137. Buying a YouTube-Famous Laundromat with Ben Higginbothom

Welcome to another insightful episode of the Laundromat Resource Podcast! In this installment, host Jordan Berry is joined by laundromat owner and investor, Ben Higginbotham. Together, they delve into a wide range of topics, including Ben’s journey into the laundromat industry, the financial barriers to entry, negotiation strategies, and the intricacies of managing and expanding multiple store locations. Listeners will gain valuable insights into the illusion of money, the art of negotiation, and the transformative belief in creating wealth. Throughout the episode, Ben shares practical experiences and advice, offering a wealth of knowledge for both aspiring and current laundromat owners. Whether you’re looking to embark on a new business venture or seeking to enhance your existing operations, this discussion is sure to provide valuable takeaways and inspiration. So sit back, relax, and join us as we explore the world of laundromat ownership with Ben Higginbotham on the Laundromat Resource Podcast!

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Episode Transcript

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

Hey. Hey. It’s Jordan with the Laundromat Resource Podcast. This is show 137. And I’m pumped you here today because today we have a and really, shine that thing up. And not only is he killing it and doing well in business. He shares all the details, with you on how we did it, how we got owner financing, the numbers, all this stuff. Like, there’s so I wrote down so many notes in this episode.

Jordan Berry [00:00:37]:

I think Ben is I’m I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from Ben in the near future because Ben is a I love the way he approaches business, and you’re gonna get a ton out of it. So can’t wait for you to get into that. Real quick, the one thing I wanna tell you before we jump into it is we have a brand new pro form a calculator. So if you’re looking to invest in laundromats and you’re trying to figure out, okay. How is my laundromat gonna perform when I buy it? And how is it all gonna come out, all the financial modeling gonna come out, after a I purchased it, maybe put in new equipment, maybe have a loan, all this stuff. This pro form a calculator is super powerful, super awesome. Check out laundromat resource.com app / calculators. It is unlimited access for the pro community, and you can try it for free for a few times.

Jordan Berry [00:01:32]:

A if you’re not part of the pro community, you can go use it still,

Jordan Berry [00:01:32]:

a few times for free. So go check it out. Loanmed resource.com/calculators. Obviously, we have the analysis calculator also, and there’s another one coming out. We’ll be announcing it next week. It’s super good. A, for those of you who already own laundromats, this one’s gonna be pretty interesting, I think. So go check out the pro form a calculator.

Jordan Berry [00:01:52]:

I’m losing my voice over here. A the pro form a calculator. I’ll be putting out some content on how to best utilize that here pretty quick, but I wanna give you a shot to go try it out. Alright, guys. A let’s jump into it with Ben Higginbotham. Ben, what is going on, man? Thank you for coming on the show. I’m super pumped to have you here today. How you doing?

Ben Higginbotham [00:02:10]:

A Doing great. Just carving out a little bit of time here from working at the laundromat. We would love to have a conversation with you.

Jordan Berry [00:02:16]:

A Hey. Well, I appreciate you coming on, and super excited to hear your story and who you are. And then, hopefully, glean some some wisdom. I can already sense it. I can feel the wisdom oozing out of you. So I’m looking forward to, getting into that. So why don’t you start by telling us a Who are you and then how you got into this business?

Ben Higginbotham [00:02:39]:

Well, my name is Ben. I have been in and around small businesses since I was a About 14 years old. About even earlier than that. My brother and I had, like, a lawn mowing business when I was about 10 or 12, and a And I ended up working for a small, local funeral home for about 10 years. Lots of crossover between the funeral home industry and the laundromat industry. It’s mostly all, a Owner operators and people that have 1, maybe 2 locations. Very similar. Did that for about 10 years and then a Moved into a different industry, worked for some bigger nationwide companies, kinda decided corporate life’s not for me and jumped into this laundromat thing to, you know, kinda work for myself and we’ll we’ll see how it turns out, I guess.

Ben Higginbotham [00:03:27]:


Jordan Berry [00:03:28]:

Well, what made you go from sort of the funeral home, the corporate, to laundromats, of all things. I’m always curious how people wind up in our little corner of the world.

Ben Higginbotham [00:03:39]:

A Well, so I the big corporation that I’ve worked for a couple of them, I’m actually a licensed aircraft mechanic. Right? A And so I was looking for business that I could get involved with and I saw a laundromat for sale on Craigslist that was about a 10 minutes away from where I was working at the time and I had actually seen YouTube videos on this laundromat, so I was kinda familiar with it. A Went over and talked to the guy that owned it and basically just fell into it because it was close to where I worked at the time. An Did you did you

Jordan Berry [00:04:15]:

make it into any of the YouTube videos?

Ben Higginbotham [00:04:19]:

Only the one talking about how much he made when he sold a Okay. So I didn’t actually show my face, but you did talk about it.

Jordan Berry [00:04:25]:

So Okay. Oh, that’s fine. I, an I know I know who I mean, you could share. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s up to you. Yeah.

Ben Higginbotham [00:04:35]:

I I mean, I don’t care. So if you go on a If you go on YouTube and look up Hot Dog in with Dan, he did a bunch of videos on how to do, like an Alexa system. Those are his most popular ones, a But that’s the laundromat that I purchased first. Doesn’t look anything like that now, but that’s what it was originally.

Jordan Berry [00:04:54]:

A Yeah. Yeah. If you go on there too, you could find a you could find a video of him slamming me, or one of my videos too. So that’s that’s great.

Ben Higginbotham [00:05:03]:


Jordan Berry [00:05:03]:

and I had conversations with him. I have no you know, at least on my side, we’re we’re all good. So, awesome. So you’ve got a famous laundromat. An

Ben Higginbotham [00:05:13]:

I tell people it’s YouTube famous. I don’t know if that’s worth anything or not, but here you go.

Jordan Berry [00:05:19]:

Well, hey, man. You know, like, sometimes it was, like, celebrity houses. You know, they sell for more because just because of that. So maybe you I would bet. I’d, for sure, you know, put a sign up that says, a I’m YouTube famous on your lawn. Right? So There you go. Absolutely. Alright.

Jordan Berry [00:05:36]:

So you found this this laundromat for sale on Craigslist, and you’re like, a Hey. Listen. This could be my ticket out. Can you tell us a little bit about the deal? Like, how did you I I mean, I’m assuming you responded to that Craigslist post. How did that whole process go?

Ben Higginbotham [00:05:53]:

Yeah. So, a Responded to the marketplace ad. He had, given me his phone number. We met up with the laundromat. He had kind of set up his asking price an And whatnot. I went through and it was the usual I a I don’t know.

Jordan Berry [00:06:13]:

I feel like a lot

Ben Higginbotham [00:06:13]:

of laundromats. Nobody wants to give you any numbers, and they wanna just sell whatever they have without justifying it in any way. So I ended up, he was asking 50,000 for it and we negotiated it down and I picked it up for 35,000, a But basically, it was just, we met up 1 afternoon and he handed me the keys and a I handed him a check. And that was the extent of my how to run a laundromat training. So a It was, I don’t know. It was a couple of months of I’d stop in there 3 or 4 days a week before or after work and try to fix stuff up. It was an old top loader store that still had, I don’t know, there were I think 6 a front load machines that were working and then like 22 top loaders. So as you can imagine I was a Became an expert at fixing all the assorted problems that you have with top load machines that were I mean, I had some top loaders that were out of the late nineties.

Ben Higginbotham [00:07:16]:

A So they were well used. Yeah. But, yeah, as as far as the the purchase on that. I actually use a private investor to come up with that money and put that in. So a I ended up not really investing any of my money at all, getting the thing up and running. I think I was into it all set for a couple $1,000, a And that was all just stuff that I had to prepay, some insurance and whatnot before I was collecting money out of the a a store.

Jordan Berry [00:07:51]:

So we talk about that for a sec, because, I mean, I think, a lot of people the big obstacle for a lot of people is the finances to get into this business because it can be you know, I mean, this is a this is a small laundromat that you purchased. It was all top loaders. And, a you know, I don’t know how much money it was making, but, you know, probably wasn’t a ton of money. And and still $35,000 is and that’s cheap, cheap laundromat, but that’s still nothing to sneeze at. Right? $35,000 is still a lot of money. So that barrier to entry an can be pretty high for a lot of people. So can you talk about I mean, so I’m assuming private investor or somebody that you you knew are, like, family or friend or something like that. A Can you talk about how you kinda even just had that conversation? You don’t have to say who it was or anything like that, but, like, how did you approached that conversation.

Jordan Berry [00:08:44]:

How did you kinda make that that partnership there?

Ben Higginbotham [00:08:49]:

So I’ve actually, worked with this individual a couple times before. A I have a few rental properties. And it’s easier to get started with an investor, on a rental property just because a If you can find the right deal on it, it’s backed up behind property and so there is an an actual physical asset there that you work with. But, I mean, I’ve had pretty good luck. A Everybody gets really freaked out about interest rates. But in my experience, if you actually do the math a On short term loans, you can offer really good interest rates to an individual and say, you know, if even if you’re paying that person a 12% interest, which is really good interest guaranteed. Right? Over a year, that doesn’t really actually cost you that much money. A So it’s all about a balance of cash flow and what you can work out with an investor, but I think a lot of people a A lot of people get confused, or not confused, but tied up in the the idea that everything has to be super, super, super, super cheap.

Ben Higginbotham [00:10:00]:

A You know, we need a free laundromat. We need this. We need that. We need 4% interest rates. Well, that’s not a That doesn’t follow through. If if you have the cash flow to justify it, then you can actually pay more money. And when you’re willing to pay some more money, it’s actually not a Hard to find somebody that has 30 or 40 or $70,000 that they wanna, you know, do something with to make some money.

Jordan Berry [00:10:25]:

An I I love everything every single beautiful word that just came out of your mouth because, you’re you’re absolutely right. Like, I think we get caught up in these numbers. And I know, you know, even, Dan got that laundromat for, quote, unquote, a free it was quote unquote a free laundromat when he got it. And, you know, which is fine, but an I I love what you’re saying that, like, hey, we get so wrapped up in, you know, the interest rate thing. A yeah. It’s all a math problem. Right? So it’s just a math problem that interest rate I I tell people a lot. Like, I get it.

Jordan Berry [00:11:02]:

A interest rates are significantly higher than they were even just 2 years ago, everywhere and especially in our industry. A but it’s just a math problem. Right? Like, I almost don’t care what the interest rate is as long as I can hit the numbers that I need to hit to make a deal work. Right? And a I think that you are hitting the nail on the head and especially, like, let’s just say you bought this thing for $100,000 and you took it out over a year. Right? It really only cost you even at a 12% interest rate. That’s that’s $12,000. Right? So, you know, in in Right. Less than that.

Ben Higginbotham [00:11:37]:

A Yeah. Go ahead. And may I get no. Go ahead. I just I feel like people we need to put it in perspective. Like, people only think in perspective. Right? A And so I always tell people like, okay, so say you borrow $100,000, 12% interest for a year. Right? It costs you $12,000.

Ben Higginbotham [00:11:56]:

And a For $12,000, what would you buy for $12,000? Would you buy a business that’s gonna feed you? I mean, we can throw out some random numbers here, but you a You could make $75,000 a year for the next 25 years out of a laundromat. Is that worth $12? I mean, it’s worth $12 to me.

