Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 1 with Jordan Berry

Jordan Berry [00:00:03]:

You’re listening to the Laundromat Mat Resource Podcast, the show by Laundromat Owners for Laundromat Owners, with your host, Jordan Barry. Hey, what’s up, guys? You are listening to the Laundromat Resource Podcast, episode number one. I am so jazzed about this. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I’ve been prepping for it for a while now. And I am excited that it’s finally here, that we’re finally launching the Laundromat Resource Podcast, a podcast by Laundromat owners for Laundromat owners to help us all achieve financial freedom through Laundromat ownership. So if that’s something that interests you, make sure that you subscribe to this podcast. And hey, listen to a few episodes and if you like it, give us a good rating and review.

Jordan Berry [00:01:00]:

That just helps bump us up to get us a little more visibility so we can reach more people who are in the Laundromat industry, who want to grow their business, who want to succeed, and who want to contribute too. So do that. Before we get into this, I wanted to give you sort of my idea of what I want to do with this podcast. Now I am going to be spending a bunch of episodes interviewing Laundromat owners. Maybe like you, if you own some Laundromat or a Laundromat, I’m going to be interviewing Laundromat owners and asking them about their experience, how they got into the Laundromat industry, what it’s been like since they’ve been in the industry, how their business is doing. And I’m literally asking people, other owners, to give their secret sauce what’s working for them right now, what’s something that other Laundromat owners can do right now to implement in their business to help them succeed at a greater level. So literally, that section is called the Secret Sauce. So get excited about I’ve already done a few interviews and it’s been by far my favorite thing that I’ve done so far is talking to other owners, hearing their story, hearing what they’re doing.

Jordan Berry [00:02:20]:

There’s such a broad spectrum of ways to run Laundromat that I wasn’t even really aware of until I started talking to other owners and getting a little bit more involved. So I think you’re going to find it really interesting, hopefully. I know I have so far, and today I’m actually going to give myself a little bit of my own medicine. I’ve been asking owners all these questions about their business, and today I’m going to ask myself those questions. And we’ll go through those today. But before we get into that, I just wanted to throw in a little plug. If you’re a Laundromat owner and you’re interested in being on the podcast, it doesn’t matter if you have one Laundromat or a bunch of Laundromats, if your Laundromat is small or big, if it’s successful or it’s failing, it doesn’t matter. I want to get a wide range of experience and just where everybody is in their Laundromat ownership journey, because I think we can benefit from all of those stories.

Jordan Berry [00:03:28]:

So if you’re a Laundromat owner and you’re interested in being on the podcast, I would love to just have a chat with you, a zoom chat, and I’ll give you even what we’re going to talk about beforehand. And you can prep. And it’s very low key and low pressure, and it’ll just be a conversation between us that then a bunch of other people will just kind of get to watch later. But if you’re interested in doing that and contributing in that way, I think you’re going to be inspired by the people who have already done that. As you listen to more episodes, I think you’re going to get inspired by that. And if you’re interested in contributing in that way, go to podcastgues and just guest G-U-E-S-T podcastguest and just fill up that little form there, answer a couple of little questions. I’ll get in contact with you, and hopefully we can get you on the show here and hear about your experience too, and what you have to teach us all. So that was just a quick little plug.

Jordan Berry [00:04:30]:

I will also say that not every episode, at least in the beginning, is going to be interviews. The first few will be interviews. I want to try to play around a little bit with what we’re doing on the podcast just because I want to see what works best for us. Again, this is a podcast by Laundromat owners, for Laundromat owners. And so I want to get feedback from you guys, what you guys like, what you don’t like as much. So I’m going to try a few different things. And if there’s something that you really love or there’s something that you really don’t love, that’s totally okay. And I want to hear those things.

Jordan Berry [00:05:07]:

So reach out to us either on the website,, or on one of the social media channels. Just send us a direct message and we’ll be sure to incorporate kind of your input and go forward from there. So it’s going to be kind of evolving a little bit, and hopefully we can kind of shape it and form it together. But I really think that you’re going to love hearing from other Laundromat owners. So we’ll probably keep those in the mix at least going forward because at least selfishly, I love talking to other owners and hearing their story. So if nothing else, I love it even if no one else does. I’m just kidding. I think you’re really going to love them.

Jordan Berry [00:05:51]:

So that’s what this podcast is going to be about. And enough with all of that. Let’s just get into feeding me my own medicine and let’s talk about my experience with Laundromats and kind of what I’ve learned in this crazy journey. It’s been an interesting journey so far, but without further ado, let’s bring in our guest. All right, we’re here with Jordan Berry from Jordan. Welcome to the Laundromat Resource Podcast. Thanks, Jordan.

Jordan Berry [00:06:26]:

I really appreciate you having me on. I’m really excited. I’m just kidding. I’m not going to do that to you. This whole oh, man, it’s going to be a long episode for you. Sorry, I’m not going to do that to you for this whole thing. But hey, I’ve got questions that I’m asking various Laundromat owners, and I am going to ask myself those questions. So let’s start this.

Jordan Berry [00:06:52]:

How did I get into Laundromat ownership and why? You may have seen this, maybe on the blog or another YouTube video, but I’ll give a quick rundown of how I got into the laundromat industry and why, because it is kind of an interesting story. Well, here, I’ll just tell you how I got into it. So I was in Ministry. I was a pastor for 13 years. I did that and I worked at churches. And I was just ready for a change of pace in life, a change of scenery. And so I was ready to just do something different. I didn’t really have an idea of what, but I kind of quit my job working as a pastor at a church in Southern California here.

Jordan Berry [00:07:39]:

And we had two young, young kids, I think like three and a half and one years old. And my wife, who’s a teacher, wasn’t working at the time. She would stay at home. And I didn’t really have a plan. We had a little bit of money in the bank, and we owned our house down here in Southern California. And so we were trying to figure out, okay, what’s the next direction to take? What do we do kind of going forward from here? And I had this genius idea. My idea was this, and you tell me what you think, but I still think it’s a genius idea. My idea was, why don’t we take our house that we own here in Southern California, let’s rent it out for a couple of years.

Jordan Berry [00:08:25]:

We’ll take this little chunk of money we have in the bank and let’s go buy a condo in Know. We can live near the beach and do kind of whatever for jobs until our kids are school aged. And then once they’re school aged, we can move back here. We have some family here and stuff and rent out our condo in Hawaii, net Gain condo in Hawaii. And that sounded like an awesome idea to me. And my wife said we could do that or we could buy a Laundromat. And man, it seems like an easy choice to me, but somehow we ended up buying a Laundromat. So I started researching them.

Jordan Berry [00:09:06]:

I found along the way, and maybe you have experienced this too, or maybe I just didn’t really know where to look. But I found that information, like real practical, nuts and bolts information on Laundromats in the Laundromat industry was kind of tough to find. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m trying to do. What I’m doing here at Laundromat Resource is trying to make this information available. It shouldn’t be hard to find. It’s just solid information on how to find a Laundromat to buy, how to actually buy a Laundromat, how to run a Laundromat, how to scale your business, and those kinds of questions that I was just having a hard time finding. And so I did a bunch of research, as much as I could, and then I started looking online for Laundromats, and I found one that I really liked and contacted the broker. And the broker was like, at that owner is just unrealistic.

Jordan Berry [00:10:02]:

You shouldn’t buy that Laundromat. But I have this other one that you should buy. Now, I didn’t know anyone in the industry, really, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had no business experience whatsoever, no investing experience. I had no concept of cash flow. I barely knew what equity was, only because we own our own houses and bought and sold, but really not as an investment. I had no concept of any of that stuff. And so, really, let alone knowing anything about the Laundromat industry itself or Laundromats.

Jordan Berry [00:10:42]:

I don’t think I’d ever even really been to a Laundromat until I started looking for Laundromats to buy. So that goes to show where I was coming from. But with that said, I contacted the broker. He’s like, I have this Laundromat that you might be interested in buying. So I’m recording live right now from my very first Laundromat, which has been basically the bane of my existence for like six plus years now. And I’ll get into that in a little bit. But basically, I had to rely on this broker who I didn’t know, but he was kind of my only lifeline to the industry. He’s the only one I knew that knew anything about the industry.

Jordan Berry [00:11:25]:

And long story short, we ended up buying this Laundromat. That’s why I’m here tonight in the middle of the night, basically after closing, and ended up buying this Laundromat and redoing it. We renovated it. We put in new machines, new flooring, new bulkheads, new folding tables. Bulkheads is the part between the machines that has the electrical and the plumbing and stuff to the different machines in the sewer and the drains. And so all of that was new. This thing had all this whole wall. If you’re not on YouTube, you can’t really see this, but this whole wall was all wood paneling.

Jordan Berry [00:12:09]:

This whole wall over here, if you’re on YouTube, was all wood paneling all the way down. I pulled all that off and found super old, crazy 70s wallpaper under there and tried to paint over it, but it was flaking off. So I had to scrape this wall, and it’s like 50ft by 12ft high. It took me literally weeks. I definitely should have paid somebody to do that. It was a huge pain. But I did it. I was expecting putting in new machines, renovating everything that this business was going to be bringing in the dough.

Jordan Berry [00:12:48]:

And it still to this day has never really worked out that way. And I learned a lot of valuable lessons. I learned a lot about what I did wrong. The main lesson that I took from this is, and this is going to sound foolish probably to some of you, but again I’m just going to remind you, I had no experience and I did not know what I was doing whatsoever. But my main lesson was don’t rely solely on the one person whose income depends on you buying the Laundromat, aka the broker. The broker only gets paid if you buy a Laundromat that they’re selling. And so this broker took advantage of that and took advantage of me not really knowing what I’m doing, and sold me a Laundromat that was never really going to be as successful as he made it out to seem. The pro forma numbers that he gave me were outstanding.

Jordan Berry [00:13:49]:

My life would be very different today than it is now if this Laundromat was doing what he said it was going to be doing. Business did improve. We pretty much doubled business within the first six to eight months. But it was hard earned business increase because this Laundromat had been taken over by a gang. And so people in the community were scared to go here. And it was just a long battle of trying to rehab the reputation of this place. And that was way more difficult than rehabbing the physical store itself. So anyways, that was my main lesson and one of the main lessons that I really try to communicate to people now, and in fact, so much so that one of the main things that I try to do, we do coaching and consulting and all of that stuff.

Jordan Berry [00:14:57]: coaching. If you’re interested in that, we give free coaching call. So if you’re interested in that, go check it out. But one of the main things that we do that I really just advocate, if not with us, with someone who’s knowledgeable about the industry is no matter kind of where you are. If we’re able to some countries we may not be able to, but if we’re able to, we will help you find a good knowledgeable and trustworthy broker that you can work with. If you’re interested in selling your laundromat or buying a laundromat. And the main reason that we do that, and that’s free, we do that no charge to you. And the reason that we do that is because of that experience that I had buying this Laundromat that I’m in right now.

Jordan Berry [00:15:48]:

Nobody should have to learn the lessons that I had to learn the way that I had to learn them. It was very not only financially expensive, but it was emotionally taxing. We lost money for a lot of money every month for a long time. And that’s just really hard when you’re expecting to come in and buy a Laundromat and everybody just says, you buy a Laundromat and keep it clean, keep your machines running and collect quarters every week and you’re going to be raking in the dough. And it never worked out that way here at this Laundromat. So a big part of that reason was because of the broker that we worked with and the lessons that I had to learn. So you also need to learn those lessons, but you don’t need to learn them the way that I learned them. So anyways, whether you’re selling or whether you’re buying, it’s really important to work with somebody who’s not only knowledgeable about the industry, but who’s also trustworthy.

Jordan Berry [00:16:53]:

And now being a multistore owner, being connected with owners kind of all over now, all over the know. In the next couple of episodes you’re going to hear from Toby who’s in Sydney, Australia, and super cool story. So all over the world really. And also being a Laundromat broker here in Southern California, I know what a good knowledgeable and trustworthy broker looks like now. And not only that, but if we help you find a good broker, we’re not just going to connect you and leave you. We’ll be there if you have questions or we’ll be checking in to make sure things are running smoothly and things are going the right way. So anyways, didn’t mean to do a plug there. But if that’s a service that you need, you need help finding good brokers to work with, to sell your Laundromat or to buy a Laundromat, let us know on our website or whatever, any social media, just reach out.

Jordan Berry [00:17:53]:

Okay? So anyways, that was kind of the experience with this Laundromat and it’s hard to share that story because that is not what I went into this business expecting. And I read all these statistics about how Laundromats have like a 90 something percent success rate and I was like, oh my gosh, how are all these people succeeding in this business? And I’m just part of this small fraction of people that are failing. And that was just really painful and just hard to swallow. And it really made me feel like I was not cut out for this and that I was inadequate in something that so many people were very adequate in. Apparently I’ve come to find out that this story unfortunately is not super uncommon in the industry. And again, that’s why we do a free coaching call. That’s why we help people find good brokers because we don’t want that to be your story. So very tough.

Jordan Berry [00:19:11]:

But I’ve stuck through it and I’ve worked really hard. This store, like I said, is still if you came up to me and asked me real nice, I’d probably just give you the keys to this store right now. It’s just been a struggle and it’s a lot better than it was now. But again it’s just not what the broker told me it was going to be even all these years later. So it is what it is and lessons were learned. But I’m a glutton for punishment. And so we decided, my wife and I, that we were going to buy another one and so we did. And that was an owner finance deal down here in La.

Jordan Berry [00:19:55]:

And bought that. We bought the property with that one, which was I think a good move for us. And we have a video on our YouTube channel about how to create wealth with laundromat and we go into a little bit about how laundromats and real estate can really play on each other. Maybe we’ll do an episode about that because I think it’s just one of the most powerful things that, that you can do with laundromats and real estate together. You can really build wealth quickly that way. So anyways, we bought a second one. The second one was much less painful than the first one. However, we still ran into some issues and one of the issues again was with a broker.

Jordan Berry [00:20:48]:

And the broker and the seller both knew that there was a new Laundromat opening just a few blocks away. It was going to be bigger and brand new and I felt like I had learned every I did such thorough due diligence, I swear to you guys, I did such thorough due diligence after learning those hard and painful lessons at this first Laundromat. But one of the things I didn’t do and this process of buying, it took almost six months from when we put in the offer to when we finally closed. And so I drove the neighborhoods and everything to just see what was around. But when I did that early on in the process, they weren’t building a new Laundromat. But by the end I didn’t do it later in the process. Again, the new Laundromat, I kid you not, opened the day that I got the keys and I found out that day that there was a new Laundromat open. So again, another painful lesson and it wasn’t as bad as this first one but man that’s a tough.

Jordan Berry [00:21:59]:

It took a pretty big hit right off the bat and I was so excited about it just to find that out and rough stuff. The broker knew about it, the seller knew about it. Nobody told me about it. Nobody told me that I should drive the neighborhood again. Nobody told me that I need to go to the city to see if any permits were pulled for new Laundromat. Yeah, hard lesson, but lesson learned again. So some people got to learn the hard way and unfortunately I am one of those people. Don’t be like me and learn those lessons from me and other people you’ll hear about who’ve made different mistakes along the way.

Jordan Berry [00:22:46]:

So very rocky start into my laundromat journey. So that’s how I got into Laundromat ownership. That’s a little bit about my first foray into the business with our first Laundromat and a glimpse of our second Laundromat, too. A typical work week for me, just to kind of give you an idea of what my week looks like in regards to the Laundromats. I’m here at the two Laundromat, usually about twice a week, maybe for about an hour each. And I’m coming to just make sure everything’s kind of functioning and checking the mail, collecting quarters. We’re still coin stores for both of my Laundromat, so collecting quarters, refilling the change machine, paying employees, checking in with employees, making sure everything’s running smoothly. Checking this one, we have Vending, so I’m checking in on Vending, those types of things, small repairs.

Jordan Berry [00:23:50]:

I’ll make myself bigger repairs. I’m calling in a mechanic to come in and a repairman and fix the machines. But that’s my typical kind of work week, is a couple of hours, a couple of times a week. And I go to the bank once a week to drop off money or to buy quarters and just paying bills. I hate paying bills. That’s like my least favorite part of this job. In fact, my goal is to have so many Laundromats, I don’t know how many I need. Maybe just one more actual solid rock star Laundromat, I don’t know.

Jordan Berry [00:24:30]:

But I want to have enough Laundromats to where I can hire somebody who will just do all my accounting for me because really, really dislike that part of it. I do it. My CPA compliments me on that. But it just is like pulling teeth for me. I really just don’t like it. So one of these days. Cool. So that’s kind of my typical work week is a couple of hours, a couple of times a week sometimes.

Jordan Berry [00:25:02]:

In fact, this week it’s a little bit different right now, depending on when you’re listening to this. But right now we’re in the middle of the COVID-19 quarantine. So I got my Quarantine hair going, and you probably can’t see that on the podcast, but if you’re watching on YouTube, sorry about the hair, but what was I talking about? Oh, that’s what I was talking about. Got it. First episode. You know it’s there’s. There’s going to be moments like this. So right now, actually, we’re in the middle of this COVID-19 quarantine thing, and one of my employees here at this Laundromat who comes and cleans had to quit due to family issues.

Jordan Berry [00:25:47]:

And so I’ve been coming out here just once a night, just kind of sweep up and make sure everything’s good and to kind of close up the doors. Why I’m here live right now for this episode as I was just swinging through until I can hire someone new. Now there’s ways to do this better. I understand that I should have had someone as a backup, but I didn’t have that in place. So here I am. More lessons learned the hard way, get excited about it. That leaves me with a lot of free time during my week, if I’m only here a couple hours a week. Of course.

Jordan Berry [00:26:30]:

This is La. So I’m pretty much on the road at least as much as I’m at the Laundromat, if not more, just driving around to the Laundromats in between them and home. But that leaves me with a lot of time during the week. So what I’m doing is I’m doing Laundromat resource for one. I broker Laundromats and retail commercial real estate. So I’m doing that and I’m also just hanging out with my family and spending good quality time. And part of the journey for financial freedom is having that time to spend with your family or whoever you want to spend it with, doing whatever it is that you want to be doing. So I try to do as much of that as possible.

Jordan Berry [00:27:18]:

My family and I have Disney passes, which we haven’t been able to use for a while, which is really sad. But when Disneyland is open, we’re usually at Disneyland once a week for a few hours after school. We live very close to it and we’ll pick the kids up from school, head over to Disneyland and hang out for 3 hours or so and then head home. And we do that usually once a week. We usually try to hit the beach once a week. Man, we just feel super blessed to be able to do those things. And in part that’s due to the flexibility of owning Laundromat. What direction am I going with in the future? And I had a coaching call this morning actually, and the client was asking me this exact question.

Jordan Berry [00:28:04]:

And my answer is I’m not exactly sure. I used to want like a whole bunch of Laundromats. And I just realized because I’m a slow learner, we already know this, that I have these machines and right now, for example, they’re not running and that means they’re not making me money. And so I started thinking, you know what, before I start scaling up and buying a whole lot more machines or Laundromats, why don’t I try to get maximum use out of the assets that I currently have. And so I’m going to be venturing into doing that. One of the ways I’m going to do that, I’m kind of using a little bit of this downtime during the Quarantine stuff to start a pickup and delivery service. And I’m going to document that actually for anybody who’s interested. I’ll be probably putting those videos on YouTube.

Jordan Berry [00:29:01]:

So I’ll probably make a little playlist if you’re interested in that journey because I’m not sure if it’s going to work or not, but I’m going to give it a go. And I’m using this time to launch that. And it’s kind of counter to what my original goals were. My original goals were to make these as hands off as possible and one of the things I’m learning is when things change, you got to kind of roll with the punches. And right now I think things are changing, not just with this COVID-19 stuff, but also I’m starting to see more people opt for convenience, just generally speaking, over paying less money to do things themselves. And so I’m going to kind of jump into Laundromat pickup and delivery here in Southern California and just see how it goes. There’s already quite a few big players in that here, so I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make any headway into that. But we’ll document it here and we’ll see how it goes.

Jordan Berry [00:30:08]:

And if I ever do figure it out, I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it and how you can do it too. I’m just not going to pull any punches and I’m going to tell you exactly how to do it. So that’s a good reason to subscribe here at the podcast, Laundromat Resource podcast, and on our YouTube channel. I’ll be documenting it there too. So make sure you check that out. So that’s kind of my plan for the future for right now. Eventually I’d love to start buying more commercial real estate. Either that has laundromats in it or that has space to put laundromats in it.

Jordan Berry [00:30:44]:

And I’ll probably be putting together some people to partner on some of those deals so we can do a little bit bigger deals together. So that’s kind of plans for the future. Let’s talk about we’re going to get down to business. Let’s get down to business. Over and out. I’ve been asking people hard numbers on things. It’s up to them if they want to answer or not. But I’m going to give you my answers to these questions.

Jordan Berry [00:31:17]:

So the first one is location and where are you located? And I’m here in Southern California. I’m in La. My laundromats are in La. I live in north Orange County. And so that’s where I’m playing in this laundromat game. We have two laundromats and one commercial property, real estate property with the laundromat there. And that’s what we have right now in terms of investments. And our Vin prices are not the highest and not the lowest.

Jordan Berry [00:31:49]:

So we run anywhere from about $2 for top load machines all the way up to about $6 for I think our biggest washers are 60 pound washers. There’s definitely room to push those, I think, a little bit, but that’s where we’re at right now. And we’ll be looking at that kind of going forward too. Turns per day. This beauty of a laundromat here does between two and a half and three turns a day. And if you’re in the industry, you know, that pretty much is about what it costs to run a laundromat. And so this one basically just breaks even for me. It makes me some money, a little bit of money every year for the last.

Jordan Berry [00:32:45]:

Couple before that, I was losing a lot of money. So in some ways, hey, man, we’re in good shape. But in other ways, it’s not doing what I would love for it to do. My other one does a little bit better between three and three and a half turns a day and nothing spectacular and just probably right in there about the average of what an average Laundromat does. So no superstar Laundromat owner here. Sorry about that. But that’s why I’m bringing some of you guys on to tell us how are you getting those 4568 turns a day some of you guys are doing. So I’d love to hear about that.

Jordan Berry [00:33:19]:

Again, podcastguest. If you’re interested in coming to spill your secret sauce, which is actually the very next thing that we’re going to talk about, listen up, it’s the secret sauce. What is the one thing that’s working well in the business right now that other owners can utilize to improve their business. Now I’m going to give a couple of things here’s one thing that’s actually working really well at my other Laundromat. My first Laundromat, the one I’m recording in right now, is an unattended Laundromat. My other one is attended. And one of the things I’m doing at my attended store is I took out all the vending machines over there. I have vending machines here, but I took them out over there.

Jordan Berry [00:34:23]:

And I just dedicated a corner of the Laundromat to be a store. And I just put in some shelves, a little window and a wall, and it’s kind of like a little mini convenience store. And I know some Laundromats do this, but I don’t see a whole lot that are utilizing it to the extent that I’ve been using it. And it’s really brought in a lot of income, surprising amount of income, actually. And that one actually has a lot of potential to grow as well. But it’s doing almost a couple of it was until the quarantine stuff happened, but almost a couple of day, which is not insignificant. And profit margins are about 40% on average for that. So that’s pretty good for that.

Jordan Berry [00:35:14]:

And we’re selling different kinds of detergents and fabric softeners and the dryer sheets, all those things. But then we are also selling candy, and we sell like chips and frozen burritos and sodas and ice cream, scooped ice cream cones and just stuff like that. The cup of noodle soup is like money. People love that stuff. You buy it for like a quarter and you just sell it for a buck with some hot water. And people love that stuff. They eat it up all day. So there’s a little secret sauce, right? There is.

Jordan Berry [00:36:00]:

If you have an attended store and you don’t have a store in there, and you’re willing to either find somebody to come bring you the stuff for you to sell, or you’re willing to go to a wholesale store or even just like a Costco and buy stuff to sell in your store in bulk and then sell it individually. There’s some big room in there for you to make some money. So that’s one thing that I think is working really well. Another thing that’s working really well is having a really solid website. And I know that can be kind of scary for a lot of laundromat owners because so many laundromat owners aren’t tech savvy. Building a website sounds so intimidating and it really can be. I’m actually working on a course on how to build a laundromat website. It’ll be a free course, I’ll let you know when it comes out, but I’ll show you exactly how to do it.

Jordan Berry [00:36:59]:

But if you’re interested in us just putting together a website for you, again, Lottery, and just tell us or on any of our social media accounts, just send us a message and just say, hey, I’m interested. What would that look like? And we’ll just talk through. We’re not going to charge you a ton of money for it because it’s really not that difficult. There is a little bit of work and so there is a little bit of cost to it, but you can spend a lot of money on a website. But this little laundromat here, my first one. Our website ranks number one on Google for laundromats around in this area. So that’s something that’s working really well. We get a lot of traffic pairing it with our Google My business account and people can find us and find our business online when they’re new to the area or they’re just looking for a laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:37:59]:

In fact, we got a lot of business when this COVID-19 thing started because a lot of people who don’t normally go to laundromats wanted to wash all of their stuff and so they just searched laundromat near here, near me. And this laundromat is number one in the search query. So a lot of people came here and so business actually went up a lot our first couple of weeks of this COVID-19 thing. So that’s my second secret sauce. Number one, introduce a store if you haven’t attended laundromat, and that can really bring in a lot of extra money. And number two, have a good website. It can be very simple. This website is very simple.

Jordan Berry [00:38:38]:

In fact, it only has two pages, an about page and just the home page with basic information on it. But you can still set it up to where it’ll rank really high naturally organically on Google and people will find you that way. So that’s my other secret sauce. Go to the next section, which I like to call Pro Tips. Pro Tips. Pro Tips. Is this what’s one piece of advice you would give to a new investor who wants to buy their first laundromat? And I think this is a great question. I think you’re going to love the answers that we’ll get as I interview more and more owners.

Jordan Berry [00:39:20]:

But here’s my one piece of advice, and I kind of already mentioned this, but my one piece of advice is have someone that you can speak with whose income does not depend on you buying a Laundromat. That can give you good, solid advice, that can look over numbers for you, that can tell you if something doesn’t sound right or something doesn’t look right, because you don’t know what you don’t know at first. So find a coach or a consultant who can help you through that process, at least for your first one. I know it’s an extra expense, but believe me, from my own experience, that expense will be minuscule compared to the potential loss that you could suffer by not having a consultant help you through the process. If I could go back, I would pay literally thousands of dollars to have somebody tell me, don’t buy this Laundromat. Here’s a better one that you can find, or let’s go find you another one. This one is not a good one. It would have saved me a ton of money.

Jordan Berry [00:40:22]:

So that’s my pro tip to new investors. The second pro tip question is this what is one resource that you would recommend to help investors move forward with their financial goals? I think this is an awesome question. Again, I think you’re going to love the answers to this question from all the owners that I’ve interviewed so far and that I will interview. And here’s my it’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing. Obviously, the one resource that I would recommend is But in all seriousness, I have learned a ton about business and real estate investing by doing this one thing, and it’s free. Here’s what it is. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you already have this, but it’s an app on my phone and it’s called Libby.

Jordan Berry [00:41:30]:

Libby. And basically all that is is an app that you connect your library card to this app. And by connecting your library card, you have access to all of the digital books that your library has, both that you can read and that you can listen to. And for me, I have both read, but also especially listened to, 50 to 60 business, investing and personal growth books every year for the past five years. I’ve just absorbed an incredible amount of information using this app, and all of it was free. Libby app. L-I-B-B-Y. Connect your library card to it, and you can go down and borrow books and borrow audiobooks.

Jordan Berry [00:42:22]:

And I listen to audiobooks while I’m driving. I listen to podcast while I’m driving. And while I’m exercising all those things, I am just absorbing information that way. So if you’re someone who’s wanting to learn more about business, wanting to learn more about investing, wanting to just grow personally, the Libby app is my one recommendation. Check it out and then let me know what you think about it. If you don’t have it yet, or if you do have it, let me know what you think about it, because it’s definitely been life changing for me. All right, well, the best way to connect with me, if you have questions or you want more information or you just want to set up a time to chat, the best way to get a hold of me is through Contact or again, any of our social media channels. You can send me a message and I will get those and get back to you.

Jordan Berry [00:43:23]:

So check it out. There my email if you have questions. [email protected]. That’s [email protected], so you can send me an email there. Again, thank you guys so much for listening to this podcast episode. I hope that you gained something from it. I hope that I didn’t ramble too much. But if I did and you weren’t super psyched about this episode, check out the next one.

Jordan Berry [00:43:53]:

Because the next couple I have already lined up and have already recorded two amazing guests. They’re Laundromat owners, just like some of you guys are or want to be, and they have awesome insights for you. One’s a longtime owner with multiple stores, and one is when we recorded the episode, he was brand spanking new, like, three weeks into owning a Laundromat and just having that perspective and that freshness and that excitement, man, it was just infectious. That was Toby from Australia, and if nothing else, you can just enjoy his sweet accent. So check those episodes out before you decide not to listen anymore. But again, thank you so much for listening. I had a blast just sharing my story with you. I cannot wait for you to hear more about the rest of these owners that I’ve interviewed and that I’m going to be interviewing.

Jordan Berry [00:44:52]:

And last time, if you’re interested in being on the podcast and being interviewed, laundromatresource dot podcast guest can’t wait to see you in the next episode. We’ll be posting every single week, so make sure you subscribe, and we’ll catch you in the next one. All right, this is Jordan from and the Laundromat Resource Podcast, and I am out of here. See ya.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 2 with Dave Menz

Jordan Berry [00:00:22]:

What’s up, guys? It’s Jordan for the Laundromat Resource podcast and I’m pumped that you’re here today. We have got an incredible show for you today and I’m going to tell you about that in a second. But this podcast is all for people who want to find financial freedom through Laundromat ownership. And so if you’re owner right now of a Laundromat or multiple Laundromats and you want to hear from other owners about how they got into the industry and about what they’re doing with their businesses right now, what’s working, what’s not working, this is the spot to be for you. And if you’re someone who’s interested in getting into the Laundromat industry, there is no better place for you than right here where we’re going to be talking to Laundromat owners about how they got into the industry and how they’re running their businesses, some successfully and some less successfully. So you’re going to hear all of that right here. So if you’re looking for financial freedom through Laundromat ownership, this is the place to be. And here on show number two, we are talking to a man named Dave Mends. And this episode is honestly, it’s incredible. It’s going to inspire you no matter where you’re at in your journey. Dave, he brings it today and this guy literally went from browsing around on Craigslist, finding a Laundromat for sale on Craigslist and buying it and building that up into a bit of a Laundromat empire out there in Cincinnati, Ohio. And he’s going to tell you all about how we did that and where he’s going from here. And just all throughout this episode, he is just dropping value bombs left and right. You definitely are not going to want to miss it. But before we get into it, here’s a quick message for you.

Dave Menz [00:02:09]:

Buying and selling a business is a big step in your financial journey. And not all business brokers are created equal. By working with the best business brokers in your area, you’ll make more money and save more time, propelling you towards your financial goals as brokers, laundromat owners and real estate investors ourselves, we at Laundromat Resource know what a knowledgeable and trustworthy broker looks like. That’s why we offer a free to you service to help you find the best business broker in your area. We will weed out the bad and untrustworthy brokers and present you with the shortlist of the best two to three brokers in your area. You choose who to work with. There’s no obligation and no contracts to sign with us. Why risk working with a bad broker and leaving money on the table? So if you’re in the market to buy or sell a Laundromat, go to Buy or Sell today and let us help you find the best team to work with.

Jordan Berry [00:03:14]:

All right, buckle up because we’re bringing in Dave Mins right now. All right, so we’re here with Dave. Dave, how’s it going, man?

Dave Menz [00:03:22]:

Good. How are you, Jordan?

Jordan Berry [00:03:23]:

I’m doing well. It’s a little chilly here in California. It’s like 55, and there’s actually this water falling from the sky right now.

Dave Menz [00:03:32]:

It’s kind of weird. Yeah, that’s called Ohio weather.

Jordan Berry [00:03:39]:

One of the reasons I don’t live in Ohio. Then.

Dave Menz [00:03:41]:

Yeah, you handle it. I understand.

Jordan Berry [00:03:44]:

Hey, thanks for being on the podcast. I’m really excited you have such a really cool story, and I can’t wait to hear a little bit more about it. And so let’s start with where are you? You’re in Ohio, right?

Dave Menz [00:03:55]:

So tell us about that. Yeah. We currently live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m a transplant from Michigan, but we’ve lived in Cincinnati for probably over 30 years now. So I’m as much of an Ohio and as I am a Michiganer, but I grew up in Michigan as a kid, so, yeah, Cincinnati is home for me. There’s no doubt about it.

Jordan Berry [00:04:15]:

But your heart is Michigan.

Dave Menz [00:04:18]:

Well, for the Wolverines, yeah, definitely. But I love the city of Cincinnati. It’s a great place to grow up and raise a family. This is home. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Yeah. Awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:04:30]:

Well, hey, I’m super curious. I’m always curious about this. I get asked this question all the time. How did you get into the Laundromat industry?

Dave Menz [00:04:40]:

Well, dumb luck. Yeah. I worked in corporate America for 17 years at the local phone company here in Cincinnati. Started out young, as in an entry level position, and worked my way through several different departments and learned a lot of different skills that I didn’t realize I was learning along the way. Since I’ve been a little kid, my heart’s been on entrepreneurship. And so throughout that whole career, I was always looking for different business opportunities. And sometimes opportunities would come up that I wasn’t prepared for. Sometimes the opportunities weren’t there, and I was prepared. Eventually, those two paths kind of crossed each other. And I found a local Laundromat for sale in Amelia, Ohio, which is the community I grew up in. It’s a suburb of Cincinnati, and I actually just found it on Craigslist. I was just stumbling around on Craigslist looking at businesses for sale, which I had done hundreds of times. And I knew exactly where the Laundromat was. I knew nothing about the business, but it had been there forever. So I immediately just jumped in my car and went down and took a look at it, and it was in very bad shape. This is in 2009. The economy wasn’t very good and the place had been neglected for many years. And one thing led to another. I did my due diligence. I went through the entire process. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had enough to kind of get going. And so we took out a small SBA loan and put a lot of sweat equity into it, and we turned it around, and I got the infection. So I realized the Laundromat business isn’t a sexy business, but it’s mine. And I’ve always been very passionate about entrepreneurship, and a big part of my passion of entrepreneurship is obviously supporting my family and making money. But as big of a part of it is really seeing and meeting a need within the community that’s not being met. It’s not about being that 30th pizza place on the corner. It’s about seeing a need in the community and meeting that need. And I get a lot of satisfaction and gratification out of that and knowing that I don’t just work for money, but I work for something that’s equally as important to me, if not more important than the money. And since I grew up here and I lived here, I knew that that place used to be booming, it used to be bustling, and it wasn’t anymore. And it was kind of sad. As I went through my due diligence, I visited nine different Laundromat within about 15 or 20 miles of that store. Every Laundromat that existed, every one of them, were in bad shape. And that’s when I realized there’s a need, and this is a tremendous business opportunity.

Jordan Berry [00:07:23]:


Dave Menz [00:07:24]:

I knew that I was willing to put in the work. I didn’t have a ton of money. I basically started with about $20,000 in the bank and a decent job. We didn’t have any debt, so we were low, had good cash flow, and so we knew we could support it. And so I stayed at my full time job for the next five years while we grew our businesses and just reinvested all the money that the businesses made back into them to continue to scale them and grow them. And here we are ten years later. That’s crazy.

Jordan Berry [00:07:53]:

And it’s just so funny that you just found it on Craigslist and you weren’t even particularly looking for a Laundromat. You were just looking at businesses for sale.

Dave Menz [00:08:00]:

Absolutely. It never even occurred to me to look for a Laundromat. I was literally craigslist back then had a category that says businesses for sale. And you click on it, and it’s just landscaping companies and car washes. I mean, every business on planet Earth a daycare center. And for me, I’ve always been a passionate entrepreneur, but I didn’t really care what the product was. I’m fascinated by the business model or different business models. I kind of geek out over those things. So as I dug in more and more, I realized that there was an opportunity and there was a need, and it was really perfect for me, because I knew most likely, whatever business I bought, I wouldn’t be able to just quit my job the next week. And so it was unattended. And that was one of the few business models that would allow me to kind of do both. And so I would get up at 05:00, a.m. Run by the Laundromat for an hour or so, clean it up, sweep it up, because it was open 24 hours and I would go into work, which was an hour away, and I’d work all day climbing telephone poles, working on the phone lines and stuff like that. And after I was all done with that, I would go back and stop back by on the way home. And I pretty quickly put a video surveillance system in there. And so when it got closer to bedtime, I would pull it up and if it looked busy or whatever, then I’d run by there again before I went to bed. Now we have a completely different business model, but that’s how we started, just simply out of necessity. We had no choice. Yeah. Those first five years that I was in business for myself, I kept my full time job. And I estimate between the two, because we grew and acquired other businesses or other Laundromat. And during that five years, I estimate I worked 9200 hours a week for five years straight. Yeah. And it’s kind of a fog now, but I’ve always just been the type of person, just give me the opportunity and I’ll just get out of my way. That’s what I did. I’ll be honest sometimes a lot of times in entrepreneurship, a lot of people that aren’t entrepreneurs like us, they don’t really understand the drive, the motivation. So I took some critiques from family and friends and things like that. But I always knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. And I knew that I was on the right track and that I was going to make a difference in my community. And that was like I’ve always been pretty good at ignoring the noise. I love that.

