Once you have decided to open a vended laundry, one of your most important tasks is to draw up a business plan for your laundry. This will enable you to take the right decisions on the basis of an exhaustive analysis of all the factors you have to take into account.
Below you will find the essential points you must include in the business plan for a laundry.
This first section must specify all the information you have gathered from your market research. You can include graphs or tables to help you assess the size of the market, trends, the different models that exist and their peculiarities.
Next, you should describe what your vended laundry will be like. You can do this superficially, as you will be going into more detail in the following sections. In fact, the business concept is under constant review until the business plan for the vended laundry is finished.
In this section, you will consider everything to do with the immediate environment of your vended laundry.
This is a key factor in the success of your vended laundry. You should consider carefully which part of your chosen locality is the best place for your laundry.
Some factors to take into account include: the absence of competition, the type of clients you want to attract, the popularity of the area, the number of inhabitants and ease of access.
Consider your main competitors carefully. You will need to know what services they offer, what kind of clients they have and how they promote themselves.
Quantitative factors such as prices, opening hours, location and accessibility of competing vended laundries are essential to give an idea of what margins you can work within, how to position yourself and find ways to boost turnover or margins.
This information will be the key to differentiating yourself from them, and especially to offering a better service.
It is important to define the type of clients you aim to attract. On the basis of this you can decide which services best meet their needs. It will also help you to create an image for your laundry that will attract their attention.
The SWOT analysis will enable you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your laundry business as objectively as possible. You will also focus on the opportunities and threats before you.
The strengths and weaknesses are defined by the approach and resources of your laundry.
When considering opportunities and threats, the information you compiled in the analysis of the competition will be very useful.
This is information that summarises at a glance the essential points you should bear in mind in constructing your strategy, which comes in the next section.
The next section of the business plan consists of drawing up a strategy to steer your vended laundry towards success.
It is a matter of considering different possibilities to finally set down the key decisions that are right for your laundry. Below you will find the most critical points to bear in mind.
In the laundry business it is essential to choose reliable, robust, easy-to-use, efficient and highly durable machinery.
There are different suppliers. Among them, Girbau stands out for its long experience in the business and solid reputation.
In any case, when assessing the machinery for your vended laundry, try to focus on quality and efficiency, even if this means investing a little more at the start. This decision will boost the profitability of your business in the medium and long term.
On the market some vended laundries are franchises, while others are not, because their owners prefer to run the business completely independently.
Both these options have their advantages. You will have to decide which match your interests best.
There are many services that can be included in a vended laundry.
This decision is based on what you found to be lacking in your area and on what your client profile might need.
Services worth considering might include the following:
home collection and delivery
lockers to leave linen and collect it later
higher-volume washing machines and dryers for blankets, curtains, duvets and the like
While some services might involve higher costs, they also differentiate you from the other laundries in your town and increase the laundry's revenue by a large percentage.
The next step is to decide what your premises should be like, especially as regards their size, design and functions.
It will also be important to specify the opening hours, as well as whether staff will be needed and what profile they should have.
In this section you will plan what you are going to do to publicise your vended laundry. Describe in detail what media you will use and what budget you will assign to this.
Welcome offers and loyalty bonuses can encourage many people to bring their linen to your vended laundry and end up becoming regular clients.
Finally, you must list all the costs involved in opening your business.
In this section you will specify all the start-up costs:
Building and installation work
Design of the premises
Paying a deposit or buying the premises if necessary
On the basis of this information, you can then analyse how it is to be financed. Take into account the savings you have available and, if necessary, the loan you need and the best options to apply for it.
Next, you should list all the fixed costs (overheads). In general, the biggest expense will be on rent and staff, if you need them.
Other overheads you need to consider are utilities, marketing, your self-employed social security contributions and administration and accounting services.
If possible, you should estimate variable costs.
It is also worth estimating the profits you expect to make. You can make estimates taking into account the number of clients you might have in the best case scenario.
You should also assess less optimistic scenarios. Like this you will find out what your profit margin is and the minimum number of clients you need to have every month.
This will enable you to set targets and devise strategies to achieve them.
Return of investment
The final step consists of calculating the return on investment. You can estimate how long it will take to recover your initial investment and what level of profits you expect to make in the medium and long term.
Vended laundries generally recover the investment in about four years. However, it is difficult to give hard figures, because every laundry is different and the figures can vary widely between them.
If you need more personalised advice to draw up the business plan for your vended laundry, the best option is to seek advice from experts in this sector.
After many years helping entrepreneurs to succeed in the vended laundry business, Girbau can give you specific figures and plenty of advice to aid you in drawing up a business plan for your vended laundry and turning it into a successful business.