Jordan Berry [00:12:15]:

An all day of

Ben Higginbotham [00:12:15]:

So Exact Like, people yeah. I will pay $12,000 for the revenue any day of the week. A And I think people just get hung up in the big numbers, you know, where people can’t it’s hard for people to understand big numbers as a as a factual thing that’s been studied. A But like you say, it’s all just a math problem, figure out how to balance it out and make it happen.

Jordan Berry [00:12:38]:

Yeah. And and and I’ll even like, a just to kinda add to that perspective, I’ve I’d even pay $12,000 to make $5,000 every year for the next, a, you know, 25 years or what. Right? It doesn’t even have to be, like, the big numbers. Right? That’s still a a really good return on my money. So, awesome. Okay. I appreciate you kinda delving into that, with me there, because that’s one of the big questions that I get a lot is that money question. And, you know, it sounds like what you did was you found a way to make it work for you and to make it work for an investor to where they’re getting something that’s lucrative for them, and you’re getting something that’s lucrative for you in in in a in the form of a business.

Jordan Berry [00:13:22]:

So can you talk about so you bought this thing. Right? What was it like when you took over? Like, day 1, you get the keys? A How how did it feel? It

Ben Higginbotham [00:13:32]:

was terrible. Like? Yeah. I mean, it was it felt good. I mean, there’s really I don’t know. There’s a I don’t know how you describe the feeling of saying, you know what, this is mine, you know? And to be fair, a So I have a 24 hour unattended store. Right? And I know there’s a lot of controversy over that, but, I didn’t even have a key to the front door of my laundromat for 6 months till I got a lawn locksmith to come out and change the lock because there was no key to it. So I just had a bunch of money box keys and had to figure it out from there. But, yeah.

Ben Higginbotham [00:14:06]:

It was kind of, a There’s a lot of steps to getting set up. You know, you gotta make contact with insurance people and a Just set up a business, set up an EIN, all this. And it’s not complicated. It’s just there’s a lot of stuff to do in those 1st month or two a

Jordan Berry [00:14:29]:


Ben Higginbotham [00:14:29]:

I don’t know. I enjoy that. I enjoy the business aspect of stuff, so that’s not something that is foreign to me. But a I I had to tell everybody I play in laundromats. I just I do it for fun, and the money is a fringe benefit. Right? A

Jordan Berry [00:14:45]:

that’s all. And I love that. I mean, I think that’s a really great perspective to have, especially kinda when you’re getting in a into that business. You know, at some point, it it might get a little more serious where you’re like, okay. Like, this is like a this is cool. Like, this is you know? And and you really start playing, fun, which is pretty fun. Okay. So what a What I just said made no sense, but I like what you’re saying.

Jordan Berry [00:15:12]:

I love the, I just play in laundromats and enjoying it. Right? Enjoying the process. It’s not a it’s not a burden to you, it’s just it’s something that you enjoy doing. That’s all I’m trying to say.

Ben Higginbotham [00:15:22]:

Something that I’ve I’ve noticed with a lot of, a Other small business people that I’ve worked with. Like I said, when I was looking for an industry or whatever you want to say to get into, a I said, I do not want to be more stressed out working for myself than I am working for somebody else, because that doesn’t make any sense to me a Why you would move, you know, into something that gets you more, I mean, it’s it’s it’s all different. Right? When you’re working for a A 9 to 5 job end of the day comes and you can pretty much check out of it and you’re done. And you can’t really do that with your own business. But, a You know, I just said, hey, man. I gotta have something that I can really enjoy what I’m doing and go from there.

Jordan Berry [00:16:08]:

Yeah. Yeah. And building something for yourself too. And I I feel like a that that building something for yourself is more important now than ever before, a really? Because, I mean, everything is so wonky right now. Right? I mean, we talk about interest rates, an And, you know, inflation is going wild. Prices I guess that’s inflation, but prices are going up on stuff. And, you know, labor’s hard to find and yada yada yada. It’s like you gotta you gotta build something for yourself to have sort of that security too.

Jordan Berry [00:16:40]:

So I like a I like that. You mentioned, that that the the a the asking price was 50,000, and you ended up settling on 35. Can you talk just a little bit about how did you how did you go about that conversation? Because I think that’s something that’s really intimidating for a lot of people is to have negotiation in general is is it can be very intimidating for people. A so can you talk about how you had those conversations, how you guys came to that number, and both agreed to it?

Ben Higginbotham [00:17:14]:

Yeah. Definitely. A So we had discussed a couple different numbers. I actually offered him, I think 25 for it. I think I offered 50% of what he was asking. A Because I said, you know, hey, man. If you don’t have any books that you’re willing to share on this, I mean, I’m taking a big gamble. You know, you kinda sell all the a bad parts of your position when you’re you’re doing that.

Ben Higginbotham [00:17:38]:

And then he came back with his counter offer, and he had a couple of, a You know, the seller had said, well, if you do if you want this and this, we’ll do this price. And if you want a few more things, a then a little more money. And so just I think you’re right. A lot of people really struggle with negotiating, and I see this a lot on the Facebook groups. A You’ll see somebody post on there and they’ll say, hey. I contacted this guy, or a landlord or something. A The landlord thing kills me. Right? Like, the landlord sent us a lease that says, hey, man.

Ben Higginbotham [00:18:11]:

This is a 5 year lease. I don’t know if I can justify buying a a laundromat on a 5 year lease. A You can. But did you ask for a 15 or a 20? No? Quit talking on the Internet. Go out and tell the guy that you need a 15 year lease.

Jordan Berry [00:18:23]:

A That’s exactly.

Ben Higginbotham [00:18:24]:

Landlords rarely get you in trouble for telling you that you want to give them more money. So but yeah. I mean, it’s basically just a a Back and forth of, hey, man. This is what I can do, and this is what I can pay for it. How does that work for you? And just finding a balancing point between what you need and what the seller needs.

Jordan Berry [00:18:42]:

A yeah. And, I mean, I like the the the selling selling the negatives, essentially, and and kinda a it’s it’s really perspectives. Right? Like and going back to it starting to turn out to be a theme here, already. But right? It’s like offer in your perspective as the buyer, and the seller’s trying to sell their perspective as the seller. And, you know, I I think the a the negotiation question is super important, or the topic is super important right now, especially because one thing that I’m a seeing all over the place right now. A lot of my consulting calls and just analyzing deals on my own is asking prices are higher now than ever 4. And if you do know negotiations, you’re paying top, you know, top of the market prices on on laundromat acquisitions right now, an all over the place be because that’s just kinda where people are that’s how I’m seeing people position, and they’re they’re asking high. An and then if you don’t negotiate down to a reasonable number, you’re you’re gonna be overpaying for a lot of laundromats right now.

Jordan Berry [00:19:49]:

So that negotiation thing, I think, is an is crucial. I appreciate you sharing some tips,

Ben Higginbotham [00:19:55]:

on that. Yeah, definitely. I think also, when you When you’re selling something, the like it it’s difficult to see the negatives in something that you’re selling, an when we’re talking about something, if this is a business that this person has worked in for 20 years or 10 years, you know, and it they’ve been there every day, a The like, things normalize, and it’s hard to see those negatives. And they talk about a buying and selling is a relationship, but nobody really, like, delves into what kind of relationship do you need to have with a seller when you’re trying to negotiate. A And basically, I think it just comes down to you need to be honest about the situation and if if you can make a deal happen, great, but don’t get so an Emotionally invested in it that like you you end up making a bad deal just because, you know, it’s the the best one that you found in the 1st week of looking for 1 or something.

Jordan Berry [00:20:55]:


Ben Higginbotham [00:20:56]:

But if you go to a seller and you say, hey, man, listen, I know you haven’t had any trouble out of your water heater for 20 years, but the reality is it’s a 20 year old water heater. You know, stuff like that. I I don’t think that your sellers are necessarily trying to misrepresent thing. It’s it’s just hard to a See that when you’re up close to it.

Jordan Berry [00:21:15]:

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, yeah. I think you nailed that on the head for sure. And, you know, it’s a listen. I’ve sold laundromats before. I know, like, you pour your blood, sweat, tears into a laundromat and you’re emotionally invested in it, it, a a lot of times as a seller, it just means more to you, and you see more value in it than there really is. And, you know, which is great because, an you know, you should take pride in what you have and stuff.

Jordan Berry [00:21:40]:

But, you know, as a buyer on the buyer side, you don’t wanna a buy somebody else’s problems and and pay for their problems. Right? You wanna anticipate those problems and negotiate, accordingly, you know, so that you can Right. Anticipate and handle those problems when they come up, which is awesome. Okay. Thank you for sharing that. I mean, I think and I’m sure negotiations will come up again, here, and we can talk more about it. But, an okay. So you bought this this laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:22:13]:

Did what was the plan coming in? Was the plan to just keep running it as is? Did you go in and make changes? A what was the what was the plan after you bought this laundromat?

Ben Higginbotham [00:22:23]:

Well, I knew from the outset that the equipment was basically shot. A It was a hodgepodge. Like I said, I had some 4th generation Wazca mats. I had a bunch of top loaders. I had some old Dexter washers. A I like 4 different generations of dryers that were, you know, just basically falling apart. But so I purchased this. I don’t think I mentioned this, but I purchased this a In the early spring of 2021.

Ben Higginbotham [00:22:49]:

So we were coming right out of the COVID business. Everything was a mess. A And I knew that I wanted to retool, but everybody was quoting outrageous lead times and stuff. So a It ended up, I operated it the way it was, from May of 21 until January of 22 is when I finally got my first. A I put 10 new washing machines in it. I put, I think, 7 40 pound machines and 3 60 pound machines in. A And that was about all I was willing to gamble as far as money, plus I’m not sure that anybody would have financed me for any more than that based off what the a Wandaormat was generating revenue wise. So that was 7 or 8 months that I operated it.

Ben Higginbotham [00:23:35]:

A Got those 10 new machines in, and I did not so a We had a pretty decent customer base. There’s a big apartment complex across the road. It’s in a good neighborhood. And I didn’t feel like a I was really bringing any value to that laundromat during the time prior to putting new equipment in. I mean, I had a Spruced it up and we cleaned and, like, everybody wants to know how to make their their you know, we got this new laundromat. How do you make it better? A Clean it. And when you’re done cleaning it, clean it again. And then clean it and clean it some more, and tomorrow start cleaning it again.

Ben Higginbotham [00:24:14]:

But, a We ran it 8 months and I never did do a price increase, which I don’t know if that was the best best plan or not, but a That’s what I felt was appropriate since the machines were breaking down all the time and, it just it was kind of a mess. So we got the 10 new washers in that were, a I didn’t have any other large machines. The biggest machine that was already there was the 30 pound machine. So I got the new large machines in a And raised prices across the board for the whole store. And that’s really when things started taking off. And I said, hey, wait a minute. A This place actually is gonna make some, like, some legit money. I can, you know, justify a much bigger remodel a And actually fix up some of the infrastructures, things like that.

Ben Higginbotham [00:25:03]:

So that was January of 22. I ran with a The equipment that was there from, January, February whenever we finished getting in till March of 23 Earlier this year and then we shut the entire store down. It’s in a little strip mall, so we gutted it back to the outside walls, a Redid the plumbing, the sewer, the electric. There’s no walls still standing that were existing. A Basically, we built a new laundromat inside of a a box. So

Jordan Berry [00:25:39]:

Woah. Okay.

Ben Higginbotham [00:25:40]:

That’s kind of the timeline.

