Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts of your plan.
Your Executive Summary should quickly grab the attention of the reader. Tell them what kind of laundromat services business you run and what stage it is in. For example, are you just starting out, do you have a laundromat that you want to grow, or do you run a chain of laundromats?
Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that comes after this one. For example, you could give a short summary of the laundry business. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of the people you want to reach. Give an overview of how you plan to market your laundromat. Find the most important people on your team. And give an overview of how you expect your finances and sales to go.
In your business analysis, you will explain what kind of laundry business you have.
For example, you could run a traditional laundromat with washers and dryers that people pay to use. Or, you could offer services like “fluff and fold,” where your staff washes and folds your customers’ clothes. This laundry and folding service could also pick up and drop off at your home or office. Make sure to look into all of the dry cleaning and laundry services that could help the people you want to reach.
In the section of your business plan called “Company Analysis,” you need to explain what kind of laundromat you run and give some background on the business.
Include the answers to things like:
- When did you start the business, and why?
- What big steps have you taken so far? You could use sales projections, goals you’ve reached, the opening of a new store, etc. as milestones.
- Your legal business structure. Is your business set up as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Tell us about how your legal system works.
In your analysis of the laundry business, you need to give an overview.
This may seem pointless, but it has more than one use.
First, learning about the laundromat business gives you knowledge. It gives you a better idea of the market you’re in.
Second, market research can help you make a better plan, especially if it shows you market trends. For example, if fluff-and-fold was becoming more popular, it would be smart to make sure your plan includes this service.
The third reason to do market research is to show your readers that you know what you are talking about. This is what you do by doing the research and putting it in your plan.
In the industry analysis part of your laundry business plan, you should answer the following questions:
- How much money does the laundry business make?
- Is the market getting smaller or bigger?
- Who are your biggest rivals in the market?
- Who are the most important market suppliers?
- What changes are happening in the business world?
- How will the industry grow in the next five to ten years?
- What is the right size of the market? That is, how big is the market that your business could reach? You can figure out such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the people in your area.
In the customer analysis part of your new laundromat business plan, you must explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
College students, sports fans, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc. are all examples of customer segments.
As you might expect, the type of laundromat you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Obviously, baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, different prices, and different product options than teens, and they would also respond to different marketing campaigns.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on their demographics and how they think and feel. In terms of demographics, you should talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the people you want to serve. Most laundromats serve people who live in the same city or town, so it’s easy to find this kind of information on government websites.
Psychographic profiles tell you what your customers want and need. The better you can understand and describe these needs, the easier it will be to find new customers and keep the ones you already have. For example, households in the middle class may value clean laundry more than anything else, while households in the upper class may value convenience more than anything else.
In this section, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.
Other laundromats are your direct competitors.
Indirect competitors are other things that customers can buy besides what you sell. This includes washers and dryers in people’s homes and living spaces (e.g., in college dorms). You should bring up this competition to show that you know that not everyone who needs to wash their clothes goes to a laundromat.
In terms of direct competition, you need to list the other laundromats that you are in direct competition with. Most likely, the closest laundromats to you will be your main competitors.
Give an overview of each of these competitors’ businesses and list their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you’ve worked at one of your competitors’ companies, you won’t know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key facts about them, such as:
- What kind of customers do they work with?
- What kinds of laundry services do they offer, such as self-service, wash-and-fold, dry cleaning, and so on?
- What are their hours of operation?
- How much do they charge (high, low, etc.)?
- What can they do well?
- What do they do wrong?
For the last two questions, try to answer them from the customers’ point of view. Don’t be afraid to stand outside your competitors’ stores and ask customers as they leave what they like and don’t like about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis section is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. As an example:
- Will you provide superior laundry services?
- Will you offer extra services that your competitors do not?
- Will you make it easier or quicker for customers to get your services?
- Will there be a coffee bar or free Wi-Fi?
- Will you treat your customers better?
- Will you price things better?
- Will you give your customers more ways to pay that fit their needs?
Think about how you will do better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.
The marketing section of a business plan usually talks about the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. You should include the following in a good laundromat business plan:
Product: In the product section, you should describe again the type of business you wrote about in your Company Analysis. Then, describe the specific services you will be offering at your laundromat. For example, do you offer services like fluff & fold, dry cleaning, etc., in addition to washing and drying machines?
Price: Write down the prices you’ll be charging and how they compare to those of your competitors. In the product and price sections, you mostly list the services you offer and how much they cost.
Place: This is where your laundry business is located. Write down where your strategic locations are and how each one will affect your success. For example, is your business next to a gym, office building with a lot of people, etc.? Talk about how your location could attract a steady flow of customers. Also, if you run a fluff-and-fold service or want to start one, describe the area you will serve.
Promotions: The last section is about promotions. Here, you will write down how you will get people to know about your business and come to your location (s). You could use one or more of the following ways to promote your laundry services:
- You can bring in more customers by making your storefront more attractive.
- Using social media platforms for marketing
- Using local newspapers and magazines for marketing
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your goals. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two separate parts.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks you need to do to run your business, such as helping customers, getting supplies, keeping the store clean, maintaining laundry equipment, etc.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These could include the date you hope to serve your X,000th customer or make $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or open a new location.
To show that you can run a business well, you need a strong management team. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that show they know how to grow a business.
You and/or your team members should have worked in a laundromat before. If so, talk about your experience and skills. But also highlight any experience you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is missing something, you might want to put together an advisory board. A two-to-eight-person advisory board would help your business by giving advice. They would help answer questions and give advice on how to plan. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have worked in laundromats or who have run retail or small businesses successfully.
Your 5-year financial plan should include a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then an annual breakdown after that. Your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all parts of your financial statements.
A more common name for an income statement is a Profit and Loss statement, or P&L. It shows your income and then takes away your expenses to show if you made a profit.
You need to make assumptions in order to make your income statement. For example, how many customers will you serve each day: 100 or 200? And will your sales strategy help you grow by 2% or 10% every year? As you might expect, the financial forecasts for your business will be greatly affected by the assumptions you choose. Do as much research as you can to try to make sure your assumptions are true.
Balance Sheet: Balance sheets have a lot of information on them, but your assets and liabilities are the most important things to know. For example, if you spend $100,000 building a new laundromat, you won’t make money right away. Instead, it is an asset that you can use to make money for years to come. Also, you don’t have to pay back a check from a bank for $100,000 right away. Instead, you will have to pay that back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of cash.
When you make your Income Statement and Balance Sheet, make sure to include some of the most important startup costs:
- Location build-out, which includes construction, design fees, etc.
- Expenses to pay when starting a new business
- The price of washing machines and dryers
- Cost of things like folding tables, laundry carts, vending machines, counters, and lights
- Cost of goods
- Payroll or salaries given to employees
- Insurance for businesses
- Taxes and licenses
- Legal expenses