What do you do when your well-paying corporate job just disappears? Well, if you’re Steve Andrews you kiss it goodbye for good! 

Steve used his laundromat to escape the corporate rat race and find financial freedom through laundromat ownership and it this show he tells you how he did it and how you can do it, too!

Steve’s story punctuates the power that a well-run laundromat can have in transforming your life. While he was originally planning on buying a smaller, cheaper laundromat, when his corporate job disintegrated he had a decision to make. Should he update his resume and look for another job in the corporate rat race? Or, should he double down and buy a larger laundromat and use that as his escape from the corporate rat race?

In today’s show, Steve tells his riveting tale of his big decision and shares the results of choosing to go big with his Nashville laundromat.  Full of valuable insight and experience, Steve’s show is full of practical advice to other laundromat owners and those who want to buy their first laundromat!

In today’s show, Steve and Jordan discuss:

  • Real estate investments
  • ROBs- Using retirement money to purchase a small business, like a laundromat
  • Life in the corporate rat race
  • Steve’s big decision to leave the corporate rat race and choose laundromat ownership
  • Cash flow with real estate vs. cash flow with laundromats
  • Tips for convincing a spouse of the merits of buying a laundromat
  • What makes a great laundromat location
  • Building vs. Buying a laundromat business
  • Laundromat lease negotiations
  • Laundry pick up and delivery business with Happy Nest
  • Taking care of good employees
  • Ensuring a good customer experience

And so much more!

Take out your notepad and pencil because you’re going to write some of this down!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

Today's Sponsor

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Steve's Bio

I was born and raised in Nashville, TN (Go Titans and Commodores). I’ve been married to my wonderful wife Rachael for 13 years and we have 2 really cool kids Sophia (9) and Max (7). I’ve always loved playing basketball and baseball, but age has made that a bit tougher. After 2 torn Achilles tendons and no longer able to jump over a nickel, I was forced to retire. I love traveling and we plan to make a trek out west, hopefully in the spring or summer (so long as Covid allows it). I spent the first 17 years of my “grown-up” life in the corporate world working in sales and client management positions as well as managing operations teams. I was miserable most of that time just trying to battle my way up the corporate ladder. Stressed and overworked, I would find some solace in real estate investing. I also have my real estate license currently (its retired for now since I am focused on the laundry industry). We have owned, flipped, rehabbed, rented and lived in multiple properties in our 13 years and will probably do more soon. I’m thinking about doing some BRRRRs soon.

I LOVE the laundry industry. I currently own just a single laundry, but we are about to begin the demo on location #2.

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    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource
    podcast this is show number 35 and i’m
    that you’re here today because today we
    have an awesome guest on the show steve
    andrews this show was incredible i could
    have talked with steve
    all day long uh seriously i
    it was it was awesome and you’re going
    to love it
    steve made it out of the corporate rat
    race and he wants to
    show you how you can do it too that’s
    what this episode is all about so i know
    you’re going to love
    it and and not only that but he also
    just gives a ton
    of great tips that are going to help you
    improve your business
    if you got one uh already so definitely
    you’re going to love this one so make
    sure you listen all the way to the end
    and as always
    i’ll share my takeaway and
    encourage you slash guilty into picking
    something that you can implement this
    week because
    success follows action and we need to be
    taking action
    every single week every single day
    really on our businesses to move us
    towards our goal
    so make sure you stay all the way to the
    end for that all right
    well i’ve been doing these little
    success tips
    i think that’s what i’m calling them i’m
    super on top of it over here
    uh it’s you know it’s a monday morning
    right now so give me a little bit of
    but i’ve been doing these success tips
    and this one is uh one i get asked about
    all the time
    so we have tons of information and tools
    obviously on laundromat resource.com
    but if you have signed up for a
    free membership it’s free no credit card
    needed no obligation
    whatsoever free membership on the side
    over there you got access to
    a little bit more information a little
    bit more tools
    and one in particular i want to
    highlight because i get asked this
    all the time is the uh analysis to a
    drill blank there is the analysis tool
    and this is just
    an excel spreadsheet that i created a
    while back
    that is um really helpful in helping you
    analyze a laundromat and determine
    the laundromat is going to meet your
    or not and basically it just tells you
    what numbers you need
    you plug them in you can you can change
    them if you want to
    just to kind of see how different things
    play out
    but that analysis tool is uh man if
    you’re looking to buy a laundromat
    definitely go
    download that if you’re not a member yet
    just go sign up for a free membership
    it’s free
    what are you waiting for just go do it
    and then go download this analysis tool
    and play around with it a little bit
    it would just help you get a better
    better idea of how to analyze
    a laundromat and give you some
    information that can help you make
    good decisions obviously it’s not going
    to give you all the information that you
    but it’s definitely a good start and a
    good base all right
    so that’s the free analysis tool i did
    want to highlight
    on the forum real quick because the
    forums were
    geez man they were buzzing this week i
    was one of the busiest weeks we’ve had
    over there on the forum so if you’re not
    over there
    you’re supposed to be going over there
    every week and asking a question and
    answering a question i can’t tell you
    how many of you i’ve talked to
    even some of the podcast guests who’s
    like i know i need to be over there i’ll
    get over there
    uh and so make sure you’re over there
    asking a question
    answering a question every week because
    man that’s how we all get
    better you want to get better i want to
    get better
    help me get better let me help you get
    better let’s all get better together and
    just get rich and move to hawaii how
    about that
    all right let’s just do it so get on the
    forum you move to hawaii
    that’s the logical conclusion anyways
    uh taylor witt over there had a great
    question i just wanted to highlight this
    one real quick he was asking about
    payment options
    and wondering if anybody has gone
    with uh contactless payments lately
    loyalty cards he’s wondering what’s
    working right now
    what what direction are we moving as an
    industry i thought that was a great
    super timely uh considering the year
    that we’ve had
    and from everything from obviously the
    ronavirus and
    also coin shortages and all kinds of
    stuff going on right now
    uh so i thought that was a great
    question so head over there
    forums and jump on the laundromat forum
    that’s where this question is
    and uh and answer taylor’s question
    let’s get a discussion going on payment
    over there because now is the time to be
    thinking about that stuff so let’s do it
    all right cool well let’s jump into it
    with steve
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    the description
    all right steve thank you for coming on
    the show man i am very
    very excited to have you cannot wait to
    get to know you a little bit better and
    hear your story
    how you doing good man good thanks for
    having me i’m
    excited oh man this is going to be i can
    tell already this is going to be one of
    those episodes where
    i slowly slip back into my southern
    because i have family from tennessee
    you’re in tennessee right
    um so uh i well hopefully i can
    but i don’t i don’t i don’t really have
    an accent right right right
    uh yeah uh dude well man what is going
    on out there
    uh in nashville right now anything
    interesting yeah man too we’re just
    uh we’re like this cold winter it’s like
    40 degrees here
    man that does sound like a nightmare to
    me once we dip below 50s
    i can’t handle it growing traffic every
    single day this city is
    is it doesn’t look the same as it did
    even just five years ago just even if
    you look at the skyline of downtown
    nashville it’s like
    different yeah it’s booming out there
    well for good reason nashville is pretty
    so tell us a little bit about you who
    are you tell us a little bit about your
    backstory and then maybe
    get into how you got into the business
    yeah sure no
    thanks for asking um so i
    literally just had my 45th birthday so
    i’m like i told my wife i’ve got about
    10 more years to live i guess so i
    better make this laundry thing
    well happy birthday yeah thanks
    appreciate it i’ll come to your funeral
    in a decade yeah so
    um i’ve i’ve been in the laundry
    business now
    for coming up on almost three years uh
    prior to that i spent about 17 years
    in the corporate world which is
    the main reason why i do this now i mean
    it was
    one of those things where i did a lot of
    sales customer service client management
    uh some operations management at one
    point i had a team of like 85
    folks and you know it was it was
    fruitful um and but it just
    it didn’t give me that that drive and
    that passion i just
    felt like i had 27 bosses every single
    day that i had to
    report to so i really wanted to
    i’ve always had an entrepreneurial
    spirit so i was really looking for
    something where i could utilize that
    um as a matter of fact uh one of your
    your previous guests
    uh jd dixon from national laundry
    equipment yeah
    is his his wife and my wife are actually
    good friends
    and um so i’ve kind of gotten to know jd
    over the years and
    you know he told me about this crazy
    laundry business and you’re nuts why in
    the world would you be
    doing laundry that’s just ridiculous
    i i finally got to the point where i was
    just done you know my wife and i
    had done a lot of real estate investment
    over the years and so
    i was kind of looking for another option
    another investment option so i was like
    all right jd tell me about this uh
    this laundry thing he obviously it
    had built two as he mentioned on his
    show he built one for his brother
    fairly recently and the brother was
    doing pretty well so i was like tell me
    about it
    and the more and more he talked i
    started researching
    you know what was out there which you
    know really wasn’t a lot
    uh but i tried to find as much as i
    could and just absorb myself in it
    and it just it was just something that
    really piqued my interest so i started
    exploring it
    um and uh went on a couple of ride-outs
    uh one of his sales guys actually to
    check out some laundries and him to kind
    of fill me in on the business
    that that really just uh wetted my
    appetite just a little bit more
    so um i i actually i don’t know how many
    folks have done this but
    i um kind of used some creative
    to get into the business i used what’s
    called a robs which is a rollover 401k
    i think someone’s mentioned it before oh