Jordan Berry [00:25:43]:

A Yeah. We’re gonna need to talk about that in a second. But you touched on another big fear that I think a lot of owners have a or slash big question. And and, I I mean, I think fear is a good word for for a lot of people that that an are in this situation. Right? So you had this laundromat that had older equipment that was essentially shot, and an then you and you ran it that way for a little while, and then you put new equipment in, and that perch or that decision to purchase new equipment an can be a very scary one. Like, the equipment’s not cheap. Right? And so it can

Ben Higginbotham [00:26:20]:

be a Not at all. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:26:21]:

It can be a very scary investment, to make in your business. So can you talk and you don’t have to give specific numbers if you don’t want to, but can you talk a little bit about performance before a view of the laundromat before you purchased the equipment, that 7 months or whatever it was, versus after, and and talk about how having the new ink equipment impacted it. Was it a major impact? Was it I mean, obviously, it sparked something in you, so I’m assuming it was a substantial Yeah. So talk a little bit about it?

Ben Higginbotham [00:26:52]:

I had pretty well I think the 1st couple of months that I purchased the store, a I grew revenue, I don’t know, maybe a1000, $1500 a month. You know, a It went up, but it was not by any means like a rocket ship, you know. A And we ran that way pretty much paying the bills, but not really making much of a profit at all. And then when I put that, 10 new washers in.

Jordan Berry [00:27:25]:

A So the way

Ben Higginbotham [00:27:25]:

this store was laid out, it has 3 bulkheads or had 3 bulkheads of Washers and we ended up replacing 1 entire bulkhead. So it kind of visually, just changed the whole a Herb appeal of the store. You can it’s got plate glass windows in the front, you can see in it. It’s got tiny new stainless steel equipment, a And I tripled revenue in 3 months. So Jeez. Yeah. And that’s when I said, hey, but wait a minute. An

Jordan Berry [00:27:56]:

yeah. Yeah. Okay. You tripled revenue in 3 months. That’s yeah. An that’s wild. Okay. Well, do you think that that I mean okay.

Jordan Berry [00:28:09]:

Listen. Results not typical. Don’t go out and a buy all new equipment, expecting that every time. But that’s awesome because I I think that that does happen. Do you do you think that that was can you attribute that to an I mean, you said you raised prices across the board, so that’s gonna contribute to it. Do you do you feel like you gained a lot of new customers also when you did that? Or where do you where do you think that Tripling came from.

Ben Higginbotham [00:28:32]:

Yeah. Definitely a lot of it was, it was new a Customers or returning customers.

Jordan Berry [00:28:42]:


Ben Higginbotham [00:28:45]:

a Part of the trouble that I have with I was all coin operated. Right? And there’s no way to tell what’s going on in a coin operated store. A but just going off of the metrics of when you look at the cameras, there’s a lot more people in there and a Like the guy that comes and cleans for me has to come and clean twice a day instead of once a day sort of thing. Like, I know that the the customer base grew substantially. A Like I said, I’m in a really good location. I’m in a metropolitan area, but there’s not I think the next closest laundromat to me is like a 5 miles away, 4 miles away, something like that. It’s a pretty good drive as far as being in the city goes. So a I’m somewhat of a captive market.

Ben Higginbotham [00:29:31]:

And, you know, I did raise prices substantially because, they were not a prices were low and all the machines were small. So what I have a noticed is, if you have all top loaders and 20 30 pound machines, people will come and shove a One of your 30 pounds of mesh laundry, a lot of times into a top loader because they’re easy to shove way too much laundry into. A But then if you offer them a 40 or a 60 or an 80, a lot of times they’ll come and put that same load of laundry a Into a 40 or 60 pound machine where it belongs. So even if you’re doing the same volume of laundry, a If it’s actually in the machines that it should be in, you’re making better revenue off of it.

Jordan Berry [00:30:23]:

Yeah. And that’s a that’s huge, and that’s a that’s a huge opportunity. So if you find a laundromat that’s all top loaders or smaller machines like that, a Coming in and being able to put in some newer equipment is a huge revenue driver. And not only that, but a guess what? When people are putting 40, £60 of laundry in those top loaders or even the 30 pounders, you a Not only losing out on that revenue, but it’s also wearing on those machines, real hard. Right?

Ben Higginbotham [00:30:53]:

A Yeah. They’re not getting a good quality product. I mean, 60 pounds of laundry in a 30 pound washing machine does not wash very well. No. So even if the machine is a Functioning at top notch, they’re still not getting a quality service for what they’re paying for.

Jordan Berry [00:31:09]:

Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And a there’s just so many benefits. So, okay. So you raised prices. What do you have any sense and, again, it’s hard to tell. Right? But do you have any sense of, like, an you gained some new customers, and the nearest laundromat, you said, was, like, 5 miles away or whatever.

Jordan Berry [00:31:28]:

An where do those new customers come from? Do you have any sense of that?

Ben Higginbotham [00:31:35]:

A So this apartment complex across the way is doing a major remodel, so they but they really didn’t start that until after, You know, most of this had occurred, so I’m not sure. I think the reality of the situation is there’s a lot of business out there to be had. I don’t think it’s necessarily the old, build it and they will come model from Kevin Costner. But, You know, there’s a lot of business out there to be had and if you are offering the best the best service in your area, an Then you’re gonna pull business from places that you don’t even know about.

Jordan Berry [00:32:20]:

Yeah. A yeah. I think you’re right. And, you know, it’s interesting that the business app that’s out there. You know, a lot of who who knows, right, where they’re doing their laundry, whether it’s in, like, the basement of the apartment complex or they’re driving the 5 miles or whatever it is. Right? But a I think you’re right. There is a lot of business out there to be had, that we miss out on when we’re running like a zombie mat. Right? And people will do a anything they gotta do to avoid going to a place where they don’t feel safe or that’s not clean, or they’re not sure the machines are gonna work.

Jordan Berry [00:32:57]:

A, you know, in it’s amazing how when you start managing your laundromat properly a And you’re adding that value like you talked about, where the people will start to come back. Did you did you accompany this sort of partial retool with any kind of marketing at all?

Ben Higginbotham [00:33:21]:

I did 3 or 4 a to the 1st round of machines. A And then there’s a lot of areas that I do not I have been a and have not been able to run a Google Ad for a year and a half because I keep sending them information and they keep telling me I don’t exist. A So I haven’t done any advertising since spring of 22. I’ve got a Google page. I’ve got and honestly, the Google, a Maps page, Google Business Profile, that’s where it’s at. Just go get yourself a bunch of good reviews, which you get if you have a good store a And make sure your hours are up to date, and that’s where probably 50% of my business comes from. An

Jordan Berry [00:34:14]:

Yeah. Yeah. And, again, that’s low hanging fruit. We’ve heard that over and over on here, like, the lowest hanging fruit. If it if you don’t, a if you haven’t claimed your business, claim it if you can, if they’ll let you exist, in their eyes. And and being on you know, a getting on Google Maps and getting on, Google listing so that when people search it, you’re gonna show up on the map, and you’re gonna show up on the search engine results page, a, for your business there. And, again, in in those reviews are key also. So I I love that you brought that up.

Jordan Berry [00:34:47]:

Are you doing anything to get reviews a proactively or you’re just kinda letting them happen because you’re awesome?

Ben Higginbotham [00:34:54]:

They’re just kinda happening. I’ve been looking at, a There’s some of these places you can get the, like, QR codes where you can scan it, and it takes you right there. I’m thinking about putting one of those on the door, but I haven’t figured it out

Jordan Berry [00:35:04]:


Jordan Berry [00:35:05]:

Yeah. A must be nice to be awesome enough for people to tell you how awesome you are. Me, on the other hand, I have to pause in the middle of a podcast interview and say, hey. If you haven’t done it yet, a go on whatever platform you are listening on and go give me a rating and review for this podcast. We love it. Helps us get it out to everybody else. So if an not as awesome. You gotta ask for it, but you are that awesome, so you don’t have to ask.

Jordan Berry [00:35:31]:

But those QR codes do work really well, and and posting them kind of an around the store even too, is is great. Okay. So you put in some new a machines and your business is incredible. Now it’s tripled the revenue, which is awesome. A were you making more money even after because, you know, you also got a loan. Did well, did you buy them with a loan, the machines with a loan, or did you buy them cash?

Ben Higginbotham [00:36:03]:

A No. It’s all been loan, through the, manufacturer.

Jordan Berry [00:36:08]:

Okay. An So did your did your net income go up, stay the same, go down after you purchased those machines?

Ben Higginbotham [00:36:15]:

It went up. So they covered their expenses plus, a You know, more on top of that. So

Jordan Berry [00:36:22]:

That is the goal. Right? That’s that’s

Ben Higginbotham [00:36:24]:

Yep. The

Jordan Berry [00:36:25]:

goal. And an and, again, it kinda goes back to our conversation about interest rates and stuff too. Right? You can pay a higher interest rate if those machines are gonna cover their expenses a handsome. Right? And that’s that’s the goal.

Ben Higginbotham [00:36:38]:

It’s Yeah. Fun fact, I’m sure you’re familiar with, adjustable rate interest a And what’s happened in the last couple years. Yeah. But my interest rate on that loan has adjusted, I think 4 a half or 5% a And so it’s, you know, anytime you can get fixed rate, that’s definitely the way to go. You know, there’s a We’re still good price wise, but or you know, revenue wise, but that’s definitely changed the math equation an With the crazy interest rate, movement that we’ve had. Right? Like, who could have predicted that?

Jordan Berry [00:37:21]:

An yeah. Well and just so everybody’s on the same page and and understands, like, normally, when you think about, a like, getting a mortgage for a house or something like that. You’re getting a a fixed rate, which means you get it at whatever percentage. Right? A lot of people got it at, like, a 2 or 3% for all those years leading up to the last couple years. And then more recently, everybody’s freaking out because interest rates are at a 6 or 7% for buying a house. Right? But when you buy your house, it’s gonna stay at that percentage until you pay off the loan or until you refinance or something like that. Adjustable rate just means that, the the interest rate is usually associated with a a number that fluctuates, with this little prime rate or whatever it is. Right? And so, a When it’s associated with that, when the prime rate or whatever it’s fixed to goes up or down or whatever, your interest rate can go up or down.

Jordan Berry [00:38:15]:

Well, guess what? Over the last couple years, a We’ve seen interest rates do pretty much nothing but go up. Right? And so that’s why, you know, what Ben’s saying is a his payments, you know, used to be at whatever percentage. And now the interest rate’s higher, so his payments are actually a higher than they were because interest rates have gone up. So whenever possible, get the fixed, fixed interest rates on any assets that you buy. But that’s not always possible, and it’s not always necessary either. An but, you know, it’s one of those situations, like you said, nobody could have predicted what happened really. And so but it’s biting you a little bit on the butt. But luckily, you’re still profitable.

Jordan Berry [00:38:56]:


Ben Higginbotham [00:38:56]:

A And it goes back to what you were saying earlier about everything is a math equation when it comes to finances. So when you’re looking at a loan, you just need to say, hey, look, this a This is an adjustable rate loan. I know that. If it’s this, you know, this interest rate they quoted me, fine. Okay. What does that payment look like? A Let’s say it goes up 2% in a year or 2. What does that payment look like? Let’s say it goes up 5%. Because once you do the first like, it’s just swapping out a Metrics within your equation after you figure the base out.

