This episode of the Laundromat Resource Podcast is probably the most incredible episode you’ll ever listen to. Michael’s story of struggle and sacrifice after leaving the corporate job he hated, only to have to sleep in his laundromat and work non-stop is inspirational. But, the level of detail Michael gives on HOW he 10x’d his business is insane!
Michael takes us through the ads he uses, the strategies he employs, the reason he uses social media (it’s not what you think), why he has a blog, how he gets commercial wash and fold customers, and so much more! He shares slides and screenshots, so check out the video if you want the visuals.
This episode is possibly the BEST interview yet and no matter where you’re at on your laundromat journey, be prepared to get schooled. In this interview, Michael and Jordan discuss:
Links from the show
AtmosphereTV– We’re brought to you today by my friends at AtmoshereTV! Now You may have heard my interview a few months back with Mike Kelly from AtmosphereTV where we talked about what a simple change in content on your TVs can do for your laundromat by getting depressing news stations OFF and something much more fun, entertaining, and family-friendly ON. Since then, Atmosphere has grown to 50+ channels included in their service with everything from Surfing Dogs to Extreme sports, hilarious fails, and jaw-dropping videos from all over the world built specifically for business use. Atmosphere can be used to supplement your cable or you can completely cut your expensive cable bill and use Atmosphere 100% FREE saving thousands a year! Use my code RESOURCE when you check out or click the link or image to have your setup fee waived or contact Mike.Kelly@Atmosphere.tv for more information!
$399 per year
Jordan Berry 0:00
Hey, what’s up guys? It’s Jordan with the laundromat resource podcast is a show 114 And I can’t tell you how pumped I am probably more pumped about this episode than any other episode that I’ve ever had here. This episode is incredible. And I promise a guarantee that if you make it to the end of this episode, your mind will be blown and whether you’re trying to buy your first laundromat, or whether you’re trying to grow your existing laundromats. I don’t care if you have one laundromat, zero laundromats. 30 laundromats, it does not matter. This episode is incredible. Michael is incredible. You’re gonna love what he has to say you’re gonna love his story. But then at the end of this episode, we get into crazy detail about how he went from being homeless and sleeping in his laundromat to doing 40,000 plus a month in his laundromat. So this episode, it’s just detail detail detail if you’ve ever needed to take notes, an episode is this one. In fact, it’s so good. That’s really all I want to say I just want you to jump into this hang tough to the whole end because there’s so much good stuff. And I’m not even going to come in on the back end. Because I just want you to marinate on what he talks about this whole entire episode. So enjoy this. No fat while you’re Fastlane tip today, during the pro community laundromat resource.com/pro Go check it out tons of great perks for being a part of the pro community. But without further ado, let’s jump into with Michael and be ready to have your mind blown. Michael, thank you for coming on the show. How are you doing today? Man?
Michael Jones 1:41
Doing great. Jordan, how you doing? I am doing excellent. Excellent. Excellent. I’m a little bit chilly over here. I gotta be honest, it’s you know, in the probably the low 60s and my hands. I can barely feel them. I don’t know. How are you doing? Same way we got it. Same way. We got it over here on the other side of the country. Where are you located?
Jordan Berry 2:12
Hey, I, we got to chat a little bit. And I’m really excited to talk to you about your experience with laundromats. Because I think you have a really good story to tell. But before we get into your experience in laundromats, why don’t you give us a little bit of background on who you are. And then we’ll talk about how you got into this weird little industry that we’re in here.
Michael Jones 2:33
All right. The first thing I’ll say here is for everybody watching and listening at home, get out a pen and paper, you’re going to be writing down a lot of stuff here. Because Jordan and I are committed to making this the very best episode of the laundromat resource ever. This is going to be very content heavy. This is going to be very practical advice heavy. This is one of those ones he probably won’t be sitting down to watch this one.
Daytona Beach, Florida.
Jordan Berry 2:07
Live in the dream in Florida. I love it. I love it. I’m jealous.
Michael Jones 3:00
Now what was me?
Jordan Berry 3:01
Hold on, hold on, hold on. I just got excited right now because I did not know that you were going to say that and I did not know we were bringing it hard. So I’ll put my game face on. And we’re going for I love it. All right, get your get your notepads out, get your Remarkables out. That’s what I used to take notes. And let’s get this thing going. Okay, so give us a background and then we’re gonna get into it.
Michael Jones 3:22
Alright, so I think probably the part of my story where people will care about our childhood, all that we skip past all of that. I think the part of the story people are gonna be most interested in was what was I doing before I got into laundromats and what triggered the interest in them? So what I’ll tell you is it’s a story of like one of those guys that he had it all but he lost it and then got it all back. And that’s the message of hope for everybody watching it is possible to do that in today’s world had it all well here’s what it is is that was working for one of the most respectable companies and financial services Fidelity Investments at a very respectable job title with them an office with my name on the door. People come in to see me for appointments ask him what to do with their money and everything. We’re not necessarily the corner office but pretty close to it. Live in in very nice apartments and ultimate springs eaten and fancy restaurants and every weekend is live in that life. That’s the single guys dream of going out party and of clubs, dancing or pool parties. It was all fun and games for a long time but I had a realization that that’s this is all great and everything. But in any second, it really can be taken from you can go away because I’m so heavily dependent on my employer. If the wrong person above me or the wrong customer has a complaint. It can all ends man And this lavish lifestyle that I’m used to live in, will disappear. And when you look at these fancy jobs and their salaries and everything, there’s a hidden component that they don’t tell you about. And that’s that the salary is as high as it is, because the expenses and where you have to live to work that job are very high there, too, if you’re making it as I haven’t paid yet, 100,000 that year, but the cost of living in that area is $90,000. But you can see why that is. And you guys, you got to expensive apartments and high gasoline costs, car maintenance costs, because of all the driving you’re gonna have to do in big city, and the groceries and clothes made, we had to look very nice to be a financial adviser wearing the fancy suits and everything. So you spent through that salary pretty quickly, it was already spoken for, by the time you got it. And it’s the hand that feeds that you’re so dependent on. And if one day, maybe nothing bad happened, but one day you stop liking it, which you will, you will get sick of everything and it loses its nuance its novelty, then you’re gonna wake up one morning and be like, Man, I really don’t want to do this, but I’m stuck in this. And I had this the realization a couple of times where the things that I would do for fun, they stopped being fun, I stopped with being able to enjoy them because I stopped enjoying my job and dreaded going back into work because it was the same conversations over and over again, trying to put people through these sales funnels to get them to do a certain thing. And kind of looking at every person as just a number or something that you work this sales funnel template on this scripted conversation on instead of working with people one to one like an individual for their specific needs. There was a boss says you got this product, you got to push push it do whatever you can get the customer to see it your way get it to see a company’s way you get tired of that. And I had the realization one time doing something that I really enjoyed doing on the weekends was just going to the beach, those days where you you go out and you forget what time it is because you have such a good time playing volleyball if your friends or something that you realize what time it is when the sun goes down. But one day, I wasn’t enjoying it. Because as each second passed, it’s ticking and ticking closer to the day and I gotta wake up Monday morning and clock back into this job but I can’t staff and it’s just barely given me enough to cover the bills that I have to pay in order to work the job. Yeah, they say his salary is the drug that they give you the Bakey forgetting to dreams. And it really dawned on me just sitting in my car one day before work listening to that, that Metallica song, I’m forgiven. The lyrics I’ve never listened to before heard the song a million times. I never really listened to the lyrics. And it’s that point where James Hetfield is singing about you they dedicate their lives to run an old his he tries to please them all better man he is. And I was like, it’s incredible. Like he’s described my life to a tee here that’s in this corporate America, polished appearance matrix world that we’re living in everything we do is for other people. And we never really get to do anything that we want to do. And when we get the time to do what we want to do, we don’t really enjoy it, because we’re dreading going back to work when the weekend is over. So I was looking for anything I could to get out of that to get out of the matrix. And laundromats it wasn’t anything special about it’s like you could have sold me business selling sweaters in the Sahara Desert. And if you had convinced me that it would get me out of corporate America, I would have bought it. That’s how unhappy I was at my job. And that’s really what led me into laundromats. First. I wanted to get into the storage business, but the real estate investment trusts that bought up all these storage facilities and driven the price up so high that you got to be a millionaire to buy it. But laundromats was something where it was still kind of a hidden gem at the time back in 2021. When I bought it, it wasn’t as like sought after like it is now because a lot of people have the misconception like oh, how can you get rich with quarters, you’re not thinking about the real stickiness of the business and long term relationships with customers how those can benefit you if you gather enough money, so didn’t really know much about laundromats did tune into many episodes of your show and Dave men’s and some others, but I was totally in over my head no idea what I was getting into. And that’s really the lessons that we’re going to learn today here. But I talked about like how I was kind of thrown into the deep end with sharks because I got five competitors within one mile of the store. I was doing this specifically to get away from corporate America when, while I was doing it, it just made me more dependent on it first, until I finally got my head above water and realized what I was doing. At one point, we got so destitute and so strained for money, that I’m spending money that like majority of my net worth was spent to acquire the business and fix up the laundromats that I bought. A lot of future income was getting spoken for already with credit cards, and business loans. And it got so desperate to the point where I had to live inside my laundromat when the lease on my apartment ended. Because the crazy rental and real estate prices that are going on right now, I could not afford those back then couldn’t take on another lease obligation, especially for a place that I really wasn’t going to be that much I was going to be at my day job where I was going to be at the laundromats fixing things and tidying up making sure everything works doing customer service, bought hook, line and sinker. It’s that misconception that a laundromat can be passive income, it’s anything about the sort unless you have a full staff of employees that are there 24/7 taking care of everything. So I was just so desperate to get out of corporate America blinded by my hatred for it, that I bought into the laundromat business and went into the deep end way over my head, but learned a lot of lessons. And that’s why I’m here today. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Here’s everything that brought me to the point where I was good enough to get on Jordan show and talk to him.