    they’re booming
    on the forums right now they’re yeah
    there’s like a mega thread happening on
    robs right now so a lot of people are
    interested in that maybe you could tell
    us a little bit about it
    yeah so i i’ve literally i just joined
    the other day so i’ll get on that forum
    and check it out
    if i can offer anything additional i
    will but so essentially
    um the the way i describe it
    easily is so for all those 17 years i
    was in corporate world
    i’ve been chunking away money on my 401k
    and i moved from two or three different
    businesses so as i
    moved to a new company i would take my
    old 401k and put it into a rollover
    401k um i think i did with fidelity
    so those were still accumulating value
    over the years
    and when i started looking at the
    capital that was involved in
    building or remodeling a laundry i
    realized that i was going to need some
    help so
    i researched the rocks and i’ve worked
    with a company called gaiden
    they were spectacular it’s not
    commercial for them but anyway
    um and essentially the way i described
    it would be though if the price was
    guidance yeah commercial for you i’m
    just saying
    yeah i think you need any marketing
    opportunities yeah
    um so essentially what you do is you use
    your 401k dollars uh to invest in your
    business now there’s certain
    restrictions that are out there that you
    can’t use the money for
    uh but luckily enough laundromats are a
    perfect opportunity
    so i always describe it as i am part
    owner in my business
    my 401k is the majority owner
    which is great especially if the
    business is doing well so essentially i
    bet on myself and bet on my business
    i could do better than what the market
    was going to do with my floor
    yeah and uh are you happy with that
    decision so far
    yeah yeah so far so good now
    they always they will tell you that at
    some point you can
    buy 401k out if you ever want to
    you have to go through a process where
    an account comes in
    values the business and then you buy
    back the shares
    from your company at the new valuation
    so if at any point from a uh accounting
    perspective if there’s a need to change
    that then
    then you can do that but if the business
    is doing well then the value is going to
    go up you’re going to pay a little bit
    more than maybe you would have on
    right either way it’s good for you
    personally even if you’re 401k
    um so anyway um worked with with jd and
    his team on finding a good place
    i had financing in place um worked with
    with eastern to kind of cover their
    portion of the equipment they were
    wonderful uh jennifer whitney over there
    she’s spectacular
    um we we found a great spot in a little
    town called uh
    just just south of here called smyrna
    it was an old jack-in-the-box actually
    so we’re like yeah this would be great
    it’s right on the road up front parking
    you know standalone building is going to
    be great well we couldn’t get the
    the owner still had an existing lease
    with jack in the box
    so they were still paying her even
    though the building had been empty for a
    year plus and
    she didn’t want to drop that lease a
    year early even though we were telling
    her hey we’ll do ten years
    two five year uh add-ons after that but
    she didn’t want to so we had to move on
    god what a blessing that was because we
    landed where we’re at
    today which is actually uh in a little
    a portion of nashville called antioch
    and i you know those guys
    the my uh distributor was just
    spectacular they
    everything they they suggested to me to
    do i literally i did it
    and they were right about i would say 90
    of everything almo all the way down to
    the point to where they would say
    hey the bulk of your customers are going
    to come from over here
    they’re going to pass right by you on
    the road to get to the interstate
    trust me and they were just dead on
    right because it was absolutely true
    that’s awesome did you end up going with
    yeah yeah yeah we did uh he he
    supplied our equipment on our first
    store and um
    i’ll talk about a little bit later but
    we’re getting ready to do store number
    two and then we’re gonna work with the
    game on that
    so awesome but we we found a location
    so we’re like all right three months
    we’re gonna be in got the contractor
    literally a week into the project the
    project leader
    quit from the crash so
    and and honestly he was the main reason
    why we chose this contractor because we
    knew he had done laundromats before
    it was just so what was supposed to be a
    three month
    long process turned into a nine month
    build out
    was extremely painful because again you
    know i had the money to
    um to to get to do the build out
    i hadn’t allowed for nine months of
    personal capital to cover
    bills and expenses so it dug into my
    savings a little bit
    stress along with that and my wonderful
    wife she was very supportive
    along the way and uh anyway lo and
    behold december 2018 we opened up our
    30 minutes after i flipped on the on
    switch people started rolling in
    and they haven’t stopped since so it’s
    just been wow
    that’s awesome i mean that’s i get the
    just the stress and frustration of
    you know these prolonged you know
    build-outs or construction or
    installations or whatever and you know
    you’re you just see money
    going out the door you know just going
    out nothing’s coming in you’re like
    you’re not it’s your first one too right
    so you’re not even sure if it’s coming
    after you’ve flipped the switch because
    you’ve never done it before so
    that’s definitely stressful yeah
    definitely and those guys kept telling
    me don’t worry as soon as you turn it on
    you’re gonna do well i promise you they
    not wrong at all uh so anyway um
    i i thank them and i think of the word
    where i’m at today
    yeah well real quick as a quick side
    note if you’re
    in that area i’ll i’ll throw a link down
    to um
    national and jd’s episode also
    in the show notes in the description in
    case you’re interested because it was an
    awesome it’s one of the more downloaded
    episodes jd’s episode um so definitely
    check it out
    and if you’re looking for equipment and
    you’re in that area hit em up
    uh cool okay so you
    went through you know looking for this
    investment and you
    stumbled on laundromats and njd and you
    you know you caught the fever at some
    and what were they doing for the the
    build-out you said it took nine months
    were they
    building it out or were you just
    retooling it what were you doing
    yeah so um it before it was a laundromat
    it was a daycare on one section a barber
    and like a little office building so we
    combined all three
    about 4 600 square foot total wow
    so it’s it’s pretty big space but i mean
    honestly the
    the biggest struggle was trying to get
    water in the building
    so it was a daycare so it had a small uh
    small pipe so we had to upgrade the
    meter we had to upgrade the pipe
    and um kind of a funny story
    um i one of the things that our site
    plan showed was that the
    water line or the water main from the
    city was located in the middle of the
    and so the cost was going to be enormous
    to try and tap into that line to get to
    put the new meter in
    and i still remember i remember the
    exact moment in the day
    um and uh what
    the day before i’d had uh the services
    come out you know how the
    811 where they’ll mark all the utilities
    so i had to
    come out they mark the water line gas
    line all that stuff
    and so i i remember coming around the
    turn there’s a four-way stop right there
    at our
    four-way red light at our store i came
    around the turn
    the first thing i was looking for was
    where those spray paint marks were
    and a lot of prayers answered because
    those spray paint marks were not
    in the middle of the road they were
    actually in our front yard oh
    perfect so probably saved me about 17
    right on the back end of the project
    which at that point
    was you know money i didn’t really want
    to have to spend so
    it was pretty pretty exciting i i did a
    little happy dance in the middle of the
    yeah i bet it kind of probably helped
    offset a lot of the cost of that
    nine months instead of three months that
    extra six months too
    well and one thing too is we had
    negotiated in our lease
    a build out time frame so you know we
    weren’t paying any rent for the first
    four months so that was meant i had to
    pay it for five months of that night
    there was extra cost yeah that’s
    that’s stressful you’re paying rent for
    a business that
    isn’t open and probably at that you know
    four month mark or five month mark
    it probably wasn’t even looking like it
    was close to being ready either so
    that’s even harder
    i was uh i was struggling but i was
    keeping the faith so uh
    man has it paid off because i i
    absolutely love this business
    it’s been a godsend for me because like
    i said i was miserable sitting at my
    desk every day in my corporate job
    of course i never envisioned that oh
    yeah you’re going to be some kind of a
    you know
    laundry mat i don’t think too many of us
    had that dream as a kid you know maybe
    some who like grew up in the family or
    something but
    not too many of us i’m always like how
    did i end up here i don’t i don’t know
    i tell my kids i was like are you guys
    when you grow up are you gonna you know
    work with daddy and they can’t look at
    so i don’t we’ll see
    yeah yeah the new dream laundromat owner
    no longer astronauts or
    youtube stars or anything you can
    you know wash clothes yeah it’d be great
    okay so so you went through this process
    took nine months super stressful money
    going out nothing coming in
    and you flip that switch tell me about
    what that was like that day
    and i i still have like the
    uh video saved on my phone where i
    turned on the water and water actually
    came out of the faucet
    i turned on the machine and there was
    water in there so
    it was a you know a pretty joyous day
    here’s the thing though so obviously my
    my build out went long
    my cost went way above where i expected
    i originally planned to be attended from
    the start
    that was my plan um and i i did
    actually uh i was attended from the
    by me so for
    literally the first i think it was 93
    days that we were open
    i worked every single day as the
    usually eight to 10 hour days every
    single day
    again my wife was a single mom for three
    months plus
    taking care of our kids while i was
    trying to stand up this business
    and you know my plan all along was to
    be attended uh get the self-serve part
    down pat learn learn more about it get
    my hands dirty
    which in 93 days you learn a lot being
    there every single day
    yep and so i did i really got a you know
    trial by fire hose i guess where i was
    you know drinking
    way too much water every single day
    and uh but i was able to learn the
    business i got to know the customers
    so many that’s one of the awesome things
    about this business and
    if you’re an owner that never goes into
    your store and talks to your owners i
    urge you to get out and talk
    to these people because there are just
    some wonderful people that come in and
    out of these stores
    every day oh there’s some some
    questionable ones as well but
    i guarantee the good ones far outweigh
    the bad ones because
    they’re just really really down-to-earth
    people you learn some awesome stories