Ben Higginbotham [00:39:25]:

So just there’s nothing wrong with an adjustable rate loan. Just do the math to understand what

Jordan Berry [00:39:33]:

a You’re buying. Yeah. Absolutely. Okay. So and thank you for that sort of side note because that’s not really a side note. That’s like a pretty critical oversight that I’ve seen people make where, you know, if you have tighter margins, then that one can really bite you in the butt and put an in the red sometimes. So thank you for bringing that up. Alright.

Jordan Berry [00:39:52]:

So you put in new equipment, you said in early was it early 2022? An That when you did it?

Ben Higginbotham [00:39:59]:

Yeah. Early 22.

Jordan Berry [00:40:00]:

Okay. And revenue tripled in 3 months, which is insanity. A, and have you done anything else to that store since then?

Ben Higginbotham [00:40:11]:

Yeah. So I ran it with 10 new washing machines for a About right at 12 months, I think, right at a year. And it was the usual this store was built in the sixties, a Had cast iron draining pipes, which were, you know, questionable. It had actually, all the water lines had been replaced already. A But just the infrastructure was weak. So we were looking at how to do the rest of the equipment, and we were having, you know, how a How we’re gonna do this? How we’re gonna do that? And finally, I was like, look, if we’re gonna do it, we’re just gonna do it the right way. So we completely gutted everything. A The people who look at, Lots of Laundromats will understand this originally, and I’ll send you a couple of pictures if you want to throw them in the podcast or something, a before and after.

Ben Higginbotham [00:41:02]:

A But it was originally bulkheads coming off of the sidewall, you know, with aisles in between them. And they were too the aisles were too small to put larger front load equipment in because, you know, you get down to like a 30 inches 36 inches aisle, something like that. And I said, that’s not gonna work. A So we actually changed it to a shotgun style store where all the washers are on one side and all the dryers are on the other side. A So I ripped everything out. I’ve got, 8 new washing machines. I have a total 18 washers in there, and I’ve got, 20 a 23 dryers. So fun fact, I am a About an 1800 square foot laundromat.

Ben Higginbotham [00:41:45]:

Right? I have 3 80 pound machines in there and 3 75 pound dryers. A So people talk about those and they question, you know, should we put should should I put 1 in or 2 in or man, they make a lot of money.

Jordan Berry [00:41:59]:

Yeah. A Yeah. Load them up. Load them up in there. And those and those tend to be the highest margin, machines generally too, an, which is good. And and, you know, it’s really interesting. So the 1st laundromat I bought was the same format with the an long and skinny, sort of almost that bowling alley style, with the aisles coming off the edge. And an And I think I had, like, I think I had 5 aisles coming off the the sidewall there.

Jordan Berry [00:42:30]:

And a I seriously considered getting mine and redoing it similar to how you did it because one of the problems that I was having was all those little a iles created these little, like, nooks for trouble to happen.

Ben Higginbotham [00:42:46]:

Much sleep sleeping rooms. Yeah. A You you get 5 homeless people in each aisle and curl up on your rug, and it’s good to go.

Jordan Berry [00:42:53]:

Yeah. And and what what I found too is, like, an people couldn’t look in from outside and make sure everything was good. Right? Because you couldn’t

Ben Higginbotham [00:43:03]:

see a all

Jordan Berry [00:43:04]:

the aisles from the outside. And it did keep people from coming to that laundromat, you know, for a long time until things finally got cleaned up, and it was a consistently a safe place to be. So, yeah, that’s a kind of an added benefit. But you probably lost some did you lose any capacity there? Because I feel like if you have those fingers coming off the wall, you can put more machines in there.

Ben Higginbotham [00:43:30]:

So I went from 36 washing machines to 18. An And I gained I think I gained 40 or 50 pounds in capacity. Yeah. Because I went to much larger machines, you know, when you have a whole row of 15 or 18 or whatever they are pound, top loaders, like, you have a lot of machines, but you don’t have a lot of capacity. So, yes, I am down a significant number of machines, but it’s it a works for a better. And to your point about being visible, we get a lot of, you know, female people coming in and a Using our services and they all comment about how bright it is and how you can see in there and there’s no place for anybody to hide and there’s no, a Like, it’s it’s safe and it’s comfortable for them. And that’s what, you know, that’s what I was going for was to get rid of all those little weird spots an people could hang out and, just I don’t want people hanging out in the laundromat. Come in to your business and head out.

Ben Higginbotham [00:44:37]:


Jordan Berry [00:44:37]:

An Yep. Yeah. That’s that’s critical. And and, you know, to your point so people a lot of times in, like, consulting calls or people just kinda a talking to me or interested in in the business are always, like, you know, oh, this laundromat has x number of machine, x number of washers, x number of dryers. It’s like, is that good or is that bad? Or an And, honestly, like, I can’t even tell you like, I I don’t even pay attention to how many machines there are a in in a store, because it’s kind of a useless metric to me in terms of evaluating a laundromat. A the for me, at least, a much more insightful and valuable metric is that capacity. How many total pounds a of wash capacity and how many total pounds of dry capacity there are. So when you, I love when you say, you know, when you said, you know, I lost almost half the number of machines that I had, but I gained capacity.

Jordan Berry [00:45:34]:

To me, I mean, I’m I’m back here smiling because that is a what it comes down to in my mind is how much capacity there are, there is, you know, provided you have you know, I wouldn’t want, like, a a 1,000 pound machine and that’s it. Right? But, Right. That capacity is the important number, really, to me.

Ben Higginbotham [00:45:54]:

A There’s definitely a balance because you need to get some some wisdom from somebody who has done a little bit of this, a Because my distributor threw me up a really pretty picture that involved me buying 36 washing machines from him, a And I don’t believe that if I bought twice as many washing machines as what I have now, I would have twice as much revenue. A What I would have is twice as big of a loan and probably about the same revenue that I have right now. So a Like, there’s a there’s a balance to yeah. You need you need more capacity, but a If you have too many machines, your turns per day go down. And then, well, you’ve really you’re actually losing here now an Because you spent too much money for the amount of revenue you can generate.

Jordan Berry [00:46:48]:

Yeah. I mean, that’s it’s that’s so wise and, an, and sophisticated way of looking at it, right, is, you know, our our job as business owners is to increase revenue while decreasing expenses and and waste. Right? And so if you’ve got machines that are underperforming. You know, it it’s a waste. Right? Like, if you’re doing a 1 and a half, 2 turns a day on your machines. Well, you just you either don’t have enough well, you just you don’t have enough demand, a Right? I mean, at your store. Right? And and so you have a lot of waste, and you’re better off having half the number of machines and, a, you know, in the same revenue or more of a revenue than having, all these machines that aren’t doing anything a 95% of the day. They’re just sitting there.

Jordan Berry [00:47:47]:


Ben Higginbotham [00:47:47]:

Yeah. And even if you lose business, like, again, it’s all a math equation. A If you lose 10% of your revenue, that’s I don’t know, a couple $1,000 a month maybe. Who knows? But if you save a $200,000 in equipment, like, I’ll give you $2,000 a month to save $200,000 plus interest. Yep. A So it’s just it’s all math. Math is how business runs is in my opinion.

Jordan Berry [00:48:15]:

Yeah. No. I agree. That’s what I tell my a my kids, all the time, I’m like, there’s some subjects where, yeah, I want you to always do your best, but you have to be good at math, like math, reading, writing, speaking. Those are the things you have to be good in. The other things I want you to do the best you possibly can, a those subjects do the best you possibly can and also be good even if it’s better than you can. Like, just be good at it. So a I love that.

Jordan Berry [00:48:45]:

Okay. So so you gutted the store. When you out of curiosity, when you gutted the store and, like, redid some of the infrastructure stuff and reconfigured it and stuff. How did you finance that part of it? Because that’s not cheap.

Ben Higginbotham [00:48:59]:

A So I had saved up some revenue out of the stores. I have not actually a Hold any I’ve run expenses through the stores, but I have not pulled any salary out of my store. Well so a chain stores. We’ll get to that in a minute. I actually just bought a couple more. But, so I did not pull any revenue. Yes. A I did not pull any revenue out of these.

Ben Higginbotham [00:49:24]:

I saved up some revenue. I ended up financing some of the construction costs a Along with the equipment loan through the equipment manufacturer, which they don’t like to really mention that they can do, but pro tip. You can definitely roll some of your expense for the remodel into an equipment loan. A And then I just kinda, you know, ran expenses through some credit cards and whatnot. And it honestly, it really was not, a We did a lot of work, but it wasn’t super, super expensive.

Jordan Berry [00:50:01]:

Yeah. An that’s awesome. And, you know, and and that’s, you know, for for businesses, the business should be paying for itself. An right? And and some. Right? And so, I I mean, I love that. And I love that, you know, you’re able to use the cash flow and and roll some of that into a improving the business, reinvesting that into the business to make it better and, hopefully, more profitable for you.

Ben Higginbotham [00:50:26]:

Okay. What?

Jordan Berry [00:50:28]:

You kinda tease us with the carrot, so I what do you mean you got a couple more? Let’s what to to to tell me what will happen next?

Ben Higginbotham [00:50:36]:

A So I was on Facebook again. A lot of stuff off Facebook. It’s we’re as bad as Facebook is for you. You can find some decent deals on there. Yeah. A And an individual in one of the laundry groups had mentioned he was selling some laundromats in my area. So I got a, got in touch with him and a Ended up buying 2 more what basically amount to zombie mats, last month. So we’re definitely a small chain now.

Ben Higginbotham [00:51:06]:

They’re all branded the same, so I guess I can say I’m a chain store owner now. A But working through doing a remodel on those right now and getting some new equipment in and an That’s keeping me busy.

Jordan Berry [00:51:21]:

Yeah. Yeah. You’ve joined the ranks of the elite multi store owner,

Jordan Berry [00:51:26]:

a Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:51:27]:

Group. Did you get your your invite with the secret handshake and everything yet? Or is that still

Ben Higginbotham [00:51:32]:

Oh, yeah. Definitely. But we can’t talk about that on here. We can. A 1st rule of Laundromat Club is no talking about the Laundromat Club. Right?

Jordan Berry [00:51:39]:

That’s right. Definitely not the secret handshake. Yeah. An That’s awesome. So okay. So, so you found this off Facebook, which is awesome. What an can you tell us a little bit about what that process was like? And you bought this both of them from the same owner? Is that the case?

Ben Higginbotham [00:51:57]:

Correct. Yeah. I bought 2 of them, at the same time, same deal. A It actually was a long arduous process. I think I started talking to him in April, a And we closed the end of September, and it wasn’t really that it was difficult to do. It’s just everything moves really slowly and, a I had some other stuff going on in my personal life that drag everything out, but a Ended up negotiating owner financing with him. So they’re in leased buildings. He’s keeping the a And that’s actually something we should talk about.

Ben Higginbotham [00:52:34]:

I see a lot of people going, I don’t really wanna have a lease laundromat. Well, a I guarantee that nobody in the mall, you know, Sephora or, Macy’s, none of them own the mall. A They’re in leased space, like, there’s nothing wrong if you get a good lease that’s got a decent term on it, get it. If it’s a decent laundromat, it’ll pay for itself, It’ll make you some money and you don’t have to worry about fixing up the building. Like, I don’t know why people get scared about this a Leasing laundromat spaces. I like real estate. I own real estate. Someday I’ll own a laundromat that I own the real estate on, but a That’s not gonna stop me from expanding the empire, if if I need to be in lease space because a Lots and lots of people are in leased space.

