65. Former Fortune 500 Executive Reveals Best Business Practices with Luis Alicea

Luis Alicea joins us on the show today from the island of Puerto Rico. As a former fortune 500 executive, he now runs a top-notch laundry service business and self-service laundromat. Focusing on using technology and service to differentiate his business from competitors, he’s found quick success and has high aspirations for his business.

In this episode, Luis and Jordan talk about:
* Why Luis bought a laundromat
* Practical steps to plan, launch, and differentiate your business
* How technology can be a differentiator
* How he uses social media to help grow his business
* His Air BnB strategy
* How he uses his card payment system
* Why he has higher prices than his competitors
* The three principles of exceptional client service
* Tips for anyone trying to buy their first laundromat
* Resources to help you succeed in your laundry business

And a lot more!

Watch The Podcast Here

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AtmosphereTV– We’re brought to you today by my friends at AtmosphereTV! Now You may have heard my interview a few months back with Mike Kelly from AtmosphereTV where we talked about what a simple change in content on your TVs can do for your laundromat by getting depressing news stations OFF and something much more fun, entertaining, and family-friendly ON. Since then, Atmosphere has grown to 50+ channels included in their service with everything from Surfing Dogs to Extreme sports, hilarious fails, and jaw-dropping videos from all over the world built specifically for business use. Atmosphere can be used to supplement your cable or you can completely cut your expensive cable bill and use Atmosphere 100% FREE saving thousands a year! Use my code RESOURCE when you check out or click the link or image to have your setup fee waived or contact [email protected] for more information!

Episode Transcript

hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
laundromat resource
podcast this is show 65
and i’ll punch you here today because
today we are being joined
from puerto rico uh from
our friend luis alicea uh who is
bringing the he he’s bringing the
knowledge today it
is an awesome awesome interview tons and
tons
of knowledge in this one you’re going to
love it
cannot wait and very cool to have
somebody who’s out there in puerto rico
uh running a laundromat out there and a
whole laundry business so
pretty awesome episode you’re gonna love
it
stay tuned for that real quick before we
jump into it
i want to just take a second to remind
you there’s a lot going on on the forums
all the time
uh people are joining up over there i
can’t believe how many people are
joining
over at laundromat resource.com if you
have not done that yet head over to
laundromat resource.com join
we have a free membership and a pro
membership over there and
uh man it’s awesome uh just how that
community is growing
and how much knowledge is being dropped
over there very very cool
obviously we’re adding stuff all the
time between different podcast episodes
a blog post every thursday coming out
uh you know we got a live q a
uh happening with dave lautermatt
millionaire men’s
this week that’s july 28th
at 4 p.m pacific 7 pm uh
if you’re on the uh quote unquote beast
coast
over there uh that’s on thursday july
28th that’s 2021
if you’re listening to this when it’s
coming out come join us over there
there’s a link
in the show notes which will be at
laundryresource.com
show 65 if you’re on youtube the link
will be down below
so make sure you uh click that link and
set a reminder to join us
on wednesday thursday those of you guys
who
missed our webinar last week with
mike kelly’s atmosphere tv you’re in
luck because we’re
actually we had some difficulties we had
to push it out a week and we’re doing it
this week instead
thursday we do a free live webinar every
thursday and this week we’re being
joined
by atmosphere tv’s mike kelly so many of
us have been
switching uh off of cable and going over
to atmosphere tv
and enjoying all the benefits of it over
there and if you have not yet
jumped on that bandwagon first of all
just
do it i have a link down below that’s an
affiliate link we partner with
uh with atmosphere tv but you don’t have
to use it you can just google atmosphere
tv also
does not matter to me but i would love
love love
for you guys at least check it out if
you want to uh see it
a little bit more and ask some questions
uh
fro to me and mike on thursday
that’s at 4 p.m pacific 7 p.m east coast
time
uh come join us over there you can sign
up at laundromat resource.com right at
the top of the page there
so obviously we’ve got a lot of
information that’s coming out
all the time between our different
platforms but also
so many of you guys have been joining in
conversations in the forums and adding a
ton of value over there
go be a part of that add your own value
ask your own
questions do it every week and make sure
make sure make sure you go over to the
new members
introduction forum and uh
go introduce yourself over there because
cool stuff is happening when people are
introducing them
introducing themselves on the forum over
there
all right i got a little bit of a cold i
don’t i’m sure you can hear that sorry
um but uh so so excited today
to be talking with luis uh and
let’s let’s jump into it with them right
after
this message about atmosphere tv
and again come join us on that webinar
if you’re listening to this past
uh the webinar day you can listen to
that webinar
every other webinar we’ve had when you
join the pro membership you have access
to every
webinar we’ve ever done so make sure
that
you come and join us over there uh
on the pro membership all right guys
right after this we’ll jump into it with
luis
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 listened to
it
show 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
associate
this chore that most people don’t like
doing with something positive
atmosphere tv is an incredible way to
help improve the atmosphere
of your laundromat and basically if you
haven’t heard of it
what it is is it has 50 plus channels
created specifically for businesses with
everything from
uh sports clips hilarious fail videos
draw dropping videos from
all over the world there’s automobile
channels
there’s a ton of stuff my kids love love
love it
and my customers love it atmosphere tv
could 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 bring positive vibes to your
customers
with atmosphere tv and if you use the
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the promo code i don’t know resource
promo code resource then they’re going
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you can use it for free in your
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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 we can get that
thing for free
and or if you’d like email mike
mike.kelly
atmosphere.tv luis
thank you so much for coming on the
podcast today
how are you doing man very good very
good thank you for uh for having me i
know that we
we tried a few months back and now we’re
we’re in the game now i have a little
bit more time to breathe and
and make sure that i can give you uh all
the info that i know everybody wants to
what’s now yeah well this has been a
long time coming i have been
anticipating it forever and we just
chatted a little bit before we hit
record and i’m
i’m actually really really excited uh
just to hear
about how you’re running your business
how you got into it and all that stuff
but
before we jump into all that can you
give us a little bit of a background
on you and who you are and then we’ll go
into
how you got into this business sure sure
sure
so my name is luis alicia and i
am uh i i was born and raised in san
juan puerto rico
i i currently live in san juan and we
operate uh our business out of san juan
um but most of my family is actually in
the states
so i have family in miami i have family
in missouri i found in new jersey
and my my grandfather used to live in in
new york
my mom was born in new york city
but the rest of my family were born in
pennsylvania for my
my mother’s side um i’m a
single child which means that uh
i cherish my five cousins that i have
and they all live in the states
so uh my wife is from puerto rico we’ve
been married uh
we’ve been together now for 11 years but
we have four kids so it’s kind of a
little puerto rican brady bunch so yeah
two from my side two from my
my wife’s side a beautiful kids that’s
uh
that’s who we uh we will do everything
for
and uh i’ve i’ve been i’ve actually was
uh i’ve worked for three major fortune
500 companies i kind of retired from
that
and eventually with the background that
i have in technology technology sales
leadership i kind of figure out figured
out i wanted to do something different
very different by the way and my wife
and i we kind of figured out okay
where can we put our brains together and
uh you know you hear this word
disruption right
um how can we disrupt a little bit a
market that you know
or business or product offering
where in our market hasn’t really been
looked
that so we wanted to kind of jump into
to do something
again very different and that’s how we
started into into the laundry business
so are you trying to tell me that
there’s not a lot of overlap between
working at a fortune 500 and owning a
laundromat
i think that there is a lot of things
that you don’t want to do from a fortune
500 company level
to bring into the into the laundromat
but i think that there’s a lot of
different things
that done right from an entrepreneurial
vision um you know taking out all the
red tape taking out all the
cumbersome stuff that happens at a
fortune 500 company
but saying you know the essence of good
service
the essence of uh knowing your numbers
your kpis
knowing how technology really can help
you
and how there’s a bunch of different
things that today fortune 500s pay for
but small business can get almost for
free
at different levels so it’s not
very difficult to implement a very good
sound
business plan a very good sound
implementation of a
of a business strategy and execute
probably at a higher level than many
people think that they are not capable
of doing
but that now they’re available there’s
technology and there’s services out
there
that can help you um and it’s it’s not
expensive first of all
it’s not cumbersome or difficult um it’s
just that it was probably available for
high level companies or very
very competitive companies that are
making a lot of money um
and probably have uh you know different
pricing structures or different business
models
that what a laundromat should should be
looked at
but listen to be honest with you when we
started thinking about the laundromat it
was more about
as an investor right when you do your
research there’s a lot out there
as an investor and where you can put
your money and let it grow
and you know have somebody else uh
do the work for you including just
having unattended laundromats
um and that’s a business strategy i mean
that’s something that’s worked
out for a lot of people there’s a lot of
people out there making good money
um with unattended laundromats we
thought about it from a different
perspective
so we we thought about it from the
perspective that
if we put our heads together we could
compete
probably in the laundry business using
a model of a laundromat as your as your
base
right so your home base is that that one
location that you can process
a lot of clothes um at different levels
and that has given us the ability to
kind of
diversify our product offering and at
the same time
grow exponentially from
zero to where we are today and we can
talk about the numbers later on
yeah i mean you said a lot of stuff in
there that
was semi-cryptic and very
intriguing about you know things that we
can do with small business owners
for free or very cheap so i definitely
want to get into that in a little bit
sure don’t let me forget to ask you
about that but let me let me go back
a little bit here and so i know you
you said you were looking for maybe
something you can kind of
semi-disrupt in your in your market
what what was it about laundromats that
was like yes this is the direction that
we want to go
so listen we live in an island
so basically you’re in puerto rico still
right
yeah yeah we’re in puerto rico so it