Jordan Berry 11:49
Yeah, well, I yeah, I’m excited to dig into the story. I mean, we’ve talked, you know, before and I know, kind of what you you’ve gone through and you’ve set the stage. Well, I mean, I think so many people who listen to the show, and so many people who should be listening to the show, but don’t yet can can identify with that feeling of I am desperate to get out of my current situation. I don’t like my job. I don’t like my financial situation. I don’t like the feelings and the stress. I mean, I’ve been there. I just I know so many of us can relate with that. And the desperation there. And, you know, kudos to you. I mean, I know you jumped into the deep end and into the middle of a pool of sharks and but kudos to you for for taking some action, right not dying a slow death, you almost kind of put yourself in a situation where you’re gonna you’re gonna swim, or you’re gonna die a quick death and then have to totally restart over and, you know, I I know a little bit about your story, and we’re gonna get into it for sure. But kudos to you for getting into it. So take me back to okay, you’re you’re desperate to get out? How? How did laundromats become the thing that you focused on there to help you get
Michael Jones 13:18
out? Now, I was interested in the idea because I remember at one point when I moved into my first house, I ended up selling this house later. But when I moved into my first house, there was a time in the beginning where I didn’t have work and equipment for washing, washing dryer site visit laundry mats. And as you can just remember thinking, Man, this is a must be a pretty good racket, because customers are coming in the door paying you to do their own work. And you’re just like, Man, I must be a great business like carwash or storage facilities or anywhere else where its customer self serve. And I think that’s probably like where the first seed was planted that had me initially interested in it was looking for all sorts of businesses who, ironically, the laundromat business is nothing like this. But ironically, I was looking for businesses to get away from people. Because people is what was causing all of the headaches and everything that I had back when I was a financial advisor. And the great thing about businesses like parking lots or storage facilities, and everything is said it’s like real estate investing, but without the biggest cause of all the problems in real estate, which is people and
Jordan Berry 14:37
say, biggest cause of all the problems just in general. In the world. Yeah,
Michael Jones 14:42
exactly caused all problems on Earth, people. So I’m just sitting here thinking, No, I’m still going to be dealing with people but I’ll have less interactions with them because they’re supposed to help themselves. The vending machine business. learn the hard way that’s not the case with laundromats but So that was my trigger of interest into it was trying to minimize interactions between me and the customer. Yeah, that
Jordan Berry 15:10
that is I mean, it is funny, because it’s true. I mean, there, there are plenty of laundromat owners that don’t interact with customers very much. But you know, it, it’s a people business, like it’s a community business by and large. And so it’s, it’s a funny, funny way to end up into the business by trying to get away from people when you’re, you know, jumping into a community business there. So, okay, so, I mean, we you were looking at all kinds of different businesses, and just a particular laundromat jumped out or how, like, how did that happen to where you finally were like, Okay, I’m gonna buy this
Michael Jones 15:48
business was completely by accident that I got the one that I did here, because I was living in Altamonte Springs, which is the Orlando area. So I was thinking can I can stay in that area, and still work my day job till the laundromat got busy enough for me to quit my job. And there was one for sale bond, fibers sell that was in Orlando, but it was all a soul, they just had to take the listing down. But the broker I talked to told me about one that he was about to list and put it up yet, that was over in South Daytona, which is here. And that’s, it was a great opportunity, because this is them retooling and completely remodeling. A store that it once was a laundromat, the old owners didn’t keep up with it, the business failed. And the machines were all broken down. So they had to get rid of wall. And they’re going to come in with all new speed Queen machines. And they say this is a good opportunity, because you’re going to avoid a lot of the initial barriers to entry like those, those environmental impact fees. So this would be like the closest brand new turnkey lowest cost store that you could possibly get is either broke or sold to me. As I’m thinking in my head, when I hear the words turn key has just yell on the doors and the customers just come right in. Yeah, but I had no idea like how much more work was going to be involved in it. So I would tell people that it was a brand new store because it had been out of business for a good year before I got take over. And those are good opportunities to look for by the ways, zombie maps that failed or laundromats or things that used to be laundromats that fail and just kind of look at under why they failed. This case, it was just that the old owner didn’t keep up with the machines at maintenance. And when he got five competitors within one mile of the store, you got to be doing that stuff, you got to stay ahead of the curve. And he did. That’s why he’s failed. And it was a good low cost way for me to get initially. But the initial purchase price is not the only price that you pay. At the beginning, you’re going to find all sorts of new costs later on which we did it for all sorts of new things that needed to be fixed are just putting in new machines and new drywall flooring and everything in over my head with that one too.
Yeah, okay. So, so when you when you talk to this broker, and he said, Hey, I’ve got one that I’m listing
Unknown Speaker 18:38
Jordan Berry 18:41
was that one a? Did you purchase it? Or did you purchase the equipment? Like how did that? How did that kind of play out in terms of how you actually acquired the business?
Michael Jones 18:52
The commercial real estate is leased, because it’s in a plaza, and we got a landlord over all the tenants in the plaza. So part of the purchasing the business was entering into a lease with that landlord. And is the distributor, Alliance stapler, statewide or Alliance or it’s both. They’re the ones that sold me the speed Queen machines, the broker, he did more than just sell me the machines and give me the financing. 40 was a really involved and retooling and remodeling of the store. It’s good guy and got electricians plumbers, carpenters to come on out make place look nice and fancy. And I had been kind of working with me one on one a lot to kind of tell me hey, this is what you’re going to be paying for and everything is what you get me into. Still, all I heard was good parts. actively ignoring the bad parts just because I wanted to get out of corporate America so badly. But that’s how it happened there was it’s one of those contracts that you get with the Have alliances to buy the equipments and they get you a location, they install everything and kind of really get you set to go what you’re left with is you got to open the doors, you got a marketplace, you got to operate place. And that sounds like it’s small potatoes, but what you’re what they’re doing for you compared to what they’re handing off to you. It’s incredibly disproportionately heavy on your side. So you got to know that going in here that you never buy a turn key laundromat no such thing as a turnkey businesses in this business. Yeah,
Jordan Berry 20:39
interesting. I like it. Okay, so real quick, I mean, we’re gonna get into when when you first took over and what that was like and what your experience was like. But before we get into that, I think, you know, and I’ve asked this to a couple people before, but I’m curious on your take, because you mentioned, hey, when you decided to buy this business, the majority of your net worth was going towards the acquisition as business and I talked to a lot of people on consulting calls and just kind of in general, who are, like, overcome with fear to take that step to actually do and maybe the beginning of your story is not actually going to help that in a lot of people. Because of, you know, how things kind of went down a little bit, but I’m curious, like, do you for you? Was it just like, straight, like the desperation that helped you overcome that fear of, of investing that money? Or? Or how did you overcome that fear of of saying, Okay, here’s everything I have, pretty much I’m gonna, I’m gonna go all in here with this business. How did you how’d you take that step?
Michael Jones 21:52
Well, the honest with you, there’s a lot of arrogance in it too. Because it was November of 2021. When I wrote the downpayment check and handed it to the broker. I was wind the clock back what was going on in November of 2041, particularly for us guys in financial services. The market was good, then the majority of my net worth that added investments in the stock market, crypto and Bitcoin that was the Bitcoin top was November 2021. Yeah, so I was thinking, okay, that this thing is gonna continue forever here, we’re eventually going to keep getting 20% returns in the stock market, bitcoins gonna go to 100,000. So yeah, I’m in great shape here and everything, write a check to the broker. And then that’s when the decline for both stocks and the crypto markets that I began, and a lot of that stuff, it’s not totally wiped out, it’s just is down so bad here that that didn’t help the situation either, particularly when I got to be writing lots of checks for new carpentry to come in new flooring to be put in and everything. So what I would say to that person who is kind of paralyzed by fear, I will say you need a lot more money than you think you do. Or that they tell you that you do. Whatever they quote you as a total price or a down price, I would multiply that by at least three. And what you really want is to have that money out of investments and set aside safely and cash when you’re ready to buy or the moment you shake hands on the deal, get it into cash there, because you’re going to be spending a lot of it. I was arrogant, made the mistake of thinking, Oh, I know so much about investments. And I’m a financial advisor here, I can leave that money in because I’m a smart investor. But no matter how smart you are, a receding tide is going to put all the chips out there in parallel. So you’re not too good or too smart or anything to not need money. You’re not too clever or too good at negotiation. But price is down everything, to not need money. And that’s a lot like what’s true for for me, and I think true for a lot of people is that just any feels better than spending money because what comes with it is options. What comes with it is freedom. So you want to have a good mattress of cash to lay your head on.
Jordan Berry 24:28
Well, I appreciate you sharing. I mean, that’s a that’s a very vulnerable thing to say to say, you know, I was just arrogant. Like that’s, that’s a tough thing to say. So I appreciate you sharing that. And, you know, for me, like I’ve looked back in in my life, and I have I mean, I when I bought my first laundromat. I was scared and I was nervous and I wasn’t confident that I knew what I was doing. But I was very confident that hey, listen, I’ve read everybody succeed. In this business, it’s almost impossible to fail. And I, I genuinely thought, you know, I am better than most people at most things. And so I’m golden, I’m going to be great. Well, guess what, I lost a ton of money for a long time, and did not know what to do and got humbled real quick there with that first laundromat, and so, but that’s a very hard thing to say and a hard thing to do. So I appreciate you sharing that, because I think that there’s lessons to be learned there for for all of us in, hey, you know, we can’t we can only control what we can control and the things we can’t control. You know, we’re at the whim of, you know, the markets or the crypto market has been beat up real bad. You know, and so, yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. Okay. So when you were you said, yes, okay, man, I’m buying this business. It was not built out yet. Is that the case? Or it was already built out?
Michael Jones 26:06
I mean, the old store structure was there, right? But man, I got I got five pictures of it put like some before picture before after pictures up because it looked horrible. Absolutely horrible.
Jordan Berry 26:19
If you find that, by the way, send those over to me. And I’ll put them up and people can see him on the show notes.
Michael Jones 26:25
Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I will. Just was so outdated, and it can be completely gutted and redone. The nice thing to our last point here is that there’s a little bit of a bias that we fall into that hurts us in the acquisition phase of this is that you only visit successful laundromats if you’re a laundromat customer. And when you’re prospecting them to you think of laundromats you probably only visited successful ones in your life. And so that was your impression of what the business is like, like I when I visited, it seemed packed looked like it was turning a lot of the business over. But you don’t visit the failures. You don’t go to the laundromat graveyard and see the ones that are dying. Because it’s one that you would drive past because you wouldn’t want to do business there anything. So I think that good thing for early education in this business says to find yourself at dyeing laundromat, not necessarily for the business opportunity of buying it, but just to learn. And yeah, sit there and ask yourself why you’re looking at it or go inside and say, Why is this place fail? What are all the things that they’re doing wrong here? And what could I do better? If I either took over this store opened up another store like it’s and I think that he’ll lose a lot of that false impression. And that bias that you get when you see one that’s struggling if you see that failure is possible because we’ve all seen the statistic we got like a 96% success rate in laundromats Yeah.
Jordan Berry 28:14
Okay, so I’m, I’m trying to write down all these quotes that I mean, you’re just spitting out Jim’s already so yes, and I’m not very good at doing multiple things at once. Okay, so take me back to you have invested in this laundromat. And it is open for business for the first time now what how were you feeling at that time and what was that experience like?
Michael Jones 28:42
It was first it was like that it’s just too good to be true. Like soon I’m going to be living my dream sitting on the shores of Daytona Beach with a margarita and one hands and girlfriend’s on the other side of me laying in a hammock because the money is just roll and then from coins going into those machines that was sort of that lasted probably the first three days of the place being open for business before that there was a lot of going in there and painting and cleaning and thinking about marketing and everything and a lot of labor beforehand. But three days into it. I was like oh it’s coming soon but wave of business and everything. But it slowly started to tick down into despair slowly started to enter the energy the excitement was dying down and going away with each day that that passed by where you’d see cars drive past the store, and you’re looking through the windows and everything because like all front face of the store is all windows and I’m looking at one thing, just customer know that drove paths and there’ll be some days where I was the only person in there all day long. Or there’d be other days where I just get one or two customers that come in. And of course, I gave them the most white glove treatment I possibly could. And like I Please tell all your friends about everything. Like I will never really does it ever come up in conversation with your friends. Hey, I went to a new laundromat today. Right. And on that note here, I must say that anybody that tells you that their primary source of marketing is word of mouth is a person that tells you our know how we get our customers because word of mouth is not as prevalent as people think it is. There were so many days where we would get 10 to 12 customers a day, and it was a struggle to get those and work in my day job still. And then I’m working all day round the clock at the laundromat, trying to keep it clean and everything. Social life completely died. Completely was really erased and eradicated. lost all my friends in this process. All the friends that I had at that time got new friends now. So don’t feel too sorry for me. But yeah, lost all friends social life, not existence. It had been like living back in the 1800s where it woke up at the crack of dawn every day, and worked until it was too dark to continue working. And he did that seven days a week. So there were some 22 hour days, but the average was 18 hours. And when it fell asleep when I was living in a laundromat sleeping on the floor. I slept well, not because it was comfortable. But because I was just so tired. Yeah, so Okay.
Jordan Berry 31:48
sorry that this happened to you like, I mean, we’ve talked about this, but
Michael Jones 31:54
here’s the situation right? You’re so desperate to get out of your job, that you can’t stand anymore, that you go out and buy a business to help you get out of that job. And you’re
Jordan Berry 32:15
working all day and all night even more now. And you’re sleeping on the floor at your business at your laundromat. Some days no customers come in. What’s your mental you’re losing your friends like what’s your mental state at this point in the story?