    and really you make friends i mean to
    this day there are people that i’ll walk
    in and say hey peter how you doing
    you know uh hey marguerite you know
    you’re here on a tuesday usually come on
    wednesday what’s up with that
    you know things like that and they just
    they just eat that up
    especially when they know that you’re
    the owner and not you know just some
    random bobbin store
    yeah yeah we just we had a guest peter
    mayberry who was on not
    too long ago and he was saying the exact
    same thing he’s like you know everybody
    something to offer so i like to go in
    those stores and spend a little time
    with the customers i could not agree
    more i got friends that
    you know both of my stores that you know
    if i ever
    sell them it’s gonna be hard actually to
    sell because it’s gonna be hard to leave
    some of these people that i see every
    week when i go in there you know so
    i know their stories and you know their
    families and i’ve gone through
    i’ve gone to funerals for you know
    family members of customers and stuff
    and so yeah it’s
    it becomes a little community and i
    think that’s one of the beauties of
    this business and this industry is that
    if you want it to be
    you know it can be a little community
    and a gathering place for
    a community and you can be a part of it
    even if you don’t live in that community
    yeah you can be a part of it so it’s
    pretty cool yeah absolutely
    but my plan was to start get the
    self-service right
    uh then i even put on our sign
    originally our site or our sign said
    the name of our store is the wash house
    which i didn’t know about the willow
    first in north carolina when i
    came up with that name uh but anyway so
    the watch house a full service laundry
    mat so my plan all along was to
    offer additional lines of business so
    get the self-service right
    learn the drop-off piece of it and then
    eventually expand into pickup and
    delivery and
    my my time frame got kind of expedited
    along the way which is fine
    but now we’re into all three of those
    lines currently
    yeah so you’re doing them all now yeah i
    want to hear
    a little bit about that in a second um
    out of curiosity are you are you still
    working your corporate job or did you
    quit that job or tell me about that
    situation no um so
    when i first started looking for the
    i was working corporate corporate job
    six figure job
    great great job and
    uh my plan was to do a small laundromat
    probably unattended um and
    just go from there as an investment well
    the year turned and a lot of times
    happens a lot of times at the
    beginning of a year corporate world they
    do realignment so
    my job actually got eliminated and
    they came to me and they said well steve
    we got some other options over here
    you know would you be interested in
    doing those and i said
    nope nope uh this is this is my time
    um give me the severance i’ll take that
    and so i took the package and
    decided that instead of going smaller
    unattended that i was going to go full
    full service fully attended large store
    and really do it right
    and that’s probably the best decision i
    ever made in my life because
    it’s really paid off for me and
    so have you not had to go back to
    world at all no so now part of it too
    remember i mentioned my wife and i
    dabbled in some real estate investment
    so at the time we had four rental
    uh that were pretty beneficial and so we
    did liquidate a couple of those
    to kind of help pay expenses during the
    build out
    that’s part of that savings i mentioned
    earlier so
    we were able to sustain our lifestyle
    while we were doing the build out and
    into the growing of the business as well
    uh that that worked out well but i i
    love real estate i’m going to get back
    into it again very soon so
    we’ll see yeah i’m i’m with you on that
    i love
    i love real estate too and i think it
    pairs well with laundromats
    oh yeah so yeah
    okay so you you got out of the rat race
    kind of you kind of got shoved out of
    the rat race and but because of
    investments you had made and because of
    you know this laundromat
    you you were okay with it like you
    didn’t have to claw your way back
    into the rat race you could just let it
    go yeah
    yeah definitely and that was that was
    you know you you you go into work some
    days and you think
    god man i’m not feeling this i just
    i could have done this maybe i could
    have worked a little harder here or done
    this a little differently or or what and
    but then when you get into something
    where you own your own business it’s a
    business that you love
    i never question myself as far as how
    much effort i’m putting it because i
    know i’m always going 200 percent if not
    so uh it’s just it’s a matter of finding
    your passion and my passion was always
    to own a business
    and i love this business so those two
    things just work well together
    i i will never go back into the
    corporate world again
    um i mean we we even cut back a little
    bit on kind of what our monthly expenses
    were my wife and i did and
    we’re you can ask her i guarantee you i
    a whole lot more now than i did you know
    and that’s that’s what it’s all worth
    yeah well i
    i mean that’s awesome thank you for
    sharing that because i get
    you know i have i do coaching with a lot
    of people and a lot of people
    just they want a way out of the rat race
    and and i think laundromats can be a
    escape you know from the rat race
    um and you know if as long as you buy it
    correctly or build it out correctly
    you know you can get such great returns
    you know for a relatively small
    investment you can get a
    a large return back and it can help you
    get that cash flow that you need
    to to free you up to you know
    exit the corporate world if that’s what
    you’re trying to do a lot quicker than
    average investments you know you can do
    well in real estate and i’m a huge fan
    of real estate
    but the average real estate investment
    is not going to be able to touch the
    cash flow
    of the average laundromat investment so
    you just hit on the exact sales point i
    gave my wife
    so when i told her all right we need to
    sell these properties
    and then we’re going to use that to live
    off of while we do the video she was
    let me let me tell you more about that
    and so
    i literally used that same argument i
    said well yes we’re gaining equity by
    them paying on the mortgage
    every month but our actual cash flow
    right now is
    maybe just a few hundred bucks out of
    each one of these properties
    turn that into you know tens of
    thousands of dollars in cash flow
    and a salary for me and maybe for you
    down the line
    then you know there’s a real opportunity
    there so she bid on that now
    i did have to promise that she would
    never have to do laundry again
    so that’s part of the deal
    so that’s what expedited the drop off
    and pick up and delivery isn’t it be
    yeah yeah it did help now the first 90
    days that i worked
    guess he was doing the laundry yeah
    hey like you said you can learn a lot of
    things in 93 days
    being out in the laundromat every day so
    how to fold socks in a fitted jeep which
    yeah well we had a mark last camp was on
    and he was talking about how
    you know he he he feels like he can
    fold a fitted sheet with the rest of
    them you know the best of the best of
    the best out there so
    we’re gonna have to have a competition
    out there someday of all the uh
    owners yeah
    that’s so funny um yeah that i mean
    that’s awesome
    and and it’s awesome that your your wife
    trusted you enough to do that you know
    because i know
    i know the struggle of having a vision
    of what
    it could be and and having to bring
    somebody along with that vision
    sometimes can be tough very much you got
    any tips for uh
    for anybody out there trying to convince
    a spouse to buy a laundromat
    well i mean obviously if you convince
    them they don’t do laundry anymore
    that’s a massive one
    so i literally i just sit there and and
    of course i helped sometimes
    not as much as i probably should have
    bad on me but i mean it would take her
    hours to do and we have two kids so
    folding those tiny clothes everyone
    knows is a pain in the butt
    so uh you know i just convinced her that
    her time
    savings alone would be worth whatever we
    put in the building
    but yeah a lot of sweet talk and offer
    that up and
    honestly i mean there really is if
    you’ve got a vision for what you want to
    and you’ve got a set plan and you follow
    that plan and you’re you’re diligent
    about it
    and you do things the right way then
    this business can open up so many doors
    i mean
    your vision might be i just want to own
    one laundromat and that’s it that’s
    you can you can live off of that very
    easily if you’re in the right place and
    you do the right thing
    but if you’re kind of like me and you
    have crazy dreams that want to do bigger
    and better things then
    whatever job you may have had uh in the
    corporate world like i said i left a
    six-figure job
    i see this as a bigger opportunity than
    that ever was
    yeah well that’s that’s huge and i love
    that and i love that you have
    big dreams and uh you know again like
    just like you said
    you know you can get one laundromat and
    live a nice life off of that and that’s
    fine but it also gives you an
    opportunity to do
    more if that’s what you want to do and
    i love that i love that um okay
    so you bought this laundromat
    do you have any do you have any idea how
    long okay
    because you built this thing it wasn’t a
    laundromat before you built it into a
    any idea on how long it took to become
    less than a month oh my gosh well
    and you know that was because i i didn’t
    have any employee costs right
    so um and we yeah so we opened on
    december 18
    or december 14th we just had our
    two-year anniversary yesterday
    yay happy anniversary yeah and uh
    so we were december that first half
    december was a problem
    and then it was balloon from there and
    that is not typical i will tell you that
    not i’m hearing you guaranteeing that if
    you build a laundromat
    it will be that’s what i’m hearing right
    no that’s awesome i mean it’s a good
    time to build you know to fling open the
    doors because
    i find that the end of the year has been
    some of my busiest days
    i think i don’t know if people just want
    to start the new new year off with clean
    clothes and that’s what it is
    or um we we have a lot of
    uh hispanic customers and a lot of them
    tell me that you know their their
    culture is
    they want everything clean going here so
    they bring
    everything which is just great
    um so yeah okay
    so well man that’s a short story then
    you just less than a month you’re good
    to go and
    you had a profitable first year it
    sounds like even though it was only like
    12 days now what’s unique in
    for new owners the demographics are
    really important so our demographics
    were really really good when we
    selected this spot but we were
    so if you look but i don’t know if you
    people listening can’t sing but behind
    me i’ve got this giant map of
    nashville and i literally have marked
    every single laundry mat with their
    demographics all over the city
    on there and if you look at where we’re
    at we are smack dab in the middle of
    six or seven other laundromats and
    so there’s a lot of competition in the
    area but
    you know we just put a product out there
    right off the bat that