means that we’re
[Music]
you know we’re in the middle of the
atlantic ocean uh
it’s it’s not too difficult to visualize
that you are about a thousand miles away
a little bit less
than a thousand miles away from miami
which is kind of the closest point
um nonetheless uh in puerto rico there
is
quite a few there are quite a few
laundromats available
but when you go the population that that
they cater to
tends to be the lower end kind of client
um the what we were able to see is that
there is an
untapped market that meets the services
of a laundromat
and because the investment has not
been made in the current laundromats um
we were thinking like okay is it because
there is no money out there to be made
in a higher end or
a better set up laundromat even if it
caters to the same market
here here’s what what the catch is
our goal was not to to
our goal was not to discriminate against
a specific market
our goal was to build a community-based
laundromat
where anybody could go in there and
expect
great service great great wash
at an affordable price so
what we we started seeing when when my
wife and i
uh started talking about this is okay
what happened
2017 there was a hurricane in puerto
rico
and it took out the whole electric
electrical system so for example in my
house
we were out of power for about 90 days
to a little bit over
a little bit over 90 days and
we were able to get electricity back
rather quickly
what we learned is with our power
generator which
a lot of houses have in puerto rico not
all of them but a lot
you can’t run your washer dryer it’s
it’s very difficult to do
especially the dryer it takes a lot of
power because most dryers here are
you know 220 volts or they’re not
gas-based so in our case we did we went
ahead and we bought a washer
the new wash new dryer which we were due
to buy in the house anyway
and we saw that there was a need even in
my office
i was working for the largest brokerage
firm uh
in puerto rico back then i was a vice
president of sales for that for that
firm
and everybody had it was 120 associates
everybody had the same problem
they didn’t know where to take their
laundry
so in other words if you have executives
people that are that have the purchasing
power
to outsource their laundry
when they really needed it and there was
no one place in particular in their mind
that was capable of saying okay can you
call them up and have them pick up the
clothes
and bring it back in the afternoon
that’s not available in the market
okay can i take it somewhere
no you can’t because the places that are
available are jam-packed
and they’re catering to a different
market
so some companies we saw that they
bought washers and dryers and they
installed them in their businesses and
they offered the free service to their
associates
my wife and i were thinking wait a
minute i think there’s there’s
you know there’s a market out there for
having
a product that is available at at that
level
you know it might not be 24 7. in our
island we don’t have a 24 7
laundromat available so it’s a it’s a
market that has that
open still so we kept thinking about it
again this is 2017. 2018 2019 and 2019
we were able to
kind of figure out that there was a
location outside of san juan area
it was cheaper utilities cheaper uh
rent that we could build a home base
and offer products and services from
that location
so we made the investment in uh
in 2019
[Music]
we started doing the build-out at the
end of 19
and we opened in january of 2020
so think about this january 2020 right
when
the situation with covert 19 was coming
about
and and here here’s the kicker on that
50 states including the territories
uh you know the u.s 50 states guam which
is a territory usvi which is
territory they all this they all
decreed right that laundry services were
essential services
what are we going to government said no
it’s not
it’s not an essential service you got to
close
and we’re like okay so we wrote to the
government
hey listen you know the cla
is is is uh is advocating for
every state jurisdiction everybody to
say that laundromats or laundry services
are uh you know they need to be open
even with whatever restrictions you want
to put but they have to provide the
service
especially because of hygiene and
everything else and they said no you
can’t open
you can’t operate we went back and we
said listen look at the look at the list
of people that are in your essential
services
uh category every one of those
categories
from top to bottom our clients
every one of them they do you know the
the pharmacist
you don’t know how many uh nurses we
have we have a bunch of nurses we do a
lot of scrubs
um and and i’m closed
so when we explain the situation what
they said is
okay you can operate but you can’t open
to the public
so we’re thinking okay so we’ve been
thinking from the beginning that we
would establish a pickup and delivery
service
and some sort of and we knew that the
growth of the business the revenue
generating portion of the business would
be watch unfold
so from january through march which is
basically when puerto rico decided to
close
and they did a hard stop they said okay
march 15th
everybody’s got to close um
we had probably two three clients in
washing fold
we i mean it was really like
[ __ ] i know i know we gotta get into it
but it’s
it’s it’s hard right it’s it’s hard
because it’s it’s an
unknown company an unknown brand an
unknown
location um so
covet hit we closed we asked for
permission two weeks later they gave it
to us and we started
uh slowly but surely uh getting the word
out that we were open
that we were able to do pick-up and
delivery and then we activated
from our pos system the pick-up and
delivery portion
of the pos because we already had the
technology to do it it was just a matter
of
a big push turning on the switch and
uh we didn’t have a truck we didn’t have
the you know
the driver we didn’t have anything so
i’m like crap i gotta do it
i i gotta go out there and do it so i
took my car and then i took my mom’s
truck
um and then i took my wife’s car and
then it was like
okay so eventually we bought a truck and
that’s you know that’s a whole different
thing but uh
but we were able to grow uh the wash and
fall type of business
in into what’s what we do today which is
almost 50 of our revenue
nonetheless going back to the original
story
is you know when we thought about the
business we thought about it from the
perspective that
it’s not only an investment it’s really
where we want to spend
time and develop and hopefully you know
we have this one location we’ve already
looked at different locations where we
can do investments
in the near future but we’ve been
cautiously optimistic about
investing in those locations we want to
get what we have
now to a point where we know it’s it’s
working and so far
so far so good man talk about trial by
fire right there just being open and
you know pretty much shutting down like
within a few months
and having to really pivot your whole
business model i mean shutting down is
one thing but
it might be even more difficult more
trying to have to pivot
your whole business model well i mean
you know sounds like you were
thinking about doing that anyways but
really accelerating it to where you’re
like
whatever vehicle i can get a hold of
yeah cause i’ll get a hold of it yeah
when we did our business when we thought
about it let’s not even talk about doing
a
formal business plan okay when you’re
thinking about it and jotting down your
notes
okay by 2021 we want to get into the
pickup and delivery business because we
think that there’s
there’s you know we get some of our
grocery
this is what we thought right we get
some of our groceries from
a supermarket nearby actually the next
town over
that they do pick up they do delivery
and they do a very good job
and they have their trucks and they have
their website and you order and it’s
super simple
and it works and i’m looking at how they
do it and i’m like
these guys are in the next town over i
mean it’s not like they’re next door
and from that next town over they have a
bigger store
which serves the the
an area which is far beyond their
one mile one square mile right much
bigger radius
and we thought about that we and we said
why do we build
even if it’s two thousand square foot
but what if we have enough machines
that we could service outside of our
area
so when we build the business plan yes
you know when you do your
your research for a location population
density is super important
but then think about okay i have
roughly about a million a million people
that live
san juan and the adjacent municipalities
about a million 1.1
out of almost 3 million which is a whole
island
so i can do very well with a million i
mean i can do very i mean i could get to
a point where
you need 10 stores and i don’t you know
and i already have kind of a
where the locations would be um but but
the idea is
how do we you know exploit basically
what we have
and we get to the breaking point and
then we say okay now that’s
that’s running that’s it’s a well-oiled
machine
things are running okay now we can open
a second location or a third or a fourth
or a fifth it doesn’t matter
um but let’s do it right the first time
but that but those
those who were thinking those were ideas
for 2021
and beyond right which
when we had to close i i told my wife
i mean we we got to pay the rent we got
to pay the
lease on the machines we got to pay this
this doesn’t stop
and you might get a 90-day extension but
that’s it
so so we jumped on the on the on the
bandwagon
of pushing through and making sure that
we could take care of would
find the spots where there was
opportunity and
make sure that we went after them and
it’s it’s paid out it’s paid out
very well very well jeez
well yeah i mean talk about accelerating
that timeline
you know thinking about starting to ramp
it up you know in 2021
and nine months before that having to go
pretty much pedal to the metal
in order to survive the so i mean i know
everybody was scrambling at that point
trying to figure out what was going on
trying to figure out what they were
going to do but
you know being brand new into the
business it’s a it’s a tough stuff
being very tough yeah but but again we
we you know we love the challenge i
think that that’s what makes
it different for for us it’s that first
of all we love the challenge second of
all
we know that we knew it wasn’t going to
be easy
we knew that that the only way to see if
we were being successful technically was
one client at a time
and kind of figure out if we’re doing
something wrong fix it immediately
and and then you know just don’t wait
for things to pile up
um and and that having that resiliency
and having that
mindset of okay you gotta wake up every
morning and
you’re probably on the first five or six
days you’re going to do the same thing
and nothing is going to happen except
that you’re
truly moving forward unless
you see something breaking and then you
you know you pivot and you fix it and
you do that consistently
um and and that that’s not for everybody
i mean that’s either this business or
any other business you get into
and you’re almost falling without a
parachute
until the the last moment um
that parachute is going to probably be a
very big
a parachute that says success on top
but it does take countless days seven
days a week
uh you know and driving probably things
that
that if you’re comfortable in another
type of business and you’re complacent
uh this is not gonna it’s not gonna work
out for you it’s not
yeah it’s almost like you’re weaving
that parachute on the way down
and you only survive if you finish you
know
right i mean and that’s where the grit
comes in too right like
success is i mean you know
i don’t have actual statistics on this
but success is like 90
grit right it’s like you just keep
growing
keep learning keep pivoting keep
adjusting
and eventually you get it figured out
and there are ways to shortcut that
by you know finding mentors or people
who’ve already done it or
you know learning you know being on
forums or facebook groups like that kind
of stuff but
uh but man it’s still that grit that it
really
requires and i know the last you know
year and a half or so has been
crazy and unprecedented but there’s
always unprecedented times there’s
always
big challenges and small challenges that