Michael Jones 32:33
Say like the one good thing going for him it was just spare COVID There was one good thing God for me. Always keep this in my ear. Got a subscription into YouTube premium, which allows you to just like listen to it. So I’m listening to YouTube premium old time that I’m working in that laundromat the whole time that I’ve got the free time to clean or like there was one commercial customer that really kept the business alive they vacation rental cleaner that would drop off a lot of sheets and towels and everything wouldn’t be enough to be profitable, but it was enough to kind of keep the business lights on. Still weren’t making a profit yet though still losing money. But listening to YouTube listening to your show, listening to Walid cope and a little bit of Dave Mann’s a little bit of some of the like, I think it’s Canberrans the laundromat how to was listening to him everything. And just hoping that like man, maybe one day will turn around be like one of these guys. But then throughout, when I didn’t have this going in my ear, it was total despair because you write checks for things that are breaking, there was still plumbing issues that came up later. That’s why you want to have more capital set aside because you will run into more problems, particularly when you’re taking over either a new store or a retooled store. Or even if you bought a old one, they’re selling it because they don’t want to deal with problems, you’re going to inherit them you do want to have money set aside for that I was running into a ton of those. And he has so much despair when particularly when someone walks through the door and they’re only in there to use the bathroom. Or it’s a charity solicitor that comes in and is asking you for money. I’m the one that needs charity here. Ya lose hope very fast. And it got to a point where before I even contacted you I contacted a business broker, not the one that sold me the place I was too ashamed to like show my face to him. Thinking like yeah, I’m gonna be like his failure case here. He set me up with like the best thing possible and I’m this complete moron loser that fails. And he’s gonna be like, Dude, why can’t you make this work? So I’ve contacted our business broker and say, I gotta get out of here. Help me get out of this. And when I told him like, only cash flow I had for an entire month was $4,800. He’s like, there’s no way I can market that. And that’s another news, right? 4800 Gross, gross, gross revenue. Nerve business broker I contacted, who said, Well, you know, I might have this client that is interested in buying laundromats. Maybe I can get him to buy what he wants a laundromat for sure. And I’ll always thank the fact that this guy was a total neophyte for not being able to sell by laundromat for me, I always think x now laundromat success and everything. I didn’t lose it. But he had asked me to send pro forma over and I was gonna send him the exact same one that my broker said, and I did, I attached it to the email. But this guy was like such a neophyte, and really bad at technology, he had no idea how to open the attachment, never saw it. So here’s one customer that was interested in buying a laundromat never got the pro forma or anything. So deal never happens. So thankfully, to the technological ignorance of this one broker guy here, I still have a business that became successful. But I can remember the night before sleeping on the floor, and that laundromats have been so desperate that not being able to really sleep just constantly looking up at the ceiling. And think, man, I hope this guy can get me out of this, because this was the biggest mistake of my life. But when that deal didn’t happen, I was like, Okay, I’m gonna throw this out there, I’m gonna go contact Jordan. I’m sure he charges money or something here, but I’m gonna go contact him pay whatever it is just to hear if there’s hope, or maybe he could tell me to get rid of this place. So you got what they call laundry milled, and they just keep turning it over and over to make a commission. But either one of being told either one of those things would have helped me at that point, because then I’d have some clarity. Yeah,
Jordan Berry 37:03
yeah, man, that’s, that’s a tough spot. And,
Michael Jones 37:06
and, you know, I’m,
I can’t tell you how excited I am to be having this interview right now. Because when we first talked, I didn’t like I didn’t know if you’re gonna make it or not, because, you know, if it was tough, man, you’re like, I’m sleeping in the laundromat. I want out like, Help Help me get out. Okay, so we’ll get into that, too. So Well, let’s talk about that. Okay, so I mean, you mentioned Okay, so it’s not doing well, at all. But you mentioned Hey, I’m glad I stuck with it, because now it’s doing a lot better. So walk us through, like, what changed from I’m desperate. I’m sleeping on the floor. My laundromat, I’m losing money to actually feel good about owning a laundromat now.
Okay, good question. The broker that sold me a place encouraged me a do a free wash. It’s worth doing. And I was afraid to do it. Because I’m thinking, Can I even afford to do that matrimonial water bills be like, and I’d asked you in our first coaching session, should I do that every time and I did end up doing it. What I was able to gather from that, that gave me hope was that there is a need out here for it that there is enough people to make the business work in this laundromat. That’s kind of where we’re at hoped came back here was when I ran that free wash week. And then the next week did half price week. And then the week after that we continued half prices as long as he paid with the pay range app, trying to get people into established weekly habits of being a customer of my because you come here to get these promos, you got to free wash this week and half price next. Now. You’ve come here three times in the last three weeks. It should be a habit by now hopefully, that they weren’t addicted to the place. And the free wash was also the get people out of competitive stores. And I don’t know, I don’t really think or know or believe that any of that really helped with the marketing of the store. I don’t think it necessarily did. But it did give me hope. Because I saw, hey, people are coming here. And there’s people here that can use this place and want to look at the people that came it was like the demographic that you expect for a lot of bad stuff, renters the working class families and everything. So as a man, I guess there isn’t enough of them out here to sustain the business and it was charging for the drain and from like what I estimate for drying costs on average load and it looked like we were doing six to seven turns a day during those poor Omar weeks. Now, after the promo weeks ended, when he kind of went back to the same, the same bad place we were in before, where very few people came in regularly. But it did kind of put us on the map, in the sense of people know, we exist now. And what it also had done was gotten a commercial customer again after that. And the funny thing is, like, Nat were the, probably the laundromat, the area that has most commercial customers, that’s something that we’ll talk in depth about how to get those. But it was good enough to get me to believe in the place again, and get out of that hole of despair of man, I made the biggest mistake of my life. And now I can enjoy putting effort and energy into it. And one day in particular, where it really changed was, I was still working my day job, which was over in Orlando, that’s 40 minutes away from Daytona where laundromat was, and one of the worst days of work at my day job in Orlando, the boss, you think that it’s kind of like a joke or something but that people do or an archetype just in movies and shows but no, no, it’s real. There is such a thing as having a sadistic boss, and they just chewed me out, dress me down, over results not being that great, because now I’ve got a lack of sleep, and I’m working too much. There’s like nothing happy happening in my life. So I’m not being a great salesman at the job either. So chewed me up, ate me alive. And then one day, I’m driving back to the laundromats going from Orlando Daytona and I get a call from a business broker saying, Hey, I got a customer here, who is going to list their laundromats with our firm. And that’s gonna take some time because we got to find a buyer. We got to retool everything and all, but he does have a commercial customer that needs service right now. That’s the Bethune Cookman. University, they, their football team needs their jerseys washed just about every day. And they’re willing to pay $100 a day to do it. And I was like, Absolutely, I’ll take that customer because I’m desperate for any business that I could get. But in that drive home, what I realized was I think I know where I need been. I think I know where all my efforts need to be is in the laundromats working for myself, instead of trying to save whatever pathetic career might be left that this job that I hate. And that’s where like, regain the hope or the story really turned around. And we had been all uphill ever since then. Slowly. It was a slow struggle uphill, but it was still progress. Yeah, man, crazy,
Jordan Berry 43:01
crazy and wild. Okay. So, I mean, did you end up quitting your job at some point along the way? Are you still working there? What’s the what’s the situation now?
Michael Jones 43:11
Yes. So that happens in October is when I left Fidelity Investments, because I want over enough commercial customers to the point where it just wasn’t possible at all, for me to be able to work the day job and get all the wash, dry folding done for these commercial customers, a lot of property managers that are doing rentals out here in Daytona Beach, and they drop off lots of planets. Some that I got right now they’re managing about 60 properties. So there’s a lot of lenders that it’s just wasn’t physically possible to do the job and serve these customers. And I was like, I know which thing I’d rather be doing. I know where I belong, where I’d rather be. So I’m going to do that instead. And spirit was enough from others commercial customers to pay the bills and give me a little bit of money to have an income myself as well. So that was recently October 2000, pointing to when I was able to do that. And it was it was scary. But it felt really great afterwards. So like, you know, in corporate America, you put on this facade where if you’re a funny person, you can’t really be funny because you might offend somebody’s not necessarily like offensive jokes, but just like we know there’s somebody else that’s not having a good day and they don’t like you being happy, or your opinions you have to suppress. You got to put on this polish smiley appearance and put on these PR grins for people that are customers and they’re insulting you to your face and you just got to stand there and take it and look happy and everything. Like it doesn’t bother you when it does but it does something to you physically. That’s incredible. Bad like, I don’t know if you can remember way back when you were a kid the very first time you told him why. And you felt bad. Inside physically, you felt bad because he knew you did something wrong. I mean, your body has morality as well. And when you are immoral, or when you’re just not being your authentic self, your body attacks you saying you shouldn’t do that. And the whole time that you’re in corporate America putting on this fake appearance and everything. Being someone you’re not suppressing, we really are for the sake of a company image that kind of has the exact same effects physically and emotionally. That really sucks your soul out of you. So being able to escape that was just one of those liberating moments in my life. Yeah, well,
Jordan Berry 45:48
hey, good for you love it. Congratulations on being able to do that. Alright, so let’s talk about I mean, how did you you said you had a slow, slow incline of business. So I mean, what how did you do that? What did that look like? What are some of the practical things that you did to increase your business?
Michael Jones 46:05
All right, after our promo weeks, we put up a promo for like almost each day, to give people a reason to come on weekdays, see weekend business, you’re always going to have that, well, he’s going to do laundry on weekends, but getting people in on the weekdays, that’s the trouble. So we did small promos there. We have a range installed on the machines, which we’ll be getting rid of and replacing with the sense card system that they’ve got a talk about that later. But with Mondays we call them money back Mondays, where if you spend $10 on pay range, we’ll give you a Ford our in app credit. And tell you what a lot of people think, oh, man, that sounds nuts. They’re giving away way too much here. How do you stay profitable? It’s not heard us one bit as far as profitability because pay range and this kind of why I’m getting rid of it. It’s it’s not too user friendly. It’s not that user friendly, like when you get a reward or a promo from it. As a customer, you got to jump through a lot of steps here. So not everybody got to got the cashback reward ended up using it because I couldn’t figure out how to, even though the staff and I have tried to like proactively show people how to do it. Tuesdays we have free detergent Tuesday, just put out a bucket of Detergent Powder there and people can scoop from it. Wednesdays we call that big wash Wednesday. And that’s where our biggest washers 60 pounders are discounted from 775 to $6. And then Thursdays. We’re getting rid of this promo here because it was successful, but it was way too successful. It was 30%. Thursday were the drop off service is 30% off. So instead of $1.25 a pound it was like 87 cents a pound. Whoa, yeah, that’s a man. Getting them in, get them in. Yeah, that encouraged a lot of business guys, a lot of new customers. And our thing that really helps was using sense point of sale software for the drop off service. As a lot of people think well, all it does is it keeps you organized and notifies customers, I can do that pen and paper. And I can call customers and let him know laundry is done and everything. Yeah, you can. But there’s a critical principle that you want to adhere to as religiously as you can in this business. And that’s the principle would speak. You want to move as fast as you can. That’s true for all businesses, not just laundromats speed is absolutely critical. Anything you can do to save time is absolutely worth it. And having this the sense app that automatically notifies the customer by text message when their laundry is done. It may only save you one minutes from dialing up and calling that customer or send a text message yourself. But these minutes add up and they are critical. Other things with speed is getting paid as soon as possible. You want to collect money right away as quick as you can. Because money does a lot more for you sitting in bank in the company bank account than it does appearing on the accounts receivable side of your business balance sheet. You want that money in the bank because that money can be used right away to go market to other customers with Google ads, Facebook ads, and when you more business, you want to be minimal as a greedy or money hungry or anything or penny pinching but you want to be taking those dollars in as fast as you can. And with drop offs. Speed is critically important as well. You want to do those drop offs right away if possible. I’m not saying that you got to advertise the customer. Hey, I’ll get it done today. I’ll get it done in two hours. But you want to get it done as soon as possible so that they don’t stack up but is when they stack up, we run into higher risks of running greater labor costs when your staff comes into it, or a greater risk of getting laundries mixed up, customer laundry is mixed up, or losing things. So they definitely want to get them done as soon as possible here to that principle of speed, as best as you can go back to your question, and then get into the second principle to stick to religiously is a principle of stickiness, you want to be as sticky with customers as possible. And our Washington for business was able to do that, because let’s see, can I do this here, I’m gonna share my screen, let’s see where we go, here we go.
