How To Start A Laundromat Business With No Money

Starting a new business is both an exciting and daunting experience, especially when securing the necessary capital. Did you know that starting a Laundromat business is possible without upfront money?

Even if you’re starting from scratch with no money, there are strategic and manageable steps you can take to launch your venture.

If you’ve been interested in establishing a successful Laundromat business but have yet to figure out where or how to get started, this post is for you. Read on for advice on getting started and resources on everything from finding investors, budgeting tips, marketing plans, and more.

What is a Laundromat?

laundromat is a one-stop shop for all your cleaning needs

For those who have no time to hand-wash their clothes, the self-service laundry offers convenience and flexibility – it’s a one-stop shop for all your cleaning needs. With its coin-operated machines, you can easily clean up after busy days.

Despite economic struggles, the US still has thousands of businesses dedicated to keeping clothes clean, with over 18,000 Laundromats as of 2022. Unfortunately, this number is down from 2021 due to a 2.5% decline in numbers across the country – an indicator that many are feeling financial pressure during these times.

How Much Profit Do Laundromats Make Annually?

Laundromats are big businesses in America, with a nationwide gross annual revenue of $5 billion. These coin laundries can vary significantly from over $50,000 to an impressive one million dollars or higher. And these establishments’ annual cash flow ranges from 15k to 300K.

Laundromats are a sound investment, boasting an enviable 95% success rate and between 20-35% return on initial capital. Laundromats usually provide service for around $2 per wash and offer individual dryer loads for about a dollar apiece.

Laundromats are a good investment opportunity. They generally have low operating costs and can be run with minimal labor, which helps to increase the return on investment.

Typically, laundromats tend to be in high demand, as they provide a necessary service for many people who need access to washing machines.

The cash-on-cash return on investment for laundromats can vary, but 20-35% is a reasonable range to expect. It’s important to remember that the actual return on investment will depend on various factors, including the location of the laundromat, the condition of the equipment, and the level of competition in the area.

What To Consider Before Starting Your Laundromat Business

Starting a laundromat business is challenging. It requires establishing yourself in the local market, considering all of your options for equipment and services, and coming up with a plan to ensure profitability.

If you’re considering this venture, research before leaping. There are many things to consider when starting any business – let alone one as unique as a laundromat.

Let’s explore some of these considerations so you can make an informed decision:


Aim to choose an area without direct competition from other laundromat businesses. Avoid areas populated with young people or wealthy residents – chances are they’re already paying someone else for their washing needs. Instead, look for spots with easy access off main roads and plenty of parking spaces; consider placing visible signs so customers can easily find your shop.

Consider your target audience and their geographical location carefully:

  • Site: Look for the perfect spot with visibility on main roads and plentiful parking. It makes life easier for customers – they won’t have trouble finding your place – this setup could also dramatically increase business.
  • Income: Look for a neighborhood with about 1/3 of the population renting and 40% of households earning less than $35,000 annually. This area provides an opportunity for a laundromat business to succeed.


A distinct service mix is essential when opening your coin laundry shop. Take the time to consider the various services you’ll provide, such as pick-up, wash, and fold or other offerings that will increase customer satisfaction and ultimately lead to greater returns.

Marketing Strategy

You’ll need to devise an effective and efficient advertising plan, so your shop is seen. Developing a website, utilizing digital marketing strategies, and promoting via social media are all great ways to reach potential customers. The average laundry shop earns a substantial profit of up to $7,000 monthly.

  • Media: As with any successful business, choose the right advertising channels and be aware of their effectiveness. Advertising is a great way to attract new customers and boost sales, but it can also be costly. Carefully consider your advertising channels, such as print, radio, and television, to maximize returns.
  • Technology: Invest in quality commercial washers and dryers, easy-to-use self-service systems, and the latest technology for customer convenience. This will help ensure that you have the best equipment to run your shop.


Capital costs include purchasing the building, rent, equipment (washers and dryers), necessary permits, bills, and operating costs. You will also need to factor in costs for advertising and marketing, employee salaries, electricity and water bills, and other expenses.

