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Is The Coin Laundry Business For You? We Ask A Laundromat Pro

Ask A Laundromat Pro About His Perspective

The amount of interest in the coin laundry business is staggering!  I specialize in the laundry business thus I am unaware of other industries and the amount of interest they garner but I do know that I speak to many, many people who want to get into this business.

Why do so many people explore this business?  Why do you want to get into the Coin Laundry business?  I assume you have your reasons; many that may be common and some very personal.

Let's explore some reasons why many people find this to be an interesting or attractive business (outside of the shear glamour of it all!).

1. Simplicity.  It is quite simple, certainly more so than other businesses.  Your clients do much of the work, you don't have to get a degree or go through licensing procedure and there is little that is overly technical.

2. It is a steady business as all people do laundry and do it on a regular basis.

3. It can be a very profitable business and there are no receivables.  People tend to like collecting cash too!

4. Flexibility in work hours is a very attractive feature of the laundry business. There are no set hours and it is highly unlikely you need to be at a store 40 hours a week.

5. Potential for multiple locations. Once you own and operate a store you can develop a system and rhythm and learn how to efficiently duplicate your efforts. You don't have to reinvent the wheel  on subsequent stores.

6. Little management or need to deal with employees.

7. Potential for your children get an early start on work and an introduction to entrepreneurship.

8. Tax benefits by means of depreciation and general business expenses.

These reasons motivate the self starter or the person who wants to get away from the corporate life, the commute, the 8-5 hours, the business suit and politics that goes with that world.  The Laundry business is truly the poster child for the "KISS" concept.

Ok, let's buy a Laundromat! Woo Hoo!

Well, I would be remiss if I didn't point out a few things you may want to consider.  This is by no means meant to discourage you but you may want to ponder these aspects of the business before jumping in with both feet.

By way of example; I recently sold a store for a gentleman who thought owning a store would be fabulous for many of the reasons I mention above.  On top of that his son owned a store and told his Father how much he enjoyed and profited from the business.

This gentleman was a retired Fireman, an owner of another business that required little time or customer service and he was a man who liked things neat and in order.  Also, the store he bought was about 45 minutes from his home.  To top it off he was, for all intents and purposes, retired and really didn't need to make extra money.

He quickly determined that he didn't like the business.  The occasional drive at odd hours was too far, a Laundromat is not always a neat and orderly place and people don't always treat your store with the utmost in respect.  And this store was on the smaller side so the profit, though it had more potential than he realized, was never going to make him enough money to change his already comfortable life.

In short the day he sold the store was similar to the day the proverbial man sold his boat; it was the happiest day of his life!

Time to explore some reasons the Laundry business may not be for you.

1. The capital investment can be substantial
2. All businesses are a risk and this is no different.  It's very competitive
3. Costs keep on rising.  Utilities and Rent can consume up to 50% of your revenue
4. A store is typically open 100 or more hours a week
5. You may need to handle emergency situations at odd hours or the weekends
6. Customers will abuse your store and maybe your psyche
7. Consider your personal safety due to locations of some stores
8. Are you willing to deal with the public and give good customer service?
9. Are you mechanically inclined? (not mandatory but it helps)
10.  Are you ready to wear many hats? (janitor, clerk, mechanic, accountant, marketing and advertising specialist, bookkeeper)
11.   Glamorous it is not!

Ok, let's buy a Laundromat!  Woo Hoo!  Or, maybe not.

Again, this is not meant to discourage anyone. There are many great reasons to get into the laundry business and to be sure many love the business and profit greatly from it. Since many reading this may not have owned a store and have no way of knowing some of these things I suggest you consider these aspects of the business in addition to the many good reasons you have for jumping in.

All businesses, jobs or any endeavor have their down side or challenges.  Hopefully this will help you to determine if your personality, desires and skill sets are conducive to the Laundry Business.  After all, the last thing you want from your new Laundry business is to be put through the ringer!

Steve Erlinger About The Author: Steve Erlinger specializes in assisting those buying and selling laundromats in the Orange County and Inland Empire areas. He helps potential laundry buyers navigate the many facets of finding, evaluating, and operating coin laundry businesses. He also assists current owners find additional stores or evaluate an existing  store in order to help grow their business. Steve can be reached direct at 949-500-5893 for more information.


Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Buying A Business, How To Buy A Business



  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses

Larry Larsen, Broker, Laundry Specialist - Orange, LA Counties

Larry Larsen, Realtor has over thirty years of experience in the sales, ownership, management, and construction of coin laundries. He is a licensed broker active in the sale of coin laundries, a licensed insurance agent specializing in coin laundry insurance. Phone Larry at 714-630-9274.