    people fell in love with and i’m not
    patting myself on the shoulder
    it was a combination of things that that
    jd’s team
    wanted and i’ll say uh john pell on jd’s
    team is
    he’s a genius because he had all kinds
    of ideas about what we should and
    shouldn’t do and we followed a lot of
    and but we just put a product out there
    that i think people really liked and
    came to love and so we took off right
    off the bat now
    the nine month build out that we had
    hurt us
    but most of that nine month build out we
    had a coming soon sign out front
    so it was kind of building up a little
    anticipation in our customer base too
    because they would drive by and see that
    coming soon and then they were probably
    like well when is it actually coming
    so it’s a relative term
    to check it out so that helped a lot
    yeah okay so
    at what point then did you decide hey
    is awesome i want to do this again
    man right from the start i i knew
    in the beginning i told my wife i said
    you know i want to do
    five and five years and again that had
    to take some
    selling but um you know
    obviously with the success we had in the
    i felt like we could probably recreate
    that if we could find the right location
    the right spot
    and so um you know for the last i would
    say probably the last year i’ve been
    really kind of looking at different
    locations and i think we found one we
    we’ve signed a lease
    um another spot here in nashville
    that we think we can recreate what we
    did in the first flight so
    um i you know i think
    a lot of i’ve heard a lot of owners come
    on your your site say well we’re gonna
    do 10 or
    you’re the watch house in north carolina
    you’re going to do 50
    and you know some people say 40. i’d be
    past 50 now
    i don’t know he’s collecting them like
    they’re nothing that’s
    great but
    you know i i looked at it as an industry
    for the most part if you go into any
    laundromat man they’re just
    they’re just rough and i saw it
    as an opportunity because like i
    mentioned to you i was in real estate so
    i enjoyed flipping houses i like taking
    something ugly and making it pretty
    that’s just the ocd in me so i saw it as
    an opportunity to do that with a
    whole industry not just me alone but to
    do my part in it
    where i could go in find something that
    i mean
    why isn’t this done better it could be
    done better
    you know i talked about putting out a
    product that people really like
    the way i see it is there’s no reason in
    the world
    why a person who comes into a laundromat
    to do their laundry
    can’t have the same experience and
    that they do when they go by their
    iphone at apple you know why can’t it be
    why can’t it be you know tops and
    technology why can’t
    just the aesthetic just feel good you
    know with plenty of space to move around
    you know people not jumping on top of
    each other machines
    working all the time uh just a clean
    clean clean clean and that’s really kind
    of what we
    we shoot for and if you
    if you get the chance to look at any of
    our reviews
    man that’s that’s the number one thing
    everyone says cleanest place i’ve ever
    been to
    their tenants are so friendly they’re
    great you know and so those are the
    those are things i really
    like to focus on yeah yeah that recipe
    is not
    so complicated but it can be tough to do
    so so kudos to you and
    that’s the thing that we did we’ve got 4
    600 square feet but
    we didn’t slam 100 machines into 4 600
    square feet you know i didn’t want
    you know two people getting clothes out
    of their washer and dumping booties that
    kind of thing so
    um you know i wanted people to get a
    nice what do you always hear an hdtv oh
    it has a nice airy feel
    right open concept laundry yeah
    well i mean you mentioned a couple times
    that you’re
    you know you’re looking for the right
    location can you can you give us like
    a sense of what are you looking for that
    makes a location
    a right location well um so there’s a
    few different things
    obviously there has to be a volume of
    people there that will
    support a laundry laundry and you know
    you look at look at the competition in
    the area how many other laundries are
    and even if there’s a bunch like i said
    i went in and there were seven around me
    but i walked into every single one of
    those and i felt like we could
    we could do better um i also
    i mean obviously one of the most
    important percentage numbers you want to
    look at are the percent of renters
    percent household vendors in the area a
    lot of the numbers that
    you know i was seeing out there was you
    know almost 35 or better
    i like to do better than that there’s a
    lot of areas in nashville where
    i mean we’re we’re at almost 60 percent
    in our location percent renters
    there’s tons of locations that are 45-50
    so i think those are areas that
    are just ripe you know a lot of folks
    just they’re they’re transient so
    they’re not going to spend money on a
    washer and dryer they don’t
    have to move it every single time or
    maybe they just don’t have the
    the liquid cash to buy one so those are
    opportunities for an awesome laundry
    yeah and i literally i i got out and i
    drove the area as well if i find a spot
    i like i’ll drive around
    i’ve got files where i would do a google
    map put a three mile radius around that
    and pinpoint where all the apartment
    complexes are
    where maybe there’s government housing
    or there’s some
    mobile home parks you know a lot of the
    areas that are usually
    good customers for laundry mats that
    need an awesome laundromat
    and i’ll draw it out and if that picture
    looks good let’s go for it let’s see if
    we can get a good leads
    yeah that’s that’s awesome i think
    that’s super helpful a lot of people
    you know when they’re looking to buy
    their first laundromat or build out a
    first laundromat
    that location is so critical and it’s so
    key because
    well just like real estate like you
    can’t move your location
    right so once you’re once you put those
    routes down
    it’s real tough and real expensive to
    move a laundromat and really not that
    so you got to get that location right
    and you know looking at you know the
    population numbers the competition the
    percentage of renters
    you know those kind of availability of
    you know visibility from the street
    you know traffic going by i mean you
    mentioned that with your
    you know laundromat that there’s traffic
    going by it all the time
    you know you got to have these things in
    order to
    get the traffic that you need to to get
    the numbers that you need to make the
    business profitable
    the the parking styles are super
    so when we built our laundry we had
    17 all up front parking spots
    and i felt like that was going to be
    enough but it wasn’t so now i’m actually
    looking at expanding my parking lot
    and hopefully within the next six months
    we’ll add some more but the parking
    is is just massive i can’t tell you how
    customers i probably have lost because
    they see the parking lots full and
    there’s a lot of other places they can
    go so they just drive down the street
    and go there so yeah the the
    big windows you mentioned visibility the
    big windows are
    huge both for people who are in the
    store so they feel comfortable they can
    see out lots of
    lots of natural light but then two
    someone who doesn’t know you or what
    you’re doing or what you’re laundering
    that’s like they’ll drive by
    they’ll do it right you know the good
    kind of drugs
    and they want to see as soon as they
    look through that window
    we put the biggest machine right up
    front the big granddaddy’s our 80-pound
    so the people see that they’ve got a lot
    of capacity there we can
    we could watch everything in one machine
    yeah you actually can
    yeah yeah pretty awesome
    uh super good tips too um okay
    so you decided you wanted to build out
    a store why
    why build as opposed to buy
    well so yeah that’s a that’s a good
    i and i’m i’m kind of contemplating
    contemplating the the two different
    options as i move forward so store one
    we did build out
    i was looking for build out right from
    the get-go because
    again i didn’t want to be relying upon
    any other store’s existing
    i wanted to develop it build it exactly
    as i wanted i wanted
    bathrooms in a certain spot i wanted my
    attendant desk in a certain spot
    and i wanted the machines in a certain
    area and
    and like i said most existing laundries
    especially the ones that have been
    around for
    you know 20 plus years which are usually
    the ones that are potentially on the
    market for sale
    the layouts are just awful and they’re
    they’re small
    and i didn’t want small i wanted large i
    wanted big
    we got a really good you know friendly
    lease as far as the per square footage
    and so that just worked out now as i
    move forward
    as i was looking for a second location
    uh we’re actually gonna the second
    location is gonna be bigger than the
    first one
    um it might be a little too large i
    think it may be the
    the happy spot is between building one
    and building two so
    number two is going to be about 6 600
    square feet
    and so there’s going to be just a ton of
    space in there
    but again the new space has high
    ceilings my
    my existing one does not so i like the
    the open field high ceilings
    um we’re gonna do ozone in the new
    uh i’m also gonna retrofit my old
    location with ozone and
    oh my gosh i’m so excited about that i
    can’t even begin to tell you because
    just just the opportunity especially
    with cobit but just moving forward
    in this market there’s not i don’t know
    of any that have it now i think there’s
    one other that may be getting it soon
    but um just to have that kind of niche
    in our pocket to be able to market and
    to offer not only to our self-service
    customers but
    i’m thinking more as we grow our pick up
    and delivery that that’s going to give
    us an upper hand against a lot of our
    competitors because
    that ozone just really adds a lot to
    what you’re doing the end product that
    you’re giving your customers so
    yeah huge good it’s a good time to
    own stock in the ozone companies right
    now with
    everything that’s going on yeah
    a lot of people are adding those things
    and for good reason i think it’s you
    definitely a unique selling proposition
    i think you’re right bodes well
    especially for the pickup and delivery
    yes it’s such a
    an infant market for pickup and delivery
    that uh i just think that it it’s going
    to explode
    my my good friend dave mins who you know
    very well
    oh yeah we’ve we’ve talked a lot about
    this market
    and the opportunity here and he’s he’s
    told me on a couple of occasions that
    he’s jealous i’m in this market so dave
    thank you laundromat millionaire i’ll
    link to his too if you haven’t his
    his episode is actually the most
    downloaded episode of the podcast
    it’s phenomenal it’s show number two he
    got there right in the beginning
    and it’s it’s great so i’ll link that to
    you if you haven’t heard it yet
    go listen to it um okay so where are you
    at in your build-out process
    right now so we literally um
    are have submitted our permit and uh the
    only thing i’m waiting on
    i need a and so as part of our lease
    i got the landlord to agree to take on
    some of the cost of the build out which
    i suggest
    as an option to all all folks that might
    be negotiating a lease