Jordan Berry [00:10:26]:

I mean, I think that’s a crucial skill for an entrepreneur business owner. There’s so much negativity and even just pressure to not go in those directions and to not stick it out when it’s tough. And why are you spending 100 hours a week on this rundown? Laundromat and it’s probably not ever going to just all these messages come in time and time again. So I love to hear that you started like that. The same way I started, I would drive an hour to go clean up my Laundromat every single day, every night. I’d be there late at night a lot of times and all of that. So I love to hear that you started like that. And I know that you scaled that way out and your business looks very different from that now, and I want to hear all about how you scaled that. But before we do, can you tell us just a little more detail about how you actually got that laundromat? How did the purchase of it go and what did kind of that process look like? How did you get into your first one?

Dave Menz [00:11:29]:

Yeah, that’s a pretty interesting story, actually, because I had never owned a business before and I was in my early thirty s. I guess me and my wife didn’t have a lot of debt. We both had decent jobs, but we had a young family and we never owned a business. And I put together a business plan because I’d always read that’s what you do. And so I did my homework, did my due diligence, I put together the business plan. We thought we were personally in a good financial place. We had a little bit of money to invest, but certainly not enough to cover the whole thing. And it probably took every bit of four or five months. And I bet I applied to easily 20 or more financial institutions, and every single one of them told me the same thing. And they just said, you’ve never owned a business before. You got $20,000 in the bank and you think you’re going to take this business that isn’t profitable because it was losing money. Who do you think you are? It’s kind of the attitude that I got from them. If I was a veteran and more experienced like I’m nowadays, I’d have a little bit different story to tell. But back then, I was just like, stuck in this, like when they tell kids, young kids, you should build credit when you start 18 years old, well, how do I do that? Get some credit. Well, how do I get credit? You can’t until you have credit. It was like that almost that vicious cycle. And I was very frustrated. And when I looked into this model, I found a local distributor here in Cincinnati called HM Company, and they’re a hips distributor. They’ve been around since the 1950s. They’re a phenomenal distributor. And I had already built a relationship with them over the few months. And so I talked to him regularly about my struggles, and he kind of acted as a mentor to me in a lot of ways. And I’ll never forget one night on the phone, I had probably been rejected for the 18th time. And I’m telling him and I’m frustrated and I don’t have it in my nature to give up. But I was frustrated. And he asked me, he was like, well, what are you going to do? And I said, Steve, if I have to apply to 1000 banks, eventually somebody is going to say yes, because I’m not ever going to stop. I’ve decided this is what I’m going to do. I feel very confident. We were taking out a loan that was, I don’t know, roughly $80,000 maybe. And we didn’t know we were going to need to buy all this equipment. We didn’t know a lot of what we know nowadays, but we knew we were going to borrow some money and invest. But our SBA note, when we finally end up getting a loan, it was like 14 month. Finally I went to a local credit union that I had a relationship with, and they were trying to grow their business department. And I had done business with them for years, personally. And so I sat down and talked to them and I said, look, here’s my personal finances. We have no debt except for our house. We have a pretty good revenue or a pretty good household income. Our personal cash flow, we can easily support this note for the entire length of the note, personally. So if this business, I feel like I’m going into the sales pitch. But it was the honest truth. It was how I actually saw it. And finally it just clicked with them. And they were like, you’d be willing to do that? And I’m like you have no idea. I’ll be willing to do anything that is legal or ethical. Those are the only two lines I won’t cross to be successful. And they gave it to me eventually, but it was a long road and it was exhausting. Three or four months doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you’re living it and you’re working a full time job and you’re spending your lunch hour calling banks and applying and sending emails and I worked out in the field, so, I mean, I wasn’t in an office. It wasn’t always easy to do. And you can’t call them on the weekends, so, I mean, you really have like it was a log, three or four buds. But one of my biggest strengths is that I am stubborn to a fall. As a little kid, I wouldn’t want to raise me as a little kid, it wasn’t always a good thing. But as an adult, I felt that if I channel it for good versus evil, that I’m able to accomplish a lot more than I ever dreamed that I could. And so it’s really just taking my dreams and just taking them to a whole new level. But it wasn’t easy. And I don’t know how many people would have given up. I just knew that I wasn’t going to. It was kind of a crazy time.

Jordan Berry [00:15:55]:

It wasn’t smooth, but I find that that is a lot of people’s experience when they get into business, any kind of business, really, is that it’s the people who are willing to do the crazy. It’s crazy that you called 20 banks and you had to do it on your lunches in between jobs. And it’s crazy that after you got the business, you went there every day at five in the morning, you’d go at night sometime. Those things are crazy, but it’s that tenacity. And that just this is what I’m doing. This is who I am now. This is what I’m doing. It’s just going to happen and I’m going to just keep going until I make it happen. And I think that’s a huge key to success. I’m sure it’s a huge key to your success.

Dave Menz [00:16:42]:

It is, absolutely. And sometimes I think I, ironically enough, in kindergarten when they ask all the kids, what do you want to be when you grew up at your little Johnny says Batman. And this guy says, a police officer. And I said I wanted to own my own business. I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was, but I said, I want to own my own business. And all the adults were like, oh, that’s cute. Because back then that wasn’t near as like in Vogue as it is nowadays. It wasn’t near as cool to be an entrepreneur or a business owner back then, and so they all thought it was cute. But I mean, I don’t know if you’re born an entrepreneur or not. All I know is that’s just where my mind and my heart and my drive has always went. And when I finally had the opportunity and I knew I had the right thing and the right opportunity in front of me and I’m in my early thirty s and I’m married with a family, sometimes I wonder how would I responded to that opportunity when I was 19 or 20? Because I mean, I was the same guy, but I was certainly like, at a different place in life. Fun was a lot more important to me than setting up myself for success or serving my community. That’s just the reality. So sometimes I wonder. I’m happy and blessed. And part of it too is I didn’t go to college. I started working right out of high school and worked in an entry level position at Cincinnati Bell. And I worked there for 17 years. And during the time that I worked there, I worked in sales, marketing. I worked in the skilled trades outside learning how to use tools. I learned so many skills through working in those departments that I had no idea I was learning. And every single one of those are directly attributable to how I learned my business. It’s amazing to me that I was being prepared. I absolutely believed that that was the case. And it’s fun to look back and it’s kind of humbling at the same time. Obviously, I’m living my dream. There was no other way to put it.

Jordan Berry [00:18:42]:

The laundromat dream.

Dave Menz [00:18:44]:

Yeah. Well, it’s funny. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this happen, but I have. People ask, guys talk and they say, oh, what do you do for a living? And my first response is either I’m an entrepreneur or I’m a business owner. People are always fascinated by that. They’re so impressed, they think that’s fantastic. Next question they ask is, so what kind of business are you in? And I tell them, I own Laundromats. And they go, oh. And they always have this look on their face like, I thought you were a real business owner.

Jordan Berry [00:19:11]:


Dave Menz [00:19:13]:

And I used to kind of take offense to it. It kind of was a shot to the heart a little bit. Now I’m pretty used to it. But I realized a big part of my opportunity for the business and the industry that we’re in is that it’s not sexy. If it were sexy, then there would be a lot more people attracted to it. But it’s amazing how many people avoid this industry, because it’s not sexy. And obviously, there’s a negative connotation associated with a Laundromat in general. So when you say the word Laundromat, most people don’t think of my stores. And so the flip side of that is we get people walking in our stores every day, and they’re like, I’ve never seen a Laundromat like this. And you talk to the top operators in the industry, they all hear the same thing. That top 10% or whatever it is. They constantly hear that because it’s the bottom 60% that people automatically associate the dungeons in the basements and half the equipment doesn’t work, and there’s a homeless guy sleeping in the corner and it’s unsafe and all these things. So that’s where people go with it. But as you know, there’s a whole different side to the industry, which is very modern and becoming more modernized every day. Operations are I wouldn’t say overly complicated, but they’re not as simplistic as a lot of Laundromat operations are. And one of the things I love the most about being a business owner is I get to decide what my business is. No one gets to decide that for me. And so there’s more than one way to run a successful Laundromat. It’s not necessarily the way I do it. This is just how I’ve evolved and my team has built. But I’m pretty passionate about our industry. Well, that’s awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:20:56]:

Okay, so you got your first Laundromat. How long did it take? Because you own four right now, is that right?

Dave Menz [00:21:03]:

Yes, that’s correct.

Jordan Berry [00:21:04]:

Okay, so how long did it take you to get to your next one and then your next couple, and then just tell us a little bit about what your business looks like today.

Dave Menz [00:21:14]:

So that’s also a little bit of a funny story. So we take on this big debt loan that we’d never done, this big opportunity, this industry we don’t know. And within five or six months, we had put a lot of sweat equity into our business. And I mean, business within seven or eight months had doubled and almost tripled, and it wasn’t doing a lot, so it wasn’t hard to double or triple it. But at the same time, I kind of caught a bug, and I was like, I knew it. I knew it. I knew this would work. So I immediately start talking to my distributor, and I’m like, I want to get another one. I want to have 20. I want to have 30. I want to have 40. And that’s my nature. I’m very ambitious the whole time. He’s like, Dave, you’re doing fantastic, but slow down. Like, take a deep breath. Slow down. You don’t want to move too fast. Well, once again, I’ve never been a good listener. That’s just not my nature. And so I could not look for other opportunities. Even though I had no money, everything I had was poured into that store. Right. And I ended up finding my second store, and it was in a strip mall. The laundromat was abandoned. It had been closed by the previous owner, but it was in a great location. And ironically, it was 20 minutes from my home, where the other one was five minutes from my home, but it was 20 minutes from my home in the direction of my job, I thought, okay, I know this community because it’s not that far away. It was a great opportunity. I literally got the Laundromat for what they say, free Laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:22:42]:

The mythical free Laundromat.

Dave Menz [00:22:44]:

Right. Free Laundromat. That comes with a lot of headache. But yeah. So I walked in and it was assessed. The owner of the strip mall had an albatross on their hands, and they knew it. And I just approached them and said, I’m in the business. I have a location over in Amelia. I didn’t tell them how long I had had it. Right. I know what I’m doing. I think this is a great location. If you’re basically willing to sign me to a long term lease, this is what I’m going to do. And I had no idea how I was going to do it. I just knew that I didn’t have any money to buy another store. And I also knew that, once again, it would be unattended, it would be open 24 hours, and I would need to stop by it regularly while I’m commuting. So I thought, man, for the situation I’m in, I mean, this seems like it would work. It’ll double my workload from too much already. But I’ve always been a firm believer in business that when opportunities come about, you don’t get to choose when the opportunities come about. You just choose whether you take advantage of them or not. In short, it ended up being about eight or nine months after we had bought our first store that we bought this store and we signed a lease, and we were able to I mean, it was in such bad shape. Like, none of the equipment in there was really useful. So we were able to work out a loan because we were in the business now, work out a manufacturer’s loan for the financing of the equipment. And we put all new equipment in there. And we took the cash flow that we were getting from our one store that was making some money, and we would put that into it. And me and my father in law and some friends just did twice the amount of sweat equity in that store we did in our first store because I literally just had money for materials, and we ended up maxing out our credit card. We pushed it to the limit for it. Yeah, our personal finances are very conservative. We were debt free, except for our house. We had a pretty good savings. We had really good cash flow personally. And so this was very out of the ordinary for how me and my wife typically run our financial life, but I just saw it as different from personal life. I’m not doing this to buy a car or an ATV or a boat. I’m doing this to buy an asset. And so I felt that that risk was worth it for that reason. And so we acquired it. We kept it closed for four and a half, five months. And literally I stopped by there every day and worked until I couldn’t work anymore and went home and slept. And I had a lot of friends and family step up and help me and some would just help for a day or two, which was appreciated, and some would help every weekend. And I still to this day, that place holds a special place in my heart within my portfolio, just because I know the amount of blood, sweat and tears and love that went into that. These people didn’t ask anything from me. They were just like, wow, Dave is going to do this. He’s crazy. But I’m here for you, man. Yeah, right, exactly. And so I’m sometimes amazed what we accomplished with as little resources as we had. It hoped that it was a small store. It was like 2100 sqft, maybe not even that. And so that’s how we acquired our second store. And so my story is we acquired two stores in less than a year.

Jordan Berry [00:26:03]:

Yeah, that’s crazy.

Dave Menz [00:26:04]:

We opened that store and we had a pretty significant loan for the equipment and so part of it was, okay, well, we got to get this thing to break even quickly if we can. And it was profitable within three weeks.

Jordan Berry [00:26:19]:

Whoa, that’s awesome.

Dave Menz [00:26:20]:

It had been closed for six months before we took over it and then we kept it closed for another year. So once again, that tells you the demand in the area. We had people while we’re in there working knocking on the doors, asking if they can come in. We’re like, there’s literally no washers in here. As we continued out with the project, the buzz kind of spread in the neighborhood. We knew there was a need. As soon as we opened the doors, they just came and drilled, just flooded in. Yeah, I mean, it was profitable immediately. So that was how we acquired our second store, which was definitely a unique situation. After that, I had the bug twice as bad and so I continued to look and never really found the right opportunity. And several years went by and it probably ended up being a good three or four more years. And we just kept reinvesting everything the business has made back into our two businesses to grow them. And at this point I realized this could be like a career, this could be my full time gig and I could actually someday quit my. Job. And so then I just dug in even harder, and I was like, you know what? If I dig really hard and I’m very disciplined and I reinvest and I keep my hand out of the cookie jar and keep my lifestyle the same and all these things, in a few years, I’ll be able to leave my job. And so I was more motivated than ever before, and people thought I was more crazy than ever before because people are saying things like, well, how much money do you need, Dave? It’s like, you don’t get it. This isn’t about buy to boat, about changing my family tree. At this, you know, I ended up around those two businesses. We eventually added a few part time attendants that would do a little cleaning that were actually on payroll at this point, and that helped a little. And I reached out to an old family or an old friend from high school that actually lived right up the road from my second store. And she still lived there. And she was married and had a kid. We had kind of lost touch. And I remember from our days right out of high school that she was one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met in my life. And she was high integrity, high character, high energy. She was loyal, and she had worked basically when she got out of high school, she had worked at a server at a restaurant. And over her career, she had worked her way up in 17 years. And she was the manager of this restaurant now. And I reached out to her and I said, all right, this is my dream. This is what I’m going to do. We hadn’t talked in 15 years, and I said, I’m building this chain of laundromat, and I know I can’t do this all on my own, and I want you to come do this with me. I want you to be my manager. And we talked, and I think she thought I was half crazy. But long story short, I’ve always been really good at selling my dream, something I’m really good at. Most people are. She eventually came around and she said, well, since you have attendance that just work 3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the evening, I’m going to keep my full time job and just work as an attendant for a few days and do that for a few months and see if I like it. And then I’ll make a decision. And I said, okay, that’s fair. So I brought her in literally making $9 an hour. And she’s got another full time job. And she worked third shift at this Perkins restaurant and was the overnight manager. And she would work all night, and she would stop on her way home and work for 3 hours for me and clean the store in the morning and then go home and have her life. And so she did this for, I don’t know, several months. And it eventually got to the point where I said, all right, I want to bring you on full time. And we couldn’t afford to hire her full time, so we slowly but surely gave her more and more hours, and I was reinvesting pretty heavily in her, basically, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone, and I needed a manager. And so, long story short, her restaurant actually got bought by the state, and they were putting a highway through, so she would have lost her career. And about that time was the time we were acquiring our third store. And so I said, all right, timing is perfect. We’re going to bring you on full time, and the rest is kind of history. She’s still my GM to this day. Whoa, cool. She’s been with me for eight years now. She is a rock star, and that is probably not even a fair statement for her value to me personally and our family. She is family to us at this point, and she makes way more than she ever made at her other job. Now, one of the things I promised her is, if you’ll do this with me and you’ll stick with me, I can’t afford to pay you much right now, but as our business grows, I will compensate you more every chance I get. And there was times where I gave her multiple raises in a short period of time, so I kept my word. I did what I could do, and I could have accomplished what I’ve accomplished without her, but I would have needed someone like her, but I wouldn’t have taken on the task that we have without her specifically. I know my nature. If I didn’t have her along my side, I wouldn’t have done this. I wouldn’t have attempted to. And so she’s a big part of our team, and we’re the same age. We’re both 43. And so it’s pretty exciting to have kind of worked together and built this over the last 810 years. And we really feel like this is kind of the tip of the iceberg of where we’re going to go. But long story short, once I hired her, we ended up purchasing a third store, and that store had a drop off laundry service, and it was a complete dump as well, also in a great location. And so one of the decisions we had to make is, okay, we don’t do drop off services at our other stores. It wasn’t much of a drop off. It was pretty rough the way it was ran. I said, all right, I can’t run it like that. I’m going to have to completely revamp it and put policies and procedures and training and all this stuff in place, or I’m just going to shut it down the day we close. And I talked with Marlene, and we thought through it, and I talked with my wife, Carla, and going to we’re going to transition from being partially attended or almost unattended to now we’re going to be attended. We want to have fully attended stores. And so we knew that we needed every ounce of revenue we could get, and so we decided to keep the drop off laundry open. And so about two weeks before we closed on the third store, I quit my job, and Marlene came on full time. And so things got real really quick. Yeah, they mean, we had prepared for this for three or four years, so it wasn’t a quick decision, but it got real really quick. Things got really tight all of a sudden, calling out that plumber. But it used to be no big deal. Holy cow, I’m going to pay this guy, that kind of stuff. And we revamped the drop off service, and it did really well and continues to this day. And that really changed our path in the Laundromat business because we not only transitioned from unattended to attended, which is a big difference, but we also added a pretty I mean, it took a little while, but we added a pretty high quality drop off laundry service. And we charged a dollar 50 a pound now. And we’ll probably be raising our prices in the next few weeks. We’re kind of near the top of the industry when it comes to cost of what we can charge per pound, where a lot of people are still charging a dollar, a dollar ten a pound or less in some areas. And so once we did that, we realized, okay, let’s back up and go back to the second store we bought and let’s start a drop off laundry service there. Once we got this one. Perfected. Then I moved Marlene back to this store, and we built a drop off laundry service there. And she managed all three stores, basically from that one site, and we grew that drop off laundry service. And a few years after that, we acquired our fourth store. And it was the same thing. It was really run down. It happened to be a huge facility. It’s like 5200 sqft. But it’s one of these deals where it was two businesses on one. It was a dry cleaner on one side and a Laundromat on the other, so only half of it has the Laundromat footprint. The other side was basically a huge drop dry cleaning. So they didn’t have equipment, but it was a huge facility. And so when I approached them about acquiring it, they were like, well, you got to take all the space. I’m like, But I don’t need all the space. I don’t want all the space. And we worked out a deal where he gave me a pretty sweetheart deal on the rent on the other side, and I said, all right, I’m going to acquire this. And we reinvamped the drop off laundry service there and fast forward to what we’re doing nowadays. Now we have a pretty high volume laundry pickup and delivery business called Happy Nas. And the funny thing is, when we acquired that location, we thought we had all this wasted, unused space. And we’ve been doing our Happy Nest for about three and a half years. Now it’s grown to the point where it generates double the revenue of our store. It’s all run out of this one store. Wow. And so now we have successful drop off laundry services at three of our four stores. We have a general manager, which is Marlene, and she has roughly 40 employees that report to her. We have three trucks on the road for our delivery business, and we do about 25 to 30,000 pounds a month in just delivery, and that’s at 1.89 a dollar, 99 a pound. And so I always tell people the beauty of the pickup and delivery business is you take an already successful business model of Laundromat, and then you take another successful model, and you lay it on top of it. But you leverage the same infrastructure. Yeah. When you do that, it turns a $300,000 Laundromat into a million dollar Laundromat. Yeah. You’re running it. We’re still running it with one employee, one manager. And so our general manager, Marlene, is also the store manager at that store. That’s where she spends most of her time. Manages probably over half of our employees out of that one facility. We have a third shift production crew that processes the laundry overnight while the store is closed to the public. So, once again, we’re leveraging that infrastructure. Most Laundromats, if they’re open 24 hours, they don’t do much business. Most aren’t open at all, so they don’t do any business. Right. We probably generate more revenue. Well, we definitely do more revenue when we’re closed than when we’re open. Yeah. So I tell people, I’m like, I wasn’t smart enough to plan this all out ten years ago. It just kind of evolved. And I just followed my passion. And I bounced a lot of stuff off of my wife, who’s a professional school teacher, and she’s not an entrepreneur. She’ll be the first to tell you that, but we’re a really great team because she actually has a background in accounting. That’s her degree. And so she does all of our bookkeeping and all of our accounting and keeps all that straight, which I could never do. And as we grew in the business, it went from just, like a little side business of a few thousand dollars a week, and now we’re a multimillion dollar operation, and we’ve created 40 jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago. Yeah. I always say we weren’t always in this position, but I’d put my team up against anyone in the country at this point. We’ve invested heavily in operations and in people. We really believe you can have a great product. You can have brand new machines and fancy this and free WiFi and all that which is important in a modernized laundromat. But the thing that will really separate you from your competition 99 out of 100 times is having operations, but the level that you take them to. So me and Marlene and my wife have taken that very seriously. And here we are ten years later, and like I said, me, my wife, Marlene, we’re all 43 years old, and we feel like we have a really good foundation. We have a history of running unattended laundromats, transitioning them into attended, building a drop off service from the ground level, not knowing anything about it, and learning through the school of hard knocks and networking with other laundromat owners throughout the industry. And then the drop off laundry service has just, like, shot us to the moon and beyond. And one of the things we’ve learned or not the drop off, but the pickup and delivery. And one of the things we’ve learned in three years with pickup and delivery is when we started that business, we really just thought it would be an ancillary income. Buy a van, go pick up some laundry, and our drop off will grow. And we really didn’t think a whole lot more into that. But everything I do, I do well. I mean, I’m 150 miles an hour and everything. I’m kind of a perfectionist. And because of those things, I kind of met the market at the society, at this perfect place where they were kind of melding into what I call the Amazon economy. And everybody wants full service, everything right to their door, and we were perfectly positioned. Seven years prior, we had been building a team for this business that we had no idea we were even going to run someday. And we had invested heavily in all new equipment. I mean, probably a couple of million dollars worth of equipment between our four stores. And those notes get pretty heavy at times. And so my thing was, okay, without buying a fifth and a 6th and an 8th business, how can I leverage my current assets? And that’s where marketing our drop off services at our stores being attended, just transitioning from unattended to attended, it took a year and a half to two years, but our business doubled just by making that transition. And one of the things we’ve learned in the industry is there’s nothing wrong with running an unattended map, don’t get me wrong. But one of the things we’ve learned is that when you transition from unattended to attended, there is a whole different segment of society that will now use your facility. That was a deal breaker. No matter how nice it was. They will not use your facility if you’re unattended. Period. End of story. And we didn’t know that. I mean, we learned that just by trial and error over the course of ten years. We’ve just taken all this experience and knowledge and a lot of stubborn. Our toes and a lot of stress and grief and headache and worry and transitioned it into something that I’m literally living my dream. And I created jobs for these people that didn’t used to have jobs and some of them are entry level but a lot of, probably over half of them are not. Probably close to half of our staff makes five dollars to six dollars above minimum wage and some of them make double or more minimum wage and so I’m pretty proud of that. A lot of them are part time, but they’re part time because they want to be right their decision. But a lot of them have transitioned from part time to full time. And so I get a lot of satisfaction out know? Yes supporting my family know, being an entrepreneurial geek and just doing what I do every day. But I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing that I’m serving the community. The east side of Cincinnati was just when it comes to laundry facilities. It was in shambles at one point and now we have four of the top stores in the state probably as far as the quality of operations and the quality of the facilities. And to back up our second store, that was a small 2100 square foot store is in a strip mall and we eventually tore down the wall in between it and the space next door and now it’s about 4500 sqft. Wow. So it went from being our smallest to our second biggest store. So I always say that project, which was a lot and I managed it myself, that was a lot. I learned a ton through that process of building a Laundromat, even though I’ve never technically built a Laundromat. Yeah. So now we’re in the process of actually building a Laundromat, our fifth. And so now I’m applying a lot of those skills. And the things I learned with that project I’ve always built that I owned four Laundromats, but it was actually five because the one that I kind of doubled the size of, it was basically like buying or building a new Laundromat. Yeah, it was a different set of challenges but we feel like our operations and our experience and our age, we’re perfectly positioned to do much more than we’ve done in our first ten years in the next 20. Yeah, now we really focus on two things. Now we focus on serving the industry and giving back and I do some consulting and things like that and helping people when I can. And I also focus on meeting the needs of other communities, finding other opportunities. I probably turned down ten or 15 Laundromats that people approach me about but they were either in a market that was already served or in a market that didn’t need one. There’s 2000 people there or something like that. Right, and so I’ve turned down a lot of opportunities too and so now I’m really looking for new opportunities and new markets throughout Cincinnati and maybe even outside of Cincinnati to continue to serve the community. And now we’ve kind of settled in on this Good, Better, Best Business model, because we used to just be a self serve laundromat, we had a drop off, and now we offer pickup and delivery. And so we have this Good, Better, Best model, and they’re all a different clientele, a different segment of the market that still all has a specific need.

Jordan Berry [00:43:37]:


Dave Menz [00:43:38]:

And so it’s pretty exciting to me, if you had told me this where I would be ten years ago, I never would have believed you, and certainly no one that knew me would have ever believed this. But it’s just good old fashioned tenacity.

Jordan Berry [00:43:51]:

Well, you know what? Hindsight is 2020. I mean, as I’m listening to your story, it’s so fascinating because what I’m.

Dave Menz [00:43:57]:

Hearing is you just stacking stuff on.

Jordan Berry [00:44:02]:

Top of each other. Like you had this idea of yourself wanting to be a business owner, so you had kind of that vision, and then you kind of stumbled on this laundromat and then you had the tenacity. So you just went for it and you found a way to get it, and then you found a way to make it work. And then you did it again with this tenacity and just expanding kind of your vision and what’s possible and just being an action taker and doing it, and then you’re learning along the way how to do different things. And then you’re applying it and growing and growing. And you built out this half of your second laundromat and you’re using that now to build out your fizz laundromat. And it’s just pretty cool to see. I think a lot of times when people want to get into business, they see where you’re at and they’re like, Well, I want to do that. But what they don’t see is the five years where you were working 100 hours a week and people were telling you, no, we’re not going to give you any money. We don’t believe in you, essentially, is what the banks are saying. We don’t believe in you.

Dave Menz [00:45:09]:

Yes, your friends are telling you that.

Jordan Berry [00:45:11]:

You’Re crazy and your family is like, oh, man, here he goes again. He’s buying another one, or whatever. And yet people want what you have.

Dave Menz [00:45:20]:

But in order to get there, you got to pay the price.

Jordan Berry [00:45:25]:

To get there, you got to learn what you need to learn, because there’s no way. I bet I can almost guarantee you that if somebody was just going to hand you your portfolio that you have now, back when you first started and said, here are these four laundromat and you’re building one, that it would have just all gone to waste, you been able to handle it because you didn’t have everything that you have. And so I love hearing your story because I just love hearing you stack.

Dave Menz [00:45:52]:

All of these skills, honestly. Obviously, it wasn’t by design. I mean, it was intentional, but it wasn’t by design. Like, ten years ago, I never knew that I would do this, but one of the things I’ve always done in my life is I’ve never been afraid to pivot. I’ve never believed just because that’s what I used to do that I have to keep doing that. I’ve always built my foundation of my family, my faith, and my businesses from a foundation of character, a foundation of just simply doing the right thing and following the path, whatever path that is, and not trying to force things that don’t come. And that’s why I’ve always really focused on meeting needs in the community that are already there. Nobody’s doing it. Why wouldn’t I do it? And if you can do it and make money, it’s very satisfying. Yeah, that’s so cool.

Jordan Berry [00:46:45]:

It’s so cool to hear that. I’d love to just take a second and just get down to business a little bit and just hear a little bit of, know the baseball card stats of your businesses.

Dave Menz [00:47:00]:

Let’s get down to business. Over and out.

Jordan Berry [00:47:04]:

So we already know that you’re in Ohio. You’re in you have so you have four Laundromat and you’re building a fifth.

Dave Menz [00:47:15]:

And then I think you mentioned at.

Jordan Berry [00:47:17]:

One point, maybe to me beforehand, that you have some real estate, too.

Dave Menz [00:47:21]:

Is that the case? Yeah, we have one commercial property. It’s the building that our third store is in. Okay. We acquired that store. It was in a standalone building. And so when we approached the owner of the building, which was a separate person, about signing a long term lease, they had inherited the building from their dad, and it was paid for, and they didn’t really want to be in commercial property. And so they were like, well, we’re okay to talk about that, but would you be interested in buying the building? Of course. Are you crazy? Yeah. We acquired the business with a lease, and two months later we closed on the building. And so now we own this commercial property. And if we ever sell the business, we still have the revenue from the commercial property because if we ever sell the business, it’s going to be sold at a pretty good multiple to somebody that can drive the business and support it. And one of the things we’ve learned through that too, is that that’s a pretty profitable long term business venture, just the real estate holdings alone. And so one of the things we focused on is now our fourth store. When we acquired it, it’s in a small strip mall, about 10,000. When we signed a long term lease for that, we got right of first refusal for 30 years to purchase. And so the owner that has it right now still doesn’t want to sell, but he’s getting up there in age, and he’s going to be selling eventually. And when he does, we’ll acquire that. And then actually have some tenants other than ourselves. And we actually were just approached recently from one of our competitors about purchasing their business because we’ve kind of put a big hurting on them over the last ten years through our growth. And they’re in a standalone building as well. And they own that property and they want to sell us that building. And so now that we’re perfectly positioned to meet a lot of these needs, all of a sudden we have many opportunities coming our way. A big part of our business model over the rest of my life is to find ways to focus on multiple revenue streams. And that includes acquiring the real estate and the depreciation and things that come along with owning and building a real estate portfolio. And so someday we will either back out of the business when we’re in our rocking chair days, we’ll back out of the business, keep the real estate as investments, which is pretty much passive at that point, or we’ll just pass the businesses on to our kids if they’re interested, and then we can mentor them through the process. And they will be our tenants. And when we’re someday gone, then they will inherit the buildings and it will just create this multifamily or multigenerational business model if they’re interested. We’re not ones to pressure them or focus on that, but they know that that opportunity is there if they want to go take it. But they also know we’re not going to give it to them. That’s not in my future. Nothing was given to me and nothing’s going to be given to you. Tell them gone. So now I take this step back and kind of have this 30,000 foot view of what I’ve created, but the opportunity I have over the next 20 or 30 years, which includes continuing to grow the business, continuing to diversify the business in different ways. My 21 year old daughter works full time in the business now, and I don’t know if she always will, but she does right now. And that’s really exciting to see where she grows as she matures. And my twelve year old is already talking about he wants to run the whole empire. We’ll see how that works out. I don’t know if it’ll be a fight, but we’ll make it work. But that’s a whole new level of just like love, just loving what I do, knowing that whether that happens or not, that I put my family in a position where that could happen. Yeah, I think that’s the future is pretty exciting for us.

Jordan Berry [00:51:12]:

One of the things, just a little side note, one of the things I did with my son is I told him, hey, if you save up your money and you buy a little bubble gum machine or whatever, you can put it in the store and I’ll teach you how to run that like a business. He’s eight right now, so he has noah’s.

Dave Menz [00:51:30]:

He did.

Jordan Berry [00:51:30]:

He saved his money. And actually the story is really sad. He saved his money. My buddy made him like a cool little stand for it. We bolted it into the ground. We did a little ceremony for him. And that night some guy came in high on something and literally just ripped it out into that night, same night, and took it. That was his first foray into business.

Dave Menz [00:51:59]:

Oh my goodness, that’s heartbreaking.

Jordan Berry [00:52:01]:

Yeah, but it’s good because again, those are lessons that he’s learning. And one of the things that I want to do is whether he ends up taking over our Laundromats or whatever, I don’t know. We’re a long time from that, hopefully. But trying to just teach him, here’s how business works. If you want to go into business for yourself doing Laundromats or anything else, here’s how you manage your finances. You don’t just get all this money from your bubble gum machine and get to spend it all because you got to buy inventory and you want to have money to reinvest and all this stuff.

Dave Menz [00:52:36]:

It’s funny that you tell that story because I have a similar one. I don’t know if we have time for it, but I’ll make it real quick. So my daughter, when we got into the business, I had the exact same mindset. I was like, I want my kids to learn that there’s nothing wrong with having a job and working for an employer. But I also want them to know there’s more than one way to make a living. And if it’s for them, that’s fine, but I want them to get the lesson in life. And so my daughter, who is not an entrepreneur by nature at all, she would tell you that she was probably 1210 or twelve maybe at the time. And I basically said she had some savings. And I said, this is what we’re going to do. And I basically told her she was going to do it. And we bought a sticker machine that bends the little kids stickers. And so she used her savings, bought a sticker machine. She ended up taking that one and buying a second one. And my current twelve year old, who is Mini Me like born entrepreneur, when he was five, he calls her TT. And when she was five, he heard us talking one day that she had made $100 the previous month off of her sticker machine. He’s always been one to nose into everything. He looked at us at five years old and he said, well, I want to own a sticker machine. And I said, well we actually just bought a third laundromat. If you save up the money, then you can buy a sticker machine and you can put it in our third store. And that little boy, for three and a half years, saved every penny he could find. Birthday money. He would have be out shoveling driveways when it was nine degrees. Out. He sticks and saving the money, and he would sell things that he didn’t want anymore. And the machine was $400, and the inventory was about 200. So it was about a $600 investment for a five year old. I mean, that’s like a million dollars. It is like a million dollars. Long story short, my daughter was successful. She got the lesson when she went off to college. My son had bought his first machine and had just saved up for his second machine, and so he bought her two locations from her. That’s awesome. At this point, he’s probably nine, and he has three sticker machines in three stores, but we’ve just acquired a fourth store. So he takes the revenue from the three, puts a sticker machine in the fourth, and about six to eight months ago, he took the revenue from all four of those sticker machines and bought a claw machine that he’s now put in our store. And so me and my wife joke all the time that we’re like, he’s going to be like, the only 16 year old pulling into school, like, in a BMW, and everybody’s going to be like, oh, yeah, look what Mommy and Daddy bought you. And we’ll be like, no, he actually paid cat. That’s why I joke with people all the time. All three of my kids are very smart and capable of anything they want, but he is 100% entrepreneur, and that lesson with her, I kind of had to encourage and push her into that lesson with him. He drugged me into it, and so it’s been fascinating to see him get that message. And he has a little brother that isn’t an entrepreneur, probably, but he listens and he hears and he learns. We’ll see where that goes with our kids and how that works out in life. But for me, it’s all about the lesson. That’s what it is. So that’s awesome to hear that somebody else is doing that. Usually I tell people that story and they’re like, wow, that’s fantastic. I’ve never heard anything like that. I think you’re the first one that’s been like, yeah, I’m basically doing the same thing. It’s heartbreaking that it got broken into, but like you said, there’s also kind of a lesson in that. You had to be curious. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:56:08]:

Oh, man. And I haven’t seen that guy since. And it’s probably a good thing, but what I ended up doing so we had some conversations about that, and it was good. He was sad, obviously, but what I ended up doing was saying, I’m going to buy another gumball machine for you, but you still have to pay for it. So I ended up getting an opportunity to teach him about how to use a loan to buy an asset like you did and to do it in a wise way. And I said, you’ll just give me a little bit every month from what your gumball machine makes until it’s paid off. And then it’ll go and I make him do a split. I make him pay me to have his gumball machine like all the other vendors that we have in our stores. But I’m just saving that and that’ll probably go to school or whatever later.

Dave Menz [00:57:04]:

That’s Fantastic. Good for you. Pretty cool, though.

Jordan Berry [00:57:08]:

All right, back to business. Give us a feel of vending prices in Cincinnati. How much does it cost in to know a few various types of sizes of loads?

Dave Menz [00:57:22]:

Yeah, it depends. We’re definitely a high price leader. We are definitely significantly above our competitors. Our competitors are probably more in line with the market across the country, which tends to be too low. Not enough people are aggressive enough, raising their prices and charging probably what they should for the level of service they provide. But I have some competitors that are in really rough shape that are still vending. Top loaders for one dollars 50 minor $3. I’m literally charging double. And we probably won’t have top loaders in the future, but right now we do. But we aren’t afraid to charge. What we feel is a top of the market vend price for them. We have 20 pound machines that we vend for $4. We have 40 pound machines that we vend for $6. And we have 80 pound machines that we vend for $10. $10. And then on the we have the extra wash, extra rinse functions. And on the extra wash and extra rinse is a dollar each, where a lot of people are still, like, doing quarters. And on the extra wash and extra rinse is $2 each. And when I tell people that, they’re like, Are you insane? Like I’ve never heard of anybody charging more than $0.50 for an extra wash. It’s eight loads of laundry. Yeah. I mean, you’re cutting yourself short if you’re doing that. And a lot of people just like because they can charge by quarter increment pricing. They do. And we converted two of our four stores from quarter over to Dollar Coin.

