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July 24, 2012 - Karl Hinrichs from HK Laundry Equipment explores the advantages and disadvantages of showing the Dollar amount to start a washer vs. showing just the Number of Quarters to start the same washer. This video tries to expand the traditional thinking of the Laundromat owner from showing the washer vend price in Dollars & Cents and suggests that by showing the # of Quarters to start the washer. By shifting the focus from strictly vend price to other more important issue such as the Laundromat Amenities (like: safety, security, cleanliness, Air Conditioning, great attendant, Big Washers etc...), then vend price becomes less of an issue. The goal of every Laundromat is to be a Price Leader in your market place because then vend price is not the reason why people will visit your Laundromat. A price leader can charge above market vend prices and make more money. The price leader shifts the customer focus to the features and benefits of their Laundromat and away from strictly price. Changing to # of Quarters starts to shift the focus away to the benefits of your store.
July 23, 2012 - Hybrid Card Systems for Laundromats function by accepting Coins and/or Credit Cards (and Debit Cards) to operate the machines. This is the ultimate of convenience for the customer because at the machine the customer can swipe their Credit Card or use quarters to start their washer or dryer. Hybrid Card Systems are modular and can be installed on just your biggest (high vend price) washers and dryers or you can outfit the entire store with the Hybrid readers. If you do convert the entire Laundromat to Hybrid Card readers you then have 100% audit-ability where you can see both the revenue transactions for both the Credit Cards and also the Coin transactions for the entire store. Along with a lot of advantages of this system there are also some dis-advantages mostly about still having to still deal with quarters. Quarters require bill changers (and back-up bill changers), counting depositing or the purchasing of replacement quarters. The Hybrid Card Systems are gaining popularity and definitely have a place in the Laundromat market. Will they replace the 100% Card Operated Laundromat; No. Are they the cheapest alternative to have an audit-able Laundromat; yes. It will be interesting to see how the market accepts the Hybrid Card systems and how they will evolve and grow as the market matures.
July 23, 2012 - First impressions are everything and this video reveals chronic problems in a poorly run Laundromat and what the customer see with their first impressions. In this video a poorly operated Laundromat is revealed and critiqued by Karl Hinrichs of HK Laundry Equipment. This video shows the 4 main characteristics that customers look at when visiting a Laundromat. This is an extreme situation where a Laundromat is operated this poorly. Luckily our industry has better operators than this store. Hence "The Laundromat from Hell".
July 23, 2012 - 19089462664e38afa00eda6 large 8430655314e3ab15fe4e09 large 9409137224e3ab0e9ee48c large Why would someone spend an extra $50-70k to make their laundry store a Card Operated Laundromat? What are the advantages or going all Card Operated in your Laundromat and what are the dis-advantages? Inquiring minds want to know. Coin Operated Laundromats have been around since the beginning of Laundromats. Once Laundromats started to become chain operated business with over 15 store you needed very Trusted employees (to handle the cash) or you limited yourself to about 15 stores (because that is all you can physically handle as one person. With the advent of the Card operated Laundromats now you have 100% audit-ability and now there is no limit to the number of cash Laundromat you can manage & operate. Also with bigger and bigger Laundromats more time was being wasted on just "processing quarters". With Card Operated Laundromats now you can focus on running and managing your business rather than being a slave to the change. Card Operated Laundromats are here to stay in the vended market place, but there is still resistance to the cards. In talking to most Laundromat owners they feel the non-english speaking customers can not grasp the concept of cards. From my own first hand experience, the hispanic population embraced the card operation faster and with less reservation than the "anglo's". Who knew???
July 23, 2012 - What are the Characteristics that make Good Successful laundromat? Customers will usually travel up to 15 minutes in any direction to go to the "Best" Laundromat. What are the characteristics that make "The "Best Laundromat"? Safety & Security are paramount; if customers do not feel safe in your store they will never come back and they will go elsewhere. Cleanliness is also very very important. If the store is dirty and it smells funny, customers will go elsewhere and spend more money to wash at a cleaner store. Convenience is also important. The convenience of Easy-In and Easy-Out is very important. Plenty of parking spaces and the closer the parking is to the front door the better.
February 17, 2011 - In a previous article, Is Now the Time to Increase Your Vend Prices[/resources/articles/1-is-now-the-time-to-increase-your-vend-prices/], I showed that from 1997 to 2010 that the average washer vend prices kept ahead of inflation but fell behind to the cost of Natural Gas. I also stated that we should be using the Laundromat's cost of Utilities as the basis for increasing (or decreasing) our vend prices. We need to use all of our "overhead" costs to set our base vend price but any adjustments to our vend price should be made using the costs of utilities. In the purest sense, our customers are purchasing our utilities; they are renting our machines, but they are purchasing water, sewer, gas & electricity.
February 17, 2011 - From my previous articles, Is Now the Time to Increase Your Vend Prices[/resources/articles/1-is-now-the-time-to-increase-your-vend-prices/], hopefully you realize that you need to bring your commercial laundry vend prices into line with what is a fair and reasonable profit. But how high should I raise my vend prices? How much for each machine? Should I raise my Washers & Dryers at the same time? How do I go about determining what a fair and reasonable vend price actually is? What are the mechanics of evaluating & raising my vend prices?
January 6, 2011 - Coin Laundry Equipment The financial health of any business is revealed by financial statements, both income & balance sheets as prepared by your accountant. The financial health of any Laundromat can be expressed with five sets of numbers. There are five sets of numbers that you should know cold for each of your Laundromats. These numbers reflect the profitability of your business; compare the profitability of your Laundromat to other laundry stores and also give you a benchmark value of your coin laundry business.