Share This Info:  

Buying A Laundry Business: Tips From A Laundry Broker


Laundromat Purchases Information

I get calls all the time from people who want to open a Laundromat. As I've said before, it's a popular business with many compelling owner benefits:

A flexible schedule. A casual dress code. Typically nice customers engaged in a simple task and who make few demands. Its un-stressful nature. A good return on investment and being your own boss.

You’re thinking, sign me up! Right?


Before you do, allow me to dispel some myths about the laundry business:


1. Laundromat businesses, or more accurately, laundry owners do fail.

2. It's a simple business, but not easy.

3. If you want to enjoy success you can’t just go there two days a week and collect money.

4. Emergencies happen - sometimes you will end up there when you don’t wish to be.

5. It is not absentee-run unless you are willing to pay a good and trustworthy manager a good salary.

6. There is plenty of competition.

7. It's not inexpensive to enter nor maintain a laundry business. Equipment, walls, folding tables, floors, fans, changers and everything else people use and abuse do not last forever, thus you will have ongoing capital expenses.

All that being said, many people still want to start their own laundry business. I joke with friends that if I had a Laundromat for everyone who called me I would be a very, very busy individual and doing quite well. Unfortunately for the buyers out there, and me, there are few available stores that make good investment sense, for a variety of reasons:

Many stores are expensive.
The location may not be right for where the buyer lives.
Financing for buying a store may be unavailable if the current owner kept poor records.
The store may need new equipment that requires an even bigger investment.
The owner is asking too much even when they can prove the income they claim.

So what to do?

1. First and foremost you have to be patient. I speak to people who have been looking for years and still haven’t found the right store.

2. Secondly you must understand there is no perfect store out there.  If the store you were seeking was perfect it wouldn’t be for sale. The owner would keep it or someone else would likely have beaten you to it.  Ultimately you must pull the trigger if you want to be in the business, so I advise figuring out up front what deficiencies you can manage.

3. Third, there is no perfect deal.  If one party is walking away very, very happy I would guess in most cases it wasn’t a win-win.  Each party needs to give a little something.

4. Lastly, at some point you need to simply go for it.  If you want to be a laundry business owner then you are going to encounter challenges and be willing to take on some risk.

As cliche as it may sound after you have investigated the best you can, make a good decision from a position of strength and just do it!

Those who call me generally either want to buy a laundry store or start one anew. We've covered some of the difficulties in buying a store.  Is building one from the ground up a viable option? In most cases I would say no, unless you have very deep pockets and are willing to deal with city planners, building departments, inspections, contractors, off sites (such as bringing in additional power and proper sewer line) and most onerous of all: impact fees typically associated with the sewer usage.  All of this is very expensive and time consuming and by now you probably know that equipment isn't cheap and the tenant improvements necessary for opening a Laundromat are extensive and costly.

Finding a location for a new store can be a challenge as well.  What neighborhood do you know of in need of a Laundromat that does not already have one (or two or three)?  Right off the bat you will have plenty of competition.  If you are dead set on opening a new store pick an area with poor competition.  A lot of owners of derelict laundries figure people will come no matter what.  If it's the only game in town this may be true but if you as the builder of a new Laundromat do it right people will flee an outdated, dirty, neglected laundry in droves! What are the three key words to a successful Laundromat? Clean, bright and safe! Add to this good equipment and good service and in the right neighborhood you should do just fine whether building new or refurbishing existing.

Another way to enter the laundry business is to assume a lease, or pay some "walking away money" on a failed ownership and try to add value. In cases I’ve observed where a new owner turned around a failed Laundromat, they made a series of good decisions:

Executing high-quality tenant improvements,
Installing new and large-capacity equipment,
Upgrading customer service, and
Undertaking effective promotion and marketing strategies.

Remember, Laundromats don’t fail: owners do.

If I had my druthers I would be looking for the "value add" store as just described. They are hard to find, and you have to be in the right place at the right time. They are also more work to get going (though less than building a new store), but you have a say about design and equipment mix and you can leverage a good deal of your purchase since laundry equipment is easily financeable.  And though there may not be a great deal of business there is likely some. The only way this recipe may not work is if the neighborhood has outgrown the need for a Laundromat. Check the demographics and make sure there is a market for the business.

So you want to be in the laundry business? Which one is for you?

Remember, don't be put through the ringer: have loads of fun with your laundry business!

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
Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.

Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

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.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area

McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.

Steve Erlinger: Laundry Broker, Consultant - Southern California

I specialize in the laundry industry broker and consultant in Southern California. 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.

Joe Sandbank, Esq. - Legal Services

I have provided legal counsel to business buyers, sellers and brokers for over 17 years. With prior experience as a business broker and SBA loan officer, Joe brings both a practical and legal approach to all aspects of the business acquisition process.

Ranvir S. Sandhu, Esq. - Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

I've worked at top Bay Area law firms and have extensive experience with business entity formation, mergers, dissolutions, conversions, employment matters, including experience in reviewing and negotiating transactional documents such as leases and purchase agreements.


  Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews
4 Essential Facts For Coin, Card Laundry Buyers Seeking To Buy A Laundromat

Many Californians want to buy a coin laundry because it's a business that doesn't require full time owner attention and because, as an all cash business, the owner is always paid before the service is provided. Peter Siegel at BizBen explores these issues in his latest artcle/blog post on BizBen.

Buy A Business Or Start From Scratch? 5 Key Differences For Business Buyers

Some buyers believe it's better to start a business from scratch rather than buy an existing enterprise. While this may be good advice in some cases, usually it's not the best strategy. Here are five tips to help a buyer make the right decision from from Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen Director).