Jordan Berry [00:58:59]:


Dave Menz [00:59:00]:

That’s part of the reason our prices are set up that way. But now, even at our Quarter stores, everything is done in dollar pricing. If we raise the price, we raise $0.50 or a dollar. And if we do $0.50, it’s when we convert the store to dollar coin, it’s going to go up by another 50 and be rounded up. And then our Dryers the dollar coin stores are a dollar. On the 30 pound dryers. They’re a dollar for 16 or sorry, dollar for 24 minutes, which is a quarter for six minutes. 45 pound dryers are a dollar for 16 minutes or a quarter for four minutes. And so we’re actually evolving and working our dryer pricing over to full cycle pricing, which is I know a lot of people that have done it with great success. So that’s something we’re working on in the future. But In My Opinion, If You run a halfway decent Laundromat, let alone a really nice, modern, top of the industry mat. If your self serve prices aren’t fifteen cents a pound or higher, you’re cutting yourself short. And I tell people all the time, they’re like, yeah, but my competitors, I have competitors, too. We had somebody build a brand new store as a distributor. Not mine, but a different one. Build a brand new store. Our four stores are kind of in a triangle of each other, all within 15 miles. They’re not that far away. Somebody built a brand new store right in the middle of our four stores and started out with a ven price of a dollar for a 20 pound machine as like, a loss leader. Two years later, they’re still charging that price because they can’t capture any market. Shares are $4, theirs are a dollar, and they can’t take customers from us. Jeez and so that’s when I go back to what I said earlier. If I put my team up against anyone, a lot of times it comes back to the people and the training and the operations and the processes and the support and the love that goes into a family work environment. And if you do things right and it’s genuine and sincere, I mean, those people run through a brick wall for you, and they’ll want nothing more than to take phenomenal care of every customer that walks through the door. Not everyone will pay for that level of service, but there’s plenty of people in any market that will pay for that level of service. But what I find is people either underprice or they overprice. They want to charge prices like I do, but they’re really not to where we are. They just have like, a new store with new machines, but it’s unattended and it’s not that clean and there’s nobody there to help. And within three or four years, it starts to look tired. And it’s like, well, you were really high quality the day you opened, but you went downhill. Jury is fast. Yeah. And so we’re really big about staying cutting edge. Our entire business philosophy is really all about pushing the envelope and being better tomorrow than we were yesterday. And so that’s how a lot of these opportunities have come up, is because we’re never content. We’re happy, but we’re never content. We’re always looking for a better way to serve people. And as we do those things and execute at a high level, we’re also not afraid to charge for it because our customers come in and they love us. I mean, they don’t come in and say, I’m price gouging them. They come in and say, I’ll happily pay double the price because you have triple the level of service of the guy down the road. There’s more than one way to skin a cat in the laundry. Industry is no different. People, just a lot of times they’re afraid of the unknown or they’re afraid they’re going to lose half their business if they raise their price $0.50. I’ve raised my top letters from two dollars to three dollars, which is a 50% increase in price and not lost a customer. Yeah, so it can be done. And I’m not unique. I mean, there’s other people operating at a high level in our industry, as you and I know. Not the only one. There’s thousands of them, and if they’re not charging a similar price model, then they’re cutting themselves short. Yeah, very cool.

Jordan Berry [01:02:53]:

Do you have any cards at all?

Dave Menz [01:02:54]:

Or is it all Coin right now? It’s all coin. Over the next couple of years, we’re going to convert our last two quarter stores over to Dollar Coin. And then once we do that, we’re going to add CCI Fast Card, the hybrid system, to those four stores. And so they’ll operate on Dollar Coin and they’ll operate on the credit card debit card or the Fast Know phone Pay app. And so they’re suburban stores. They’re not like high volume urban stores, if you will. And so their volume is to a place where we can make that work long term, but quarters. Not that people aren’t operating with quarters, because two of my stores are, but it’s becoming the way of the dinosaur very quickly. Especially if you’re a high price leader. Yeah, it is. That’s exactly right. Yeah. If you use an 80 pound machine and you choose extra wash and extra rinse, that’s $14. Insane. And that’s a lot of quarters. But the reality is it’s also eight loads of laundry that have been washed and rinsed twice. So if they were heavily soiled, I always tell people, well, if they’re heavily soiled, then you need to wash them and rinse them twice. Would you rather pay $20 or would you rather pay 14?

Jordan Berry [01:04:10]:

That’s right.

Dave Menz [01:04:11]:

It’s all about value. And that’s a big thing that I’ve learned in the business that I didn’t always know is that there’s a big difference in price and value. And I refuse to compete on price. I always compete on value and I always make sure that I win. But I can charge significantly more than you if I provide a much higher level of service. And my value proposition is way higher than yours is. And I really believe that’s. One of the things I really pound hard when I talk to people and consult and network with other operators is I really try to pound into them that for whatever reason, the laundry industry is probably as sensitive to price as any industry, and there’s plenty of industries that are sensitive to price. And so I really try to push back on people and I hear all the time, well, you can do that, but I can’t because of this. And it’s like I have no competitors or something. As far as my story is concerned. I was a little happy that somebody built a Brady Laundromat in the middle of my four stores, because that’s like the worst case scenario, right? That’s like every laundromat there. So now I can tell people, look, I’m not unique. You can do this. And there might be exceptions to that. There are some markets that are really insane, and I respect that, but the reality is, I think those are few and far between. I think most people are just selling themselves short, or they don’t want to step up that value proposition. They like the idea of charging those prices, but they don’t want to operate at that level because it’s not easy. It’s frankly kind of exhausting at times. I’m kind of obsessive, and I’ve built a team of people that are kind of obsessive with serving people, and they have the hearts of a servant. They want to serve others, and they get satisfaction out of that above and beyond just their paycheck. And so we’ve been very intentional about that. And so I’ve said for ten years, I’m building an army, and that’s exactly what I’m doing, and I’m never going to stop. I love that.

Jordan Berry [01:06:09]:

I love that. All right. I’m just loving your mindset and the way that you are approaching things and the way that you’re thinking about things.

Dave Menz [01:06:19]:

I think. Thank you.

Jordan Berry [01:06:20]:

If anybody listening to this in whatever industry, or even if they’re not in the Laundromat industry for life, I think.

Dave Menz [01:06:26]:

They’Re going to take value from that. Absolutely. Awesome. I didn’t create any of these. I stole everything that I just said. I stole every bit of it. I don’t own that. I don’t own it. I just want to share it. I just want people to know, like, you can do this in this industry. Yeah, you can do it outside too, but yeah, I’m a thief in the night. I steal all kinds of good ideas.

Jordan Berry [01:06:49]:

And that’s good, but it’s not just what you’re saying, it’s the way that you’re thinking, and I think that’s valuable. Do you have any sense of an average, like, how many turns per day they’re doing? Maybe outside of your pickup and delivery service, do you have any sense of that?

Dave Menz [01:07:09]:

Yeah, it’s anywhere from three to five, depending on the size of the machines. The smaller machines are closer to three, and that’s mainly because we have more of them. I mean, if we had a similar number, the turns would be a little higher. And that’s one of the things I’ve kind of learned in the business, too, is a lot of people, whether they’re architects or manufacturers or distributors, and I’m not just saying the shady ones, because there are some unethical distributors out there, but I’m talking about even ones that are well intentioned, that mean well. One of the biggest things I see in our industry is there’s too much equipment and not enough space. I see it over and over again. So I’ve learned that myself, because I could say pretty much every one of my stores, if I didn’t have my pickup and delivery business, which is a whole different animal, if I didn’t have that with my pickup and delivery business at that store, our turns per day are probably closer to eight or nine. And so that becomes really profitable really quickly. But I believe when people are retrofitting stores, one of the mistakes I made early on was, okay, this is the footprint. It’s obviously expensive to change the footprint, and so I’m going to see how many machines I can fit in this footprint. And that was really my only focus. And in the last four or five years, I’ve really kind of taken my operations knowledge to a different level. And I’ve went back and taken a lot of those machines out and my turns per day have gone up because I don’t believe in having any machine out of order for any more than a day or two unless, if I can help it. And so because of that, okay, well, if I’m operating after five years at two or three turns per day, that just tells me I have too many of those machines in there. And so I can pull four of them out and sell them or give them to a friend or move them to somewhere else or redistribute them in a different way. And now, because all the machines are you need more machines than you really need in your operations. If you’re not going to keep them all running every time you lose one, you’re losing capacity. But if you keep all your machines running at all times, and you’re very hypersensitive and obsessive about that, then really what you need to do is just find the right fit, what’s the right number, and you need to keep in my opinion, your turns per day should be four or five, should never be less than that. But there’s other things that go into that when it comes to throughput, if you’re going to have an operation that regularly is running four or five turns a day or more, then you have to set it up that way. You have to allow for very quick throughput. You have to have wide aisles. You have to have friendly attendants that are quick to help people and quick to clean up spills, and you have to have proper seating. And there’s things you have to focus on beyond just washers and dryers. If people are waiting on a bottleneck for a dryer, then they’re delayed. If they’re waiting on a folding table, they’re delayed. If they’re folding out of the cart, they’re delayed. Because that’s not how this should be done. But that’s what happens in a lot of laundromats because they put too much equipment in there. I’ve actually walked in laundromats that have had 30 or 40 dryers and had four folding tables, and I’m just like, this is basic math. This is basic addition and subtraction. Like, it’s insane, but it’s common. It’s not even out of the norm. It’s so common. And I think a lot of distributors, very well intending distributors, their mindset is if you put more equipment in, then your pro forma goes. If you’re doing a performa at four or five turns a day and you say, well, you know, what we could do is put six more double loaders in the back wall. Well, they don’t lower it to three turns a day on the performance. They leave it at four or five and all of a sudden decide it’s going to be more revenue. Well, on paper that may sound really good, but in real life, that’s not how it usually works. The capacity is the capacity. And so that’s what I really focus on as I’ve evolved in this industry. And if you walk into some of my stores, that’s not what you’ll see, because that’s not what I did nine years ago. But I really believe that that’s a big part of our success. I mean, our new store is going to have eight foot aisles. My thing is, if somebody is standing at a folding table on one side of the aisle and they’re loading a washer on the other adjacent side of the aisle, somebody should still be able to walk through there with a cart and not bump each other. Yeah, well, that’s proper throughput. That’s how you get four or five. Or if you talk to these large operators in urban environments, these people are doing 8910 turns a day. A lot of times that’s how they’re doing it. A lot of times it is just a pure numbers game and they’re not built right and people are bumping into each other. But I really believe that when you talk about modernizing the laundromat industry, those type of things are every bit as important as technology, operations, all the other aspects. And a lot of times you can’t do anything with that. If you take over a retrofit, I mean, it’s really expensive to change the floor plan. Really expensive. And a lot of times it’s just not economical. But when people are building new laundromats and I see some of the like, I’ve seen laundromats that were just built two years ago. They spent two and a half million dollars on this place. There’s like 100 washers and dryers in there and like six folding tables and like, two benches to sit on. First come first, everybody else stand. It’s crazy. It’s just absolutely crazy. I always tell my distributor, I’m like, they were 90% of the way there. They were so close, struck out. I don’t know, I’m pretty passionate about that because it’s kind of been sort of an AHA moment for me over the last probably four years. I’m always kind of pushing the envelope to learn and be better, like I said, tomorrow, than I was today. Sometimes I’m not a quick learner. Sometimes it takes me six years.

Jordan Berry [01:13:02]:

For me too, man. Me too. So how many hours are you spending on your business? A week, on average?

Dave Menz [01:13:12]:

Until about a year ago, I was spending it varies out of pure necessity. I would say six to 8 hours a week total. One of the things I’ve also very intentionally done over ten years is built my businesses so that operationally, they don’t need me. I call it the bus test. If Dave got hit by a bus today, would this thing collapse? Would everything I worked for for the last ten years in sacrifice collapse? Or would it thrive for my family that I’ve left behind? And whether they want to sell those assets or run those assets, that’s a different conversation. But if they collapse, they can do neither. And so that’s also a big part of my mindset, is operationally. I’ve built my businesses so that they don’t rely on me. And there is an investment in that. I mean, you have to invest more heavily in managers, which make more money, and store managers and general managers, and driving supervisors and third shift supervisors and all these things that a lot of owners do themselves. But I’ve been pretty intentional about that.

Jordan Berry [01:14:18]:

Yeah, well, knowing everything that I know about you now, after having talked to you for this long, I am pretty convinced that if you got hit by a bus, that bus would be totaled. You’re taking the bus down. It’s not taking you down.

Dave Menz [01:14:37]:

Yeah, maybe. I don’t know. The reason I said the last year or so is in the last year I’ve partnered with a technology company with our pickup and delivery business. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but the Happiness model is kind of transitioning across the country. And now what I’m doing is spending most of my time mentoring and consulting for Happiness, and they’re bringing operators on our platform. They’re utilizing their technology, their infrastructure, their digital marketing and customer service. And what they’re doing is they’ve hired me as a consultant to basically train and mentor all of their operators. And so literally just yesterday, I had someone fly in from Florida and train with me and my team for two days, and then I’ll mentor them on an ongoing basis on a not, you know, the owner of Happiness, the national brand. I’m owner of Happiness in Cincinnati, so I’m an operator. But I’ve had a relationship with them for three or four years, and they’ve seen that I’m one of their top operators, and I also do a lot of consulting. I have a heart that I enjoy helping people. And so they approached me and they were like, we don’t have time to support these operators the level that they need to be supported if we’re going to grow this into something and capture the laundry. Pickup and delivery business is quickly evolving into its own industry. The laundromat industry generates, say, six or $8 billion a year in gross revenue. And a lot of people think in the not so distant future that Laundry, Pickup and delivery will exceed that as its own industry. And so there’s more than one company that’s trying to capture that, and there will be plenty of room for multiple competitors, but we believe that Happiness will be one of those national competitors. And a big part of that is finding the right operators in the right markets and mentoring them and training them and supporting them at a high level. Just shoot me an email. I’ll try to get back to you. They can call me pretty much 24 hours a day, and I’m available. And so I was pretty sensitive about I don’t need a job. My wife always jokes the word job as a four letter word to me. When we worked out this relationship, I was like, let me be clear. I don’t need a job. I’m not an employee. I’m a consultant. But I do have the skill set and the time and the passion to take the things that I’ve learned in Laundry, Pickup and delivery and teach others all over the country how to do this. And they’ve built a business model that allows that to happen. And I’m just a small part of that, but I’m essentially the operations, the mentor side of things. And so to answer your question, that’s what I spend a lot of my time doing nowadays, because this model just kind of came out nine or ten months ago, and we’ve already got 25, 30 operators on the platform. So I’ve been busy, but I really enjoy it. I do. I enjoy helping others. And so it was a perfect fit for me. So I spend a lot of time doing that, and then I do a lot on vision and marketing. Our new store wouldn’t happen if I wasn’t busy doing all kinds of work for a year or two before we actually opened it. And you know what’s required in that too. So there’s a lot of work that happens before the work starts.

Jordan Berry [01:17:43]:

That’s right.

Dave Menz [01:17:44]:

I know, exactly. Yeah. A big part of building my business the way I did was for, like I said, to leave for my family, that we bust test all those things. But obviously I’m not planning on dying tomorrow. And so a big part of that too, is as long as I am around, I’m freed up to do the things that will take our business to the next level. It kind of goes back to being happy, but not content. I have no intention of just sitting back and writing what I’ve created for the next 30 years until I die someday. I have every intention of continuing to push the envelope, and if I can give back to the industry in any way, then I want to do that. If I can consult or mentor people, I want to do that. If I can literally grow from four to five to ten laundromats or grow my pickup and delivery business into new markets or whatever, then I want to do that. And I don’t believe I’m here to just sit around and watch TV. I like watching football and things like that, but at the same time, I’m here to make a difference. And I believe that God’s put me in the place I’m in right now for a reason. And I have every intention of pursuing that with everything that I have in me. And I don’t believe it’s for the money. I don’t know the bigger purpose a lot of times. I just know that this is where I am, this is the knowledge, the expertise, the opportunity that I have. And so I want to find ways to give back. Of course, I’m limited by time, so I can’t just be on the phone with people for like 30 hours a day. So I have some capacity issues there. And that’s why I started charging for consulting, where I did consulting for years for free, just because I enjoyed helping people. And I would sit on the phone for hours and hours with people and I didn’t want anything from them other than just if I can help you by doing what we’re doing, then I’m happy to do it. And then I realized like, wow, this is becoming really overwhelming because free consulting, that’s a booming business, right? Yeah, and I know you do a lot of consulting too, and so I was like, well I don’t need the money, but I have to somehow justify my time because I only have so much time in the day. And I was just getting calls and emails like crazy and it was very overwhelming. I was like, okay, the only way I know to separate the people that are serious from the people that maybe aren’t quite as serious is to start charging a fair wage for my service. And that’s exactly what has happened. And so I didn’t necessarily do it for the money, but that’s kind of how we’ve evolved. Once again.

Jordan Berry [01:20:13]:

Hey, I love that. Keep evolving, keep stacking. All those skills and talents and where it takes you. Well, hey, this is the part where we like to call it our secret sauce.

Dave Menz [01:20:24]:

Listen up, it’s the secret sauce.

Jordan Berry [01:20:39]:

Already. If you had to narrow it down to the one thing that you see working in your business that you think other laundromat owners can implement today or in the near future, what would that one thing be?

Dave Menz [01:20:54]:

Oh my goodness, there’s a bunch of things I could throw out for that one. If I had to say one thing, I would just say value. That’s a broad term, but I would also use words like genuinely caring, being passionate, wanting to serve your community, wanting to be better tomorrow than you were today, pushing the envelope, all those things fall under that same category of value. But that’s ultimately really what’s been a big. Market differentiator for me and my team and my businesses. And one of the things I try to teach other Laundromat owners is like, if you’re going to do this, you got to do it. You got to go 150 miles an hour and you got to be passionate. You have to care. It has to be sincere. You can’t fake it because people aren’t stupid. They’ll figure it out that you have an ulterior motive or you’re just trying to sell them this or whatever. And that goes down to other Laundromat owners. If you’re mentoring or consulting, it also applies to the self serve customer that walks in the door. If they know you’re just after your $4, it’s like they’re going to see right through you. And they may or may not use you otherwise. But the reality is when they see that you care and that you built a team of people that genuinely care. And when you build something, instead of rolling their eyes and huffing off to get them up that they’re like, don’t worry about know here. And then they’ll give little Johnny a sucker to distract him so mom can do their folding or whatever. Like all those little things, helping people carry their laundry in. Helping them carry their laundry out because they’ve been doing laundry for 4 hours and they’re know giving them a free bottle of water for no reason. Absolutely no reason. I’ll go into my store, I’ll be collecting my Vending and a little kid looking over my shoulder at the Snickers and I’ll be like, is it okay if he has a Reese Cup? I’ll just hand it to him and the kid thinks I’m a millionaire. He’s like, he gave this to me for free. But little things like that, they go a long ways, but they don’t go near as far if they’re not genuine. Yeah, that’s my secret sauce, but it’s very genuine. It is a secret sauce in that sense. But it’s really all about value. Whether it’s the happiness pickup and delivery or it’s my drop off services or my self service stores or for that matter, if I’m ever either a commercial property owner and leasing space to other people, they know that I care about their business in the way that I take care of my property. Because I have some property owners that don’t care. It’s very obvious. And we don’t have as good of a relationship. And I have a property owner that does care, genuinely cares about my business being successful. So those things go a long way no matter what industry you’re in. I really believe that. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:23:39]:

And I think that’s why you’ve reached the level of success you have so far. And that’s why I’m pretty confident you’re going to fly to far higher heights going forward.

Dave Menz [01:23:49]:

Yeah. Thank you.

Jordan Berry [01:23:50]:

That’s an awesome answer.

Dave Menz [01:23:51]:

Thank you.

Jordan Berry [01:23:52]:

So here’s a little section we like to call Pro Tips. Pro Tips specifically for people who I think there’s going to be a lot of people listening to this who are interested in the laundromat industry who aren’t in it yet. What is one tip that you would give to prospective or a new Laundromat owner? Somebody who’s looking to get into the industry. What’s one tip you’d give them?

Dave Menz [01:24:17]:

Kind of going into it. Oh, my goodness. You mean from like a design standpoint or like an operation? No.

Jordan Berry [01:24:25]:

Let’s say I’m brand new and I’m looking to buy a Laundromat. I want to buy a Laundromat. What’s one thing that I need to.

Dave Menz [01:24:33]:

Know going into it? I think there’s really three things I would tell that person and probably have told people. One of them is the beauty of being an entrepreneur and a business owner is you get to decide what your business is and what it isn’t. No one can decide that for you. And that freedom of being able to make those decisions based on what’s important to you is pretty powerful. So take that seriously. Another one that I would say is that networking is really important. Get to know other people in the industry. There’s a lot of knowledge and a lot of expertise out there and there’s a lot of people willing to help you on a lot of different levels based on how much time they have available. And if you do those things, one of the things you’re going to learn in the process of networking is that there’s more than one way to skin a cat in this industry. It may sound like I have a negative association with an unattended Laundromat, I do not. I know phenomenal Laundromat owners that run very well. Run very well, unattended laundromats. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what I was that’s what I wanted to do at one point. And then the last thing I would tell them is don’t be afraid to pivot. Because as you gain knowledge, as you gain expertise, you’re going to wake up one day and be like, a week ago I was a newbie, but now people are calling me a veteran. How did that happen? Because that happened to me. And I was like, whoa, did you just call me a veteran? Did you just call me experience? Six years went by it I still don’t consider ten years. I don’t consider myself a veteran, but a lot of people do. And I guess compared to the guy that just bought a Laundromat last week, I am there’s a lot that goes into those even. But those are the three things I would really tell them. I think maybe the fourth one I’ll throw in there is to have a master plan. But going back to that pivoting, don’t be afraid to pivot. Don’t be afraid to change that master plan. I really believe that if you don’t have a vision of where you’re trying to go, you’ll never get there. I really truly believe that. And so it’s okay to have a very defined vision of where you’re going and then gain new information into the context and change that vision. That’s okay, that’s fine. You don’t have to follow that for 40 years, but you still need to have a vision today, and that vision can change tomorrow. And if you use all those things in kind of a big picture environment, then you’ll methodically make decisions based on all of those things without even really thinking about it. Does that make sense?

Jordan Berry [01:27:07]:

Makes perfect sense.

Dave Menz [01:27:09]:

And that’s a lot of what I’ve done. And I’ve learned a lot of that all the way along the way. Five years, I didn’t do a lot of the things we’re talking about now. And the last five years, I’ve done a lot more of those things. And it goes back to why things like networking are important. Spending time at Queen Show and excellence in laundry and joining the CLA and being on Facebook groups and getting the industry magazines and white papers and all these different things. There’s so much information and so much value out there. And part of why I’m really passionate about our industry is because, like I said, I’ve stolen everything I know and have from someone in some way. Maybe a Tweak here and a Tweak here, and I melted my own model out of that. But nothing I’ve done have I created out of thin air. And so when you begin to understand your success is based on those things, then it should humble you to the point of where you don’t think you’re spectacular. Yes, you’re confident in your team. You know what you do is very good. Maybe even you know that it’s at the top of the industry, but you also know that you’re not special. This is a collaboration of all the things I’ve been talking about for the last hour. And so, once again, I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s just how my brain works. My brain never stops. I’m just like always digging and pivoting and focusing. And sometimes that causes me to do really stupid things. I won’t lie. Sometimes I do things that I’m like. What was I thinking? But I really believe that you can learn from that too. You can learn from your mistakes and your failures, probably more so than you can learn from your successes. Those are a lot of the key things that I tell people are a direct correlation of my success. And so I believe that they would be a key to their success. However they meld that together for them.

Jordan Berry [01:29:01]:

Yeah, that’s gold. That’s seriously gold.

Dave Menz [01:29:06]:

Thank you.

Jordan Berry [01:29:07]:

One other question before we wrap this up is, speaking of everything that you’ve been saying you’ve stolen, do you have a good resource that you’d recommend to other laundromat owners or prospective laundromat owners just to help them develop maybe even just some of the mindset that you have? I’m sure there’s a ton, but you got one or two.

Dave Menz [01:29:30]:

Well, one thing I’ll add on to that, and I hope I don’t ramble too much, is as much information and knowledge as there is in the industry. And there’s a lot you should tap into that. There’s just as much outside of the industry because I’m an entrepreneurial nerd. And what I mean by that is I love the process. It’s not about the product. It’s about the process. It’s about the people. And I really, truly believe that. And so you can learn I have many friends that are in businesses, some own franchises, and some have built franchises and done different things. And I learned tons from them just by having lunch from them. Their business has nothing to do with my business, but some of the things I just told you, I most likely stole from them. Yeah. So there’s a big part of that too, that’s really set pretty deep in me.

Jordan Berry [01:30:14]:

Well, Dave, I think epic is a good word to describe. It’s been really cool getting to talk to you and hear about your story and all your whole journey that’s taking you to this point. And we’re going to have to have you back at some point to hear about this fifth store and to hear.

Dave Menz [01:30:34]:

What direction you’re heading there because we.

Jordan Berry [01:30:36]:

Know you’re going to Pivot quite a.

Dave Menz [01:30:38]:

Few times now and then. Yeah, who knows where I’ll be. I may have a Dairy Queen just out of my Laundromat, who knows? I appreciate you having me on. It’s been great talking to you and getting to know you. I know we’re being recorded and everything, but at the same time, this is a big part of my success, is doing what you and I are doing right now and just networking, meeting each other, getting to know each other. It’s cool that we have the technology available for you to be in California and me to be in Cincinnati and to do this so easily. And so that’s fantastic. And I hope someday that we meet many times face to face over the course of this. But it’s been really cool getting to know you and kind of hearing your story too. So I appreciate you having me on. Thank you.

Jordan Berry [01:31:22]:

And before I let you go, why don’t you tell people how they can get in contact with you? Best ways they can get a hold of you. Maybe they want your consulting or they want to just connect with you and network.

Dave Menz [01:31:35]:

Yeah, they can reach out to me a lot of different ways. I have a couple of email addresses, [email protected], which is just D for Dave. And then my last name, M-E-N-Z or Dave at Laundry Magician is my consulting email address and so they can send it there as well. I don’t know if I’m supposed to do it on a podcast, but my cell phone number is 513-607-1511 and if I get overwhelmed forgive me, but I do plan to get back to people. They can text me, they can call me, and we can chat and talk, and I’ll see if I can help them. I don’t claim to be an expert in every area of the industry, but the things that we’ve encountered and learned from, we feel like we have a pretty good grasp on things. But the last thing I’ll tell people is, like, I’m always doing local events or the excellence in laundry or the clean show and different things like that. And so obviously you have my face. You may see me there, and I have no idea who you are. And so I love meeting people and getting to know people. So if people see this interview and they see me at one of these events, just come up and shake my hand, introduce yourself. Because I can’t have too many friends is kind of the way I look at it. So I like meeting new people and getting to know people, and if I can help them, that’s fantastic, too. Awesome.

Jordan Berry [01:32:53]:

And I’ll have that information down in the show notes, so make sure you check that out and get in contact with Dave. He will be an awesome resource and sounds like just a cool guy. So get to know Dave, shoot him an email or give him a call on his cell phone.

Dave Menz [01:33:09]:

Yep, absolutely.

Jordan Berry [01:33:11]:

That would be awesome.

Dave Menz [01:33:12]:

All right, Dave.

Jordan Berry [01:33:12]:

Well, thanks so much for being on the and, man, I can’t wait. Hopefully we’ll get to meet up here soon, I’m sure, at like, a clean show or something.

Dave Menz [01:33:21]:

Yeah, that’d be fantastic.

Jordan Berry [01:33:22]:

But hopefully before that, we’ll get together.

Dave Menz [01:33:25]:

Yeah, that’d be great. Thanks again for having me. I appreciate it.

Jordan Berry [01:33:27]:

Thank you. Wow. If you’re still here, I don’t know how you couldn’t be just soaking all that up from Dave, but if you’re still here, then, hey, congratulations to you. You made it through. This is a long episode, but packed, jam packed full of great practical tips, but probably even more so. Just mindset, you know, one of the big things that I pulled away from this episode is just that keyword that kept coming up over and over, which was value. Dave is all about value and bringing value to customers. And sometimes I think it can get easy, at least for me. Maybe you feel this way, too. The Laundromat industry can be kind of a relatively hands off business. It doesn’t require your full attention all week long, necessarily. And so I can lose sight, know, how am I bringing value to my you know, Dave is just hyper focused on that, and that’s what he’s built his business on, and it has served him.

Dave Menz [01:34:36]:


Jordan Berry [01:34:37]:

I’m definitely bringing that away from this episode and from talking with Dave and getting to know him just as a person. And I hope you’re bringing something like that away, too. I’m positive that everyone listening to this brought something valuable away from it. So thank you again for listening to the Laundromat Resource podcast. This is Jordan on show number two. We’ll see you next week. Signing off.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 3 with Tony Dankbaar

Jordan Berry [00:00:03]:

You’re listening to the Laundry Mat Resource Podcast, the show by Laundromat Owners for Laundromat Owners, with your host, Jordan Barry. Hey, welcome. I really like that one. I like that one a lot. Welcome, guys. This is Jordan from the Laundromat Resource Podcast and I’m just excited you’re here today. Today we’re going to head down under. All right, quick confession. I am the worst at doing any accent, so I probably just shouldn’t do them. People make fun of me all the time, so maybe I’ll just stop. Probably not, but maybe I will. But today we’re going to head to Sydney, Australia and hear a very cool story and I’ll tell you about that in a second. But before we get to it, I just wanted to take a second and say thanks for listening. It really means a lot to me that you’re listening here and I hope that you’re finding some value with this podcast so far. If you’ve listened to a couple of episodes and they’ve been at all entertaining or helpful for you, or hopefully both, do us a favor here and make sure you subscribe to this podcast not only so you don’t miss. Out on these awesome stories and this great content that’s going to help you out, but also it helps us out a lot when you subscribe and if you give us a rating and review that just not only gives us just some constructive feedback, but also will help us get out there. The reason that we’re doing this is because we want to help as many people as we can find financial freedom through Laundromat ownership. And that’s why we’re here. That’s what we’re doing, why we’re doing what we’re doing. And by subscribing and giving us a rating and review, that just really helps us kind of get out there so that we can bring you more and more quality content. And yeah, so do us a favor and do that. But today, show number three, we are heading to Sydney, Australia, and we’re going to talk with Toby Donkvar, and he is a brand spanking new Laundromat owner. When we talked, he had owned his Laundromat for three weeks. It had been open. Him and his business partner opened it three weeks ago. And it’s just really cool to hear some of this fresh perspective. But not only that, they have a very cool concept behind why they’re doing what they’re doing and how they’re doing what they’re really it really impressed me just how thought through their business model is. And I think you’re going to get inspired by it. I know that I was, and I’m actually implementing some changes in the way that I’m operating and thinking about my business based off of Toby and his business partner and how they’re operating. It was really inspiring for me. So do not miss it. But before we bring in Toby, here’s a quick message. Buying and selling a business is a big step in your financial journey. And not all business brokers are created equal. By working with the best business brokers in your area, you’ll make more money and save more time, propelling you towards your financial goals as brokers, laundromat owners and real estate investors ourselves, we at Laundromat Resource know what a knowledgeable and trustworthy broker looks like. That’s why we offer a free to you service to help you find the best business broker in your area. We will weed out the bad and untrustworthy brokers and present you with the shortlist of the best two to three brokers in your area. You choose who to work with. There’s no obligation and no contracts to sign with us. Why risk working with a bad broker and leaving money on the table? So if you’re in the market to buy or sell a Laundromat, go to buy or sell today and let us help you find the best team to work with. All right, I’m not going to hold the suspense any longer. Let’s go down to Australia and bring in Toby. All right, we are here with Toby. Toby, thank you so much for being on the Laundromat Resource podcast. We’re excited that you’re here today.

Toby Dankbaar [00:04:36]:

Thanks Jordan. Yeah, really excited to be here as well and yeah, can’t wait to share our story with whoever’s listening.

Jordan Berry [00:04:42]:

Yeah, well, we can’t wait to hear it, but before we kind of get jumped into what you’re doing right now because you have a really interesting business model and a really interesting thing that you’re doing. But before we get into that, I would love for you to just share with us a little bit about who you are and how you got into the Laundromat industry.

Toby Dankbaar [00:05:04]:

Sounds good. I grew up in Sydney, Australia. I spent all my high school years here and then actually was fortunate enough to head over to the US to Seattle and got a scholarship on the rowing team there. So spent some time in the States, came back and did my Masters in Sydney and then landed in Hong Kong for four years as a rowing coach. So definitely if there was a word to describe me, it’s world traveled and sort of had a really unique opportunity to explore parts of the world and meet lots of great people. And then in terms of the story of how I got into Laundromat ownership would be that about two years ago, one of my friends and now business partner sort of approached me with the concept of modern laundry. His parents were visiting from Spain, visiting him here in Sydney for his wedding and they stayed in Slash sort of Potts Point area where we have our Laundromat now. And they stayed in an airbnb which didn’t have laundry, so they had to use one of the local Laundromats and they just said to Carlos, why is everything so nice in Sydney? But then when we went to the Laundromat, there was some friction in the experience. So yeah, just got in thinking about why and sort of he did some initial research and then given my background in marketing and sort of retail and branding, he approached me and we sort of went from there.

Jordan Berry [00:06:48]:

Yeah, that’s pretty funny that you say that because I think that that’s kind of a universal experience for a lot of people in Laundromat where you can be in the nicest areas and for whatever reason, there’s just so many Laundromats that are so run down and old and dingy. So that’s pretty funny. But yeah, good on you guys for finding that problem and figuring out a solution to it.

Toby Dankbaar [00:07:14]:

Thanks, man. I think yeah, definitely. We hope that what we’ve kind of we’re three weeks into our business now in terms of opening the doors to the public and the response has been great so far. But yeah, just hope that we have sort of met a need in the market and that what we’ve presented is something that people both want to use and will advocate for and get a really good experience with. So we’re excited.

Jordan Berry [00:07:45]:

So cool. Well, can you tell me a little bit about how the process of actually getting to that .3 weeks ago where you opened the doors? How did you get to that point? From idea a couple of years ago all the way to throwing those doors open a few weeks ago?

Toby Dankbaar [00:08:00]:

Yeah, would love to share it. We both kept our full time job, so it meant that hence why it was sort of a two year process. So, yeah, just started with meeting at least once a week. Sort of going over how we wanted to, I guess, what would be our vision for a modern laundry, how we wanted to approach the business, what sort of experience we would want if we were to go have a need to use a laundromat. Given that if we were residents, it would normally be that you either had no internal laundry or a shared laundry, which is the case in the suburb that we’re based in or the community. And then also if we were traveling, there’s a big backpacker and tourist sort of population in this area, people traveling through, people staying in the local backpackers and hotels, given its proximity to Sydney CBD. So, yeah, just really, I guess, meeting frequently, sharing ideas, speaking with other people that we either knew in the industry or that worked in the industry, reaching out to our network and sort of I guess when you have an idea, then it’s like, well, is the business model viable? Is this something we want to be doing? Are we passionate about laundry? Yeah, I guess all the things that sort of come with that initial phase and then once we sort of made up our mind that we really wanted to give this and have the confidence that we could give this a crack, we sort of met more frequently, started to set up a company. I guess a lot of people say during the process, oh, don’t share your ideas because someone will just copy you. And then when you set up a business, you realize, well, actually there’s a lot that goes into being able to swing the doors open. So I definitely say don’t be afraid to share things and ask for help and all those types of things because an idea is just an idea. It’s what you do with it.

Jordan Berry [00:10:31]:

Yeah, I love that too, because we’re talking before we hit the record button. But there’s such a scarcity mindset in the laundromat industry, and you made the great point that of all businesses, laundromats don’t need to have a scarcity mindset because it’s a necessity. It’s one of the main needs that people have. And we all benefit when we share those ideas and learn from each other. And so I love that.

Toby Dankbaar [00:10:56]:

I think that’s great. Yeah, I guess we want to sort of advocate and push more for that, not only within the laundromat industry, but sort of across industry and sector as well. Absolutely.

Jordan Berry [00:11:12]:

So you kind of went through and essentially created a business model that you wanted to work towards and went through the process of creating the actual business, which is not necessarily the funnest part of the deal, but how did you decide if it was a good business model or not? You mentioned trying to figure that out just through talking with people or did you do any specific market research or how’d you do that?

Toby Dankbaar [00:11:48]:

Yeah, it was a combination, definitely. I think both my business partner and I and our network have either know people that have run their own businesses or are involved in high levels within organizations, both sort of big corporates and small businesses. So yeah, the process was mostly through initially, I guess, a lot of talking with people and then also doing a lot of market research in the area that we sort of thought there was the most need in terms of population density. As I said, people with either shared or no internal laundry that are currently experiencing some friction in their laundry experience, or that sort of transient backpacker tourist hub, which some areas tend to be. So we went around to all the different laundromats in the area, looked at what service they were offering, what was the experience like, the comfort, what were any of the pain points, what areas did we like? And we also look globally for inspiration in which laundries are doing it well, which kind of have a clear value proposition, which are communicating areas beyond just doing laundry. Whether it be something around the environment or comfort or just offering something unique, a unique selling proposition that they might have. Whether it be laundry and beer or laundry and coffee. I guess people have definitely put lots of different spins to the way they do it. But I think if the idea started with a customer in mind, then that’s the right way to go about it. That’s sort of where we in terms of market research, of just sort of looking at euromonitor and different things around the industry as a whole and then sort of narrowing down to ours is specifically a self service laundry. For people coming in off the streets. And then we offer a pickup and delivery service for small businesses in the area, looking after things like towels, tea towels, that type of thing. It was just sort of again, with the businesses in mind, seeing the saturation of small businesses in the area, are they using Laundromats? Are they using the big conglomerates that kind of give you the textiles and then have a contract with you to wash those? Yeah, just really sort of, I guess because having one laundry, which we do at the moment, but hopefully more, is quite localized and specific to an area, you kind of need to be in there kind of we were at least coming to the area. We don’t live in the area, but we were coming to the area at least once or twice a week just to kind of sit and understand what are the needs of this community as far as their laundry. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:15:05]:

Okay, so you thought it was a good idea and you kind of set it up. So did you guys build it from the ground up? Did you buy an existing one and renovate it?

