Growing Your Customer Base: How to Attract Students to Your Laundromat

how to attract students to your laundromat

If your laundromat is located near a college or university, it’s important to design and market your business accordingly. Many students live on campus or in nearby apartment buildings without in-unit laundry equipment, and by catering to their unique needs and preferences, you can become the campus laundromat of choice and increase your revenue considerably. Here are a few tips to help attract students to your laundromat:

  • Provide a Studying Sanctuary. With boisterous roommates and noisy neighbors, college students need a quiet place to study and do their homework. Make your laundromat a homework haven where they can clean their clothes while completing their assignments, and you’ll win loyal customers. All you really need to make it happen is free wi-fi, but if space allows, you can also dedicate a nook to studying by including a few tables with chairs. Consider providing study snacks and energy drinks in a vending machine to help incentivize students while providing an additional revenue stream for your business.

  • Offer Entertainment. On the other hand, when students need a break from studying, your laundromat can be the place to go. Leave the studying to the library and offer a fun escape instead. From video games and old-fashioned arcade games to stand-up comedy and live music, offer attractions that make doing laundry more fun.

  • Split Your Space. You don’t have to commit to providing either a study space or entertaining venue. To have both, just set a schedule and split your time. On certain days of the week or during certain hours, enforce quiet time; on the other days or hours, encourage socialization and provide entertainment.

  • Don’t Assume All Students Know How to Do Laundry. First-year students may be living on their own for the first time in their life, and may not have much—if any—experience doing their own laundry. Post simple instructions and infographics on posters around your laundromat to help laundry novices feel more comfortable.

  • Include Wash, Dry, Fold Services. Most students would strongly prefer to have someone else wash and fold their laundry for them. If you can offer this service at a price students can afford, they’ll flock to your laundromat. Some parents may even be willing to pay for this service for their children in order to help support them from afar, so don’t automatically assume that it’s beyond their means.

  • Consider Extended Hours. Between classes, social activities, and part-time jobs, students may have erratic hours. Consider offering extended hours of operation or even keeping your laundromat open 24/7 to accommodate irregular schedules.

  • Leverage Student-Specific Discounts and Promotions. College students are notoriously strapped for cash, so help draw them in with student-specific discounts and promotions like a decreased rate with a student ID or Free Dry Fridays. 

  • Show Some School Spirit. Decorate your laundromat with school colors to help appeal to spirited students. You can also get permission from the college to display their mascot, logo, and other marks in your business.

  • Give Payment Options. Convenience is key, so go beyond coins by offering a variety of payment options, including a change machine, credit card reader, and mobile payment app, like DexterPay. This is particularly relevant for attracting students, as most young people tend not to carry cash.

  • Implement a Loyalty System. Keep customers coming back with a loyalty system, where students earn free dry time, laundry soap, or other incentives after a certain number of visits. Digital punch card systems, like DexterPay, are ideal because customers won’t forget or lose their cards.

  • Be More Than Just Another Laundromat. If space allows, consider turning your laundromat into a value-added hybrid business by adding a cafe, bar, or even a gym. Not only will this will help attract more customers, but it will also provide an additional revenue stream for your business.

  • Get Social. Whether your laundromat is a homework haven or a hip hang-out spot, connect with students and let them know what you have to offer. Get active on social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, to help potential customers get to know your business. Social media is easily the best way to promote your business. Not only is it inexpensive, younger generations spend hours each day on social media sites so you’re meeting customers where they are. 

Whether you’re considering opening a laundromat near a college or university or looking to attract more customers to your existing facility, Worldwide Laundry can help. Contact us today for expert guidance designing your laundromat, offering the best equipment mix, marketing your business, and more. 

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