Here you will find the most common questions and answers dealing with developing a laundromat as well as purchasing and managing commercial laundry equipment. If you need a specific question answered, please feel free to reach out! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I invest in the coin laundry business?

A laundromat is a smart investment for individuals looking for a business opportunity with good returns on investment. You have no inventory and no receivables to worry about. An attendant can add an additional profitable wash, dry, and fold service. Alternative payment systems, Vending, tailoring and other services can add even more profit potential.

Who should invest in a coin laundry?

People from all walks of life, inducing retirees, should invest in coin laundries. It is a basic, common-sense, vital service business requiring minimal labor.

Do I require any special skills to own and operate a self-service coin laundry?

A coin laundry is a relatively simple business to operate. No special skills are required. The most important factors in your success are desire, perseverance, a well-equipped coin laundry with the right mix of equipment in the right location.

How much can I expect to earn investing in a commercial laundry?

The success rate of any business (coin laundry or otherwise) depends on how well you manage it. Some important factors in the success of a modern laundromat are its location, the size of the store, the mix of equipment, the hours of operation, advertising and promotion.

How much does it cost to build a coin laundry?

There are several factors that can impact your potential cost. Location, demographics of the area, layout of the site, size of the laundry, sizes of the equipment, water heaters, water storage tanks, plumbing, exhaust venting, etc., will all contribute to the total cost of the store. A properly designed and equipped coin laundry can cost between $250,000 to $600,000 or more. More important than the actual cost of a store is what a store will generate in revenues and profits for the owner relative to the cost – that is what determines the owner’s return on investment.

Where do I get financing to open a laundromat?

Hermes Equipment offers very competitive financing and can assist you with how to apply for financing for your laundromat investment. We can make recommendations on how and where to finance your businesses and will work with you to select the option that best suits your needs and budget.

In addition to financing, what will I need for startup costs?

The cash down payment for an existing store depends on the cost of the store and the availability of outside financing, or the willingness of the existing owner to hold financing as a provision of your purchase. The up-front capital required to build a new store will depend on your equipment mix, the size of the laundry, and the condition of the location. As a general guideline, we recommend that you have approximately thirty percent of the purchase price available to invest into a new laundromat, assuming you have a financial statement able to finance the balance. In addition to the down payment, you will have to pay insurance, escrow charges, and deposits on utilities. You also should set aside a cash reserve equal to 2-3 months of operating costs of the business, while your new business is developing a customer base.

How does location impact the success of a laundromat?

Location is one of the most important factors in determining the future success of any coin laundry. Your coin laundry should be located in a high-traffic, densely populated, low-to-medium income area, with good access and the availability of convenient parking. Coin laundries can also do well in middle-to-high income areas with single family homes because many two income families find it more convenient, time saving and cost efficient to use the local coin laundry or its wash and fold service. Whether you are considering purchasing an existing laundry or building a new laundry from scratch, we can assist you in the selection of a good location. Hermes Equipment also provides a free evaluation of your location, store design, and equipment recommendations. Our laundry industry experts, who have built hundreds of successful laundromats from the ground up and have over 35 years of experience, will look at the demographics and traffic patterns of an area to assist you in finding the best possible location for your laundromat. The Hermes team can also provide you with assistance in negotiating a lease, obtaining financing and more.

Should I buy an existing coin laundry and upgrade it, or build a new one?

There are many different factors that can impact whether you should buy an existing laundromat or build one from scratch. We will be more than happy to meet with you on-site to discuss your potential investment, be it an existing business, or a new location.

What’s the process of building a new laundromat?

After a location has been found, we would recommend a mix of equipment and design your laundromat’s layout. After you approve the basic design, an architect will deliver a complete set of plans for submission to the appropriate building department. Upon approval, the construction process will begin. Construction can take up to six months depending on the size of the location.

What are impact fees and how do they impact my laundromat?

While not all cities impose them, impact fees are charges imposed by cities on new construction projects that require connecting to the city’s water, sewer or irrigation system. Costs can range from a few dollars per machine up to several thousand depending on the city. If you purchase an existing laundry, it would not be necessary for you to pay these fees; however, there may be other charges required to bring an aging laundromat up to code.

Are there other taxes or permits I need to know about?

There is an assortment of licenses and registrations that do need to be obtained in order to open a laundromat. These can vary for new or existing locations and by municipality.

How much should I expect to pay for utilities?

If your laundromat washers and dryers are water and energy-efficient, and designed for heavy-duty commercial use, the utility costs can average 15-25% of your monthly gross income depending in which part of the country your laundry is located. Older, less efficient laundry equipment can push utility bills beyond 30% of the monthly gross.

How much time will I need to spend managing my laundry?

At first, you will spend many hours learning the business and getting familiar with the various pieces of equipment installed. In time you will be able to manage your laundromat with fewer numbers of hours.

Do many people own more than one laundromat?

Yes. There are many successful multi-store owners in the coin laundry industry. In fact, it is very common for individuals to choose the coin laundry industry because of the ability to own and operate multiple stores. With management systems, it continues to get easier for store owners to control the operation of multiple locations.