59. A New Landscape for Laundromats: Are You Ready? With Alex Jekowsy, CEO of Cents

The laundromat industry is changing faster than ever before! Are you ready for it? In today’s episode, Alex Jekowsy, CEO of Cents, and Jordan explore the trends in the laundromat industry and what role technology is playing to usher our industry into the future.

It’s packed with valuable information to help you stay on the leading edge of the laundromat industry, plus practical insight and advice to help you run a better business, serve more customers, and find financial freedom through laundromat ownership!

Alex and Jordan also discuss Cents, the business-in-a-box solution for all of your laundromat business needs.  Cents is a company building the first market-network in laundry with a mission to outsource laundry day in America to local garment care professionals and business owners. Through Cents, garment care professionals have access to best-in-class software & hardware proven to save them money that will drive additional revenue through remote ordering, on-demand services, and more.

In today’s show, Alex and Jordan discuss:

  • Alex’s background and what brought him to the laundromat industry
  • What drives Alex’s passions for the industry
  • Why it’s never been a better time to be a laundromat owner
  • Simple ways to impact business with technology
  • The purpose of new technology in business
  • Who is Cents and what do they offer laundromat owners?
  • Why investors are investing in Cents
  • The future landscape of the laundromat industry
  • The fate of the owner-operator model
  • Franchise models and laundromats
  • How to get started with Cents
  • Advice for new laundromat operators
  • Who is Cents for
  • The mission of Cents

And a lot more!

Be sure to join us for our webinar with Cents CEO, Alex Jekowsky on July 1st, 2021. Visit http://www.laundromatresource.com/events to sign up.

Watch The Podcast Here

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Episode Transcript

hey hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with
the laundromat resource
podcast show 59 and i am pumped
that you are here today because today
we’re talking
with alex jakowski who is
from the venture-backed company called
and if you haven’t heard of since yet
you will hear about them obviously
because you’re listening to this podcast
but also they’re doing some interesting
in our business and in fact we talk a
about what the future of this industry
and how they intend to play a role
in the future of this industry so
very very intriguing very interesting
and not only that but it’s packed full
of awesome
awesome insights and advice and tips
for laundromat owners what i loved about
this is that
scent is a venture-backed company which
means that
investors have invested in this company
betting it’s going to be a success
and you know one of the questions i ask
is well what is it that these investors
in our industry that make them think
that this
business is a good one to invest in so
that was a very intriguing question
and a very intriguing answer and it kind
shed some light on how some of the
people who have
money are thinking about our business
what kind of outlook they have towards
it so it’s very interesting but there’s
a ton a pack
a ton of ton of information packed into
this episode
for you and you are gonna love it and
not only that but alex is really really
fun to talk to really uh good
communicator so you’re gonna love love
love this episode
everything about it um real quick i
wanna say welcome to
all the new members at laundromat
dot com uh we’re i think we’re close to
three thousand
members now so and a lot of you guys i
still have not really launched the paid
membership but a lot of you guys have
found it
i have no idea you guys are a little
sleuths uh
looking forward over there but there is
going to be this is not a launching of
it by the way you can find it if you
look for it but
uh there is going to be some really cool
stuff coming up for pro members here
in a little bit i’ve been working a
little bit behind the scenes um
to to get some of that stuff going but
welcome to all of you new members
of laundromat resource dot com i love
the community that we’re having make
sure you go
to the forums laudermartresource.com
forums introduce yourself on the new
members forums
and the coolest thing by far happening
on the entire website
in my opinion is on the new members
forums where people
are connecting with each other you know
uh if you’re if you’re close by to
people people are you know introducing
letting you know where on the laundromat
journey they are
and where in the world they are and
people are connecting that way
super cool um and we’ve talked about it
all the time but when we’re connecting
with people who have similar goals
as us it just helps us all achieve those
goals a lot quicker so
make sure you’re connecting over there
and then check out the other forums too
while you’re at it
we have one laundromat specific
questions we have commercial real estate
there’s financing forum and
there’s another one and i can’t remember
off top of my head what it is but go
jump in uh have a discussion every
single week ask a question
answer a question i haven’t brainwashed
you guys enough lately so
go to the forums lot of my resource.com
forums and ask a question answer a
question over there
and uh and dude let’s all let’s all jump
on there and
uh be communicating connecting with one
another helping each other out
helping each other find success quicker
cool so you can find that link all the
links from
this episode you can find at laundromat
resource dot com
show 59 show five nine so check
that out and check out all the links to
everything and there are a lot of links
to some very interesting things uh in
this episode
one of which that we’re gonna bring up
is a brand new
link a brand new page on the website
it’s the events page
now uh we are starting to
put together some events right now some
virtual i’d like to do some in-person
ones i’m still in california and
you know everything’s everything’s just
i don’t know we can’t do anything yet uh
i mean we can do more than we could do
anyways i’d like to start getting some
in-person events and i do want to direct
you to one
in-person event and i’ll put a link to
this in
the description if you’re on youtube or
in the show notes
but there’s a meetup happening in
scottsdale coming up
um in uh i think
june 25th somewhere around there i’ll
put the date and the link
in the description so if you’re in or
near scottsdale or want to go
check that one out make sure you
check that out put it on the events page
laundromat resource.com events
but also we’re going to talk about a
webinar here in this episode that’s
coming out so that’ll be up there and
there’s some other webinars coming up
um also so those will all be on the
events page and i’ll be adding to that
as we get more and more events happening
um that you know i’m just i’m super
excited about these events because my
goal is to help you succeed
in the industry so i’m starting to pull
together people who
can do just that help you succeed in
this industry
and they’re willing to come talk to you
about what it takes to succeed and
um and some of them even have some some
tools and resources that will help you
succeed so look at that uh that events
join us in some of these events and uh
alex is gonna be teaching
a webinar here uh pretty soon you’ll
hear about that
and uh it’s gonna be awesome i think
you’re gonna love it okay
uh man let’s uh that’s enough man let’s
jump into it with alex
right after this all right guys today’s
episode is brought to you by
atmosphere tv you may remember back in
episode 34
when atmosphere tv’s mike kelly joined
me on the podcast it was an
epic epic episode if you haven’t
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34 lawnmower resource.com show 34 go
check it out it’s incredible a ton of
value there
one of the things we talked about is
just the importance
of creating a good positive atmosphere
in your laundromat
and i was just rereading the book by
simon sinek start with why
and one of the things that really stands
out to me is that people
don’t make purchase decisions based on
you know the logic of you know any
decision that they’re making to spend
their money it’s more based on a feeling
and an association
and so it’s really important to create a
positive feeling a
positive atmosphere no pun intended
in your laundromat to help people
this chore that most people don’t like
doing with something positive
atmosphere tv is an incredible way to
help improve the atmosphere
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haven’t heard of it
what it is is it has 50 plus channels
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dropping videos from all over the world
there’s automobile channels there’s a
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my kids love love love it and my
customers love it
atmosphere tv can be a great way to
either supplement your cable
or a lot of us laundromat owners are
cutting our cable bill
completely and running atmosphere tv
they’re designed to be used
with no audio but they also do have an
audio option that way you can kind of
design the atmosphere of your laundromat
the way that you want it so get rid of
cable get rid of those news channels
that are bringing negativity into your
laundromat and fill your
laundromat with positive videos that
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uh atmosphere so check out atmosphere.tv
i’ll put a link down in the description
on youtube or in the show notes
check it out there make sure you use the
keyword resource that way you can get
that thing for free
and or if you’d like email mike
atmosphere.tv okay again this is alex
the founder of sense the venture back
company who in his own words he says
we built sense to back the operator
he’ll say that in this interview i loved
that and uh here we go let’s get into it
with alex
alex man thank you for joining me on the
show i’m super pumped that you’re here
are you doing man doing well man thanks
so much for having me i’m i’m
i’m stoked to get into this oh dude it’s
my pleasure
