Back to School- Laundromat Owners Edition: 4 Things You Need to Know as College Student Go Back to School

Summer is coming to an end. That means that educators and students all around the country are getting prepared to come to school. The back-to-school season is also a busy period for laundromat owners. Thousands of college students will be bringing clothing, bedding, towels, etc into dorms, student housing, and apartments around the country. All of that laundry combined with the increased focus on cleanliness and sanitization due to COVID will have a significant impact on your business. As we prepare for the start of the school year, here are some facts and figures about college students and laundry that you should be mindful of – and what they mean for your business.

 

College Students Spend A Lot on Laundry 

Students, like everyone else, have a lot of laundry. According to Affordable Schools, most washers and dryers cost $1.50 for each use. Doing laundry a few times a week can cost college students between $9 and $12, plus the cost of detergent and softener. That’s a lot of washing – and money!

back to school- laundromat owners edition: 4 things you need to know as college student go back to school 1

How does this affect my laundromat?

While university sizes vary, the main idea stays the same: if your laundromat is close to a university or student housing, those students represent a large prospective client base. If you haven’t previously done so, you should focus on attracting college students to your laundromat and paying attention to their needs.   While on-campus laundry is convenient, a quick Google search will reveal plenty of troubles that students face when doing laundry on campus, such as crowded laundry rooms, or students wanting to “social distance” and not used shared spaces during COVID, stolen clothing, and machines that are down or out of order.  Having a nearby alternative option like a laundromat could be a great solution. 

The figures mentioned above don’t include the income generated by soap dispensers, food and beverage machines, and other items typically seen in campus community laundry rooms. There are a variety of ways your laundromat can do to attract college students and pick up additional revenue. 

College Students Are Very Active and Busy 

There’s no denying that everyone is busy these days. While this is true, many people may not know how busy college students are. In general, full-time students take 12-18 credits every semester. On top of class, there are hours of homework and studying, averaging 30+ hours of school-related work and studying every week. In addition to their full-time schooling, students are also juggling internships, volunteering, and campus extracurricular activities to pay for their expenses, get work experience, and find a career after graduation.  According to a Citi Survey, the average college student works 19 hours a week, and more than 60 percent of students participate in an internship or co-op program during their back to school- laundromat owners edition: 4 things you need to know as college student go back to school 2college careers.

How does this affect my laundromat?

Due to their busy schedules, students don’t have much time to launder their garments. Laundromat owners that recognize the student lifestyle and strive to make the procedure faster, easier, cleaner, and more convenient will have the best chance of targeting this demographic.

Consider changing your laundry hours to accommodate students who only have downtime before class or late at night after work, volunteering, or sports. The experts at AAdvantage Laundry Systems advise adding student-friendly features like extra table space, vending machines, and a good Wi-Fi connection so they can study while doing their laundry. Dexter commercial washers and dryers are also known for their and quick cycle times, which may be appealing characteristics to highlight in your marketing efforts geared toward busy college students.

College Students are Tech Savvy 

College students nowadays are “digital natives,” having grown up in a world of technology, the internet, and convenience and accessibility. When it comes to technology, they’re at home, which means they’re comfortable checking things up on their smartphone, posting on social media, and downloading and paying with an app. Fun fact: according to Pew Research Center 77 percent of Americans go online every day, and almost 30% “nearly continuously” due to smartphones and connected apps. back to school- laundromat owners edition: 4 things you need to know as college student go back to school 3

How does this affect my laundromat?

Despite the benefits, many small biz owners are still hesitant to build websites and embrace social media. In fact, less than ⅔ of small businesses have a website, but 70-80% of consumers research a company before visiting or making a purchase.  A good web presence is essential if you want to attract more students and turn them into long-term, loyal clients. If you’re currently engaged online, it might be time to consider boosting your online Google or Facebooks advertising budget and/or expanding your social media participation.

Laundromat owners may also wow and keep students by incorporating technology into the washing experience. Card and app payment methods, for example, Dexter Live or CCI enable students to pay without carrying cash.

College Students are Cash-Strapped 

Many students struggle to make ends meet when working part-time. They have a low income and must pay tuition, rent, and other everyday costs. According to recent statistics, the average student loan borrower has more than $37,000 in student loans when they graduate.back to school- laundromat owners edition: 4 things you need to know as college student go back to school 4

How does this affect my laundromat?

Students enjoy opportunities to save money and cut expenditures as they work hard to make ends meet. That means they’ll appreciate loyalty programs and punch cards that allow customers to earn free wash and dry cycles at your laundromat.  Student-focused promotions and events that offer them discounts and advantages are another excellent way to engage them.

Of course, goodies and giveaways, such as branded pencils, notepads, and can cozies, are always appreciated. Students will instantly help boost brand awareness for your laundromat when they use the free swag.

Students are obviously a fantastic target market for coin laundry operators, but they don’t just take their business anywhere. If you truly want to attract local college students and become their preferred laundromat, you have go above and above. Please contact us if you need additional ideas or want to learn how we can assist you better serve students and others in your target market. We are certain that we will be able to assist you, so please contact us whenever you are ready!