come and through those curve balls and
if you’re not if you’re not ready to
come in and do what it takes
then it’s going to be a big struggle you
know so
um okay well can you tell us a little
bit about
how you bought the i mean did you buy a
laundromat did you build it did you
what was that experience like yeah i
mean
when we we went out to the market
locally
and we we visited almost every
laundromat in the area
so i i took the task and i made about
two visits my wife went and did all the
visits
and she came back with pricing with
models with uh
kind of a square footage she’s very good
at that and
and she’s like look every single place
we’re looking for we’re looking at
we would have to gut out and redo okay
um there was
one that we saw which was
newer it was very well placed
really good location a high traffic area
and we’re like i think that’s you know
that’s a model we can we can kind of
follow
first of all then my wife and i we visit
we went to miami we have family there so
we went to miami and we visited a couple
of laundromats
uh over there and then you know we did a
lot of uh research on the web there’s
there’s a bunch of different brokers out
there there’s
obviously all the brands have their own
marketing
information so we absorbed as much as we
could
trying to figure out okay do we want to
buy an existing laundromat
and that has its pros and cons or do we
want to just
build it out from scratch and do it our
way uh
based on on our vision for the business
and at the end of the day that’s what we
decided on um
there really wasn’t a local location
that we we felt comfortable with
kind of putting an offer in or figuring
out
um you know there’s there’s a lot of
laundromats in
in our area that you go in there and
they might have
ten machines and two are working um
you know 20 dryers and three are working
and and
at least they turn on it doesn’t mean
that they dry it just means
so you know there’s a lot of that and
and it was very difficult for us to kind
of comprehend
why we would buy something that has
already been depreciated and we will
have to gut and redo and it would
it’s like you know and in our market
we’re not going to get it for free
you know it doesn’t matter how much you
you negotiate you’re not just like
you’re not going to get a key for free
so
uh so we we decided on a specific
location that we had already seen
uh 2 000 square foot uh high traffic
area
very good uh area in terms of uh
population density
um a lot of residential areas in in
the vicinity uh good location
to access other areas so
we can get to a lot of different areas
within the san juan metropolitan area
just from that one location
um and and and we made an offer for
the rental basically uh at the same time
that we’re trying to figure out okay
who do we go with in terms of the
technology that we wanted to
to put in place and the goal wasn’t to
buy
uh to buy cheap that wasn’t the goal the
goal was never to get
um the the cheapest machines at the
cheapest price
because our our
our experience tells us that if you do
that you’re probably going to start on
the wrong foot
just because you you don’t know where
you want to get
if you don’t if you do that then you
don’t know where you want to get to and
our goal was we know exactly where we
want to get to
i mean we want to operate 24 hours we
don’t want to open 24 hours but we do
want to operate 24 hours
so that means that you know 50 of the
business we wanted it to be walk-in
traffic people coming in doing their own
stuff
that gives you some revenue coming in
and then we wanted to operate
uh with employees and at later
hours we want to do you know the wash
and fold uh
for for residential uh clients and we
also wanted to do
small commercials you know we’re very
well aware of
our limitations in the commercial space
but you know if you do airbnbs and you
do towels and you do
uh that type of of uh of servicing
that’s something that you can do
overnight and make like good money on
that
so we knew that that was our goal our
ultimate goal was to offer
a a service which was agnostic to where
the location of our business was
so we have a lot of clients that really
they’ve never visited our
location they don’t know where we are
they do know because we sell it
that we have uh the correct machines
to do their commercial uh laundry
and because the type of equipment that
we have
then we were able to offer an improved
service
or a quality of service timing
that is very difficult to match so our
our thought was let’s go on the higher
end and let’s figure out can we get a
local
vendor to do it because i need support i
mean
with one store i don’t have a staff or i
don’t have people to
there to fix anything that happens and
and it’s not like that i’m not a
handyman it’s just that i
i want to be able to get on the phone
and have somebody come over
and fix you know major things maybe
something small
not necessarily but major things we do
need support so eventually
um we looked at the
vendors uh and dealers in in miami
uh which were the closest uh there’s
some brands that don’t have
representation in puerto rico
so we were able to kind of figure out
okay well who are the ones that are in
puerto rico
um and those are uh
continental has a very good
representation of puerto rico they have
a lot
some good machines installed and they
don’t have a lot they have just
very good machines installed in in
different places especially opl uh
hotels and stuff like that uh and we
were able to kind of figure out okay
if you’re doing this for this type of
industry it’s somewhat similar to where
we want to be
is it a brand that we would want to
partner with
and let me tell you it was the best
decision it was really really the best
decision
the the dealer in this case
they supplied not only the machines but
they helped us
with the actual design of the store
uh top to bottom you know when we
got the key we had already been
negotiating with them so
when we cleaned out everything we called
them in we said okay here’s the store
what do we want to do with this where do
we want to put the machines
because that that takes care of
electricity the water
uh you know how do we get water in water
out how do we storage water what type of
pumps do we need what type of
if if we’re gonna have hot water then
what do we use for that
so and they helped with everything it
was kind of a turnkey solution
was it cheap no it wasn’t cheap but
but here’s the thing and and this you
might want to put a parentheses to
anybody that’s listening to this
think that when you’re dealing with or
negotiating with your vendor
if you start haggling let’s say that
they have 10 clients
and you start haggling they take you
down to number 11
because then you’re not a priority
client
you’re just a client that wants the best
price for the you know probably the
cheapest or the mid-range machines
and and hey at the end of the day if you
have a budget
then that’s the budget you got to tell
your dealer with and and they’ll
help you with that but they got to be
your business partner
if if you see them as just the company
that’s going to sell you the machines
and that’s it
then that’s a mistake because at the end
of the day
look the machine’s going to get there
it’ll probably take some time to
because of what’s happening nowadays
with shipping and manufacturing and
everything it’s going to take some time
to get there but once it’s installed
and you have revenue coming in you need
to have somebody
especially the dealer that has access to
the parts it has access to the
technicians
it has access to whatever it is that you
need on an ongoing basis to make sure
that your
your business is running and if you just
because you’re haggling you’re making it
difficult to do business with
uh if you get to number two out of the
top 10 clients you become number 11 or
15th or the last
when you call they’re not going to take
your call because they’re dealing with
the clients that are paying you the fair
price for
whatever it is that they’re offering now
are there
are there dealers like my dealer out
there
which i truly trust what they what they
do
yes there are you got to do your
research not every market
uses the same brands so top name brands
of machines in our market probably are
not available
not all of them not all of them so we
were able to buy the best that we could
afford
with the best support and
i gotta tell you i mean right now
we run 12 hour shifts every day
from eight o’clock in the morning to
eight o’clock at night seven days a week
and
our machines are working flawlessly
i had one machine 60 pound machine one
that had an issue with it with a seal
with a door seal
call them up i have an issue it’s
dripping water
here’s the video here’s what’s happening
you got to come and fix it
yes two days later the guy comes up he
fixes
sends me i think they sent me uh
an invoice basically because it was
under warranty but they need to send out
the invoice
and it was zero charge and everything’s
working and then the guy called me
now the good thing about this guy who
was a sales person he calls me every
everything’s working everything’s
working
he is now the president of the company
so his character is so
uh clean that he went from sales to
being the president
it doesn’t it doesn’t hurt that he’s the
son of the owner but he
he deserves it right he deserves it he
deserves to be in the position
and the only things that have happened
to our machines i can name them
that seal one card
uh one communications card that went
bust in one 20-pound machine
and one cable that came out of a dryer
and it was it was kind of connection
cable which
activated the uh
the heat spark um that’s it
in a year and a half and we’ve done
you know thousands of starts on uh on a
monthly basis
uh so having the uh good equipment
uh really has helped us out kind of just
focus on making sure that
we can reach your goals and not have
the issues of because you don’t have the
right equipment you’re trying to get
into the wrong type of business and then
it hurts your business because your
client says wait a minute you told me
you could do this but
in essence you can’t you have the idea
of what you really want to do but you
got to make sure that you have the
equipment
to do it paired up with the employees to
help you
because at the end of the day without
the manpower you’re not gonna you’re not
gonna get there
yeah yeah and i i’ve man awesome awesome
uh advice and input there because i mean
i think
i’ve said this before but working with
the best people helps you become your
best right
and when you especially when you’re
working with a good distributor
who can help you do things like lay out
the store uh
help you think through machine mix uh
who’s gonna give you that support on the
back end which is missing with a lot of
um distributors you know but when you
can get that and you work with somebody
like that
i mean your chances of success and the
heights that you can go to with your
success
dramatically increase so
awesome that you found really good
support and really good equipment
and you’re able to kind of take
advantage of
that um so so you built the store
basically
did you have to do all the
infrastructure how long did all that
take
so it was about 90 days uh
90 days unchanged uh i don’t know if you
remember that movie that
the the guy was saying oh two weeks
everything takes two weeks everything’s
yeah and and it’s not two weeks but
uh but we were able to find so so we we
divided the plan
based on first of all we thought okay
let’s let’s get out the store so
so our location fortunately is
it’s basically uh
it was basically all open open space
with two columns in the middle um we
redid the bathrooms which was the first
thing we did
uh we redid the bathrooms we figured out
that there wasn’t really any
infrastructure for water coming in or
out there was just one
input outlet uh and one outlet
and one input of water and that was it
and it was in the back of the store
and all the electricity uh what we were
able to find out was that the
panel the electrical panel uh did
support the amount of machines that we
wanted to have
so yeah so so we were able to get
the same guy to do the plumbing he did
our uh physical drywall
stuff and then so we had him for
plumbing and drywall
and then we had the electrician and that
was basically it
because the distributor was able to get
us
for free basically for free uh