Jordan Berry [00:53:25]:

Yeah. And, I mean, I’ve got both. I would definitely say I prefer to own the real estate when it makes sense to. But, you know, my perspective on it. I’ve shared this before. My perspective on it is, look, laundromats are a cash flow business. And as long as they’re cash flowing, it doesn’t matter if you’re a if you have a lease or a mortgage that you’re paying. Right? Obviously, you know, again, if it makes sense, get that real estate for sure.

Jordan Berry [00:53:49]:

A but, you know, if you’re in the laundromat business, you’re in it for cash flow. Equity doesn’t build as quickly with laundromats as it does for real estate. So a you’re in it for the cash flow and or some of the tax incentives, that you can get for for owning laundromats. A So, yeah, I’m I’m a 100% with you. Like, if it’s a lease space, but it’s cash flowing and you’re you’re hitting the numbers you need to hit, then For me, it’s like, yeah, no brainer. As long as the lease is good and all that.

Ben Higginbotham [00:54:18]:

Yeah. All those guys. So this this particular deal, a. This fella had it actually quite a large, I think he had 12 or 13 laundromats, all across the whole way bigger footprint than what I would wanna a Great. And I’m a long distance from my store. But, he was selling them all. He’s retiring now. He’s been doing this since the eighties.

Ben Higginbotham [00:54:40]:

A And his business plan is, hey, I’m selling the stores now. I’m gonna ride that cash for a while, then I’m gonna sell the property. So I actually have a lease that gives me first right to buy it With a good, like, the whole thing, the clause is written well, so I’m not gonna get, you know, a Been out of shape when he goes to try and sell and thinks it’s worth $10,000,000 or something crazy. So, that’s good. And like I said, I like real estate. I a I’ll keep buying real estate, but don’t let it get if that’s your barrier to entry, that’s not something I’d be too worried about. A The lease space, owner financed, gave him a down payment that, basically cash flowed out of the other store. A So I essentially bought 2 laundromats for nothing, and just stepped into them and a Started, pulling quarters back out again, which I’m telling you, it’s been a while since I pulled quarters out and I forgot how much of a pain in the mud that it is.

Ben Higginbotham [00:55:40]:

An Sorry to all you quarter loving people, but man alive.

Jordan Berry [00:55:45]:

Yeah. Definitely on the management side, it is a significantly easier than just nix the quarters altogether. Can we talk about the owner? I mean, owner an everybody’s looking for owner financing. Right? How did that conversation come up, and how did negotiations go with the owner financing side of things?

Ben Higginbotham [00:56:05]:

An so, honestly, like, everybody wants to know how you how negotiations, a Like, the I think I said this before, but the best thing that I have to offer on that is just tell people the truth. A He sent me over his financials, and they showed that these 2 businesses were generating a lot of revenue, a Lot of top line revenue and virtually no net profit. And I called them up and I said, hey, man, I can’t get a loan on these. A Like, there’s no bank that’s gonna finance me buying these 2 businesses that don’t I mean, they may they were showing some money, but and he’s like, yeah. Well, a You know, those are the numbers and I Laundromat numbers are always interesting to look at. I think there’s a lot you can read in between the lines, a But, I said, hey, man. If you want me to buy these, you gotta finance them for me, and he said, okay. I mean, it wasn’t It wasn’t a hard sell.

Ben Higginbotham [00:57:06]:

You just gotta say the right, like, this is this is where I’m at, and if we can make a deal, this is what you’re gonna have to do to help me with that. A

Jordan Berry [00:57:15]:

yeah. I I do, I do a webinar just about every single week. Free webinar on netresource.com/events if you wanna join it. But one of the things that I talk about is how to get owner financing, and I have the best way to get owner financing is a Ask the owner if

Ben Higginbotham [00:57:31]:

Ask the owner?

Jordan Berry [00:57:33]:

That’s it. I mean, and and but that’s you know, for a lot of people, especially with your 1st deal, like, it’s a scary a ask for some reason. I don’t know why it’s scary, but it feels scary, to ask for a lot of people. But that is the best way to find out if somebody’s willing to finance an or part of a deal is to ask them, if they’re willing to finance,

Ben Higginbotham [00:57:53]:

that deal. So I think so a My negotiating philosophy is ask for everything and get what you can get. So I had asked this guy, a I said, hey. Look. These are these stores are pretty rough. I’m gonna have to go in and do a fair amount of remodel work. Can you give me some rent abatement, which is, a You know, where you don’t get charged rent for so long while you’re doing this. And, oh, nope, we can’t do that.

Ben Higginbotham [00:58:17]:

Right? You know, rent is what it is. I said, alright. Then I’m gonna need some interest only payments on the the loan against the the business. Sure. We can do that. That’s no problem. As long as I have rent,

Jordan Berry [00:58:31]:

a You know, he wanted rent

Ben Higginbotham [00:58:31]:

checks going into his property management company. That’s fine. That’s what he needed. Well, what I needed was interest only, so I got 12 months interest only. A So I’ll just throw some numbers out here. You know, the economy is bad. Interest rates are up. It’s hard to find deals.

Ben Higginbotham [00:58:46]:

Right? A I bought 2 stores last month, which was well, actually 2 months ago. It was September 26th, I think, 2023. A 4% interest, 12 months interest only payments, freaking small down payment. It can be done. I’m telling you. You got to go out and find a good deal and then negotiate it, but it can be done right now.

Jordan Berry [00:59:12]:

Yeah. That’s, a well, first of all, thank you for sharing numbers. I mean, I think that people always wanna hear those numbers because it you you well, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised, a, coming from a a YouTube famous laundromat. Be I I’m not surprised anymore, but I was surprised early on at how many times people will say, a you know, you can’t you can’t do that. Like, you can’t get owner financing. You can’t get those terms anymore. Like, you know and even I I was just speaking at a real estate investor meetup, a couple days ago, and I was just talking about laundromats and how they’re valued. And people are like, a nobody’s gonna sell you a laundromat that’s making money at, you know, that multiple.

Jordan Berry [00:59:56]:

And I’m like, woah. A I mean, I’ve done it, and I talk to people every single day who were doing it. So, yeah, they will. Like, they they will. Right? And so, a you know, I appreciate you sharing the numbers and and just saying, hey, this is doable. This is possible because there our minds, an until you’ve experienced it and done it or heard it enough times, a lot of times our minds just, like, put up these barriers and these walls. They don’t let us, a, you know, be creative as to what’s possible. And and the key tell me if you agree with this or not, and feel a to disagree with this.

Jordan Berry [01:00:32]:

But I think the key to, like, being able to get terms like that in today’s market where I mean, really, interest rates are in, like, the 11, 12% right now in an in, you know, in our our sphere, in our industry. And being able to get, you know, terms like that on a loan, a the key to doing that is to just figure out what it is the seller wants and needs and structure a deal to help them get what they need. Right? And if you can do that, the A 100%. Matter to the seller. It’s it’s really the needs that they have that matter.

Ben Higginbotham [01:01:07]:

A Yep. That is definitely it. And like I said, it’s all about that conversation and figuring out what you need and what the seller needs and how to make a deal that a Fits both of those to the best that you can make it. And I think a big part of it is, like you said, don’t be afraid to ask for stuff. And, a Just you have to be negotiating from, a Rebecca lack of a better word, from a place of abundance. Like, you have to know that money, like, money is an illusion. A And I know that when you don’t have any money, it doesn’t seem like that. But you know as well as I do, like, when you start talking about business valuations, a You create money.

Ben Higginbotham [01:01:53]:

There you create wealth, for lack of a better term. And so once you can wrap your mind around the fact that a Money money is an illusion, then you can start to do these kinda different structures and you can say, oh, well, an You know, it doesn’t really matter it doesn’t really matter what the number the name assigned to the number is. A It’s whether or not the numbers all align. It’s like it always drives me nuts when I get a quote from my distributor. Right? They line item out all these things. Right? Like installation is one charge, and removal of the old equipment is another charge, and delivery is another charge. A Give a hoot. Like, I don’t care what you’re charging me to throw it on a truck.

Ben Higginbotham [01:02:37]:

I wanna know what the how much is it gonna cost for me to get 10 machines taken to my store and put in? That’s a What what’s that number? Whatever you wanna line item and out as I don’t care. It makes no difference to me. As long as the the bottom line number a Makes sense for what I’m trying to do.

Jordan Berry [01:02:55]:

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, it goes back to that. It’s it’s all a math equation.

Ben Higginbotham [01:02:59]:

A Right?

Jordan Berry [01:02:59]:

And I I mean, dude, the money is is an illusion thing is one of the most powerful mind transformations that I ever had when I, you know and I think I’ve I wanna say I first encountered it, in the book, The Richest Man in Babylon, Which is an awesome book. If you haven’t read that, anybody listening to this, if you haven’t read it, you should for sure read it or or listen to I love the audiobook version, actually, a of it. But one of the things he was saying is, and where it hit me was he was talking about, like a king building a palace. A Like, it costs money to build a palace, but then he’s like and and you pay all the employees and everything. And he’s like, well, is the wealth gone? No. A now the wealth is in the palace, and it’s probably worth more than you than it costs you to build it. And not only that, it’s creating a place for other people to build businesses. And so now there’s more wealth in the area, and it makes the the area more valuable.

Jordan Berry [01:03:56]:

And, you know, and it works like that. And a and it’s true. Like, you you create wealth. It’s an it’s fake. It’s fake money. Right? It’s fake news. Right? Maybe that’s triggering for people.

Jordan Berry [01:04:06]:


Jordan Berry [01:04:07]:

but, you know, it’s fake. It’s an illusion, and it can be created out of out of thin air, out of nothing. Right? And we’ve been seeing that a lot happening, a, with, like, inflated real estate prices. I think the value of my house, you know, quote, unquote, went up, like, 40% over the last 2 years or something like that’s worth a ridiculous amount of money now. Right? But it’s all it’s an illusion. It can be created. It can be destroyed. And once you learn that, an And you can figure out ways to create wealth out of nothing.

Ben Higginbotham [01:04:38]:

I think the the whole home market I mean, I think everybody kind of has an idea what the whole market has done. So it’s an interesting thing to talk about. Because I I really believe words are very important. Right? A Wealth is one thing. Money is a different thing. Revenue is a different thing. Profit, different thing. And people use all these terms interchangeably and they’re not.

Ben Higginbotham [01:04:59]:

A So let’s think about your house for a minute. Right? To your house, let’s say, it was a $200,000 house, which I know you out there in California, $200,000 house is like a The back of somebody’s Geo Metro or something. But Can’t even get Say it’s a 200 even

Jordan Berry [01:05:13]:

build an ADU for a a granny suite for 200,000. But, yeah, go ahead. I get your Yeah.

Ben Higginbotham [01:05:18]:

But say, you you buy a house for whatever amount of money. Right? 10 years ago. Today, it’s worth double that. So it’s 200,000, not it’s 400,000. Right? You go to sell that house, you’re like, hey, I made a lot of money, and then you go to buy another house. A And you what you were actually did is you were in, say, a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house, and you sold it for whatever dollar amount that you got. A The only thing you could buy is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house. Did you make any money? No.

Ben Higginbotham [01:05:46]:

The number just changed, but, like, the the value didn’t change.

Jordan Berry [01:05:50]:

An unless you arbitrage locations, that’s that’s the different like, you know, I can’t I can’t afford a half the houses in the area anymore around here. It’s wild. Right? And you’re not getting anything under 7 figures, that’s for sure, in this area, a in this neck of the woods. And so the only way that would make sense would be if we sold our house and then moved

Ben Higginbotham [01:06:15]:

a Right.