and we’ve talked a couple times already
and every single time
you know there’s been it’s it’s just
been energetic and a lot of fun so i
know this is gonna be a lot of
energy and a lot of fun and you have a
lot of really really great stuff to add
today we’ve talked about a little bit
of it offline um and i you know i think
everybody’s gonna get a lot of value for
it from it but before we do
why don’t you tell us a little bit about
who you are and
the path you’ve you’ve been on this very
unique path
to get into the laundromat industry so
tell us who you are and then maybe take
us along the path a little bit
to the laundromat industry yeah
absolutely absolutely well
i again thanks so much for having me on
i’m super excited to
to you know get to know you it’s been
just so awesome to
to pick your brain and hear your
experience in the industry and that’s
really what it’s been about for me
um and our entire business is to get as
deep into this industry and as deep into
being a sponge as we can to understand
what what it’s like to be operators and
um and and really be knowledgeable in
the space because you know i didn’t come
from laundry necessarily i didn’t have
my parents didn’t open a laundromat i
didn’t have you know family members that
did it
i i started more in institutional
technology i built a company about five
years ago in the
higher education space um running
got a payments white label marketplace
platform that facilitated kind of daily
student life transactions meal plans
membership dues peer-to-peer payments
um and there was at one point where i
was going from the national association
student affairs professionals conference
to the coin laundry association golden
gate chapter gala and i thought
man i am doing this right i am the
sexiest of industries
but no you know i i got into the space
because i had just heard
yeah i think it was through friends and
friends of friends that laundromats were
investments and i had an apartment in
san francisco that i paid an arm and a
leg for and it still took me
65 quarters to do my laundry i always
wanted to get you know
in my wash and fold um and so i had kind
of a peripheral experience and
understanding of the business but it
wasn’t until after i sold my last
to one of the largest players in the
higher ed landscape
that i looked more and more into the
business as an investor i
i wanted to you know roll up my sleeves
get my hands dirty
really run an smb business buy a couple
stores maybe more scale it up
um but obviously before i wanted to get
into that and and uh
i needed to understand what it would
really mean um so from there i joined
the cla
i went to an event where you know brian
wallace spoke and got to connect with a
lot of operators in the bay area
and the more i spoke with operators the
more excited i got
about the industry and about the
business but the more disturbed
and maybe disturbed is the wrong word
but the more disturbed i i was in terms
the technology that’s out there
supporting them and again i came from an
industry that was very bureaucratic
very large but technology didn’t you
know it was 10 years was a 10-year lag
behind anything else very familiar with
that experience um
and the other folks on our team have
come from building the largest company
in uh you know largest accounting and
business management system in the
home services interior design home
remodeling building space and so
you know working with a lot of smbs in
different industries so
we we all came from different industries
um all institutional
software businesses that we’ve all
exited for for tens of millions
um and we’ve processed billions of
dollars through our various companies
but i think one of our superpowers is is
we didn’t really start
in the industry uh we just became
obsessed and
with it and a psychopath on how much
we’re obsessed with it over the last you
know three or four years as we’ve gotten
deeper and deeper into the business so
that’s kind of the story of it i’m still
on the hunt of buying my my first stores
and i just moved to new york so i’m
always looking at stores that i can buy
personally and
different team members are are trying to
buy so um
yeah yeah man we just we love this
business we love this industry and love
the folks that are in it
well you know we’re we’re an industry
full of psychopaths so you’re in good
uh but out of curiosity i mean what
what intrigued you guys so much or maybe
you specifically so much about
this industry that you know you did
i mean listen man i’m just going to
shoot straight with you it’s a little
that somebody gets obsessed with
laundromats right like so
you know what what drove you to that
yeah i think
you know naturally i i do gravitate
towards these kind of unsexy businesses
and unsexy industries but it’s
frankly it’s usually the ones that are
that have the most opportunity right and
are operating at the the
least efficient and have so much room to
right this industry has been very very
stable it’s one of the most attractive
parts of it it’s you know the pandemic
has been
brutal for a lot of smbs a lot of
business owners but it’s been
really incredible to see how a lot of
our operators are not just
surviving but in some cases thriving
opening news stores
um you know during the pandemic so
attractive to me is i see laundry and
as one of the probably the last
retailers standing as things move
uh you know as more ghost kitchens pop
up as things move
online it’s just a you know and this
paints it in a negative light
but i kind of call a laundromat like the
cockroach of main street you can’t kill
it it’s just
always going to be there it’s such a
staple of society
and it and and a cornerstone of a
community so
i think those businesses when i look at
it with my with my tech and investor hat
show the most you know the the most
promising opportunity of growth
and the fact that when you look at
technology really in the space
in laundry when i was assessing the
companies that are that are providing
services and
in the industry it was always the uber
for laundry it was never really focused
on the
owner operator and focusing on backing
and empowering the operator
um it was always trying to do things
outside and and catch the consumer
trends of people wanting to outsource
laundry and i think that that is what is
so compelling it was so compelling
getting into the business
but having the chance to work now with
with hundreds of operators
and hear how they got into the business
what they’re struggling with and what
they’re succeeding
at it’s like it’s like we wake up with
fresh eyes every day and and get this
uh excitement because there is just so
much opportunity i think that that’s the
driving factor of our
of what makes us all obsessive
psychopaths and in the business because
there’s just
there’s so much that can be done there’s
so much that can be optimized
um and and but there’s also so much to
love about the industry today
um so it feels like just open fields
um you know ahead
yeah i i mean i i love that and i think
you’re right and it is like a unique
combination of a
stable business with big upside
uh right now because we’re starting to
see you know i i like that you mentioned
you know the the higher education kind
of technology stuff was
you know 10 years behind i don’t know if
we even qualify in the 10 years behind
but we’re catching up and things are
changing really fast right now
um and uh i mean i think we have a long
way to go but i
but you know the amount of change i’ve
seen in the last even
like three to five years has been
like way more than probably the last
couple decades beforehand
and i think it’s only going to continue
to go fast and i’ve been saying over the
few episodes here like hey laundromat
keep your eyes open stuff’s changing if
you don’t change you’re going to be
you’re going to end up a zombie mad
owner down the line here because
the industry is is moving and we can’t
just you know that stability is still
but stability doesn’t mean keep
everything the same
forever anymore like it used to yeah and
i think the beauty of it now i mean
the timing is great right it’s it’s
never been a better time i think to be
kind of a laundromat owner or smb owner
because let’s look at the
other industries right and i this is
something i tell operators all the time
when we get on the phone with them and
talk about their business and say
look what pizza shops are doing look at
what barber shops are doing
gyms hotels you know small accounting
there are beauty salons this is kind of
the renaissance
in in you know tech we call it vertical
right hyper verticalized businesses
where you’re focused on
deadly focus on one industry and you’re
building software as a service so it’s
kind of one
platform that can be dynamic for
different business owners depending on
how they operate their business but
there are companies like squire which is
serving thousands and thousands of
barber shops raised
you know 80 plus million dollars and
powering all they do is power local
pizza shops
right their tagline is order pizza
online and support your local pizzeria
companies like boulevard and mind body
and you know these businesses that are
hyper verticalized
focusing on industries that have been
really hit with just really generic
software and really generic systems
or really outdated systems from the
players that were leading
for 30 years um and and so
i tell our operators like check these
companies out look at what’s happening
in other verticals and that’s what gets
us so excited it’s what’s enabled us to
raise you know those 10 million dollars
and have the
the most top-tier vcs and investors
um behind what we’re doing because i
think this is one of the last
uh companies that one of the last
industries excuse me that
that hasn’t been addressed um it hasn’t
been focused on
and this is the timing is is just so
great because there are playbooks
um that other small business owners have
been able to utilize
when when being able to leverage
impactful software um so i think
it’s not just a technology revolution
where there should be friction
right this is something that there’s a
wave of of possibility
and operators can take advantage of it
in a very basic way
right just digitizing you know very