Toby Dankbaar [00:15:14]:

How did that all work out? We built it from the ground up. Yes. So we kind of looked at is there any franchise type model out there that is hitting the mark? We couldn’t find any. Not that we wanted to do that, but we just thought it’d be worth sort of looking and yeah, since I guess, as you said, a lot of the Laundromat that you see are maybe not outdated, but just kind of have been there existing for a while, we yeah. Just said, look, let’s let’s put our mind to building this from the ground up, doing it the way we want to do it, being in control of the decisions that we want to make. So everything from finding a commercial lease, the space, to setting up the company, to finding the equipment, so the washers and dryers, we wanted to use the pump system detergent. Yeah, pretty much every decision came down to the two of us. So it was just sort of methodically thinking through starting with the customer, what the end experience we wanted to be and then working backwards from that as far as how we resource different things and had different conversations. And it was strange because often we found a lot of the questions we were asking. Some of either the suppliers or people that are in the industry hadn’t really heard before, or they would quite often say, like, here’s the way it’s currently being done, but often we were sort of like, well, I think for the customer, this can definitely be rethought and sort of reimagined. So that’s the way we went about it. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:17:10]:

That’s awesome. I love that. I love that you’re injecting sort of fresh ideas and fresh just ways of looking at running a Laundromat. I think that’s needed in our industry and I think that’s the way forward it’s moving that direction. What are some of those things that you consider maybe a little more unique to your Laundromat? I know you have a unique sort of premise. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about your Laundromat, your specific Laundromat and what the idea behind it is.

Toby Dankbaar [00:17:48]:

Of course. Yeah. So I guess it all starts with our vision. So almost from session one, we probably jotted down maybe ten or so key points that we thought were the way we wanted to do things. So our vision is that with the planet at the heart of every decision we make, we wanted to be the company that best understands and satisfies the laundry needs of the community that we’re in. So with that vision, that sort of determined the way that we set things up. So I guess in terms of the environment part, we just look to do things or what we thought at the time would be the best for the planet. So everything from the plant based biodegradable detergent that we’re using, the way that with our supplier of that detergent, we’re able to send back the drums that they come in to be washed out and refilled. So there’s a nice lifecycle around that. Very cool. The efficiency of the machinery that we’re using. So we’re using the Quantum touch line from Speed Queen. So the ability to does the right amount of water based on the cycle that people are choosing, the option for people to opt for cold wash should they want and still get a really good clean, given that about 70% of a washer’s energy consumption goes to heating the water. So, yeah, just really thinking around, I guess, in my own laundry use and also my business partners, we were just in our home washing, just doing what we’ve been shown by our parents, which was kind of just throw a bunch of chemical in with your stuff. Choose hot water. Choose boiling hot water, because that’s going to get everything clean. Don’t mix your colors in whites, throw in a ton of softener, all that type of stuff. So we just said like, well, is it needed? And then we went back to testing it ourselves, seeing who was doing best practices to who was getting a great result without really putting harsh chemicals into our water system. Were we being honest about the result in terms of is this really getting things clean? So yeah, efficiency of the washers and dryers was big, but also in terms of uniqueness around the experience for the customer. I guess I keep coming back to that because that was sort of always where we based the decision we made. And we said, well, if we want to best understand and satisfy the laundry needs of a community, then we need to start with the customers or the people in that community. Hence things like we made our model completely cashless because Australia is one of the fastest adopters of cashless payment. So everyone was always know, oh, we love that, or we hate carrying, hate needing to change coins or carry coins. And also we’ve got a pump system which means that no one needs to bring any of their own detergent to our laundry. So it’s adding convenience for travelers because they’re going to be here for a few days. They don’t want to buy a big jug of liquid if they’re only going to use it once or twice. And also the benefit of, I guess less plastic going to landfill just based on the fact that we’re providing the detergent complementary with each wash. So, yeah, just things around that convenience, that speed really thinking through each part of the customer journey, whether that be before they arrive, being able to look on the website and see the status of machines, how many are being used, how long left in each cycle through to once they arrive. Sort of clearly stating how to use the machines. The touch screen. Yeah. Just keeping it super simple, but really effective at getting your clothes clean and then dry if you choose to.

Jordan Berry [00:22:28]:

Yeah, man, I think that’s awesome. First of all, thank you on my behalf for my kids and for doing your part and making sure that the earth is going to be around and in good shape for them and grandkids and stuff. I think that that’s huge. I would love for the laundromat industry to be thinking the same way. And it sounds like what you’re doing would be a good model for people who are building new laundromats to kind of take a look at and to utilize in their builds too. Because not only is it great for the environment and a great customer experience, but the convenience factor of not having to bring your own detergent, not worry about that, and having the cashless system is awesome for the customer, but it’s also awesome for you, I would assume you’re not collecting all those coins.

Toby Dankbaar [00:23:28]:

Definitely. Yeah. No, actually it means that everything feeds into kind of an insights platform that we have real time data on how many turns per day, exactly how much revenue we can even start to factor in. We haven’t got our first water, gas and electricity bills yet, but once we do, we can factor in, basically have an average cost per cycle on each machine and work out exactly how much see cash flow live, basically how much are we spending and how much are we bringing in. Plus the benefit of things like maintenance, which machines are being used more frequently. So we could move washer one into position three and that one gets a little bit more used to kind of keep maintenance down low. Things like cleaning out lin filters more regularly based on how often the closest dryer to the washer is getting used, which tends to be right now the most, because our experience is kind of as you come in, it’s a square shape, so it’s wash on the right and then dry sort of in the middle, directly in front of you. And then there’s like a relaxed sort of chill out zone with charging ports and free WiFi and complementary filtered water and reading material and stuff like that on the left. So it tends to be that the dryers right sort of first in line as you get to the drying station are the ones that are used most frequently. But, yeah, great to be able to see that stuff based on being completely cashless, as you said.

Jordan Berry [00:25:18]:

Yeah, I love that because right now in my laundromats, I’m getting a lot of that data, but I’m having to use spreadsheets to do and it’s just not the most convenient. I’m chomping at the bit to get just that data a little more precise and a little more easily consumed than a spreadsheet.

Toby Dankbaar [00:25:38]:

Definitely. Yeah, we all look at too many spreadsheets already.

Jordan Berry [00:25:42]:

I know.

Toby Dankbaar [00:25:43]:

Happy to share some information on what we’re currently using after this and then see if there isn’t something that you can implement for your business.

Jordan Berry [00:25:56]:

Yeah, I would love that. Well, I want to hear about some of the numbers, but real quick before we get into I know your Laundromat is new and it’s kind of fun to see one just blossoming and to see how it’s doing and hear how it’s doing and what’s been going well and what’s been a struggle or just different than you expected? But before we get into that, I’m curious as to what over the last few weeks that you’ve been open. What does your work week look like and what do you kind of anticipate it looking like down the road?

Toby Dankbaar [00:26:30]:

Yeah, good question. Both my business partner and I have been here a fair bit and that was always in our minds. Because even though we want the model to be mostly self service, we thought that definitely with something quite new and modern. There needed to be a bit of an education phase on everything from usability of the touch screen to just being here to learn really was sort of what we said the first year is just for us is going to be a lot of learning and improving. And we definitely went into this with sort of what in the startup world, you call a bit like a minimum viable product. Not meaning that we hadn’t refined or got as close to what we thought we wanted from the start, but just that we knew we were going to be constantly getting feedback and improving on everything from the touch screens to the experience. But, yeah, I’d say it’s been long days, both being observing customers in the shop while being kind of a host. So people come in, we would show them how to use the touch screen, educate them on the model if it was their first time in here. And that’s proved to be, I think, big part of why people have sort of advocated and spread word of mouth because of our willingness to kind of or just openness to sort of eager to show people how to use the machines and to remove that. I always felt like when I went into a laundromat that if it was my first time there I was a bit unsure on which machine to use, what to do. Am I welcome in here? Is this one for customers or for them to use for their airbnbs or whatever they’re doing? So it’s just nice to kind of have someone there to sort of talk you through it on the first one. And then we’ve also left on some days a completely self service. We have the ability just to lock all the areas that are sort of either back of house or sustainable retail away and observe it as people come in and it was been funny to see the shift in people that have used it a few times actually start to educate customers that come in for the first time. Just really love to sit. It was great to see that we sort of got CCTV cameras that can monitor the shop but it’s more so been just not a security thing but actually just seeing how people move around the space and talk with each other and share information. It has been long hours to start, probably 60, 70 hours, weeks on average but we do see that shifting as we our vision for what we’re doing as owners is more towards my business partner and I are more managing corporate pickup and delivery service for gyms and cafes and salons in the area plus other small businesses. That will be our focus if we’re actually physically in the shop and also being host as people come in during those hours. But then for the model to be self service for a majority of the other parts of the day. So it’s exciting to be able to get to that point. The harder we work now the quicker sooner we can get to that point. I think because of my business partner Carlos, his experience with his wife owns a really successful petitioner in Floristry close by actually in Woolamalu. So where we are in Potts Point and just hearing her not so much struggles but the fact that as owners they’re quite operationally involved in as you can imagine the preparation of the desserts and the pastry part but also what goes into the flour. So that for the first few years it was difficult to manage the other parts of your business which you really need to focus on if you’re going to grow. We had that in mind quite early. That. We said as much as we love to be take bag drops and do people’s laundry and be there all the time, we also said well if we’re going to really with a vision of spreading this to the areas that need it and if we’re going to really truly make an impact on laundry being more sustainable than we need to be in more than one location, So how do we free up our time to look for site two, do the marketing, talk to businesses and just run and grow our business based on having the time and the resources to be able to do that?

Jordan Berry [00:31:59]:

Yeah that’s sort of phase two of well that kind of leads to the next question is you alluded to the fact that you’re hoping to get more. So what direction are you heading towards in the future? Are you hoping to get more? Are you hoping to get a lot more or what’s your current thinking?

Toby Dankbaar [00:32:22]:

We sort of broke it down into sort of short, medium and long term without being too specific. I think we definitely have goals and our objectives to meet those goals but we didn’t want to I guess we just sort of said like let’s make this a little bit more organic and this isn’t just a five or ten year thing and then we’re done. We saw it more as I guess an endless game in that sense that this can go as long or as short as we want it to but I guess our short term is to have two within we want to have our second location open by the end of the year. That’s sort of a big push at the moment and then I guess we’re looking to have four or five in the next sort of probably five years. Probably four in the next five years would be great and then yeah from there I guess we’ve also talked at the opportunity of either doing more of our own or potentially looking at something like a licensing model to allow us to spread this to more areas that need it.

Jordan Berry [00:33:37]:

Really very cool. I like that, I like that it’s big goals but those are all very attainable goals I feel like. So I think you might even find that after you get a couple under your belt and you really learn it all, it might accelerate even more quickly than you’re expecting.

Toby Dankbaar [00:33:59]:

Yeah that’d be great. Yeah that’d be a nice thing to have I guess with my background in retail as well, I guess I’ve also seen when that hasn’t gone so well, so yeah, definitely make sure that it isn’t just growth for growth’s sake but we’re ready to grow and that we’re growing for the right reasons. I think that will kind of be the determining factor.

Jordan Berry [00:34:26]:


Toby Dankbaar [00:34:27]:


Jordan Berry [00:34:28]:

Well, I mean, it sounds like you’re doing everything real smart. So let’s get down to business.

Toby Dankbaar [00:34:36]:

Let’s get down to business. Over and out.

Jordan Berry [00:34:40]:

I know your Laundromat is freshly opened, and so we’ll just kind of keep that in mind. But just out of curiosity, let’s learn a little bit about your Laundromat. So you said you’re in Sydney, right?

Toby Dankbaar [00:34:52]:

That’s right. Yeah. So we’re in Potts Point, which is about maybe a ten minute walk to the Sydney CBD, five minutes by train. It’s right near the famous King’s Cross area and yeah, great area. Really awesome community. A lot of the residents have been very supportive, a lot of the small businesses all coming by to say hello and wish us the best and offer extend an invite to different things and let them know if they can help in any way, things like that. Yeah, it’s a cool area. Very happy to be in this community.

Jordan Berry [00:35:33]:

Yeah, that’s awesome. I love that the businesses are supportive in the area. So you have one right now with hopes of another one by the end of the year.

Toby Dankbaar [00:35:43]:


Jordan Berry [00:35:44]:

And did you lease the space or did you buy the real estate?

Toby Dankbaar [00:35:50]:

We leased the space. Okay. And then it turned out that our landlord became our builder. He actually has his own construction company and does retail fit out? So, yeah, we had nice benefits in that and kind of working towards the same goal and vision, which is we’re, I guess, very blessed to have that opportunity to partner together on that. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:36:21]:

Whenever you can kind of align your interests with the landlord’s interest, that’s a good thing.

Toby Dankbaar [00:36:26]:


Jordan Berry [00:36:28]:

So what are you charging for your washes?

Toby Dankbaar [00:36:33]:

Yeah, we’re going to be going on aussie prices here.

Jordan Berry [00:36:35]:

Yeah, that’s all right.

Toby Dankbaar [00:36:41]:

Our smallest washer is 9.5 kg, so probably a little bit bigger than actually most Laundromats in this area. They they normally start, you know, around the sort of some of them have a four, you know, three to four kilo machine and then sort of ranging up to maybe a seven or eight, and then their biggest might be a ten. So we sort of started with the sort of higher range. So for 9.5 kilos, including our premium detergent, it’s $7.50. We then have a 14 kilogram machine, which is $12.18 kilogram machine, which is $15. We then have our two sizes of dryer to support the relating washers. So 14 kilogram washer is $7.50 for 36 minutes, which we’re still testing and playing around with the timing there. And then our 20 kilo machine is $10. So we’ve got three of the 9.5 washers, two of the 14 kilogram washers, one of the 18. So quite a small we’re just operating in about a 42 meters squared space, a lot smaller than the typical Big Mecca Laundries in the States. Those are all the reasoning. Now, here what the big lots of machines. Yeah. So we stripped that right back and just said, let’s make what we do more efficient and kind of incentivize people to keep things moving through the process. And then we have four of the 14 kilogram dryers and two of the 20 to support both the 18 kilogram washer and some of the 14 sort of the more heavily loaded 14 grams washers as well. Yeah. Twelve machines in total. Currently, just because of the way that our card reader has been set up, we’re not able to sort of offer like a Multiven type price where, say, you add an extra Rinse or a Sanitize, you’re not able to adjust the single pulse amount on the card reader. But that’s in development at the moment and we hope to be able to look at different ways to price based on kind of just to meet our customers where they are. But also, yeah, I guess a lot of that for us has been just communicating our value proposition, given that we are, I guess, slightly more than competitors in the area. But then when we’ve broken it down sort of price per kilo, it becomes a lot more comparable. So that sometimes just have been a bit of an easier way for our potential customer to understand what they’re getting, the value they’re getting, rather than just looking at the price.

Jordan Berry [00:39:43]:

Yeah, I’m going to be honest with you, I have no frame of reference for anything you just said. I have to go do research because I don’t know what a kilogram is and I don’t know what an aussie dollar is worth and I don’t know what a square meter is. So you just gave me a bunch.

Toby Dankbaar [00:39:59]:

Of yeah, there you go. Perfect. I’m sure maybe you won’t be the only one, but yeah, I guess we’re definitely probably slightly higher than competitors in the area and in the market, but we think what we’re offering is definitely worth the value that we’re providing. And given that we do see such a range of residents that might live in the area that given its proximity to the city, have a fair bit of disposable income to someone that’s just backpacking 18 years old, they’ve come from landed from Europe and they might just be looking at bottom dollar. But if you are able to kind of communicate your value in that limited time that you have their attention. Often we’ve seen that people have just made the choice to want to get their clothes either a little bit cleaner because of the more modern equipment, the premium detergent, a more relaxed atmosphere, somewhere to sit, somewhere to use WiFi, all those little things. Customer how they come to their purchasing decision, that’s probably been one of the main challenges for us, is just that value proposition, which I think if I was to say one to give takeaways would be making sure that you’re constantly working on what value you’re providing rather than just looking at lowest price all the time.

Jordan Berry [00:41:41]:

I think that’s the spot to be too. I think being slightly higher than other people but offering significantly more value like you’re doing. I think that’s a sweet spot and it’s going to serve you well in the long run. So kudos to you.

Toby Dankbaar [00:41:56]:


Jordan Berry [00:41:58]:

Yeah. You may not know this yet, but do you have any feel of how many turns per day you’re doing?

Toby Dankbaar [00:42:07]:

Yeah, actually because of that insights platform that we have where we have very clear data yeah. So last week, which was our third week, we did 3.2 turns per machine per day, which is actually yeah, we thought we’d be at that mark by about month four. So a little ahead of our projections. And that was purely self service, so that wasn’t any of the corporate like we’ve got four corporate clients that we service currently a couple of cafes and a massage place and speaking with the gym today, which is exciting. But 3.2 turns, which was about an 800% increase on the week before in terms of revenue. So yeah. Going the right way, you keep at.

Jordan Berry [00:43:02]:

That 800% a week growth and you’re going to be in good shape in no time.

Toby Dankbaar [00:43:07]:

That’s right. Yeah. But I guess it’s been good for us to see that we were, I guess, quite conservative in our projections and that we’re sort of been hitting them or meeting them nearly every day. It’s a good place to be in financially and for your cash flow when you’ve made sure that you’ve got enough money there to support both your growth but also just fixed and variable costs that you’ll incur. Yeah. Good.

Jordan Berry [00:43:44]:

Okay, so right now you and your partner are attending it, is that correct?

Toby Dankbaar [00:43:50]:

That’s right. Yes. So we are splitting our time sort of half days and sometimes we both stay the full day, but we are also leaving to see other sites and to have meetings and to just go for a walk to talk to businesses. So attended probably half of the day and then unattended the other half at the moment. Okay, good. And we’ve just kind of base that on where we’ve seen there’s quiet times we even just sometimes sit back of house answering emails creating delivering our marketing campaigns reaching out to building our CRM or customer relationship management tool. To reach out to the businesses that we want to be speaking with proactively and understanding what are their needs and who are they currently using and what was our last interaction with them. It all takes time and energy to do that. So that was why we said as nice as it would be, just to make as much revenue as possible, perhaps stepping back and away from it a little bit to focus on other areas is in the long run going to be the way to go. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:45:10]:

Are you guys doing any online advertising or offline advertising.

Toby Dankbaar [00:45:20]:

Not really. Wouldn’t say advertising, definitely marketing. We’re not spending anything online. We are actively looking. And I guess my background in marketing has been executing marketing campaigns from social media. So we’re on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, anywhere where our customers going to be and wanting to connect with the brands that they buy from or learn from or know. We said that we didn’t just want to market or engage people at the moment of them, but our approach wasn’t that we want to just tell people to buy from us all the time. We want to provide value early on in their customer journey. I guess for laundry, customer journey is ongoing, right? So we wanted to someone looks up a blog on how to wash more sustainably, they might find our content, they might learn a little bit about us, what we’re know, what detergent we’re know, settings for your washer and dryer, that type of, you know, we’ve got a Google My Business page that we’re constantly updating. We’ve got some flies that we printed on recycled paper that we made specific to the promotion that we wanted to run. So we ran like a little opening promotion where we incentivize people to download the Speed Queen app which then connects with our store, which is our loyalty program. So we offer our customers, our loyal customers, every $75 they spend, they get 10% of that back to use towards a complimentary wash or dry. Nice. But the app also acts as their eyes and ears for the laundry. If they want to leave, they can look on the app and see exactly how long on their wash is left or they’re dry. They could go and get a coffee and get a text message or email saying your laundry will be ready in four minutes. Head back to the lab to keep moving it through the cycle. So convenience for the customer, ease of use. You can look in the app and see which machines are being used before you come down to see if it’s a busy or quiet time to come. You can also just lots of benefits in the app. You can preload your account with credit there. So as soon as you get there, connect with a washer, pay for it right there and then and put your things in and off you go. That’s awesome. I love know. Well we had the benefit of the app that’s being developed by Speed Queen. We definitely said we don’t just want an app for an app sake or because we get data. It was more just the data is a nice benefit of this because as they sign up, they need to put in their name and email and phone number and all that good stuff that eventually, when we do have value to offer them, whether it be an invite tour of the events that we run, like we’re going to run some sustainably focused events in our space, working with local artists, with local businesses to just share stories on what they might be doing a particular industry or how they’re living a more eco friendly or eco friendly lifestyle, things like that. When we come out with new blog content, if they’ve read before, we’ve got a place where they can subscribe and get more of that, all that type of stuff. It’s just less transactional and more just being a brand that people associate or think of when they have a need to do their laundry.

Jordan Berry [00:49:24]:

I love all of that. I think what you guys are doing is so cool. Just on multiple levels from building it from the ground up was that scary, by the way, building that thing from the ground up, never done it before and doing things a little bit differently than what you’ve seen around. And that seems scary.

Toby Dankbaar [00:49:43]:

Yeah, I think there’s definitely always, I guess with any business, probably going to be some fear associated. For both my business partner and I, this was our first venture into the entrepreneurial world, so there was definitely that fear. But then, yeah, building something that I guess a lot of the initial research and things we’ve done is just going to be based on assumptions, right? Like, you can never fully know that there’s that need there until you’re open. And even though someone might take one of your questionnaires and say that, yes, they’re experiencing like when they get to their shared laundry, it’s always full and people have left powder on the floor and the machines are old. So, yeah, there was the fear, but now it’s nice to see that. I guess if you have spent the time really doing it the right way and thinking about it the right way, that we’re hearing a lot of these stories now come up. Real evidence of people that have said, my building just got top loaders and put something in and it ripped up my cashmere thing, here I am. It’s easier for me to come here and know that I can get a good wash quality. So it was interesting to hear that even some of our assumptions that were like, no one’s going to walk more than 500 meters to do their laundry, whereas we’ve had people come from suburbs that might be 510 kilometers away just because they found us on Google and we had our hours updated. Simple things like that, that you’re like, wow, who knew, right, until you’re there. But yeah, I’d say definitely don’t be turned off by the fear. Just let it motivate you to really put the time in to do the right type of research and invest it to give work, to be confident in your assumptions. And then when you do have the chance to test, know, make sure that you do and then improve your yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:51:50]:

Very, very Lean Startup of you.

Toby Dankbaar [00:51:52]:

I love actually. Yeah. Is it Dan? I think his it. I’ve actually read that during the whole phase. So we did take a lot of that lean startup approach which is sort of built on the sort of Japanese manufacturing model through to I guess we thought of our laundry as a startup and less of just starting a laundromat business, if that makes sense.

Jordan Berry [00:52:22]:

Yeah, everything you’re saying is just resonating with me. I love the way that just your guys’mindset is coming into it and how you’re thinking about everything and I don’t know, I think you’re destined to be going like gangbusters in no time. Like you are already this little segment I like to call The Secret Sauce. Listen up. It’s the secret sauce.

Toby Dankbaar [00:52:54]:

You um what I want to know.

Jordan Berry [00:53:01]:

From you is, you know, and, and you know, taking into account it’s early still, but what’s something that you found is is really working well for you that other owners could implement in their business and see good results in their business too.

Toby Dankbaar [00:53:20]:

I think for us it’s been having a purpose, if that makes sense. So as I said from early on, we sort of said like, are we going to be fulfilled just by hopefully or just by the thought of making lots of money? Which was you do need a business to operate. But we also just said having that purpose of delivering on our vision of being better for the planet, but also really looking to understand the laundry needs of your customer, at least for me. I can’t speak for Carlos, but I know he feels the same way. It’s given just that extra bit of motivation and like a self purpose, if you will. So not just a purpose for the business, but something in my own life that when I might be sitting there at 11:00 p.m.. When my wife’s and baby have gone to bed and I could easily fall asleep because I’ve had a long day, I’m there looking through the B Corporation website. B Corp being like they’re a not for profit that helps for profit businesses balance purpose with profit. So they come in and you do a self assessment and then they come and independently verify you based on your social and environmental performance and then give you the certificate. And I think there’s about three and a half thousand brands globally now that are part of this B Corp. But yeah, just having that purpose that gives you that little bit of motivation. I’m getting up at about 05:00 a.m at the moment to make the hour bus ride into the lab each morning. And having that purpose of, well, this isn’t just like a money making process for us, which hopefully comes to, but it’s something a little bit more and just now hearing the feedback from customers and educating them and seeing their own habits change as well, and oh, I didn’t know that. I didn’t realize that a washer can be more effective when it’s a little bit more full because of the friction between the clothes and the agitation. A lot of people tend to want to put which is strange to see people want to spend more just because they think a bigger washer is going to get a better clean. Or they might think that hot water is always best, or they might think that they need to put a harsh bleach or chemical in to remove a stain. So it’s that education and that knowing that what we’re doing, hopefully is both better for the customer and the planet and being able to make a difference. And a bit of a change has been what’s at least really motivated and driven us to keep pursuing that.

Jordan Berry [00:56:28]:

Yeah, probably getting sick of hearing me say it, but I just love what you’re saying, and I think you’re right. I think having a big why, a big reason, a big purpose of why you’re doing what you’re doing and I think for a lot of business owners in general and laundromat owners too, it’s easy to slip into the this is something that I use to make money. And we forget about the customers, we forget about the importance of how we’re doing things and why we’re doing the things we’re doing. And just having that at the forefront, kind of driving you and motivating you and helping you, guiding the decisions you’re making, I think is huge. So yeah, thanks for that secret sauce. That’s a valuable one.

Toby Dankbaar [00:57:18]:

I like that.

Jordan Berry [00:57:20]:

Pro Tips I want you to speak to you maybe six months ago. Somebody who’s new, who’s maybe an investor or a business owner who wants to get into the laundromat industry. Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who’s new or to yourself six months a year ago?

Toby Dankbaar [00:57:42]:

I think what we’ve learned through this whole process is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Both of your network and also people that might be in a position or where you want to get to or own a laundry that you see is operating really well. I think at least for both of us at the start, we were maybe the first few weeks, sort of keeping it just between ourselves. And then as we started to realize that, well, we both don’t have an accounting background and we’ve never run a business, and we just started to realize that this isn’t a burden that you’re putting on people by asking them for help. It’s actually. People like to help people get a sense of that. They feel just as rewarded as you do when they do help, and that it really helps to speed up the process and think through some of these complicated things. That might just be spinning through your head that would take you a lot longer to get the answer to if you didn’t reach out to those people and just the opportunities that it opens up as well. As far as partnerships and exploring different avenues that you might not have thought of that suddenly become really important parts of your business model or what you’re doing in terms of sustainability or thinking about things a little bit differently or how to manage your time a little bit better, all those things. Yeah, that would be probably the pro tip that I would share is ask your family, ask your friends, you’re probably going to get a lot of people, some of them just sort of not being that responsive just because it is laundry and it doesn’t excite everyone. But you’ll get a lot of people that believe in you and want to see you do well and want to share their thoughts and their experience with you.

Jordan Berry [00:59:57]:

Yeah, I think that’s so good. When I first got into the industry, I didn’t really talk to a ton of people about it and I didn’t really know who to talk to about it either. I think it’s huge to not go in on it on your own alone for the first time and reach out to other owners and some are going to talk to you and some won’t and that’s okay. But don’t be afraid to talk to other owners and other business owners and get that input, get that advice, especially for areas that you’re weaker in, like accounting or whatever.

Toby Dankbaar [01:00:33]:

Awesome. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think because you realize there’s so many hats, different hats that you need to wear at different points, so you can’t be expected to be an expert in all areas. So yeah, really find the right people or who you think are the right people. They might not be, but they might be able to introduce you to someone who is and go after it. Be persistent as well. Just because someone says no the first time doesn’t mean they won’t be receptive again. Yeah, I love that.

Jordan Berry [01:01:10]:

Do you have any resource that you would recommend? Books or blogs or YouTube channels or podcasts or anything that you would recommend that maybe helped you along your way in entrepreneurship or investing or something like that? Do you have anything that comes to mind?

Toby Dankbaar [01:01:29]:

Yeah, we talked about one earlier so that was The Lean Startup, which is a book, I can’t remember the author’s name now. There’s also quite like the work of Simon Sinek. We also spoke about him a little earlier but he’s got a great book called Start With Why which is all around really setting the purpose for you and then for the business and how that flows on and gives you energy for everything that you’re doing. I’m also a big podcast man, so I quite like How I Built this, which is an NPR podcast by Guy Raz and he interviews now big CEOs and people that have started businesses, people like brands like Patagonia. Yeah, a whole range of business owners on there. I think he’s got around maybe 40, 50 podcasts that leading entrepreneurs and they just cover their story on how they started, how they came up with the idea, what were their initial steps to building, what was their vision for the company, what, what were some of the roadblocks and yeah, just their journey and story into entrepreneurship. Awesome.

Jordan Berry [01:02:55]:

I keep hearing about that podcast and I haven’t listened to it yet so maybe this put me over the edge and I’ll finally listen to I’m a big podcast guy too.

Toby Dankbaar [01:03:04]:

Yeah, jump on there. Yeah, they’re nice and I think they’re half an hour. And it’s amazing hearing these people that are now very successful that went through a lot of the same challenges that we’re either facing now or have or will face. So I thought that it was great to hear that we’re not alone in this and that even the biggest brands went through what we’re going through and just to keep pushing and keep working towards your goal.

Jordan Berry [01:03:33]:

Yeah, I love that. Well, last question for me is what’s the best way for listeners to connect with you? Maybe they have questions, maybe they’re interested about the way that you’re doing business or maybe they just want to connect with you. They’re down there with you and maybe want to meet up with you. What’s the best way for them to connect with you?

Toby Dankbaar [01:03:54]:

Perfect. Yeah. Now I’d love to love the opportunity to meet anyone and speak with anyone that wants to reach out. You can reach me on my email which is Toby, toby at launderlab au. You can also follow us on Instagram which is official and yeah, they’re probably the two best ways to reach me or connect with Toby Dankbar on LinkedIn.

Jordan Berry [01:04:30]:

Awesome. Well Toby, it has been awesome having you on. I really appreciate you coming on and telling us about your journey and wish you the best of luck and we’re definitely going to have to have you back on for an update here down the road and hear how things are going and how many you have in your portfolio by the end of the year.

Toby Dankbaar [01:04:54]:

Thanks mate. Yeah, definitely excited for this next little phase of growth and what we’re doing. It’s really been good to reflect on I guess what’s happened so far and what’s to come but also the chance to meet you and share some of this with other listeners.

Jordan Berry [01:05:19]:

Well awesome, we really appreciate you. And for Laundromat resource podcast, this is Jordan and Toby and we’re signing off. We’ll see you next week. Thanks guys.

Toby Dankbaar [01:05:29]:

See you guys.

Jordan Berry [01:05:31]:

Man, I told you it was going to be awesome. I told you that what they’re doing is very cool, very well thought out and just a really amazing concept. I was just struck by how far down the line they thought in terms of making this an eco friendly, sustainable laundromat and not only wanting to serve their customers the best that they can and bring the value like dave Mins talked about last week in show number two, but also in doing what’s best for our planet and doing what’s best for the Earth. And so I really love that and it really inspired me. And I’m taking another look at the way that I’m running my Laundromat and seeing, hey, what are some things that I can do? What are some ways that I can just make sure that I’m doing the best that I can for not just my customers, but also for our planet, for my kids and grandkids when I have them and your kids, too, whether you have them yet or not. So, big thank you to Toby. Big thank you to you guys for sticking around and listening to this. I hope you pulled something amazing out of this episode that you can implement in your business or something that inspires you to keep moving forward towards your goals, whether that be for financial freedom or whatever it might be. I hope that you felt inspired today and got something that will help propel you along that path. So thank you again for listening. This is the Laundromat Resource podcast, show number three. Jordan signing off.

Toby Dankbaar [01:07:06]:

We’ll see you next week.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 4 with Jordan Berry

Jordan Berry [00:00:03]:

You’re listening to the Laundromat Resource Podcast, the show by Laundromat Owners for Laundromat Owners, with your host, Jordan Berry. All right, what’s up, guys? It’s Jordan from Laundromat Resource, and this is show number four. I hope that you’re excited, because I am today is going to be a little bit different than the previous three episodes that we’ve had so far. Those episodes, if you haven’t listened to them, you need to go back and listen to them. They were interviews with other Laundromat owners and who were just kind of sharing their experience, their story. And out with it came a lot of wisdom that I benefited from personally. It helped me grow. And there’s some things that I pulled out of there that I’m implementing into my businesses right now.

Jordan Berry [00:01:06]:

So if you haven’t listened to them, make sure you go back and download those episodes. And while you’re at it, listening to this episode and listening to those other ones, if you could just do us a favor and go on your favorite platform, podcast platform, itunes or Apple podcast or Stitcher, wherever you are listening to this and just go. Leave a rating for us and leave us a little constructive review. If you like the podcast, let people know. If there are things that we can improve, let us know, because that helps us out, not only just to produce a better podcast for everybody, but also just to get the word out there. And that really helps us out. So make sure you go do that for us. And the other thing that I want to say is the next few weeks we have some more interviews coming up, so be excited about that because the people I’ve been talking to for these next few episodes are incredible.

Jordan Berry [00:02:03]:

They’re doing some incredible things. They’re all over the country here in the United States, and they’re doing some awesome stuff. So don’t miss. And while I’m just talking about this, one more quick little plug is, hey, if you’re interested if you’re a Laundromat owner and you’re interested in being on the podcast, we would love, love to hear from you, to talk to you, to learn from you and to hear your experience, because I think that that is very valuable stuff. And we’re going to be talking a little bit about that today. But I think that you will benefit from it, and I think that other people will benefit from it. So if that’s something that you’re interested in, or if it’s something that you’re interested in, at least exploring a little more about, head over to podcastguest. And if you’re listening, I’ll put that link down below on YouTube there or in the Show [email protected] ShowFor.

Jordan Berry [00:03:09]:

And yeah, just head right over there and fill out that little form. There’s also a frequently Asked questions thing there that might answer some of your questions. And if you have other questions, just let me know. You can reach out through the contact page or on one of those social media platforms we’re on. So, yeah, come be a guest on the show. It would be awesome. I think a lot of people would enjoy it. And it doesn’t really matter if you are brand new and you own one or you’re a veteran and you own a bunch.

Jordan Berry [00:03:39]:

We want to hear from everybody. Everybody’s experience is valuable. So head over there, podcastguest, and fill out that little form and let’s get you on the podcast. Let’s talk about Laundromats together. It’d be great. All right, enough of that. Today is, like I said, going to be a little bit different than those previous three podcast. And I’m mixing it in just because I want to mix in a few different formats here early on to figure out what’s working, what are you guys liking, what are you finding value from and what are you not finding value from? And so today I’m going to talk a little bit about a few different things, and I would love your feedback.

Jordan Berry [00:04:26]:

So the place to do that is, again, Show for over there. You’ll find all the information about this podcast. You can listen to it over there, you can watch it on YouTube over there, and there’ll be links to everything we talk about on that page. But also there’s a section where you can leave comments. And I think that would be a great place for you to just let me know what you think about this format. If you don’t like it, if you hate it, if I just am rambling too much, not a problem. Just let me know. And we’re just going to try some different things to figure out what works.

Jordan Berry [00:05:04]:

And so your feedback is super valuable to me. The other reason you might want to go over to Show Four is because today we’re going to talk about some criticisms that I have gotten here, both here on the podcast and through just what we’re doing at Laundromat Resource in general, through the blog and the YouTube channel and just the site itself. And I wanted to address some of those criticisms and kind of offer my perspective on what some of these people have been saying and I would love to hear your perspective on them too. So if you want to kind of let me know what you think about some of these things we’re talking about, then Show Four is the place to go and leave a comment. Let’s start a conversation there, not just between you and me, but all together, all of us. Let’s have a conversation over there about some of these things and I would love to hear what you guys think because maybe I’m way off, maybe those criticisms are justified, but maybe they’re not. So let’s talk about it. And before we get into it, let’s take a quick break for this little message.

Jordan Berry [00:06:23]:

Buying and selling a business is a big step in your financial journey. And not all business brokers are created equal. By working with the best business brokers in your area, you’ll make more money and save more time, propelling you towards your financial goals as brokers, laundromat owners and real estate investors ourselves, we at Laundromat Resource know what a knowledgeable and trustworthy broker looks like. That’s why we offer a free to you service to help you find the best business broker in your area. We will weed out the bad and untrustworthy brokers and present you with the shortlist of the best two to three brokers in your area. You choose who to work with. There’s no obligation and no contracts to sign with us. Why risk working with a bad broker and leaving money on the table? So if you’re in the market to buy or sell a Laundromat, go to Buy or Sell today and let us help you find the best team to work with.

Jordan Berry [00:07:28]:

All right, so the first criticism that I have been getting, probably the one I’ve been getting the most, is that I am sharing too much information. I’ve heard that multiple times in different venues. And yeah, we’re giving away too much information. We’re talking about too many things that the industry has traditionally not talked about. There is a lot of information about the lotto med industry out there, but relatively speaking, there’s not that much. And I really found this to be true when I was looking to get into the industry. I’m doing multiple coaching calls a day now with people who are struggling to find information about the Laundromat industry online. And I think that that’s partly because it’s been part of the culture of this industry to be a little bit tight lipped and a little bit kind of insider friendly and outsider unfriendly.

Jordan Berry [00:08:43]:

And if you saw the title of this episode, it was a little bit sensational. But I called it. The laundromat. Industry needs to grow up. And the reason I say that is because I think that that mentality where you got to be on the inside to have some of this information, I think that that is an old school way of doing business. I don’t think business is done this way anymore. And I think a lot of businesses have moved past that. I’m seeing all over the place on the Internet, different business.

Jordan Berry [00:09:17]:

There just aren’t industry secrets anymore. And that’s just not how this is the information age and it’s not how things operate. And so the criticism I definitely understand, and I understand why people say that. I think that there’s a fear in this industry because we have to compete with other Laundromats for business. I think that there’s a fear that if the information is out there, that either I’m not really sure exactly what the fear is. Maybe the fear is that there’s going to be too many people coming to the industry and it’s going to diminish everybody’s returns, or competitors are going to learn how to operate their stores better. I’m not really sure what the fear is exactly, but I think that there is a fear behind that criticism, and I don’t think that fear needs to be there. And I think that the laundromat industry has been there’s a book by Carol Dweck called Mindset, and maybe you’ve read it, maybe you haven’t.