Unreported Income: Should Sellers Disclose Unreported Cash To Buyers?

Should owners who offer a business for sale reveal to prospective buyers any income that is not recorded in the books? This is a controversial topic with arguments both for and against. Most business sales intermediaries believe if you don't pay tax on it, you can't claim it. Some sellers disagree.

Tips For Faster SBA Loan Approvals For California Small Business Purchases

In this article on BizBen, business purchase financing advisor and SBA loan broker, consultant Peter Siegel (Business Purchase Financing Expert/Advisor & the ProBuy Program Director at BizBen) at 866-270-6278 shares his views of getting SBA loan financing faster for business purchase financing.

Top 100 List: This Week's Top Motivated Business Buyers & Their Requests!

If you're trying to sell a business - check out this week's top 100 business buyers - one of these buyers may be looking to buy your type and location of business! This list is updated weekly - make sure you check it frequently! Are you searching to buy - get on this list and reach seller direct!

How Many Months Should I List My Business With A Business Broker?

It's important to remember that selling a business takes time. Unlike selling a house, which can be sold relatively fast, a business can take up to six months to a year to sell. Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker) at 714-292-5448 explores this topic from a Business Brokers perspective.

What Is The Typical Business Broker Fee For Sellers And Buyers? Who Pays It?

Was just asked the question from a business owner what the "typical commission" amount is for a broker or agent and if upfront fees are common? Thought this might be a great Discussion topic on BizBen for both business owner/sellers and potentially for business buyers (buyer representation).

Why Deals Fall Out: Unrealistic High Asking Prices Are Usually The Reason

The unfortunate truth is that approximately 50% of all small business sales transactions fall out. While failed transactions can happen for a many reasons, Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen Director & Business Purchase Financing Expert) discusses the main reason deals fall through; steep asking prices.

See All News, Tips And Events


Larry Larsen Laundromat Broker
Joe Sandbank
Mani Singh Manufacturing Listing
LA County Coin Laundry For Sale
Facebook
Twitter
Linkedin
Google Plus You Tube
Vlogs and Podcasts


Auto Related
Business Services
Children Related
Communication Related
Computer, Internet Related
Construction Related
Entertainment Related
Financial Services
Health, Beauty Related
Home Improvement Related
Maintenance Related
Manufacturing Related
Media, Publishing Related
Pet Related
Photography/Video Related
Real Estate Services
Restaurant, Food Related
Retail Related
Service Related
Sports Related
Transportation Related
Travel Related
Wholesale Related

Auto Body Shops
Auto Repair Shops
Bakeries
Bars, Sports Bars
Cafe Restaurants
Car Washes
Cleaning Services
Clothing, Apparel Stores
Coffee Shops
Convenience Stores
Deli Restaurants
Discount, Dollar Stores
Dry Cleaners
eCommerce Websites
Fast Food Restaurants
Florists, Flower Shops
Full Service Restaurants
Gas Stations
Gift Shops
Gyms, Fitness Facilities
Home Health Agencies
Hotels/Motels
Ice Cream Shops
Juice, Smoothie Shops
Laundromats
Liquor Stores
Markets, Marts
Nightclubs
Pizza Restaurants
Postal, Shipping Stores
Preschools, Day Care
Print Shops
Salons, Beauty Shops
Sandwich Shops
Smog Test Only Shops
Smoke Shops
Spas, Med Spas
Sushi Restaurants
Tire Shops
Towing Services
Vending Routes
Wireless, Cellular Shops
Yogurt Shops

Alameda
Alpine
Amador
Butte
Calaveras
Colusa
Contra Costa
Del Norte
El Dorado
Fresno
Glenn
Humboldt
Imperial
Inyo
Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
Los Angeles
Madera
Marin
Mariposa
Mendocino
Merced
Modoc
Mono
Monterey
Napa
Nevada
Orange
Placer
Plumas
Riverside
Sacramento
San Benito
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Francisco
San Joaquin
San Luis Obis
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
Shasta
Sierra
Siskiyou
Solano
Sonoma
Stanislaus
Sutter
Tehama
Trinity
Tulare
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba

0 to $99,999
$100,000 to $249,999
$250,000 to $499,999
$500,000 to $999,999
$1 million to $2 million
over $2 million



BizBen - Where California Deals Get Done! 888-212-4747
7172 Regional Street #364 · Dublin, CA. 94568
BizBen · Copyright © 1994 - 2019, All Rights Reserved

               Vlogs and Podcasts  
Join Us On Social Media - Content Updated Daily
Sign Up Today - For Our FREE BizBen Weekly Email Newsletter
Includes The Best Info On Buying, Selling, Valuing, Financing California Businesses:
Articles, Blog Posts, Podcasts, Videos/Vlogs, Discussions, Q&A, Workshops, Webinars,
Resources. Watch For An Email Confirmation After Signing Up Above. Thank you.
Clost Login


Please confirm your registration by clicking the link we've sent to .

If you can't see it, please check your junk mail folder.

If you have any problems registering, or need assistance with your new BizBen User Account please phone BizBen Customer Support at 888-212-4747.



First Name:*
Last Name:*
Email Address:*
Confirm Email:*
Create Password:*
Confirm Password:*
Phone:
(   
 


You Are A:
Individual
 
Intermediary
 

Email Address:
Password:
 
Search BizBen.com

500 New & Refreshed Detailed Postings Daily
Over 2500 Resources Available On BizBen
Since 1994. Where California Deals Get Done!
4 Essential Facts For Coin, Card Laundry Buyers Seeking To Buy A Laundro...
Read More News
How Do I Navigate Through The Negotiation Process When Buying A Business...
Read More News