all the schematics and all the design
work
associated with with um
machine placement so based on
on the volume that we wanted to have and
based on
uh the placement that we thought was
good
then we were able to kind of say okay
here’s where the machines go
um it’s kind of a circle um
and then we we were able to say okay
everything
you know for the dryers we need to have
three foot behind just for support
cleaning and everything and then the
machines need to have the water coming
in the water going out
and it needs to be in a way that we can
manage
maintenance in the middle so all the
machines are back to back
and with that information and with just
the size
of the location uh
[Music]
the manufacturer actually is the one who
did the design work
for uh our template for the store
um because we we were you know we told
them
from the get-go you know this is what we
want to do
if we can at least have a uh you know
this is our budget this is what we want
to do
what do you suggest we saw a couple of
machines that we thought were the ones
that we really wanted to to use
and then once we had all of that decided
then we went into
designing and they you know they
invested on their part
with having the support with you know we
have like a mechanical plants
electrical plants plumbing plants all of
that was done
actually by by the manufacturer uh
awesome so the support i mean you can’t
you know what am i gonna get two percent
less on a machine
i’d rather pay the two percent and say
hey you know i’m a good client
yeah that’s right that’s it and that
that really helped us out so again 90
days
um for the actual
uh uh build out a little bit less than
90
a little bit less than 90 days it would
probably be 60 days
uh for uh basically to have
just all of that mechanical stuff and
all the design
work everything all of that done
prior to starting and we
i think we placed the order for the
machines
late november and they arrived december
30th oh awesome in puerto rico they were
this
but but again it was in the moment where
nothing was really backed up i mean
for that right yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
okay so i mean your brand new laundromat
new location wasn’t there before
no existing clients what was your plan
to promote it to differentiate
to you know what was the plan how are
you going to
make this business happen so and so
here’s where
where you can go back to your notes and
and look at the free stuff
so facebook first thing we did with
facebook was
uh well prior to that
figure out a name for the business
figure out a brand name
for the business um we
we decided on a specific name we
we did not want it to be associated
necessarily with the location um
and we didn’t necessarily want it to be
associated with
laundromat so so we decided on a
specific name
we kind of build out uh the logo
uh color schemes and
but these are again these are things
that you can do online
basically for free i mean you can use
there’s there’s a website called canva
and it helps you out with kind of
figuring out how to do a little logo
again these are things you could pay for
but these are there are also things that
you can do on your own um
and and canva what we did is we just
selected a
a letter a type uh and we just stuck to
that
and we said if we repeat it you know
it’ll it’ll
we’ll own it basically um so
but it’s it’s generic right i mean it’s
something generic so we use canva to
create our logo
um and then eventually what we did is we
took the logo
we opened up a facebook account with a
facebook page
for the business and the only thing that
we started to advertise
is opening soon
and we tried to kind of figure out okay
what are the two or three things that we
know we will deliver
for the business for for our clients
what are the two or three things that we
we will deliver
which kind of becomes your promise you
know what are you promising your clients
so one of the things because of the
machines that we
that we bought we were able to tell our
clients
hey you can wash and dry in one hour or
less
simple message simple stuff right why
because
machines in essence are minute cycles
and the dryers are set to
30 minute cycles and you should be able
to wash
and dry at the basic level
either with cold uh
what is it cold um and hot water
um and warm water so we have three uh
cold warm and hot water funny thing is
in puerto rico it’s always warm water
anyway
but cold warm and hot um
24 minutes uh our machines they have
a panel and you can kind of up upsell
some other stuff which
which is really cool um you can do
what’s called superwash and it does a
longer
cycle hot water faster
faster spinning and then
the drying because we’re using a card
system
and it’s not quarter based we’re not
using coins at all
then we were able to kind of set okay we
can do three minutes at a minimum six
minutes
15 minutes and 30 minutes and those are
on the we have 30 pound machines and 45
pound machines so
on the base you can tell a client hey
you can
wash and dry in an hour or less and then
that’s what we started advertising
but the way we did it was we set up a
profile
in facebook we set up a profile in
google um
my business again it’s free you set it
up
and you put your information there and
we did set up a a very cheap
uh website which was just a splash page
and the splash page what we did is we
bought a stock photo
it was ten dollars a stock photo of a
girl
basically very happy and it just said
opening soon
laundromat location and the tagline
you know wash and dry in one hour or
less and it did have
a subscription place
where it said sign up for announcements
or for promos promotions whatever
the idea was to start getting people to
leave us their email
because we would be announcing our
opening date
to that public in specific whatever it
is that we
we knew we were going to open we we did
a soft opening
january 17th and we never closed so we
just opened and that was it
um but our
uh the google page is free
facebook page is free instagram is free
yelp which not many people like yelp
but here’s the catch with yelp use it
open your page put it up
put your logos put your your photos put
all your business information
and that’s it and leave it there why
because yelp
drives information to google
and they have what’s called a top 10
list which it’s organically made
based on whoever’s in there um and if
you do it well
again for free if you do it well your
business
in that specific location where you’re
at will appear in the top 10 list
so within within the first
less than 90 days before after we opened
we were already trending in their top
ten list free of charge
we were already appearing in google
searches
faster just because we had presence
in facebook google yelp
instagram and we had a small website
that uh that was capturing which
eventually we were able to convert it to
um to a website that had a basic
information
uh within this next six to seven
when we started doing pickup and
delivery uh
then we took it down and we uh
we were able to kind of just figure out
a different way of promoting our
business
and now by the end of this month of july
we’re reopening our website
and it’s it’s more geared toward other
services that we want to promote
um which are more search based uh
and and you know at the end of the day
all these platforms that exist if you
know how to use them
um and it’s not rocket science just take
take five
ten minutes and kind of figure out do
the tutorials or do
you know follow the couple of steps that
they ask you to follow
you would see a dramatic increase
for example we get probably one or two
new clients a day that do
that come to us because they do a google
search and google says
laundromats near me that’s one of the
first search categories that they force
they kind of force it into the client so
when they click on that
if you if you have your profile
well maintained in google they will
promote you
organically meaning that that
yes you can pay for clicks and ads and
stuff within google
but if you do it well you use yelp on
the back end
and use google on the front end and then
you do the rest that you could do
in facebook and even instagram
organically meaning for free
and meaning that they’re gonna do it
they’re gonna promote a business
that is probably more active and we get
one or two
a day organically we’ve
actually we’ve never paid for paid ads
in in google which you should do
but let’s say that you don’t do it as
long as you have it
if you maintain it you maintain the
information correctly
um google is going to probably sponsor
you a little bit better
organically you’re going to get more
hits
where we’ve paid is in facebook ads
because that’s kind of a dif it’s kind
of a different thing right
facebook google is for people who are
looking for your service
facebook is more for people that are not
necessarily looking for your service
but if you push them a promotion they’re
going to go like hey oh look at this
uh so we did a promo in may of of 2020
we did a promotion
for uh for bedding comforters
and and bedding it was like ten dollars
any size and all we’re thinking is you
know i need to
i need to get those machines running
somehow so for ten dollars you could get
your
your comforter we did the first month we
did 75
okay at 10 bucks second month we did
150 third month we’re doing 300
and it’s never stopped and we kept it at
10 bucks we’re about to increase prices
now because
you know it keeps going and going going
but what what was cool about it is
betting is something that people that do
not go to
laundromats use yep yep so
i was able to kind of get a hook and
compete in a
completely different category which is
not associated necessarily with
laundromats
but with that i was able to get airbnbs
i was able to get some other type of
business
just because i had a i had a hook i had
something
to offer but the the way to do it was
basically through facebook because you
can do targeted ads for location and
even though it’s changed a little bit
now but
but it still works wonders uh
specifically if in your
region uh facebook has good
good coverage which they which typically
they do
they do yeah super smart
super smart i love kind of your
strategies uh
and for anybody who’s not familiar with
canva
uh which you mentioned earlier i’ll put
a link in the show notes or if you’re on
youtube down below in the description
you can check out canva but it’s a
it’s a free tool where you can do some
great not just logo designs but even
social media posts or and it’s going to
look good and
and uh make you look professional like
you look like a graphic designer
so check that out but i love the the
strategy
uh that you guys had in terms of running
some ads before
you were open trying to drive traffic to
your landing page which was collecting
email addresses that way you
when you flung open the doors you
already had a client list that you could
start marketing to
and and wooing um through your different
techniques uh of marketing promotions
those kinds of things
um i think it’s super smart that you did
the
betting promotion because like you said
you know a lot of people who are never
going to think about
you know using a laundromat all right
they
they still have that question like how
do i wash my
bedding right like comforters hard to
fit a comforter in
your you know in your at-home washing
machine if you have one
and but but introducing them to that
service
and then letting them know hey you know
how all that other laundry that you hate
doing
we can do all that too and uh i mean i
think i was super
super smart um okay so
oh go ahead we’re gonna say something no
go ahead no no yeah so i mean you
mentioned
airbnbs are you doing a lot of airbnb
stuff and how’s that how’s that going
it’s been that’s that’s been kind of a
wild ride and
it started with uh
[Music]
a friend of some friend of ours they
kind of didn’t know what we were
we were up to and uh
we started having a conversation with
them and they’re like
what do you mean that you have a laundry
service because sometimes it depends on
who you talk to
they kind of either get it or they don’t
get it if you say a laundromat
then their vision is okay you go there
you put the coins in and you wash your
clothes okay
right that’s rather simple but there’s
some people
and and in our case we wanted to decatur
probably uh to other services i kind of
knew where
what they were doing i just didn’t know
