase in revenue, a 99% decrease in lost bags, and a 75% or more increase in store efficiency.

These companies can work with new stores or an existing business.

While these won’t be effective for every store, if you do your market research right, this could be a great way to build up those business accounts!

These are all important questions to answer before moving forward with any type of laundry business venture.

Next Steps

Remember, regardless of the model you choose, every laundromat needs business insurance to protect your investment so don’t forget to include that into your laundromat business plan.

Your goals will help dictate what type of business entity you choose. If you want to be more hands-off, you may want to consider a self-service laundromat.

If you are looking to be more involved in the business, you may want to consider a combination of the two or simply Wash, Dry, and Fold laundry service.

There are pros and cons to each type of business model. It is important to weigh these before deciding which one is right for you.

Now that we’ve discussed some important factors to consider before getting started, let’s take a look at the different types of laundromat businesses.

Business Structure


The self-service coin-operated laundromat model is the most traditional and simplest way to run a laundromat business. Customers bring their laundry, wash it themselves, and then dry and fold it.

Self-service laundromats are typically lower cost than full-service laundromats, as they require less staff and overhead. Keeping employee payroll to a minimum is a big factor in keeping ongoing expenses to a minimum. They are also generally easier to operate, as there is no need to coordinate drivers or manage pick-ups and drop-offs.

However, self-service laundromats can be less convenient for customers, as they need to wash, dry, and fold their laundry. This can be especially difficult for those who are not familiar with how to use commercial washing machines or dryers or have a hectic schedule in their personal life.

A few more points to consider, customers may need assistance at some point and there may be no employee available to assist them. This can lead to less customer satisfaction, making it more difficult to build a loyal customer base.

Just as it is with many other small businesses, the pros and cons need to be thought through thoroughly.

Wash, Dry & Fold

The Wash Dry Fold model is similar to the self-service model, except that the business owner offers to wash, dry, and fold the laundry for the customer.

This can be a more convenient option for customers, as they do not need to wash their laundry and spend time at the laundromat. However, it does require more staff and overhead, as the business owner needs to hire employees to wash, dry, and fold the laundry.

Wash Dry Fold businesses typically charge by the pound or by the piece. This pricing model can be confusing for customers, as they may not know how much their laundry will cost until it is already done. 

Another point to consider is that, while the customer may not need to wash their laundry, they still need to drop it off and pick it up. This can be difficult for those with a busy schedule.

Just as with the self-service model, some pros and cons need to be considered before deciding if this is the right model for you.

How to Start a Successful Laundry Wash & Fold Business

Combination – Self Service and Wash, Dry & Fold

A combination of the self-service and Wash Dry Fold models is a popular option for laundromat owners. Customers can choose to wash their own laundry or have the business owner wash it for them.

This provides customers with more flexibility and convenience, as they can choose the option that best suits their needs. It also allows the business owner to charge more for the Wash Dry Fold service, as they are providing a higher level of convenience, which can increase your average profit margin.

However, this model requires more staff and overhead, as the business owner needs to hire employees to wash, dry, and fold the laundry. Additionally, customers may be confused by the pricing structure, as it is not always clear how much the Wash Dry Fold service will cost.

Pick Up and Delivery

The pickup and delivery model is a newer option that is becoming increasingly popular. Customers can choose to have their laundry picked up from their home or office and delivered back to them when it is finished. 

This is a convenient option for customers, as they do not need to leave their homes or office to drop off their laundry. Additionally, it allows the business owner to charge more for the service, as it is more convenient. Customers pay a premium for convenience.

However, this model requires more involvement from the business owner, as you will need to coordinate drivers and manage pick-ups and drop-offs. Additionally, customers may be concerned about the safety of their belongings, as they will be trusting the business owner with their laundry.

Webinar Replay on How to Start and Scale a Laundry Pick-up & Delivery Service

Combination – Wash, Dry & Fold + Pick Up and Delivery

The Wash, Dry, & Fold and Pick Up and Delivery model is similar to the more basic combination model, except that it includes pick-up and delivery service.

This means that an employee will pick up the laundry from the customer’s home or office and then deliver it back once it is finished. Customers could also opt for just a one-way pick-up or delivery.

Some laundromat businesses do not offer self-service in their stores because they have done their market research and have found that this combination works best for their market.

Instead, they focus all their efforts on fulfilling their customer orders without having to worry about the self-service side of the business. This can be a very effective method to run your business if you are in the right market.

If you already are doing the hard work of Wash, Dry, and Fold, getting a software system for pick-up and delivery to help manage your orders could be a great addition to your business.

Bonus – Laundromat Franchise

Here is our bonus laundromat model, the laundromat franchise! While there are many pros and cons of the franchise model, it is always worth exploring to see if the fit is right for you.

When you invest in a laundromat franchise, you benefit from the experience and knowledge of the franchisor. The franchisor has already done the research and testing to determine what works and what doesn’t, so you can avoid making costly mistakes.

Additionally, a laundromat franchise offers support and guidance throughout the entire process, from finding the perfect location to training your staff. This support can be invaluable, especially if you are new to the industry.

However, it is important to remember that you will be responsible for following the franchisor’s system and meeting their standards. This can limit your ability to be creative and make changes to the business. The franchise fee will also add to the overall operating costs of the laundromat.

Check out this video here to get more insight into a Laundromat Franchise.

Webinar Replay on All Things Laundromat Franchises


Now that you know the different types of laundromat business models, it’s time to decide which business structure is right for you. Consider your target market, your budget, and your level of involvement before making a decision.

If you are looking for a hands-off investment with minimal involvement, a self-service or Wash Dry Fold model might be the best option for you. If you are looking for a more involved investment, consider a pick-up and delivery or franchise model.

Either way, to run a successful laundromat business, you should come up with a solid business plan from the start.

What type of laundromat business do you think would be the best for you? Let us know in the Laundromat Resource Forums!

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Become a Laundromat Pro and Join the Pro Community!

Unlock the secrets of laundromat success! Join our Pro Community now to access expert insights, exclusive resources, a vibrant community, and more. Elevate your laundromat journey today!