By Wally Makowsky | Apr 04, 2011
I’m considering expanding my coin laundry staff beyond just my wife and me. Can you give me any tips about locating and attracting potential employees?
As long as you and your wife are still attending the store, you’re probably not in a great hurry to find attendants. This is an advantage because it enables you to wait for the right type of people to hire.
The most effective method for attracting attendants is in-store signage. Hang attractive, legible signs in your coin laundry’s front window. Be sure your signage can be read from the inside of your store, as well as outside.
This is the best way to attract people who live in the area, especially those who are already customers of yours and, as such, are already familiar with your business. You probably have several customers who are looking for either part-time or full-time work. Typically, in such cases, you’re getting a person from the neighborhood who already knows many of your customers and potential customers. In addition, such a person will tend to be more reliable, because she won’t have to travel a long distance to get to work.
I own a coin laundry in a shopping center, and the store next to mine recently suffered a major fire. Although my laundromat didn’t sustain any direct fire damage, the fire spread to a common attic, and I did suffer major water and smoke damage. Do you know of any way to get rid of the smoke smell in my dryers?
Your best bet is to remove as much of the dryer as possible and wash it down with warm water and an odor-eating product like Febreze. Then, rinse with fresh water. That’s really the only way to eliminate the smoke smell.
It very difficult to eliminate all of it, because you can’t strip down the entire dryer. However you can get to the basic areas like the drum, the inner drum and near the burner area. That’s about the best you can do. Be sure to consult your manufacturer or local distributor before attempting to disassemble the dryers.
Utility costs are killing me. In addition to purchasing newer, more energy-efficient equipment, I’m considering using solar power to heat my water and help me conserve energy. What are your thoughts on this technology?
I would definitely look into solar technology to help you heat water at your laundromat. I have some customers who have saved a good percentage on their natural gas bills by installing solar panels to pre-heat their water. The systems definitely work, and they definitely save money in most sections of the country.
My experience has been that a small system, which consists of eight to 12 solar panels, can produce a minimum of 500 to 700 gallons of hot water a day. When you take into consideration the fact that most of your larger frontloaders use only 15 gallons of hot water, you realize you’re getting a lot of free hot water.
A solar-assisted lighting system is another area to consider. Many states are currently installing such units along their highways; during the day, the solar panel builds energy for use at night. It can work for your self-service laundry business, too. I don’t suggest this for direct, interior lighting. However, it might save you some money when it comes to lighting up the exterior of your store or your parking lot at night.
Of course, as with all major business purchases and renovation projects, do your homework. Be certain that you’re dealing with a company that has a solid reputation, regarding both its products and its after-sale service. Also, be sure that solar-powered technology is something that makes financial sense for your particular operation.