  • Bills: Monthly bills such as rent and utilities can easily add up. Carefully consider the bills you need to pay, how much they will cost, and how you can cover them. To keep costs down, consider energy-efficient washers and dryers. Make sure you have an emergency fund available.
  • Rent: Be aware of what similar-sized businesses nearby are paying for their rent. When determining your monthly rent, you’ll also want to factor in additional costs such as maintenance fees, insurance, and taxes.
  • Employee Salary: Employees are essential when running a laundry business. Consider the salary you’ll need to pay them and carefully research the local market rate for similar positions. You’ll also need to factor in additional costs such as work uniforms, benefits, and overtime pay.


Research the competition in the area. Analyze their services, prices, and customer satisfaction ratings. Find ways to differentiate your laundromat business by offering unique services and discounts to stay competitive.

Estimated Costs To Open Your Laundromat

 Start-up expenses will put you on your way to generating significant revenue.

A laundromat model is an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to launch a thriving business with minimal costs. Start-up expenses such as equipment and more can be hefty but knowing these upfront investments will put you on your way to generating significant revenue.

Let’s assess the necessary equipment and look at startup expenses so that getting into business is seamless.

Launching a Laundromat? Here’s a Table of the Expense vs. Costs



Security System

$500- $1500

Washers and Dryers

$8,000 – $20,000


$600 to $5,000

Banking ATM

$2,000 to $7,000

Coin Changer

$3,000 and below

Soap Vending Machine

$300 to $3,000


$1,500 and below


$50 – $300

Water Heater

$5,000 to $50,000


$500 and above

Laundry cart


Advertising and Promotions

$2,000 – $5,000


$500 – $1,500

Leasehold Improvements

$5,000 – $15,000

Legal Fees

$2,500 – $3,500

Security System

Laundromats can provide a highly attractive business model thanks to their low labor costs. However, it cannot be ignored that there are associated security risks without on-site staff. To help ensure your laundromat is secure even when no one’s around, investing in an effective digital monitoring system should be considered essential – it’s like having another pair of eyes keeping watch over the premises 24/7.

Washers and Dryers

With commercial-grade clothes washers, laundromats could meet the demands of their heavy daily use. Quality machines are essential to ensure these establishments can offer smooth and efficient service to customers.

Leasing can be a great way to acquire top-notch equipment even if you don’t have the funds upfront. You’ll end up paying more in total, but it’s an effective solution for immediately getting reliable and high-quality products instead of investing all your resources into one purchase.

While not all businesses offer rental and profit-sharing agreements to laundromats, some companies provide this service. Some companies open their doors and welcome these unique deals for those looking for a creative way to make money through rentals

If a laundromat business is not for you, then you can always check out other lazy ways to make money..

Don’t let the exclusive offers deter you; find out if your laundromat business could benefit from one of these lucrative arrangements.

Soap Vending Machine

A soap vending machine might be the perfect solution if you want an additional income stream. Not only is it low-cost to install – from as cheap as $300 (for pre-used versions) up to around $3,000 for brand new machines – but their long lifespan will ensure your investment pays off and keeps giving back over time.

Keeping the machine filled and neat encourages clients to buy your soap when they need to do laundry. This is convenient for them and a great revenue source for you.


An eye-catching sign is the best way to get your store noticed. It’s a permanent marketing tool that communicates crucial information like location and business type and adds an extra chance for branding and advertising.

Passersby will instantly know what you’re all about at just one glance – make sure it stands out among its surroundings so they can’t miss it. Setting up a sign for your laundromat can be expensive; the price tag may range from $500 to upwards of twenty thousand dollars.

Many locations keep their costs capped at $30,000 or below. Exactly how much you pay depends on factors like type, size, and placement – what works for one place might not work as well elsewhere.

Advertising and Promotions

Getting the word out about your laundromat is vital to its success. Consider budgeting for local advertising and promotions and investing in a website. Utilizing digital and traditional marketing tools will help ensure your business is visible in the community.


Laundromat owners should always appreciate the importance of obtaining comprehensive property and liability insurance. Utilize a small business insurer to guarantee full coverage for your establishment, even if you already have an individual provider for other aspects. Protecting yourself against unforeseen loss is essential in any venture.

