Maximizing The Functionality of Your Laundry Room with Quality Service
Have you ever experienced the disaster that is trying to do laundry in a poorly managed laundry room? Perhaps you were a college student that had to fight for that last functioning laundry machine, or maybe it was that time you spent at a rickety apartment building. Whatever the story is, one thing remains certain.
If you have ever experienced a laundry room that was poorly managed, you already know that it is a nightmare. It reduces your laundry room’s functionality and also can seriously drag your name through the mud. (After all, who wants to go to the laundry room that never seems to function? No one!)
Being a business owner means that you need to be aware of the reputation of your laundry room—and its functionality. If you haven’t already, it may be time to look into making your laundry room more hospitable with a little service.
Service can come in a wide range of different forms.
Before we begin talking about how to max out your functionality, you have to remember that service can come in a wide range of different forms. The most important ones can be found below:
Repair and maintenance service. Nothing is worse than going to a laundry room, only to discover that most of the machines are broken or poorly maintained. Having a regular service and repair schedule for your commercial laundry equipment isn’t a maybe. It’s a must!
Laundry detergent sales. Most people have gone to a laundry room only to realize they’ve forgotten their detergent or dryer sheets. This type of service can help prevent a botched cleaning trip and keep clients happy—if your clients are typical families, anyway.
Childcare. While this is not a common service, it’s true that most hassled parents would love to have someone keep an eye on their kids while they do laundry. In most cases, parents are fine with just having somewhere that their kids can play in, too.
Security. If your laundry room is in a private community, this is generally not an issue. However, rougher neighborhoods may find it to be a service that’s worth paying for. At the very least, CCTV installation should be considered.
Food service. Everyone has had a moment where they wanted a snack or a cold soda while they did their laundry. You might as well consider having a small cafeteria where people can kick back and relax.
Wash and fold. If you have a company that is specifically dedicated to catering to your clients (such as an ultra-luxe apartment or a hotel), you may want to consider hiring people to do wash and fold services for them. This may include things like free laundry pickup and delivery to their room. It’s not cheap, but it’s a good choice if you want to stand out in a crowd.
How do you determine which services are important for your laundry room?
Not all laundry rooms are going to operate by the same means. A laundromat that is open to the public is never going to be the same as that swanky hotel’s laundry room. A hospital’s laundry room is never going to be the same as a laundry room dedicated to specialty clothing keeping.
Here’s our advice for figuring out which services you should include:
1. Before anything, you need to make sure that you have repair and maintenance services.
It doesn’t matter who you cater to. A laundry room that doesn’t have repairs and maintenance on a regular basis will quickly become useless. Even the best machines break down. You owe it to yourself and your clients to make sure that when they do, you’ll fix them fast.
The good news about this is that you can usually get affordable laundry room management services as part of a package deal. (Smart O Mat offers world class repair and maintenance work at a decent price, by the way!)
2. Once you have gotten maintenance out of the way, it’s time to consider your clients.
Ask yourself who will be using that laundry room. Will it be parents in a busy apartment building? Will it be your hospital’s staff, or workers in a hotel? Who you are going to be letting in there matters just as much as the type of machines that you are going to be putting in there.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which services you want to have:
Would you feel safe using the laundry room? If you are a single woman or a teenager, would you feel safe using the laundry room at night? If not, you may want to get security or a key card access.
Are you likely to forget your laundry detergent or dryer sheets? This obviously won’t be an issue if you are a hospital or hotel. However, if you’re an apartment owner, then the people using your room could end up being forgetful. Having a laundry detergent dispenser or a soap shop can help.
Is there a chance that you will bring kids to your laundry room? Parents who are in need of laundry will often have no choice but to bring their kids in tow. This is why it may be wise to have some type of childcare or child services nearby.
Would you have the budget to ask for laundry on demand? If your laundry room is in a very upscale hotel, then you might have some international businesspeople who may be too tired to actually do their own laundry. This service would become very popular with them.
Would you want to get a snack while you get your laundry done? If the people using the room are employees, then this doesn’t matter. If your clients are going to be the ones using the room, then you may want to consider having a small snack bar.
