View Full Version : which state/city is best growth market?
06-28-2004, 03:44 PM
I'm here in New York City. It seems the coin laundry market here is totally saturated and competition is rough (city block by city block). I'm thinking of buying a mat in the 150k range, and am willing to relocate. Can anyone recommend a growth market for me to consider? What do people think about the NYC market? Thanks for helping a noob!
06-28-2004, 09:12 PM
Saturated is an understatement, however, i am from the NY area and with a little patience you can find an opening. With enough good common sense and marketing I believe good things can come through.
Question: Do youn own a mat?
I am in the process of signing a lease on 1800 sq ft. Contractor is reviewing cost. I have another location in the Bronx with a couple of issues but I am sure it can be resolved. If you're interested in a partnership I know of one other gentleman who has the additional finance to pull it off. me I am strapped with (2) investment properties and this mat I am working on. Fill me in.
06-29-2004, 12:15 AM
my e-mail is email@example.com. Can you drop me a line to discuss?
I don't yet own a mat. So you're building a mat. Why did you choose to build over buying an existing mat? That seems a bit riskier to me, especially when you're just starting off in the industry.
Hope to hear from you.
06-29-2004, 12:38 PM
I am not building a mat I am leasing 1800 sq ft for 15 years with a 5 year option. The cost so far is an average of $61 a sq ft just for construction. I am doing demographics to determine my mix of equipment. At that point I will have a better handle on my overall cost.
Post a little background on yourself, if you're looking for partner we would like to hear more.
06-29-2004, 03:49 PM
Well, it's a little strange to do this in a public forum, e-mail might have been better, but what have I got to lose.
I'm 34, NY-admitted mergers & acquisitions lawyer with 10 years of experience, have about 300k in savings on hand, with no debt and excellent credit. I also have possible access to about 500k more through my family, but I don't really want to tap that unless absolutely necessary. Being a lawyer, I have no previous business experience, but I have lots of experience doing financial valuations and business analysis using MS Excel from my days as a strategic management consultant. I've been doing massive research into the coin laundry biz, with lots more to go. I plan to either start a solo NY law firm or get a hedge fund analyst job on Wall Street soon (I'm currently with a law firm). I'd like to acquire coin laundries in the NY metro area as an investment, as my money is currently in a savings account. If things take off, it could become my main line of activity. But for now, I'd like to take things slow by starting with 1 mat.
I think mats producing 20-25% ROI are pretty darn attractive, particularly compared to bonds, stocks and real estate. I realize it'll be lots of hands on work (someone described mat owners as "highly-paid janitors"), but that's not a problem for me. I love the entrepreneurial aspect to it, and have always wanted to get into business for myself (I've read most of the Robert Kiyosaki books, have other small business DIY books all over the apartment).
At this point, I'm just looking to exchange ideas with people, maybe help each other out. Maybe it could develop into something.
Anyway, that's about all there is to me.
Wow, Rockefella! Except for being old enough to be your father, we seem to have arrived here by much the same path. Sounds like we have similar financials, plus:
<ul type="square"> <font color="blue">no previous business experience</font color> (Not much, anyway.)
<font color="blue">business analysis using MS Excel</font color> (An invaluable tool for analyzing laundromat performances.)
<font color="blue">been doing massive research into the coin laundry biz, with lots more to go</font color> (Exactly.)
<font color="blue">mats producing 20-25% ROI are pretty darn attractive, particularly compared to bonds, stocks and real estate</font color> (Same conclusion we came to.)
<font color="blue">I've read most of the Robert Kiyosaki books</font color> (Same here. Have played all the Cash Flow games, too.)
<font color="blue">just looking to exchange ideas with people, maybe help each other out</font color> (Same reason I'm here. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif )
Thanks for sharing.
06-29-2004, 10:49 PM
I hope you guys did not learn this info from seminars!~
I have owned mats for many years, I would take your wall street paycheck in a heartbeat and be happy to vacation in europe or wherever when my 2-4 weeks came up. I do not have the degree to the big money you have. THIS IS NOT an investment business!! It is a mom and pop industry and if you don't have YOUR mom and pop working for you than all that 20% plus return is spent on payroll. Good luck, and cancel your vacation plans for the next 5 years or so..@~!
06-30-2004, 02:30 AM
Pete is right. This business can give you a real good return on your investment IF you are the one doing the work. And the work is 7 days a week, every week.
If you hire someone to clean and do the maintenance then your return on investment isn't so great.
Understood, Pete and Duane. I sure hope I didn't give the impression that I'm a know-it-all, or that I'm expecting a cakewalk. My wife and I have talked to a number of local laundromat owners as well as our CLA rep, and I've been following this forum long enough to know that what you say is absolutely true. We've also spent many a weekend in active laundromats, observing the real-life "glamor" of running the business.
