We have numerous commercial accounts at our laundromat. Commercial accounts provide a substantial boost to our bottom line and are consistent. They are difficult to acquire. I have been approached by consultants, equipment manufacturers, washing machine distributors, and numerous laundry owners on how to attract these coveted commercial accounts. Here are some excerpts from a recent conversation.
"The website is going to be your lowest cost method that will work for you 24/7 and is included with your Curbside Laundries software subscription. The key is to increase your 'domain authority' so Google is more likely to refer your site when people ask for commercial wash and fold services. Once your website is up, let me know and I will send over some documents to enhance your web presence with referral websites. That's going to be your best return on investment, because you take those steps once and then you don't have to touch it again for awhile.
On your website, you want to use pictures of the final product, because photos communicate faster than words. Show your audience professionally packaged and folded laundry. If you do pickup and delivery, show pictures of your delivery vehicle. These demonstrative photos should also be used on referral sites, such as Yelp!
The second way of driving more traffic to your website is using Google Ad Words. You can set a daily limit as to how much you want to spend and what key words you are going after and then your ad will be at the top of the search results after people type things in like, "Wash and fold".
We have tried a lot of things off line, like door hangers, postcards to businesses, and even hired telemarketers to businesses, but those things did not pan out. The website and online advertising works. It took us a lot of investing in different approaches to figure that out. You can save a lot of money just by copying what worked for us.
The commercial accounts do take longer to acquire, but they primarily shop online, not by driving around.
On a side note, one thing that is of value to a lot of commercial accounts who drop their laundry off at your store is our software's 'Express Pay' feature, where you can keep the company credit card on file. That way an employee of a company can drop off the dirty laundry at your laundromat and they don't even need to have the company credit card in their possession, since you have it on file. We have a client in Seattle doing this very successfully and she says once customers use Express Pay, they keep coming back and more often and spend more."
Wash and Fold Consultant
"Matt is right on when it comes to the commercial accounts. Prior to our website having a dedicated page for commercial laundry service, we might have had a couple accounts that learned about our commercial service somehow. After the website our commercial accounts have slowly and steadily grown to where it now runs about 25% - 30% of our total wash and fold business. For us it is a niche type of customer that has too much laundry worth doing themselves, but not enough that it warrants using the large uniform companies and leasing linens. In addition to the website, we have a separate digital marketing campaign dedicated to advertising for commercial laundry. We don't budget a lot for that as it doesn't generate a whole lot of traffic, but our website is what we rely on the most to find new accounts. I usually receive 1 new inquiry a week and sometimes as many as 6, but not all are qualified or pan out."
Wash and Fold Consultant