10 Ideas for Your Laundromat Grand Opening
Opening your new laundromat or expanding your current business is an incredibly exciting time. You've researching, planned, and invested, and now it's finally a reality! There's only one thing missing – your customers! Throwing a special grand opening celebration can be a great way to create buzz for your new business, foster customer loyalty, and set the stage for future success. Here are a few tips that can help make your laundromat's grand opening 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 (like radio, TV, and print) 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 cool prizes from local businesses
- Free wash/dry coupons for attendees
- Free shirts, hats, totes or other branded swag
Be sure that these freebies and incentives are included in your advertising and promotional efforts to help grab attention and create excitement.
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 set up. Customers 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! The best part is, they're not too difficult or expensive to create. All you need is a camera, tripod, and few fun props (think hats, boas, pompoms, etc.) from the local discount or thrift store. You can then post the photos on social media or have people share their photos and tag you. Either way, it can encourages attendees to follow you and interact online. You can also use the images in your marketing efforts or as decorations around the laundromat.
5. Do a demonstration.
You know all about the cool laundry equipment and features at your laundromat, but your 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 that 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/or phone number, you'll be able to connect with your customers long after the event is over through social media advertising, 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, plain and simple. 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 is it 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're very connected to the community in which you serve. 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 attendees up 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!