small things about your business
reaching customers in a different way
creating process for the sake of
creating process like there are
small ways that you can get into this
store ownership you don’t have to have
robots and machine learning and
take crypto and do all you know you
don’t have to be on the forefront of
everything there are small things that
you can start to do for your business
at low cost and high impact and that’s
really what the value of modern
technology should be should be dynamic
should be simple to use because frankly
the the most difficult software to build
is the one that’s robust and simple at
the same time
yeah yeah absolutely absolutely well i
you can’t really just tease us like that
with hey there are simple things that
you know you can start with and and i
was kind of talking about this
in a previous uh episode of the podcast
um where
you know we were talking about uh data
and you know that can be very
overwhelming for
a lot of laundromat owners right we’re
not typically data analysts that you
know are
it’s not like a natural bridge right and
so even just the terminology
you know that data analysts use can be
overwhelming but
you know one of the points i was making
is you can start simple you can do
simple things and get more
sophisticated as you start to grasp
the simple stuff and you don’t have to
be sophisticated all at once right and
you know a simple model will help you
improve your business and you can make
the model more robust and more
as you go but you don’t need a
sophisticated one you know right off
right off the bat so so okay so you
mentioned some of these
simple things i mean do you have any
examples of you know to throw out there
for us yeah absolutely i mean and and
just your your point earlier i mean
there are
definitely tech phrases that are scary
making data driven decisions
feels like some corporatey heavy thing
that i have to have a
you know i need to have a data scientist
i need to have somebody a tech person to
making data-driven decisions just
looking at what’s happening in your
and actually being able to see it and
then know what’s good and what’s bad or
like you know we have a lot more
customers that come in when the price is
this compared to when the price is that
well then we can make a data-driven
decision over either price or the
service you know things like that but
i’d say for the way that we think about
little ways of of
impacting a better customer experience
better store ownership
um is you know through technologies you
know small things like instead of sticky
notes and paper logs and paper tags and
writing on the tickets and
you know taping them in front of the
machine but digitizing
order flow right the management of
orders and i used to talk to operators
who said
hey the people in my store my attendance
my team members they get it
you know they’ve just been doing the
same thing for years and years and
and i just trust that they’ll get it
done and to a certain extent i i think
there is truth to that for sure
right when you trust your employees and
they be and they build
habits then you can trust that they’ll
get the job done
but we try to impart to operators is
you can take your high-performing
employees but realizing that this
experiences a lot of employee churn and
so you can’t
always guarantee that the employees that
understand your process
today are going to be there tomorrow um
but also how do we make it so you don’t
have to be managing them so so directly
we limit the amount of opportunities for
failure the opportunities for mistakes
that they could have
just knowing what order went into what
machine by which employee at what time
right now that seems like a process but
you know
with sense and really what what really
should be with just solid and
modern technology it should just be two
clicks of
of buttons to be able to track that
level of granularity now
some operators say i don’t need all that
data you know
the machine just runs and it just
happens and it’s okay and to a certain
extent i
i also understand that let’s let’s not
build process for the sake of building
process but
but good technology should fit all the
operating models you want to get as
into the roi on your labor and the
pounds per hour your employee
employees fold and certain utilization
of machines based on
the volume capacity of a of a washing
machine based on the
wash and fold pound you know the pound
of the wash and pulled order to make
sure that your
80 pound order isn’t being stuffed into
a 60 pound machine yeah
if you want to get that granular good
software should help you do that
if you just want to know that an order
was handled by an employee
it was processed and it was given back
to a customer and to know generally
the weight differential and make sure
nothing was lost
you should be able to have access to
basic systems that are
more scalable um and provide a better
opportunity of transparency and
customer service and and you know
through that technology and the last
thing i’ll say is
you know my job is to sell software
to business owners to make their lives
but truthfully the laundromat owner
operator you know in
some cases they are our end user but by
and large it’s the in-store attendant
and i feel like a lot of technology and
i felt this way in my last business in
higher ed
you build who you sell to right when you
sell to the cios
you sell expensive software you need to
build product for them
but the students were the one using the
platforms right
in many cases they’re the ones making
the payments
and in our case right we sell the
software to the business owner they’re
the decision maker but the in-store
attendants are using the system
every single day the customers are
dropping in the orders
and experiencing our product every
single day and so
that’s really who we try to focus on
when we think about building technology
it’s not just what is how does the owner
operator think it’s
what actually makes the lives of the
employees better what makes
what makes it easier for them to do
their job how can we actually make them
happier when they do their job
and make it less possible or make it
i’ll say less of a requirement for them
to make decisions
right it’s why mark zuckerberg and all
these tech guys wear
just gray shirts because they’re trying
to eliminate the amount of decisions
they need to make in their day
when they know what they’re going to
wear before they wake up and so how can
we eliminate the required decisions
of an employee which then you know
will of course limit the amount of
mistakes that they’ll make
and when they’re succeeding at their job
they’re going to be happier the
retention is going to be there’d be
higher performing
so i think that’s a a nuance that a lot
tech companies and and just people in
general they don’t think about
who is the actual person using the
product and while i need to sell this
thing i want people using and buying and
distributing this amongst all the stores
in the country
but we really got to think about the
attendant and of course the customer
experience because
the attendance are our best retention
tools we never lost a customer never
lost an operator
because the attendants love our system
yeah and i mean one of the things that
you said that i thought
was really really good is um
that the the end user really is your
right and i think a lot of
owners you know are a little hesitant to
get into
technology because number one they’re
just not familiar with it especially if
they’ve been in the industry for a while
and it makes it feel like it’s it
complicates things right they just kind
of know how the business works and it
complicates things
and i think maybe one of the things that
can be easily missed is that
yes if you implement a technology
there’s probably going to be a little
bit of a learning curve you’re going to
have to put a little effort into
learning the system your attendance will
probably have to put a little bit of
effort into learning the system
and developing the habits to utilize it
but ultimately the point of having a
technology is not to complicate
life for anyone right to simplify life
and to eliminate
decisions yes but also mistakes to make
things more efficient
to be more cost effective you know and
ultimately to help you make better
decisions across the board
not just for your business and your
your bottom line but also for your
employees and also for your customers
and clients you know when you’re doing
pick-up and delivery and all that so
um i mean i think that gets overlooked a
little bit is that technology
can feel a little bit overwhelming
especially when it’s brand new and
there’s a learning curve
but it is really there to simplify life
not make things more
complicated and that goes double for
who i’ve seen can be the most
resistant sometimes to utilizing
technology because
again they have to put a little more
effort into learning the system but
being able to communicate
hey this is this is going to make your
life easier
this is going to make your job easier
once we
kind of get over the learning hub is
that is that accurate
yeah i think you’re totally right i mean
look there’s there’s a couple sides to
this right it’s
there are the best way to phrase this
there are entrepreneurial
uh uh you know team members attendants
that like to build their own businesses
inside of stores
so maybe they’ll pocket that 5 or ten or
twenty dollars for that wash and fold
order or
start a machine with their cash card
after a customer
you know slips them five bucks and that
is a creative entrepreneur
entrepreneurial spirit which in the
right setting is great
um and so so there’s of course a little
on that front because maybe your an
employee was able to
make more money uh without that kind of
visibility um but i will say i think
it’s also in any new technology whether
you’re setting up your
you know your cable box or you just
bought an iphone or
anything like that i mean i feel this
today i i run a software company and
when you get new technology it can feel
scary can feel you know isolating
when you’re using something that you you
either haven’t been trained on or
you’ve gotten some generic information
and you just kind of have to learn how
to do it
