Is Your Laundromat Scaring Away Potential Customers?
We focus a lot on improving the inside of your laundromat and installing new equipment, but today we’re encouraging laundromat owners and investors to take a good look at the exterior of their building. Is it actually a place you’d want to visit? Does it stand out from competitors and nearby businesses or just sort of blend in? Is it reflecting the values and style of your business or does it look run down and outdated? Could it use a little TLC? The fact is, customers are going to make snap judgments before they ever step foot in your laundromat. The last thing you want is for the building itself to deter potential customers! Let’s take look at a few of the things you can do to make your laundromat more approachable, eye-catching, and appealing to patrons.
Cleanliness & curb appeal
We’ve talked a lot about cleanliness inside your laundromat, but it’s equally as important outside — if not more so. The outside of your laundromat is the first thing potential customers see, so you want to make a good first impression. How your laundromat looks from the outside is perceived as a direct reflection of how you value your business and customers.
With all that in mind, make sure outdoor cleaning and maintenance tasks are included as part of your regular routine. That may mean cleaning glass doors and windows, emptying outdoor garbage cans, picking up trash left in the parking lot, and keeping snow and leaves off sidewalks and pathways. You might also want to consider sprucing up the outside of your building with planters, benches, and other attention-grabbing details.
Without good lighting, customers may think you’re closed. People often look for lights in the parking lot, store windows, or even a neon open sign as an indication that you’re open for business. Lighting is also crucial to preventing injury. Without lights, it’s difficult to see pedestrians walking around the parking lot. It’s also harder to see tripping hazards such as cracks in the sidewalks, potholes, or ice.
During the evening, take a few minutes to double-check the lighting in your parking lot and the exterior of your building. If it is too dim or there are lights burned out, consider replacing the bulbs, using higher watt bulbs, or adding additional lights to brighten up the space.
Signage & visibility
Signage is an important part of the exterior of your laundromat. Without clear, visible exterior signs, it’s possible that your laundromat will go unnoticed and customers may miss it entirely. A unique and easy-to-read sign is especially important if your laundromat is in a strip mall or busy area surrounded by other businesses so that it stands out from the crowd and draws in customers. Along the same lines, you want to be sure your exterior signage and laundromat branding reflects who you are as a laundry business. It can be jarring and off-putting for customers when the color scheme, logo, and branded signage on the exterior of the building doesn’t reflect what they see once they’re inside.
Be sure you’re investing in your laundromat’s exterior signage and consider updating it if need be, especially if it doesn’t reflect your current branding and ideas. Adjusting the location of your signs to make them more visible from roadways and parking lots is also a great option. If you’re using a message board sign, be sure words are spelled correctly and that it’s updated frequently to reflect your current promotions and pricing.
Lack of adequate parking can be a huge deterrent for customers. If your parking lot is always full or hard to navigate, customers may leave or opt for a competitor next time they need to do laundry. Unfortunately, there’s often not much you can do about parking once your laundromat is open and operating as space for expansion and budget may be limited. That’s why parking is a key factor to consider when picking a laundromat location.
If parking is an issue, adding details about parking on your website and social media channels can help give customers a heads up about nearby street parking and parking ramps in case they need them. Offering discounts, special promotions, and using advanced technology to attract more customers and to regulate customer flow can help to minimize parking issues during busy times.
If you have other questions regarding your laundromat, the experts at Martin-Ray Laundry Systems are here to serve you! We service laundromats and laundry businesses around Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, west Texas, and western Nebraska. Contact us today to learn more!
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