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When it comes to investing, there’s no such thing as no risk. But if you’re looking for a low-risk venture with minimal oversight and high ROI, vended laundry could be your answer. 

How can owning such a business be low risk? The short answer is that laundry is one of those tasks that will always need to be done. Essentially, it’s recession-resistant and the type of business that stays consistent – if you want to do your own laundry, the only option is to use a washer and dryer. And with urban areas and development continuing to grow, the self-serve laundry market remains in demand.




Beyond the low risk, there are a lot of other reasons to choose commercial laundry as your investment. Let’s start with your ROI possibilities. The return on investment for successful stores varies, but most identify an annual range of between 20% and 35% on cash invested. This cash-on-cash return is one of the most appealing reasons to get into the business according to existing laundry owners.*



Management flexibility is also a key incentive for potential investors. You can be as hands-off or as hands-on as you want with the day-to-day operations. Although having some involvement is recommended for the best chance at success, there are definitely thriving owners who choose to keep their full-time jobs and use commercial-laundry ownership as a source of additional revenue generation. Whichever method fits your life best, successful ownership is achievable.


Speaking of flexibility, something else to consider is that you’ll be able to set your own operational hours. Obviously, the longer your store is open, the more opportunity you’ll have to generate business. And given that large staffs aren’t required to run this kind of business, longer hours won’t greatly increase labor costs. In fact, you could even choose to keep your business open 24 hours and have it function as unattended, although employing an attendant or two during some business hours could add profitable options such as laundry drop-off.

Added Convenience


In addition to the flexibility, there’s an attractive convenience factor that comes with owning a laundry business. 


Customers pay upfront when using traditionally vended machines, which means that any costs and account responsibilities associated with card, online, and mobile payments are eliminated. Beyond this, the need for minimal to no inventory helps further decrease the overhead needed to properly run a vended laundry facility. 




Recent improvements in washer and dryer technology maximize profitability and flexibility, adding to the practical benefits of a vended laundry investment. Although upgrading to new equipment up front isn’t always necessary and could seem costly, the increased efficiencies will provide a competitive advantage while any utility savings will boost your bottom line.



Once you’ve made the investment and developed a profitable system that works for you, there’s great potential for growth in expanding into multiple locations. Even if it might be down the road, knowing that there’s a strong possibility for additional proven-model opportunities is yet another reason to go all-in on that initial laundry venture.


*Wallace, B. (2018) Getting Into the Laundry Business [Webinar]. 

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