um so you know we’ve hired many people
on our
team specifically focused on working
with in-store attendance
but beyond that one of the programs that
that we’ve run
that’s probably been one of my favorites
is actually
using the attendance of the stores that
we work with
who make money by training other
right because when the people that are
utilized to use the system and could
show people that this
actually makes a difference in my
day-to-day difference in my day-to-day
when we did our press release of our of
our seed round
um which was which was led by bessemer
and you know folks that started
seamless grub hub and you know really
incredible incredible angels and
investors on the company
one of the quotes we used in in that
press release was from an attendant at
one of our stores
because like we we really focus on
working closely with the attendance we
weekly calls with attendance at various
stores that we’d work with
because you know they provide us such
incredible insight on how to build
better software
but they are champions of our product
and so i think there are many sides some
are resistant to change
because they’re it’s scary
it’s something new that they have to
learn maybe they
had a nice side business that something
like this would eliminate
which of course the operator wants to
eliminate but
um we also think of it as look
through dynamic better digitized
software owner operators can think of
new models
of compensating employees commission
based employees
because you know laundry inherently you
it’s low-skill labor minimum wage kind
kind of kind of labor but
high-performing employees are
game changers in your business they can
that self-serve customer to the wash and
fold they can fold
more clothes per hour than a robot can
right and and you can get such a return
on that labor and you can find ways to
incentivize your quality
labor for them to be entrepreneurial by
working harder
in a system that makes their job easier
right so
labor can be a difficult thing in this
business especially in the pandemic and
um but you know that that is the power
of good software and
and there are integrations that sense
has made with other companies that allow
an example a good friend of mine that
runs a company that provides same-day
for hourly workers right so you know by
working at this laundromat i can get my
paycheck faster
than i work somewhere else right there
there are just a lot of
you know a lot of systems that when you
combine it with good technology
and you build for your end user as well
as the person who you sell to that owner
it makes a huge difference in in the
yeah yeah well i mean this might be a
good time to just kind of pause on the
and i mean can you tell us a little bit
sense and i mean what who are you guys
what are you guys doing
and what what does that mean for
for me as a laundromat owner yeah
i mean i basically said we do everything
so it’s good to maybe
fill in the fill in the blanks uh to a
certain extent yeah i mean
really again how i got in the business
and how i got in the industry was uh
was seeing that launch man ownership was
something that had massive opportunity
day one when you buy the store
but how much kind of i think how much
inefficiency exists in
in the business and how many you know
how many operators are we call it
frankensteining their business together
by using
a generic point of sale or no point of
sale at all
paper logs excel spreadsheets generic
time keeping um and no
way of reaching customers is you know
they take all these you know bits and
pieces of either generic or
other industry specific tools to try to
you know build some kind of scalable
um uh operation and really what we’re
focused on and
you know i i fought with our marketing
team in the very beginning
when we were building our website which
is like i don’t want to put on our
website that we’re a point of sale
because point of sale is a feature of
what we do but it’s a it’s really the
gateway to unlock
more valuable uh feature set for
so at a high level how we look at our
system is really what we call the sense
it’s an operating system it’s it’s a
in a box for an operator an operator
should you know
buy their store sign their lease
whatever it might be get their equipment
be ready to open buy their scent system
and they’re done whether it’s single
store ownership multi-store ownership
everything from revenue reconciliation
delivery management point of sale
employee management
shifts and tasks dynamic pro promo and
coupon campaigns
you know website and cms and the really
business in a box technology for an
owner operator
but it starts there right that’s
our mission isn’t just to build great
software for business owners
it’s it’s what it enables us to do is
build a community and a network of
operators and leverage that purchasing
leverage that network and our position
within the
the tech ecosystem of being one of the
only truly venture-backed businesses in
the space
and our connection and collaboration
with other tech companies
and and other platforms that are
introducing new operating models
in so many other verticals why are
restaurants the only ones
and actually now retailers they’re able
to do
gig economy uh deliveries right
why is that the case why uh
in terms of the different uh promos and
coupon campaigns why is
the pizza pizza shops and pizza shop
owners able to leverage integrations of
you know order online with google and
and order online with tripadvisor
without actually doing any of the work
of making that happen like
why are all these things possible in so
many other industries
and not ours right well because nobody’s
done it
nobody’s enabled that to happen for the
owner operator so
our goal is to work with as many owner
and store owners as we can not
because like that’s the secret sauce of
how we’re going to succeed as a business
but our fate as a company is directly
intertwined with the fate of our
the more successful our laundromats are
the more successful we are
right and so we want to find ways to
through good technology through that
infrastructure of the point of sale the
order management
the most granular order tracking the
best customer experience through mobile
ordering and
and live link you know tracking and all
uh different products that we have we
want to leverage
that technology to create new operating
and enable business owners to try new
to see how other industries are
expanding and growing and other small
business owners
are enabling them to to launch more
generate more revenue without adding a
gna structure without
adding cost in capex right grow the
revenue and grow the margin
so look i mean that’s very high level
view i can go deeper into the nuances of
online ordering and how the customer
experience pairs with the
the order tracking in the store and how
we aggregate orders and drive more
revenue to stores to our partners in
the residential space and direct to
i can go into all that but at a high
level i think what i want to convey to
the folks watching this is
if you own the laundromat whether
yourself serve a full serve and you want
to know where
you want to be able to see all of your
data you want to be able to
understand how all of your stores and
different regions and districts may be
in towns are running
you want to be able to know how well
your employees are doing the return
you’re getting
how often they’re working their their
time their time sheets their time cards
the tasks
right you want to know order 101 what
washer went into at what time and on
which cycle
right all of that information exists
within the sense os
and why we love working with our
operators is now let’s find a way
to take that data and put it to use and
help you make good decisions with your
and and build this kind of this network
of operators
yeah a couple things i really love about
that is number one
very timely of you to come in with that
message because
we’ve been talking about that a lot here
in the last few weeks
on the podcast so uh man very timely on
your part
number two i love the concept of
business in a box
and first of all it’s just got a good
ring to it so that’s just
solid marketing right there but uh but i
like the concept behind it too
and i want to talk about that in a
second but i just had a question that
popped up this is kind of irrelevant
compared to
everything else we’re talking about but
i’m just curious about this what’s your
you know you you mentioned at one point
you’re one of the only venture-backed
companies in
in the industry which i think is true um
what what’s your pitch to these guys i
mean what why are they interested in
investing in what you’re doing in
investing in this industry um i mean we
a little bit about some of the things
that are probably intriguing to them but
uh i’m just i’m just curious why why are
they investing
now and and why haven’t they before and
you know i yeah yeah i mean
uh i mean let’s let’s go back probably
about five six
oh my god it’s 20 21 now maybe seven
years ago when uh
you know six seven years ago when when
the uber for x
any industry uber for laundry uber for
retail uber for any you know anything
um uh became like the hottest thing in
so a bunch of companies raised a bunch
of money
35 million here 12 million there 9
million here
like top venture capital firms top
investors were flooding the market with
for the uber for laundry and almost
every single one of the businesses that
started like six seven years ago
have all gone out of business yeah
they’re very few
but for the most part they’ve all gone
out of business so laundry
you know a lot of investors would look
around and see the dead bodies they’d
see the
the the companies that have crashed and
burned and there was some
thought of you know this is a real owner
operator business
it’s a you know fragmented industry no
laundry delivery company has ever really
and nobody’s thought about it in a
different way i i’ll say that
kind of to set the stage a lot of our
even in the beginning when we were
building out a lot of the functionality
that we have today
a lot of them signed on with us because
it wasn’t just what we had today
it was the way that our team thought
about the industry the way we think
product our product roadmap what we’re