Jordan Berry [01:06:16]:

I mean, that’s why there’s California. It’s all over Tennessee and Texas and Arizona and Idaho. That’s why we all go out there and make everybody else mad because we inflate their prices, an and so they can’t afford houses anymore, but it’s because it’s the only thing that makes sense, right, if we’re gonna do that. So it’s it’s wild, man. For sure. A Wild thing. But okay. So you got you got seller financing deal over there.

Jordan Berry [01:06:40]:

You picked up these 2 laundromats. A tower, were they performing? Were they making money when you took over? Are they underwater? What’s that like?

Ben Higginbotham [01:06:47]:

So, Between the 2 of them, I think he was showing like 50,000 a year, net between 2 stores. A They were barely I mean, they were making a lot more than that gross. But one of them’s attended and does wash and fold, so it has pretty high expenses. A The other was an unattended store, but ironically was more profitable than the attended store. Less less top line revenue, but a Certainly better profit. Yeah. But I mean, a couple Yeah. Couple $100 a month revenue per store.

Ben Higginbotham [01:07:24]:

So an We’re Did you When I did the other one Go ahead. Go ahead. I said, when I did the other one, a You know, it took me two and a half years to do the remodel and all this and I said, if I do another store, I’m just gonna remodel it and, a Like, I kinda feel like I lost 2 years of, where I could have been making higher revenue because I moved so slowly, a But it was kind of proof of concept. 1st one I did, you know, get your feet wet. So the smaller unattended store I just bought a It’s gonna have all new equipment in it. And again, we’re gonna cut back on the equipment because it was a bunch of small machines and I put bigger ones in. A But, the other store we’re going to end up doing kind of in a couple of phases, I think, just because it’s not as bad of equipment.

Jordan Berry [01:08:16]:

An did you find that your numbers after you took over aligned with what he said they were?

Ben Higginbotham [01:08:22]:

Actually, yeah. They were pretty close. A I mean, as far as I can tell, I only collected for about a month before I shut the 1 store down.

Jordan Berry [01:08:31]:


Ben Higginbotham [01:08:31]:

I get new equipment put in it.

Jordan Berry [01:08:33]:

So Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:08:33]:

An how

Jordan Berry [01:08:34]:

long are you shutting it down for?

Ben Higginbotham [01:08:40]:

Well, my 2 week install has turned into, a I think this is week 5. Okay. So until it’s done.

Jordan Berry [01:08:48]:

What’s the what’s holding it up?

Ben Higginbotham [01:08:52]:

An Well, so the original problem was we I was gonna put a couple 80 pounders in there, Which was gonna involve ripping an entire door out, which he didn’t really wanna do. When the install guy came down, he’s like, you can’t even put them in here because the concrete’s not thick enough. A So then I had these 80 pound machines that I had ordered that I had to do something with, so we ended up putting them in a The 2nd store. These 2 stores are only about 7 minutes apart, so it’s pretty convenient. But we kinda ended up, a Working about 2 weeks on the 1 or a week or so on the 1 store, and then going to the other store and working about a week there and, a Then I work I still work a 9 to 5 job, but it’s not really a 9 to 5 job. I’m on a 14 day rotation, so a I kinda didn’t get much accomplished during my 14 days that I worked. So Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:09:44]:

Yeah. Yeah. Man, those are the those are the things that come up and you’re like, oh my gosh, like, how could I have anticipated

Ben Higginbotham [01:09:51]:

When I did the major when I did the major remodel in the the first store, an My plan was to be closed for 30 days. Nah, that turned to three and a half months. But what do you do?

Jordan Berry [01:10:05]:

An yeah. Well, that’s that’s just the way it goes. Right? And but, you know, you’re you’ve got that experience now. Now you know about concrete pads that you need. You gotta have thicker pads for bigger machines and, you know, all that drain lines are gonna be another one that people run into. You’re like, oh my gosh. A these 80 pound machines are pushing out a lot more water, and I need bigger drain lines. And sometimes that doesn’t line up.

Jordan Berry [01:10:28]:

You know, all that stuff that you just kinda learn, a, either by doing it or by tapping into somebody who’s already learned all these lessons and trying to shortcut your your timelines. But a even then, there’s always stuff that comes up all the time.

Ben Higginbotham [01:10:42]:

Oh, yeah. I I have a reasonable amount of experience in construction. I’ve done residential work and, a A little bit of commercial stuff and like I don’t care what your project is, whatever your budget is add 10 or 15% to it because you are like you can’t plan for everything. Whatever your timeline is, have some flex in it. You know, just you can’t get a That stuff’s gonna happen. There’s no sense in being bent out of shape about it and getting all, you know, just plan for a Plan for the unplanable and then life goes smoothly. Yeah. I like that.

Ben Higginbotham [01:11:20]:

I’ve got a lot of

Jordan Berry [01:11:20]:

quotes I’ve been writing down from this. This is a You’re you’re good. I like it. One other thing I want to ask you about, before we move into the next section of the podcast is, a you mentioned that you’re kind of a little bit of a distance from your laundromat. How far away are you, and how

Ben Higginbotham [01:11:37]:

are you managing that distance? A So from me to the original store is about a 55 minute drive to the north of where I live. A And I live, I’m in Indiana, so that’s, like, 60 miles that I can make in 55 minutes. A The 2 new stores Like 6 are Yeah. I know. Out there in California, you’re like, getting on the interstate takes a half an hour. Yeah. So, a But then the 2 that I bought are actually about 40 minutes to the west of me. A So between the triangle, if I leave my house and I drive to all 3 stores, it’s a 3 hours in the vehicle with no stops.

Ben Higginbotham [01:12:23]:

A So kind of the way I’m managing that, I went away from quarters completely. The 2 new stores are still, a Well, the the one that’s getting getting all new equipment is gonna be completely cordless, and then the other store is gonna be hybrid until I can get all the equipment replaced. A But, I’m using a card system, which I don’t love every aspect about the card systems. A I didn’t see anything. I think if you’re trying to take storewide Credit card acceptance. I didn’t see any system that I thought was really better than kind of the loyalty card model with a kiosk and an An in house account and all that. I know there’s a bunch of different, the machine style payment a Systems. They all have their own set of problems, and so this works for me, especially with the distance that I’m at.

Ben Higginbotham [01:13:27]:

A Like, I can’t be up there at a moment’s notice. So a I’ve got a guy that cleans. He comes in and cleans basically as needed, but usually it’s once or twice a day. A And other than that, I go up there and fix machines and what, whatever else needs spruced up a And everything else that operates that store is off my cell phone. So I have a Google voice number that rings my phone. I have an Access to my card system through my phone, so it’s completely operated remotely.

Jordan Berry [01:14:04]:

Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. An And I think it’s becoming more and more doable to to edge out that radius of where you need to, you know, live. Obviously, closer is easier for when stuff does come up. But there’s something to be said, and I’ve never really heard anybody talk about this. This is something I’ve been thinking about a little bit lately. There’s something to be said about being a little bit further an enforcing you to get creative on how you operate your business, enforcing you to use tools tools that are gonna help you automate, and, I don’t I don’t know.

Jordan Berry [01:14:37]:

I just I think there’s something to be said for that, where sometimes we can get lazy. And I’m like, a well, I’m like 15 minutes down the road, so I’m just gonna run over there and take care of this thing real quick or whatever. Instead of putting a a system and a process in place to handle those issues, when they come up so that you don’t have to do those long term. Because, you know, 15 minutes each way turns into 30, and then you do that a few times a week. And you do that over years, and, actually, it adds up to a whole lot of time. A, whereas if you can put a system in place, or at least some backstops that, you know, before it hits you, an it goes through this process. You know, your mechanic or your cleaner takes care of problems or whatever it is, right, before it comes to you, a and you limit those those quick trips. You know, I don’t know.

Jordan Berry [01:15:26]:

There’s something to be said about that, but I don’t really hear anybody talking about that. So a Yeah.

Ben Higginbotham [01:15:31]:

I actually think, like, I think one of the best things to to encourage owners to do a Get the heck out of your store. Like, I see a lot of people on some of the on their Facebook groups and other places that talk about an What I can like and everything makes sense to people that are doing it. But let me look at some of the stuff that I see on there, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing a that I have ever, like, heard of anybody do. I saw somebody on there. They were having a long discussion about whether a Whether or not they wash all the quarters that they get out of their change machine. Like, I don’t have time to do that. That’s it like a And maybe you’ve got really finicky coin acceptors, but my gosh. Can you imagine how long that takes? And have you ever tried to dry a bucket of quarters? It takes forever.

Ben Higginbotham [01:16:22]:

A Get out of your store, get some ideas on how to to make things more efficient and make things more user friendly, and don’t a Don’t be so close to it that you can’t see the forest for the trees and all that stuff.

Jordan Berry [01:16:38]:

Yeah. I couldn’t agree more. And, you know, a it’s the double edged sword of some of those Facebook groups. And, you know, one thing I love and I I talked about this recently on a podcast episode, but one thing I love is that there’s more information available now than ever before on how to buy and run these businesses. You know, a decade ago, there really wasn’t anything out there. And, you know, part of the reason I ran into some of the problems I ran into is I couldn’t I just couldn’t find information on how to do it, and I didn’t know how to do it. An, well, now we have more access to information and people in the industry than ever before, which I love. But the double edged sword side of that is, you know, not everybody’s input and advice is equally valuable and equally, a you should be considered equally.

Jordan Berry [01:17:25]:

Right? And sometimes, especially if you’re new, it can be difficult to discern what voices to listen to and and not. So a that is something to be aware of and a good point you’re making.

Ben Higginbotham [01:17:36]:

Yeah. I definitely and I have to give you flowers. Between you and Dave Mintz, like, a And Willeford Brothers and Keenan and, oh, a Chock full of quarters. All these people on the Internet are the only reason that I’m as successful at this as I am. Totally honestly, like, a There’s more information that you can glean from podcasts and YouTube and and I don’t know. I hate Facebook. The only reason I’m still on Facebook is because of the owners groups that are on there. And I’m even debating whether that’s, Like, those those are valuable.

Ben Higginbotham [01:18:14]:

I’m not sure that it’s worth putting up with Facebook to get that value. But, yeah. Definitely, there’s so much information on the Internet. A All you have to do is go look for it. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:18:25]:

Agreed a 100%. Okay. We’ve got a segment. First of all, thank you again for sharing all that stuff. I mean, this has been already an incredible episode. So a so we are at a section of the podcast called Down to Business, and that’s just where we chat about some of the details of your biz a lot of which we’ve already talked about, actually. So a remind us again, location of your your maths ish. So, the main one’s up

Ben Higginbotham [01:18:53]:

in Indianapolis, Indiana, and then I’ve an over into Bloomington, Indiana. So Midwest, foreign country.

Jordan Berry [01:19:01]:

Hoosier town. Love it. A Yep. Good. And you’ve got 3 laundromats now. Yep. Has we didn’t really talk about this, but a did did things change significantly for you going from 1 to 3 laundromats?

Ben Higginbotham [01:19:17]:

Oh my gosh.