    so it was a restaurant formally
    and so there’s a decent amount of demo
    that has to happen so the landlord’s
    going to pay for that
    they’re going to pay to ensure that we
    the uh the correct size water meter
    and line in there so
    the backflow preventer as well has to be
    they’re going to take care to make sure
    we get the right uh gas meter
    they’re going to ensure that we’ve got
    the correct electrical ampage that we
    and they’re also going to take care of
    any improvements that need to happen to
    the existing hvac and sprinkler system
    and so they’ve been they’ve been really
    great at trying to
    help with some of the build out which uh
    i say get as much as you can whenever
    you do it
    now one of the things that they they do
    want is they want an agreement with my
    for all of those pieces so once that’s
    negotiated which we expect that to be
    this week
    man we’re hoping we might be able to
    start demo
    maybe next week obviously christmas
    throws a little bit of a wrench in it
    we’re hoping to start demo before the
    end of the year and
    maybe be able to open the doors by
    middle of april
    first of may hopefully hey that’s
    exciting man this is uh right on the
    precipice of
    hopefully this time the ride won’t be as
    bumpy as the last
    you know there’s always bumps though and
    you just
    you just know it going in well you
    probably didn’t know it going in
    you know the first time around i didn’t
    know it going in my first time
    but there’s always bumps and you just
    you adapt like you survived you figured
    it out and
    hung on and here you are man again
    pinnacle of your life probably being on
    the podcast right now so
    absolutely you have made it my friend
    you have made it no i’m just kidding
    um yeah well i mean that’s exciting to
    have that happening
    and it’s your second one it kind of
    takes you to
    another level too you know after you
    it’s kind of like having kids right you
    have one and it’s like a big deal
    and then you have another one and it’s a
    big deal too but it
    it changes things because now you just
    you can’t focus all your attention on
    your one kid you know now you got two
    kids and you’re splitting your attention
    and so there’s news
    new skill sets to learn and new systems
    to put in place and it’s just it’s
    it’s exciting times yeah the new systems
    in place i think is the big point there
    i’m i’m right now trying to put the
    infrastructure in place
    so that the existing work i’m doing
    double with the second store so
    we’re looking at putting some some store
    managers in place
    and also hiring a new driver for a
    pickup and delivery business so
    i think with those things in place i’ll
    be able to get more of the ceo
    how far apart are the two locations
    about 20 miles which is a little more
    than i wanted because
    actually my my plan i i have some
    excellent points i mean i i was very
    blessed in the beginning
    we’ve got currently seven total
    employees at
    one store but i have i have three or
    four that are just
    absolutely management material maybe
    even bigger and better than that
    so i’m hoping that i’m going to be able
    to transfer one of them to the new store
    to help stand it up which is going to
    make that
    that initial 90 days a lot easier than
    the last one exactly
    learning from your last mistakes i love
    it not mistakes but your last
    the lessons you needed to learn next man
    i learned everything by screwing it up
    man welcome to the club welcome to the
    so i’m hoping to be able to get one of
    them to uh to travel the extra 20 miles
    help you know i’ll give her some upset
    yeah are you planning on um
    running pickup and delivery out of both
    well um that’s a good question i haven’t
    decided yet so
    the pickup and delivery customer base is
    still growing we cover two counties here
    in nashville williamson county and
    davidson county
    um both of my stores are in davidson
    county i
    personally live in williamson county so
    it’s easy to cover that
    but um you know i like i said i’d love
    move the pickup and delivery and one of
    our large commercial clients we have
    to the new store number one there’s more
    number two because of the ozone so we’ll
    see how it works out and what the
    logistics look like
    um like i said this other store is kind
    of uh
    i don’t give anything away but it’s a
    decent drive away from our existing
    store which is a little more centrally
    based so
    we’ll we’ll see how that goes to being
    returned yeah
    yeah wow yeah that’s there’s a lot of
    there’s a lot of logistics involved
    especially when you’re adding two
    locations and you’ve got that much space
    so i think probably your best course of
    action is just to
    buy up everything between them you know
    over the next few years and
    i want to go back real quick i want to
    talk to you about pick up and delivery
    for a second but
    before that um you mentioned um
    which i thought was like great advice
    for anybody building out or even if
    you’re just buying a laundromat
    negotiating a new lease you talked about
    with the landlord and how they’re
    helping you know with some of the
    build-out costs and stuff
    out of curiosity did you do that
    negotiation did you have somebody doing
    that for you how did you navigate that
    so yes i did most of the negotiations so
    a lot of what i did in my corporate life
    uh with a lot of my client management
    pieces i negotiated a lot of contracts
    now i negotiated they wrote it up and
    then i had a lawyer review it so i
    really suggest but essentially what i
    gave my lawyer was our
    loi um so we we had an loi between the
    two of us
    but um i mean yeah there were certain
    things i knew i wanted uh
    as far as rate goes what type of lease
    um so in my existing my existing
    store we’ve got a triple at least which
    yeah i’m not a huge fan of that awesome
    for the landlord
    it is right so i knew going second go
    around i didn’t necessarily want to do
    that unless the rate was just
    ridiculously good and i’d be like okay
    so we’re we’re in a gross lease on the
    new one which i feel a lot better about
    in especially in davidson county they
    just they just
    up property um interest rates so
    uh property taxes so obviously that gets
    passed on to you in a triple net lease
    and i just didn’t want to take on that
    cost they went up 34
    in in davidson campbell jeez
    yeah thank you covet right um yeah
    real quick real quick i just want to
    interrupt you i don’t want to lose
    anybody so if somebody doesn’t know what
    a triple net lease is
    it’s where the essentially the business
    pays for taxes
    insurance and maintenance on the
    property so if you’re a property owner
    you essentially have no expenses you
    all expenses on to the businesses under
    the triple net lease so
    the three nets the triple nets taxes
    insurance and
    maintenance and usually the way they
    they put it
    they’ll say okay it’s um x amount of
    dollars per square foot per year
    is the lead and then there’s what they
    call cam charges ca
    those that’s where all of those extra
    extras come into play so yeah and cam
    stands for common area maintenance
    which basically means you use this part
    of the business but you also got to take
    care of everything else
    so it’s awesome awesome if you’re a
    landlord it
    is kind of a bummer if you’re the
    business but anybody
    it is and what sucks is the landlord put
    a new roof
    on the my existing store before i leased
    it from him and whoever he had to do it
    was awful
    so again i think what i’m going to do is
    go back and try to negotiate something
    with him on that he’s
    he’s pretty amiable so i feel like he’ll
    work with me on it but yeah
    yeah yeah and that’s the danger
    of having a triple net lease is you know
    there’s deferred maintenance or so if
    you’re if you’re looking to buy a
    and you’re being offered a triple net
    lease well it’s worth your time to go
    have somebody check the place out and
    see like is that roof gonna need to be
    repaired in three years because you can
    get slapped with a
    pretty huge bill in three years you know
    and usually it’s split i mean it can be
    anything but usually it’s split between
    all the tenants
    as a percentage of the the total square
    footage that your business is
    that’s usually how it works but it could
    be other ways but it’s worth
    trying to figure out you know does the
    parking lot need to be redone does the
    roof need to be redone you know
    any of those you know maintenance issues
    that’s going to be passed on to you that
    could be
    big costs well worth checking that out
    just to so you know going into it what
    expenses are coming down the pipeline
    hvac and if they have a sprinkle of that
    as well so
    yeah an inspection is not an awful idea
    yeah um okay so so you negotiated this
    i think the the thought of negotiating
    a lease or
    even like a purchase agreement or any
    any kind of negotiation i think
    strikes fear in the hearts of many
    uh and and to a point where i think some
    people if they feel like they have to
    something like that that they’ll just
    pass on
    it completely because they’ll feel like
    they’re out of their element
    it’s kind of can be it’s it’s like a
    conflict right when you’re negotiating
    you’re kind of in a conflict and you’re
    trying to resolve it and and people
    a lot of people feel uncomfortable with
    that so you have any
    tips for somebody who’s feeling like
    that and hearing that you negotiated all
    these cool
    things and them feeling like i have no
    idea if i could even do that
    well so let me tell you this if this was
    my first laundromat there’s no way i
    would do it
    the the only way i kind of had an idea
    when we were doing the first lease of
    okay that’ll work
    was uh just feedback from my distributor
    you know i would ask them questions so
    is this something that you see in your
    leases is this something that that works
    um or if you happen to know a
    reputable broker in the area that you
    feel comfortable with a business broker
    might have done a couple of laundromat
    deals then you know it can’t hurt to
    have them on your side to
    negotiate for you there there was a
    broker involved in this
    it was the landlord’s broker but you
    know they were they were very amiable to
    most of my needs this this spot had set
    open for a number of years so i had a
    little bit of leverage
    uh in trying to get in there and um
    they’re trying to kind of you know
    reinvigorate this particular
    strip mall there’s some pretty exciting
    things going in there
    that if i could say i would but i can’t
    they won’t let me but
    it’s pretty cool what they’re doing so i
    feel like i’m getting in at the right
    time but
    i would tell most people to if you’re
    not comfortable
    then don’t do it because you’ll get
    yourself in trouble
    uh go find someone that you either know
    of that
    either your distributor a broker or if
    you have someone in the business that
    you know of or reach out to someone on
    some of these uh
    these boards i know on your board uh
    jordan there’s probably some folks that
    would be willing to mentor some people
    uh i know dave mends does some of it so
    there’s options out there
    uh people take advantage of that don’t
    don’t step into the poo
    with no shoes on so
    i i think i’m gonna have to quote you on
    that one don’t step in the poop with no
    shoes on
    uh that’s genius yeah and i would i