Leasehold Improvements

These include plumbing and electrical work, painting, building cabinets, or installing fixtures. Make sure you understand the costs associated with these improvements and have them in your budget.

Legal Fees

Legal fees will be necessary to establish the business and obtain the required licenses. These fees should also include attorney costs for drafting contracts, such as leases, and any other documents needed to get the business up and running.

The estimated total cost for this project ranges from $20,200 to a maximum of $46,700 will provide you with the necessary foundation for success; however, keep exploring additional possibilities too. Considering the required startup costs and expenses, can effectively manage the costs and turn your laundromat business into a rewarding success.

Prepare a Business Plan

Creating a comprehensive business plan is the best way to ensure long-term success. It will provide you with an overview of all the required steps for your business, from calculating the costs to evaluating potential growth opportunities.

Your plan should include an introduction, market analysis, operational strategy, financial projections, and other information to help you understand the business from all angles.

Executive Structure

Determine the executive structure of your laundromat business. This includes deciding who will be responsible for decision-making and overseeing operations. Be sure to include the roles and responsibilities of each employee, such as customer service representatives, laundry attendants, retailer buyers, cleaners, and more.


Setting objectives is essential, as they will define the future of your laundromat business. Outline short-term and long-term goals, such as expanding your customer base or increasing revenue. Determine which strategies, processes, and activities you need to pursue to reach these objectives.


Outline how much you can spend on equipment, supplies, materials, and staff. Calculate expenses and revenue, review accounts payable and receivable, and run financial reports to track progress.


Identify what you want to achieve and how you will measure success, such as increasing customer satisfaction or reducing operational costs. Make sure to clearly define your goals and create a plan for achieving them.

Financial Plan

A financial plan outlines your income, expenses, and capital investments. Create a detailed financial plan that includes the costs associated with starting your business, such as equipment, supplies, and legal fees. Make sure to include cash flow projections and other financial metrics that will help you track the progress of your business.

How To Raise Money For Your Laundromat

Opening a laundromat with no funds is impossible for aspiring entrepreneurs. But don’t let that deter you. There are several ways to get the money needed for your business venture if traditional financing options aren’t available.

With hard work and creative thinking, starting up a successful laundry service is within reach:


Avoiding large debt by partnering with investors is a popular way to open your business. However, this means giving up some equity and being diligent in planning your venture’s intricate details, so everyone knows exactly how it will run. Ensuring proper structure for your operation is also essential when working with other stakeholders as part of an investment partnership – making every aspect clear from day one can be invaluable.


For entrepreneurs just starting, business loans can be a great tool to acquire the capital needed to launch their venture – but it’s not without drawbacks. Not only do many lenders require a hefty down payment and solid credit score for approval, these financing options often carry steep interest rates, which could end up costing borrowers thousands of dollars if they fail to repay on time.

Before applying for a business loan, you should ask yourself some important questions:

  • Do I have an achievable plan to make my business profitable?
  • Am I protected against personal liability in defaulting on the loan?
  • Do I have a solid strategy for repaying this debt?


Opening a laundromat as part of an existing franchise can be a great way to get started without much experience – and usually with fewer funds. Franchises allow entrepreneurs to join an established business model, streamlining the process and making it easier to open up shop. However, this option also comes with strict guidelines on running your operation, meaning that you’ll likely have to give some control over your business and operations.

If you’re considering starting up a laundromat, several well-established franchises are available to help get your business. Speed Queen Laundry and Comet Cleaners offer proficient franchise packages with financing options for those looking for assistance in launching their dream enterprise. If you crave convenience, Zoom Express Laundry provides an unparalleled solution to give customers speedy service when cleaning clothes.

Are laundromat businesses profitable?

Starting a laundromat business can prove to be an extremely rewarding venture when done correctly. For aspiring entrepreneurs, investing in a self-run laundry facility could present an abundance of potential for economic growth and personal success.

Nonetheless, before you take the plunge into such an investment, understand the mechanics behind running this type of business and have all of your questions answered about its profitability.

1. What Are the Costs Associated With Starting and Running a Laundromat Business?

It will depend on the size of the facility, the machines and equipment you install, and the amount of money you are willing to invest in marketing. Generally speaking, startup costs can range from $15,000 to $100,000, and ongoing expenses can range from $2,000 to $20,000 per month.

