10 Ideas for Your Laundromat Grand Opening
Updated May 31, 2022. Opening your new laundromat or expanding your current business is an exciting time. You've likely put in a great deal of research, planning, money, and time to make this moment a reality. Throwing a grand opening celebration can be a highly effective way to start your business on the right foot by creating buzz, fostering customer loyalty, and setting the stage for success. Here are 10 ways to help make your laundromat's grand opening celebration a success:
1. Advertise your grand opening heavily.
In order for people to come to your event, they have to know about it. That's why it's important to promote and advertise your grand opening as much as possible. While traditional advertising channels (hyper-local radio, TV, and print ads) are great, don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Passing out flyers, partnering with local businesses, online marketing, and social media advertising are just a few cost-effective ways to reach people. Keep in mind who your ideal customers are and think about what promotional channels are most likely to reach them.
2. Give away free stuff.
As cool as your laundromat may be, people generally want some incentive if they're going to give up an afternoon or evening to attend an event. That's where free stuff can come in handy. Everyone loves free things! You may want to try:
- Free food and drinks
- A giveaway/raffle with interesting prizes from local businesses
- Free wash/dry coupons for attendees
- Free shirts, hats, totes or other branded swag
Be sure to mention these freebies and incentives in your advertising and promotional efforts to help grab attention and increase attendance.
3. Book some entertainment.
Entertainment can be another great way to get people in the door and keep them sticking around. What form of entertainment you choose will vary depending on your budget and who you're trying to attract. Young adults and college students may like live music, a DJ, local radio station or even some video games, while families with small children may enjoy more family-oriented activities, like face painting, crafts, or a bounce house. As an added bonus, music and activities can help draw in foot traffic as people are walking by or visiting a nearby location.
4. Try a photo booth
Photo booths have become staples at parties and big events. Kids and adults love them! You can rent a professional photo booth or create your own with a camera, tripod, and a few fun props from the local discount or thrift store (think hats, boas, pom poms, funny glasses, etc.) Post the photos on social media or have attendees tag your business in their posts to help increase your online visibility. This also encourages attendees to follow your business online, offering you a free channel to keep in touch with them.
5. Do a demonstration.
You know all about the high tech commercial laundry equipment and features at your laundromat, but your potential patrons probably don't. Today's laundry equipment is more technologically advanced than ever before, which can be intimidating for new customers. Your grand opening event can be a great time to host a demonstration showing how to use the washers and dryers and highlighting the unique features your customers will love, like card payment systems and special machine controls.
6. Have a sign in sheet.
While it may seem overly simple, requesting that attendees sign in is a great way to kick start your marketing efforts and build a relationship with your customers. By leaving their name, email, and address, you'll be able to connect with your customers long after the event is over through email blasts, and mailers. By continuing that relationship, they'll feel more connected to you and your business and are more likely to choose your laundromat over another.
7. Get your local Chamber of Commerce involved
Your local Chamber of Commerce is all about helping small businesses succeed, so they're a great resource to have on your side. From holding a ribbon cutting ceremony to sharing information about your event in their newsletters, emails, and online platforms, they can help generate buzz for your event and be a long-term advocated for your business.
8. Introduce yourself and your team
People like to do business with other people — not a faceless company. In today's online and fast-paced world, that often gets lost. That's why it's so important to start putting a face, so to speak, to your business. During your grand opening, you should take the time to introduce yourself and your team to as many people as possible, share the story behind your business, and get to know your customers on a personal level. Not only may it be fun to meet your customers, but that face-to-face, human connection will help people feel emotionally invested in your business and keep them coming back.
9. Give back to the community
Most of your laundromat customers live within a mile of your business, so you already have a strong connection to the community you'll be serving. With that in mind, your grand opening is a great time to give back and foster good will with patrons. When promoting your event, encourage attendees to bring in non-perishable items or old clothes in exchange for coupons, prizes, etc. and donate the items to local shelters, food pantries, or thrift stores.
10. Entice customers to come back
Of course the main goal of any grand opening event is to get people excited about your business and turn them into loyal, long-term customers. Passing out coupons for free wash and dry cycles, signing up attendees for loyalty cards, highlighting upcoming special events, or even a simple “See you soon!” can encourage people to return to your laundromat in the days and weeks to come. It never hurts to follow up with a thank you card or email message either!
We hope these tips help kick start your laundry business with a bang. It's an exciting time, and we wish you nothing but the best on your journey! The Martin-Ray team is here to help every step of the way – from laundromat design ideas to new laundry equipment. Contact one of our experts and let us know how we can help!