really trying to create in this business
opposed to a point of sale product that
we add features to
or you know just a software system that
we’re just trying to add little features
here and there
um to make it a little bit better along
the way we have a fundamental different
viewpoint on on
on the opportunity in this industry and
it isn’t just
let’s create a you know a good specific
point of sale system with great features
our vision is so much bigger and and you
and the beauty of it is everything that
we do
ever what i tell investors you know
about our business is
we built sense to back the operator
that’s everything that we did all of our
infrastructure goes back to believing
that laundromat owners whether it’s a 80
store owner a one store owner a five
ten whatever shape and size of the
business our system is
built to help them manage understand and
as i said i said in the beginning like
our fate is directly intertwined with
the fate of our operators and frankly
when we raise this capital and
raising another round now um you know
we didn’t we didn’t make a big splash
you know of course we could have gotten
a tech crunch and
all the big the big news outlets they
would have loved to do an exclusive on
part of it is laundry is one of the best
kept secrets in
in any industry a lot of people don’t
the great investment a laundromat is
that the headache it can be to run these
but the opportunity that exists in this
one of the largest retailers you know 80
or 100 stores in any other industry
it’d be a pipsqueak right it’d be one of
the smaller retailers at 80 stores you
wouldn’t even be out of one metro
in some cases um and so
i do think to a certain extent nobody
thought about the business the way that
we’re thinking about it
i give credit to our team and we every
single person on our team is just
incredible they’re a difference maker um
and on purpose we try not to make too
much of a splash
right we we barely even put out content
in the industry because
we don’t want to make too much noise we
we have so much inbound
you know stores reaching out to us to to
want to jump on board
we have invest you know some of our
operators and customers invested
uh you know in the company because they
believe in it so much but
i do think it is just one of the best
kept secrets um
you know out there yeah yeah
well i mean i think that’s really
interesting and it it is kind of uh
kind of an interesting uh trip through
to see kind of all the all the dead
as you put it that are littered the way
um but
you know like kind of like i mentioned
earlier like things have been changing
and there’s
new capabilities and new technologies
that are
that are coming to fruition here that
enabled a company like since or or
someone else too
who you know to be able to be successful
now whereas in the past maybe it just
wasn’t quite
ready yet um and and maybe it does take
thinking about things a little bit
um and you’ll be able to kind of
overcome the things that these other
companies weren’t able to overcome
that’s you know there’s there’s the
whole first mover advantage but
it’s only an advantage if you can figure
out how to make it work it’s the second
third fourth mover who you know can
stand on the shoulders of the dead
bodies i guess i don’t know
and you know see the path
i think you’re exactly right i mean look
what the famous apple tagline right was
think different
right that was that’s the famous the
apple tagline but
i think uh you know there certainly is
something about first mover advantage
absolutely but i think one of the big
benefits that we’ve had and what
now i think is this growing revolution
in in the industry is
there are comps somebody chooses sense
because they know
another company there so there is
something about first mover advantage or
they understand
the concept an investor a laundromat
owner an attendant
a customer because they’ve scanned the
qr code at the restaurant
right they’ve paid on square they’ve
used a delivery they used ubereats
there are comps across this industry and
other industries where you don’t have to
a pioneer right you just have to do it
right and do it well
and execution when you’re building any
business whether it’s a
tech startup worth billions of dollars
or a
local coffee shop or laundromat or dry
you have to get lucky you have to have a
good team you have to have kind of the f
foundational aspects of getting lucky
um but the rest of it is just execution
if you build a good business you do it
the right way and you execute on your
core mission
and the values that you that you have
you’re going to find success now the
level of success is going to be based on
some other variables of
how lucky you get how who do you meet at
the right time
you know who did you bump into at that
one dinner by accident
um that that gets you further ahead than
maybe you would have been otherwise
um but in any business it’s an execution
um that that’s the key to success
frankly in in all things in life i think
especially when building a company yeah
yeah awesome well i mean one of the
things that you know when we were
before we jumped on this this call um in
the past
uh one of the things that really
intrigued me is kind of your
view or vision of this industry kind of
going forward and what
you know i what the landscape is going
to look like in this industry
and i think it probably ties back
somewhat to that whole business in a box
uh concept that you that you mentioned
earlier but can you
can you just kind of give us a picture
of where you see this industry moving
what it’s going to look like
you know down the pipeline in the future
and maybe even how sense fits into all
yeah i think you know it’s it’s
interesting um
in my sunday reading right of course uh
i i look into the laundry industry in
different countries in different regions
there’s an incredible article
um from uh harvard business school
about the laundry industry in china
right i think there was something like
400 000 laundromats tiny tiny
uh you know a couple hundred square foot
stores that all and
massive processing centers outside of
cities and
so it’s interesting to see the future of
and how it changes by region but i i
think in the
in the u.s i really do strongly believe
in the owner operator model um because
the way that laundromats are are
you know i think the numbers are was at
50 percent of laundromats are located in
five states right california new york
florida texas and illinois right and
87 or something of a laundromat customer
lives within a mile of their store
over 45 percent of of of laundromats in
the country are owned by multi-store
owners and you know
stores follow population and so there
are stores
uniquely positioned within cities
already whether they’re being built from
the ground up or they’re being retooled
and sold and changed and
with facelifts there are these these
call it like a node within a network
so whether it’s a large direct to
consumer business whether you’re looking
at commercial whether you’re looking at
route based uh universities hotels
etc is there a future where there’s this
massive processing center outside of
every city and vans traffic
there is but but really because of how
the u.s market of laundromats exists
it makes so much more sense logistically
it on an efficiency and cost basis
for the local operator to be a node
within the network
processing and really powering laundry
day in america i i
again i said this in the very beginning
i do believe that that laundromats
will be one of if not the last retailer
as everything goes offline in central
warehouses and either amazon google or
facebook or apple does
whatever that is i really do believe
that that laundromats will be one of the
last standing retailers and the
operating models however will have to
the operating model maybe just maybe the
the stores to to really get to the same
margin the same
investment return profile will have to
do more than just
over the counter need to break into
delivery right because
to get in delivery you want to get to
the most efficient
uh route based delivery right some
some folks want drivers on the road as
long as possible going as far as they
can to increase their total addressable
sometimes i tell operators all right
that’s true go
drive 45 minutes out and get everybody
you can
but look around you why don’t you have
every single one of the local customers
doing either pickup and delivery if they
have washer and unit why the hell are
they wasting their time on doing that
right how can the you know but by
working with local
the cost can be democratized
significantly become more palatable for
the customer and the volumes can
increase for the store
um and there are some you know i i could
talk for hours about the unique
you know uh unit economics of a store
with a fixed amount of labor and
when you add in that new new unit of
because your volumes increase you’ve now
increased your cost and now you got to
double the volume to get back to that
same margin so
there are a lot of nuances don’t get me
but i think what’s so fascinating about
this business is even when things go
the existing location of a store
provides so much value when you think
about a market network
um and when you think about how do you
take residential and all these in a
um you know laundry day and drive that
to the owner operator and when you talk
about how to sense fit into that
that’s where sense fits in as laundry
habits change of consumers
and they opt for more convenient
services we want to put our operators in
the best position
to capture those dollars and capture
volume while spending the least amount
of money to get it
and the reason we started with that
business in a box
tech right is because they will then
the most structurally sound foundation
of being able to handle that increase in
to be able to have their business scale
and grow
sense is a platform that scales with you
you grow into
you grow you but you never grow out of
right it’s something that’s going to
stay with you as your business changes
and grows and i think that
the term your business is going to
change is usually like oh my god what’s
going to happen
no no your business is going to change
because it’s going to grow
faster and so that’s kind of my