Jordan Berry 50:44
While you’re pulling that up, in case you’re listening on the podcast and not watching on the video, I’m gonna post a link to justice section here. So in case you want to see visually what he’s shown us, you can watch that part of the app and watch the whole episode. So I’ll put a link in the show notes. there for you to be able to check that out.
Michael Jones 51:03
You’re able to see this right? Yep, browser and everything. Okay. So this is a business card, that’s all of my drop off customers got. And what we did here was we’d stamp it every time they used it. This was a way to bid on this right do this, you’re gonna do 30 pounds free after 10. Use this, what we do is now is this was the first one I was doing. But what we do now is we’ll give you 20 pounds free after we’ve done 400 pounds for yet which we can keep track up now through the Santas app, how many pounds we’ve done for that customer. And this is what made it sticky, is customers are coming back to fill up that card and get their free use, you definitely want to set those kinds of limitations to it like you don’t want to say your elevens use us as free, say, we’ll do 20 pounds or so free for you after we’ve done 400 pounds, because that’s just a 5% of the business that you’ve already done with this customer and a customer that brings you that much has brought 400 pounds to you is very profitable customer anyway, so you’re going to want to keep them, this is a good way to do it and make it sticky with them. Smartest things that you could do besides like row loyalty rewards card like this is in your upper self serve customers in your machines that if they’re able to accept cards, if you’re using pay range, you can have loyalty rewards built into those type of app that where you spend $50, we will give you $5 back. There’s other kinds of like rewards, discounts that frequent users have, are able to use, when we get the sense system installed on all the machines, those boxes where you can like swipe a card right on the machine, we’re able to do that, we’re gonna be able to do something like that as well. And that helps reinforce the habit of coming there. And that’s what you’re trying to do is reinforcing the habit, anything that you can do to reinforce that it’s definitely worth doing here. I mean, if you’re spending $100 A day in Google ads, don’t be put off by that or anything because as long as you see people coming into the store and their new faces, even if that $100 was 20% of the revenue he made that day. Those can be long term customers. So we put a good impression on if you win their loyalty, as long as they enjoyed the visit to your laundromat when they came in and found it superior to the competitors. That was $100. That day was worth spending as long as you got enough customers to justify it. So anything you can do laundromats are meant to be a sticky business. Anything you can do to reinforce that principle will help you and that’s what had helped me. And then the big thing that helped me was with my YouTube premium subscription wasn’t just listening to these laundromat podcasts, but also listening to digital, social media marketing and Google ads marketing to just learn those ecosystems inside out. And I tell you what, if you haven’t bought a laundromat yet, but you’re going to you’re looking for it. First study, digital marketing, study Google, and those kinds of ads and study Facebook, and Instagram. Because as evil as these social media companies are, they are the one thing that’s keeping a lot of small businesses in business so they can be your friend as a business owner when you understand how best to use them. So I would definitely recommend even if you’re already in business, it’s worth taking the time to learn and that’s what has led to a lot of our current success now was just finally learned and understood how to market the business marketing will make or break your business.
Jordan Berry 55:01
Are you? Are you marketing? For self serve customers for drop off customers for both?
Michael Jones 55:10
What do you both? Yeah, both. And it is two different kinds of marketing, like the ad that I’m going to show a drop off customer is different than the ad show for a self serve customer? Because they’re two different kinds of people.
Yeah, and are you marketing? For the for the drop off? Are you marketing, both to commercial and residential? Are you focusing on one or the other in your marketing,
I’ll show you exactly how to do it. See here, share screen again. Here’s something that you want to really know about inside outs. And that’s what’s called landing pages. Landing Pages here. And this is just the homepage of our website. And we’ve got this slider going on here that shows that this is what our laundromat looks like, here’s a drop off service that we do pick up and delivery, we also got commercial services and everything, we got all of that, SB if somebody just kind of like stumbled on our page of everything that we do here, from Google search, or just typing in our name, date on a laundromat.com. But the ads that I run, specifically for drop off customers, they’re going to come to this landing page. And it’s going to be looking a lot different year. This is something that maybe we’re gonna get into the details of is that you’re selling the benefits before anything else. And the benefit here is, we’re gonna give you back six hours of time in your week, by you delegating your laundry to us, I’m gonna use all sorts of media here, like this was a video that I’ve put together, that I’d put together just using stock footage from Pexels. As just to say, look at this here, you have a family for those reasons not to be doing all this laundry here and everything, showing people why use us. And then we come in with, here’s what we do, here’s how good we are for you everything going on about the benefits, get directions got those called actions and everything. Those are the kinds of ads that show a drop off customer go through reasons and everything here. Whereas a self serve customer must show them a different kind of ad. So you don’t have one I can show you here are things to say go back to yeah, there’s one. Because you know who our customer is, typically it’s the ladies. And it’s the mother in the family or something. Or maybe it’s college students, or it’s someone that just has lots of responsibilities that involve caring for other people, as we’re really our main customer is the person with those responsibilities, what do they care about most, they care about clean, they care about safe. They care about having help on hands when they need it, and like have help from an actual person, not just a phone number. I honestly think that in a few years unattended laundromats will be a thing of the past. Because people need help, there’s just so much that can go wrong. And with competition getting as tight as it is, if I can get help from a person on site, as opposed to calling up some phone number, or maybe the guy can’t help me or not, I’m going with the bet where the guy has the keys to start the machines for me. And that’s what I try to advertise in my ads to self serve customers. I’m not trying to compete on price, because that’s just a race to the bottom. What I am competing on is unclean, because I have someone there to clean the place at all hours of the day. I’m safe, because somebody’s there in case anything ever got out of hand. And also safe in the sense that if anything went wrong, we’d be at somebody there to help you machine stop work, refund your money move you to another machine. We do what Walid coke calls aggressive customer service where a customer is unhappy and they’re asking for something, just give them what they want. Because that’s it’s better to it’s better to get shipped by a customer or grifted by one to shut them up and lose just a teeny bit of money there. Then for them to leave that place very angry to the point where they’re gonna leave a nasty Google review or something that everybody else will see. So that’s kind of like my advertising differences between drop off. Seltzer Are customers.
Jordan Berry 1:00:03
Yeah, that’s awesome. And thanks for sharing. Again, if you’re listening to this on the podcast, I’ll have a link to his landing pages in his ad that he just showed that way you can just go watch that little clip if you want to. Also, yeah, thanks for, for sharing that. Okay, so what I mean, can you tell us a little bit about like, what is your business look like today? Versus that that very bleak and depressing and dark picture that you painted? From what it looked like in the beginning?
Michael Jones 1:00:32
All right. Start with numbers that people think matter, but don’t really matter that get into numbers that really matter. We did 4800 Gross one month, month of October, we got very close to doing 40,000 gross income. And that’s combining the Washington fold the pickup and delivery at the self serve customers all together. Very close to 40,000 that month, and we’re on track for another month like that this month of January. Wait, hold on a second.
Let’s just rewind that a second. Okay, so you started out at 4800 ish gross a month and you’re at yet a month of what now? Pretty
close to 40,000 just shy of 39,800 Something
Jordan Berry 1:01:22
Holy guacamole you almost 10 Extra business.
Michael Jones 1:01:26
Zack way almost 10x that and we can attribute all of that to the principles of speed. sticky and marketing. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Jordan Berry 1:01:38
Wow. Are you like Grant Cardone over here? Like what’s had the Grant Cardone? Let’s just dump you right now the Grant Cardone of laundromat 10x and the business now that’s incredible. Yeah. I love to hear that because well, because number one, like nobody should have to go through what you went through in the beginning and number two, I did not see that kind of growth coming in when we first talked way back went that that’s incredible, dude, I love hearing that and huge huge huge kudos to you for persevering and sticking with it and not losing hope. Like I’ve talked before about how I I mean, I I don’t know if this is common or not with people but I suffer from the emotional rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship right? I can in the same day I can be at an all time high and then later that day can be like one little thing that triggers me. And I’m at an all time low right? I’m on this roller coaster and I’ve talked about how I have to brainwash myself by being very very and you kind of had talked about this to like be very intentional about what I let into my head who I listened to who I watch what books I read all of that who who I spend my time with even you talked about that too, with your friends and man to help me try to regulate the emotional roller coaster but man, kudos to you for for sticking with it brainwashing yourself to success. That’s incredible.
Michael Jones 1:03:17
credible. Yeah. We gotta get to the number that really matters, though. Because you know, the 40,000 gross number that sounds great. But what were my expenses? Yeah, because expenses can eat up a lot of that. And here’s, here’s what it is like, that month in particular, we just pocketed $10,000 in profit, and is a pretty common profit margin for us to be 30 to 40%. I am very aggressive with marketing, because I want us to really want to really set us up as the place to go in this town. And I’m finding five competitors. And another thing is I want to pay my employees very well. Because I think that employees are going to be an incredible resource is going to be like probably one of the greatest selling points of your business here to get people to come. So I pay for them very well. So 40,000 Sounds great. But you got to be okay with though is spend 25 to 30,000 to make 40,000. Still, we’re in good profit margins here. I’m making more money than I did back when I was working my corporate job at fidelity.
Jordan Berry 1:04:30
Well, you’re making a whole heck of a lot more money than you were those early months when you were losing money, right? Like that’s, I mean to me, that’s
Michael Jones 1:04:37
Jordan Berry 1:04:40
I love that. Let me let me ask you this question. And I genuinely don’t know the answer to it. Are you still sleeping at your laundromat?
Michael Jones 1:04:49
Sometimes yes. Because I’m just there so much. Because that’s everything here is like I don’t want to paint it as like it’s all rosy and everything yet, because I’m still We’re gonna be working around the clock this time, though I’m like, having better days, it’s more enjoyable work and everything, because I know we’re making money, I’m not worried about money flying out the door and everything still worked pretty long days, like 10 hours or so. But that’s because I really want to not just beat the competition, but monopolize the area, that’s the vision that I have is to be able to monopolize this area, because I know we’re running a better operation than everybody else in town. And it is a competitive game of longevity, just being able to be there the longest is going to give you an enormous advantage. So that’s something that’s got to bear in mind to produce those kinds of numbers, it will require a lot of involvement from you, then you got to be a competitive person. If you’re in a market like mine, as maybe if you’re in a different kind of markets, it might not have those kinds of reps, it’s like I do like being able to spend 1000s of dollars each month on marketing, having to bring in have a three shifts a day of employees, or doing a lot of work there yourself, everything. Those that kind of effort, that kind of output is going to be required in a very competitive market. And understand now why David says he stays away from that, because, yeah, it’s a lot of work. But if you’re like me, you wound up in this situation, not knowing anything, got it over your head, or perhaps like the place you bought competition moved in, then you got to be able to do these things, but don’t believe that you would have to be doing these things forever, you just do it until either the competitors concede to you or when the customer base just has you permanently identified the customer base near he has permanently identified as the most valuable place in the area. Yeah, absolutely. And,
Jordan Berry 1:06:57
and, and probably for you your next iteration, cuz I can tell you’re still in I mean, you you’ve basically just said it, like, you’re still in the building the business phase right now, right. And eventually, you’re gonna get to a point where you’re like, Okay, we build the business, we monopolize the area, I, you know, the next iteration of that is beginning to remove yourself from more of the day to day and, and inputting people to help you do even more of that. So, you know, the story is, is not over for you yet. And there’s more iterations to come. And depending on which direction you want to go, and how big you want to build your business. You’re gonna continue to evolve along the way. So
Michael Jones 1:07:47
that’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Jordan Berry 1:07:50
Okay, so man, that in 10,000, that I mean, that’s incredible, incredible stuff. Are you doing a lot of pickup and delivery? Are you doing a lot of wash? trifold? Where’s the majority kind of, of this income coming from?