Jordan Berry [00:10:33]:

There’s going to be a link down below, so if you haven’t, I highly recommend you read it. But one of the main points of that book is that you kind of have two options on the way that you think about the world, the way that you look at the world in two different kinds of mindsets, and one is a scarcity mindset and one is an abundant mindset. And I think the laundromat industry has been stuck in a scarcity mindset. Now, I say this, and I don’t want anybody to hear that and hear me criticizing you or I think there are a ton of laundromat owners who have abundant Mindsets, the guests we’ve had on the podcast so far, definitely Abundant Mindset owners. And I think there are a lot of people I think the tide has been shifting that way in this industry for a while now. But I just think it’s lagging behind overall. I think it’s lagging behind other industries. And so I wanted to read a few of these differences between scarcity and Abundant Mindset, and you tell me what you think.

Jordan Berry [00:11:47]:

A scarcity mindset says this there’s not enough to go around. Kind of that, hey, if you give away information, there’s going to be more people coming in and it’s going to take away from everybody. An abundant Mindset, in contrast, says there’s more than enough to go around. Scarcity mindset, I need to make sure I look good if I am to succeed. I’m in trouble. If you listen to episode one, I’m in trouble on that one. Abundant Mindset says, if I succeed and you succeed, we all succeed. Scarcity mindset is reluctant to contribute and share information, resources and time.

Jordan Berry [00:12:28]:

An abundant mindset is open to collaborating and sharing what is required. A scarcity mindset is I have all the answers. An abundant mindset is willing to learn from others. Scarcity mindset promotes only self and accomplishments. Abundant Mindset promotes others and their achievements. And I read through this list and there’s some other things too, but I read through this list and I was like, man, this just feels like the laundromat industry as a whole to me right now, that there is such a scarcity mindset. I’ve walked into stores, into laundromats before, and owners have literally shooed me out of their laundromats because they’re worried I was spying on them or something. And I just wanted to come see what they were doing and to meet them and introduce myself.

Jordan Berry [00:13:26]:

These are laundromats that are nowhere near my laundromat even. And that mindset and that kind of behavior, I guess it’s very scarcity to me. And I think the industry needs to grow up a little bit and have an abundant mindset, be a little more secure in who we are. And again, that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing what we’re doing, is because our whole tagline is we want to help everybody achieve financial freedom through Laundromat ownership. Who wants to own Laundromats? And that’s the whole goal behind it. And you can’t have a scarcity mindset if that’s your goal. If our goal is to help you and to help us all achieve financial freedom through Laundromat ownership, you can’t have a scarcity mindset. And so when these criticisms come through that I’m sharing too much information, or I’ve been told that I need to stop and take some stuff off the blog and stop giving away some of the information I’ve been giving away, and to me, that just feels like, what are you worried about? I don’t think that what I’m doing is taking food off of anybody’s table.

Jordan Berry [00:15:02]:

If anything else, I think it’s putting more food on the table for more people. But I’m open to being wrong. So if you have a very different opinion on that, I would love to hear about that show four in the comments section there. Let’s have a conversation about it. But that’s kind of where I’m coming from at that criticism. And it’s kind of why I say I think the Laundromat industry needs to grow up a little bit. It feels a little bit childish. I have kids myself, and when they were younger, they had their toys and they didn’t want to share their toys, and they kind of hoarded them.

Jordan Berry [00:15:42]:

It just feels childish to me to do something similar with the Laundromat industry. So that’s one of the criticisms. The second criticism that I wanted to just briefly address is that I’ve heard that I’ve been a little hard on brokers, and I’m always talking about how you got to watch out for brokers. You can’t put your whole trust into somebody whose paycheck depends on you buying a Laundromat, make sure you have somebody else with you to just help you navigate, whose income doesn’t depend on whether you buy a Laundromat or not. And I’ve talked about some of the dishonesty that I’ve experienced and that I’ve unfortunately coached and talked with a lot of other people who’ve experienced similar things all over the world, really, at this point now. But I’ve been told that I’ve been a little bit hard on brokers, and that might be true. However, being one myself and being in this industry, I still stand by the most trustworthy, honest, integrity filled broker out there. I still think it would be wise for you to have another professional opinion, whether it’s another owner or consultant or somebody to just help you navigate that, because one, anybody can be tempted, anybody can be caught in a weak moment.

Jordan Berry [00:17:19]:

Anybody can be caught in a desperate moment, and that can be one situation. But on the other hand, it’s good business sense to have multiple people helping you out on your team, ensuring that you succeed, that you find the financial freedom that you’re looking for through laundromat ownership. And don’t get caught in a position where you get blindsided like I did. And you can listen to more about that in episode one if you’re interested in that. So, yes, I will say maybe I’ve been harsh on brokers a little bit and they’re not all bad. And I should say we’re not all bad. And there are a lot of really good ones out there, business brokers and laundromat brokers that can really help you out. And in fact, we believe that so much.

Jordan Berry [00:18:12]:

That’s why we offer a service. It’s free for you. If you’re selling your laundromat and you want help finding a trustworthy, knowledgeable broker to work with, we will help you do that for free to you cost you nothing sell. Or if you’re looking to buy, buy. Because there are great brokers out there for you to work with. So I don’t want you to hear that all brokers are bad and I don’t want you to be fearful. Again, kind of that scarcity mindset. But I do want you to be prudent and wise, and I do want you to not rely on solely one person for the success of your investment.

Jordan Berry [00:18:57]:

And I think that’s my main point. A broker who’s good or bad, don’t rely on just the one person for the success of your business. So criticism acknowledged and accepted. However, my advice still stands, and there are still a lot of brokers out there who are not filled with integrity and who are just looking to make a buck. So that wasn’t really a retraction of my sentiment towards brokers. However, I am acknowledging there’s a bunch of really great ones out there, and I’d love to hear from you guys too, if you’re a great broker out there. Hey, show four, let’s network. I’d love to meet you because I’d love, literally, I’m getting clients every single day, multiple clients who are looking to buy or sell Laundromats through

Jordan Berry [00:20:00]:

Buy or sell. And I’m always looking for great brokers. So come get to know me and let me get to know you and maybe I can refer you some business. So that is the second criticism that I’ve been getting here’s. The third one. The third one is kind of related to the first one. And it definitely is right up the alley of that scarcity mindset. And here’s what it is.

Jordan Berry [00:20:27]:

I’ve been told that personally that I’ll never succeed if I’m sharing hard numbers. In our podcast interviews, we have a little section called down to Business. Let’s get down to business. Over and out. And that’s where we ask people like, hey, what are the nuts and bolts. What are the hard numbers of your business? How many turns per day are you doing? What are your vin prices, stuff like that. And some people feel very strongly that that information should not be public and I totally understand why some people can use that information nefariously, I guess somehow. So I understand.

Jordan Berry [00:21:20]:

And again, that’s just a choice that you get to make. However, here’s the reason that I’ve chosen to share that information and to ask other people to share that information is because I think that especially those people who are trying to get into the industry, it’s nice to have a benchmark to know. I got a pro forma for my very first laundromat, one that was completely run down. And the pro forma gave me numbers for four, five, seven and eight turns a day. That laundromat has never done more than like 3.2 turns a day. And that was even on the pro forma. And I had no idea, I was like, I’m going to be rich. This thing is going to do like eight turns a day.

Jordan Berry [00:22:08]:

I’m going to be so rich now to come to find out reality of it is the average laundromat that I’ve talked to and I’ve talked to a lot of owners now is doing somewhere around three to three and a half from just anecdotally that’s not a scientific study and maybe Coin Laundry Association or somebody has hard numbers out there for that. But from my experience, like three to three and a half is average and that was not even on the pro forma. So it helps those people. I think it also helps other owners to kind of judge where they’re at. If they’re doing two and a half a day, then they should know they’re probably a little below average and maybe they need to change some things to pick up business or to know that there’s more business to be had out there, there’s more capacity for their laundromat. So I think it’s valuable information for everybody to know and it’s definitely a personal choice whether you want to share that information or not. Whether or not I can succeed sharing that or you can succeed sharing that information, I guess that remains to be seen. But so far so good.

Jordan Berry [00:23:23]:

I haven’t had any detrimental impacts that I’m aware of at this point and nor has any of the podcast guests that have been on yet to my knowledge. So here’s my commitment though. I’ll let you know if something happens to me or someone else who shared their information, I promise you I’ll let you know and I’ll stop immediately. But I’m curious to know whether you guys think that there’s anything good or bad about sharing those numbers. But that’s one of the criticisms. I pretty firmly believe that it’s a good thing, it’s a net good, and the risk reward is highly favored towards the reward side. But I’m also open to being wrong on that one. I don’t think I am, but I’m open to it.

Jordan Berry [00:24:16]:

And again, it feels very scarcity mindset to me, and I want to have an abundant mindset, and I want you to have an abundant mindset, just like Dave Mins in episode two and Toby Dunkbar in episode three. Totally abundant mindset, guys, and are doing awesome stuff. Anyways, those are the three big criticisms that I’ve had at this point, I’m sure. There’s other criticisms. My wife tells me I talk too slow and I do. So criticism accepted. And I tried to talk faster, and I feel like I’m going a million miles an hour, and then I listen back to it and it feels like it’s molasses. So I don’t know, I’m just a slow talker, I guess.

Jordan Berry [00:25:08]:

So there’s other criticisms, I’m sure. And if you want to go, just rip on me, Showfork, go leave a comment and list off some more criticisms. So maybe I can do another episode in the future on it. All right, well, I still want to include even though this is not an interview, I still want to include some of my favorite sections that we’ve done so far. So let’s get into the secret sauce. Listen up. It’s the secret sauce. The secret sauce is this what’s one thing that’s working in your business right now that other owners can implement into their business and help them improve their business? Or, you know, I gave an answer in episode one, so you can go back and listen to that or go on YouTube.

Jordan Berry [00:26:07]:

There’s a secret sauce. What do you call those? Playlists. Secret sauce playlist. And you can go check out all the secret sauces of the podcast there. But I wanted to give another Secret Sauce, and it’s definitely related to what we’re talking about today. And man, I got to say it’s been really helping my business a lot, and I’m hoping this podcast and some of the stuff we’re doing on Laundromat Resource is right along these lines and is helping you guys out too. But the secret sauce is this. It’s three c’s.

Jordan Berry [00:26:46]:

And the first C is community is get involved in a community of other Laundromat owners, whether that’s [email protected] or on a Facebook group or coin laundry association or something, get in some kind of community of other owners. Again, I think we’re all better together. And man, just doing these interviews with different owners and getting to know people through the coaching calls, it’s been transformative, and it’s definitely given me a ton of fresh ideas and fresh energy. So I really encourage you to get involved in community. And C number two, taking that a step further is cooperation and just cooperating with other owners and whether that be through sharing information or through literally helping out. I had a coaching client who lives like an hour away from me, and he’s like, hey, I want to come help you clean your store. And just come see how you’re running things and you just cooperate that way. And I thought that was really a funny kind of offer, but also a very cool offer just to kind of cooperate.

Jordan Berry [00:28:00]:

Hey, I want to come help you clean your store. You can kind of help me by sharing some of your information with me and walking me through some stuff. And I was like, that’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. So that cooperation key, definitely secret sauce. You don’t have to go clean somebody else’s store necessarily, but just cooperating. And whether that’s even just, hey, let’s grab coffee, or let’s do a zoom, I guess. No coffee.

Jordan Berry [00:28:25]:

Are you kidding me right now? Stop gathering. We’re all social distancing, although I think some places are starting to open back up. So I don’t know. Here in California, we’re still isolated. So lonely. But jump on a zoom call or just a phone call, old fashioned phone call or something, and just cooperate with each other and help each other out. Helping someone else out does not necessarily take away from you. That is the second C.

Jordan Berry [00:28:59]:

And the third C is this contribution. And what I mean by that is a lot of what Dave Mens talked about in episode two is looking for ways to contribute to your community and to your customers, to provide value for them. A lot of times it’s easy for me to get sucked into the nuts and bolts of the business and how do I decrease expenses? How do I kind of optimize my business? I just don’t want to lose sight of how am I contributing to the lives of others? How am I contributing to this community that my laundromat are in? And I don’t want to lose that perspective, and I want to encourage you guys to keep that perspective, too, because I honestly believe that when we give, that’s when we receive. And so improve your community, improve your neighbors, and improve your business at the same time. So that is my secret sauce for today. I also have some pro tips for you. Pro tips? What’s one thing that I feel like somebody who’s trying to get into the industry should know before they get into the industry? Here’s my pro tips for you for today. Again, there’s a playlist on YouTube on this if you want to go listen to all the pro tips.

Jordan Berry [00:30:29]:

They’re quick couple minute clips, most of them on YouTube. It’s slash. Laundromatresource but here’s my pro tip for you today is knowledge by itself. It’s not going to improve a community. It’s not going to put money in your pocket. I’ve talked with a lot of coaching clients who have said, I’ve read every single one of your blog posts. I read your free ebook. I’ve watched all your YouTube channels.

Jordan Berry [00:31:05]:

I’ve been consuming all this information. And if that’s you, here’s my pro tip for you is that knowledge is awesome and you need that knowledge, but you only need it to a certain point. And at that certain point you need to take action. Because knowledge by itself, it’s never going to build your wealth, it’s never going to make a difference in the life of a community. Knowledge by itself, it’s not power, it’s worthless. What’s power is having that knowledge and then applying it, taking action on it. So I just want to encourage you today whether you’re a new somebody who’s trying to get into the industry, gain that knowledge, absorb it, talk to people, read, listen, watch all of those things. But at some point you have to take action.

Jordan Berry [00:32:02]:

You have to take the first step. You have to go talk to a broker, you got to schedule a coaching call, you got to make an offer on a laundromat. You’ve got to do some action in order to improve your life and improve the lives of other people too. So take some action. And if you’re already an owner and you want to improve your business, it’s not going to improve on its own. So you got to take some action to improve or to change. I want to say it was the great Jim Rohn, but I am not positive on this. But man, I really should have looked at I probably shouldn’t have brought it up, but I’m going to say it anyways because I’m already out there.

Jordan Berry [00:32:47]:

But he said, hey, if you want something different in your life, you got to do something different. So if you’re not getting the results that you want in your life, then you got to change something. You got to do something different. And that entails taking some action. So whether that’s getting started or whether that’s improving your business, take some action. That’s my pro tips for today. The other question that I have been asking Laundromat owners on the podcast is what are one or two resources that you would recommend that would help other Laundromat owners either further their business or grow themselves? And I’m going to mention two here and again. There’s links down below or there’s [email protected] show four to this, but the first one is the book by Carol Dweck, Mindset.

Jordan Berry [00:33:39]:

If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. You can get it from a library or something if you want to buy it, which I think it might be worth owning. There’s a link down below, you can check that out. But the book and it talks a little bit about how to shift your mindset from this scarcity sort of fear driven mentality to an abundance mentality that will not only help you go further in life and in business, but you’ll be a happier person if you have an abundant mindset. So that’s one and then kind of going along with the pro tips of taking some action. A book that I found really helpful to help me take action is called The Four Disciplines of Execution. And again, there’s a link below [email protected] show four. This book is incredible.

Jordan Berry [00:34:33]:

I cannot recommend it enough. I’m reading it again for the second time right now and it’s just so good. So if you’re somebody who has a hard time taking action, if you’re somebody who finds yourself procrastinating or finds yourself just absorbing knowledge but never putting it into action, or you find yourself getting started, taking action and not following through the four disciplines of execution is a must read, in my opinion, and I cannot recommend it more. And it’s definitely one. I mean, you can rent it from the library or Audible or something like that, but I highly recommend you just buy this one, keep it, read it once a year and actually do what it says. And you’re going to be surprised at how much you can get done. I know I’m surprised at how much I’m getting done. Even right now with the kids home all day and I’m homeschooling them and running my Laundromats and doing all that.

Jordan Berry [00:35:34]:

There’s just a ton going on and I’m just man, four Disciplines of Execution is keeping me on track. So those are my recommended resources and this is the end of the show. Thank you guys for hanging in here. And man, if you loved it, let me know. show four. If you hated it, let me know. show four. And this is Jordan for the Laundromat Resource Podcast.

Jordan Berry [00:36:00]:

Next week we’ll be back with an interview from the Laundromat owner, or a couple actually, and do not miss it. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast, and again, if you have a chance, leave us a rating and review. It helps us out. It’ll help you out by getting you a better product in this podcast and looking forward to hanging out with you again next week. And we’ll see you.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 5 with Donna and Dave Stark

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:


Speaker B [00:00:00]:

All right. What’s up, guys? This is Jordan from the Laundromat Resource podcast. We have made it to the end of our first hand. This is show number five. I hope you’re excited to be here. Today is a very special day because we have on a couple of guests who have been in the laundromat industry for 40 years. That’s not combined years, that’s 40 actual years they’ve been in the industry. And they have run the gambit of anything there is to do in the laundromat industry. From building they’ve built over 800 laundromats. 800 laundromats. That in and of itself is worth sitting down and listening to these guys. But they’ve owned and operated a ton, they’ve been distributors. Anything there is to do in the laudmed industry, these guys have done it. And you do not want to miss. In fact, this is only a part one where we’re going to sit at the feet of these people and just listen to their stories and learn from them. We’re going to come back with a part two. This first one has to do with a little bit of their earlier years. Part two will be focused more towards the later years and current times. And man, I’m telling you, these guys are just not only are they a wealth of knowledge and experience, but they’re just great people. So we’ll meet them in a minute. But first I want to talk about a few things. The first one being there’s been a little bit of life in the forums lately. So I know I’ve mentioned that in the past and I’ve just been so excited that there’s been a little bit of life in there. So I’m in there all the time. Every day I’m peeking in there and it’s not a ton going on, but I’d love for more to be happening over there. So if you have questions, go throw those in the forum and get your questions answered over there. I’ll be in there to help answer some and hopefully some of you, even if you don’t have questions, maybe peek in at the forums and see if you can help answer some questions. That’d be awesome. I just would love for that to be a place where people can come and interact about the laundromat industry, whether they’re new or experienced, whether that’s about how to get into the industry or how to operate your business, any of that stuff, that’s a great place to do it. So that’s forum. Forum. And yeah, go check that out. So thanks for those of you who’ve been over there posting questions. That’s been awesome. The second thing, I’ve been getting asked this all the time and I’m actually very excited that I keep getting asked this question, but man, I’m feeling the pressure. And so I just wanted to take a second and just address it. I’ve put on my site that we’d be releasing our first book on how to buy laundromat last month in April 2020. And obviously, obviously it’s not out yet. And just with some of the coronavirus stuff happening and just kind of delays due to that both on my part and on the part of those helping me put it together, it’s just been delayed a little bit. So I’m buckling down on that thing and I’m getting it cranked out and I’m hoping to get that out within the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned and make sure you subscribe here to this podcast not only to get great information and insight about the industry from Laundromat owners just specifically for you, but also so you can get an update on when that book’s coming out. So I’ll let you know there. And maybe we’ll do like a giveaway and give a couple of them away. That’d be awesome. So we’ll do that. And thanks for hanging tough with me on that one. And yeah, we’ll get it out ASAP because I’m excited to have it out too. And I keep getting there’s a book request on the website for people to sign up to hear about when the book comes out and hear information about it along the way. And I’ve been getting more and more requests on that. So if that’s you, if you’re one of those people waiting for that book to come out, just hang on a little bit longer and we’re almost ready to go. So, yeah, now I don’t want to delay too long because we just have some great conversation today with David and Donna Stark. And again, they’ve been in the industry forever and they know more about the Laundromat industry than probably anyone else out there, to be honest. And you’re going to love them as people. They’re very sweet and very cool people. So I don’t want to delay that too long. But before we get to them, let’s take a quick break for this little message.

Speaker C [00:04:38]:

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Speaker B [00:06:09]:

All right, without further ado, let’s bring in David and Donna Stark and find out who these guys are and how they got into the Laundromat industry.

Jordan Berry [00:06:18]:

Yeah, well, that’s pretty easy. How we got involved, it is kind of interesting because quite frankly, it’s probably not a lot different than how a lot of people get involved by mistake, rather than we had a real purpose or that we really intended to go the direction that we went. So I can recall back my parents owned apartment buildings, and my brother and I, being he’s a twin brother, and we thought it would be a great idea to put a washer and dryer into the apartment building. So we decided that we were going to go to find a commercial distributor that would allow us to buy a washer and dryer that we could put into the apartment building. So lo and behold, we ended up hooking up with PWS. And we happened to walk in one day and there was no salespeople available. And so Bernie Steinberg happened to be walking through the lobby and he saw us. And we told him why we didn’t know who he was. And we told him why we were there. And he says, well, come into my office. So we went down and chatted with him for a while, told him what we were trying to do, and he sold us one top load washer and one dryer. So we put it into the apartment building, and it worked out great. And so we said, well, why don’t we start buying washers and dryers and put it into apartment buildings? So we decided we were going to do that. And then lo and behold, we came across web that controlled the entire market. They could buy all the locations, and we had no money, so we couldn’t do it. That’s a problem. Not having any money, that was a problem, right? So there was no way we could do it. We couldn’t get in. Every apartment complex we went to, they either had contracts or they were getting paid a bunch of money in order to give the contracts. So that wasn’t working. Somehow we went back to Bernie, said, well, we’re not going to be buying any washers and dryers. It doesn’t work. We can’t get in. And he goes, well, why don’t you do a Laundromat? And we thought about it and we said, OK, well, that’s kind of the same thing. Washers and dryers. Yeah, why don’t we do that? So he hooked us up with a location to buy, and it was a little store that was right in the path of where a freeway was going. So we actually put it into escrow, and we were going to buy it for, like, $15,000, I think was the purchase price. And we were going to when was this? This would have been sorry. Let’s see. Well, I know I don’t look old enough, but it would have been 49 years ago.

Speaker B [00:09:57]:

Oh, my goodness. I’m having a hard time buying a single washer for $15,000. Laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:10:06]:

So we were going to buy that store. We went into escrow, and then we decided that it was not a good idea because the freeway was coming. You don’t want to be in the.

Speaker B [00:10:18]:

Middle of the freeway.

Jordan Berry [00:10:21]:

This is not a good idea. Did you have a good broker to do this? Who told you the freeway was coming? No, we figured it out. Bernie didn’t tell us the freeway was details. Yeah, details. So we said, no, we’re not going to do it. So then he put us in touch with a store in Los Alaminos. Okay. And it’s on Los Alamos Boulevard. So we purchased that store, and I don’t remember what the price was. Probably not much more than 15, but somewhere. And we ended up having to actually borrow $5,000 from our mother in order to come up with the down payment. So what happened was we purchased that store. I drove by it a month ago. That store is still there.

Speaker B [00:11:19]:

Still there.

Jordan Berry [00:11:21]:

We should buy it 50 years later, and that store is still operating. Wow. Which I found fascinating that it was actually still there. But anyway, it is. So that’s actually how we got in. It was really by mistake. It was default because we couldn’t figure out how to get into the apartment complexes. So that’s how we bought the very first store. I like hearing that story. I’ve heard it a lot, but I like it. I’m not in the business, by the way, quite yet, Jordan, just so you know, I’m not in the business yet.

Speaker B [00:11:55]:

At this point in the story.

Jordan Berry [00:11:56]:

At this point in the story.

Speaker B [00:11:57]:

Are you guys together yet or not yet?

Jordan Berry [00:12:00]:

Oh, my gosh. No, because she would have been ten years old. Okay. No, I was still trying to get through elementary school.

Speaker B [00:12:11]:

All right.

Jordan Berry [00:12:14]:

That wouldn’t have worked.

Speaker B [00:12:15]:

Yeah, that wouldn’t have worked.

Jordan Berry [00:12:16]:


Speaker B [00:12:17]:

Okay, so you got in your first one, and how did that go? How was the experience?

Jordan Berry [00:12:24]:

No, it was good. And it’s really interesting when you reflect back and look at the way that you operated stores, then they were unattended, and so basically, you would go through and we would go two, three times a day. We would clean it and so forth, and take care of equipment. We do all our own repairs. We pretty much did everything back then. And it’s fascinating, when you look at the stores, they were basically 95% top load washers and a couple of front load washers sitting off to one side. And that was pretty standard in the industry back then. That’s pretty much what it was. And so it went fine. We remodeled it, which was kind of a natural for us growing up in the apartment complexes with our parents, because from the time we were able to walk, we were working at the apartments, either mowing lawns, putting on roofs, changing out windows, water heaters, whatever it is. We did all that stuff growing up. So it was just a natural thing for us that when we had that store and it needed to be remodeled and it needed to be remodeled, we just did it ourselves, because that’s kind of what it just seemed like the thing to do. It never occurred to us that we’d hire somebody to remodel it. You just do it yourself. So that’s what we did. So that store went fine, and then we came across an opportunity to buy a group of three stores, but we didn’t have any problem.

Speaker B [00:14:19]:

So I’m sensing a.

Jordan Berry [00:14:25]:

Said and this was with Bernie, and so Bernie said, no problem. He goes, Come with me. So he took us down, he kind of took us under his wing. He liked our enthusiasm, he liked our energy, he liked our drive. And so he said, okay, come with me. So he set up an appointment with bank of America, downtown La. And this was the bank that they did business with, the PWS did business with. Okay. So he set this appointment up. We walked in, sat down with, I guess, would be his loan officer, and he says, I want you to loan these guys money to do these three projects. And the guy says, okay, no problem. And that was it.

Speaker B [00:15:21]:

And simpler times.

Jordan Berry [00:15:23]:

They loaned us the money, we bought three stores, and we were off and running. But it was also helpful that Bernie I mean, had they just walked in on their own, it would have never happened. It would never have was. And by the way, maybe for the audience, bernie Steinberg is the S in PWS for those that we assume everybody knows. But for some that may not, and.

Speaker B [00:15:49]:

For those who may not know, PWS is a laundry company and they’re a supplier. They do a bunch of stuff, and you’ll hear a little bit more about what they do here in a little bit from David here. But, yeah, they’re a laundry company.

Jordan Berry [00:16:05]:

David and Darryl would have been going to 20 banks themselves. But Bernie, you can tell we have a lot of love and respect for Bernie, and you’ll hear more of that in a little minute. But, yeah, he was very helpful, wouldn’t you say? Yeah, he was instrumental in us getting moving forward. And of course, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to be able to capitalize on the opportunity. Right. And so either you do something with it or you don’t, but if you don’t, then that’s the way it goes. But if you do, then you can benefit from having relationships with people that can put it in front of you. They can open the door for you, but you got to be able to walk through it.

Speaker B [00:16:58]:

That’s right.

Jordan Berry [00:16:59]:

And if you don’t want to walk through the door, then you’re probably not going to go very far. Yeah. Okay.

Speaker B [00:17:05]:

So you walk through the door. Do you have a total of four laundromats now?

Jordan Berry [00:17:11]:

We have four laundromats.

Speaker B [00:17:13]:

Or at this point in the story, you just bought in three. Did you remodel those and how did that what happened?

Jordan Berry [00:17:21]:

We remodeled those and we operated those for a few years. Unattended. Unattended stores. Coin. We did coin stores. We did everything ourselves. So we kind of got onto that cycle that we were going through all the stores several times a day, keeping them clean, keeping equipment operating, doing vending supplies, picking up money, going to the bank. So we got into this real overwhelmed already, this monotonous routine of just going through constantly. And what happened is I would say we both sort of got burned out with the whole process because we were doing it so mechanically rather than methodical. And so we weren’t utilizing at that point in time, expertise that we could have taken advantage of and maybe done it in a smarter way rather than just working and working and working and working and not going anywhere. You just feel like you’re spinning your wheels. Yeah. So ultimately, we decided to sell the stores. Okay. We ended up selling all the stores off.

Speaker B [00:19:02]:

All four of them?

Jordan Berry [00:19:04]:

All four of them. Okay. Peace. Out and done. Because of my background, we thought, well, we’re builders. We can build, we can remodel. So we really got into the business of remodeling laundromat and doing equipment installations, and that was really developed along with PWS. So we would do equipment installations for them. We would do remodels of existing stores. We would go through and paint dryers that needed to be painted back before they’re stainless steel, which most of them are now. So we would go through and do remodels in stores, and we did that for a number of years. Were you a general contractor at that point? Did you have your GC license at that? No. Okay. No, we were just doing remodels at that point, and then that really took us up to the point where Donna comes into the picture. Yay. So she has arrived. Yes.

Speaker B [00:20:24]:

How did she arrive? Tell us about how she got into this picture here.

Jordan Berry [00:20:29]:

Well, I was 18, just graduated from high school, and obviously needed to find a job now that I wasn’t in high school anymore. And I went on three job interviews, and one of them happened to be for a company called PWS. Okay. And for whatever reason, that was the job I selected. And I started working as the sales secretary. I’m 19 at this point. And in walks David and Darryl one day, and they kind of stop and they’re twin brothers, for those of you that don’t know. They’re twins.

Speaker B [00:21:05]:

Which ones?

Jordan Berry [00:21:08]:

They look very much alike, so they’re both equally as handsome.

Speaker B [00:21:13]:


Jordan Berry [00:21:13]:

That’s so sweet. I know. Isn’t that nice? I know. And they stop and David kind of takes two steps back because I’m obviously in the face and I’m right in the front of the old PWS office in Commerce and he kind of pats me on the head and kind of wants to know who I am and what my job is. So I’ve now entered the world of PWS and obviously my life has changed forever. I ended up working for Bernie within a relatively short period of time. And he used to call me Curly. Not really sure why, but he called me Curly and I became his assistant. And Bernie was the one in charge of building stores, and so I was in charge of construction loans, and they were subleasing a lot of stores at that point. So I was in charge of all the and then at that point, then David is trying to break into the building of all of these brand new stores because we were building a lot of stores. A, so you want to take that from there. Yeah, there were contractors that they had been using for a number of years and the way they had it structured was that they had a couple of plumbing contractors. They had one specific carpenter group and they had a couple of electrical groups. And so the way that they were building the stores were basically by contracting electrical, plumbing and carpentry through these subcontractors or contractors as it may be, rather than using a general contractor to coordinate. And we were doing at that point a lot of the equipment installations in all of the new stores, but we weren’t building them. So basically it was being built by these other contractors. We’d come in as part of the process and we would install the equipment. Right. So we were doing that for some period of time, probably a few years that we actually did that where we were just going in and doing the equipment side of it. And I always had in the back of my mind that these guys were getting to the point that they were being difficult to work with because they’d been doing it for so long and they were set in their ways and it was either their way or the highway. And quite frankly, they became difficult to work with for PWS simply because they were not willing to go the extra step. They had so many projects that they were just pushing through them and they really weren’t very good at follow up detail or come back and take care of issues because they were already moving on to the next project. Yeah, we couldn’t get the last 10% done, so that was kind of a problem.

Speaker B [00:24:35]:

Sounds like all my home projects can’t.

Jordan Berry [00:24:37]:

Get the last 10% done like that. Exactly. And so what that did was it told me that there was an opportunity in order to go to them and say, look, we’ll do the whole thing, and we’ll be the general contractor and we’ll coordinate all the subs. And we will supply you with a finished product rather than you having to contract individually with all of the people and then chase them to try and get the work done. Then you got one central person to go to to resource your issues. So I put that forward and it went nowhere, and I thought it was such a good idea, but it didn’t go anywhere. So we continued to work. We continued to do the equipment installations, which was not a bad gig. I mean, really, it was good. We were very busy. We put a lot of equipment into a lot of stores, so we were making a decent living doing it, but I knew that we could do more. So one day, unbeknownst to me, which I didn’t really know, was that behind the scenes, donna was still working on it to try and get me into the new store construction. So I came in one day and I was frustrated about the fact that we couldn’t move forward. He was not frustrated. He was very mad, and the steam was coming out of his head. So just wanted to paint the clear. Yeah. Tell him it like it so I was ready to march into barney and tell him that I thought this was know, that I put forward a great opportunity for them and they weren’t pursuing it. And I was going to give them a piece of my mind. With the steam blowing out of his head all the way. And I am right outside of Bernie’s office. So back in the day, there was U shaped, so Bernie’s got a big the three of four, actually, but three of the three had, you know, very large offices, all the windows. And I’m sitting right outside Bernie’s office at this point. Okay, continue. So Curly Me says to me, hey, you may want to wait a minute. I wouldn’t barge in right now, is what said. Very, very low under my breath. I wouldn’t barge in. Maybe now’s not the time. And I said, OK, I was mad, but then I said, fine, all right, I won’t go in. And so, lo and behold, she had been working with Bernie to get us the opportunity to build a new store. And so this was right at the time that he was prepared to say, yes, we’re going to give him a shot and let him build a store. And so probably within actually a week of when I was going to go in and blow my opportunity forever, they gave me my first job wow. To build out the store. Yay.

Speaker B [00:28:15]:


Jordan Berry [00:28:16]:

Donna well, the contractors were causing Bernie and I a lot of fuss. The stores weren’t cleaned up. They weren’t cleaning up after themselves. I’m getting calls from landlords at this point. I am organizing all of these subs myself, and of course with Bernie, obviously, and it just wasn’t going well. They weren’t being overly helpful. So I told Bernie, we have nothing to lose. We really don’t. By letting David try this. Let’s just see. We have nothing to lose. And so Bernie said, Curly, let me think about it. And so, anyway, long story short, enter David Stark, the general contractor of Stark and Stark Enterprises. By the way, that was the very first company name. That is true. Yep. But this goes back to the same thing we talked about earlier. Is that, OK, now you’ve been given the opportunity, can you perform? Can you actually get it built and can you provide them with what their expectations are that you’re going to give to them? So my job was to exceed their expectations. And so what do you do? You end up working 24 hours a day in order to make sure that that first store turns out to not only be done well, but produced on a timely basis, which is what they were having trouble with because we were paying rent, because two stores couldn’t get completed, because we couldn’t get the utilities. We can go into hours of that conversation, but it was costing more money to have the three subs, in essence. So I told David, you have to get this done on time so that we don’t have to send one rent check. The first rent check will be when it’s opened or fairly close. So that was really how we got started in the construction side of it. So at that point, I was a general contractor and I was also a plumbing contractor. And so that entity was Stark and Stark Enterprises.

Speaker B [00:30:34]:

When was this about?

Jordan Berry [00:30:40]:

Would have been what, 35 years? Well, 80, 1980, 85, probably mid 80s. Yeah. Mid eighty s, I would say somewhere in there. Yeah, that sounds right. Mid eighty s. And my brother had now exited the company, so he was not with me at that point in time. Moved to Washington to raise chickens. Yeah. So he was gone. He peaced out sometimes.

Speaker B [00:31:12]:

That sounds nice.

Jordan Berry [00:31:13]:

Yeah. I don’t know. There’s a lot of problems with chickens, by the way, but he had small kids at the time and he wanted to really go into a different environment. More of a chicken environment. Yeah, chicken environment. With the truth. We can get on to that story.

Speaker B [00:31:35]:

I know, but I’ll have you on my chicken podcast.

Jordan Berry [00:31:39]:

Yeah. I’m not sure that your listeners really I mean, we got to make sure we’re keeping this entertaining for the listeners. Jordan yeah, but no, don’t go in the chicken business. I wouldn’t encourage you to do. Yes.

Speaker B [00:31:53]:

All right, we’ll stick with laundry.

Jordan Berry [00:31:55]:

Let’s do that. Yeah. So should we move ahead in the story? Are we laborious here with the small little details?

Speaker B [00:32:03]:

I am fascinated.

Jordan Berry [00:32:04]:

I don’t keep okay, but ask questions, maybe if you want to continue to ask questions. So if you think there’s something more that we could be because we’re obviously going down Memory Road. No, I’m going to tell you what interests me.

Speaker B [00:32:17]:

That’s right. You’re 15 minutes of fame.

Jordan Berry [00:32:22]:

You take it. Sorry. So it was fascinating that once we got the opportunity to build, then we had to figure out, okay, well, how are we going to structure that? And so being a general contractor and a plumbing contractor, it made sense to me that if we were going to do projects, we should bring a lot of the work in house. So that’s what we did with Stark and Stark was we then said, fine, we’re going to do all of our own carpentry work, and we’re going to do all of our own plumbing work because those are obviously two of the major areas involved. And obviously we were already set up to do equipment installations, so that was nothing new. So basically, that’s the way we structured the company was to do, obviously, the general contracting side of it. So we would do the layouts of the laundries. We would do all the city work, all the permit work, get it ready to go, and then we would do in house all of the carpentry work. So we would build all our own bulkheads and folding tables and bulkhead tops and whatever it was we would do that. We’d put in all of the plumbing ourselves. So we would do, obviously, the water and the gas and so forth. And then we would hire a subcontractor for the electrical. We never did get directly involved with doing electrical in house. We always subcontract that out. And we had a couple of guys that we worked with that were quite good at it. And so we got to the point that we could churn out a lot of projects. A lot. Jordan and a lot.

Speaker B [00:34:21]:

Tell me about a lot.

Jordan Berry [00:34:23]:

A lot. Jordan so it took what Donna was doing on the inside, coordinating all of the projects from the standpoint of leases and all of the things that go on with getting projects on board that we could then build. It was pretty easy to move forward once we had the structure in place. And that was half the battle, was having the structure in place so that we could then produce the projects. And at that point in time, we were probably doing maybe 15 or 20 a year. So we were probably putting one out every two to three weeks or whatever it was. It was insane. It went to a much higher level down the road. But that’s a separate project, so that kind of comes. Later. We did that for a number of years where we were building outside of the structure of PWS. And through that time I was learning more and more about design of stores, layout of stores and coming up with new ideas or maybe new sorry, we’re back.