thought on on the landscape i think it’s
the dominoes are gonna fall and even as
you can tell i
talk about this for hours i should
probably shut up but as
as more brands come into play
not the franchises and things like that
but as more direct to consumer brands
the the entrepreneur that wants to
create a business by picking up people’s
sure they could send out set up a
warehouse outside of a city
but golly it’s a hell of a lot more
efficient logistically
to work with local operators right and
and so
again part of how sense fits in is who
knows what’s going to happen
distributors manufacturers opening up
more stores
being able to leverage data you know who
knows how that’s how that’s gonna
gonna happen and i think it’s
it’s the responsibility of tech
companies like sense
um and look at slice with pizza or odeco
with coffee shops
how do we give the local operator and i
i can speak for
the pizza company slice slice gives
local pizza shop owners the same
powerful technology
as a dominoes right and technology
domino’s is just as much as a technology
and logistics company than a pizza
right and and so it’s it’s it
it’s really giving the operators the
ability to not just fight back
against changes in the landscape of
store ownership
but gives them the tools to win and to
you know significantly you
you mentioned i’m just kind of curious
your thoughts on this and
you know i’m not i i’m not expecting you
to be an expert on
this at all so i’m just curious on your
opinion on this but you mentioned
where do you think those fit in in kind
of the landscape of things going forward
do you think they’re gonna
catch do you think they’re not going i
look looking in the past no franchises
really taken hold in the past but
there’s to my knowledge i know of nine
franchises happening right now so
they’re making another go at it and
things are a little bit different and
some of the technology is
there is that something that owner
who are not a part of the franchise need
to be
worried about yeah i mean look we
so i i don’t think it’s a word i mean
why does french why does a franchise
exist right they’re taking a brand
that’s a franchise franchise is yes it
says it’s a general operating maybe an
operating model and some technology
but the the beauty of verticalized sas
in companies like census you don’t have
to join a franchise to get access to the
best tech
right that’s no longer a need the way it
used to but you want to open a subway
franchise you want to buy a mcdonald’s
you want to do that
because they have a brand the only time
again i’ll say these things as if i’m an
authority on on the topic
i’m not um but you speak with that
you just say it yes i i do believe that
the only time a franchise is really
going to be relevant in this business is
when a
brand is relevant in this business i
agree um
i think that are there are unique
operating models around franchises some
are franchising
the over-the-counter or franchise just
the self-serve and keep
and have two separate brands i think
there are you know the goal of sense is
we work with so many different kinds of
businesses that
we kind of open up our own a la carte
menu of
how do you want to operate your store no
matter how you operate
you franchise the counter and you keep
the self-serve you
franchise the self-serve and you keep
the counter whatever your business is
sense is the underlying platform that
makes it possible to track everything
to track your franchisee and how they’re
utilizing your your machines
or to track how much revenue is coming
into your store and and connecting a
franchisee with a local operator
um so but but i really think that
franchise and the hot button topic of a
franchise is
it’s really just brand and why i don’t
think any franchises have
really caught on in this industry is
because laundry is one of the
only retailers where laundromat
a and laundromat b should have
relatively simple
end products i mean excuse me relatively
similar end products
i mean if not there could be a problem
maybe somebody is good and somebody goes
above and beyond but at the end of the
as long as you’re not shrinking clothes
losing clothes and the folding technique
is solid
the the retention of a customer base
should be pretty high because the cost
is relatively similar in each metro so
i think that when it comes to pickup and
delivery brand is more relevant
because that direct-to-consumer brand
will spend more on their cac
cost to acquire a customer to get in
front of the customer with that
instagram ad with
whatever it is but like am i going to
walk an extra
half mile or extra 10 blocks because
there’s a brand i’m familiar with
compared to going to my local operator
that’s going to do just as well
it’ll be interesting to see how can
consumer trends consumer trends move but
i think really the zombie map
to nice store will stunt the growth to a
certain extent of franchise
franchises if operators really care i
mean i’ll give a shout out to one of our
lingerie out in out in san francisco
ariana’s a a two-story
operator and she’s got one of the best
brands i’ve seen
not because she is trying to franchise
it but she cares about it
she cares about how her store looks she
cares about you know i remember talking
to her about her her obsession with the
specific tile that was going to be on
her floor
right and having um uh
and having plants in her store give some
life and energy
and and and positive feeling when you
walk in
white walls clean machine you know the
basic things now i’m not going to say
you have to have a beautiful bathroom to
be a top operator which is something i
i’ve heard but
i think if you just care to a certain
extent on the appearance of your store
and the customer experience it does
stunt the growth to a certain extent of
the ability for somebody to be
to create an effective franchise because
franchise a versus local operator b the
end product should be the same
to again to a certain extent so i think
it’s more of a brand play than anything
again we work with different you know
operators that run franchises
um and so our goal is just to back the
operator and whatever
business model works for them and helps
them grow their business
that’s really what what at least that
sense we care about
yeah i love that i love that i think
i mean you sound you sound like an
expert in there so i mean
that’s the danger that’s the thing a psa
i’m not an expert i just really i love
it and i’m passionate about it
um but you know one man’s opinion
well you know i mean it sounds very
similar to how i’ve talked about it so
i’m pretty sure that just makes you an
expert in math i agree with you i’m an
i mean that’s that’s how i like to see
it uh
so okay cool well uh man
we we’ve gone through a bunch of stuff
but i want to talk about
uh new operators like what
you know from i guess from a sense
perspective like let’s say you have
somebody who’s
who’s coming in who’s coming on board
what do they need to know how do they
how do they know if this is the right
business model for them
um or platform for them
to operate their business model with or
you know what
what do they need to do to prepare for
it what can you talk a little bit about
yeah do you mean about sense
specifically or just like getting into
the industry
uh well let’s talk first about somebody
who wants to
you know partner up with sense and
utilize your platform
and you know to either i guess
maybe just to start a pickup and
delivery service and maybe a drop-off
um somebody who wants a business in a
you know what i’m talking about you know
i’m familiar with the phrase
i love using it it sounds great on you
yeah it started with something like that
yeah yeah no like
we actually work i mean man a lot of
operators uh that we work with whose
stores don’t open until july or august
and i think you know they’re trying to
get the tech they want to they want to
check that box because they could be in
permit purgatory or they’re
negotiating a lease or they’re working
with a distributor for a machine and
trying to decide so they want to they
want to get the software side handle
right which is a great opportunity for
us because we get to get ahead of things
we get to
show operators so many different models
and the beauty of sense is
you don’t have to make a decision about
your business and be stuck with it
right you know you make a decision on
the machines you’re going to use most
likely it’s going to be your machines
for the next 10 years right
but the the beauty of good software
should be do you want to try
leveraging the gig economy for your for
your uh
delivery services and then when your
volume picks up think about leveraging a
localized courier
for route based deliveries or buying
your own vans if the economics speak for
try it right try to we’re trying to
limit the like the capex
and the the massive upfront investment
an operator makes in some of the
initiatives whether it’s a
maybe even a card system a delivery
system is it like
we’re trying to make it a modular
business you want to try this operating
model you want to try commission for
your team
for your employees you want to try these
dynamic promo and coupons
do you want to try you know these
various business models
until you figure out the one that’s best
for your business the one that’s best
for you that you enjoy
that you feel passionate about running
and that works best for your for your
market for your metro for your area and
for your customers
so you know i’ll say operators with
sense they get going in in days
right when they choose our system you
know the only reason it takes days
compared to immediately is because
we really focus on having our operations
team our customer success team
meet with operators go on zoom or you
know now it’s
now we can almost go in person and like
we’ve been dying to go in person to
and meet with our operators sit down
with attendance go through virtual
trainings like
that’s the only time it actually takes
because we want to make sure that
operators know we’re in this with them
especially the new ones and
and the ones newer into the space um
but you know my advice for for new
operators choosing cents or really
anybody we feel confident that if you
compare our system to anybody else