the extent of what they were doing um
so i started talking about our laundry
service and then we
talked about the different things that
we do and they looked at me and they
said like okay i got i got to hook you
up with my daughter my youngest daughter
she’s managing one of our to have a real
estate company
but but she’s managing one of the side
side businesses
of the real estate company which is
airbnb i’m like okay that’s curious
we might be able to help her out uh i’m
not sure if i can but
but i’ll try so two weeks later we
talked to her
and she’s like yeah i have 11 properties
and we have like 24 beds that we need to
do
on a weekly basis that’s that’s a small
hotel you know 24 beds it’s a small
hotel
um i’m like okay so where’s the location
the location was a little bit outside of
my service area
but here i’m thinking opportunity so
i’ll take i’ll take a stab at it
and it’s it’s amazing so what happens is
she has high-end clients
that give her their homes um
she managed she buys the linen so in
this case she’s the one who owns the
linen
the owner allows her to put her linen
and we take care of the washing and what
she told me was
listen my number one headache right now
is turnover of linen
turnover in terms of of of keeping
the linen because we we tend to not buy
the correct linen first of all second of
all
we use whatever machines are available
at the individual houses so it turns out
she has 11 properties right
so not every property has a machine
so she needs to carry back and forth
the linen to different houses just to to
to
clean it and then it’s costing her an
arm and a leg because it takes about 10
hours to do the laundry
basically for one property one property
is about 10 hours
because that property has i don’t know
six or seven beds
plus the type of bedding that they have
is is
is large the type of towels that they
buy is large
so when i started talking to her i kind
of
i put my business hat on and i started
doing a little bit of research and kind
of figure out hey listen if you
change the type of bedding there is
bedding out there there are sheets and
linens out there which are
hotel grade but you don’t have to buy in
bulk you can just
you know you can just buy what you need
and
and and they weigh less they dry faster
and it’ll be probably cheaper if we do
it for you
and then and she’s like okay let’s do a
trial so
she gave us one property we did the
turnaround
she gave it to me in the morning i
called her at night and said listen i
have i have the order here for you
and she’s like what do you mean i’m like
yeah it’s already done
okay for the same day yeah same day um
so i delivered back and it was all it
was all
what we did to differentiate ourselves
was you know
kind of figure out the sizes and match
them
up and give her a bag that says
you know here’s a queen bed here’s a
king size bed
here’s a twin or the couple of twin beds
and here’s the tops
and here’s all your towels and
everything’s stacked and everything is
organized
and here’s the whole order and that way
you can take that
and give it to your cleaning lady and
she knows exactly where it goes in every
room
and she was like oh my god can you do
that for all my properties i’m like yes
i can
all i need is the opportunity yeah now
here here’s what
having the right systems in place from
the beginning
helped us out rpos was built for that
so i was able to just tell her listen
i’ll open an account
i’ll put your credit card on file and
every time i go and pick up
i will pick it up i will give you a flat
rate
per weight i will weigh it i will
charge you and i will process and
deliver back in the moment that you tell
me
by the way because we have the
technology in place
you’re going to know when the driver is
on the way to pick it up
when it was picked up when it was
cleaned when the driver’s
going back and then when it went when it
was delivered
all that communication plus
you’re gonna get to see online all your
invoices or your bills
per property um so you can build back
because
she builds my services she builds it
back either to the client
or she takes it away from the uh from
the cleaning fee
so in essence you know everything is
digested for her
and we have technically become her right
hand
in that that business and she’s she’s
i think she’s 26 she’s a she’s just a
young
girl starting out she went to law school
and she didn’t like it
and now she’s into real estate she does
very well
but we become her right hand in terms of
of supporting her business because we
can do
fast turnarounds with great
communication
and we build her and she never has an
issue with what we built her
she never has an issue with with our
service and
if for whatever reason something has to
has to be redone or
she needs something rush then we kind of
figure out a way like
today we were talking about it uh um i
picked up
i think it was a 10 in the morning
[Music]
45 minute drive pick it up bring it back
to the store by 2 p.m
2 30 p.m it was already delivered at the
house
45 minutes away um and it’s a big house
it’s a super super big house
so so that’s where we started with the
airbnbs
and then from that ward started going
around because she knows other people
that have airbnbs and they started
giving us opportunities
i think we’re now up to 15 clients
um i think about 25 to 30 properties
and uh and we have
a small hotel which we’re doing daily
service
and then eventually again put my
business hat on and
started starting kind of figuring out
why are you doing
you know daily cert i don’t mind daily
service i get a daily bill
and again same thing put it on a credit
card uh and i charge enough to cover my
credit card fee so to me that’s kind of
a
cost of doing business it’s completely
irrelevant um
so i was able to to kind of figure and
then it was well we don’t have enough
inventory okay let’s figure out a vendor
that can help you
let me help you out with this and then
help her help my client kind of figure
out okay
where can we save you money
if i get to offer that as part of
my service a value add that that’s
brought to the client
where i’m not i’m not trying to figure
out how to charge
more i’m trying to figure out how to
charge appropriately
and make them comfortable with my
service
and at the same time i can’t i mean you
can do a hotel
30 days and then 60 days and then night
but
every single day pick up delivery
processing
it gets to a point where you’re like
listen we gotta figure out a way
to spread it out the only way to do that
is to have more inventory
and if you have more inventory i can
probably give you a price break
and then you know i can free up
resources
to grow into another another client so
from that conversation on we started
doing
uh almost every other day and then
every three days and then all the extra
capacity that i had
i was able to go out and get more
clients so about 11 to 15 clients
um is is what we have now
but we have not yet reached the one-year
mark
for that service so it should happen in
october and hopefully
from here to october we should grow by
another four or five clients
um and and what’s interesting about
airbnbs is that
if if you get to connect with an
administrator
you never see them because all you all
if you have the right technology in
place
um they can go online and place the
order or
they send you the calendar and you just
go into the system
and plug in the dates of the orders
and that’s it i mean at the end it’s
it’s if there’s a change and there’s a
change for that
order but then every everything else in
the system
so you know we haven’t gotten to this
but
we were doing pick up and delivery with
my car now we have a truck and we have a
driver
so the driver he knows what to do when
he sees the order
and he sees the packages and he knows he
connects with the client and he he knows
what he needs to do
the cleaning folks they know what they
need to do and then on
our end my wife and i we know exactly
what’s happened because we have
the right systems in place we know
exactly what’s happening with each order
either coming in or going out
yeah sounds like you’ve you’ve got your
systems that you’re
locking in and are you’re able to
you know say yes to things and use that
to figure out
best ways to do it and then what i
really love about what you said is that
you’re
then you’re thinking about okay how can
i save the client money but also
free our business up to be going to look
for more clients
right you know and so you know
encouraging them to get more inventory
or buy
smaller sheets or towels or whatever the
case may be
it’s going to make it easier for them
make it easier for you and then you can
scale it up and make even more money
doing it
and once you have those systems down
you know i mean sky’s the limit right
you’ll be on your way to getting those
10 laundromats and
and being able to process a whole lot
that’s the goal that’s the goal but
funny thing about having having a truck
with with your brand on it right which
we do we have a small truck
um and and our goal was let’s have
something small
lower gas bill lower uh insurance bill
and if we grow then we buy bigger and
that’s that’s the way
at least we think it should be i was
driving through
a an area which tends to be uh
touristy right it’s a tourist area we
have a couple of clients there that we
do wash and fold
with pickup in delivery and there’s this
guy that stops me in the middle of the
street and says hey
do you guys do hotels like well there’s
hotels and then there’s hotels
i can’t do the marriott down the street
but i can do and he’s like no no it’s
only 12
25 rooms so it took me about
probably three weeks to connect
which by the way um you know i asked him
which is the hotel
and who was the owner he’s like no no
don’t worry let me get your information
i’m like yeah sure but just
just let me know out of curiosity and he
told me the name of the so
the next thing i did is i drove up to
the hotel
and then after the owner and i didn’t
get the owner
yeah but at least i went in there i kind
of saw what what it was all about
right uh because you got to make sure
that you
you can at least deliver on on
on what you think you can do
and and i am very
very cautious about the type of business
that i get into
because as a new business you don’t want
to get a reputation
that you you’re not doing the right
thing for your client
and that could you know there’s a lot of
things that that even if you get over
your head with
something that you’re trying to
accomplish which is basically
in our case is we want to get into the
commercial um
commercial
small commercial really uh to keep our
laundromats
running so we want to get into this more
commercial uh
of the business but we want to be very
cautious about how we do it
and make sure that we’re delivering on
the promise
that we you know keeping our promises to
the client and we deliver
on the quality that we’re trying to
deliver on um
and then we obviously we make a profit
and the clients can’t afford it and
and and to be honest with you i
we thought we we saw what the volume was
and the first thing that came to my head
is okay i’m gonna do it
i’m i’m i’ll put the resources and we
started
delivering on a daily basis um and we
were getting
more income which allows us to do other
stuff
but then the first thing that i thought
was okay what happens
if they get the employees back that they
need if they lower the volume
that we think
project that we can get in at the end of
the day
we’re stuck with either an overhead that
we can’t afford so we gotta lay off
people
um or we’ve missed opportunities
because we’ve been distracted by this
bigger opportunity which seems to be
good but
how do we protect ourselves from that
and by doing so
we we we’ve kept the business but we’ve
helped the client kind of figure out
how to how to afford our services at the
same time
okay but we do have this capability how
do we
continue selling and then don’t stop the
growth of the business just because hey
we got this big big client it’s
you know they’re doing x amount of
pounds per day
which helps us out a lot but what we can
keep you know we can’t not focus on
the growth of the business and things we
need to do and
and that you know that’s a question that
that
we always ask ourselves is okay we have
this great client
we’re doing very well with them you know
what if we don’t have them
how do we replace that first of all and
