35. Using a Laundromat to Escape the Corporate Rat Race with Steve Andrews

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!

Watch The Podcast Here

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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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