Jordan Berry [01:19:19]:


Ben Higginbotham [01:19:20]:

I have been head over heels trying to catch up with myself for a month and a half now. I went from a One laundromat that I so, the whole card system thing, it allows me the longest I have been between, a Setting foot in my laundromat is 14 days, but I have not been to my laundromat. So I went from that to basically having to be at these other ones a 2 or 3 times a week. I went from having 1 part time cleaning guy to having 5 employees a I’ve had a couple quit. I’ve had all this stuff in a month, trying to get caught up with a All the business side of it and also doing a remodel at the same time. I do not necessarily recommend jumping in as much as I jumped in, but a I’ll overcome, and 6 months from now, it’ll all be better.

Jordan Berry [01:20:18]:

Yeah. It’s definitely a big, a big jump going from 1 to more than 1, for sure, and especially when you’re it’s kinda like having a kid and then having twins. An you know, you’re like, okay. This is a whole new ballgame now, that you’re dealing with. But I I think like you said, like, an it’ll you’ve gotta shift. It’s a different a little bit different skill set, and you’ve gotta rely more on those systems and processes, and you’ve got to a those other 2 laundromats up to speed. Right? And get them running on the systems that you’re used to and, you know, getting remodeled and all that stuff. But I do think that once a you kinda get things going, you’ll be yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:20:58]:

You’ll be better.

Ben Higginbotham [01:21:00]:


Jordan Berry [01:21:01]:

Because that you know, it’s a sustainable doing it the way you’re doing it right or, you know, that you’re having to do it right now. Right. Long term. So, an awesome. Okay. And you’ve been in the business for a couple years now, two and a half ish years?

Ben Higginbotham [01:21:15]:

Yeah. Two and a half or so.

Jordan Berry [01:21:17]:

Half, three. An and then your you’ve got one of your new ones is unattended. 1 is is it partially attended or fully attended? A

Ben Higginbotham [01:21:26]:

it’s partially attended because I don’t have enough staff. It it should be fully attended, that’s the way the store is laid out, But with Like I said, I had a couple people quit for whatever their reasons were, and so it’s intermittently attended as best as the people that I’ve got can cover it. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:21:44]:

And that original one is unattended. Yeah?

Ben Higginbotham [01:21:47]:

Yeah. A And and the one that’s partially attended, like, it’s gated off, so the the actual laundromat part of it is open from 6 to 10. A And then they just opened the back half for, the wash and fold. So

Jordan Berry [01:22:00]:

Awesome. Are you in wash and fold just out of the one?

Ben Higginbotham [01:22:03]:

A Yes. That’s a whole new venture for me as well that I picked up. So I I don’t know how I feel about that quite yet.

Jordan Berry [01:22:12]:

A Yeah. Well, and I mean, that’s a that’s another right? Like, I think I think people a don’t always understand that, like, when self serve laundry is like one thing, and it’s almost like a different business to do wash and fold. And especially if you add on pickup and delivery, then you’re, like, totally different. Right?

Ben Higginbotham [01:22:31]:

We’re not even we’re not even talking about that right now.

Jordan Berry [01:22:34]:

Yeah. Yeah. An but even just the wash and fall, like, you are now taking responsibility for other people’s like, 1,000 of dollars of other people’s clothing, and you’re responsible for it. And you need to clean it, and you need to keep track of it, and you need to make sure it gets back to them, you know, and all all that stuff. Right? So you’ve got that service side of the business that you don’t have with the with the washables. So not only did you add 2 new laundromats, but you kinda added a whole another business, an and a and a whole another skill set, on top of it, along with it. So, yeah, you are glutton for punishment, man.

Ben Higginbotham [01:23:11]:

A Sometimes you just I I said, you know, this would be a lot more convenient if I bought these 3 or 4 months from now, but you buy what’s available when it’s available and a Make it happen. Right?

Jordan Berry [01:23:23]:

Right. Make it happen. How many hours do you think you’re spending? Or can you tell us this before you bought these 2, how how many hours were a after you got things humming. And then after you bought these 2, how many hours do you think per week you’re spending?

Ben Higginbotham [01:23:37]:

So a Prior to the purchase, I had it down to probably 1 to 2 hours a week. That I not including drive time, but like actually a doing and that was complete, like, doing the books, paying the bills, running up to pull laundry or pull money out, fixing machines, which I have all new machines, so I don’t a I mean, I’ve occasionally got to clean a drain valve or something, but really they haven’t done much on me. So a Probably 1 to 2 hours a week. And then now that with this other 2, probably 60 hours a week. I don’t know. A oh,

Jordan Berry [01:24:16]:

that’s a big that’s a big jump. Oh, and it’s tough. You know? And you you mentioned that, like, some people quit, which is typical, by the way, and sometimes a blessing in disguise too, when people quit, when you a 1st take over a laundromat, so hopefully that’s the case. But, you know, when people are, you know, quit and you’ve got 2 new businesses, and they’re not set up right. And you’re trying to remodel them, and you’re trying to learn this other side of the business on the, you know, the fluff and fold side. And, an Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s tough, though, going from 1 to 2 hours to 60 hours.

Jordan Berry [01:24:52]:

That’s a big that’s a really big jump.

Ben Higginbotham [01:24:55]:

A my struggle, like like I said, I’ve I’m pretty handy. I’ve done a lot of construction work, and I have to keep telling myself, like, a I need to hire somebody to do that. I you know, I can do drywall. I’m not efficient at doing drywall. I need to hire a drywall guy. I need to hire an electrician a all this stuff because, like, what I might do in my house is a little bit different than, you know, what you need to do when you’re now you’re on the clock and you’re You’re trying to beat your lost revenue. Right? Like, it yeah. It may cost me this much, but if I get this place open 2 weeks earlier, that’s a lot more a revenue that I’ll gain and how does that offset, you know, paying to get all this stuff done.

Ben Higginbotham [01:25:35]:


Jordan Berry [01:25:35]:

a Yeah. Math equation again. And and, you know, I it’s honestly, man, like, I’m pretty handy and been, like, a big time DIYer, you know, for the majority of my life. And it’s actually it’s a blessing on one hand, but it’s also a curse on the other hand because just because you can do something doesn’t mean a You should do.

Ben Higginbotham [01:25:54]:

You should.

Jordan Berry [01:25:55]:

And, you know, I think, like, renovations and stuff would fall into that bucket for me. Repairs even fall into that bucket for me. An, you know, and that mindset shift is a tough one for me to make. And I just I know if I’m not proactively, like, a should I do this? I know I can. Should I do this? Then I I just naturally fall back into doing stuff, on my own even when I probably shouldn’t be doing it. So. A

Ben Higginbotham [01:26:22]:

These, 2 new stores are both the the drains are like a pit style, you know, where they kinda have a collection point. A I was thinking, oh, you know, I could bring my pressure washer over and clean those out and do all this. They’re like, nah. Like, it’s gonna cost me a $300 to get a septic guy out here to clean these out or something. Like, I’m just gonna hire somebody.

Jordan Berry [01:26:41]:

Yep. Yep. It’s a it’s a trap, man. It’s a trap. A last question of the, down to business is, what are the plans? Like, do you and maybe it’s too soon from getting these other 2 and you gotta see how this all shakes out. But a you have any plans to, you know, get more or get rid of these 2 now? What are you what are you thinking for the future?

Ben Higginbotham [01:27:03]:

A If I can get these 2 settled in as well as I got the other one settled in, I mean, once you you’ve got all the systems and stuff humming along, a It doesn’t take all that much, you know, hands on activity to manage them. I’ll probably be out looking for another one. A Dude, I may be out looking for 1 now, because if it takes 6 months to buy it, I’ll have these up and running my end. So, you know, I figure had a friend of mine text me the other day, says how many laundromats do you want? I said, an All of them. I don’t know. I’m just here having fun, man.

Jordan Berry [01:27:34]:

I love it. All of them. All of them. Well, I you you’re you’re an addict. An And, you know, as long as you can acknowledge that

Ben Higginbotham [01:27:41]:

No doubt.

Jordan Berry [01:27:42]:

Very good. Welcome to the club.

Ben Higginbotham [01:27:43]:

1st step to recovery, I hear.

Jordan Berry [01:27:45]:

That’s right. Well, it tends to not a should be the case, because once once you start telling people how many laundromats you want, all of them, deals start an iPhone in your lap and and you know? So it it may just be a slippery slope that you just gotta come to grips with. I don’t know. It’s been the case for me at least.

Ben Higginbotham [01:28:02]:


Jordan Berry [01:28:03]:

A deeper into the hole. We got another segment of the podcast called secret sauce, and that is a what’s what’s your best tip for those of us who own Laundromaster Master? Maybe something that’s working for you, to help us all improve our businesses?

Ben Higginbotham [01:28:21]:

An I think that, I don’t know. There’s a lot of things I could say. I think a Never stop improving yourself. Like, if you’re not reading books or listening to podcasts or, you know, get yourself a mentor, that’s something I haven’t done yet, but, a You know, I’ve talked to a bunch of people, so I kinda feel like I’ve got some mentorship from them, but I everybody that I hear says, you know, a You can accelerate your journey and your learning so much by having somebody that’s a few steps ahead of you. But like I said, if you’re not a Learning and growing all the time and you’re stagnant, and that’s no good. But also, a Like I said earlier, get out of your store, go take a management class, go, you know, like, a Don’t get so wrapped up in being a worker bee that you can’t be a good manager. It’s a totally different skill set, a And raise your prices. That’s what I tell everybody.

Ben Higginbotham [01:29:20]:

I don’t care where you are, you should raise your prices by 10%. If you didn’t raise them last week, they need to go up by 10%. We’re in an inflationary economy. An

Jordan Berry [01:29:29]:

dude, I I love every single piece of advice you just gave. A you know, what’s funny is that I don’t know that whenever I’ve done the secret sauce, I don’t know that anybody has started off focusing on, a like yourself. Like, focus on yourself. Improve yourself. Right? It’s always been about the laundromat, which is great. But a Listen, ultimately, you could have the best laundromat in the world, but if you’re not the if you’re not if you haven’t made yourself into the kind of person that can a run a successful, profitable laundromat, then eventually, that laundromat, even if it’s the best in the world right now, will dwindle, because you’re not the right an you’re not the person who can manage it, so I love never stop improving yourself. I love all all 3 of those pieces of advice, actually. A great stuff.

Jordan Berry [01:30:20]:

Alright. We got another segment called pro tips, and that is, hey. What’s one piece of advice you have for somebody who is maybe looking to get their 1st laundromat, maybe you two and a half years ago or, you know, just somebody looking to get their 1st laundromat.

Ben Higginbotham [01:30:36]:

A So this is kinda kinda sound strange from a guy who bought 2 long well, 3 laundromats off the Internet, but first thing is get off the Internet. A Like, the Internet’s great. You can learn a lot on the Internet.

Jordan Berry [01:30:49]:

Go out

Ben Higginbotham [01:30:49]:

and get in some laundromats. Go stand in a laundromat. Go stand in 10 laundromats. A Do some laundry, talk to some guys that own laundromats. Like, honestly, my best tip for whether it’s negotiating or finding a business or doing something is, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but most people like to talk. If you go into a laundromat and you can find the owner that’s in that laundromat, if you just stand there and keep your mouth shut, they will probably tell you a Everything there is to know about that business. And even better, find yourself a nice older lady attendant, and you’ll know everything that’s going on in the entire neighborhood. A If you can just stop talking long enough to listen to what they’re they have to say.