Speaker B [00:36:07]:

Lost you for a second.

Jordan Berry [00:36:08]:

Sorry. That’s all right. So we came up with ways to do layouts that we thought were more efficient and of course they start transitioning into more front loaders and the industry as it evolves over time. So there was a point then where PWS came to me and says, why don’t you bring this in house? And I thought, OK, he thought for a long time, but at this point he’s designing these most beautiful laundries. Like he really took the industry to a whole other level by the way he was designing them because that’s really his strength is the were it was a whole new ballgame in the laundry industry, the design he was coming up with. Meanwhile, Bernie and I are patting each other on the back for this. Such a smart move because Bernie’s life became easier because I was coming to him constantly saying, mr. Steinberg, we have got to do something. This plan currently as it stands, is not working. So we solved the problem pretty easy. So anyway, continue. Yeah, and I think part of the difficulty I was having during that point in time of just building was that I was also trying to work with all the different salesmen that were trying to put projects together. So they would come to me and say, okay, I’ve got this location, blah, blah, blah, blah, and how much is it going to cost to build it? They’re giving you no information, right? Yeah, there’s no layout, there’s no design, there’s no plans, there’s no utility infrastructure information. So I became pretty good at being able to go out, analyze sites and be able to come up with obviously a design was not difficult. You got the dimensions and you can figure out how to lay it out and you can come up with a design that’s pretty simple. Then for you it was, for you difficult. Part was then trying to ascertain without any information the utility infrastructure that’s going to be required in order to convert it into a laundry. Most shopping centers don’t have the utility infrastructure that you need to handle what a laundry needs. So you got to have to try and figure that out and come up with a price. So you’re shooting from the hip all the time and praying and praying that you get it right. And sometimes most of the time you do. Sometimes you miss it horribly. And I don’t want to get onto those ones. I could tell you a couple of stories of ones that didn’t work out so well that I was on the hook for. We could do another whole one on that. Interestingly enough, going back to the issue of where they said, we think you ought to come in house. There was a part of that that was attractive to me from the standpoint that I would have more support than what I was getting, doing it all on my own. So I thought, okay, I’ll do that. I’ll go ahead, and I’ll make that transition in, and I will run your development department. So that was the transition that I made, and we actually continue to operate Stark and Stark as an entity outside. So we were contracting I was inside, in essence, inside PWS, and we were contracting a lot of the work through Stark and Stark, and we did it in arm’s length, distance away. It was being reviewed by others, so it wasn’t like I was doing it, and nobody knew what I was doing. Other people were reviewing the contracts, approving contracts. It was Bernie that was doing all of yeah. So is there any questions you have for us up to this point that we’ve taken you down this hole?

Speaker B [00:41:03]:

Yeah, I need to take a quick detour, though, because I feel like I need to know it’s dangling out there, and it’s just driving me crazy. When did the love start to enter into this relationship here?

Jordan Berry [00:41:20]:

A long time. Well, let’s see. I think because we worked so closely together for a number of years that we really thought of ourselves more as business partners than we did anything else. Well, yeah, we kind of were. That’s what we were. And we’ve both been married and divorced, so throw that in there. Yeah, but we’re both divorced for several years, so I think I don’t know how I know. I know she knew.

Speaker B [00:41:58]:

Donna, you tell us. How did this happen?

Jordan Berry [00:42:00]:

Bernie asked me one day. He just said, Curly, I don’t understand. You seem to get along well. Bernie was at my first I and so was David Stark, by the way. Yeah. Oh, my. Sorry. Yes. So anyway, yeah, I just decided that I was going to have to ask him to go out on a date, because obviously he wasn’t going to ask me, so I just asked him one day. Honestly, I mean, the story has been convoluted over the years, so I’m trying to really remember exactly, but I asked him if he wanted to go on a date with me. I asked him. He didn’t answer right away. He just stared at me.

Speaker B [00:42:47]:

You know what, David? She can open the door for you, but you got to walk through.

Jordan Berry [00:42:52]:

There you go. You are so correct. So we dated for, I don’t know, three months. And then I asked him to marry me. Because at this point, now I’m 29, and I wasn’t getting any younger, and I figured if I kept wait it’s not like we didn’t know each other exactly. So we had been working together for ten years at this point, and we had been through it wasn’t just Jane Brolage, you know, it was not being in the laundry industry. Anybody that tells you that it’s all kicks and giggles is not telling you the truth. So we had been through some financial issues. Well, I think the fascinating thing is that when you think about the industry as a whole, it’s much more complex than just running lumber maps. That may be the end product, but there’s a whole lot that goes on between being a distributor and a builder and so forth. That’s on the other side of the game that a lot of people never even see. Right. And so it’s fascinating how it all ties together, whether it’s equipment or whether it’s leasing or purchasing real estate or whatever it may be, the Laundromat is only the end product of what it is as an industry. It’s a big industry.

Speaker B [00:44:28]:


Jordan Berry [00:44:29]:

When you think of all the pieces of the puzzle that go into it and it’s not glamorous. The laundry industry is not glamorous. I mean, it just isn’t people that own restaurants, that’s a little more glamorous, which I would never do, by the way, but Laundromats really aren’t. But just to give a little forward motion on this, we have been, in all facets of it, we’ve been distributors again. We started a whole other company, which I guess will be down the road a little bit, but we’ve owned real estate, so we’ve done it all at this point in the journey. But anyway, do you want to get back to me marrying David Stark?

Speaker B [00:45:08]:


Jordan Berry [00:45:09]:

That was only, like, 2 seconds, Jordan.

Speaker B [00:45:11]:

Yeah, well, bring it out. Come on. We want to know the story.

Jordan Berry [00:45:15]:

Okay. Yes. I felt like I was getting shortchanged and we were getting back to building Laundries.

Speaker B [00:45:21]:

Nobody cares about laundry match. We want to know about the love.

Jordan Berry [00:45:24]:

So I asked him to marry me. He kind of had to think about it for a minute or two, but then I just assumed he was going to say yes. So then we decided I decided that I better not wait. And so I said, well, let’s get married in, like, six weeks. So we set it for October of 1989. And then the venue we were getting married at, we were getting married at the Surf and Sands. They were going to tear down the deck that we were going to get married on. So then we got to move it up to September 9. So then it became like a four week something engagement. I don’t know that I recall it quite how do you recall it? I think I did ask her to marry me. No. In front of her mother. It was after she’d asked me to marry her. Okay, yes. That’s an important part. Yes, he did. But I actually did. And your mother at dinner. I did ask her to marry. And your mother. Yeah. We were at Del Mar. We owned racehorses at the time, and we were at Del Mar, and he did ask, do you want to hear about the racehorse? Yes.

Speaker B [00:46:30]:

Well, no, that’s on my racehorse podcast. We’ll get you chickens first, then racehorse.

Jordan Berry [00:46:37]:

Out with the chickens. Yeah, we did own them. Anyway, the thing was launderlands of silks, but anywho so I asked him, and then, yes, he formally did ask me, for all the viewers out there that are listening. He did. So we got married 99 of 89. Yes. 30 years ago. Yeah. Okay. So anyway yes. Okay, here’s a fun fact. In our wedding cards, it says, See you in Division Two. Do you know what Division Two is?

Speaker B [00:47:06]:


Jordan Berry [00:47:07]:

Divorce court. Because they said there’s no way that these two can run this company, get married, have a family, and not lose their minds and or get divorced. So all I needed to see was that one card that said it, and I went, oh, they don’t know who they’re dealing with here. No way. Here we are. So here we are, 30 years, two children. Oh, no, we’ve made it. Believe me, he’s not leaving me at this point. He has no choice. Hold on, there’s another part to the story. I committed. He did. To 40 years. He did. That was it. So I’ve got ten more years to go. His mother lived to 100, so I’m quite certain we’re good. But do you also want to know we have two children. Yeah, I know.

Speaker B [00:48:05]:

I met you through your kids.

Jordan Berry [00:48:06]:

So tell us about your kids, jenna Stark and Craig Stark. Craig Stark is the oldest. They’re 18 months apart. And Craig’s, also in the laundry business, now owns his own laundry and is the operations manager for one side of our company. So we have two children. Craig’s going to be 30 and Jenna’s 28, and Jenna’s a firefighter for OCFA, which is how you met us through Jenna Stark. That’s right. Okay. Jordan.

Speaker B [00:48:36]:

Okay. So we got the love. I’m just happy that that’s how we got the Love into the podcast. It’s the thing that we’ve been missing.

Jordan Berry [00:48:45]:

Yes. Okay, so we’ll round out this we’re.

Speaker B [00:48:51]:

Going to do a whole nother episode because you guys have such rich experience from so many different angles, like you were saying, of the laundromat industry. So we want to hear about more of that. So today we’re talking a little bit more about kind of these early days. If you had to put a number on it. This just blows me away. So how many laundromat do you think.

Jordan Berry [00:49:13]:

You’Ve built over the years?

Speaker B [00:49:19]:

Eight to 908 to 900 laundromats.

Jordan Berry [00:49:25]:

Yes. And by far and away, the majority of them in California, we did go back and build a number of them in Chicago, and a little bit we did a little bit near yeah. But mostly predominantly California and under the brand of wow. Yeah. And a lot of remodels know, when the riots happened in La, we went in and rebuilt a lot of those stores, unfortunately, that were burned to the yeah, there was there was a lot of them.

Speaker B [00:50:06]:

Wow. That’s like a whole industry in and of itself.

Jordan Berry [00:50:10]:

Worth. We still drive by stores and somebody will say, because I don’t know, Jordan. I’m going to just tell you this because I’m not sure if other laundry owners feel this, but everywhere we go and we try to explain what we do, david and I always look at each other and say I don’t even really know what to say at this point. But I kid you not. And Jenna, if she were here, and Craig, they would say the same thing. People will say, I’ve always wanted to own a laundry. Yeah, tell me a little bit about it. I don’t know how many people we have talked to, and David’s so great with sharing his knowledge with everybody. That’s what we get asked. Really? No, the truth of it is that I’m very good at talking about it’s. Really? It is interesting, though, because you have people come in and they have a perception of what it is, and quite often the perception still today, believe it or not, is that they kind of operate themselves, which is the biggest mistake you can make. Absolutely. And when I look at some of the deals they bring to me that they’re looking at to buy, it scares me to death because I can just see the misery that they’re going to be confronted with because somebody is trying to pawn their problem off on them. And so I probably have discouraged more people than I have encouraged to get into it, but I feel good about that because I might have saved them a tremendous amount of heartache if they choose to go forward and money. Yeah, if they choose to go forward. Okay. More power to them and I hope the best for them, but I try to direct them towards if you’re going to do this, get with a good broker, one with integrity, one. Jordan has the ability to give you the straight shot of what’s going on and you will come out ahead 99 out of 100 times if you do that over thinking you’re going to go in and do it on your own.

Speaker B [00:52:32]:

Where were you six or seven years ago when I needed you, Jordan?

Jordan Berry [00:52:36]:

That’s right. And David was also a broker, too. He was a broker and sold laundries I was a real estate. I had a real estate. He was, yes. And I wasn’t very good at it either, because I was so damn honest.

Speaker B [00:52:52]:

Yeah. Don’t buy this.

Jordan Berry [00:52:56]:

Like no.

Speaker B [00:52:59]:

Yeah, well, I think that that’s so valid. I’ve shared my story here before and with you guys, and I had such a rough entry into the business. And just the fact that you’re willing to say, hey, you know what? This is not a good deal. Don’t do it. I would have paid thousands of dollars to hear that because it would have saved me tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. So just having that wisdom, just a willingness to share with other people, right?

Jordan Berry [00:53:37]:

Yeah. That’s key one. You’ve got to start with somebody that knows what they’re doing to sell it to you and with integrity. Yeah.

Speaker B [00:53:46]:

That’s the number one thing I tell people now, too. And even when you get somebody like that, even just having a third party, someone like you, who knows what they’re doing, who can just double check everything, who knows the industry and who can tell you, you know, what, pass on this one or this is, well, we.

Jordan Berry [00:54:06]:

Pass on them all the time.

Speaker B [00:54:08]:


Jordan Berry [00:54:09]:

Because the last thing I need to do is take somebody new coming into the business and lead them astray, because when it goes bad, then they’re going to come back to me and they’re going to say, well, couldn’t you have warned me about this or this or this? So at least if you lay it out for them, then it’s up to them to make the decision. I can’t control that, but I can certainly control what information they give them so that they have an opportunity then to make an informed decision on what they’re doing. Yeah. David Stark is a good.

Speaker B [00:54:51]:

Yeah. Oh, my gosh. I mean, you guys both are amazing and incredible. We’ll wrap up this section right now, but right before we do, let’s just do a quick snapshot. What is your business? We’ll talk about this more in depth in the next episode that we do together, but give us a quick snapshot. What does your business look like right now? How many laundromats do you own? What are you guys doing? Are you guys still building general information?

Jordan Berry [00:55:18]:

Yeah, we are not building per se. We would if somebody well, let me phrase that I don’t know that I would if somebody came to me, because they do come to me from time to time and still ask me if we would build one, and we just basically say, no, I would build one for myself. So if I was going to get back on and build one because we no longer have the infrastructure, obviously, of the employees, so we would end up contract. We would general it and subcontract to different contractors. But I would do it if I was building one for myself, which is not out of the realm of possibility that that could still happen somewhere. We’re operating four stores now, all stores that we originally built, and our son’s operating a store that he owns that we originally built. And all of those stores were built under the sparkling name, which was the distribution company that came later than where we are in the story. Right. But when we built them, we kept them. So these stores weren’t built and sold and we came back and rebought them. We built them and we operated them right out of the gate, except for one in Riverside, which is another story. But the three, we built and operated them right out of the gate, so that’s what we own.

Speaker B [00:57:02]:

You guys have a pretty successful pickup and delivery service also, right?

Jordan Berry [00:57:07]:

And that’s the newest thing on board to our company. That was the latest thing that was just launched about a year and a half ago. Okay. But also we’ve been doing Fluff and Fold for a very long time now. It’s hard to believe how long, but it’s for a very long time. Yeah, we’ve probably been doing the Fluff and Fold for maybe four years. Yeah, four or five years. Yeah. So we do Fluff and Fold at two of the locations and we do a pretty large commercial account business as well. And then the residential has the last thing that has come on to the corporation in the last year. We’ve added that piece. Awesome.

Speaker B [00:57:48]:

Well, your guys’story is incredible. Your love story incredible. Donna, way to be way to be a go getter and just find what you want and then go no.

Jordan Berry [00:58:03]:

I knew once Bernie put the little seed in my brain, I’m like, yeah, I don’t understand. Why don’t I ask this guy to marry me? So, yes, I’m kind of like that, Jordan. I get something in my mind and I don’t get derailed ever, actually.

Speaker B [00:58:20]:


Jordan Berry [00:58:21]:

That’s a great my mind is something and I’m like, oh, no, this is the way this is going to go. This is it. David Stark’s a good sport because I always have side hustles, too. And he just says, Donna, honestly, no more side hustles. I’m like, but they’re so much fun.

Speaker B [00:58:36]:


Jordan Berry [00:58:37]:

According to whom? I don’t know. Maybe just me. But anyway, if you’re listening to this.

Speaker B [00:58:42]:

David is just shaking his head. Right?

Jordan Berry [00:58:45]:

I know. I still have side hustle. Yeah. And he just says no. And Jenna actually has side hustle ideas, too, which I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. But Jordan, thank you for having us and letting us do this with you.

Speaker B [00:58:59]:

Well, I can’t let you go yet. I still have a couple more questions to ask, of course, that I want to get into. So don’t thank me yet. But I want to know okay, we have a little section that we like to call the Secret Sauce.

Jordan Berry [00:59:12]:


Speaker B [00:59:14]:

And I want to know what’s something that’s working really well in your business right now that other owners can implement that can help their businesses improve.

Jordan Berry [00:59:24]:

This one to you. Yes, this one’s got this. So because we just don’t own one store that’s just a walk in laundry. We’ve diversified so much over all these years that it became very clear to me that we needed a website. And not just a website that you build on your own because there’s so many that you can build on your own. I knew we needed a company that knew what they were doing to do it. And I probably looked for three years and I just couldn’t find somebody that I thought was a good fit for me because I was going to be the one working directly with this company. And we just hit the lottery. It’s a company called Creative Marketing Services. They built our website, which is beyond fabulous. They handle all the changes that need to be done to it, especially with this latest version of COVID-19. I just can’t tell you the work that they did on it to let everybody know that we were still open. And then they also do all of our marketing, all of our online marketing, google analytics, our SEO work, everything having to do with our marketing, from the walk in traffic to the fluff and fold traffic, to the residential and commercial side of the business. And then we also from now and then we have people that want to rent out our Laundries for movies, commercials and things like that. And so the website is beyond beautiful. And then she works with a company called Harmony Three Productions that does all of our video. And on our website right now, there’s a video that I don’t even need to tell people what we do. They just go to the website and click the video and they can see how the residential service works. So that’s the key to me. If you own multiple stores and you really want to do something other than just do a walk in type of business, you need the market because people validate you through your website. If your website is wonky and looks like it was built 98 years ago, people will more than likely move on and find something that is very professional looking and run well. And creative marketing services is the real deal. That was the game changer.

Speaker B [01:01:41]:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Especially when you get into that pickup and delivery. Online stuff is crucial because it is there are no phone books anymore. That’s where people find you and get to know you and learn, trust you.

Jordan Berry [01:02:03]:

I don’t think a lot of people understand just how valuable that is. When you think about the dollars being spent, it’s probably the best dollars you’ll ever spend. It is when you look at it from the standpoint of trying to do advertising and in essence, that’s really what it is. You’re advertising your product and it’s probably by far the best dollars you’ll spend. And it’s brand awareness too. I mean, we’ve created a brand over the years and it’s brand awareness. The ads that they are running right now for Mother’s Day in particular and just the pickup service with Mother’s Day, I see them come through on my Instagram feed or Facebook, and I know they’re coming because I’ve approved them all, but I still smile when I see them come up. So it depends on how big. You want to take your operation, of course, because if you just have one, you know, Yelp and doing some Google Ads is helpful, but once you get to a piece that you’re trying to manage different parts of being an owner, I really believe that a functional website. I mean, you’ve seen our website, right? Have you looked at it?

Speaker B [01:03:16]:

Yeah, it’s awesome. And if you don’t mind, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes and people can check it out.

Jordan Berry [01:03:23]:

Yeah, I’d love for them to see it. I just think it’s beautiful. And this company is just a five star company, the way they run their business. They’re fun too. I enjoy working with them, both of them. Harmony Three and Creative Marketing services.

Speaker B [01:03:42]:

Yeah, well, that’s important too.

Jordan Berry [01:03:44]:

It is. Well, that’s awesome.

Speaker B [01:03:46]:

Secret sauce. I think that’s crucial. And even if you only own one laundromat, maybe you don’t need to get so crazy where you’re paying a bunch of money for ads and stuff. You need to have a good website.

Jordan Berry [01:04:02]:

You do. And people know the difference between one that’s done well and one that isn’t, because we’ve been in it too long now with websites for people to know the difference.

Speaker B [01:04:14]:

Yeah. All right, well, this section we like to call Pro Tips. And here’s the question, and this might be hard for you, actually to narrow it down, but what’s one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who’s looking to get into the laundromat industry for the first time?

Jordan Berry [01:04:34]:

I know. Okay, well, you go ahead.

Speaker B [01:04:38]:

You can both answer.

Jordan Berry [01:04:40]:

Okay, so it’s what David already said. It’s a broker with integrity and somebody, by the way, that knows something about the laundry business. You can’t find a broker that sells pet stores, groomers, I don’t believe. I think you need to find somebody that specializes in the laundry industry and has owned, perhaps and operated one and knows how to read a balance sheet and somebody that can really give you good advice. I mean, that’s not to say that a broker that’s brokering other businesses can’t be helpful, but I really think you need to find somebody that knows the business and somebody that’s got integrity and that is not just trying to sell you something. They’re trying to sell you something that is going to be a workable business for you. Because some people get into the laundry business and they’re not entrepreneur. I mean, they don’t have that spirit in own. They work for somebody else that they get a paycheck every two weeks. And as you know, Jordan, nobody knows better than you. It’s a whole different ballgame. So that’s what I would say. You have to start point A with having that expertise. Is that what you were going to say? Well, is there any doubt? Why do you think I married her? She knows what I’m going to say. Yes. Vice versa? At this point.

Speaker B [01:06:02]:


Jordan Berry [01:06:03]:

Nothing else. Just start with that.

Speaker B [01:06:05]:

I could not agree more. And again, I’ve mentioned this many times, we’ve talked about this, but my story.

Jordan Berry [01:06:15]:

Would look so different if I had.

Speaker B [01:06:18]:

Found somebody who was knowledgeable and trustworthy to help me get into the industry, and I didn’t. And it cost me literally tens of thousands of dollars. A lot of emotional heartache.

Jordan Berry [01:06:33]:

Yeah. No, it’s true. Because you take your family with you down that journey.

Speaker B [01:06:38]:


Jordan Berry [01:06:39]:

You need to have a broker that’s got integrity and good morals and will not try to sell you it. If you have a broker that’s trying to sell you every laundry that you bring to them, you better start looking for a plan B. And with another broker, somebody needs to be telling you that’s not going to be a good fit for you.

Speaker B [01:07:00]:

Yeah. And I will say that we’re very lucky here. We’re both in Southern California and there are dedicated laundromat brokers galore around here. But I do a lot of coaching with people actually all over the world, which has been very cool, but a lot of smaller towns and smaller cities even, don’t have very many, if at all, dedicated laundromat brokers. And I would say in that case, find a good third party like Adona and know somebody who has experience in the industry who can help walk you through that, because the broker isn’t going to know the finer details of what makes a good laundromat unless they have been in that industry. Know if a dedicated broker is not available. Find a good consultant to help you.

Jordan Berry [01:07:54]:

While you’re that is the key, because you have to start with the end in mind. And sometimes if you haven’t owned a laundry report, you don’t know what that end is. Do you want to do fluff and fold? Are you still going to work your full time job? Do you want this to be and unless you have somebody asking you those questions, you can’t make a good decision to buy your.

Speaker B [01:08:16]:

I mean, that’s gold and that is worth it’s literally worth tens of thousands of dollars. That advice. I wish you would have shared it with me.

Jordan Berry [01:08:27]:

I know. Jordan. Well, blame Jenna. Had she met you years earlier, then we could have been an assistance to you.

Speaker B [01:08:35]:

Yeah, well, you know what? The way I’m thinking about it right now at this moment is that that path led me to getting to know you. So I’m thankful.

Jordan Berry [01:08:43]:

Jordan that’s so sweet. Fair enough.

Speaker B [01:08:48]:

I have two more questions for you. The next question is, do you have one or two resources that you would recommend for laundromat owners to either help them grow their business or help them grow personally? Do you have any favorite resource?

Jordan Berry [01:09:04]:

I think that you want to network. So the more that you can network with other laundry owners, you will develop a wealth of information and that can come through your equipment distributors. CLA there’s. A number of ways that you can connect with other laundry owners because you’ll start hearing a lot of their experiences, the things that have worked for them, things that haven’t worked, and you can learn an awful lot by just keeping your mouth shut and listening to what other people have to say.

Speaker B [01:09:43]:


Jordan Berry [01:09:46]:

I think that anything you can do to connect with other laundry owners that also want to connect with you because it goes both ways. They learn from you, you learn from them, and then there’s always those that are interested in the industry as a whole. It’s not just about, I’m operating my two laundries, and that’s all that matters. It’s more about the industry as a whole and how do we promote it in a positive way that everybody benefits from not just the owners, but the end user, the person that comes into the laundry. Why do they come into the laundry as opposed to other opportunities? So I think more that you develop those relationships, the more you can learn. Yeah, we still do it. We still have several people, people that we’ve met basically through building a lot of these stores. And we’ve got one person in particular that I call on a regular basis and just check in with him and what he’s doing. And he helped us get into the start our Fluff and Fold side of our company. I mean, we obviously knew what Fluff and Fold was, obviously. But we were doing so many other things that the operations side didn’t really come into the front until we stopped building. So yes, very good advice. David Stark. I agree.

Speaker B [01:11:16]:

Yeah, I agree, too. And, I mean, that’s a big part of why we’re doing the podcast, just as a way to get to know other owners, hear wisdom from you. Beautiful advice.

Jordan Berry [01:11:31]:

Well, I loved your podcast, number two. David and I listened to that and we loved hearing that. Yeah, you’re doing the right thing to reach out to people. You are, Jordan. It’s working. Yeah.

Speaker B [01:11:42]:

Well, thank you. And, yeah, Dave Menz is another all star in the industry. He was happy to have him back.

Jordan Berry [01:11:50]:

On, so loved his story.

Speaker B [01:11:52]:

Yeah. And he’s doing cool stuff out there in Is.

Jordan Berry [01:11:57]:

Yeah. Good.

Speaker B [01:11:57]:

And I’ll link to that in case you haven’t listened to it before. Well, my last question for you is, if anybody has a question for you or wants to even just drop a note and say thanks for being on.

Jordan Berry [01:12:10]:

The podcast, how can they best get in contact with you? Well, we’ve got through our website. There are several ways they can email us It’s [email protected]. Okay. And we have an 800 number they can call 809 601627. But the best place really is to go to our website and they can reach us directly from that. Good.

Speaker B [01:12:40]:

And I’ll have a link to that down in the show notes.

Jordan Berry [01:12:43]:

Thanks, Jordan.

Speaker B [01:12:44]:

Guys, literally, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for weeks since we’ve been planning it. We had dinner not that long ago. Actually, it was kind of a while ago now. The world went crazy. Yeah, I know it is crazy, but I’ve been looking forward to it. Thank you so much for being on. I can’t wait to have you on for the part two and hear the rest of your story, because I feel like we’ve barely only scratched the surface, and I can’t wait for me to hear more of it and for everybody to hear more of it. So thank you guys for being on. Really appreciate it.

Jordan Berry [01:13:24]:

Hey, Jordan. Jordan, have a great day.

Speaker B [01:13:26]:

All right, you too.

Jordan Berry [01:13:27]:

Okay, thanks. Okay, bye. Bye.

Speaker B [01:13:32]:

Absolutely incredible. David and Donna Stark. They are legends. And, man, I seriously, I could talk to them all day long just listening to their stories, gleaning their just they’re such genuine people. I love them, and I love that we’re doing a part two with them because I need to learn a little bit more from them. I need to hear a little bit more from them, and I’m excited to do that next week on Tuesday. So make sure if you haven’t yet whatever podcast player, that you are listening to this on or on YouTube. If you’re watching it there, make sure you subscribe, and that way you don’t miss the next episode or any episode, because we have awesome people coming on all the time, and we’re hoping to bring you tons of wisdom that will help you find financial freedom through laundromat ownership. That’s the goal. That’s why we do what we do, and that’s what we want for you if Laundromat are something that you’re interested in. So make sure you subscribe and do us a favor. Leave us a rating or review just so that we can get better for you. We can bring you a better podcast, a better product so that you can learn more, and that’ll be engaging for you, and also just to help other people find us. So do us a favor and go subscribe, leave us a rating review, and man, I can’t wait to hear the rest of David and Donna’s story next week here on the Laundromat Resource Podcast. Make sure you’re there every Tuesday is when an episode comes out, so look forward to that, and we will see you again next week. Peace.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 6 with David and Donna Stark

Speaker A [00:00:03]:

You’re listening to the Laundromat Resource Podcast, the show by Laundromat Owners for Laundromat Owners, with your host, Jordan Berry.

Speaker B [00:00:20]:

All right. I meant bluegrass. I love bluegrass. That was awesome. Not man secret about me. I do love bluegrass music. So good. So good. What’s up, guys? This is Jordan on the Laundromat Resource Podcast, and we have made it to show number six. And this week we have back on with us a part two from show number five with David and Donna Stark. I hope you caught that one. If you haven’t, the link is in the description down below or show five to catch that one. Because these guys have been in the industry for 40 plus years. 40 plus years. They have built more than 800 Laundromats. 800 Laundromats. They own and operate Laundromat today. They’ve done pretty much anything there is to do in the industry. They have done it somewhere along the way. So they are just bringing wisdom and a lot of fun with it, too. You can also hear their love story and how they got together and how Laundromats really brought their love together and made their family what it is today. So don’t miss that one. If you haven’t heard it yet, go back and check that one out. Today is going to be a part two. You can’t really cram 40 plus years of experience and wisdom and insight into one episode. So we’re doing it in two. Can’t really cram it into two either. So maybe later on down the line we’ll have them back on again. Plus, they’re just really awesome people. So we’ll get to that in a second. Before we do, I wanted to address a couple of little things. Number one is there’s an opportunity right now that I don’t know how much longer it’s going to last, but we have a coaching program that is free for you. And here’s how it works. Basically, I will jump on a coaching call with you for free a few times, or as long as you don’t abuse it as much as I can until you get your Laundromat into contract. So while you’re looking for a Laundromat, I’m going to help you find a Laundromat here at Laundromat Resource, we are here to help you find financial freedom through Laundromat ownership. And we’re putting our money and my time where our mouth is because we want to invest into helping you find that Laundromat that will help you attain financial freedom as soon as you can. So we offer this coaching program right now that’s free until you get under contract. And once you get under contract, we do charge a little bit. It’s not actually all that much, but we do charge a little bit just because things get a little more involved, a little more technical. But that’s free until you get it into contract. So take advantage of that. I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to last. I’ve gotten a lot of criticism about you get what you pay for and stuff like that. But really I am here to help you find financial freedom. So you do get what you pay for, but also you’re going to get a lot more than that, I think, with coaching calls. We have reviews on the website if you want to hear from actual coaching clients who have given us reviews. They’re very generous, very generous reviews. So thank you guys for if you’ve left a review, thank you for doing that. So make sure you sign up for that. That’s coaching. There’s a link in the description if you want to check that out. Again, take advantage of it while you can. Hopefully for the foreseeable future, we’ll do at least one free call. But for now, we have this program that you can take advantage of if you want to. So utilize it. Number two is I wanted to just let you know kind of the schedule of things and when stuff happens here, just so you don’t miss anything that’s going on. So on Tuesdays, every Tuesday, we’ll be releasing a new podcast episode. Make sure you subscribe in your favorite podcast player, itunes. Apple podcast, that’s a thing. I think Apple podcast, maybe it’s the same as itunes. I’m not really sure. But Stitcher, whatever you’re listening on, make sure you subscribe. You don’t want to miss any episodes of this. We’re talking to real life Laundromat owners with their real life experiences. And if you’re someone who’s trying to get into the industry, you want to hear from the people who are where you want to be. If you’re someone who’s already in the industry, you already own one or more Laundromats, you want to hear from other people and hear what they’re doing and hear what’s helping them succeed so that you can implement that into your business and succeed as well. So make sure you subscribe there. If you’re on YouTube watching this, what’s up, guys? And make sure you subscribe there. And wherever you’re listening, make sure if you get a shot, leave us a review and a rating. And that just helps me to get better, to know what I can do better, to bring you just a better show every single week. And it also helps other people find us and hear our stuff. Tuesdays is when the podcast episodes are coming out. Thursdays, every Thursday we’ll have a new blog post coming out. So if you like to read, then that’s the place to go. You can subscribe to the blog, slash blog there. So that’s on Thursdays, Fridays, we have a YouTube video coming out every Friday. So make sure you subscribe on YouTube. Also, you don’t want to miss those videos. I’m bringing some really cool stuff. I have a couple of really cool ones coming up that literally, literally are going to put money in your pocket. If you’re in the Laundromat industry or trying to get into it. Don’t miss those episodes. So go subscribe on YouTube over there. Those are coming out every Friday. And then, of course, kind of all throughout the week, we’re working on more content for you, more resource to put into your hands to help you succeed in the Laundromat industry and find financial freedom. So don’t miss out on that. Make sure you’re subscribing and checking in with [email protected]. And finally, number three, I wanted to highlight something because like I said in the last episode, there’s been a little bit of life in the forums over there. And today, this week, we got a forum post a question from Ty, and Ty was asking about insurance. Now, I gave a crack at insurance is one of the bigger costs, bigger expenses for Laundromats and Laundromat owners. And it’s a really important one because you want to make sure you have the right insurance. You want to make sure you have enough insurance, but you also don’t want to have too much insurance because it’s expensive. It’s very expensive. So I took a little crack at it. But I told Ty, you know what, there’s probably people out there who know way more than I do about good insurance. He’s in Illinois and is looking for a good insurance company. So if you have some insight about Laundromat insurance, you want to share that with Ty and me and anyone else who ventures over to the forum, head over to the forum and click on the Laundromat forum and answer that question for Ty. That would be awesome. I’ll keep poking in there too, because I also am curious about what wisdom you guys have about insurance. So head over to Slash forums and that’s plural forums, Slash forums and help Ty out. Help me out about insurance. Awesome. Well, let’s get into in just a second, our interview, part two with David and Donna Stark. Today’s episode is jam packed full of stories and value and wisdom and hilarity. And these guys are just awesome. I could literally talk to them all day. But before we get into it with them, let’s take a quick break for this message.

Speaker C [00:08:20]:

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Speaker B [00:09:50]:

All right, without further ado, let’s bring in David and Donna Stark. 40 plus years in the industry, current Laundromat owners, and all around great people. Here they are. All right, we are back here with David and Donna. Thank you guys for being back on. It’s super good to have you. How you guys doing?

Speaker A [00:10:10]:

Great. Absolutely wonderful.

Speaker B [00:10:12]:


Speaker A [00:10:13]:

Well, our son got married over the weekend, so we are recovering.

Speaker B [00:10:17]:

Hey, congratulations. Your family is growing. How was that with all the Coronavirus stuff going on?

Speaker A [00:10:25]:

Well, there was some twists and turns, like probably most people have faced, but it was great. We ended up doing it in our backyard, and it was just lovely. And we absolutely love our daughter in law. I’ve been praying for her since the day Craig Stark was born, and my prayers were answered a thousand times over. She’s fabulous. So it was all great.

Speaker B [00:10:49]:

Awesome. Well, you sent me a couple of pictures, and it looked amazing. Looked very beautiful. It was a good day for a wedding, too.

Speaker A [00:10:57]:

Perfect. Yeah, it was a good day. It was perfect. And they actually jumped off a little bridge that we lived by in their wedding attire and Cory in her dress. And so that was the taking the plunge, literally.

Speaker B [00:11:10]:

Into water?

Speaker A [00:11:11]:

Right into the water.

Speaker B [00:11:12]:

Jumped off a bridge into water. I just wanted to be clear about that.

Speaker A [00:11:17]:

Yes, into the water. And it was a great way to kind of end the day. I don’t know that it was a little plunge. I mean, it was probably a 20.

Speaker B [00:11:26]:

Foot jump, man down.

Speaker A [00:11:28]:

So it was pretty good distance down. I think Corey had second thoughts when she got up to do this.

Speaker B [00:11:38]:

That’s a good way to start off the wedding.

Speaker A [00:11:40]:

Yeah, but she did it, so it was great.

Speaker B [00:11:43]:

That’s awesome. Well, speaking of a good way to start off, I think this is a part two of interviews with you guys, and if you haven’t listened to part one, there’s a link in the bio down in the description. So go listen to part one. You don’t want to miss it. These guys are awesome, and they have so much wisdom they’re bringing, and they’re just genuine people. So go listen to part one. But in part one, we talked about some chickens, so I think maybe to just kick this story back off and pick it up where we left off. Let’s start with the chickens.

Speaker A [00:12:20]:

Well, let’s do that. Yeah, the chickens have to do nothing with me, so let’s just start there. So we understand that, but it does have to do with my twin brother, and we early on were partners in Laundromats. And then he took his young kids and his family and he moved up to Washington and raised his family up there. And while he was up there, he had developed and ran a chicken ranch. And so if we kind of go back and look at where we left off, he sold the ranch and then he came back down because at that time we were doing a tremendous amount of building. So we were still at that point running a development partner with PWS. And the number of projects we were doing at that point, we were probably building 40 to 50 a year. Wow. So we were turning them out about one a week. And so we really needed help. So he came back down and he was running the field as far as the projects go. So that’s kind of how he came back into the picture, that he was running a lot of the projects in the field. And so we did that for a number of years. There was probably some days he wishes he was back at the chickens at that point. Yeah, probably he flew the coupe literally and then was probably thinking, what in the world did I do? Yes, he was very good, though, at what he did. He clearly was a huge piece of this puzzle. But maybe he was thinking the chickens might have been a better idea than Laundries at the time. But anywho, he came back. So anyway, so we developed a lot of Laundries and that was all good. Then there was really a transition point where I think PWS was starting to get to the point that they were getting nervous about specking locations because so much of the stuff that we were doing was based on the fact that leases were being negotiated and things were being specked. And then they would put it on the market and sell it. And so I think they were getting to a point that they wanted to transition more into build a suits where they would build a project out for a specific buyer as opposed to specking and building out. So there was a point where I felt that it was time to transition out. So both Daryl and I decided that we would leave PWS, and at the time that we left, we wanted to go back and really do more of our own development. So at that point, within a third partner, we got together and became a distributor for Continental Jubao and that started a whole new company, at that point taking on the responsibility of a distributorship. Now reflecting back, I’m not sure that that was really the best idea. I mean, we were really builders. I mean, we were not distributors. It was not our background, and it’s not what we really had expertise in. We were better builders than we were distributors. So we kind of limped along in the beginning, trying to get a handle on it. And we did that for a number of years. And we really, in truth, acted more like builders and developers than we did distributors. Well, we branded under a different name at this point now. With what? Sparkling. We started building under the name sparkling laundry. Right. That was distributorship name that we had. We were sparkling laundry systems. And so we did a lot of development of laundries through that period of time. And it was a great experience. We learned a lot. We did some ancillary things along the way. I know that the kids were probably, I don’t know, they might have been eight or ten or twelve, somewhere in that age group. And we decided we wanted to do a laundry project that we could get them involved in the building of it. Family laundry. Family. Yes. I wish Craig and Jenna were here. They could throw in their two cent, but we’ll do our best.