Our business plan calls for our store to be open 16 hours a day. Our operating budget includes 8 hours of daily paid attendant time, 7 days a week. Additionally, my wife and I will each put in 4 to 6 hours a day. Adjustments will be made as the flow of business becomes known, but every hour we are open will be attended, one way or the other.
I'm a very hands-on kinda guy and fairly mechanically inclined. My distributor rep is already coaching me on maintenance issues, and I'm okay with cleaning toilets. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
I realize that inexperience most certainly makes us naive to some extent, but we're doing our best to overcome that. Talking to you guys is a step in the right direction. Your comments are appreciated. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
<font color="blue"> I would take your wall street paycheck in a heartbeat and be happy to vacation in europe or wherever when my 2-4 weeks came up </font color>
I can't speak for rockefalla, but I can tell you that that sure ain't the life I've been living. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
After some 25 years in the computer/software industry, I had reached the lofty position of "middle management". That means I was stuck in between the executives (the ones who really do vacation in Europe) and the squabbling masses who grudgingly did the actual work. During my last 7 years in Corporate America I was not able to take a single vacation. It was never a "convenient" time for the company (always a pending deadline, always another fire to put out).
My wife was on my case to find another line of work, since I was putting in 12 to 14 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week. I had a constant parade of programmers through my office, needing help with this and that, complaining about their salary/workload/seating arrangement, etc. Between that and the inane meetings, I could never start my real work until after normal business hours.
The pay and the benefits were okay, but if I did my job well and put out a successful product, the big bucks went to the company owners and major stockholders. The typical reward for me and my team was a free pizza lunch. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif The only way my wife and I were able to put away a nest egg at all was by living frugally and getting lucky on a couple of investments. I'm still driving a 20-year old pickup truck and we don't eat out except to take the kids to Wendy's once in a while. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
I eventually left the corporate world and took on consulting work, which wound up taking even more hours with fewer benefits. Our investments were mostly tied to the stock market and weren't earning squat, so after much research we decided to put it (and ourselves) into small business, and here we are.
Thay's probably way more than anybody here cared to know, but if the notion was that we're coming from a life of luxury, or that we don't know what hard work is, I just thought I'd share the rest of the story. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
07-01-2004, 03:36 AM
harv, it sounds like you have done some foot work and soul searching, it may help you beat the odds. what CLA does not tell anyone is that this business is one of the most popular ones to get into, yet only 80% make any money. And out of those only about 1/2 are really good mats. Building new can cut that in 1/2 again. Makes some of the wall street flyers look tame! I do hope your venture turns out well, it is not easy like build it, they will come, sometimes they do not come.
Thanks, Pete. I value the advice of you laundromat veterans more than you can know.
We know we're not looking at a sure thing, but we're doing everything we can to hedge our bets. Reading the discussions here has been a tremendous help. This place is sort of a behind-the-scenes look at what running a laundromat is really all about.
You guys should write a book. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
07-06-2004, 03:19 PM
It sounds to me that you are a very hard working man. I currently am not a laundromat owner but my place of business Paradigm Technologies Corp. developes software for launfromat owners as well as Route Operators.
When LaundroTech was developed it was developed specifically for laundromat owners. Here is a quick overview of one of our product that will help you save money.
PLACE ORDER BEFORE AUGUST 1ST AND RECEIVE A $50.00 DISCOUNT
How are you today? My name is Michelle.
LaundroTech 2.0 is our new release that was released June 2004. We have an ad located in the American Coin-Op as well as the Journal magazine. Paradigm has attended the CLA show and the MLA show each year. We will be there this month so hopefully you will be attending.
LaundroTech 1.5 was our first release, back in June 2003 and LaundroTech 2.0 was released the beginning of this month. LaundroTech was specifically designed for Laundromat owners to assist them in managing and evaluating there operations. You can manage all your collections, service, water consumption analysis, contact info screen, report listing, revenue, expenses and best of all our new interface to QuickBooks (optional). With the QB interface you can import all your current accounts and export all revenue, expenses and reports.
LaundroTech 2.0 is the version I believe you have all been waiting for: LaundroTech 2.0 has many new and outstanding features.
WASH, DRY & FOLD, is the feature a lot of customers required. Within WD&F you can do everything even print your tags.
ATTENDANT STATION, you can now sign in and out your attendants as well as assign and schedule daily tasks for them as well as yourself.
POINT OF SALE.....This module has touch screen compatibility, cash register.
Improved QuickBooks interface (optional)
More analytical reports
Now, this is only a few modules that Paradigm has added into our new version. I would like to send you a free information package on our product so you can get a better understanding of exactly how laundroTech can help you manage your Laundromat. Paradigm is currently looking for Beta testers for this new product. Becoming a beta tester means that we require individuals to help us test. If you decide to become a beta tester not only will you be able to see and play within the product it can help you make the decision to purchase LaundroTech.