Peter Siegel, MBA - SBA Loans, Non SBA Financing Assistance

For over 25 years I have provided niche business purchase financial advisory and loan placement services with SBA and Non-SBA Loans, Retirement Plan Conversions, Private Investors, etc. Financing amounts available: $20K to $7MM. Call today to get pre-qualified or receive financing: 866-270-6278.

Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists

Laundry specialists - founded in 1968 by three laundry professionals, PWS is a family-owned corporation. Through the years it has grown to become the largest vended laundry equipment distributor in the United States. Call Brad Steinberg at 323-721-8832 to sell or buy a coin or card laundromat.

Steve Erlinger: Laundry Broker, Consultant - Orange/Riverside Counties

I specialize in the laundry industry (Broker/Consultant at 949-500-5893) - Riverside, Orange Counties. I assist buyers navigate the many facets of finding, evaluating, and operating a laundry business. I also help current laundry owners find additional stores, sell, evaluate an existing laundromat.

Mike Hurrell, Broker: Coin & Card Laundry Specialist Brokerage

Providencia Properties Inc in association with Golden State Laundry Systems is a full service Coin Laundry Real Estate Broker. At GSLS you will receive personalized attention from our professional staff of coin laundry experts. To sell or buy a Southern CA laundromat call Mike at 310-223-2240 X209.

Chuck Post: Laundry Buyer Representation, Consulting, Due Diligence

Chuck Post has 32 years experience in the laundry industry, specializing in assisting laundry buyers (and entrepreneurs) with buying or starting up, building, re-tooling, laundries throughout California. Laundry buyer representation, consulting, due-diligence, lease negotiations, laundry valuations.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 800-864-0420.

Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.


  Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews

Increasing Your Laundry Business, Getting Your Laundromat Ready For Sale

Running a laundromat is simple, yes, but it's not easy. In this article Steve Erlinger - Laundry Broker & Consultant at 949-500-5893 will cover what it takes to increase business and get your card or coin, laundromat in top shape ready to sell for top dollar in any economic environment.

FREE Live San Diego Workshop - How To Buy A Coin Or Card Laundry - Sat 9/23

Chuck Post, a coin laundry consultant & specialty broker offers this upcoming San Diego FREE seminar - How To Buy A Laundry Business. Contact Chuck Post at (619) 227-5711 or Chris Mason at (949) 878-2755 for more information and to RSVP for this upcoming workshop.

Interview: With Chuck Post On How To Buy A Laundry Business Successfully

Chuck Post (and his Associate Chris Mason) a California laundry consultant, due diligence specialist, buyer representative for laundry buyers shares his thoughts with Peter Siegel, MBA on his weekly BizBen Vlog & Podcast show. Chuck and Chris cover all related topics on buying a California laundry.

Determining The Value Of A Laundry Business: What Factors Are Important

Steve Erlinger (laundry Broker & Consultant at 949-500-5893) discusses how to value a laundry. Issues that affect a value include: demographics, the lease, past financial performance of the laundromat, age and condition of the equipment, utility costs, competition and other factors all play a role.

Is The Laundry Business For You? Pros & Cons From A Laundry Broker / Advisor

Is a laundry business for you? Read the Pros and Cons of buying and operating a small or medium sized card or coin laundry. If you have ever thought about buying a card or coin-op laundromat you should read this BizBen blog post by Steve Erlinger (Laundry Broker & Consultant at 949-500-5893).

LA County Laundry Seminar - Topic: How To Buy A Laundromat: 10/19

Looking to buy a LA County card or coin laundromat? PWS Laundry is presenting their next Los Angeles, Southern CA seminar Thursday: 10/19. For details click on the link above: Southern California Laundry Seminar - How To Buy A Laundromat. For details and to RSVP call 323-721-8832.

Laundry Broker Reports On The Latest Trends From The Laundromat Industry

Steve Erlinger, (laundry broker specialist/consultant 949-500-5893) reports the latest laundry industry trade show & what's new in the coin and card laundry industry. He discusses what various manufacturers are doing and why laundry distributors can be important ally when buying a laundry business.

Selling A Laundromat? Top Tips: Valuation, Pricing, Finding Buyers, Resouces

Laundrys are popular choices among business buyers as they often can be successfully run as an absentee run business. You need to be strategic about when you sell your Laundromat so you don't get taken to the cleaners! Peter Siegel, MBA (at BizBen) provides laundry purchase financing - 866-270-6278.

See All News, Tips And Events


Business Purchase Financing SBA Loans
Chuck Post Laundromat Industry Expert
Larry Larsen Laundromat Broker
Steve Erlinger Coin Laundry Broker







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