    wholeheartedly agree with you
    don’t try to negotiate don’t and
    especially don’t let that
    the fear of negotiating stop you from
    getting into the business because
    typically you’re not negotiating your
    own leases typically you’re not
    your own purchase agreement typically
    you’re working with a broker
    and or a distributor or hire a lawyer
    who can negotiate these things for you
    or a consultant
    you know we do that dave mintz does that
    there’s a ton of consultants
    out there that can do uh lease
    negotiations or purchase agreement
    uh lois you know for you so
    i just i just wanted to say that because
    you know it’s pretty impressive
    you know what you were able to negotiate
    but i just know from talking to a lot of
    people that
    that is terrifying for most people so
    well again there was a little bit of
    leverage on my side just because how
    long it had been vacant
    but and they they just they liked the
    concept of what we were doing to
    the the space usage and uh you know we
    showed them
    what we were already doing at our
    existing store and they just
    they they collapsed onto it yeah
    and i think he made a good point too uh
    and you know mark stern made this point
    in his episode um that right now is a
    great time to be negotiating
    leases because there’s a lot of vacancy
    out there and there’s a lot of
    businesses that aren’t really going to
    this year and so landlords are looking
    stable long-term tenants which is
    what a laundromat is right we need a
    long-term lease because we can’t move
    our business
    and laundromats are you know they’ve
    you know by and large stayed open this
    entire year
    um mostly and so even if business was
    down they were still
    bringing in some money and so that’s
    really attractive for a landlord right
    now so you have that leverage
    also when you’re at least doing lease
    negotiations right now
    and i think going forward i mean we
    mentioned this in in mark stern’s
    podcast but going forward
    we can stick a pin in this year and say
    you know even if you’re listening to
    this in
    2025 say hey remember 2020 when all that
    stuff went down
    guess who was around and still paying
    rent laundromats give me a good lease
    well that literally was one of the
    bullets in our presentation to the
    landmark because you know
    we are a business that is pandemic for
    recession proof you know it’s not idiot
    but so hopefully i’ll make it we’ll see
    to be determined
    uh no you know you’re no dummy i can
    tell that
    already uh well tell us a little bit
    about your pick up and delivery
    business when did you launch that and
    how’s it been going
    man so i mentioned dave’s name a minute
    so i am literally a fish that dave
    reeled in um
    partnered with uh with happiness you’re
    like a marlin though
    yeah like a big old trophy marlin
    no no like i’m you’re like a marlin
    so yeah we i went up and visited dave’s
    uh cincinnati location in february
    uh man that guy’s got this thing down to
    a t yeah
    so we we literally started the first of
    march which
    guess what else happened first in march
    i i don’t know if that is was good or
    bad or what it was
    but um so we started in march of this
    um and i literally have been driving the
    van ever since which was
    not the plan at all the plan was to to
    very similar like i did with the cell
    service i wanted to drive for a few
    learn it figure out all the problems you
    run into and then go from there
    but it really was kind of slow going in
    the beginning and honestly it was us
    trying to feel
    get a good feel for exactly where we
    needed to land
    price-wise so happiness is is a good
    partner from the standpoint of and this
    isn’t a commercial
    but they’re a good partner from the
    standpoint of you know they
    they understand the marketing piece of
    it uh
    and what it need what needs to be done
    in order to get out
    from the customers but they also
    understand all the analytics so one of
    the things that they
    discovered as we were moving along was
    we were
    having a lot of potential customers go
    to the website
    uh get to the price page
    and didn’t go any further so
    uh that means we had to kind of look at
    really where our pricing was so we’ve
    made a few adjustment
    adjustments over time and man the last
    uh last 60 to 90 days it really has
    picked up a lot
    as i mentioned i was rushing in here to
    make this podcast video with you today
    uh which again just reasserts that i’ve
    got to get someone hired soon
    uh hopefully i will before the end of
    the year and we’ll start off 2021 the
    right way but
    um yeah it’s really picked up very fast
    we’ve learned a lot from it and i talk a
    lot with my attendance about
    the the nuances and differences between
    uh our drop-off service where the
    customer comes in
    and this pickup and delivery and really
    what i explained to them
    is hey when they come in and drop off
    they get to see you
    every single time they see your smiling
    face they learn your name
    they they get a feel for if they’re
    comfortable with you
    personally doing their laundry and
    laundry is a personal thing
    i mean it is so that’s that’s what’s
    different with the pickup and delivery
    in our end product that we deliver to
    our customers
    i really want that to be top-notch so i
    really tell them to take extra special
    care when they’re folding
    when they’re packaging uh so that they
    would do it
    as if they were receiving the the
    package themselves so
    when you when you’re done folding these
    people’s clothes and putting them in the
    and that was put on your front porch how
    would you feel about that would you feel
    comfortable that that stuff was
    number one clean but number two was it
    taken care of while it wasn’t
    within your view and so um they really
    do a great job of handling things really
    well and and i think it really helps us
    to put a little more of a personal touch
    on it
    i mean every once in a while i get the
    chance to talk to a customer they’ll be
    out in the front yard or something
    not always every single time i’ll
    definitely greet them but ask them how
    has everything been
    any any questions or any issues and you
    know every once in a while they’ll say
    well you know last time
    this share got folded i wish you would
    would hang it okay we’ll make a note of
    and so that that’s one thing we really
    we really try and focus on is the
    customization part of it so that
    you know they can feel more like they’re
    they’re having their laundry done at
    it’s just done by us yeah you want to
    uh you want to hear a customer say man
    you did it just the way i would have
    done it
    and when you hear that that’s when you
    know that
    you you hit something you’re doing it
    right the other day i had a customer she
    was literally
    stuffing her bags on her front porch as
    i was pulling
    up and she’s been a customer that’s
    right from the first month she signed up
    and she’s been ongoing which is great
    and i this is the first time i actually
    got to see her face to face and so i
    asked her i said well you’ve been with
    us for a long time you know how’s
    everything she’s like oh
    i couldn’t live without this now i mean
    which like i said this is an
    infant market pickup and delivery in
    nashville so to hear that i mean like
    ah that just made my my week my month
    we need more like you and how can we get
    more like you
    yeah yeah that’s awesome that’s the
    biggest uh
    that’s the biggest compliment you can
    get right there if you’re doing pick-up
    and delivery is
    can’t live without you and that’s what
    you want to hear
    can we clone you now yeah
    uh that’s awesome well cool man i mean
    it sounds like a lot of exciting things
    going on you got a laundromat that’s
    doing really well
    even after a you know a bumpy start you
    got a pickup and delivery service that’s
    to pick up yeah no pun intended
    and deliver the goods um
    uh and then you know and you’re building
    a new one so
    i mean things are rolling you got some
    good goals uh
    is your goal still five and five years
    is that still your goal what you’re
    for so we’re gonna have to escalate our
    time frame
    um my wife you know she’ll still ask me
    about it yeah that’s the plan we’ll see
    so um i was talking literally with jd
    today about
    another potential spot we’ll see we’re
    gonna have to figure that out
    but um yeah i still want to do that and
    then you know my my intent
    with this all along was to make this at
    some point in my lifetime a family
    business so
    i have two young kids they’re nine and
    seven and um you know it would be
    the most awesome thing in the world if
    they decided that daddy was cool enough
    to go to work
    uh i’m not sure they will like my son’s
    gonna you know be some type of
    frontline infantryman and my wife is or
    my daughter is gonna be a zoologist or
    something but you know if they if they
    that’s fine as well but me and i sure
    would be off it sure would be awesome if
    they would
    yeah yeah or even even for a time you
    know maybe when they’re
    you know in high school and they need a
    job after or
    you know after high school you know just
    i i i agree
    totally like doing stuff with your kids
    and letting them learn
    you know you kind of took your lumps
    early on to learn some
    tough lessons you’re learning lessons
    right now with the pickup and delivery
    and it’d be cool to just be able to pass
    that on to the kids
    for sure yeah pretty cool
    well hey uh we got a section called down
    to business
    and down to business is just you know we
    want to hear a little bit about
    some of the details of your business so
    you’re located in
    in and around nashville right tennessee
    um you got do you still have um so you
    have the one you’re building another one
    do you still have any real estate out of
    you do um so at one point we had four
    rental properties
    uh we now have one it’s actually it was
    my grandmother’s house so
    i will never leave you
    great rental property in a great market
    so it’s been a good investment
    is it local around you yeah it’s like
    10 minutes from my house yeah cool
    that’s awesome that makes it easy
    also when it’s so close
    so you’ve been in the business for about
    three years is that we said
    yeah and now i’m counting the year
    basically when we started looking for a
    site and then the build out so
    running actual operational two years
    hey two years yesterday now you got all
    kinds of like anniversaries and
    birthdays happening right now
    yeah man and christmas is coming up it’s
    like a party out there
    me and santa we’re like this you know
    what the deal is though is that
    you got all these exciting things
    happening i didn’t get invited to one
    single party so what’s going on with
    i don’t know man no parties these days
    what it’s like
    oh no man yeah it’s just so sad we need
    to have like a zoom party with just
    oh that would be fun yeah that would be
    fun or chaotic i don’t know
    uh okay so can you can you give us like
    a ballpark of what it cost to do laundry
    in nashville
    like vin prices yeah so uh our smallest
    are our 20-pound machines we we usually
    go about a dollar and a quarter dollar
    and a half
    over a size so our our 20 pound machines
    are three and a quarter
    our 30 pounds are four and a quarter
    our 40 pounds are five and a half
    and our sixty pounds are seven and a
    and then the the big boys the eighty