Speaker B [00:17:54]:

We’ll have to get a behind the scenes with them one time, get them on the podcast, and they can tell us the real truth about all of that.

Speaker A [00:18:02]:

Well, it’s amazing that we weren’t called for child labor laws or one of those. So we thought it would be a great idea to get know relatively we lived in Brea at the time. We thought if we could find a location relatively close to home that we could build that, that would be a fun project to do with the kids. Fun. So I looked around for a while and I went to different shopping centers that were in the area, tried to inquire about whether there was space available or whether we could do something, and wasn’t really successful at finding one. So I finally came to a property that was in Lahabra. And it didn’t have any vacancies, but I said, this is a location prime candidate. I said, this is a location that I kind of like. So I went in and talked to one of the tenants, and I said, can you put me in touch with the landlord? They gave me the information. So I called the landlord and I said, look, I’d like to entertain the idea of putting laundry in here. So we set up a meeting and I went in and talked to them. And he goes, well, we do have space that we could give you that we have a tenant that’s going out. And I said, Great. So we ended up negotiating a lease. And once we completed the negotiation on the lease, then we thought, well, what about buying the center? It wasn’t for sale. It wasn’t for sale.

Speaker B [00:19:56]:

But everything’s for sale.

Speaker A [00:19:58]:

That is the truth. So, what about buying the center? So talked to him, and it happened to be interestingly enough. He owned a huge amount of industrial property in Nevada and they also owned some buildings up in the Valley. Well, this was one shopping center that was kind of off and out of his geographic area. So he thought it was intriguing. Yeah, well, maybe, you know, sell it and that would be fine. So that’s what we ended up doing. So we ended up saying, Fine, we’ll buy it. So we bought the shopping center. It was a small center, about 15,000. It had seven rate tenants in there. A Mexican restaurant, which was just delicious, by the way. So we ended up buying the center, which was great. So we bought it. Then we went ahead and we built out the laundry. And we obviously got the kids involved in all the processes. So, like, when we were designing it, we’d sit down with them and show them the design we were doing it, why we were doing it the way we were doing it, and then went to the city to get the permits and go through the process of submitting plans and so forth so that they kind of saw what that? And then the fun part was making them do some of the work. Yes, the trenches. Craig will talk to you about the trenches. So it was a lot of fun because we did a lot of the work ourselves. And when he means a lot, it was almost all no, we did a lot of it ourselves, physically doing it ourselves because I wanted them in with the process, like all the carpentry work. So we got them involved in that. The plumbing we got them involved in. We kind of did a whole ocean theme. And so there was a lot of tile that we put in and grout that had to go, know. And Jenna will tell you a story that’ll absolutely crack you up about trying to clean the grout off after you put it in. And the film keeps coming back. Absolutely hilarious. So meanwhile, I’d be calling him at 930 and I’d say, they have to go to school tomorrow. David Stark would say, well, they’re not quite done yet. I’m like, well, okay, how long might they be there? But that’s the best way, I think, for kids to learn. That’s how we were brought up. And so why not repeat it? It seemed to work, so we repeated it. Yeah. So it was a fun little project. So on we go on. And we operated it for, I don’t know, two or three years. We ended up selling that. We ended up selling shopping center at some point. A very good return. So it worked out very well. But anyway, it was a fun thing to do for the kids and great memories for them, whether they admit it or not.

Speaker B [00:23:06]:

Well, I’m sure now they can appreciate it. Maybe not.

Speaker A [00:23:12]:

Well, Craig and Jenner are both workers, so Craig was two years old, three years old, wanting a blower for Christmas and wanted to blow the neighbor’s yard and know when he was five, then could he make some money by blowing their leaves away. So he always had that spirit, I think, from the get go.

Speaker B [00:23:31]:

That’s awesome. And you guys fostered it, which is cool.

Speaker A [00:23:36]:

I don’t want you to think, either, that we just had, like, four Laundries in the beginning, and then we kind of got I mean, we owned a bunch of different Laundries through the years. Yeah, that’s really important. And either in partnership with others that we owned, some of them we didn’t operate, but we were actually part owners in them. So that happened. There were a number of those that we did that we were in and out of through the years while all this other stuff was going on. Yeah. Let me pause for a minute, just to let you know how many there were. Yeah. This one isn’t true. No. So just so you know how many there actually were, what he just mentioned yeah, we got our tax return. Hold on, let me think for a second. No, our accountant said, what is this one? Like, this location? And I’m like, well, we don’t own that laundry. And our accountant said, no, I think you do. And so I come to David Stark with the old excuse me, what is this? Goes, oh, no, no, we own it. I’m like, oh. So there was a lot of Laundries that were owned, like he’s saying, through this time frame. Probably a few I didn’t even know about at the time. I don’t know that I would call it Quinn. Oh, no. Kind of same as the marriage with I asked him. Yes. So there were a lot of Laundries that we owned through this time period. Good point. Yeah. Yes. So they were up and on it. Just know. No, but that is the truth. I’m like, who is operating the store? Like, my name is on it, but I have no idea who’s operating the store. But it turns out I did know who was operating, you know, just little details. David Stark seems to not give me the little ins and outs on until after the fact. Well, like buying an extra racehorse I wasn’t sure about until after the shoe bills start coming in. You have to shoe the horses anyway, so yeah, same thing with this laundry. You want to talk about chickens or horses? Well, no laundries.

Speaker B [00:25:43]:

This is a laundry podcast, chicken podcast we’re doing tomorrow. Horse one Friday.

Speaker A [00:25:52]:

With their two cent on Mahabra.

Speaker B [00:25:55]:

You guys crack me up, and.

Speaker A [00:25:59]:


Speaker B [00:26:00]:

Just dying that first of all, David, that you’re going off buying Laundromat and racehorses and stuff. And Donna may or may not know. We don’t know if she knew or not?

Speaker A [00:26:11]:

No. Well, I know she knew. She doesn’t have much of a memory. Oh, that is not the truth. No. The only time I knew there was more than one race horse was when who’s the guy that shoes the horses? Who is know the shoesmith the guy that puts the shoes on the horses?

Speaker B [00:26:30]:

I don’t know.

Speaker A [00:26:31]:

Anyway, the bill comes in, and I’m like, wait, we only own one. Why are we shoeing multiple horses? And then David would let me know that, oh, yeah, PS. There’s a few more that were purchased. But anyway, that’s usually how I find out Jordan is the bills start to come in, and then I have to better that way.

Speaker B [00:26:49]:

It’s the whole ask for forgiveness rather than permission thing.

Speaker A [00:26:53]:

That is the truth. Yes.

Speaker B [00:26:54]:

I think how boring your life would be if David didn’t go rogue every now and then.

Speaker A [00:26:58]:

Oh, yeah. No, he’s gone rogue a time or two, but that’s okay. It all works out. I’ve gone rogue with buying a dog that he didn’t know about. So I guess it all comes all about the animals at the end of the day. Yeah, it is. Okay, so back to the Laundromat. So the truth of it is that we’ve always been better builders and better operators than we were distributors. So we did the distribution for probably eight or nine years, something like that, and we kind of got to, like 2008, 2009, really, everything pretty much shut down at that point. There were really no real opportunities to be specking Laundries at that point, and that was really our main business. So that was a much bigger part of our distribution company, was the build out of stores, and selling them was 80% of what we did. I mean, we sold some commercial equipment and so forth, but it was really more that we were being developers. And so when that time hit, that was a point in time where we decided that it was best to end our relationship as a distributor. And that was a point where Darryl was ready to retire. He wanted to move out of state. Tragically, his son was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Speaker B [00:28:50]:

Oh, man.

Speaker A [00:28:51]:

And so at that point in time, they were ready to move out of California, which they, in fact, did. So they ended up moving to Nevada and stayed there for a couple of years, and then they moved up to Oregon, up close to where their daughter was, and that’s where they are to this day. So that was kind of a point where we wanted to transition out of the distribution side of the business and operate. And so that’s kind of where we got to the point where we took on the group of laundries that we had, and so we bought out the partners at that point. And that’s how we ended up with the group of stores that we now operate, because that was the same group that we had built out for ourselves as a distributor. Well, we kept some as we were building them for others under the Sparkling logo, so we were building for others under Sparkling. And then we also kept a chain of stores in house. And this is the stores he’s referring to. Right. So that’s where we are today. We’ve been operating that group of stores. Well, there were three of them that we took out of that group. And then there was a fourth one which is in Riverside, which is one that we had originally built and it was one that we had originally guaranteed the loan on when it was built. And subsequently they ran into financial trouble during the housing, necessarily because of the laundry, but other things, the whole housing market. So anyway, they got into real trouble and so we ended up having to step back in and take the laundry back. And part of that process was we had to make up about $80,000 worth of back rent ouch. In order to step back in and take over the loan, which we did. And so we still operate that store today. So it’s a good store just a little far away. Does well, it’s just geographically a little difficult because of the distance. Because I think that if you can operate typically, I think if you can operate stores within a half an hour of what your base is and I don’t care whether that’s an office or your home or whatever your base is, if you can operate within a half an hour, I think that’s ideal. Doesn’t mean you can’t operate outside of that, but just a little more efficient if you can geographically have it within a reasonable distance of where you live.

Speaker B [00:31:58]:

Yeah, well, here in La. Half an hour could be like 3 miles.

Speaker A [00:32:04]:

You’re right. That is the truth. Not right now, but hopefully. So we certainly learn how to maneuver around rush hours and stuff. We get pretty good at knowing when to go where.

Speaker B [00:32:17]:

Yeah, because that 91 freeway going out to Riverside is no joke.

Speaker A [00:32:21]:

Right. But it’s been fun the last couple of months, in fairness, it’s been wide open. So that’s the one thing I will miss when it gets back to high traffic again. I miss the ability to just zip all over town without a problem.

Speaker B [00:32:38]:

Me too. Zip down to La. No problem. 25 minutes normally take me an hour and 15.

Speaker A [00:32:44]:

It’s crazy.

Speaker B [00:32:47]:

So you guys are one of the.

Speaker A [00:32:50]:

Stores that we had probably that Don is talking about is we had a store in Culver City that we operated for a number of years with a partner and it was impossible to get over there. It was so hard to get over there. I mean, if there was a problem in the store and it was 4 hours round trip by the time you go to do something that takes you five minutes to fix and. So we ended up selling that one as well. Yeah, we did own it at some point, apparently.

Speaker B [00:33:31]:

Well, let me ask you this, because you’ve mentioned this a couple of times and I’m just kind of curious to know if you have anything to say about it. But you’ve mentioned working with partners a few times in various aspects of the business, and I mentioned in the last episode that you guys have pretty much if there’s a role to play in the Laundromat industry, seems like you guys have played it, but you’ve mentioned a couple of times working with partners. Would you recommend people do that?

Speaker A [00:34:03]:

Well, it can be good or it can be bad or it can be okay. So I think if you’re going to go money does a weird thing to people. So quite often I would recommend that you don’t go into business with a friend because many friendships have been destroyed over partnerships and it seems like in most cases it all boils back to money. Sometimes it boils down to just you learn too much about the other person that you didn’t know. But for the most part, it all seems to go back to money in many cases. Partnerships, I think under the best of conditions, can be difficult. If you can do it on your own, I think you’re better off to do it on your own. Now, certainly my brother being a partner is different. Yes, there’s a special thing that goes on with twins, and so obviously that’s on the list of good partnerships, for sure, they can go both ways. So we’ve had partners that have been perfectly fine with Laundries that we’ve owned, that absolutely have worked out without any issues, and we’ve had others that have been difficult. So if I was recommend, I’m kind of going away from it as opposed to doing it if you can if you can afford to do it. But the biggest thing is try to stay away from friends because that can be difficult. But our partnership seems to have worked. Even though people said, see you in Division Two on the wedding cards, we seem to have made it.

Speaker B [00:35:59]:

That’s right, you did.

Speaker A [00:36:00]:

This partnership has worked perfectly.

Speaker B [00:36:04]:

So I’m hearing the advice to take is to just marry somebody.

Speaker A [00:36:09]:

There you go.

Speaker B [00:36:09]:

For a partner.

Speaker A [00:36:11]:

Right, Jordan, here’s the secret sauce to this. We get asked all, am I jumping ahead?

Speaker B [00:36:18]:

I know it’s probably no, tell me the secret sauce.

Speaker A [00:36:21]:

So we get asked all the time, specifically from our know, Craig just got married and he has known nothing different than seeing both of us be partners. We’re co founders of what we’ve done and it seems to be seamless. And Craig said, I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do what you and dad have done. But the difference with us is that I had a strength in one area and David had a strength in the other area and because of those two strengths back in the very beginning, it’s just worked fabulously. To this day, he is so great in his area. I can do my area well. And we’ve always relied on that our entire because we’re partners, that’s what we are. I mean, we’re obviously husband and wife, but we were business partners long before we got married. Right? And that’s very unusual because normally people butt heads because they both have the same strength and they’re both trying to pull back and forth and so they butt heads. In this case, it wasn’t the case. He was great, so great at what he still does. And my area was so different that it worked. And I think that that’s highly unusual, especially than getting married and raising a family and doing all that we’ve done.

Speaker B [00:37:45]:

Yeah, you guys had a lot going on, obviously not just with the laundry, but with the family too.

Speaker A [00:37:54]:

Moving parts.

Speaker B [00:37:55]:

A lot of moving parts. But I think that’s so wise and I think that is really good secret sauce and it probably translates pretty well to other types of partnerships too, like a business partnership. I see a lot of people go into business with people who have the same strengths as them, which is great, but then it’s not great. You have this weak spot over here that nobody’s good at, nobody wants to do.

Speaker A [00:38:23]:

And we all do things that we like to do. We just do. We don’t do the things we don’t like to do. You avoid them if you don’t like them and you jump right in when it’s something you enjoy. So it is. I think it absolutely is so true that if you can have that balance across the board of knowledge as well as desire, then your chances of success are pretty darn good. I don’t think I’d suggest partners personally so laundries as a whole, it’s a great business as long as you’re willing to put the time and effort into it and it can be very rewarding. And it’s one of these types of businesses that you can build as long as you develop good people along the way. Because it’s a combination. The basic operation of laundry still is fairly simple. So it really then boils down to the people. Do you have good attendance? Do you have people that you can rely upon? Do you have people that you can trust? Managers that are not going to try and steal the money from you or do things that are disruptive or harmful to your business? Are they there to support what you’re doing or are they there to take advantage of it? So your people are really important when you’re trying to develop a business as far as building up your clientele or if you’re trying to expand into multiple stores, then how do you really structure it in such a way that you can manage multiple stores? Because as you add stores, then you have to rely upon others. You can’t do it all yourself, so you have to start relying upon others to help you, and that’s where it becomes critical that you put good people in place to do that. Well, I have an exception to the partner thing. I just occurred to me. So we were partners in our son with one of the Laundries, which he now owns outright, but that’s different, too. I mean, for us personally, our son’s been such a huge asset to what we have done with this. I mean, he’s been the brains behind a lot of the residential service that we’re now doing and fluff and fold. So that’s the one exception for us. For us, having our son was wonderful. Yeah.

Speaker B [00:41:15]:

Plus he pretty much single handedly built that Lahabra location.

Speaker A [00:41:19]:

Yes, he did, with his tool belt strapped around his waist. Although he probably would have rather been there than going back to school because he’s kind of got a lot of us in him. Yeah, that’s good. We’re also lucky, though. We’ve got people that have been with us over ten years longer. You just have to treat people right, Jordan, you know that. You treat them the way you would want to be treated, and that’s really all. It’s not magic. You get people that are really good at what they do and are loyal to you and you just give them the same comp. People make it complicated, but of course, then you have your few that, of course, are not a good fit. But we have got more that are good fit than have not been.

Speaker B [00:42:07]:

Well, you’re making a lot of laundry owners jealous right now because I know one of the big issues for a lot of Laundromats is trying to find good people to help them out. And I’m sure you’ve had your struggles trying to do that too. Any tips for finding good fits?

Speaker A [00:42:27]:


Speaker B [00:42:33]:

Trial and error. Throw them against the wall, see what sticks.

Speaker A [00:42:37]:

It’s a tough one. People that have an Aquarius birthday seem to be an Aquarius. A lot of our attendants are. It just so happens Jenna’s an Aquarius and they seem to be even kind of even keel people, but that’s just a Donna Stark thought process behind it. But we’ve hired so many people through this journey, and I’m not always correct, and a lot of times I’m not necessarily involved anymore in the process. But normally my antennas will go up if I see something that probably isn’t going to work. It’s a gut thing. We’ve just done it a long time and I’m not always on the mark, but I’m trying to really think about that question because it’s important to share with others.

Speaker B [00:43:35]:

Yeah, it’s a tough one, though.

Speaker A [00:43:36]:

It’s pretty difficult to know how somebody’s going to work out good. The trick is that if they’re not working out, move them out quickly. Don’t leave them in there lingering for months and months and months and then it just becomes a bigger and bigger problem if you see that it’s not working, try and move them out very quickly and try and find them and it’s easy to leave them in place. Okay, well, here’s one more problem I have to deal with and one more person we need to train and one more. But you’re better off if you go ahead and move them out because in the long run, the more stable you can make your employee staff, the far better you’re going to be able to operate. So I think that it’s really important to try and get rid of them, quite frankly, if they’re not working out. But we really are, I mean, so lucky. We have got great managers in place in every location we have. A lot of them have just kind of become part of our family, to be honest. They’re very loyal and they’re very good and we make sure they know it. We treat them so that they know it, how much we appreciate all that they do for us. And then when you get into the whole area of Fluff and Fold and the residential pickup and delivery and the commercial, those are really, quite frankly today, I think almost required if you’re going to run successful businesses today in this environment because you’ve got the labor costs that continue to go up. If you’re going to be running attendant type stores, then you need to have that ancillary income coming in that will help cover some of that payroll cost, especially here in California. And so then it becomes critical that you have good people because that is work that you’re performing on a daily basis where you have a product that’s coming in and it needs to go back out the next day. And you need to have loyal employees, people that show up, people that come to work when they’re supposed to come to work so you can produce the work because you’ve got a commitment on the other side in order to get that product back out the next day. Well, and we had people in place so we could do this. There’s the key. I would not recommend hiring a whole crew of new people to try to start off just to say Fluff and Fold. We had people in place for years and years before we started doing Fluff and Fold and all of those that team just became the Fluff and Fold team. So I would not recommend hiring people and then starting the service. You’ve got to have your team in place first and then step into that market if you go the other way, I’m not sure how well it would work.

Speaker B [00:46:50]:

Yeah, well, that’s gold right there in and of itself. Can I ask you, you may not know, you may not have anything to say about this and this is totally fine, but I’m just curious. I mean, you’ve been in the industry so long and you’ve seen so much, where do you see the industry going right now forward in the future?

Speaker A [00:47:16]:

Well, I think that it’s developing more and more towards the large stores that can provide all of the services, because I think it’s really difficult to make financial sense out of the small stores. It’s harder and harder for them to make financial sense. You may be able to operate a small store for some period of years and it’s unattended and it kind of moves along, but you never accumulate enough money that you can ever afford to go in and re equip it. You can’t afford to remodel it. And so they just kind of limp along and really, at the end of the day, they’re just taking away from the strength of the industry as a whole because just bleeding off a little bit of revenue here and there, but at the same time, it’s not really producing anything positive to the industry. Well, and those stores really seem to be more they buy them and they operate them, their families only work in them. There’s no payroll, there’s no payroll taxes, there’s no workers comp goes on and on. And it seems like those more so they buy them and their entire families work in them versus having a team of staff, so to speak.

Speaker B [00:48:49]:

Yeah, and we see a lot of those around here in Southern California, for sure. There’s more and more big stores popping up now and being built, but there’s still a lot of those small kind of mom and pop stores like you’re talking about.

Speaker A [00:49:06]:

Why, Jordan?

Speaker B [00:49:07]:

Because you built them all, is that why?

Speaker A [00:49:08]:

That’s because we built them all? Yes. Those 1200 square foot bowling alley stores? Yes, we built all of those and that’s why that’s what you built. Back in the day. It was a model. I don’t know what year we were building 4000, 5000 square foot stores. I mean, all of ours are very large except for one. I couldn’t really even remember when we started building the 5000 square foot, probably stores. I mean, it was a while ago. 15 years. Yeah, it was quite a while ago. Right. If there’s one area that I think when I think about, when I reflect back on what we have done and what I might have done differently, would have been that I would have put more focus on real estate ownership as it relates to the laundry location. So that’s an area that if people have the ability to do it, and I know that most probably don’t, but if they do have the ability to acquire the property and either build a location out or acquire the property of a location that they can purchase, I suggest that’s a great idea. How about highly recommend? Highly recommend that if you’re thinking of this as a career, you’re thinking of doing this long term if you can own the property. I believe in the long run, as painful as it may be in the beginning, trying to come up with the resources to do it, in the long run, I think it’s a home run for you, if at all possible.

Speaker B [00:51:08]:

I cannot agree with you more. And I talk about this all the time where I love the way that laundromats and real estate kind of interact really well together. And you can get such good cash flow from your laundromat that you don’t have to worry as much about maximizing your cash flow with real estate, but it can just build that equity. And so you’re getting kind of a good equity play and a good cash flow play kind of all at the same time. And both have potential for incredible tax benefits also. And all of a sudden, you have the three main ingredients of building wealth kind of all working together and got that synergy going. And I think that’s great advice, personally.

Speaker A [00:51:59]:

Thanks. Jordan yeah, thanks. Thanks for giving us the thumbs up on that one.

Speaker B [00:52:04]:

Yeah, no problem. Stamp of approval from me. So you’re good to go. Continue to buy some real estate if you’d like. Man well, let me ask you this. Do you have anything else that you feel like either other owners would benefit from or people getting into the industry would benefit from? I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to keep you too long, but I also don’t want to leave without giving you the opportunity to share anything that you want to share with people.

Speaker A [00:52:37]:

Yeah, I mean, probably if I could say anything, I just want people to get into it. I want them to put 100% into what they’re doing because if they do, then they’re going to get the rewards or they’re much more likely to, and enjoy the process. Rather than thinking of it as a job or a career, think of it as something that you get to do that you’re helping other people because you are. Whether you understand it or not or really think about it, you’re helping a lot of people when you provide a quality service to a community clean. So if you’re doing it well and you’ll hear it from your customers, we get it from the customers all the time that will come in and say, thank you for providing the service you provide. We’re so grateful. Your attendance are great. We just appreciate the fact that if we have a problem, you’re there to take care of it for us or you’re there to fix it. And so that you aren’t giving a lot back to the community, maybe not directly, but indirectly, you are indeed providing a really necessary service to the community that you’re in. So I think that it’s something that you ought to be proud of and not just think of it as you’re an operator of a laundromat, because it might not be glamorous, like we said earlier in the first podcast restaurants are glamorous, but this has got its own glamour. When you walk into one of our stores, that’s the big stores, and you see the family sitting at the tables and our attendants coming over, helping the kids do their homework, if parents have a struggle with English, perhaps that’s to me. I mean, what better thing can you go down in your life knowing that you have been able to help others? And we’ve always felt that way, that the laundry industry has provided that, that we feel like we’ve left a footprint to help. And I think that David’s right. If you think about it in those terms, you’ll be always proud of what you do, because it’s not glamorous per se, but we have always been very happy with this industry for a lot of.

Speaker B [00:55:19]:

Love. Love that. And I think kind of the times right now that we’re in as we’re recording this, there’s still a lot of lockdown happening all over the world, really, because of the COVID-19. And I think the value of the laundromat industry, the laundry industry, has been shown during this time not just because it was deemed an essential business, right. But also because it really is providing a service that is keeping people clean and healthy and safe. And that’s what we’re doing. And so I love that perspective because it’s easy to lose that. It is that perspective. And just think of it as, oh, I own laundromat, or the returns are this or whatever people are going after, but the reality of it is, it is providing a great service for a community and it is making a difference even when it doesn’t feel like it. So I love that.

Speaker A [00:56:24]:

I think if you have that mindset, you’ll stay in it for a long time. If you’re just looking at the bottom line and numbers and you’re not feeling the connection you have with others, it’s probably not for you. You probably need to look for something else. But if you have somewhat of a giving heart and you’ve got that side to you, as well as being business minded, the two work really well. We even adopted a dog out of one of our locations. Christmas time, there was this little dog that had been, anyway, thrown out of a car and it had been picked up. We brought it into the store and of course, the attendants are FaceTiming me and David’s like, oh my gosh, we are going to end up with another dog. And they called it Know, and one of our customers adopted it. And so we have a success story for an adoption, a dog adoption, because I want to own a doodle rescue one day. Jordan, just in case you were wondering.

Speaker B [00:57:23]:

A doodle rescue.

Speaker A [00:57:24]:

A doodle rescue. We love know golden, know labradoodles, double doodles, triple doodles So I was very happy to know we were able to do that out of one of our locations. And the dog is sparkling, is living its best life. I think they’re calling it Tabasco now, actually. But anyway, how dare they?

Speaker B [00:57:45]:

That dog was already branded. Can’t just change it. Well, when you start your doodle rescue, you’ll have to let me know.

Speaker A [00:57:54]:

I’ll come. I will.

Speaker B [00:57:55]:

Because they’re hypoallergenic, right?

Speaker A [00:57:57]:

They are. We have one I wish I could show you, Petey. He’s right here at my feet. And then Jenna has Walter, who’s a double doodle. And then we have an Ozzy, a mini Aussie, and yes, Corey’s got Frank, who’s a Yorkie, so we’re a big dog band.

Speaker B [00:58:13]:

Well, if I would have known this, I would have invited you on my dog podcast.

Speaker A [00:58:18]:

That’s right. Right after we did the chicken podcast.

Speaker B [00:58:22]:

Chickens first.

Speaker A [00:58:23]:

Always. And the horses.

Speaker B [00:58:25]:

Yeah. Well, guys, again, I could talk to you guys all day long. And thank you guys so much for being on the podcast. I would love down the line to have you guys back on again and hear even more from you guys, because I know we just scratched the surface of your experience and your wisdom and your generosity, even, and so appreciate you guys coming on. And man yeah. You’re welcome here anytime.

Speaker A [00:59:01]:

Well, you might want to do the Craig and Jenna Lahabra, what it looked like to build a laundry as a child. That might be fun for those kids at home whose parents are in the industry and they can hear the walking 10 miles in the snow and the growl and Craig in the trenches. Yes. So anytime you need something, you let me know. I’m sure I could rally them together.

Speaker B [00:59:25]:

Yeah. I’m going to reach out to Jenna and do a behind the scenes podcast with those guys. Special episode.

Speaker A [00:59:32]:

Well, and Craig, being a new owner, know the next generation coming through. It’s always interesting to see what the next generation sees for the industry, because they’ll have a whole new face or a whole new thought process behind it, too, which is what’s so great about it. Yeah.

Speaker B [00:59:51]:

And I found the industry as a whole is pretty slow to evolve, at least from my perspective, but I do see it evolving. So when these newer owners do come in, I think it’d be interesting to see absolutely.

Speaker A [01:00:07]:

How things change, because we can all learn.

Speaker B [01:00:10]:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you again, guys. Really appreciate it. And we’ll talk to you guys soon.

Speaker A [01:00:16]:

Bye. Bye.

Speaker B [01:00:20]:

Man. I told you, david and Donald Stark are incredible. They come with so much wisdom, and they just they you can tell they love the laundromat industry, and they just care about people, and they want to help people wherever they can. It was awesome for me, a huge privilege for me to be able to spend time with them. I hope that you gathered something that will help you on your journey towards financial freedom through laundromat ownership. And man, again, I say this all the time, but you can learn everything there is to learn about Laundromat and the industry. You can glean all the wisdom you can, but none of it is really going to help you until you start putting it into action. So whether you’re looking to get into the industry, start putting some of this wisdom that you’re getting here on the podcast or on the blog or on the YouTube channel, start putting it into action. Or if you already have one or more Laundromat, take one thing that you learned from Donna and David and implement it in your business. Whether that’s a mindset shift or something very practical, take one thing and implement it. And I guarantee to you that if you do that one time every episode, pick one thing every episode, implement it into your business or into your mindset, and you look back a year from now, you’re going to be blown away by how far you’ve come, both personally and in your business. So I hope you enjoyed that. This is Laundromat resource podcast. I’m Jordan Barry. This was show number six, and we’ll see you again next Tuesday for show number seven with an awesome, awesome interview with Brandon Understall and look forward to that. He is a very cool guy, and you’re going to learn a lot. All right, we’ll see you next week.

Speaker A [01:02:29]:

Sam. Sam, it’s.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 7 with Brandon Unnerstall

Brandon Unnerstall [00:00:00]:

All right.

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

What’s up, Brandon? How you doing, man?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:00:02]:

Doing good, man. How are you doing?

Jordan Berry [00:00:03]:

I am doing awesome. Thanks for being on the podcast. I’ve been excited since you reached out to me on Instagram. I’ve been excited to have you on and hear your story, and we talked a little bit before this, but you just told me that you basically live and breathe your businesses, and I love that, so can’t wait to hear about that.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:00:23]:

Yes, sir.

Jordan Berry [00:00:24]:

Yeah. So I want to ask you a little bit about your story here in a second, but before we do, can you give us a little context? Where are you at right now?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:00:30]:

So I am on the edge of St. Louis. So we live on the Illinois side, but half of our alarm mats are in Illinois, and the other half are.

Jordan Berry [00:00:38]:

In oh, that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s awesome. I want to ask you a little bit later if there’s any complications to being in two states or different laws or different nations or if it’s pretty similar, but before we get there, take us back. So I get asked all the time when I tell people that I own laundromat, people are like, what? You own? Where did that come from? So where did that come from? How did you get into laundromats?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:01:06]:

So what happened was my father started the business in 1986, and so I basically grew up in a laundromat. It’s all I know. So that’s where we’re at. He made me clean the laundromats before I would go to school in the morning. He had one that was unattended, and I would have to go there every morning at, like, 530, get up, go to school, make sure it’s clean, and then go there after school and then come home. So it’s all we know in the Interstellar household is laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:01:32]:

That is awesome. In fact, last night, my kids.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:01:37]:


Jordan Berry [00:01:38]:

Been begging me to go help me clean. Two weeks ago, we had an employee had a family emergency, so I’ve been kind of filling in. So last night we went, and my kids helped me kind of clean up, and they were wiping down carts and folders.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:01:57]:

Got to teach them young.

Jordan Berry [00:01:58]:

That’s right.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:01:59]:

I hated it when I was a child, and now I look back, and I was like, I’m so thankful my dad did that. That was one of the best things he could have done for me.

Jordan Berry [00:02:06]:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, mine go back and forth. Sometimes they love it. Sometimes they hate it.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:02:10]:

I get that. I get that a lot.

Jordan Berry [00:02:12]:

Yeah. Cool. So you kind of grew up in the industry. So did you guys own one or multiple when you were growing up, or how did that work?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:02:22]:

I think he owned five of them when I was really young. I have four brothers and a sister, and then so I guess he had to have a lot of laundromats to.

Jordan Berry [00:02:31]:

Feed all of us kids.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:02:32]:

And then whenever I graduated or when I was a senior, he built the third one, or he sold some, and then he built the third one when I was a senior. And I took off way too many days of school, and I helped with them, so I learned a lot, and I just knew, like, I didn’t want to go to college. That’s what I wanted to do.

Jordan Berry [00:02:51]:

Yeah, that’s cool. And I would consider helping your dad with the business and learning about the business. I’d consider that school.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:02:58]:

I was a private school kid. So they allowed you to do stuff like that.

Jordan Berry [00:03:02]:

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, if anybody had an issue with it, just send them to me, and I’ll vouch for you.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:03:08]:

Well, thank you.

Jordan Berry [00:03:08]:

Yeah. Good. Okay, so you had a bunch growing up, so how did you because you own some now, right? Is that true?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:03:15]:

Yeah. Okay.

Jordan Berry [00:03:16]:

We’re all family, all kind of kind of going together. Okay.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:03:19]:

The joke is my mother always gets some money at the end of the day.

Jordan Berry [00:03:22]:

Yeah. So you guys are just slaving away for your mom?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:03:25]:

Yeah, basically. She lives a good life.

Jordan Berry [00:03:28]:

I love that. So how did you get more involved? Did you go straight after school or what?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:03:34]:

So basically what happened was there was a Laundromat that came up for sale, like, one town across from us, and it was $40,000, and I bought it, and it was just disgusting. I mean, everything about it was your typical Laundromat. I mean, no air condition, had a fan in it. Every machine was a top loader. Everything was broken. And so I bought it for $40,000, put some new machines in there. It did good, but it never did great because it was just such a small store. But one of the cool things about the store was it had a subsidized water bill because the city has a refinery there. So our water bill was, like, $80 a month.

Jordan Berry [00:04:18]:

Oh, my gosh.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:04:19]:

Yeah, it was awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:04:20]:

So it’s like a Laundromat dream.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:04:22]:

It’s heaven. It’s still heaven to this day because it runs itself.

Jordan Berry [00:04:27]:

That’s, like, what I pay for my house.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:04:29]:

That was my first experience in the Laundromat business. I was like, they’re all going to be, like, this cheap. They’re not all that cheap, sadly.

Jordan Berry [00:04:37]:

Yeah. So good experience on the one hand, and on the other hand, it kind of spoiled you a little bit. Yeah.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:04:43]:

Got me pretty good there.

Jordan Berry [00:04:44]:

Yeah, that’s good. Okay, so you kind of redid that one, and it did okay.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:04:51]:


Jordan Berry [00:04:53]:

Okay, so now what does your role look like now with the Laundromat? What are you doing? You say it’s a family business, so what are you doing with the business?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:05:02]:

So basically, my father, I try to learn as much as from my father as I possibly can. He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met, so I’m very blessed to have him but then he’s slowing down and stuff like that. He’s older right now.

Jordan Berry [00:05:17]:

Really. He’s probably wising up and he’s acting like he’s slowing down because he’s got a mule now.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:05:22]:

The cool thing is we’ve learned so much for the last few years. I don’t know, when I was younger, he used to always have to go work on machines. In the Laundromat business, you don’t really have to do that anymore. I mean, they should maintain themselves if you’re doing things properly. So he doesn’t really have to do much. But our goal is to build two stores every year, so that’s my focal point is to build two Laundromat every year and just make sure that the best wash experience is the same throughout all the locations. So I usually try to go to each store once, maybe twice a week just to make sure expectations are being met.

Jordan Berry [00:05:59]:

Everything’s running well.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:06:01]:

Yeah, but we’re starting to pick up in delivery. So this week I’ve been training a young man to help me out and to take over that obligation, which is no easy task like I had imagined.

Jordan Berry [00:06:14]:

So we’re figuring out yeah. Honestly, I think that’s a lot of where the Laundromat industry is going right now. It’s hiccup in delivery.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:06:26]:

I see the coin laundry side doing the same and probably increasing a little bit, but I also see a huge opportunity. So I said, I really like this kid. He actually cleaned a Laundromat for me when he was in high school, so before he went to school. And so he went to college and then he got a job working for Ups. And for some reason I thought about this. I was like, he would be perfect for that. And so I just sent him a text and he was like, that sounds awesome, and let’s start it. So we did, dude.

Jordan Berry [00:06:58]:

So cool. Exciting. When did that start?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:07:00]:

Like, when did you monday. Monday.

Jordan Berry [00:07:02]:

Was this like last Monday? Yeah, last Monday. Like less than a week ago.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:07:06]:

Less than a week ago. So we’ve got three orders so far, and one of them is Papa John, so I was stoked for that. Oh, dude, I’m a fat kid at heart, and I love me some Papa John.

Jordan Berry [00:07:17]:

That is awesome. That is awesome. Well, man, well, that just means we’re going to have to have you back on down the line to hear how pickup and delivery.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:07:27]:

Well, let’s hope this video goes well because I’ve never done stuff like this before.

Jordan Berry [00:07:30]:

Oh, man, you’re natural. I can already tell. It’s awesome. Cool, man. Okay, so I’m going to just jump ahead a little bit, but I got to know how many Laundromat do you have?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:07:40]:

We’ve got nine. We’re breaking ground on our 10th one, and it’s going to be the first one from the ground up next month, I hope. Wow. Yeah, I’m stoked.

Jordan Berry [00:07:50]:

That’s awesome. Nine Laundromat. Is that tough to manage?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:07:54]:

Not really. I probably should say, yeah, but no, we’ve got really good people to help me out.

Jordan Berry [00:08:00]:

That makes all the difference. Everybody who I’ve talked to who’s got a bunch of stores, if they’re rolling, it’s because they have good people. Go ahead. I was just going to say, if they’re struggling, it’s because they don’t have good people.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:08:13]:

Have you ever read the book Good to Great?

Jordan Berry [00:08:15]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:08:17]:

That’s the best business book there is. But you ever remember when they talked about getting the right people on the bus? I read that. I was like, that makes absolutely no sense. That’s the stupidest thing ever. It makes so much sense now that I look back and I was like, that guy’s a genius.

Jordan Berry [00:08:33]:

Yeah, maybe it doesn’t make sense until you get the wrong one on the bus and then you’re like, oh, or until you get the right one on the bus, too.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:08:41]:

Have you ever had an attendant that you can say she was the wrong one or he was the wrong one on the bus?

Jordan Berry [00:08:46]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:08:50]:

It ruins the bus for everybody.