2. How Much Can You Charge for Laundry Services, and What Is the Average Profit Margin for This Type of Business?

The amount you can charge for laundry services will depend on the type of facility and equipment installed and the location. For example, a 24-hour business located in an upscale area may be able to charge more than one located in a less desirable neighborhood. Laundromats can make anywhere from $100 to $600 daily, with an average net profit of around $50 daily.

3. What Challenges do Laundromat Businesses Face, and How Can You Overcome Them?

One of the biggest challenges laundromat businesses face is finding and retaining customers. To overcome this, it’s important to offer various services and amenities, such as free wifi, laundry detergent vending machines, dry cleaning services, payment options like cards or mobile payments, and other customer rewards. Additionally, regularly maintaining and updating machines ensures that customers have an enjoyable and convenient experience when using the facility, encouraging them to return.

4. What Are Some Tips for Marketing Your Laundromat Business Effectively?

Effectively marketing your laundromat business can be the difference between success and failure. To ensure maximum profitability, implement a comprehensive marketing strategy. This should include everything from advertising in local newspapers and magazines to creating a website and engaging on social media platforms. Additionally, offering discounts or special promotions can also be beneficial in attracting new customers.

5. Are There Any Other Considerations You Should Take Into Account Before Starting a Laundromat Business?

Yes – it’s important to remember that the bigger and better your facility is, the more customers you will attract. Investing in quality machines, equipment, and a good security system can help ensure your business runs smoothly.

Creating an efficient customer service system is essential for any business, as it can help you form long-lasting relationships with your customers and boost profits.

Market research and understanding the competition are essential before starting a laundromat business. Knowing what other businesses in your area are doing can help you craft your strategy and ensure success.

Laundromats can be profitable businesses. However, many factors will affect how successful your laundromat is. These include the location of your business, the type and quality of equipment you use, the services you offer, and how well you manage and market your business.

By carefully considering these factors, you can increase your chances of success in the laundry industry.

Why do laundromats fail?

laundromat fails for lack of proper planning and management

Laundromats are a cornerstone of modern society and provide an essential service to many people, yet surprisingly the success rate for these establishments is very low. With proper planning and management, it’s easier for laundromats to succeed within the first few years of opening their doors.

So why do they struggle so much? What can owners do to ensure long-term success?

1. Laundromats Can Be Expensive to Maintain, Especially if They’re Not in a High-Traffic Area

Running a laundromat requires significant upkeep and maintenance, which can be costly if the business isn’t located in an area with plenty of foot traffic. Even after the initial startup costs, owners have to consider the ongoing expenses associated with operating a laundry business:

  • Utilities
  • Repairs
  • Detergents
  • Insurance
  • Salaries for employees
  • Marketing costs

2. They can be a pain to keep clean and organized, which can turn customers off

When customers enter a laundromat, they look for a clean and inviting space. Unfortunately, these establishments attract dirt, grime, and other messes that make customers uncomfortable. Customers may be less likely to return if the space isn’t kept up to a certain level of cleanliness and organization.

3. Competition from Online Laundry Services like Laundrolab Franchise

Online laundry services are becoming increasingly popular and are taking away business from traditional laundromats. If owners don’t take the necessary steps to differentiate their business and make it more attractive, they may lose customers to these online services.

4. Lack of Marketing and Branding

Many owners need to recognize the importance of marketing and branding. They may struggle to bring in new customers and keep them returning without taking steps to advertise their laundromat. It can be hard to stand out from other local businesses without a strong brand identity.

Laundromats are a business with a specific customer base, and they will fail if it isn’t available or willing to use the laundromat. There are several reasons this might be the case – from location to competition to price point – but understanding these factors is crucial for any entrepreneur looking to get into this industry.

Bottom Line

Laundromats may be the perfect business venture for investors who generate a steady income stream with minimal effort.

Several financing options are available that make launching a new location possible without breaking the bank – from joining an established franchise for help or finding other like-minded partners who want to join forces.

With these resources, entrepreneurs have never been better positioned to experience financial success through owning laundromats.

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