Michael Jones 1:08:09
Yeah, lots of Wash, dry fold, very little pickup and delivery of those hoping that there’d be a lot of it out here because it’s a vacation town. And I was hoping that would save business. But I think happiness pulled out of the Daytona area, because they were only bringing in like 15,000 gross revenue a year for pickup and delivery. Oh, wow. So not too much of it out here. I think that it’s just not being marketed correctly, is something that eventually I want to figure out how to market those things. But there’s not too much of an out here because people are happy to come drop off and see I’ll show you this here. Just kind of like where we are on the map, and everything that’s kind of shows like and this is something that I would encourage every laundromat owner to do and to be able to understand this about their business, just kind of look at the map. Here’s what I can show you about my business here is that my store is right over here. It’s this green dot. And if everybody listening, I’m showing this on the screen. So come to our accom to Jordan’s YouTube channel. See this? Here’s the beaches where all the vacation was going. There’s no laundromats or Washington folds. In this entire strip of lands. There was this place low a laundry, but hurricane Ian took them out. And when I talked about like,
one I talked about my five competitors here and everything you see, here’s 123 Or actually, this picture shows better here. You see all these red, those are all my competitors within the area. And then here’s where I saw like the opportunity is that in this big chunk of the city, there’s no Washington folds. So for about 10 miles here, I mean, I’m right here at the corner. But for these 10 miles, there’s no washing. Cool. So I was like, Man, if I could mark it to that, because there’s lots of people that would use wash and fold in this area. If I could market those people specifically and learn how to do that, then I could find ways to sustain my business while the self service side of the business starts building itself up. And that’s what really saved us there was being able to do that. And the sense app really helped with it, because it brought us back to the principle of speed. Let’s Yeah, not too much pickup and delivery out here probably will be in the future, though. Yeah.
Jordan Berry 1:10:36
Yeah. And that’s, that’s kind of a, an encouraging thing, actually, that nobody’s really figured out how to tap into that pickup and delivery market yet. Because there’s, there’s gonna be business there. So it’s just a matter of figuring out the formula. Yeah, so Okay. Do you know like, ish, like a breakdown? Like, how much residential versus commercial?
Michael Jones 1:11:01
Are you doing? Yes, yes, me, I can just show you this here, too. I mean, I’ve got the C eights, I believe, a, my commercial customers that I got. Got to get up in here and go back to our website. Because this is another thing you want to do for your landing pages with commercial customers, is show off the ones that you’re working with already. These aren’t the only ones. But these are the eight biggest ones in the area that people would instantly recognize, we got probably a half of the drop off business is done by commercial customers. And the other half is done by residential. And you can kind of expect that breakdown depending on like what kind of area that you live in. Because in commercial business, it’s more regular as probably larger drop offs coming in. Whereas residential is there’s a drop of less laundry at a time, probably there’s more time in between might be once a week or something, or maybe even once a month that they drop off. Whereas my commercial customers, it’s gonna be pretty much every day I get something from him, or a couple times a week. And the laundry needs of these two customers are so different, everything you can kind of expect to be half and half. If you’re in an area where there’s lots of businesses that could use laundry. And I’m like writing
Jordan Berry 1:12:32
as furiously as possible as you’re talking. It’s great stuff. There’s so much. You’re right, man, hopefully you guys are taking notes. And if you’re not, then you’re still hear, then you’re probably going to need to go back and listen to this thing again and start taking some notes. Okay. All right. So you’ve got about half commercial, half residential. How, how have you acquired your commercial?
Michael Jones 1:12:55
Customers? Good question. Good question. One thing I was really good at that came from financial services that has stuck with me is networking. If you’re not a good networking person, you want to get to be a good networking person, you want to learn how to do that. And networking is not going to these meetings, like Chamber of Commerce or anything and handed out your business card. Because all it happens is they take it and they stuff it away and never see it again. Networking is going to be just going to the hotspots of business owners. And you don’t necessarily want to be this salesman to them, right saying which one to do is you want to find some kind of value to provide to them up front. And then later, you can tell them about your business. So suppose you were a person in my local area and you wanted to learn the laundromat business. Worst thing I want to hear is somebody come up and you say, hey, I want to pick your brain. Because when I when I hear when they say that is I want to pick your pocket, or pick your time wasting your time. What’s what when my intention there is to say I would love to volunteer at your shop, do some folding for you. If you know maybe while I’m doing that you could spare a few minutes, just kind of like tell me about the business and everything. I don’t think any one of us laundromat owners would say no to something like that. So you want to do something similar with these with the networking that you do. What I did, that really helped me out with club fitness is the gym that’s in the plaza of my locker that I went up to him and said, Hey, I think would be a great thing to benefit your business. And a benefit that you can use to sell more gym memberships is if my store gave an exclusive discount to your members. They walk in show me the membership card. I’ll give them 20% off on the washer full treated just like a commercial customer. And they were like yeah, that would be great. It was That’s something that Planet Fitness ain’t offering that crunch fitness offerings, something like that, they don’t have that. And you’re right around the corner, and all they gotta do is just walk a few feet down the plaza drop off the laundry, probably by the time they get done working out, they can pick it up. And that’s how both of our businesses so, with networking, start with the neighbors, see what you can do there? Because I’ll tell you what, like, Why is America the big superpower there is a big part of what’s not talked about is that we have friendly neighbors to the north, and the South Canada and Mexico aren’t trying to go to war with us. They’re friendly, neighbors, happy to trade with us and everything, adopt the same thing, you want to see how you can benefit your neighbors and the plaza that you’re in or the town center that you’re in, or whatever businesses are close by, see what you can do to be of benefit to them. And that will help you stand out more than just giving them a business card. Smart Things, thing that we’re you are really be looking into is Facebook groups, Facebook groups is gonna be one of the biggest benefit of better beneficial activities is going through Facebook groups at the local ones to your town, and particularly local ones, to business owners and types of businesses, for me out here and so a lot of Airbnb, property owners, property managers, and all of their groups and when I see them post something about needing clean linens or something by write offs, right on top of it, a lot of networking can be done at Facebook groups.
Jordan Berry 1:16:39
Yeah, I think that is a very underutilized resource there and I mean, those can be used on the residential side too, you know, in terms of like, bomb groups or just all kinds of different local Facebook groups. It like there’s a the town I have in town I live in has a Facebook group, that’s the you know, the the city buzz, right and so you know, getting in a group like that and again, leading with the value leading with offering something and trying to meet people’s needs, even sometimes for free just to kind of you know, get an inroad in there and build some trust and build some familiarity and and make it so you’re not just trying to take trying to get in people’s pocket pocket books, but you’re also contributing and helping there so yeah, I think that’s that’s huge. And those are good. I love the offering exclusive membership discount to the gym members of the of the neighboring gym there. I love that because it is a natural fit, right? Like, I leave the gym, my clothes are are dirty, like they’re sweat soaked, and they need wash and so it’s just kind of a natural fit for them natural fit for you. That’s a win win situation. And that’s where there’s good money to be made. So I love that.
Michael Jones 1:18:07
They were happy for me to put up posters inside the gym inside the locker rooms and everything. Yeah, that’s killer. That’s
Jordan Berry 1:18:15
killer. Okay, all right. We want to talk a little bit about specifics about your business but anything else that we need to chat about before we get into down to business?
Michael Jones 1:18:26
Let’s get down to business here because this is where we’re gonna get like some real juice
Jordan Berry 1:18:36
remind us again, when did you buy your
Michael Jones 1:18:40
your laundromat official wrote the check November of 2021. Didn’t get to open the doors until May of 2022. took that long to build out.
Jordan Berry 1:18:53
And he got one laundromat right now you got any plans for for more? What’s the what’s the game plan here? Do you know?
Michael Jones 1:18:59
Hope is actually there’s a vacant unit in the plaza next to us the hope is that we’ll be able to expand out into that. Yeah, become a laundry center instead of just a laundromat like that.
Jordan Berry 1:19:14
And what would you do with that
Michael Jones 1:19:15
space? Definitely need more storage storage for our drop off business. But I put in a few more big machines because right now my biggest machine I got four of them. And that’s the most popular machine. And yeah, we’re getting some more dryers and everything but just have more space for folding and everything. That’s another thing to say is that when you’re looking for a laundromat to buy, you need a lot more space than you think you do. Don’t think too much about having too many machines think more about to have the space so that it’s not claustrophobic feeling for customers. Yeah,
Jordan Berry 1:19:51
that is true and especially if you’re going into a drop off or pickup and delivery that is the that is the limiting factor. anchor for a lot of laundromats that want to delve into like pickup and delivery for example is there’s just this struggle with finding the space. And I remember Mark last camp with the fold he’s been on a couple times. He’s been on some other YouTube stuff, he kills it with bigger military shout out to mark. And I’ll link to his episodes in case you missed them because they’re killer too. But he sent me a video he texted me a video one day of just this was before he got his location and he had guys unloading the truck. All out along the side, walk outside, there were bags of laundry, he goes inside all along the walls were bags of laundry. And all along the bulkheads were bags of laundry there just wasn’t storage for him. Right and this wasn’t even his laundromat is somebody else’s laundromat. So crazy craziness. But if you’re thinking about going into Wash, dry fold, drop off laundry service or pickup and delivery that storage piece is is critical. Yeah, for sure. Can you can you talk us through like, what? What is your? What’s your staff look like? I mean, is it just you running all this laundry? Do you got people on board? How did you start? Where are you at now? Is it similar? How is that evolution taking place?
Michael Jones 1:21:16
If five employees but first, it was just me doing everything. Eventually, it was able to hire a morning person so I could sleep in so desperately needed. And then also hired a person to come do some late night cleaning. Still got those employees. Now I got one employee that specifically handles pickup and delivery for commercial customers, because one of the vets that we work with wants that and the nursery that we do laundry for one at that as well. And I got another employee for some daytime coverage to take in drop offs. And then one that comes in at night to do everything that we couldn’t get done throughout the day. Kind of a way we handle drop off as we give them the expectation that it will take us 24 hours one day to do it. You’ll get back next day. Unless you want to pay an extra quarter per pound. We’ll do it for you right now get back to you same day. Nice.
Jordan Berry 1:22:22
Like that. Alright, so you got five employees. I mean, that’s pretty. That’s pretty incredible to be able to scale up. I mean, relatively quickly. I mean, you’re talking may 2022. Right now we’re talking to January 2023. And you scaled up to five employees. That’s pretty good. Especially since you started off sleeping on the floor and losing money. So that’s pretty impressive, man. Pretty impressive. Okay, so can we talk about how how much does it cost to do laundry at
Michael Jones 1:22:53
your location? Yeah, probably gonna be raising these prices soon once I get the new sensor system in. And what I’ll do is I’ll keep the old prices if you pay with a card on the sense system, and coins I’ll raise the price because you’re making me do more work. But my biggest wash is 775. For the 60 pounders, that’s a regular cycle. I’ll charge you a deluxe or an ultra cycle by quarter each. And upcharge for warm water and hot water by a quarter each. And that’s true of all my machines. I got four of those 60 pounders got four of the 40 pounders at 550. I’ve got five of the 30 pounders, that’s $4. And I got eight of the little 20 pound machines at $3. And my dryers, got those stacked dryers that the first quarter will buy a five minutes, but every quarter after that will buy performance. Nice.
Jordan Berry 1:23:59
Nice, nice. Okay. I mean, that sounds great. That sounds great. Do you have a sense of turns per day, like what you’re doing these days, I know you had some days where you were doing zero turns per day. So you have a sense of where you’re at now.