you’ll come to a decision that that
you’re choosing sense but
at the core of it if we’re not the
platform that’s helping grow your
business you should go to the platform
that’s helping grow your business
that’s again we only care about backing
the operator
and uplifting this industry we believe
we’re the ones that do it but whoever it
that’s who we really care about and we
want to make sure that
that that operators are supported in
what they do um
i will warn maybe warren is aggressive
but um
but all warren operators
the warning cop people hello
uh i’ll caution i like caution more than
um yeah it feels a little nicer yeah
like yellow light you know you could run
but you know maybe not uh we’re in
california yeah we ran all the yellows
you run all these in a little bit of the
red too
uh i’ll say that
a lot of providers in this space
you know or i’ll say a lot of operators
have been billed the
same you know the same bill of goods
have been told
sold the same bill of goods for a long
and there have been there’s been
language that’s used in the space that
you know you’re over the counter has to
be separate then you’re self-serve your
self-serve is different your delivery is
different you’re this is that
they’re the operating model and the
technology in the space has been largely
the same
for for many many many years and
i i would i caution and and advise
new operators is be a sponge look at
other industries
look at companies powering other
verticals look at the opportunity that’s
in space
in the space talk to as many companies
you can don’t just talk to one and be
sold which you think is doing a
disservice to sense i mean if you talk
to us why would i want you to talk to
anybody else
but i’m telling you you will see the
difference when you talk to different
companies and you learn
about how they’re selling you and what
they’re telling you is possible either
on a technology or operating basis
because my painting with a broad brush
overarching statement is whatever people
are telling you is possible
there’s more there’s more you can do
more opportunity um again
as you could say i’m not biased covering
up my logo
um uh you know i i do believe that sense
is the one that will give you that
best opportunity to grow your business
just be a sponge talk to different
talk to operators connect with mutual
and and talk to different systems so you
understand what is the best
for not just you and your business but
how you want to run your business
how you want to operate your business
the level of involvement you want to
what kind of employees you want to have
and what kind of customer experience you
want to have
so that’s that’s that would be my feel
well i mean
that’s just that’s coming straight out
of confidence right there hey go talk to
competitors and we’ll see you back here
really look i mean if you want if you
want another dose of confidence
i don’t really think that i don’t really
have to lie to hubris though
i’ve heard that i know that’s trouble so
stay confident just don’t cross that
line we gotta
i promise i’m not gonna fly too close to
the sun okay uh
here but but i think you know and people
ask us like who are your competitors
there are obvious
competitors to sense don’t get me wrong
right the clear
we have competition that way but you
know the way i think of it
i don’t think we have in some ways and
this is for better for worse it’s not
sense is better because of x y and z i
don’t really
in in some ways i think we don’t have
some competition in some way
not because we’re so much better or or
so much worse
because we just go about it differently
different doesn’t always mean better
but we go about it differently and so
again i that’s why i say
talk to people don’t just look at their
products don’t just take a demo
talk to the people running this business
because the one thing i’ve learned about
this industry
it’s a people business it’s it’s a it’s
it’s all about
being committed to this industry
understanding it
being a part of the community and caring
to it obsessive psychotic level
um if i’m going to be powering operators
if not me but a sense is going to be
building software that is somewhat
for a business you need to be obsessed
with it you need
to love every aspect of
the you know tracking the weights of an
order and making sure that we can track
the delta and send the alerts when
when something is you know when there’s
five or seven pound difference of
the pre-processing and post-processing
weight like yeah
talk to the people that are running the
companies that are that are
building the software because it’s a
people business and you don’t want after
you sign
just have to deal with a chat bot you
want to know that you’re being taken
care of and you want to know that
people are in this with you know people
are in this with you
for the long haul because that’s that’s
what this industry needs it needs people
believing in the future vision of it
and not uh you know not people either
trying to make a
a quick buck or are are trying to go too
broad or generic
awesome awesome awesome uh i have a
question for you
fully recognizing the answers to this
may just be laundromat owners and dry
cleaner owners
but i’m just curious uh
do you because we’re already in a like a
pretty niche down
niche here or niche for those of you
who prefer niche is it is there an
ideal person for
sense or is the answer if you own a
laundromat or you own a dry
cleaner or you own both senses for you
or do you have an ideal within that
you know i thought when we first started
the business that we would
you know i thought in the very beginning
single store operator you know people
looking they have their business and
they want to take the next level
then i thought oh my god we’re perfect
for the the multi-store operator
right we work with an 80 store operator
with a 25 store operator we work with
one three five and what i realized is
the pain points of a single single store
operator whether they have
you know 35 machines or a
multi-store 80 store 20 store 5 10 7
store operator with 50 machines per
store 100
200 300 a lot of the pain points are
very similar
right now they they’re multiplied i have
the bigger the business and maybe you
have to deal with the gna structure and
more labor
and more machines can go down and you
have routes
but but by and large there are a lot of
similar problems which is what makes the
community so great and
jordan’s what makes you so great is you
can paint with
broad strokes of of the pain points and
what operators can do better
because the the pain points and the
are shared no matter the size of the
business so
again there are nuances right we built
crazy functionality
and hub and spoke in regions districts
like crazy mega multi-store owner
system but then we build functionality
that you know
by and large supports all of our
operators and so
we take all of our product feedback by
talking to as many operators we can the
commitment we ask of our customers when
they sign is
we get on the phone with us every once
in a while i mean we talk to you once a
week if you let us
but let us know what you’re experiencing
so we can compare it to
the pain points we hear from other
operators and build the right product
i don’t want to build the product that
we think is right i’m going to build a
product that
jordan you think is right and and and
your listeners
so i thought we’d have
the theme of this is long answer to a
short question but
uh i thought we’d have a specific
operator that we would really succeed in
succeed with but by and large
everybody experiences a similar problem
everybody experiences similar ways that
they’re succeeding
um and and and we’ve found success
really with with any laundromat or dry
cleaner or garment care professional
you know you know somebody’s building a
company to direct to consumer brands
doing the over-the-counter sale the
over-the-counter business for a
laundromat owner
and you leverage our system or
it’s all it really all um
all fun you know falls into our our
sweet spot
yeah well i mean i that’s i wanted to
ask that question because i think
there’s gonna be a lot of people who
are like well how do i know if it’s for
me and
so just to make a short answer to your
long answer is if you own a laundromat
dry cleaner or garment care business
it’s it’s for you is that am i saying
exactly this is you’re keeping me honest
i need to make sure i shut up a little
bit but yes that is
that is exactly correct if you own a
garment care business laundromat dry
sense is for you got it okay i’m only
giving you a hard time because people
are always like dude you are so
long-winded and slow-talking and
uh i’m just glad that i’m not the only
one that’s all oh i’m worse
guarantee i’m worse but at least you
have this like passion behind
everything you’re saying right like i’m
like really just like
sucked in with your passion and energy
something to be entertained when i talk
for 45 minutes about
weight changes of a laundromat problem
and i’ve been i’ve been blown away by
the response to how many people listen
to this podcast and how many people
reach out i’m like dude this is a
laundromat podcast
all right let’s just calm it down a
little bit and go do something
productive with your life i don’t know
uh but i get psyched about it too and
apparently we’re not the only ones man
there’s a lot of us out there
we’re not the only crazies in the world
that’s right you know
yeah need to you know what you know what
i’m going to do i’m going to make
t-shirts that say laundromat psychopath
oh my god please i got to get a whole
the whole team yeah we’re yeah we’re
going to we’re just going to get them
out there for everybody i love that
i’m pre-ordering uh you mentioned
earlier about how great i was can we
talk about that a little bit more
yeah oh i mean how much how much time do
you have i feel like i feel bad you’re
asking this question
last night we’re gonna do i mean we’re
gonna do a full episode on that
okay perfect just kidding uh hey man
i mean this has been awesome i want to
give you an opportunity if there’s
anything else that you want to
to chat about i mean obviously we you
know you and me we’re on the same
wavelength we could talk forever