second of all
what if we get more like these where we
have to increase
you know and that’s that’s the question
though the what-if question we use a lot
to kind of figure out
you know when we talk about employees
when we talk about vendors when we talk
about clients
you know what if we get more what if we
lose them
so how do we plan for that it helps us a
lot
yeah i think that’s a great question and
you know i think
taking a second to pause and think okay
like if i do this what are the
repercussions of it good
and bad right because the obvious you
know
good results are you’re going to have
more business you got a more stable
income at least for the time being
but you know thinking through well what
if that goes away
and we’ve you know we’ve extended
ourselves too far or
you know all i think that’s a huge um
thing i tend to be
a little more uh
spontaneous or like just go like i get
an idea and i’m like okay
go go do it right but i think there’s a
lot of value in
taking a beat and you know asking that
what if question okay
like what am i going to miss out on if i
do this you know
and all those questions you mentioned i
think genius genius
questions and something that i think any
business owner
you know can can take a lesson from you
know taking a beat when
especially you know it’s a lot easier to
take a beat when there’s like an iffy
proposition right you’re like i mean
maybe
but when it’s a really good opportunity
you know sometimes even then you need to
take a beat or it seems like it you need
to take a beat and
and ask some of those questions yeah
there’s nothing i mean there’s nothing
wrong we have people that come to our
store
and you know i’m the first one to try
to figure out how to do it right so
people come to a store with an
opportunity
or or they have something specific that
they want to watch
and i’m the first one to try to say yes
um
which which i get heat from from my team
you know
you know but but at the same time i’ve
learned
that there’s there’s things where you
just
you just gotta either say no because
it’s not the correct thing
to do it’s going to affect your image
it’s going to affect your team it’s
going to affect the business
so you know the what if uh
has has kept us from going down probably
rabbit holes and things that we should
not
really get into um and at the same time
uh it’s okay to make mistakes i mean
that’s that’s the cool thing about
business it’s okay you have to accept
that mistakes will be made
by yourself by your team by by your
clients
um how you deal with them is really
the essence of of surviving uh
in any business but in this volatile
situation that we’re living in right now
uh there’s a lot of variables that
nobody really knows
uh that are coming at you uh
in terms of cost inflation
accessibility to talent clients
kind of moving around there’s a lot
happening
and you just got to keep your eyes open
to make sure that
if you make the mistakes that those
mistakes are are fixable
and how to deal with them so that’s to a
degree that has
helped us a lot with the business
because
we will make mistakes and in the past
you would think well the mistake was
that you did wash and fold and you lost
an item
you know you lost uh nowadays the
mistake could be you lost a whole order
yeah what do you do yeah
so so that’s why again going back into
having the right systems in place
make sure that that limits your
liability and that those mistakes don’t
happen
but that that you take care of your
employees to make sure that that
they’re doing right for for the client
um
and and that there’s leeway to figure
out okay if we mess up
okay what’s the recovery plan because
it’s
one way or another something’s something
could happen um
and again i mean i was an executive
at a brokerage firm which deals with
risks and liabilities consistently and
that
has helped me kind of figure out okay
you can say yes to a lot of things but
there’s
there’s sometimes you just got to say no
because it’s really not
not going to work out yeah yeah exactly
we’re not moving in the right direction
or we’re trying to take your business
those kind of things yeah
awesome well we have a section called
down to business
that’s just a chance for us to kind of
get to know your business
just a little bit more so you are in
puerto rico
right and you got the one laundromat so
far any plans to
you know is it still too soon to be
looking for that second one or
where you at with all that i think that
we
you know we have that one location which
we’re
trying to make you know
right now it’s it’s a profitable
location it pays the bills it pays its
own bills so that’s
you know that’s the best the best way to
kind of kind of
explain it you know hey if it pays the
bills it’s doing well
um can we get more out of it yes we can
and that’s that’s what we’re working
towards and then eventually it’ll get to
a place where
the physical limitations of the location
in terms of the amount of machines and
the amount of processing power
they will get to a limit and then we got
to move on we got to figure out
our goal is really to keep that location
and then
open up a different location now there’s
one thing that we do
offer which is from a
business perspective and not necessarily
from the laundromat perspective
but because we offer pickup and delivery
the clients that we cater to can
opt to use dry cleaning services through
us
so within our brand they get dry
cleaning they get
laundry and they get home you know uh
washing of home home items on home goods
um
which is the beddings and uh you know uh
towels yeah the towels bathroom rugs
curtains and stuff like that
but but a very small sliver of the
of the services that we offer is the dry
cleaning portion
which we our goal is to to help the
client just kind of figure out okay if i
have one vendor for all of this and take
it all
and do it and then we outsource most of
the dry cleaning now
to be honest with you most of the items
that we
dry clean they’re 90
uh uh you’re able to wash them in water
so we wash them
so we take care of the stains we take
care of the inventory we you know we
take care of
of the actual item we just don’t press
it we take it somewhere else
they do the pressing for us they do next
day service
so we are able to offer our dry cleaning
clients 48-hour service
on most items and whatever we can’t dry
clean because it is a dry clean only
item
then they do it for us we make a small
profit but we were able to service
the client that never comes to us but we
can get to go to them
we can we can we can expand a little bit
on the
on the level of service that’s why
sometimes when we explain
our business we call it a laundry
service and we don’t focus necessarily
in the laundromat
because it’s not a level of service that
they will be using
uh not necessarily we do
get quite a few clients that their
washers and dryers
uh are broken for whatever reason it’s
happening more and more often because of
the type of machines that are being sold
in the market nowadays
and they find our place to be clean
uh attended you know a different
experience
so they come in they watch they stay
with us probably for about a month when
they get their machines
uh fixed and then when they leave
they had a good experience so then our
goal is to keep the client by offering
another type of service
which is a washington pressing which
instead of them going to another
dry cleaner they keep coming to us and
we make the money on the back end
even if it’s a small profit but at least
we keep the client consistently coming
which at the end of the day one of the
first things that we
thought about this type of business is
the recurring revenue that happens
because people tend to wash their
clothes more than once of course
yeah so yeah our goal
our goal is to to use the same model
but in different geographical locations
within
actually within the same level the same
service area that we have now so
in other words there will come a time
where
when the physical limitations of the
store
there’s just so much that i can process
that
we will be able to we will need to open
a different store
i’ve always said that my goal is to have
10 stores
my wife thinks i’m crazy and she’s
probably right
so we have to take one at a time we’ve
already looked at two locations
i’ve already looked at two locations for
what could possibly be the next door
um there are opportunities out there
but again it’s one of those things that
you have to be ready you know you know
how they say be careful what you ask for
yeah you got to be ready you got to be
ready because when you make that move
there’s a there’s a high probability
that that that our next store
is a current location that we would just
have to redo and rebrand
and because of what’s happening in the
marketplace
a lot of a lot of people going into the
business
but then there’s a lot of people going
out so at the same time it gives us an
opportunity to kind of make offers and
make deals
and and what i’ve always thought is okay
i like the location if the guy says no
i’ll just build next door and do my own
thing
right there’s the walgreens and cvs
situation where you get a walgreens cbs
right in front of each other they both
coexist
and it’s good for competition it’s good
so i’ve always thought that
i don’t if i can’t buy him out then i’ll
just build
nearby and and compete and just do my
own thing
yeah well for your
walk-in self-service customers how much
is it costing in puerto rico to do
laundry so so we’re on the on
a little bit of on the higher end of the
spectrum in terms of pricing
we’ll give you a little bit more about
the the layout we have
we currently have 20 20 pound i mean
eight 20 pound um
we have eight 40-pound machines and we
have two 60-pound machines
now believe it or not in in our area we
are the only ones with 60-pound machines
and we have we only have two um
but the the machines are all uh soft
mount machines which i know it’s not the
most uh
uh prevalent in the in in different
marketplaces
we did opt for continental soft mount
machines because of the durability
and what we were able to see the
application of that type of machine
in another place within puerto rico and
within hotels
within puerto rico so we were able to
physically
understand and talk to people that have
used the machines
um there is a dry cleaning
chain that uses the 40 pound soft mount
machine
and they have about 60 or 70 of those
machines in the island
so we’re using the same vendor um and
and so far it’s it’s amazing what we’ve
been able to get from those machines
first of all because they’re soft mount
uh they have high rpms in
the spin so they get to 400 g’s and we
are able to
offer our clients 24 hour 24 minute wash
and 30 minute drive time so you can you
know
wash and dry in an hour or less so the
20 pound machines are at 395
3.95 the next one over which is 40
pounds is 6.95
and the 60 pounds are 9.95 now we know
that the 995 might be on the low end
and the 20 might be on the higher and
and one of the things that we’re trying
to drive people
is to to just use the higher the the
higher capacity machines
uh basically because they’re they’re
they’re better for washing it’s a better
machine better construction and better
uh water management electricity
management um
and the experience for the client at the
end of the cycle is much better i mean
the end product the washing of their
clothes is much better
on the dry on the dryers we do
full cycle pricing so in other words you
pay 6.95
and you pay 350 for half an hour which
is about 35 cents per minute um
actually no it’s 35 cents per three
minutes and it’s 350 for half an hour
on the 30 pound machines we have 30
pounds and we have 45 pound
uh dryers and they’re stacked dryers
they’re branded continental but there’s
probably the same that
other brands use
so basically a 40 pound 40 pound machine
of washer paired with the dryer it’s
10.50 for the cycle and then what we try
to offer our client is listen it’s 10 50
10 45 actually 10 45 but it’s it’s a
guaranteed price
meaning that if you follow our
instructions and that’s why
i love that we’re attended which means
that my attendants
really take care of the clients then
they come from another store which might
be a dollar
fifty the washer and they’re paying 395
with me
but when we do the math probably the
size of the machine they need to use two
or three to fit what we can do on the
40.
