Tips for Attracting Students to Your Laundromat
College students can be great patrons for your laundromat business. Many of them live on campus or nearby in apartment buildings and rental units. If your laundromat is located close by, you’re in a prime position to help these young adults tackle their laundry needs – and increase your laundry business profits. Here are a few tips that can help make your laundromat a go-to destination for college students.
Turn your laundromat into a studying sanctuary.
Between classes, jobs, internships, and extracurricular activities, finding time to do laundry can be a challenge for college students – especially when it cuts into precious studying time. By turning your laundromat into a suitable study spot, you can help students kill two birds with one stone and make your facility more appealing. Set up some tables, add some comfy chairs, provide free Wi-Fi and you’re good to go. If you want to go a step further, consider extending hours and offering coffee, energy drinks, and snacks during university mid-terms and finals.
Offer discounts, freebies, and incentives.
Whether there’s laundry equipment on campus or they use mom and dad’s washer on the weekends, students generally have options when it comes to tackling laundry. So why should they choose your facility? That’s where offering incentives come in! College students are generally strapped for cash, so they love discounts and freebies. There are lots of creative options your business could try, such as:
- Punch cards and loyalty cards for students that earn them free wash and dry cycles.
- A special rate or free cycle when they show their student ID.
- A referral program that allows students to save money or earn free washes by recruiting their friends.
- Special discount days such as Free Dry Fridays or Student Sundays.
Partner with the university.
You should take advantage of what the university has to offer to help get word about your business out to students – especially toward the beginning of each semester when new students are coming in. Many universities love partnering with local businesses and want encourage students to engage with the community, so they’re usually more than willing to accommodate you. You could consider things like:
- Advertising with the student newspaper, radio station, or television station.
- Sponsoring a university event.
- Partnering with a sorority, fraternity, or athletic team.
- Exhibiting in the student union during open house times.
- Posting flyers and coupons around campus.
- Including coupons and information in welcome packets for new students.
Contact the local university to see what options might be available for local businesses like yours.
Show your school spirit.
Much like a sports bar emphasizes athletics and popular teams through its decor, you may want to try tying your laundromat’s design to the university. You could try painting your business the school colors and showcasing school pride through banners, posters, and memorabilia. With proper permissions, you could also incorporate the school’s name, mascot, or logo into your own branding, including exterior signage, loyalty cards, and other items you may sell (such as laundry bags, soap, and boxes).
Start a student-focused blog or vlog.
Many college students are venturing out on their own for the first time. Without mom and dad around to help them, they may be struggling to figure out how the washers and dryers work, what settings to use, and what type of detergent to buy. By sharing laundry tips, tricks, and advice, you can foster goodwill with new students and help get the word out about your business at the same time. Some young adults may be hesitant to admit they’re not sure how to do laundry, so an ongoing blog or vlog (video blog) that answers common laundry questions may be a good start. You might also want to try an on-site “Laundry 101” training workshop for students to attend at your facility and get familiar with equipment and services.
Go beyond laundry services.
Many laundromats are finding that simply offering quality laundry equipment isn’t enough for them anymore, and they continue to find new and creative ways to better serve their customers and increase profits. Hybrid-laundromats – like laundromat-bars and laundromat-cafes have seen success around colleges and universities. Students love the convenience of being able to get coffee, snacks, or alcoholic beverages while waiting for their clothes to dry. While additional services require more money, time, and management, they also allow for additional revenue opportunities for business investors like yourself.
Of course these are just a few of the ways you can help spread the word about your laundry business around campus and market your laundromat to students. At Martin-Ray Laundry Systems, we’re here to help investors in the coin laundry industry improve their business in whatever ways we can.
Not sure if students are the right market for your business? Contact us today and let’s talk!