Now there are no stings attached to helping us but our current customers are the ones who gave us feedback to create and insure that all our customers as well as potential customers had a software product that did everything to keep there world going to their satisfaction. If this is not an interest to you that's okay too.
Paradigm has a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you or any other customers are not completely satisfied we will refund you your complete amount of the product.
I hope this has helped you in having a bit of understanding of our new product but the main reason for why LaundroTech was developed was so that at the end of the day you can see how much money you have accumulated as well as SAVE.....
I appreciate your time and interest in LaundroTech 2.0. Please take your time reviewing this information and I would be more than happy to send you an information package.
I can be reached at (416) 661-6676 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org from Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:30pm.
07-06-2004, 10:20 PM
Why do these people keep posting ads in discussion forums??
Your ad has nothing to do with the discussion topic. If this is a legitimate business, then you should contact the CLA and place an ad on their website or in the monthly Journal. This kind of forum highjacking does nothing for the credibility of your business. It's on the same level as SPAM!!
07-10-2004, 05:01 AM
With NYC it is not so much as the market being tight as with landlords that just do not want mats in their buildings. If there is a mat already there, chances are the landlord probably owns it.
The other situation is location. You didn't say where in NYC, but in Manhattan prices per square foot are going through the roof. Even a dark, dank basement store will run you about $4,000 or more per month in rent. Rent is what is chasing most stores out as they simply cannot make their monthly nut with sales per square foot. Even if you are the only mat within an area, you can only charge but so much. Don't forget there are tons of drop off stores like "All Washed Up" that do fluff and fold by the pound.
Case in point there was a huge mat on the corner of East 82nd and Second Avenue, been in that location for ages. Lease finally ran out and the mat was gone. Owners just couldn't come near the rent the landlord was asking. IIRC the place is becoming a donut store.
Now in Staten Island, I see mats popping up all over, and in pretty upscale areas along Victory and Hylan Blvds. Never seem them there much less any where on the Island except in poorer areas like West Brighton and Port Richmond.
NYC landlords also are not giving long leases either. If you can get 5 years you are lucky. Consider also if there is a clause about anything bolted or attached to the floors/walls or ceiling becomes the landlords property, you may just be building your landlord a mat.
Can tell you several areas of NYC that seem to be starving for a mat, but either landlords won't take em, or the rent is just too dear. What have we got then? Nail salons, tons and tons of nail salons. Some times two or three on a block; across the street from each other, around the corner from each other and so on. How they all stay in business is beyond me, but when ever a store closes 7 out of 10 times the new place is a nail salon.
The trend I'm seeing is less and less mats, and more drop off/laundry by the pound stores, especially in Manhattan. When I pass a mat, it is mostly young adults just out of college or older adults doing laundry. The professionals come in and pick up their wash order from the fluff and fold counter, and go.
Instead of going for just a mat, why not consider buying a small building? Ok I don't know all your finances, but in NYC it seems the only way you are going to be assured a shot at a long tenure at the same location. You can always build up the business and sell it on, collecting rent instead of doing the laundry.
08-03-2004, 11:21 PM
This is EXACTLY the kind of detail that I love to see on the site. Please keep your personal stories coming!
08-04-2004, 09:51 AM
I am not a mat expert by any means but I agree with the previous post about the city. For sure it is getting out of control. Not sure exactly what area you are planning but the city be careful. Here is an examlpe....my brother many years ago opened up a mat in Harlem with a lawyer partner. My brother also was a big contractor in NY. you are talking about 2 smart guy's. Lost a fortune! Built this with the latest machine, huge place ,blah ,blah ,blah. To make a long story short it was the landlord that messed them up with regards to the rent and then the city deciding to start construction on a particular bridge that was near by which cut all access. in NYC all T's have to be crossed. The drop off I would think also would be better if you were in the city. If I could afford to live in the city then I would think I could afford to NOT do my own laundry. Understand my point? Within the state I think it is the residental water amounts. With all other monthly bills people are trying to cut there budgets and since usually both parents need to work in order to make their bills this could be there reason why mats are opening in areas that never saw them before like in those areas of Staten Island.
08-04-2004, 03:27 PM
Not a bad posting we have here.........
Manhattan is streched beyond belief and the whole reals estate market for laundromats is fierce. I am in the process of opening a Mat and from all the postings I consider myself lucky. I am in Manhattan, 1800 sq ft @ $2250/month, 15 year lease w/5 year option. Plenty of apparent business in the area.
I can only say that i did a lot of searching and aggressive "selling" of my idea on how important it was to the community especially compared to bodegas.
For those of you who are still looking the outer boroughs may possess more interest but again you need to really be serious and hustle. Good Luck