about this and and would talk forever
about this but i want to make sure
there’s nothing
like super important that you want to
make sure that you
communicate to people um and then i also
want to give
people an opportunity to to find out how
to get a hold of you find out more about
sins all that at the end but is there
anything that you want to make sure
that people want to that people need to
hear um
before before we wrap this up yeah i
a couple things that i’ll try to be
brief the first thing is i’m not holding
the first thing is buy
listen watch respond engage with all
things jordan barry
and laundromat resource because it’s
been no
in all seriousness i’ve so thoroughly
enjoyed all of our conversations and
appreciate your
passion and insight and and again i
think this is such an underserved
industry for technology but also in
in unbiased you know and people that
care about giving information and
insights to operators to make their
businesses better and
drive value for the industry so to
everybody who still made it at this
point of of the podcast
continue to engage in all things jordan
barry whether it’s me talking or
whoever else um or or even better just
jordan uh continue you know and
it’s just you know i could say just an
amazing experience and so grateful to
to have me on the last thing is
you know we our mission is just to to
value for operators to increase the
revenue drive the efficiency
and really be a facilitator of
laundry day in america to the local
launch mat and dry cleaner that is the
core of everything that we do
so if you’re a laundromat owner who has
a system who doesn’t have a system who
hates technology or is obsessed with
take a call with us learn more about
what we’re doing
let us chew your off i promise you won’t
have to deal with me so the phone call
won’t be
two and a half hours you’ll deal with
people more specialized
uh and more succinct but you know just
please we’d love to connect with you and
tell you about why we’re continuing to
tell you about why we’re passionate
about the industry show you our product
tell you everything that we can about
about how we feel like we’re approaching
this business differently
and just be a sponge because this is
such an
amazing time to be a laundromat and dry
you know business owner um you know the
industry is
really it’s it’s just take off and the
for efficiency and revenue generation
all the different sides of this vertical
are are
ready to be to be to be snatched up by
the local business and
we hope that we can be a driver for that
you know of that for you
but talk to as many people as you can in
this industry
and it’s just an incredible incredible
time so
um that’s to be out of respect for
everybody i’ll leave it there
no i mean i think that’s that’s really
good and uh i mean
so okay so i mean you tell people to get
a hold of you what’s the best way
for people to a find out more
information about
sense and b to get a hold of someone
adsense to hear more
and and to kind of connect i mean you
mentioned multiple times throughout the
podcast hey
talk to the people involved in the
company is a people business so
how do they do that yeah you go to our
website trysense.com again
everything we’re trying to do is just
try it right so try sense.com
t-r-y-c-e-n-t-s dot com
if you go book a demo from there it’ll
immediately take you to the calendar of
any of our sales team and
onboarding specialists and demo
specialists who can give you a
walk-through of
you know every side of the business
spend as much time with you as you’d
um and you can do it right from there
you don’t have to wait for an email
just book a time with us um on our
um you can email me alex at trisense.com
i’ll make sure you get
taken good care of no matter what i’m
sure we’ll be connecting i
i hope but anything at trisens.com go to
our website
talk to operators that that work with us
and you know we love to love to connect
and and
hopefully i’ll reach you guys again if
uh jordan lets me on again
oh yeah absolutely no promises i don’t
yeah well i mean it depends on how much
you want to pay me for that so
uh just kidding i’m just kidding just
no yeah nobody ever pays me to come on
the podcast and
nobody ever will so but seriously man
this has been
incredible make sure that you check out
and hey give them a try go book a call
and and talk with
you know the people over there at sense
and get a
sense for sense that should be like a
how about another dude can i have other
clothing we put that on the back of the
yeah like laundry psychopath yeah
and then on the yeah i like that you
know get a sense for sense i like that
man this is
we’re just marketing your company you
know we’re just rebranding everything
right that’s it
i’m happy to come on any time these are
great ideas this is amazing this is
amazing you’re getting a lot out of this
for free man this is great
uh no but seriously go check out
trisense.com the link to it
and uh in alex’s email are gonna be
in the show notes and also if you’re on
youtube they’ll be down below in the
description so
you know click through there if you need
to or you can just type it in on your
browser but make sure you check it out a
lot of cool things going on
another thing that i want to mention uh
before we jump off here
if you have been you know feeling this
energy that alex has
and you want to hear more about
the future of this industry and how you
can be a part of the future of this
industry we actually put together
a a webinar that um that we’re going to
through laundromat resource but alex and
his team are going to put it on
um that’s going to be july 1st you’ll be
able to sign up
at laundromat resource.com events
and i’ll put a link again in the show
notes and in the description so that’s
1st for a webinar and we’re going to be
talking about
the future of of the industry and how
you can
be a part of that and then there’ll be
some time for some q a so you can ask
you know about the future you know i
think you’re going to bring your crystal
right i think i will yes yes yes i’ll
i’ll dust it off haven’t been quite some
time right
but excited to dust it off for the
webinar yeah there you go yeah polish it
uh but but also you’ll you’ll be able to
ask questions about sense and
get a sense for sense uh at that webinar
there so check it out laundry
events sign up for that uh for that
and uh man we’ll we’ll be super excited
to join you over there and hear some
more from
you not only just this incredible energy
that you bring but also
you know the wisdom and the experience
of uh you know
from all these different owners and
operators in the different business
models that you’re seeing and how you’re
seeing them
work and operate and what direction
you’re seeing them going i think that’s
super valuable
so i’m super excited about it and i know
it won’t just be you and me but even if
it was
incredible have a great time i’d be
excited i’d be excited so
thank you again for coming on really
appreciate it we’ll definitely
have you back on free of charge and
uh we’ll get an update you know from you
on how sense is going how everything
you know is is progressing along and uh
here’s some more of your wisdom and feed
off some of that energy
there’s a lot of people actually i know
now i’m going along but
there’s a lot of people who tell me that
they listen while they’re
you know working out or while they’re
you know riding their bikes or on jogs
and stuff like that
so i i just i have a feeling there’s
going to be a lot of pr’s after this
episode because they’re just going to be
energizing you’re trying to fire people
up you know get that last rep
yeah set know i heard the pr last mile
we’re going sub five minute mile uh
listen to this one it’s gonna be great
uh well all right man thank you again
appreciate you coming on everything that
you shared and can’t wait to
join you at the webinar and everybody
else joining us at the webinar
and uh we’ll see you then awesome thank
you jordan
all right i no no no that you got a ton
of value out of that
episode it was an incredible interview i
know i got a lot out of it and just felt
very inspired by alex it was very very
so make sure you check out sense and
check out what they
are doing again links to scents and to
everything we talked about
in this episode will be on the show
notes laundrymatresource.com
show 59 or if you’re on youtube they’ll
be down in the description
as well and as you know every single
week i encourage you pick
one thing from this podcast episode that
you can put into practice pick one thing
and actually do it right because it’s
doing that gets you
where you want to go it’s not just
learning right you’ve learned
now pick something to do action paves
the way to success right
okay so for me this episode i wrote down
that well first of all i got to share my
favorite quote of the whole interview
which was laundromats are the cockroach
of retail you can’t kill it
love that by the way it’s really funny
and kind of fitting
but the other thing that he said is
um uh whatever people are telling you
is possible there’s more whatever people
are telling you is possible there’s
more and for me i know that’s not like a
practical okay go do this
but i think for me it’s a mindset shift
in thinking about my business
bigger right and i think laundromat
industry can get
you can get like very i think it’s very
easy to
get in your box and think okay here’s
what the business
is and i think sometimes we forget to
stop and think okay do we want this
to be bigger can we do more with it can
we help more people with it
can you build a better business with it
right and so
i’m telling you that there is a
possibility for you to find
financial freedom in this industry
and alex says that even though i’m
telling you that there’s even
more possible for you right so hey man
for me
i think it’s opening up my mind and
seeing okay what
more is out there for me with
what is it for you i’d love to hear
about it head over to the forums on my
forums share your one takeaway what are
you putting into action
this week based off of this episode
all right guys this has been incredible
as always we’ll see you again next week
on a lot of my resource podcast

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