Jordan Berry [01:31:28]:

Yeah. I love that. The the boots on the ground and the listen first is I mean, an you’re absolutely right. That is the man, I this is genuinely I’m not even just saying this because you’re on the podcast, like, face to face, Maryann. This is, like, one of my favorite episodes. A Thank you for coming on. Alright.

Ben Higginbotham [01:31:44]:

Last one yeah. Go for it. One other thing for a new guy. When you do get a laundromat, clean your dryer vents.

Jordan Berry [01:31:50]:

An I

Ben Higginbotham [01:31:51]:

mean, you’re You wouldn’t believe what’s in your dryer vents. It’s unbelievable.

Jordan Berry [01:31:55]:

Yeah. And chances are pretty good that the previous owner hasn’t cleaned them in a very, very long

Ben Higginbotham [01:31:59]:

time. An Yep.

Jordan Berry [01:32:02]:

Yeah. And that’s not the screens, that’s the vents. Right? Vents.

Ben Higginbotham [01:32:06]:


Jordan Berry [01:32:07]:

An Yeah. Awesome. Alright. What’s, last segment before we start to wrap this thing up is recommended resources. What resources do you recommend for people to help them either grow themselves and or their businesses?

Ben Higginbotham [01:32:24]:

A I have been as I’m sure you can imagine, I spend a lot of time on the car now. So I’ve been on a podcast kick. I’ve got, a Obviously, your podcast, I listen to all your pod episodes. The Laundromat Millionaire podcast, The Will of Brothers, those are all great an In the industry. I have several that I listen to out of the industry. I’ve got one that I really like right now that’s called the Action Academy. A It’s a guy that talks about real estate and buying businesses, and I’ve been on

Jordan Berry [01:32:53]:

that one, and Brian Lubin’s a good friend. Yeah. Now He just texted me.

Ben Higginbotham [01:32:56]:

I think I’ve heard that one.

Jordan Berry [01:32:58]:

And he’s got well, a while we’re doing this interview, he’s got a book coming out, tomorrow while we’re doing this interview. So it’ll be out a by the time this episode comes out. So I’ll have a link to his book. You gotta go check it out. Brian Lubin, awesome guy, left his w two, traveling the world, living his best life. Good buddy of mine. Sorry. Go ahead.

Jordan Berry [01:33:17]:

For sure. I got excited.

Ben Higginbotham [01:33:19]:

He he does a really good podcast. Like, you know, it’s very listenable. A I’ve been hooked on one that’s called, I think it’s the 2nd in command podcast. It’s kind of an operations, a it’s way higher level than most of your laundromats are gonna be. It’s multimillion dollar companies, but I feel like that gives you good perspective. A you know, I think you need to kinda learn a little bit from a lot of places and that gives you, good ideas to implement in your business. So,

Jordan Berry [01:33:49]:

I a I think that’s probably And they also have a good book. I’ll link to all that stuff in the show notes for everybody.

Ben Higginbotham [01:34:00]:

An Yeah. Definitely, definitely keep doing your podcasts and books and whatever to keep learning something.

Jordan Berry [01:34:08]:

An awesome. Goes right back to that, secret sauce. So keep improving yourself. Keep learning. Ben, man, this genuinely, this has been one of my favorite an episodes. I am just jiving with the way that you’re thinking about things and the way that you’re putting things. You’re very good at, succinctly, summing up points. And I’ve I’ve literally written down probably 15 quotes, from you just furiously scribbling, a note.

Jordan Berry [01:34:35]:

So, incredible episode. Last question I have for you is other people are also jiving with what you’re saying and what you’re doing, even more importantly, in growing your businesses. A What’s the best way they can get a, get a hold of you, get in contact with you?

Ben Higginbotham [01:34:55]:

Now, probably Facebook’s the best way. Just Ben Higginbotham. A I’m gonna send you a link. You can put it in the show notes, or, you can send me an email. It’s michigan [email protected]. An Easy to get a hold of me. So I’m happy to talk to people. I don’t know that I have all the advice, but I’ll tell you what I know for sure.

Ben Higginbotham [01:35:15]:

So an Oh, you know what we ought to talk about for a second? Tell me. VIN prices. Yes. VIN prices.

Jordan Berry [01:35:22]:

I forgot to ask you about that. Yeah. Let’s talk about VIN prices a to wrap it up. I like it.

Ben Higginbotham [01:35:28]:

People have no idea how they price their laundromat. Have you ever noticed that?

Jordan Berry [01:35:32]:

I have definitely noticed that.

Ben Higginbotham [01:35:35]:

A I have all of my machines priced on a per pound, pricing steam. So I I’m at 17 and a half cents a pound, a Which what cracks me up is people will happily charge that for their small machines a And then they’ll cut themselves in half or even more than that on a vaping machine. Mhmm. And, a Like, I don’t understand why people are doing that, because if the value is there to turn a small machine at 17 and a half cents a pound, a Value should be there to set been in a big machine at that or close to it. So, that puts me you know, I a I may have some of the highest VIN prices in the US. I don’t know. But it’s way better than what a When a lot of guys are getting out of their big machines and, they’re like my 80 pound machine. So I have, Alliance which has all the cycle modifiers.

Ben Higginbotham [01:36:29]:

Right? A So my 80 pound machines start at 14.50 and if you get all the cycle modifiers on it, it’s $18 a load.

Jordan Berry [01:36:41]:

A And you know what? They spend

Jordan Berry [01:36:43]:

all the time. Dude, that is awesome. I I love that. A I mean, I don’t think there’s anybody anywhere near that here in California. Like, not even close as far as I know. If there are, let a let me know about it because I love to come check out your store. But, I I mean, I love the prices pricing. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:37:03]:

Go ahead. Sorry.

Ben Higginbotham [01:37:04]:

An No. What kind of pricing do you guys see in or in California for, like, a 20 pound washer? Like, a 20 pound?

Jordan Berry [01:37:13]:

I wanna say if well, I mean, it it varies pretty wild wildly, actually. I mean, I’ve seen them at $2. An I say probably if I had to pick an average, probably 3.50? 3, 3.50?

Ben Higginbotham [01:37:30]:

Somewhere in there. A 3.50.17¢ a pound. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:37:35]:

But like you said

Ben Higginbotham [01:37:36]:

17 and a half.

Jordan Berry [01:37:37]:

Like you said, the higher up you go, the the lower those prices go.

Ben Higginbotham [01:37:42]:

And you’ll see you’ll see a $3 20 pounder and a $9 80 pounder. Well, that doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. And so I I don’t understand it. A I figured out a pike pricing structure. And quick rule of thumb that I’ve made up and I don’t know that seems to follow to me, but a You should basically gross the price of your machine in 12 months at 3 turns a day. And if you can gross the price of your machine in 12 months at a that about the 3 turns a day thing, that’s where your pricing should be. Oh, I love that.

Ben Higginbotham [01:38:12]:

I’ve never

Jordan Berry [01:38:13]:

heard anybody say that, but I I kinda like that. I’m gonna think about that a little bit more and a if I agree with you, but on the surface Yeah.

Ben Higginbotham [01:38:20]:

Let me know.

Jordan Berry [01:38:21]:

I for sure agree with the principle of that, for sure. And an off top of my head. I mean, it just it sounds right. Sounds good. But I’m gonna look into that a little bit more because that’s in I never heard anybody put it that way, but I love the way, a, that you’re thinking about that. For sure. So is that how you have yours priced?

Ben Higginbotham [01:38:40]:

Yeah. More or less. Obviously, I mean, you have to take into account your competition. I happen to be in a place where I don’t have a lot of, like I tell people I have no competition because you walk a in my store and it’s got gray tile floors and stainless machines and it’s painted white. I ripped the tile ceiling out of it, so it goes up into the rafters. We painted all that white. Like, it is nice. And even the closest stores to me are, a Like, I don’t know, they look like something on a Mexican street fair sort of thing.

Ben Higginbotham [01:39:13]:

Right. So, you know, take in take all that into account an But you should whoever you are, you should definitely raise your prices.

Jordan Berry [01:39:22]:

Yeah. No, I love that. And and that’s a piece of advice that I hear the most successful lawn mowers who’ve been on here. Many of them say the exact same thing, and I do think that that’s one of the lowest hanging fruits, a, especially when you first take over a laundromat is to raise those prices because chances are pretty good the previous owner hasn’t raised them in a while or didn’t raise them enough last time they did, a, particularly in the current environment. If you, I don’t know, if you’re up for it, I’d love a for you to send a couple pictures of your specifically, that 1st laundromat that you that you retooled, that we can throw on the show notes. I think people would love to see an especially going back and and seeing it.

Ben Higginbotham [01:40:03]:

Definitely. I’ll get you some.

Jordan Berry [01:40:05]:

Yeah. I think that’d be cool.

Ben Higginbotham [01:40:06]:

Yep. I will definitely get you some.

Jordan Berry [01:40:08]:

A dude, I’m glad you brought up the VIN pricing because that that’s really interesting food for me to to chew on here. And, dude, a again, seriously, genuinely, this has been one of my favorite episodes. And not only that, but I said that, and then you made it even better after that. So a bonus bonus points for you. I appreciate you taking the time. I know you are in the thick of it, renovating those those laundromats, and you’re working a full time job too. And, dude, you still spent the time to come on and and share your stories. I appreciate that.

Jordan Berry [01:40:42]:

And, man, an let’s stay in touch. I’d love to hear Yeah. Definitely. What’s going on. Do more together.

Ben Higginbotham [01:40:49]:

Yeah. We’ll, we’ll have to do another one after I get these other 2 laundromats a I’ve been running a little give you a state of the union on those.

Jordan Berry [01:40:56]:

Yes. That is that’s a date. We’re we’re we’re doing that for sure. I would love to hear the update on that And see if you have pulled out all of your hair, yet or not. Or if you survived with a full head header hair intact.

Ben Higginbotham [01:41:09]:

I’m working on it.

Jordan Berry [01:41:12]:

An awesome, man. Well, thank you again for coming on. Really appreciate it, and looking forward to doing the next one with you. I hope you loved that episode. I’m you know what? A I don’t even hope. I know you loved that episode. There was so much good stuff in that, interview with Ben. Ben, huge shout out to you.

Jordan Berry [01:41:26]:

Thank you for coming on. I can’t wait to do some more stuff together, an because that was incredible. And listen, all of that incredible knowledge and a that whole interview is it means nothing for you if you’re listening to this and you don’t take some action. So, like, every week, pick one thing. A put it into action this week. Do it this week. Do it today if you can. The action is what’s gonna help you achieve your goals.

Jordan Berry [01:41:54]:

Right? So pick 1 thing, and put it into action. There was just there was so much good stuff. I was looking through trying to pick my one thing. I think I’m gonna put a little more, thought into what my one thing is. But, dude, some of the cool stuff, money is an illusion. You create money. Like, there so much good stuff. And I’ve been thinking through maybe this is my action step is to think through, how do I create more money? Right? Like and not that money is everything, but money is a big thing.

Jordan Berry [01:42:23]:

Right? And so how do I create more of it, through, you know, using my mind and my skill sets? And, maybe that’s my big one thing. I don’t know. I’m gonna think through it a little bit more. What’s your one thing? I’d love to hear about it. Maybe go share it on laudameritresource.com/ forums. We will see you next a week with next week’s episode and a brand new, calculator coming out for those of you guys who already own a laundromat. Super excited about it. Alright.

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Unlock the secrets of laundromat success! Join our Pro Community now to access expert insights, exclusive resources, a vibrant community, and more. Elevate your laundromat journey today!