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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
Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist

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.

Larry Larsen: Laundry Consulting, Brokerage, Insurance

I have over forty 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 me at 714-630-9274 or 714-630-Wash.

Peter Siegel, MBA, BizBen Founder, ProBuy, ProSell Programs

Founder & President Of BizBen.com (since 1994) & BizBenNetwork.com. I am the Lead Facilitator for the ProSell & ProBuy Programs on both websites. I consult daily with buyers, sellers, and intermediaries daily about buying and selling businesses. Call 925-785-3118.

Steve Erlinger: Laundry Broker, Consultant

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. Call 949-500-5893.

Chuck Post: Laundry Buyer Representation, Consulting, Due Diligence

I have 32 years experience in the laundry industry, specializing in assisting laundry buyers with buying or starting up, building, re-tooling, laundries throughout CA. Laundry buyer representation, consulting, due-diligence, lease negotiations, laundry valuations. Contact me at 619-227-5711 Cell.

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.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence

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 805-428-2063.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In 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.


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Larry Larsen Laundromat Broker
Steve Erlinger Laundromat Broker
Golden State Laundry System Laundry Business Brokers
Chris Lazurik Business Broker
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