3. Figure out which services you want to automate!
Technology is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? It’s true. You can automate a lot of the services that you want, which can help reduce your overhead significantly. This can be easy to do with the right accessories, especially if you decide to get them restocked on a regular basis.
Some of the best ways to automate service in your laundry room include:
Getting a vending machine stocked with laundry detergent, soaps, stain removers, and dryer sheets. Let’s face it. Every single person out there has gone to a laundromat and realized that they forgot something vital. This is a must-have for people who want to bolster their sales and also keep clients happy. After all, no one wants to have to go back home (or to a corner store) to get detergent.
Installing CCTV cameras and access control systems. This is a smart way to make sure that you get the security you need and minimal problems. In some cases, your insurer might also offer you a discount for having these on your property.
Getting a vending machine with sodas and food. It’s true. Vending machines are popular because they serve a purpose. Even the most stringent of dieters will have a moment where they want a soda, a bag of chips, or even just a box of mints.
Putting a small (safe) play place for kids nearby. This should still be in the same room as the laundry room. It helps keep parents close by.
4. Figure out which “extras” are worth a human touch.
You don’t have to have all the bells and whistles in a laundry room all the time. Sometimes, you just need one really nice perk to make it all work out.
For example, if you are a hotel, using the laundry room to run a special laundry delivery service to VIP rooms makes a lot of sense. This is doubly true if you’re a megaresort prone to getting a lot of travelers.
That same perk wouldn’t make sense if your property is using a laundry room to launder sheets in a hospital. In that case, there’s almost nothing that you really need to do aside from hire people who are specifically dedicated to laundry batches.
On the other hand, if you have a very large apartment building with a communal laundry room, adding a small cafeteria or playplace makes sense. People will want to get a break while they launder and talk with neighbors.
5. Determine the best way to manage any services that you can’t or don’t want to automate.
A full-service laundry room is a great choice for people who want to offer the best that money can buy. It’s the easiest way to get people to trust your property, enjoy your brand, and also recommend it to their friends.
Of course, maintenance and repair are often outsourced to a laundry room management company. But, what about the other types of jobs that could be required?
If you want to add a small laundromat shop or cafeteria, it may be better to hire someone on your staff for this. Thankfully, this can be a simple hire. Retail employees are easy to find.
People who are in charge of childcare can often be hired by an employment agency. You can also hire someone in-house. It’s up to you to decide which is best for your situation.
You may need to have two or more people for a pickup/drop-off laundromat service. This may require a little more advising and planning to pull off. In some cases, a smart laundry management company can point you in the right direction and offer pointers.
If you are going to have vending machines, you may have to find a company willing to restock it. You also may have to choose the products that you want to sell. Some communities have preferences that are fairly pronounced, despite it being “just laundry detergent” or “just snacks.”
If you want to get an interactive CCTV service or a security service, you may need to talk to your security providers. Most major buildings have a security system installed. Call the company that put that system together.
At this point, you’ll get a better idea of what it will cost for each service you want to add to run. This can help you make the final decision on whether it’s a worthy cause or not. If it fits your budget and makes fiscal sense, then by all means, go for it!
A surprising amount of this work can be done for you with the right laundry management group.
If you are new to owning a laundry room, you are going to have a hard time seeing all the different aspects of running one. You’d be surprised at how much you can overlook, even in the simplest of plans.
That’s why one of the best things you can do for your profits and your clients involves reaching out to a company that creates laundry plans for commercial buildings. They have the experience, knowledge, and equipment to ensure that you maximize your profits and functionality.
The more functional your laundry room is, the more people will want to use it. The more people want to use it, the better a reputation your property will have. The better a reputation you have, the more money you make. It’s just that simple!
Need to get a better hand on laundry?
Putting together a laundry room may seem simple, but it’s not. You need to have an ally that will work with you through the planning phase and also help you determine your best course of action.
At Smart O Mat, we make it easy for you to create a laundry room that works seamlessly with your business. Whether you’re an apartment building, a hotel, or something else entirely, we are here to help you out.
Don’t waste time wondering how you can maximize your profits. Give us a call, and let us guide you through the process. You will love the way we work with you.