    pounds are ten dollars
    and and we do uh you know add-ons for
    hot water
    you know extra wash things like that
    um you know it’s it’s it’s
    some of those things don’t get a lot of
    usage but you you would be surprised at
    how often we you know get
    hot water versus cold water that kind of
    i think in november we were about
    77 cold water so
    you know most everybody goes with what’s
    on the
    can i ask how much it costs to do a pick
    up and delivery pound
    um yeah so right now we’re doing a
    uh where it’s it’s super cheap
    uh we’re a dollar ten weekly dollar
    twenty uh
    at by request uh our normal price
    is uh a dollar fifty nine weekly dollar
    sixty nine
    by request so we’re doing a massive
    promotion which has helped us gain a lot
    of footprint
    um now that will will change it’ll it’ll
    probably land somewhere in between those
    two going forward
    yeah well you know there’s people in in
    new york right now listening to that and
    saying that’s not cheap it costs us
    you know we’re charging a buck a pound
    normally that’s our normal price so
    it’s all relative man it’s all relative
    it’s pretty funny
    uh so are you
    are you fully attended partly attended
    yeah so we’re open 24 hours uh
    24 7 365. uh
    we are attended from seven in the
    morning until night at night seven days
    a week
    cool and are you guys do you guys have a
    card system in there or are you running
    just coins or what are you doing
    yeah so we’re we’re hybrid we got a
    little bit of everything uh
    so coin um credit card
    um we also do uh
    our loyalty card as well which
    the the it’s kind of interesting to to
    watch those trends over time
    kind of how they they change um
    our right now we do about
    63 64 in coin sales
    uh credit card is about 24 and then the
    remaining is our loyalty card which we
    use fast card
    in that store yeah yeah that is
    interesting have you seen any trends of
    it going up or down for cards or
    coins or so in this market as a whole
    there’s not a lot of
    uh of card stores and there’s definitely
    a lot of loyalty card stores so
    in the beginning i think people just
    didn’t really know it existed
    so they were like 85 coin in the very
    and so now we’ve seen that drop off to
    63 64
    and all of that remaining percentage is
    mostly gone to
    credit card and
    yeah that’s pretty it’s pretty
    interesting i think it’ll probably
    moving that direction and especially
    if you you know i know you can utilize
    those card systems to
    run good promotions and kind of move
    people in that direction
    uh so if you if you really push it i bet
    you could grow it faster if you wanted
    yes and to be honest with you as we get
    ready to open store number two
    we’re gonna do massive marketing push
    around here
    a lot of it towards that that loyalty
    card and
    you know i i hear a lot of people
    talking about going to all card or all
    loyalty cards
    and that is so tempting every time i
    have to empty out those coins and every
    time i
    go to the bank i mean now that’s going
    to double right with two stores
    and so it’s awful tempting but we just
    we just have such a
    heavy kind of historical use of coin
    that i’m hoping maybe if we can do some
    marketing efforts to to turn that 64
    into maybe like 50 or 40 percent
    then we would be closer to being able to
    just move all the way from coin all
    i don’t know we’ll see what time tails
    maybe i might just get so frustrated
    with it i’ll just force it so we’ll see
    yeah yeah and especially as you scale up
    more and more you know you got five
    stores and you’re collecting coins from
    all five
    that’s that’s task you got right there
    yeah but uh you know i think
    i think you’re right i think that is the
    struggle for a lot of owners if
    card versus coin is you know customers
    are used to the coin some of them
    refuse to go to card stores and
    sometimes it’s just an education thing
    you got to educate
    customers on how it’s better for them to
    use the card system they can get
    different promotions and
    yeah we do a promo on our fast card
    for every thirty dollars you spend you
    get a bonus three dollars so
    that that helps a lot as far as it goes
    because again
    not a lot of other laundries in the area
    are doing that
    but i’m hoping to really start to
    fast card and in the new store we’re
    going to use hips command
    so we’re going to kind of compare the
    two do a you know best case scenario and
    kind of settle on one and then really do
    strong marketing efforts to try and
    capture a lot of different markets
    so there’s a lot of room for some
    growth with within our business
    commercial customer growth
    so i want to go out and start capturing
    that but then also
    you know i just see opportunities with
    some of the large businesses around here
    offer some some rewards benefits to them
    um that i think we can get creative and
    do some things and just get out in front
    of some of these businesses to say hey
    you know here’s uh here’s a thousand
    cards for your employees
    you know every month if they if they
    come and use our laundry then they’ll
    you know 10 bonus bucks or something you
    know i’m not sure what the promotion
    will look like in the end we’ll have to
    do some run some numbers on it but
    i want to do some things to really kind
    of especially with the new store opening
    to really drive business early on
    yeah and i think that’s smart too i
    think if you can get them
    in there early they come see your shiny
    new store your new machines
    it’s tough for them to tough for them to
    leave that’s right they love shiny
    uh how many how many hours a week are
    you spending right now on your business
    i know you’re driving the truck right
    now for pickup and delivery so you’re
    you’re putting in the work what’s that
    looking like for you yes and that is not
    at all so before we start a pickup and
    delivery let me just tell you a few
    different worlds because they really are
    uh before we started pickup and delivery
    i was probably eight to ten hours a week
    um and that was a lot of times
    just just going more often than really i
    really needed to
    you know still kind of early in owning
    the business now
    that i’m driving i’m probably putting in
    an extra
    15 hours a week i would say um so
    my intention is to hire a part-time
    driver in the beginning
    uh with the hopes as this thing
    continues to grow that it will be
    will be full-time pretty quickly yeah
    yeah but i mean i love that you
    say that i love that you’re doing that
    because i mean so many owners get in
    with the idea of it’s just gonna be
    hands off
    but you had to put in time early on both
    your self-service business and in your
    pick up and delivery business so
    you know sometimes it’s got to go that
    way and
    that’s okay like you just got to be
    ready for it
    well you know i think if you’re a new
    owner that’s that’s probably the most
    important thing now you can you can say
    just go collect some coins you know
    spend a couple hours that’d be good
    and you could do it that way you really
    could if you wanted to
    i wouldn’t suggest it because it’s not
    the best way to run the business because
    number one you won’t know
    anything about it uh so you know
    how how can you run something that you
    really don’t know
    what happens when things move from a to
    b to c to all the way to z
    so i really suggest getting in and
    getting your hands dirty and having that
    expectation in the beginning that it’s
    going to be that way
    because if you do it that way then one
    day you know
    you could be like our good buddy dave
    mintz and just focus on
    on other opportunities so um you know i
    think it’s
    it’s one of those things that people
    need to be really smart obviously if
    you’re if you want to keep your day job
    do that but just know that your weekends
    are going to be busy in your evenings
    awesome advice okay we got another
    section we like to call secret sauce
    listen up it’s the secret sauce
    and secret sauce is this what’s
    something that’s working in your
    business that other
    owners can implement in their businesses
    to help them do better
    well um really there’s a 1a and a 1b
    um i would say 1a and this is this has
    been for me the most important thing
    is take care of my employees um
    and and what i mean by that i’m sure a
    lot of people have heard the quote from
    richard branson that you know
    if you take care of your employees
    they’ll take care of your customers and
    oh my gosh that is so absolutely true so
    i i try and create a very employee
    friendly environment it’s best that i’m
    within reason obviously you know i don’t
    let them run around and do ridiculous
    stuff but
    i want to to compensate them them well
    and i want them to feel comfortable
    and i want them to have ownership in the
    business itself so
    i have you know i mentioned i have a
    couple of really strong employees and
    these folks have come in in the vision
    that i relayed to them the very first
    and then as i worked with them training
    them they literally have picked up that
    football and ran with
    it and so they look at this as their
    and they know because i’ve talked about
    it all along that i want to grow this
    into bigger and better things
    and they want to be a part of that and
    so i feel like if i take care of them
    you know i can’t offer all the greatest
    benefits in the world
    because but i do i give them paid time
    a certain amount of paid time off i work
    with them i’m as flexible as possible on
    their schedule again within reason
    um there are occasions where they do not
    have a babysitter so i tell them okay
    you can bring your son with you
    as long as he doesn’t get crazy and
    stays in the back room then that’s fine
    you know you can take care of them while
    you’re there
    which i’m sure a lot of owners like
    that’s ridiculous
    well you know these are these are people
    that i really trust with my business
    at this point uh and i know that they’re
    gonna do the right thing so
    you know i i try and give them an
    environment that they
    they really want to come back to every
    single day so take care of your
    give them the incentive to want to do
    well and to do and if they do well then
    that means your business
    um one b would be focus on
    the customer experience i know in your
    that i just listened to earlier um you
    talked a lot about atmosphere obviously
    it was atmospheric tv
    but the the the environment around which
    your customers
    are experiencing is probably one of the
    most important things to get them to
    come back again like i said there’s a
    lot of
    competition where i’m at so i want
    people to come to me
    and maybe even pay a little bit more
    because they know
    that when they come in it’s going to be
    clean every single machine is going to
    be working it’s going to be working well
    when they they’re going to be greeted
    they’re going to be told hello and
    they’re going to be
    told thank you when they leave or if
    they’re coming in to drop off their
    clothes it’s going to be taken care of
    just like it was being done
    by their mother at home
    the overall customer experience is
    really important as well
    that that that’s awesome that podcast
    episode came out like
    six hours ago so you are like on it man
    i told you i’ve been driving all day
    that’s what i’m talking about way to get
    on it all right well i mean that’s
    incredible incredible secret sauce and i