Michael Jones 1:24:16
Probably the best number I can give you like an average right now is 5.4 to 5.6 turns per day, really pushing it as hard as you can. And to make it six times a day. That’s like the goal here is to make it six turns a day. But there’s a critical thing about this. So this isn’t necessarily the golden ratio that everybody thinks it is. And yeah, it’s it shows you that your marketing is working. That’s the good thing about it shows your market for but what really matters is how much money is coming in and how much of that money you’re keeping how much profit so here’s one of the things that I did that was right as I never lowered my prices. And I would encourage everybody watching. Don’t lower your prices. If you’re trying to get business it’s not a good thing that you think Is because you’ll be doing more work for less money, your machines are gonna be in during more wear and tear and giving you less money, and utility bills, and everything will cost more because you’re using the machines more. And you took in less cash flow from those uses. So I think that a metric you really want to look at is underside profitability by machine. And you can already see which machines are the most used everything. Like that’s kind of like too nitpicky of a metric to get into but there’s the profitability, the net profit overall, is, I think, your most important metric more so than turns per day, because even if I’m doing three turns per day, I’m at the prices in the area that still get me that profit margin of 30 to 40%. I’m okay with that. Because it’s less wear and tear on my machines, probably less cleaning, but my staff has to do too. And it is more money in your pocket. Yeah,
Jordan Berry 1:26:09
so you do sort of track turns per day, but you’re not going all in on turns per day, you’re looking at that net profit.
Michael Jones 1:26:18
I’ll track it just to know about how good my marketing is working. Yeah, that’s smart.
Jordan Berry 1:26:24
I like that. Okay, so do you have? Are you fully attended? Do you have somebody there at all times
Michael Jones 1:26:30
when you’re open? Most of the time? Yes. Be like a few hours a night. Rather, there’s nobody there. But we stay open a little bit? Well, there’s nobody that can help you with machines, stuff and drop offs, there’s just my cleaner. We figured while she’s in there, it may as well stay open. But yeah, throughout the majority of the day, there is somebody there to help you or somebody drop laundry off to. And they know the ins and outs store and everything. And I think that will be the future going forward here is that won’t have many unintended laundromats. Just because of all the problems, my abilities you can run into that can be easily avoided by having an employee there. Yeah,
Jordan Berry 1:27:10
yeah. Yeah. I mean, we’re definitely as an industry moving more towards service base. And I don’t necessarily mean last drive fold, or pickup and delivery, although I think we are moving more that direction, too. But I think, you know, for probably decades, service was not really a priority in self service laundry, because it was like, Hey, you do it yourself and, and deal with deal with it. You know, like, that’s your that’s your thing. You’re just using my machines, right. But I do think that service is becoming more and more important. You know, to be able to compete and stay in business, especially as business gets a little more complicated, because we’ve got things like higher interest rates and inflation and growing utility costs. And, you know, we’re having to navigate all this stuff and more technology coming into our industry. So there’s a lot to navigate there. And that service side of the business is just becoming more and more important, along with marketing. And I think you’re, you’re dead on that one, too. So are you planning on staying hybrid? I know you’re changing your your car payment system? Are you planning on staying hybrid?
Michael Jones 1:28:24
Yeah, yeah, we want to be able to have people pay anyway that they’re willing to pay, it’s almost like wants to give you money. You don’t necessarily want to care too much about what form they given. And others have both execu routed charge less for card payments and easier payments to accept collect. So we’ll stay hybrid until we get to a point where coins are obsolete. Yeah, and I mean,
Jordan Berry 1:28:48
I like the I mean, I think there’s something to be said for an old card system, especially if you’re gonna scale to multiple multiple laundromats it gets more and more difficult to start collecting coins. But I am a fan of the hybrid system. And I’m a fan of incentivizing the ways that you want your customers to pay. So if that’s the card system that you prefer, incentivize that and given the option to pay and that’s, you know, I think that’s a similar tact that people take with top load machines, right? Like, okay, if you want to use the top load machine, that’s fine, but we’re going to maybe even disincentivize using that and incentivize using the machines we want you to use because it’s gonna give you a better wash and yada, yada, yada. So I’m a fan of that. All right. Last question for down to business that I have, I think is and you may have mentioned this already, actually, but do you have an idea of like, you were working 18 hour days, early on, between your job and the laundromat and all that stuff? Do you have a sense of how much time you’re spending on the business now?
Michael Jones 1:30:00
I live and breathe my laundromat. And that’s, that’s my life here. And it’s two guys. I’m so determined. And, like, if somebody were to train lives me, they don’t have to do it. They don’t have to do it like I do. But I’m just so determined to have a monopoly on the area that I am going to stop at nothing to make that happen. So living and breathing the laundromat right now. But that’s not to say that it has to be that way. Yeah.
Jordan Berry 1:30:27
All right. I thought of another question that I want to ask before we move on to secret sauce here. Okay. I mean, I, I think we all know the answer to this, but I just want to give you an opportunity to speak to it, which is
Michael Jones 1:30:40
you hated your corporate job.
You made this move to change directions in your life, you’re still working like an animal? Are you glad you made the change? Or are now?
Absolutely. Against the corporate America, I’m never going back. I’m never going to. Like, it really is the matrix really is the matrix and everything I like now that you’ve experienced freedom and what it’s like it’s electrified, it’s a dig, to be able to say what you really want to say and even then just dress however you want to dressed it, instead of always wearing the suit and tie and everything. That necktie is. It’s the next shackle really. And being able to, even though I guess you could say I spend more time on my business and everything, I’m happy to be a slave to myself than to corporate America. Yeah, that’s, that’s poten
Jordan Berry 1:31:47
I’m glad I gave you the opportunity to say that because that’s potent phrase right there. I like that. And that’s, I think that sums up entrepreneurship, right? It’s like, there’s all these memes I’ve seen, you know, it’s like, you give up work in the 10 hour days for someone else to work 18 hour days for yourself, right? Like you’re working harder, but you’re enjoying it and you’re doing it for yourself. And, you know, I think putting it in the way of I’m glad to be a slave to for myself, much more than I am to be a slave for the corporate culture. I mean, I think that was you said it way better than I just did. But I mean, I think that’s just a very potent quote. So awesome. All right, we have a segment of the show called Secret SAS.
And secret sauce is, you know, we’ve been talking about secret sauce this entire time here. So but you know, if you had one piece of advice, maybe or maybe a couple of quick things that you would give for someone who owns a laundromat currently to help them improve their business.
Michael Jones 1:32:58
What do you got for him? I got a lot of things. I was like real quick. So well, let’s just yeah, here’s the juice, I get your pen and paper ready here because here’s the juice. Everything was a is a print marketing. Don’t do it. Never do print marketing. It’s a dead form of marketing. It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of money, direct mail, flyers on people’s cars. I tell you what, when I crack goes to these public places, and someone hands me a flyer, I think that what they should say that is what they should be saying is here, throw this away from me. That’s what that’s what I’m thinking the whole time. All those things is a total waste. Your all your marketing you want to do digitally because you have interruption marketing, which could be direct mail, or telemarketing. Not that we do that for laundromats or handing out flyers, sticking things on people’s cars. That’s interruption marketing, versus permission. Marketing is what you really want to focus on. That’s where you’re making yourself available to people who want your services and are seeking you out like Google search. Those are customers that want your services because they’re looking for it. You want to focus more on that. What else I would say, I’m not gonna name any names, I want to bad mouth, any people but I would never again hire a person to do digital marketing for me. They’re wasting your money, then what they do and everything for what they charge. It’s just it’s not proportionate. Anybody pay them 1000 A month and they put up a few posts a week for you on your Facebook page. It’s a waste of money there. It’s you’re better off taking the time to learn and understand the social media ecosystem yourself. Because you know what’s best for your business. You know what goes on in your community. You know who the best people to reach are what your customers are not some third party that you hired to do for nursing secret sauce is the website where you want to go back to the principle of speed. You want to get it up as fast as you can even before your laundromat It’s even open if necessary, get it up as fast as you can. That was mistake I made, I knew that. I used to believe in WordPress that they were the best websites you could have. But something strange happened with WordPress to where it’s just not easy to use anymore. I don’t know what happened there. So I use Wix. Now, Wix I think is very well worth the extra expense that it cost because it’s so easy to edit and do business on everything you want. Focus on fast loading times for your website, because that helps you with your rank and search engines. Wix is very good at making it run fast. It’s easy to update and the more you update your website more favorable. Google looks at that in search engine results pages. And some people say well, yeah, I’ve been told that I should blog on my website for this. But what a lot of talk about totally get that. So a legitimate complaint or problem or something. Here’s some things I’ll show you is like if I’m doing it’s going to do is I’m going to call it a blog and just call it news and promos. And they’re all I’m doing is just putting up like hey, here’s some promos, new services that I’m introducing or some new equipment and everything. And that’s what I post up on there. I’ll do a blog post on our website. I will also post it to Facebook, and Google My Business. The more that you are posting on these things, they all work together, they work together to kind of form like this music terms we call it a crescendo are. It’s a mosaic of little pieces, Legos that snap together to come up with something great, I’ll kind of try to show you exactly what that looks like here. landing pages for each service. Here’s my pickup and delivery one. Just want to make it very easy to do business with people make like one click. And very first thing you see here is scheduled pickup scheduled pickup very easy to do business with us. Don’t try to be as convincing as you can, with getting people do business on these landing pages. So for those listening are showing this on screen here. So definitely subscribe to Jordan’s YouTube channel. Now, here’s the super secret sauce. This would be perhaps the most beneficial thing that I could tell somebody here may have extra I got the screen for it. When it comes to that Google search engine results page. You don’t just want to appear on it. And you don’t just want to appear on the top. You want to dominate flower to type in to a search engine, just laundromats here’s the first thing you see is my ad my paid ad right here. My paid ad I’m utilizing everything possible. Now this is showing you the Google page right on the screen sharing button. Yep, good, good. Make sure it’s the right thing. Here’s something that is new that Google is doing. These are called sitelink. additions. And then here’s us another thing that they call the FAQ. It’s called like something sticky, though. But you want to utilize every single one of these. And I’ll tell you why. If you’re somebody that doesn’t know how to do this, or anything, and you want somebody to walk you through, right, this, reach out to me be happy to get on a zoom call with you, I just kind of show you. So first thing you’re gonna see is my ad takes you to our Google My Business page, then look at this here. We’ve got our website, our official website, and it’s got some services and everything down here.
