When you take on a project like a vended laundry there are many factors to take into account, but perhaps one of the most basic ones is advice.
It is essential to find out about the sector in detail, as well as the different areas of which it is made up such as legal aspects and the features premises or the location must have, when you are planning to open a vended laundry. For this reason, it is always a good idea to get good advice in order not to make mistakes that can lead to legal and economic problems that can obstruct or considerably delay the launch.
Advice does not mean a single type of advice but being able to depend on specialist teams to help you at all the different stages.
First of all, our advice is to have someone you can depend on to help and support you throughout the process of preparing the business, but also throughout its life cycle.
Knowing about the necessary permits, legal conditions and limitations; in short, all the details necessary to be able to prepare, convert (if necessary) and launch your vended laundry.
Registering for taxes, and for the local business rates, city works permit, drawing up a fire prevention plan, getting a tax number and registering your business or applying for a business activity licence and so on. Not forgetting to carry out the necessary projects to get licences and permits, like electrical and gas installations (if necessary), building or refurbishing work if necessary, and the project plan describing the business to be carried on: location, facilities and floor place, among others.
Another key point is finding out about the sector and assessing the viability of the business. For this a series of studies need to be conducted:
Business plan: we assume that everything is fairly clear in your mind and you see the laundry as a reality, but it is essential to put it down on paper and give form and order to whatever ideas you may have. This will be the core of your business, with the path it is to follow, so you must be clear where you want your laundry to go and how to stand out from the competition.
Study the market and competition: find out how many laundries make up your direct competition, their strong points, their activities, their location, the number of machines they have and what type, the added services they offer, their opening hours and prices, their washing programmes and so on, and compare them with one another to become familiar with your market.
Viability study: before embarking on a business venture of this kind it is necessary to prepare a viability study to confirm that it is in fact a profitable business. Taking as a starting point the business plan and variables like market prices, extra services, the number of machines and potential customers, the economic viability of the business should be estimated on the basis of costs (fixed and variable) and income to determine how long you will take to recoup the investment and know whether your business is profitable. This will take into account your initial investment (what you spend on the machines you buy, building work, payment station, furniture, installations and so on) and your monthly or annual costs, both variable (the water and electricity used by the machines, the detergent used, gas if necessary, etc.) and fixed (rent, social security, administration and accounting, advertising, insurance, flat rate for electricity or wifi, etc.) and these costs are compared with estimated revenue for your business according to the price you set, the clients you expect, cycles and extra services, to determine profitability and how long it will take to recoup your investment.
Choosing the right premises in the right area and distributing space in the most efficient way are matters of no little importance.
To get your choice of site right, the key is to know what you want for your business and decide the size and location of premises in accordance with this. Once you have done this it is time to prepare the plans for the size and distribution of space to make the most of it while offering your clients maximum comfort.
Drawing up these plans depends on many factors. The possibilities of the utility installations (water, electricity and gas) and the number and size of the machines are two of the main ones.
It is not easy to follow this whole procedure successfully and this is why at Girbau we offer our clients comprehensive advice on the whole process.
Just as it is very useful to prepare a business plan, it is also worth drawing up a marketing plan setting down the path to follow in this area.
It is essential to plan a strategy determining the actions to take to achieve targets in terms of visibility and attracting potential clients. These actions might include creating a website, on and offline advertising, creating a brand, events and so on.
And you shouldn't forget value-added services for your business. There is a wide variety of these and there is constant innovation. Today many vended laundries implement the so-called Profit Plus Kit to offer an extra service (extra wash, spin or dry), vending machines selling both food and drink and wash-related products (detergents, fabric conditioners, bags to carry linen and so on) or ozone cabinets for disinfecting non-washable items, as well as vacuum packing machines (very useful for duvets or blankets, for example).
How to add value to your vended laundry is a very broad field and up to your imagination, tastes, way of doing things and creativity, and it can boost both your profits and your clients' satisfaction.
In this article we aim to guide you and give you the guidelines you need to be aware of the different advice options open to you and which you might need, as they can be very useful to the development and success of your vended laundry. Obviously we cannot show you step by step how to follow the whole process and clear up all your doubts in a single article, but this comprehensive advice service is something Girbau can offer you as suppliers of your vended laundry. So do not hesitate to contact our team of advisers if you have any doubts or you would like to have a preliminary estimate with no obligation.