    love you know
    taking care of your employees and
    focusing on the customer experience
    huge and both of those things
    are the common thread that i see
    in successful laundromat owners you know
    that’s what people are doing you got to
    have good employees once you find those
    good employees
    take good care of them like you said and
    like richard branson
    sir richard branson said you know
    they’re going to take care of your
    but you also be thinking through
    customer experience
    what feeling do they get when they come
    experience your business experience your
    laundromat and if you can do those two
    things you’re in
    you’re in real good shape going back to
    something we mentioned earlier about
    being the owner and actually being in
    the store
    so when my kids see me there they’ll see
    me picking up trash
    they’ll see me closing doors on open
    dryers putting away carts
    they’ll see me helping my employees do
    different things and i think that’s
    important too
    because they see that you’re involved
    and that you care
    if they never see you there they’re not
    going to feel so bad about
    taking your cart out and leaving it in
    the parking lot because you know
    he doesn’t care so why should i but most
    of my customers bring long bring it
    that’s why i let them i let them take
    the carts outside because they always
    bring it back inside yeah again i know
    that’s crazy laundry owners but that’s
    how i roll
    i let customers take cards outside and i
    never see them again they’re just like
    i guess that’s true they’re gone for
    good i don’t know all right well we got
    another section called
    pro tips pro tips
    and pro tips is just this
    what advice do you have for somebody
    maybe looking to buy their first
    laundromat um go do it i mean
    you can sit around and research and dive
    and and talk to people and do it just
    just go do it because i promise you it’s
    going to be
    you know if you have if you have the
    financial means to do it
    you have the the time you have the
    supportive family to do it
    then it’s going to be one of the best
    decisions that you ever make i know for
    me it has been
    uh and i’ll be an ambassador for this
    as long as i’m alive because i really
    think it’s a
    it’s an industry fraught with
    and the the opportunity to make things
    better from uh
    just a service perspective from a
    technology perspective
    uh from an atmosphere perspective uh
    so much opportunity so don’t don’t sit
    around and think about it if you have
    like i said the financial means if
    you’ve got the
    time and you’ve got the family support
    do it jump in
    find a good spot find a good distributor
    find a good broker a good
    uh financial partner just go do it
    don’t don’t play around now is the time
    to do it
    i i just love that advice
    i just love it because yeah i mean every
    episode i’m trying to think of
    and i’m listening intently for an
    thing that i can take away from every
    every episode because i just think that
    if we can all do that if we can take
    one thing away from every episode i mean
    success is going to be inevitable
    because we’re going to be growing every
    single week and we need to
    you know as long as we’re putting those
    things into action and
    that’s the key and you know success
    follows action right success doesn’t
    research success doesn’t follow learning
    that’s why you’ll have a lot of very
    very smart people
    who live very average lives which
    there’s nothing wrong with that
    but if you if you want more if you want
    freedom if you want choice if you want
    options if you want wealth any of that
    stuff it’s not coming to you unless you
    action right so i love the advice of
    you know go like learn what you need to
    learn and and meet who you need to meet
    but then go do it
    like yeah yeah you know have a plan in
    place don’t just really
    do it but you know put your plan in
    place and then go execute it
    one other section that we all uh
    one other section that we have is called
    uh recommended resources and that’s just
    hey do you have any resources that you
    would recommend to
    uh people to help them grow their
    business or to grow themselves
    um yeah so i have found some of the
    uh and this has been mentioned before so
    i apologize but
    there are some facebook groups that are
    just absolutely
    just gold i know one you’re one of your
    previous guests
    i think he’s the administrator of one of
    them i’m a member of that one
    i think that’s laundromat owners only
    like laundromat owners
    the there’s literally thousands of
    laundromat owners on some of these
    and and they are just they give
    spectacular advice and and i know
    uh yours as well you’re growing your
    your base as well so
    uh laundromat resource forum i’m gonna
    get on there and start contributing
    uh asap toward them but i
    think my pressure here well you know man
    these people have knowledge and i go on
    there all the time and i’ll i’ll just
    you know hey when you’re dealing with
    this situation how do you usually handle
    it you know and it could be something as
    simple as
    an example right the other day i went on
    one of the forums and
    we have a few customers in our pickup
    and delivery that
    uh require all free and clear so you
    know a non-allergic
    type of detergent and again
    i’m really concerned about what the end
    product is for our pickup and delivery
    because that’s all they see or the
    clothes in the finished package
    and so i was asking some of the other
    owners for some some good tips and i
    asked if any of them
    actually would like because a lot of
    times in these commercial washers
    there’s soap residue from
    a previous user and you know i asked if
    anyone would you know run a quick rinse
    cycle to clean out any of that soap
    residue before they
    put a customer who needs a
    type detergent and so i got some really
    good feedback on that and it’s just
    things as simple as that that’ll help
    you run your business better that
    you know maybe you didn’t think of
    before or
    or maybe you’ve got a good idea about
    how to solve the problem but
    some other input never hurts so
    definitely use forums wherever they are
    use your forum wherever you can find
    them because there’s a lot of
    really smart people who’ve experienced
    it before you so why create the oil
    yeah and it’s kind of the premise behind
    this podcast behind
    laundromat resource in general and
    everything that we try to do is that
    we’re just we’re better when we’re
    sharing information together and i think
    a long time
    the industry it was hard to find good
    information because it was all
    and it’s the whole industry is going to
    be elevated by
    us working together and helping each
    other build better businesses and we’re
    all gonna
    do better that way so i love that advice
    great recommended resource
    yeah i think so and as far as like a
    book one that really
    impacted me both in my corporate career
    and in my entrepreneurial career
    was good to great yeah you hear that one
    talked about a lot but you know i’ve
    read that one a couple of times and just
    you know his approach to everything just
    really kind of changed how i approached
    my work every day i mean
    i don’t want to be good at this i want
    to be great at it and so whatever i can
    do to get me to that point
    i think is the direction that i know
    even if it requires a little bit of work
    the work that’s jim collins right good
    degree that’s right yes sorry yeah
    no that’s a good book that’s a good book
    i’ll link to that too if you if you
    haven’t read it
    it’s it’s great i was gonna call it good
    but it’s great
    it went from good to great like right
    great yeah all those things
    yeah well hey this steve this has been
    incredible having you on i just i feel
    like i’ve been soaking up
    all this like knowledge from you uh for
    like an hour
    more than an hour i think and it’s just
    been so good you’ve shared so much
    really really good information thank you
    so much
    for coming on uh one more quick question
    i have for you is that
    you know all of us listening here i know
    that you have more
    to give us so if anybody has a question
    for you or if you
    you know just wants to contact you and
    maybe say thanks for coming on the
    podcast or whatever
    what’s the best way they can get in
    touch with you or maybe you know see
    what you got going on
    yeah um so you can definitely email me
    um my email address and this is
    my my corporate address it’s steve
    at all things
    ent.com that’s a l l t
    h i n g s e n t
    dot com good all things is an enterprise
    all thing enterprises yeah it’s based on
    romans 8 28
    love it can do all things well man this
    has been
    great and again thank you thank you for
    coming on sharing your story
    looking forward to staying in touch
    hearing more
    about what you got going on and we’re
    gonna have to uh keep tabs on this build
    that you got going on
    i’m excited about it for you yeah sounds
    good sounds great i appreciate you
    having me jordan it’s been a blessing
    and then i again i
    know i speak for everybody when i say
    this but what you’re doing is awesome
    man i think it’s really like you said
    lifting up this industry i think anyone
    has a good feel for for this industry
    and where we wanted to go
    i think that’s an awesome thing so well
    hey i appreciate you saying that
    and look forward to talking to you guys
    soon man man steve is so
    cool that was so awesome i could have
    talked to steve all
    day long uh so good and i forgot to pay
    attention to whether my accent
    got thicker throughout that but that
    leads me to think that maybe it did
    i don’t know i’ll have to go back and
    listen uh but anyways
    it was so good but i want you to pick
    something every week
    this week is no exception i want you to
    pick something that
    you can take away and actually put into
    uh say it all the time but action leads
    to success or success follows action
    really uh because you can learn all you
    want and you can be entertained by the
    stories but
    if you’re not putting that stuff into
    action you’re not gonna be able to reach
    your goals
    um so let’s pick something from this
    show from what steve was talking about
    and let’s implement it so whether you
    are looking to buy your first laundromat
    or whether you already have a laundromat
    or multiple laundromats
    pick something and let’s implement it
    today i’ll tell you what my
    big takeaway was and it comes straight
    out of the pro tips actually and it’s
    uh pertinent to this conversation and he
    said just go
    do it just go do it and i know for me a
    lot of times i get stuck
    on an analysis paralysis
    or i just i’m not sure exactly
    what to do so i don’t start
    and i love steve’s advice as hey you
    know what learn what you need to learn
    and get the right people around you and
    do it go do it whether that’s going to
    buy a laundromat whether that’s
    upgrading equipment whether that’s
    whatever the case might be go and do it
    uh and take that step and it can be
    but the fear subsides after you take
    it only grows before you take action so
    make sure that you’re moving forward and
    as always
    super grateful to be a part of this
    community thank you guys
    for letting me be a part of it and
    cannot wait
    to see you again next week all guys
    we’ll talk to you then


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