um or even on the 60. so when you do the
math
yes you might be paying a dollar more
per cycle or maybe two dollars
more but they get to leave
probably one or two hours earlier and
they get a better wash and a better
experience overall
i mean and and we have a lot of clients
that come to us
from buildings that have long
uh uh in-house laundry
um which are vended but because the top
of the machines that are in those
buildings is lower
lower end machines they come to us
and they pay a higher price but they get
a faster wash
they can watch more and and it’s a
better
better experience overall um so again
395 695
995 for the washers and then 350
for the dryers and five dollars for the
45 pounds
dryer for 30 minutes so these are preset
30 minutes um on both
so the idea is that uh you know we don’t
have people
adding more minutes because it’s not
dried the idea is we want you in and out
as fast as possible
from our from our perspective in and out
fast
so we can fit more people in but but on
their perspective it’s i don’t want to
waste time being here
yeah so so the design of the
of the business it’s you know the the
typical express laundromat
which is you go in and out fast you have
the type of equipment to support
that um now there’s some other perks
that we offer our clients
because we’re card um then the
the client can use their app um
to activate the machines to know when
the cycle is up
when there’s machines available so if
they’re home they can be on their phone
if there’s machines available before
coming in
and the other thing that we that we do
which uh i’m sure that if you do a poll
50
of people watching will say i would
never do that and the other 50
would go like maybe i could try to do
that
but we do offer the client
the capability of hey if you put the
wash we’ll dry it we’ll
fold it for you for a fee and then you
can pick it up later on
so it’s it’s kind of a hybrid wash and
fold
but what happens is that our location is
next to a supermarket and the idea is
while you’re in the supermarket just
leave your clothes here
and we’ll take care of the rest and then
what happens is
we always get the question well okay but
how much is it if i just
leave it and you guys do it all well
that’s per pound
so it’s a dollar forty forty nine per
pound and
if we do the math you would pay five
dollars more okay
five dollars more or ten dollars more or
twenty dollars more i’ll
my time’s worth it so so you get
to convert more people from the regular
laundromat
service when they do everything
themselves but they get the perks of
okay but there’s a supermarket next door
there’s a
little restaurant next door can i leave
and go home and come back yeah you can
do those things with us you can do it
because we’re attended we know what
orders are in
in every machine right and we offer the
client the option
even if it’s for a small fee but we
offer the client the option of us taking
care of everything
and eventually those clients get
converted to um
to wash and fold smart i like it
uh what does it cost for do you charge
per pound for pickup and delivery
yes we do it’s a dollar forty dollars
everything is a dollar forty nine
except the airbnb is at the dollar fifty
um
and then you’re really engaging those
guys yeah
yeah extra penny
here’s here’s what happens with that
it’s a dollar fifty for the airbnb is a
dollar forty nine and i’m trying to kind
of standardize
everything and just have it with the
same even if it’s a penny
difference just have it really the same
because the sometimes happens that the
owners of the airbnb
they they they send us their clothes
personal clothes so we do those at 1.49
and then everything else is 1.50
so sometimes if they look at the invoice
it’s like why is this
i’m like well that’s what it is yeah
you’ve got your airbnb you’re making
money out of it the other one is just a
personal expense so
i’ll give you a penny penny less i like
it but
but the airbnbs we do if we do volume
discounts or we do
uh per bag costs which we
we’re testing just kind of figure out if
it’s if it’s feasible economically
feasible for us
and then we also do so we do per pound
per bag or a monthly flat rate
oh interesting like a subscription
basically subscription yeah
so the idea is you get to watch as much
as you want as much as you want
um within certain parameters
for x dollars a month so
the right way of doing it is listen i
looked at all your invoices for the past
six months your average is
i don’t know 200 bucks a month or 225 a
month what if we do 199
every month regardless of how much
volume you have and then
we share the risk and then the the
parameters are
don’t add more you know inventory that
you already have
because we anyway know more or less how
much pounds you need to process
so in other words if you go down in
terms of pounds it’s irrelevant
to us because we’re going to make more
money if you add more then there’s a
threshold where
it jumps from 199 to 299 for example
um but but we we’ve done that with a
couple of clients and it kind of it
works for
them uh it kind of works for us so far
it’s it’s working okay
um but sometimes what happens is that
they accumulate
and then we do just one service a month
right
and that’s it and then but we’re
we’re testing it out we’re testing it
out it it works but we have to test it
out
um because it’s not as easy as just you
know weigh it and whatever it is we
charge that tip right
but it’s straightforward pricing is very
simple
uh we do we do price increase
annually so far we we from 2020 to 2021
we did a price increase uh basically in
most categories
so in other words we didn’t we actually
did not
price increase on the washers we did
pricing increase on the dryers
we went from 275 to 350
and the washing fold went from
when we started out we were trying to
get clients so we were at 99 cents per
pound we went to 125
and then to 149. and 149
is kind of a sweet spot where
you know we have competitors that do
three dollars
per pound uh but but the ones who do
three dollars per pound their idea is
look if you want me to do it you pay for
it
uh but if if i don’t do it at times i
don’t you know that it doesn’t drive my
business
um it does drive hours so at 149 or 150
it works and and i think that you know
we might see an increase uh gas prices
have gone have gone up
dramatically one year yes amazing
for us a hundred and almost 150 percent
so it’s crazy it’s crazy
[Music]
but that’s it i mean everything else
that we price out is
uh we have what’s called a soap bar so
the idea is
you know because we have a supermarket
next door
they sell soap i mean they sell
detergents all type of deter
detergents we don’t make a lot of money
on that
so what we did is we offer
most detergent most readily available
commercial
or consumer-based detergents most of
them are
at the store at the client’s convenience
per machine
so so they’re pre there’s a it’s it’s uh
they’re pre-measured basically uh each
machine
has a specific measurement that they use
and we price it out
so most clients the first time they come
they come with all their
all their detergents and eventually they
figure out i don’t want to buy more
detergents i’ll just buy for you because
it’s
whatever 50 cents more if it’s a dollar
more per machine
it’s irrelevant to something it just it
just makes sense
um and then on the on the card side
if the client uses our card then they do
get a five percent discount
based on volume uh that’s that’s
on an ongoing basis so every time they
charge
every dollar they get five points when
they get the 500 points which is 100
they get five dollars back um and that
kind of works and the machine
that you know the equipment takes care
of everything the software takes care of
everything the client just needs to have
their card or
they need to have their app paired up
with a card to
to to use the the service yeah it works
out
awesome awesome well it sounds like you
got a good system that you’ve got
already set up and you’re you know i
like the fact that you’re experimenting
with stuff
and and trying new things and trying new
ways of doing things new payment models
and
all that and i think that is
kind of a recipe for success right
having that mindset that you have
trying to offer a lot of value and a lot
of quality to your customers and
continually testing things and trying to
see what
works the best it’s awesome
we got a section called secret sauce
listen up it’s the secret sauce
and secret sauce is just hey what advice
do you
have for current laundromat owners maybe
something they could try or implement in
their business
to help them you know take their
business up to the next level
so so the secret sauce in our case and i
can only speak to what we have focused
on
is is actually client service so client
services is kind of thrown around
really generously in
in almost every industry right so so a
lot of businesses are
certain every equality is in the service
but in essence what does that mean so we
we kind of we we did we did what we
what my wife and i think is
what it should be there has to be a
definition that we can teach our
our employees and and it’s based on
three things so the first one is
and there’s very basic three things by
the way um
but but the idea is look
if we are an attended laundromat
it means to the client that number one
they get they got they have to have they
got to get
a warm welcome i mean
you go to a restaurant you go to
anywhere where
service is the centerpiece of whatever
it is that they’re offering or even if
it’s retail you go to a store
and if somebody at the store
acknowledges that you came in
and they say hey good morning hey good
afternoon hey how can i help you
that in itself makes a
big differentiator uh from
any other business and and again it
doesn’t have to be laundromat it could
be
again a restaurant a shoe store
you know any retail retail or service
based
uh um place that you go to as a person
clients love to be acknowledged and if
you make
your client a centerpiece because it is
the centerpiece or whatever it is that
you’re offering then
that first thing basically is just just
to get a warm welcome it’s a basic
thing a lot of people miss the second
thing
is anticipate what your client needs
and just look figure out
why are they coming and how is that
going to happen
now you do get recurring clients so you
do get people that you know what’s going
to happen
with them how they like to wash their
clothes what’s the machine that they
like what detergents they like but those
are things that you can anticipate
how do you anticipate a client a new
client that comes in
ask the question how can i help you are
you going to wash
or are you going to leave it or you’re
going to wash it perfect do you have
detergent
i’m not sure i’m going to go to the
supermarket and buy some but don’t worry
because we
here we have we have this brand and this
brand and this brand and this
we have all the brands and and i’ve
spoken to other laundromat owners and
they’re like we don’t buy all the brands
we just buy
the cheapest brand because that’s what
the clients are willing to pay for
i’m like well i don’t know i buy them
all and i sell
all of them turns out that i sell them
all and i gotta keep buying
ah but some of them are more expensive
than others yes that is completely true
and we just average out we sell them all
at the same price and we make money on
summer and we make less money on some
others
but we make money on all of them and at
the end of the day
it’s because we’re anticipating the
needs of the clients so the client comes
in
anticipate do you need a bag to take it
out do you need
detergent do you need softener do you
need uh whatever it is that you need
we basically have it all and anything
and everything that a client could buy
to to wash their clothes we might have
it in stock
you know spray and wash uh oxiclean um
vinegar uh you know uh arm and hammer in
actual real baking powder
and we have it all because clients come
and ask hey by the way do you have this
yes we do
and then it could be a dollar more
it could be free and that’s because
a 10 cent item that yes you could make
90 cents profit but the good will that
you generate with your client
just by saying hey this plastic bag that
you’re asking me which i could charge
you a quarter for
instead of nickel and diming your client
raise your prices
and give them the bag for free because
it’s one bag and i might give out
four bags a day maybe
maybe and the bag is worth probably
three cents
maybe so so the second item is
anticipate what your client needs and
just be ready for it
and then the third item which is the
most simplest
item which a lot of companies just
completely miss
is make sure that the client when they
leave
you say hey thank you for coming and i
help you with the bag
can i take it to the car you know did we
do a good job
is it dry you know is is your clothes
dry
it’s a question we always ask all of our
clients and
most clients you know 99 yes
it’s it’s drive it’s great it works
and then you know once you build that
rapport with your client
then you can ask hey do you mind giving
us a review in
whatever in google or in facebook or how
did you find this
oh i did a google search hey do you mind
giving us a review on google because
other clients might be looking for your
services and if you had a good
experience can you
so right now as of today a year and a
half later
since we started all of our reviews in
in
google are five stars all of our reviews
and
facebook are five stars because we we
catch if something went wrong we catch
it
in the moment because we acknowledge
that the client came in
we anticipated what their needs are and
we gave them
a warm goodbye and kind of closed the
loop
with their cert serve with whatever it
is that they came to do with us
because we do those three things at any
at any moment
of those three interactions the client
can say hey
something’s not right hey i activate it
because this could happen