Jordan Berry 1:38:34
Well, you skipped over to you were the top one on the map up to
Michael Jones 1:38:38
one on that. Right here. Yeah, because there’s my paid ad. Then here’s organic search on number one there to what’s next, Facebook, or Facebook is the next thing. And then we go down a little bit further. Here’s our Instagram, AD and there’s another ad further down the page. The reason you’re doing social media, is not to just keep doing posts, because it’s something that people say you should do. And it’s the any benefit mindset. Maybe somebody will see it maybe the reason you’re doing it is the more you update your social media, the more the Google search engine likes it. And the more it’s likely to put it on one of the earlier pages and search engine results. And now you have not one, not two, but possibly four properties that you can have on that search engine page. People might have to go out of their way to click on your competitors when there’s that much of you might hear is this is our YouTube channel that we uploaded our ads to because we were going to do some YouTube advertising. Here’s Manta, I believe in us that directory anymore. But because it links to our main website, and our main website gets a ton of traffic from social media and search engines. Google thinks Hey, it’s a good thing to show. So you really Got to intentionally click on a competitor on that first page of Google results. You want to dominate the first page. Two kinds of ads, you can run at the same time for the same kind of customer, our ads focus on maximizing clicks that puts you at the top. And then there’s another one that focuses on maximizing conversions. That puts you later on and page. But I think that’s when a person scrolls through that page. It’s because they’re just not finding what they’re looking for Google is its AI is intelligent enough to understand what that person is looking for, and show it to them at the most opportune time. And our critical element to this is, what I would say is robust key word discipline, you got to police your key words. And I’m going to try to show you what I mean by that here. Because a lot of people think, well, I know the key words, we want to appear in the search for laundromat near me. You know what, that’s nice? Yeah, when people search for that specify the most popular keyword. But there can be a lot of key words that you don’t want to be ranking for. You don’t want to appear in the search score that so every couple of weeks, or every month, go through this here. And I’m happy to show somebody how to do this too, if they need the help. And look at this here, this shows you what keywords did your ad appear for. And if you see anything that you don’t want to appear for it, check it and then add it to a negative keyword themes. And what that means is, these are things that you don’t want appear for like me, I don’t want to appear for searches for dry cleaning, because I don’t have a dry cleaning equipment, it’s a waste of time for someone to call me up and say, Hey, can you do dry clean, don’t want up here in any of those searches. I put like washing full beer because this is my self service ad, I don’t want my self service ad competing with my Washington full AD laundromat for sale, I don’t want to appear for that kind of search. I don’t want people calling me up asking them if they can buy my business from me, I let go this thing for anything. And then there’s lots of you’ll find lots of unrelated stuff here. When you check out those bad keywords, your ads are becoming more efficient. There’ll be shown to the right people more often. And your cost per click, it will eventually go down. It’s gonna start out pretty high. But it’ll eventually go down here because your ads are becoming more efficient. And noticing you can also be doing is just looking at when the searches are being conducted, and focus the majority of your budget on those times because I can edit the times right here. Here. It doesn’t show me like when are they most popular? When you start out, run them all day and everything. And then you can see when are they didn’t when when is a laundromat like most searched for on Google in the local area. And then run your ads during those because those are the competitive hours that you really want to win. And SEO, I can show people where that is to hear this kind of over here in the search trends, interest and everything. This is a lot to take in right here. Why are you kind of like drinking from a fire hose or a fire hydrant right now here with all of this. But when you be taking this away, you want to take the time and learn this stuff ahead of time here. Because this is what’s going to have you destroy your competitors. Start out with a wide net great budget being spent on all hours of the day and then refine it, bring it down. Have these things connect to your landing pages. You want to really understand watch many YouTube videos on landing pages understand what works and what doesn’t work in landing pages. And all that is such just Where did you go after we click on the link in Google add more traffic from those paid search ads can bring out some better results in organic SEO as well. That was a tip I was debating on whether or not I should give out. And that’s when you’re looking for keywords to rank for. Also look for misspelled versions of those keywords. Because not everybody spells laundromat the correct way. Some spell it with like a laundry, ma T and what you’re looking for. Yeah, exactly logic. There’s a tool that Google has here that shows you how often something is searched on their engine, the keyword planner tool. When you’re using that make sure you localize it, you’re not looking for what is the entire US search, you’re looking for what two people in your area search and they allow you to specify for certain zip codes. So definitely do that. If you want to get your interaction rate above 10% And your cost per click below $2. When you got that, then you’re doing really good here. So this is practically 10% grade, how often it shipped here is how often it’s clicked on and So just under $2, that’s a successful Google campaign. We got the time to really get into the ins and outs of Facebook and Instagram isn’t great. You gotta got time for that. Yeah, let’s just do it. All right.
Jordan Berry 1:45:18
Again, if you are, if you’re listening to this, I have links to these videos. So you can go back and actually see he’s sharing his screen right now. And you can actually see everything that he’s talking about. But yeah, let’s talk about,
Michael Jones 1:45:30
let’s talk about Facebook ads. So a lot of people are thinking, and I don’t even know where to begin with social media, because what’s a laundromat gonna post about? What could people possibly want to follow my laundromats page four, I’ll tell you, there are three things you can do. And it’s not all promotional. A lot of people think that’s promotions, people are gonna get sick of seeing me promote my business over and over again, and they will. But you can do something very powerful here. And that’s make your promotion of your business, the thing you do on your page the least. But you may say, Well, wait a minute. That’s the purpose of me having social media here. And if I’m not promoting my business, what else would I be doing? The principle you want to adhere to is you’re making the internet’s for whatever social media platform that you’re on, you’re making it a better place. And here’s how you do three things you can post about one, post something funny, everybody enjoys a good laugh, even if it’s a dead joke, post something funny. Train example here. This here, thing about what you can do with lost socks. To be It’s silly and everything. Or this here, little laundry joke. Little Star Wars reference. Everybody’s happy to see those especially with his cute animals. So post something funny. Nursing is post something helpful. Something like maybe a laundry tip, or life hack related to laundry, something I like boast about, as I show people videos here of how do we fold people’s clothes, they’re in our Washington fold. Because this is a way that we add value of our Washington fold as we focus on folds that specifically save space in the customers dresser. And we show them here, here’s how we do it. Take your laundry here to us, we’re going to fold it like this here. Even complicated stuff like women’s underwear, it’s probably very people don’t know where to begin on where to fold that, or fitted sheets, pants, all sorts of things. Here, we got a video on just about every sort of Article clothing on how to fold it. And that’s what we use for our educational and informative posts. And 1/3 of our time on social media is spent doing those posts. And then we got focused quick
Jordan Berry 1:48:01
on that one. Real quick on now. And now it has the added benefit of showing it it actually is kind of a promotional video in disguise right disguised as a helpful video because like you said, it’s showing the customers Hey, we know what we’re doing. Like, here’s how we do it, here’s how you could do it better. But we we can do it for you. We know what we’re doing here. And it demonstrates that authority, which consequently Google also likes, which is probably why your Instagram ranks pretty high on you know laundromat in your area because you’re demonstrating that authority and Google’s all about the eat right expertise authority and whatever the T I forget what the T is up top my head but yeah, so anyways, sorry, I just want to interject that because that’s that’s a great little sneaky way to promote while actually being also helpful at the same time. Go ahead, but
Michael Jones 1:48:54
T is traffic to compounding effect like the more traffic page gets, the more Google thinks it’s authoritative. So notice all of these are videos to use videos as much as you can on Instagram and Facebook because they want to compete with Tik Tok. So they favorite videos. They’re non promotional do something like this here are say good reasons to wash your bedding. This video here got a cute baby and a cute puppy on the bed. Or this year talking about our money back Mondays thing with some videos, great resources, the website pexels.com You can get a lot of good stock footage that you can play around with and you can make these videos and on canva.com precise specifically format them to fit for Instagram reels and Facebook reels. And they give you a whole bunch of our tools to make it very easy. You don’t have to be a world class editor for anything to make this stuff.
Jordan Berry 1:49:53
I have links Canva and Pexels by the way in the show notes or if you’re on YouTube down below.
Michael Jones 1:49:57
Go ahead. Yeah Nourison Here’s just our videos. But I also want to take a look here at our regular picture posts. This is something I do every single time I post something does not have videos on, it’s just a picture. It’s a carousel. It’s multiple pictures at a time. Why am I doing this? Well, one, do more than just tell the joke for our funny posts, or give the tip for our helpful posts. Throw in a little thing here that says, hey, is this what we got going on today? It’s big wash Wednesday. That’s the promo or and then here is just a all of the information on our laundromat where it’s located, and everything is a carousel. And that means that when someone scrolls through, it may go through those pictures like we just did, to the social media algorithm that counts as engagement. And that also counts with Google as something they favor as well. So well engaged post engagement is gonna be important later on when you’re doing ads. It also helps you in the natural algorithm for social media reels, what I’ve heard, the rule is that he wants to be seven seconds long. Give the reason behind that. Like, it’s like an attention span thing. Give it a good description, don’t waste too much time on descriptions, your time is better served making more reels, more videos, more posts, than trying to mine out as much goodness out of each one. And here’s the problem you run into Facebook, Instagram, Mata in general, they’re not your friends, when it comes to showing what you post to your followers, or the people that are already decide, hey, I want to do business with them on a follow them, not your friend. So they’re not going to show it to them all the time. You can overcome this. One thing is that with Facebook, whenever I post on there, I’m doing it through the planner, the page planner in meta business suite. It will also allow you to post specifically to Facebook groups that lets you do a post up to three at a time. Find yourself three good Facebook groups to post, you know, let’s do it. Those Facebook groups, what I like from the local area is ones that you’d mentioned earlier, it’s moms of mom groups. And another one that I like is the college student groups, because we got three colleges here in Utah. And I try to get my content into those groups as well. And I’m also just paying attention to what’s going on those groups here because I wanna see what’s going on in the community. Maybe there’s something that our laundromat can service or help with. So Facebook is not your friends in doing it naturally on its own. But Facebook can be your friend when you pay them when you pay for them to be your ad and and also with Facebook and Instagram stories if you’re running daily promos like I do every weekday. Those make for good stories, because that way you’re not doing a post them every day, just reminding people of stories that disappear when the day is over. But back to is that Facebook is your friend when you pay them. You want to run
Jordan Berry 1:53:19
through that’s like most of my friends by the way. That’s how that’s how I get friends. Yeah.
Michael Jones 1:53:23
The money. I know the struggle. Yep, yeah. Three kinds of ads you want to do. First one is an educational ad. That just kind of tells people about your service, what the benefit is of its why they use it and everything. show you example of it here like this is an example of that ad just talks about how much of your life is spent doing laundry goes through it step by step here. And conclusion. A person can waste about 1.6 years of their life doing laundry, if you’re just doing one load week. If you’re a family, it’s about five years of your life gone. Doing four loads a week, you want to get that time back, our Washington fold service will help that for that campaign is getting to really deep in the weeds to want to know more about this, contact me. But for that campaign, you want that to be an awareness building campaign, but to a local radius. Here’s the juiciest thing I’ve ever learned about Facebook is a lot of people think they should specifically target certain kinds of people and demographics and Facebook. No, no, don’t do that. Don’t do that. It’s really, it’s really nice that it’s this easy. But Facebook and Instagram, what they want more than anything else is for people to stay on their app to stay on the platform and keep scrolling. So they’re only going to show your ads to the people they think would be most interested in it. They don’t want to clog up the ads. They don’t want clog up the streams of people with apps and ads that are not relevant to that will make them think Man, Facebook’s show me too much garbage, I’m not interested in me go somewhere else to go do something else. So don’t try to figure out who your audience is. Let Facebook do it for you. Because they are much better at gathering data and sifting through that data than any person could. Also nurse critical thing here about ads is this thing here called pixel, I tell you what, for a lot of people, the best thing you can do, you can call up meta, get an appointment totally free. They will tell you how to set up these campaigns. How to install the pixel. Basically what the Pixel does is it tracks what do people do after seeing your ad? Do they go to your website? Where do they click on their website, and it saves those people. You don’t actually ever know who they are, but Facebook saves who it is. So you can run ads to them again later. Because you know how many times a person has to see something before they take action, I say sometimes it’s seven times I think it’s more like three or four times. So you want to save that data. And you do that with the pixel, call meta, they will, they will talk you through how to set this up here I’ve had three phone calls with them, I haven’t paid a cent because I pay so much. And these Facebook ads run so many. That’s ad one that you run the pixel off of is an awareness building campaign. And the next one would be a traffic campaign where you want them to take a certain action like click a link and go to a certain landing page. And then the last one is what’s called a retargeting ad campaign where it’s using the data that is collected from the pixel, like who took action and then remarketing to them as well. And this is all good, because when you get people off Facebook, to your website or off Instagram to your website, those are traffic hits that Google pays attention to to help you rank higher. And they also take a look at where did that traffic come from came from your social media, they liked that better than if it came from somewhere else. And with the ads, what I use are carousal ads, carousel ads, which people have to kind of click through here to see it’s kind of tiny here. But people click through like those carousel posts. And that counts is engagement. And they’ll move it up. Because a person would probably only look through those if they’re interested. And that’s also a customer that the pixel will capture to retarget to later. Retargeting is important because it allows you to get a second chance with a customer that just hasn’t seen enough of your advertising yet to want to try you or remind them you exist after a maybe a bad experience with a competitor. With Facebook, you’ll have lower click through rates, but you’re always gonna pay less per click Pay, like maybe 50 cents a click. And that’s worth doing. And the reason for that is people don’t go to Facebook or to go to Instagram specifically to look for a laundromat to do business with. That’s a critical thing you want to know about your Google advertising by the way, I kind of skipped over it because what’s real critical to pay attention to is user intent. The user of the search engine, what is their intent with each keyword, I put yourself in those shoes and think from that perspective of when someone types in this keyword. Are they looking for a laundromat to do business with and spend money yet? If the answer is no, that keyword is useless and you shouldn’t use it. But all these things you can see here working together are what’s going to allow you to dominate the search engine results page of Google beyond the first page and allow you to win new customers and I’ll tell you what, that more than anything else is how I won a bunch of my commercial customers because they call me I didn’t go run around knocking on doors trying to get them to come to trying to get them to use my laundromat a lot of them came to me and called me up and this is how you do it is by dominating the first page on Google
Jordan Berry 1:59:02
did not realize that we were just gonna get a masterclass today when we jumped on this interview we went from this like emotional story to like straight up laundromat marketing university like right here and right now today I love it in credible and and you know just first of all man thank you appreciate just sharing that level of detail showing the show on the screen shares once again, links will be down below if you want to go you’re listening and you want to go check out the the actual screen share that he was sharing or if you’re watching on YouTube and you want to go back and reference just these little clips without having to scroll through and find them. Go check those videos out in the links there. But man super secret sauce is an understatement for what all that you just talked through from from Google to Facebook and Instagram ads like holy cow man, that’s great. And I’m just sitting here as your talking, I was just sitting over here thinking, Oh, well, man, the wonder you’re dominating right now and have come from where you were to where you are now is because you have obviously invested a lot of time and effort and money into learning how to dominate your market. And that is exactly what you’re doing both online and offline, you’re well on your way to doing that also. So, dude, huge kudos to you. I want to make sure you hit everything you want to hit in the secret sauce, because I don’t want to move on until you’ve said everything you want to say. So let me know if you got anything else. Otherwise, we’ll move on to pro tips.
