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Buying a launderette

Interview with...

Dave Defusco
Age:
46
CV:
Previously managed a car-wash business
Business name:
Wash Concepts Ltd
Goods/services:
Coin-operated laundromat
Location:
Oxford, Pennsylvania
Trading for:
11 years

Dave Defusco on what to look for in a laundromat for sale...

"I looked for a certain demographic; I prefer to be in lower to middle income areas. Also, something very important to me was the density of rental properties in the area.

"In terms of the actual property, personally I like bigger laundromats with more space. In this particular site we were able to have 50 washers and 50 dryers so that's what I was looking for."

On the importance of employing staff...

"When we took over the site it was unattended. I have since renovated the laundromat and employed full-time staff and it's the best thing I ever did.

"On a busy Saturday, for example, you could walk in and the place would look like the end of the day, with dryer sheets on the ground, spilt soda and people having trouble with the machines and no one to help.

"You can't underestimate what's going on when you're not there. I couldn't be there all the time but it's more than paying for itself having employees in the laundromat."

It can be a good thing if it's tough to get water rights in a certain area because it means less competition

Advice for prospective buyers of laundromats...

"My advice varies depending on your location. Where I am, securing water rights was the biggest hurdle.

"You really have to do your research on whether you can get the rights to use the local water facilities. It can be a good thing if it's tough to get water rights in a certain area because it means less competition.

"Another big piece of advice would be: preventative maintenance. Don't wait until things start to break down. Go through a checklist.

For instance, make sure the dryers don't collect any lint and check your drain valves before they get clogged. Preventative maintenance is the key."

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