i activated the dryer twice so instead
of paying for 30 minutes i paid for
an hour but i don’t need an hour don’t
worry i’ll refund
i’ll put back 350 in your card are you
sure yeah yeah
it doesn’t take two minutes to do it um
yeah but what do you do with the other
half hour
whatever we just turn off the machine
and the clock will keep on going don’t
worry about that
just use what you need so so
service is the secret sauce
granted it it does help that you have
the infrastructure
to support the level of service that
you’re trying to provide
but if you think of those three things
and
by the way these are three things that i
that i stole from somewhere else it’s
not
we didn’t you know we’re not recreating
the wheel the wheel was there
we just took it from another industry
and we put it in place
in an industry that needs service but
the definition of service was
what so we distilled it to do three
interactions
so here’s an example of what happens
when a client when a client comes in and
our attendants
are doing wash and fold the instructions
are
you stop what you’re doing and you go
and attend the client
oh but what happens with the wash and
fold order it it that get
gets delayed well you know what we have
to learn to build
time in between the processing of the
wash and fold order
to make sure that the client that does
come in
and is physically in our store that they
get the support that they need
because that’s the client that’s going
to
uh you know it’s the word of mouth is
going to give you the reviews is going
to say something positive about your
business
because of the interaction that they had
with you so we’re very
jealous about making sure that our
employees are attending to the clients
that are on the floor
versus only doing wash and fold
which is which is really what pays their
salary
but we build timing
into the wash and fold orders to make
sure
that there’s ample space for them to
kind of veer off a little bit and say
okay i’m going to leave this here
take care of a client and then come back
basically what’s happened is
we’ve hired additional resources just to
make sure that the
the the folding happens
folding and packaging is the most manual
piece of it
so folding and packaging happens while
somebody is attending to the client but
when we started we couldn’t do that we
couldn’t afford it
uh we’ve gotten to a bigger scale where
we now can afford to have an employee
stop what they’re doing
attend to a client take care of those
three things
and then and then come back and and it’s
funny because
uh when was it i think it was last night
last night my wife and i were there
at the store uh closing up
and and this lady
whom i’ve seen several times she says
listen luis i just wanted to
to tell you and your wife that that
congratulations on keeping up with the
promise or
with the concept of serving the client
because at the beginning a lot of people
do that because the owners are there and
everybody’s
wanting to to take care of the business
but
sometimes it doesn’t last because the
owners they start doing something else
they start delegating and that item
related
specifically related to to attending
to that client gets missed and that’s
why we simplified it look it’s three
things you gotta do these three things
if you do these three things
consistently and by the way
within those three things if something
goes wrong
call me or call my wife because
again i go back to technology i can
credit a client
i can start a machine in my house
i can go into the system i can view the
balance of
a card or if something went wrong with a
credit card i can go in and figure out
what went wrong
and either credit back process an order
start a machine i can do all that from
home
the only thing i can’t do is
physically put stuff into the machine
and get them started
but everything else uh we can we can do
remotely by the way
and we only use two apps for that we use
a specific app
for them for controlling the machines
and the cart system and then the pos and
it’s interconnected so i can
you know if a client has balance i can
do a ticket from home
and and i’ve actually done orders from
home
call the store and say hey can you print
the client
and then receipt just for them to have a
paper receipt
which by the way all the receipts they
get the clients get via text anyway to
their phones so
so it it does help to have the
infrastructure
and the technology but then there’s a
mindset behind
it where you you got to simplify
a little bit of what you’re trying to do
with the idea that hey i distilled
three definitions of of
of what service to us looks like um
and that’s what we have to teach our
every new employee we have to teach
everybody everybody has to be aware that
those are the three things that we got
to do
and obviously then you got to drill down
on each and every one of them
to make sure that that there’s support
that there’s
a way to support those three things yeah
yeah that was awesome i love love love
that and i think that that is so
powerful and stuff like that that i mean
it makes your business a business right
makes you you’re operating on a
professional
level at that point when you are keeping
those things in mind you’re focusing on
those you’re staying consistent with
those you’re continually reinforcing
you know those three rules or principles
that you’re trying to instill into your
attendance your training that way
and that’s what takes the business to
the next level and will allow you to
you know scale it into as big of a
business as you want it to become
at that point i think so i love that
that was
that was i would classify that as an
epic secret
sauce right there i love that
uh well we have another section called
pro tips
pro tips and pro tips is for
those who are looking to buy their first
laundromat do you have any advice for
anyone trying to buy their first
laundromat
or start their first laundry service
yeah i i think that there’s
the the biggest uh advice i could give
them is is do your research
and and you know question a little bit
of what you get out there in the market
that there’s there’s a lot of
information out there
uh this this same podcast has helped me
out there’s a great
uh there’s a lot of great information in
it um
the industry associations are very good
and there are some professionals
out there that know what they’re talking
about um
but you get it you got to figure out
that there’s some things about this
industry which are probably unspoken
and or not thought about
uh extensively so that’s that’s why
disruption is happening
that’s why there are people in the
industry coming in
and just doing different probably to get
the same result right
everybody wants to get a shirt washed
it’s as simple as that
but how you get to that right think
think of
a blockbuster right blockbuster
was dominant they dominated
the consumer market for watching movies
at home
they don’t exist anymore the end result
is the same
watch a movie at home netflix came in
they disrupted the market and and it’s
amazing when you when you see that these
you know either technology companies and
or
uh uh uh
investors are coming in to try to redo
the industry
there’s one thing interesting about this
industry and there’s very few components
that are proprietary very few
very few the other thing is there’s very
few brands out there
that are dominant in the marketplace
there’s there’s not a mcdonald’s of
laundromats i mean i haven’t seen it yet
there’s not one that you would say hey
here’s here’s the uh um
how do you say this here’s the uh
what’s what’s it called i’m sorry what’s
it called franchise the franchise the
franchise
right so this is the one franchise to
buy but there’s a lot of franchises out
there
and and some of them have come here to
puerto rico to my market
and some of them have offered me and i
haven’t
seen yet one that i would say oh
that’s the one that’s the one that i’m
willing to pay the upfront cost
and the revenue on the back end
continuously um
because it’s it’s not out there yet it’s
not
so there are brand names
that compete in certain marketplaces
there are manufacturers getting into
creating their own locations um
just you know obviously to put more
machines out there because there’s some
there’s some
some people probably not us right
probably we
are the ones who would take
those brands to another level but the
investors are really not out there yet
um so whoever’s trying to get into the
game
it’s not about putting a machine and
collecting quarters
that train left a long time ago
i mean ask the toll collector
if that train is there or not there are
no toll collectors
right it doesn’t exist anymore go to any
parking space
who’s the attendant that is cashing your
cha
your your ticket to let you out it’s a
machine machine
yep so so whoever is wanting to get into
the industry
there are there is a lot of technology
out there there are some key players in
the technology field
some of them that are coming in new some
of them that are already established
that are key players that that connected
or put together
can allow you to have a business even as
an investor
that allows you to grow and even if you
have a small laundromat
in a small town with with whatever
ten machines like on the west coast of
the island we have a
uh we have a a laundry a laundromat
and i think i have six machines and six
washers and six dryers and they couldn’t
afford to buy high-end so they bought
but they bought what they could buy for
that marketplace
and they’re doing very very well now the
guy who bought it
based on his experience and based on his
vision
that’s what he wants perfect then invest
in that
you want 10 stores and you want you know
all
of the things that i’ve talked about so
far that’s me that’s what i want to do
because
you know i kind of retired from what i
was doing before but i still have
ways to go uh and same as my wife and
hopefully you know we get to uh to a
place where
it it’s it’s a much bigger business
diversified and
a bunch of other stuff going on it can
get as
complicated as you want it to get
so the biggest advice i can give you is
figure out what you want
and then do your homework and once you
decide
find a good vendor find a good dealer
find a good business partner
that can help you get to where you want
to get to somebody that you can call
and if you’re doing it just as an
investment you know make sure
that you know some something i i read
and heard and saw
uh many many many times about the
laundry longer mat industry is
it’s not necessarily the type of
business that you’re going to
let your brother-in-law run because
somebody’s going to be skimming off
somewhere
yes that could happen with a pizza place
it could happen with a
um gas station you can have it with any
business
put the controls in place and make sure
that it runs sound and you get the
reports
like one one of the richest man in the
world um
warren buffett he buys companies he puts
a ceo in place and he leaves him run
that’s it
they talk once a year
and he trusts his employees something
goes wrong the guy is out
bring somebody else in obviously we’re
not at that level this is not the type
of business
uh you know like like i always tell my
employees look every dollar counts every
penny counts everything counts so if
we’re doing it
if we’re going to lose something we lose
it in favor of the client we don’t lose
in in favor of us losing our shirt
trying to you know uh reach a goal
and then we’re making the wrong
decisions uh but whoever wants to get
into this industry it’s a beautiful
industry by the way
it’s an industry that you can affect
positively uh the in
the communities where you’re you’re
physically there i mean we we’ve
we’ve done a lot of a lot of work uh
charity work for uh within the community
um and we do it graciously we do it for
in favor of the community
and it builds you know it builds trust
that it builds value
where we’re at um but those are things
that you’ve got to figure out if that’s
where you want to go then do your
research
connect with the folks that really know
about it and
and go ahead it’s it’s a great industry
yeah
love that i think that’s great uh great
pro tips great examples in there
and uh man if you’re looking to buy your
first laundromat
you know maybe re-listen to that section
because it was
uh it’s just really solid solid advice
uh for anybody trying to buy their first
laundromat and
particularly finding out or you know you
may not know right away
but doing enough of your research to
figure out what you want what kind of
business
do you want to have yeah um because
they’re
i mean one of the beauties of this
industry is it can be
you know a flex time investment where
you’d kind of run it on the side and it
could be a full-time gig and you can
scale it up pretty big if you want so
find out where you are on that scale
and uh and then go after that so love
that
uh we have another section called
recommended resources do you have any
resources that you would recommend to
uh to people to help them grow their
businesses or themselves personally
yeah i mean there’s there’s two
resources that i can that i can
recommend
blindly uh this podcast has a lot of
great uh guests
uh and it does have a lot of great uh
information
um there’s also the cla
um you know the the coin laundry
association
from their perspective they’ve done a
lot for the industry and
and i think that they you know it’s an
area where you can
where you can connect another resource
that we used
because we saw it from the
manufacturer’s perspective
is the actual manufacturer’s websites
done correctly which most of them are
they do provide
information that you can use but you got
to filter it right everybody’s trying to
sell their
their piece of the of the of the idea
but if you filter it correctly you can
get
uh more or less how how to make sure
that that you have
the information that you need um
and then there are some forums on
facebook
uh which are which are very good um i