Michael Jones 2:00:44
Give me one more little thing here. You want to look into what’s called geofencing. And financial services, people say you pay attention to what the smart Buck does hedge fund managers, the pension fund managers, the endowment managers, that’s the so called smart money because billions of dollars what are they investing in laundromats? We can do the same thing. Here we’re looking at, what are the Willeford brothers? They spend a lot of money on or what do they use for marketing? What is some of the other guys that own multiple mats and are raging success do well, I saw that they were spending a lot of money on geo fencing. And I want to know what is that everything? The company I use colori, media guy that runs it, Ernesto Kolari, you can do a much better job of explaining that I could probably be a great guy to have as a guest on the show sometime here. Yes, they have a way of using satellites and cell phone data and foot traffic data to determine who’s visiting your competitors. And let’s show them some ads while they browse the internet. So that if they have a bad experience at a competitor, they know there’s no laundromats that might be nicer and as newer that they can go to. We’ve been doing them for about two months. And the he has a way to show me specifically what kind of foot traffic I got from it. I’ve gotten some foot traffic some successes, generally does take probably about two three months to really start working with everything. But that’s another little gem. I’ll give you their first secret sauces. It’s called geofencing and Killary media cu l l a r i is who you want to check out nice yeah,
Jordan Berry 2:02:23
and yeah, man connect me up and we’ll we’ll chat with him to that’d be awesome. All right. Holy cow that was the most thorough in depth secret sauce we have ever had by far and I mean, you stated at the beginning Hey, the goal is to make this the best episode and we’re well on our way here and and some so awesome. Alright, let’s talk about pro tips. Somebody who is maybe they’re desperate in their in their to get out of their job or maybe they’re just looking for a side investment or whatever the case may be. They’re looking to buy their first laundromat. What advice can you give somebody in that situation?
Michael Jones 2:03:02
Tips? All right, start out with competitive analysis. To find a family laundromat. Ask yourself why is it failing? Me find successful ask yourself why is so successful? What are they doing right? Study your competition as well. Just see, what are their weak points? What are some things where you can add value. What I found that helped me get an easy win was just having automatic doors in my laundromat because no other laundromat in town has that. And a lot of customers have given a lot of positive feedback to that. Nursing you could be doing here is you want to get started on your digital marketing right away get started on learning how to do it and everything. Learn the Google ecosystem and the meta and the Facebook ecosystem, understand those things. Website construction, start that right away. Don’t wait until the laundromat was open like I did. Because here’s my fear was that I put the little website up or put a Google business profile up. And people find it. And then they come to the laundromat and see it’s still under construction. And they’re jaded and I lose that customer doesn’t doesn’t happen. What happens is they look forward to your opening. And I got I can’t wait to check this place out because it’s closer than the one I normally go to or something like that. And also with Google My Business I had this horrible thing happened to me early on where to verify that you own the business, they sent a postcard with a code to the location. I had to wait months before mine came. So for months that we were open, I wasn’t even on Google. And that definitely hurt as bad because a big black eye that we took early on as something that you should be doing from the start get started on marketing right away and do that competitive analysis from the very beginning. story but what I’d say is good,
Jordan Berry 2:04:51
so I’ll just say real quick on the getting online as soon as possible. You’re absolutely right. They do physically mail you something that can take a long time, but also your website Like, I hear a lot of people who are like, I don’t want to put my website up, because it’s not, you know, we’re not open and maybe their fear is, you know, somebody’s going to come and check it out, and it’s not going to be open. But a lot of times what their fear is, is like, Hey, I don’t, you know, the the laundromat is not ready, right? Maybe they’re doing renovations or whatever, I don’t want people showing up or, or, or even even when they’re under contract, I’ll sometimes I’ll say, Hey, this is looking like it’s going to close. It’s looking good. Let’s get your website up, ASAP. Because it also takes time for Google to index that site, basically, like a seasoning period, right? Before Google starts testing you to see where you’re going to fit in the rankings. And again, the goal is to dominate that first page. But it takes time to get there. And it doesn’t always happen right away. And so I’d say hey, man, get that stuff up, and get it going as soon as possible, because it’s just gonna benefit you. And I love the way that you’re phrasing dominating the first page. Same with the social sites, you know, put up coming soon put up, hey, we’re getting new equipment, hey, whatever you’re doing and get it up and going ASAP. Yes, to communicate with the customers, but also more so to even season. So you can start moving up the ranks in Google. So I just wanted to add that but great tip.
Michael Jones 2:06:19
Yeah. And the last thing I’d say is don’t have a white floor at a white floor. Terrible. The same mistake? Yeah.
Jordan Berry 2:06:28
Yeah, I thought, hey, white floor. I just got to keep it clean. It’s gonna look nice all the time. And it’s gonna look good. It’s just impossible to keep it white. So no matter what I did, I could I just couldn’t keep it white. So that’s a that’s a good little pro tip actually never had that one on the show. That’s awesome. All right. The final segment we have on the show is called recommended resources. We are laundromat resource and so do you have any resources that you can recommend to help people grow personally, or help them grow their business
Michael Jones 2:07:03
and get coaching? That’s a coaching. I think it’s expensive. But here’s the thing is that it’s better to spend $1,000 on a coach who can save you 10s of 1000s of dollars. So have you got the opportunity to get coaching from someone like a Jordan or Walid cope or something? Go for it? Because it’s worth the expense? Because, wise man, or was he a smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man will learn from the mistakes of others. That’s totally worth doing. Your neighbors, we covered this earlier, like the gym in my Plaza. get friendly with your neighbors. It’s why America is successful as because we don’t have hostile neighbors. Next thing I’d say is that next best resource would be Facebook groups, laundromat owners is one of them. And I think they are what’s called laundromat owners ideas for success. Those are well worth doing. Yeah, and I’ll link Why join them. Join them, you’ll see a host of tips. Yeah, I think you’ll get more good information out of those Facebook groups than you would ever get from the coin laundry Association membership. All right, there you have it.
Jordan Berry 2:08:20
I’m not gonna argue with you. So, okay. So, man, this has been incredible. I’ve been looking forward to this episode, since we first talked way back when, but I gotta say, man, it’s, it’s blown me away? I am. My expectations have been far, far far exceeded. And, you know, I know that in the middle of it all, it probably didn’t feel like it. But, you know, at this point, looking back, it seems obvious to me like you were you were gonna dig yourself out of it. And, you know, sometimes you just have to go through stuff to get to a point where you can become the person you need to be to get to where you want to go in life. And I think that that is something that we over look a lot. And we want kind of the easy thing. And this industry kind of attracts that right? It attracts the Hey, an easy button, hey, I’m just gonna have to come and collect Hey, it’s passive. Hey, you know, it attracts that sort of like easy button kind of personality, but or just desire, but and sometimes in life, we just need to go through three things not because of anything about us not because there’s anything wrong with us not because we’re failures, not for any of those reasons, but it’s because we need to go through some of those things to develop in ourselves the skills in the character in the abilities that we need to become the person that we want to be to have the life we want to have and now here you are. Not saying that you’ve made it to where you want to go, not saying that everything’s perfect, not saying that you’re not going to have, you know, struggles and trials going ahead. But you’re working for yourself now. And you’re building your own thing, you’re a slave to your own self, to your own desires and not to somebody else’s. And you’re on your way, go on where you want to go. And I just, I loved your story. And then just to kind of the one two punch and follow it up with just man incredible practical tips. This truly has been one of the best, if not the best episode. So man, I really appreciate you spending your time to come on here. I have one last question for you.
Michael Jones 2:10:43
I have a feeling that your
Jordan Berry 2:10:45
story and your knowledge is going to be very compelling. For people, it’s compelling for me, I think it’s going to be compelling for a lot of people. So is there a good way that if somebody wants to reach out to you to just, you know, ask you any questions, feel you out, maybe talk to you about some of the marketing stuff that you were talking about? Or just, you know, wants to tell you how awesome you are? Is there a good way that they can connect with you?
Michael Jones 2:11:11
Absolutely. I’m happy to help people out, send the elevator back down, help people avoid the pain, I had to let the painful lessons I had to learn the hard way. So you want to reach out to me absolutely. Well, maybe we can arrange for it to talk on the phone or get on a zoom call. We can say just start with email, Daytona [email protected]. I’m also fanatical about the Facebook Messenger. So you can always message the laundromats it’s just facebook.com/daytona laundromat or instagram.com/daytona laundromat, it all ends up in the same place. We want to get some help that would save you from a lot of the problems I experienced and get to dominate the Google page in your local area, I’d be happy to take you through that. And just show you the kind of the ins and outs of it or at least point you to the resources of how I was able to do it there. Because there’s a lot of free information, a lot of free resources out there that a lot of people just don’t know about. And certainly say to you, Dread Thank you for having me on. It was great that I was able to rebound from the horrible place I was in to be able to be good enough to be on and share all these tips. I hope that we did give it the best episode ever, if not always happy to come back and share some more of this juice here with the audience because I know a lot of these guys from the Facebook groups and everything. It’s a great audience out there.
Jordan Berry 2:12:42
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, we’ll definitely have you back on. We’ll be doing some more stuff together. I’m sure because you’re like I said, your story is not done yet. I can tell you’re you’re just revving up right now. So I’m excited to see where you go. And again, thank you for coming on. So I’ll have his contact information in the show notes. If you’re on YouTube, that’ll be down below. But reach out. Tell him how great he is. Thank him for coming on the show and sharing all this great stuff. Reach out with your questions.
Michael Jones 2:13:11
Michael, man, incredible.
Jordan Berry 2:13:14
Thank you again for coming on. Appreciate you. It’s my pleasure. Anytime. All right. We’ll do some more stuff real soon. So stay tuned for that.