Jordan Berry [00:08:52]:

I had an attendant fight a customer one time and I was like, what is happening right now? Yeah, it was not good. Get the right people on the bus and read Good to Great. I’m going to link that in the show notes in case you want to get it. Get it.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:07]:

Good to great.

Jordan Berry [00:09:07]:

It’s a good one.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:08]:

I highly recommend it.

Jordan Berry [00:09:09]:

Yeah. Okay, so you have nine laundromats. You’re breaking ground on your 10th. You guys are trying to buy two every single month or every single year.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:18]:

Yeah, don’t do that to me. You give that to my dad and he’ll be like, oh, Brandon could do it.

Jordan Berry [00:09:23]:

I’m like. Have you read the ten x rule?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:26]:

Yes, I have.

Jordan Berry [00:09:27]:

Okay, we’ll get on the bus, man.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:29]:

Two months.

Jordan Berry [00:09:31]:

No, I’m just kidding. Two years sounds like plenty.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:35]:

Yeah, plenty for me right now.

Jordan Berry [00:09:37]:

That’s pretty awesome, though. So you guys are rolling and what kinds of things allow you to have that many laundromats?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:09:47]:

One is I just think having great people around you. The other one is just having good relationships with everybody. We have a great plumber, we have a great electrician. Everybody knows what to do at this point, so they can just do it. They can work by themselves. I mean, I try to be on there as much as I can to help them with anything, but just having the people that can do it and think for themselves, I think is huge.

Jordan Berry [00:10:12]:

Yeah, I think that’s key, too, the think for themselves part. Because if you got somebody asking you every little thing, then it makes your work infinitely more difficult and stressful.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:10:25]:

And I also can’t mentally take that. Like, if my phone rings over a certain amount of times a day, I just notice that I’m an ank. Like, I’m not as happy as a person and I don’t like doing that. That’s just me.

Jordan Berry [00:10:38]:

Yeah. Well, this is kind of a little bit off script, but out of curiosity and I know I’m putting you on the spot a little bit, but out of curiosity, if there’s somebody listening right now, maybe who owns, like one. Laundromat and they’re thinking about maybe expanding to having multiple locations. Is there any advice you would give them or any ways that they could do that in a way that would be beneficial?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:11:05]:

One is we like to own our real estate. I mean, everybody’s not like that. If you look at the Williford brothers, they have thousands of Laundromat, it seems like, and they do. Unbelievable. I mean, they’re just incredible. And they have a different philosophy than I do. But I like to own the real estate that we build on just because. So that’s one key thing for us. But we’re also in the Midwest, so real estate is really cheap for us. So to expand, I would just say make sure your one store is doing great before you jump into another one.

Jordan Berry [00:11:34]:

I think that’s good advice. I think that’s really good advice. Well, good. Okay, so you have these nine Laundromats, and you’re looking to build because you’re not really buying existing Laundromat, or are you?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:11:49]:

No. So the last one we did was a Hardees, and then the one before that was a bank. The other one before that was a 711. So we’ll go anywhere where we can see basically what I like to do is I like to see really ugly Laundromat, and then I go in there with just the biggest smile in the world and just build the best wash Laundromat there. So I know that sounds terrible, but I really get joy out of that. Yeah, I hate the thought of a hot, dirty Laundromat that just drives me. It’s 2020. That should not be the thought process of somebody when they walk into a Laundromat. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:12:27]:

And I think that’s how Laundromats have been run for a really long. For sure. Obviously, I see that changing a lot right now, where people are coming in and they’re taking better care of their customers by taking better care of their stores and having the right equipment and having the right people on the bus.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:12:49]:

For sure.

Jordan Berry [00:12:50]:

And I think that’s the way it’s moving. And on the one hand, it’s sad for those businesses that are going to lose business to a new Laundromat coming in, but on the other hand, the customers deserve better. They do. So I’m with you. I think that’s an awesome business model. Go find a community with a need for a nice, clean Laundromat with working machines and fulfill that need.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:13:16]:

It’s not that hard of a job. That’s why I was like, this is really easy. If you give people what’s common sense, they’ll come to your business.

Jordan Berry [00:13:27]:

Yeah, I love that. Aside from you’re starting to pick up and delivery service and you’re trying to build two laundromats a year. Do you have any other kind of goals or aspirations kind of looking towards the future, or is that what you’re focused on right now?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:13:48]:

So I’ve always said 50 watermats is my goal.

Jordan Berry [00:13:51]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:13:53]:

Yeah. But I don’t know. I just love the process of things. If I won the lottery tomorrow, which I don’t even play the lottery, but if I did, I would still do the same thing. I just enjoy building one that’s just fun for me. It’s just what I’ve always done.

Jordan Berry [00:14:10]:

Yeah, I think that’s awesome.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:14:12]:

So that’s like, my goal, and then just honoring God throughout the whole process.

Jordan Berry [00:14:16]:

Love that. I love the 50 laundromat number. I think it’s an audacious goal, but I love it, and I think it’s something that’s totally doable, and it’s, you know, it’s it’s just a big goal. It’s something that I’ll stretch you, but it’s achievable.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:14:39]:

I told my dad that when I graduated high school, I thought he thought I was an idiot, and now he knows it’s achievable, and so now he just thinks I’m stupid for wanting 50 laundromat. So I went from an idiot to just stupid now. Okay, that’s where we’re at.

Jordan Berry [00:14:55]:

Making progress, baby.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:14:56]:

Stepping, moving on up.

Jordan Berry [00:14:58]:

Moving on. That’s awesome. Well, cool. So that’s a little bit of your story and appreciate you sharing that with us and how you kind of got in. Right now we have a little section we like to call down to Business. Yeah, it’s exciting.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:15:18]:

I’m thrilled. Right now.

Jordan Berry [00:15:21]:

Down to business. We want to hear a little bit of kind of the details about your businesses a little bit. So start off by telling us again kind of where. So you said you’re in two different states. Tell us where you’re located your laundromat are located and maybe in this part, kind of tell us a little bit about if there are any differences between the two different states.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:15:41]:

Yeah, so we have three of them that are unattended, and then we have six of them that are attended.

Jordan Berry [00:15:47]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:15:47]:

And so that’s what I like is I like the attended model better. I mean, everybody has their different thing, but I just like the attended better because I feel like we can give people better service, not because we make less money off of it. It’s just I think we can provide a better service that way. So the alarm is just cleaner. I don’t have as many phone calls. I actually probably have more phone calls, but they’re less things that I have to run to the store. So we have four on the Missouri side, and we have five on the Illinois side. Our newest one is going to be in the Missouri side. So we’re going to have five and five now.

Jordan Berry [00:16:21]:

Awesome. Keeping it equal. Do you have to run them any differently because they’re in a different state, or are there any different regulations that.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:16:31]:

You have to we have a few lawn mats that are a rougher neighborhood. So you always got to run things differently that way.

Jordan Berry [00:16:39]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:16:39]:

But for the most part, things are pretty well the same. Just treat people with respect, pay your taxes, just general stuff like that is same.

Jordan Berry [00:16:50]:

Cool. All right, so you got nine Laundromats, and you are breaking ground on the 10th, and you said you like to buy them with real estate. So can you tell us a little bit about what real estate you have?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:17:02]:

What do you mean by that? I’m sorry?

Jordan Berry [00:17:07]:

Do you have real estate with all of your Laundromats?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:17:10]:

We have real estate on eight of them. On this last one that we just did, we rented it, and to be honest with you, I didn’t even want to do it because it was in a rental building. It was a big strip center. It’s right up the street from one of our other ones, one of our unattended ones. And the lady, she was just getting older. She didn’t want to do it anymore, and I actually told her no, and then she called me back, like, two months later, and she’s like, Would you consider it for this amount? I was like, I really don’t want to have to pay a landlord. So I feel guilty about how good of a deal we got off of it. But things worked out for the best.

Jordan Berry [00:17:49]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:17:50]:

We all walked away happy.

Jordan Berry [00:17:52]:

Yeah. And it probably helped her out, so nothing to feel guilty about there.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:17:58]:

The thing that scares me is if you ever read Planet Laundry where they’ll do, like, the store of the month or whatever, it’s like these people are paying, like, $8,000 a month for rent, and I don’t know. I know I don’t want to ever think like that. That just stresses me out, the thought process behind that.

Jordan Berry [00:18:17]:

Yeah, we like that one for sure. Doesn’t sound super outrageous around here.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:18:22]:

Oh, my gosh.

Jordan Berry [00:18:25]:

I mean, it is outrageous. Yeah, it is outrageous.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:18:28]:

That’s a different world out there, though. Do you guys even have, like, a dollar tree or do you have a dollar menu out there?

Jordan Berry [00:18:36]:

We do. There’s less and less things on the dollar menus, and those things get smaller and smaller every year. Yeah. So we do. We have them good. Yeah. All right. I normally ask people how long you’ve been in the business, but you were in diapers pretty much, basically. Can you tell us a little bit about ven prices? I don’t really know. What do ven prices look like out.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:19:03]:

Your yeah, so that’s another thing that separates our stores, is I guess I should have told you this. We have five stores that are free dry, and then we have four stores that are paid dry.

Jordan Berry [00:19:14]:

Oh, interesting.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:19:15]:

Yeah. So do you guys have free dry out there? Is that a thing?

Jordan Berry [00:19:17]:

Yeah, there’s store probably don’t quote me on this percentage, but maybe like, 35 40% are free dry, and then the rest are pay dry. But I’m curious about that. Tell me about how that works out. The numbers work out for those.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:19:31]:

Yeah. So we usually do 20%. Utility cost is about average for us across the board.

Jordan Berry [00:19:38]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:19:38]:

But it’s just everybody likes free.

Jordan Berry [00:19:41]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:19:42]:

You tell people free, and it’s like a light bulb in their head. But our paid dry stores are like $2 for a double loader. We don’t do top loaders. We don’t do top loaders. I just think that’s something that totally people can get a top loader at home. Why would they come to a lawnmower when they can do it at home? So that’s just something that I think really differentiates us from everybody else. So $2 for a double odor, 350 for a triple. 60 pounders are $6. 100 pounders are 975. Pay dry store or free dry stores. 1275 for 100 pounder, 775 for a 64, 75 for a triple, and then 350 for a double. Okay, so you’re working that cost in there, but people still feel like they’re getting something.

Jordan Berry [00:20:29]:

Totally, man. It’s marketing. It’s smart marketing. Yeah, I love that. Just out of curiosity, do you see a major difference in kind of store performance based on free drive versus is there a reason why all your stores aren’t one or the other?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:20:47]:

So our attended stores are all paid dry and opposite of that. So if a store has an employee in there, it’s free dry. So that’s just the way we look at it. But no, they really all do the same across the board. I just think it’s especially like if you go into St. Louis, every laundromat is free dry. Even like the dealers have free dry laundromat. I mean, that’s kind of a weird thing for a dealer to have a free dry laundromat. But it’s just if you’re in downtown St. Louis, that’s what you have.

Jordan Berry [00:21:16]:

It’s just kind of the yeah. Yeah. That makes a lot of I i have one attended store and one unattended store, and I thought about very briefly early on, maybe I should go free dry with my how big is it?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:21:31]:

How many square feet?

Jordan Berry [00:21:32]:

It’s 1800 square foot store. It’s relatively small.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:21:36]:

I think this could just be me, but whenever we go above 3000, always go free dry. Just because it’s going to have somebody in there and it just means it’s going to be busier. I don’t know how much busier, but that’s just what I’ve seen.

Jordan Berry [00:21:49]:

Yeah. Even just the neighborhood mine was in, it wouldn’t have been a good idea if I would have done that.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:21:57]:

I get what you mean.

Jordan Berry [00:21:58]:

Yeah. Cool. So we talked about attended unattended. Are you doing all your stores coin or are you doing any card?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:22:10]:

That’s kind of a different story. We’re doing Spiderwash. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So we do quarters dollar coins, which do you do dollar coins?

Jordan Berry [00:22:18]:

Not yet.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:22:19]:

I think that’s a big opportunity. We absolutely love the dollar coins and then we do Spiderwash. So they got basically every option. But again, the Wilford brothers, they started this new payment system. It looks pretty sweet, so I’m excited to check that out. So I’m supposed to go visit him soon to see that awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:22:38]:

Yeah, I was starting to talk to him about that. He sent me over a link. Yeah, I’m just going to have to get him on the podcast.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:22:44]:

I think he is a like, you know, people talk about their brands and stuff like that. I would buy anything off of Luke Wilford just because he’s Luke Wilford.

Jordan Berry [00:22:56]:

He’s got the yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. Cool. And then if you had to guess, how many hours do you think you spend on working on your Laundromat? Maybe at your laundromat.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:23:10]:

Okay, so I would say I probably spend two or 3 hours in each Laundromat per week. Okay, that really like right now we’re retooling one of our stores that’s probably about like five years old. So we’re adding on and getting all new machines in there. So obviously I’m going to spend more hours in there. Right. But usually just two to 3 hours.

Jordan Berry [00:23:33]:

Okay. So even with your ten Laundromats, you’re looking at a half time job pretty much.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:23:38]:

Oh yeah, no, it shouldn’t be a full time job, but whenever I graduate high school, I lived in that little Laundromat that there was like I look back at it, I was like, that Laundromat did so good. And I knew everybody that walked through that door. Like I was training that kid that I told you was taking over the pickup and delivery. He’s like, how do you know everybody that walks through the door? And I’m hugging people during the coronavirus. And I know I shouldn’t be, but everybody in there is just like family to be family.

Jordan Berry [00:24:06]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:24:07]:

So that’s the way we try to do things.

Jordan Berry [00:24:09]:

That’s one of the things I love about Laundromat. They tend to be kind of a community gathering place, so it’s super easy to just make friends and be family with the people who are there.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:24:21]:

I also think if you go in there just with the mindset, oh, I’m just going to collect money, I’m not going to talk to people, don’t expect it to do great, go in there with be a positive for the community that’s always well and take care of them.

Jordan Berry [00:24:36]:

Yeah, I love that mindset. So I do a lot of coaching or like consulting for people who are interested in buying Laundromat. And so I talked to a lot of people and I’ve talked a lot of people out of Laundromats because of that very reason. It’s people who just want to make a buck. And that’s fine. I think you can just make a buck with Laundromat, but I think not only are you going to do better business wise, but it’s going to be more fulfilling for you and better for the community if you’re also able to just invest a little bit in the community and get to know people.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:25:14]:

Say we ever got to the goal of 50 laundromats and we didn’t help anybody out. What’s the point of that? I mean, if you didn’t help anybody, you didn’t do anything, you didn’t bring anybody along with you. Totally nothing.

Jordan Berry [00:25:27]:

I love that mindset. I love that mindset. Okay, speaking of which, my favorite segment of the podcast, I don’t know if it’s anybody else’s favorite, but it’s by far my favorite segment is called The Secret Sauce.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:25:38]:

The secret sauce.

Jordan Berry [00:25:40]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:25:40]:

I love food. Secret sauce. You’re getting me hungry.

Jordan Berry [00:25:43]:

Awesome. Well, maybe you can answer this question and then tell us your actual favorite sauce.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:25:48]:


Jordan Berry [00:25:49]:

Food sauce after that. But here’s the secret sauce is this. What’s one thing that’s working well in your business right now that other owners can kind of implement in their business to help them grow?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:26:00]:

Without question? Big machines. So our equipment mix I thought my father was crazy because he came up with this, and I was like I just thought he was totally naive whenever we built one. And then the person we work really close with, hips, I mean, they’ve done great for us. So when we were giving this list to our dealer, he was like, you guys sure about this? I was like, dad, are you sure about this? But so we do very minimal small machines. So we’ll do like the last order that we did, we did six doubles, we did eight triples. We did 860 pounders, and then we did 6100 pounders. So that’s something that really separates us. And one of the reasons why is because we’re free dry. So we have a lot of customers that will come in once every two weeks, or we’re not always just looking for the people that don’t have a washer and dryer. I’d say around 40% of our customers actually have a washer and dryer. They just want to get it all done at once. And I mean, that’s where the customer base is for us. We’re not trying to get that person that’s going to come in with a top order and spend $2. We’re trying to get I don’t know if it was good to great that talked about the revenue per customer. Do you know, was that good to great?

Jordan Berry [00:27:16]:

I think it did, yeah.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:27:17]:

Okay, so we try to go for the Walgreens philosophy, is we try to get the most out of each customer, and that doesn’t mean they have to come once a week. We’re trying to get the big loads. That’s our focal point. So that revenue per customer, not how many people we can get to walk through the door. We want to serve everybody really well and serve fewer amounts. So we go for the big machines. 100%.

Jordan Berry [00:27:40]:

Yeah, that is some nice secret sauce there. And it’s been. Working well for you.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:27:45]:

Oh my gosh. Everybody loves 100 pounders because why would I come to a laundromat where I’m going to use ten top loaders? I’m going to have to take one out. I’m going to forget a top loader because everybody’s going to forget a top loader. But that’s just something I think has really worked well for us as big machines. And then also nobody else in St. Louis has 100 pounders. So that’s an advertising thing for us.

Jordan Berry [00:28:08]:

Yeah. I can’t think of any laundromats around me that have there’s some with 80.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:28:12]:

Pounders, but I don’t those are trash.

Jordan Berry [00:28:15]:

Yeah, garbage. Just throw them away.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:28:17]:

Come on.

Jordan Berry [00:28:18]:

Waste of money.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:28:19]:

Yeah. We also don’t do 40 pounders too, so that’s something that I’ve just never done. I don’t really have a reason why. It’s just we’ve done 2030 hundreds. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:28:29]:

That’s interesting because I would say actually in mine, so 60 is the biggest I have and in both of my stores, the 40 pounders are the most popular ones.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:28:38]:

Actually what my father said is he thinks that 40 pounders take away from the 60 pounders. Like people stuff a 40 pounder, but if they go from a 30 to a 60 and I don’t know if that’s logic right, but I just trust my dad.

Jordan Berry [00:28:54]:

I would say that he’s probably right about that.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:28:57]:

We’ve got to get you some 100 pounders in there though.

Jordan Berry [00:28:59]:

I know I’m feeling very inadequate right now.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:29:02]:

I’m telling you man, you are going to love it.

Jordan Berry [00:29:05]:

I don’t even know if my one story even fit 100 pounder in there. Those are big old machines.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:29:10]:

You said you got sixty s?

Jordan Berry [00:29:12]:

Yeah, sixty s are the biggest in both of mine.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:29:15]:

What is your vin price on those? I’m just curious. La prices?

Jordan Berry [00:29:19]:

Well, I mean, they vary widely in la, but mine are 550. I’m probably underpriced, but that’s where I.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:29:28]:

Thought you’d be like eight or $9.

Jordan Berry [00:29:31]:

No, everything’s expensive here. Yeah, but there’s also a lot of competition here and so I’m even pushing I’m the most expensive kind of around. Yeah. So I’m trying to figure out how other people are making money with their.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:29:50]:

We’Re always more expensive than everybody else and I think our customers know that. But I always say you don’t go to the cheapest dentist, do you? So there’s a reason for that. You always see a lot of water. We have hot water. It’s clean. You get what you pay for at the end of the day. So I never worry about somebody being cheaper than us.

Jordan Berry [00:30:09]:

Yeah, especially right now. You’re going to pay for cleanliness right now, for sure.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:30:15]:

We have a store that’s like right up the street from one of ours and at that store, I think that store is actually a little different in bin price. It’s 225 for a double order and they’re a dollar 25 up the street. And I don’t know how or why they do that. It makes no money. I mean, you can’t make much money off of that, but we’re so much busier than them, so I think you got to be fair with people, but I don’t think it’s the fight that people think it is to raise your price.

Jordan Berry [00:30:46]:

Yeah. I have a question for you that kind of goes along with your secret sauces. What would you say to an owner? I hear a lot of owners who are scared to get rid of their top loaders because their customers like them. Maybe it’s their most used machine.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:31:05]:

I think it’s going to be pulling teeth at first. I mean, there’s no sugar coating that, but you can’t argue with it. I always tell everybody it’s like going from a flip phone to an iPhone. There’s a difference. I mean, it’s old generation versus new generation. You’re always going to have that one old lady that if you take these out, I’m going to go up the street. And I hate to say this, but go up the street. It’s not going to hurt me. I mean, it is going to hurt me, but like I said, we’re focused on those big loads.

Jordan Berry [00:31:35]:

Yeah, that’s good advice. Okay, we got to know what’s your favorite sauce?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:31:43]:

Food sauce. That’s a good one.

Jordan Berry [00:31:47]:

What if you had this is just coming out right now, and this is beautiful. What if you could only use one sauce on any food ever for the rest of your life?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:31:55]:

So I had recently had Chick fil A for the first time. I read True at Kathy’s book, and I was like, you know, I’ve got to try this. I love this guy. I love what he stands for. And I had the Chick fil a sauce. I’ve always been a honey mustard kind of guy.

Jordan Berry [00:32:07]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:08]:

I had the Chick fil A sauce stuff will change your life.

Jordan Berry [00:32:11]:

It’s pretty good.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:12]:

I mean, it’s like, Jesus, I swear he did something there.

Jordan Berry [00:32:17]:

Yeah, that’s awesome. So you’re going with Chick fil A sauce.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:23]:

Okay, I don’t know.

Jordan Berry [00:32:26]:

That’s a hard question.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:27]:

For the rest of my life, does that mean, like, when I eat sushi, like, can’t have soy sauce? Would that be considered a sauce?

Jordan Berry [00:32:32]:

Sauce? Man, I don’t know.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:33]:

Dear Lord.

Jordan Berry [00:32:34]:

I mean, it’s an unfair question, I’ll give you that.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:36]:

Right. I didn’t know you were going to push such hard questions on me when I came on this thing.

Jordan Berry [00:32:39]:

Well, here’s the thing. I sent you a list of questions, but I kept the good ones off. Count them on you.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:32:45]:

That was genius.

Jordan Berry [00:32:47]:

No, thank you for sharing about the big machine. We haven’t gotten that answer yet. But again, I think the industry is moving that way, too. When I see new stores going in, I’m not seeing people put in top loaders or maybe one or two top loaders.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:33:06]:

Which machines are you going to work on? Are you going to work on 100 pound? You’re going to spend the same amount of time working on 100 pounder as you are a top loader. And which one are you going to work on more? I mean, I got some pretty fat fingers. I don’t like working on top loaders.

Jordan Berry [00:33:19]:

You’re going to spend more time working on those top loaders than 100 pounders for sure.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:33:23]:

And you’re going to have Nancy come in and overload it, put blankets in there and it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m going to have a heart attack watching you.

Jordan Berry [00:33:30]:

Yeah. Burning up belts.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:33:33]:

And I mean, the new machines are just the last.

Jordan Berry [00:33:37]:

Yeah, I agree. All right, well this section of the podcast we call Pro Tips and Pro Tips is this, what’s one piece of advice you would give a new investor who wants to buy their first Laundromat? Somebody looking to get in for the first time.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:33:51]:

Do your homework. Do your homework. I mean, live you got to be mean. As Les Brown would say, you got to be hungry. So that’s one of my guys I always listen to anytime like I need to work harder. I always listen to Les Brown. But yeah, just do your homework. I mean, it’s a simple business, but you got to work at it, especially if you’re going to be on your first one. The further I get, the more systems we have in place to protect things going wrong. But you got to be able to spend that time and effort into it. We had somebody that wanted to purchase one of our existing stores and it wasn’t that I don’t know how to say this. I didn’t want to sell him the Laundromat because I knew that when I sold it to him, he wasn’t going to run it properly. And I have an obligation to those people that come into the store and I don’t know if that’s good or not, but I just know that that’s the way I felt. I knew that he wasn’t going to work hard at it.

Jordan Berry [00:34:52]:

I think you’re right. I think when I first got into the industry, I did research, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know at the time.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:35:03]:

It’s going to get easier. It’s just you got to be willing to put in that sweat equity at first.

Jordan Berry [00:35:08]:


Brandon Unnerstall [00:35:09]:

And people are going to just take advantage of you right and left. They still do.

Jordan Berry [00:35:15]:

Yeah. That’s why I always encourage people, hey, have somebody in your corner when you’re getting in the industry. Just have somebody in your corner who knows the tricks of the trade.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:35:25]:

I liked what you said. Have somebody beside their broker. I thought that was really that’s great advice. Everybody’s like, go ahead. Yeah, I was just going to say.

Jordan Berry [00:35:33]:

That was expensive advice. So take it.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:35:35]:

Everybody that you’re going to give money to, like even your dealers. Oh, of course. This is a great location. Give me my $200,000 now. Of course, totally. I always try to talk to business people any chance I get. Just even if they’re in a different totally different business, I mean, they’re going to have so much advice for me and it’s time to learn.

Jordan Berry [00:35:56]:

Yeah, man, I love that mindset. And in fact, that’s a good segue, but I love the mindset that you have of just like continually growing. We’ve been talking about different books that you’ve read before we got on here. We’re talking about different business books and stuff like that. So I think I just love that mindset. So with that, do you have any resource that you would recommend to other people? Maybe a business book or any kind of resources that you’d recommend?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:36:26]:

Well, the lawnmower resource, of course.

Jordan Berry [00:36:29]:

Thank you.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:36:30]:

But the resource I drink up anything in the lawnmower business. So if there’s anything out there, I’ve most likely seen it or I’ve tried to search for it. So I just always try to do my homework. I mean, there’s always going to be somebody that’s climbing the hill even if you’re at the top of it. So you got to do your homework.

Jordan Berry [00:36:53]:

Yeah. And good to great.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:36:56]:

You mentioned good to great. True. At Kathy’s book, like I was just talking about his just comes to mind first mean, he started that from the ground up. He failed at it twice, and the third time was the charm for so that’s awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:37:10]:

I haven’t read that book. I’ll have to pick that one up.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:37:12]:

Really good book. It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve read because everything was against him. I mean everything.

Jordan Berry [00:37:19]:

Yeah. Plus it changed your life because now you like chickfila sauce and you’re going to live with it the rest of your life and no other sauce ever.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:37:27]:

I’m telling you. I don’t know what I’m going to do next time I get sushi, because sushi is my favorite food.

Jordan Berry [00:37:33]:

Well, maybe it’s an acquired taste. I don’t know.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:37:38]:

Maybe I could put some chickfila sauce on the sushi. I wonder how that would work out.

Jordan Berry [00:37:41]:

Yeah, great. When we bring you back on when you get your 50th laundromat.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:37:47]:

Well, hopefully I’ll be coming out to Orange County pretty soon.

Jordan Berry [00:37:50]:

Oh, man, if you’re coming out this way, you better let me know. We’ll get together.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:37:53]:

I definitely will. We’re going to get some chemistry together.

Jordan Berry [00:37:56]:

That’s what I love to hear. And it’s 85 right now.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:37:59]:

Yeah, it’s rainy and 67 here.

Jordan Berry [00:38:02]:

Yeah. That’s like heart of the winter weather for us.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:38:07]:

You live a hard life.

Jordan Berry [00:38:09]:

Yeah. That’s like as bad as it gets. I don’t envy you.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:38:12]:

Right now, it’s quite often here, but St. Louis is home, so I can’t ever imagine living anywhere else.

Jordan Berry [00:38:21]:

Yeah, I was telling you, I spent a bunch of summers out there. I really like that area. It’s a little muggy for me out there in the summers, but man, just running know, fishing all the time and stuff. It was a lot of fun.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:38:34]:

I always tease my parents or something like that. Be like, I’m going to build a watermat down in Florida because I’m a big fan. Anytime we build a watermelon, they’ll be like, that’s weird that it’s right next to so and so’s restaurant. Because I’ll be like, I just love to eat so that’s so weird that it’s right next to whatever place I’m addicted to at that. But that’s just the way it is.

Jordan Berry [00:38:57]:

I still have a goal to open a Laundromat in Hawaii, just so it’d be a business expense to go out to.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:39:07]:

Just make a noise is your.

Jordan Berry [00:39:08]:

Goal, man, that’s a great question. I used to have big goals like you for a number of stores, and right now I don’t have a number that I would say. I think one of my goals is I’d love to start just partnering with some people and picking up some retail centers here and putting in Laundromat or redoing Laundromat for sure, and do a little bit bigger deals than I’ve been doing. So that’s kind of one of my goals. But I don’t necessarily have a specific number right now. Maybe I should define that, actually, throughout.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:39:48]:

The process, I’ve been trying to ask myself, why am I doing this? And I haven’t really come up with why do I want 50 lawn rents? I mean, I can make a living off of one. I can make a comfortable living, but for some reason, it’s just what? I guess I enjoy doing it, but I also feel like I’m supposed to. Yeah, I don’t know.

Jordan Berry [00:40:09]:

Yeah, I think that Why Question is a big one, because have you read Start with Why?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:40:15]:

No, I haven’t. I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never read it.

Jordan Berry [00:40:18]:

That’s a good one.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:40:19]:

Start with why?

Jordan Berry [00:40:20]:

Yeah, obviously the title is a little bit self evident, but it goes into a little bit more than that. But I think that Why Question is kind of what drives us. Like, if you want to get to 50 or even 100 or whatever, that Why Question, I think, will get more and more important as you get further and further down that goal. Because you’re right. You can live off of just one Laundromat pretty comfortably. At some point, you got to wonder why you’re killing yourself.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:40:52]:

Yeah, exactly.

Jordan Berry [00:40:54]:

It’s also fun.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:40:55]:

I just got a new truck, and it’s been like two weeks old, probably, and I’ve got like 2100 miles on it. And it’s like, why am I spending so much time in this dang van? And I’m stoked to have a van, by the way, if you’re in a lawnmower, that’s another one of my secret sauces. Get a van. It’s awesome because you’ll never get to a lawnmower and be like, do you have any pine saw? Yeah, I’ve got pine saw. I’ve got everything in there.

Jordan Berry [00:41:22]:

That’s awesome.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:41:23]:

I love that.

Jordan Berry [00:41:24]:

Yeah, so cool. Well, listen, Brandon, it has been awesome having you on the podcast one question is if anybody has any questions for you or wants to hear a little bit more about you, do you have any way they can kind of get a hold of you?

Brandon Unnerstall [00:41:39]:

Yeah, they can send me an email at Bestwash elev[email protected], or they can find me on Instagram at Mrhunnerstall.

Jordan Berry [00:41:48]:

Awesome. And you can also find them if you go through the Laundromat Resource Instagram, you’ll find them through people that we follow or that follow us, too. So you can’t find them, but I’ll put the link to your Instagram and your email in the show notes. That way people can get a hold of you. And again, thank you so much for coming on the show and just sharing your story and your secret sauce and your pro tips, all of that. Really appreciate it. And I’m definitely hoping to have you back on just to hear about your pickup and delivery service. And sometimes you need somebody to keep you accountable, make sure you’re moving towards that goal. So we want to hear about that.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:42:25]:

That’s huge right there. And I think you’re doing a great job. I mean, can’t imagine anybody else better at this in the watermelon business than you.

Jordan Berry [00:42:34]:

Thank you. I appreciate that. Man yes, sir. All right, well, thanks for coming on, and we’ll catch you on the next time that you’re on.

Brandon Unnerstall [00:42:41]:

Sounds great.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 8 with Jordan Berry

Jordan Berry [00:00:02]:

Check check. Check check. Alright. Let’s get into this episode because today we’re gonna talk about something that I think is really important. And the reason I think it’s important is because I have been getting slammed with coaching calls. if you’re interested. from owners who have just been struggling. We’re in, you know, right now, we’re we’re kind of in the middle of this COVID 19 pandemic thing.

Jordan Berry [00:00:31]:

hopefully on the tail end of it because I know a lot of places are starting to open back up more. but a lot of owners have really been struggling. And so I’ve been talking with a lot of you guys and and other owners who, you know, whose businesses are down 30, 40, 50% and and are just worried about if their business is even gonna survive. And, man, I I, you know, I’ve felt that. And I empathize and I sympathize with those feelings because, you know, my businesses were down too. and I so I get it. And I, I just wanted to take this episode to just talk a little bit about it. loner met owner to loner met owners.

Jordan Berry [00:01:15]:

and and just have a little pep talk here because I think that, you know, there there’s a couple of different ways that you can, react to all of this. And the first way is just kinda turtle up and to protect yourself and just kinda hope, you know, stick your head in the sand and hope everything works out. And that is one way to approach it. And, good or bad, I won’t say, but it’s, you know, it’s it’s one way to approach it. And, hopefully, everything will just be fine and will turn out A okay. I prefer a little bit more of a proactive approach. And the problem with a proactive approach is you gotta know what actions to take in a proactive approach. And it’s not really a clear cut.

Jordan Berry [00:01:58]:

Nobody’s really ever gone through something like this before. And so it’s hard to know exactly what it is that we should do when the economy is just crickets. It’s, you know, it’s just so slow. but I think we can learn a lot of lessons from this, and I think that there are some things that we can do. So I to address that a little bit today. Let’s get into it and hopefully you find some value in this. Hopefully you find some, you know, hope in this and some motivation if you’re needing that. but, you know, hopefully, this is just an opportunity for us to all come together right now and just empathize with each other and support each other, maybe go over to the forums, a lot of my resource dot com slash forums and chat about it a little bit, share your ideas, about what you’ve been doing to kind of keep your business afloat and keep things rolling and keep them moving.

Jordan Berry [00:02:51]:

I, you know, I think that everybody would benefit from that. So, you know, if you have to go over to the forums this week and ask a question and answer a question, that’s a really good one together. softball. I just lobbed it up for you. Then I don’t have to shame you next week. So no more shaming. No more shaming. but, hey, Let’s talk about it over there.

Jordan Berry [00:03:10]:

But anyways, okay. So let’s talk about this proactive approach. What does that mean? And, yeah, I have 3 kind of main topics that I think that we can talk about. things that we can continue to do right now or start doing right now that will, help our businesses now and in the future, But also I think just taken from lessons that I’ve learned from, you know, the last couple of months and how things have gone and maybe ways that I should have been thinking and things I should have been doing anyways before that. So let’s talk about that. So the first thing, I think that we can do is is double down, and that’s really scary. Okay. So when business is down and when things are hard and you’re feeling the pressure and your bills are loading up and you’re not sure if you could pay him or you’re pretty sure you can’t pay him.

Jordan Berry [00:04:05]:

And everybody kind of breathing down your neck. I have been there. I’ve felt that pressure. It is a horrible feeling. And the last thing that I would wanna hear feeling that. And the last thing I wanna hear right now, feeling that is somebody to say, hey. You gotta double down. but let’s talk about that a little bit.

Jordan Berry [00:04:24]:

And and let me tell you what I mean by that and, you know, go to forms and just blast me if you think being unreasonable. But here’s three ways that I think you can double down during this downtime right now or during any time, really. the first way to double down is with your time. Now I know a lot of us, the reason and myself included, one of the big reasons that we got into this industry is because laundromats can be a relatively hands off business, relatively time independent, especially for a business, it doesn’t get a whole lot less hands on than laundromat if that’s the way you wanna run it. However, you know, during tough times, it requires you to do something different if you want to have different results. So you can either go the of the economy and just let your business fall, the way that the rest of businesses are falling. And you know, just hope that you can hold on long enough to where things rebound and you’re still okay. or you can kind of double down.

Jordan Berry [00:05:30]:

You can dig deep and you can doubled down on your time that you invest in in your laundromat, whether that’s being at your laundromat or whether that is, you know, investing time and thinking about and planning, you, what you’re gonna be doing and, whatever that might be. spending your time investing in your laundromat. So, you know, that is one way that you can double down. And a lot of us have the time, you know, even if you have a full time job right now, A lot of us are working from home. Some of us, unfortunately, you know, are on furlough or or got laid off. so the time is there for a lot of us. So Double down on that time and really go invest it into your laundromat. Invest that time in there, whether that’s, you know, I have things at this laundromat that I’m at right now.

Jordan Berry [00:06:21]:

I’m recording this from my laundromat. And I have things here, like, little projects, patch ups, and stuff like that that I’ve been meaning to do forever and I haven’t done them, even though now is the time to double down and to get in here and just polish up this place, make it make it look new again. Make, you know, make everything shiny and patch up the little dings that are here and there. all that stuff. So double down your time is one thing that you can be doing right now. Get in that laundromat. Go figure out ways that you can improve your business. to keep customers coming back, but also to set yourself up for when, things do rebound and people do start coming back and they can come back and say, hey, I can tell the owner spent a lot of time here, you know, while I’ve been in my pajamas not changing my clothes for 2 months.

Jordan Berry [00:07:12]:

and didn’t need to do any laundry. so double down that time. Here’s another, a second way that you can double down, and it’s Double down your investment. Now don’t freak out. So I you know, I know this, you know, one of my laundry mats was down, like, 40% for a while. it’s it’s rebounding now. It’s not quite back up to where it was, pre COVID 19, but it’s it’s coming back and I know that at the heart of that when I was down 40%, and I was like, oh my gosh. The last thing I wanna be here is Hey.

Jordan Berry [00:07:50]:

Go spend more money on your laundromat. And I just wanna be clear. I’m not necessarily saying the investment has to be a financial investment. might be. It might be a great time for you to put in new machines. It might be a great time for you to have your floors redone maybe they’re starting to look old and dingy. It might be a great time to put a coat of paint on and freshen things up. might be a great time to invest in your laundromat in those ways, where you’re investing money.

Jordan Berry [00:08:21]:

but there are other ways to invest in your laundromat business that you don’t necessarily have to fork out a ton of money for. So for example, you know, if there are things that you, you could have in your laundromat that could be revenue generating, maybe now’s the time to do it. Now we have a, a free value add checklist that you can download for free, and it just it has some ideas of things, ways that you can improve improve the income of your laundromat. And I just, man, go get it. In fact, I made a YouTube video about it, and there’s a special link that was only for those people who watch that YouTube video, but I’m gonna just share it with you here. I’ll put a link in the description, just because I think this is so relevant to what we’re talking about today. If you own a laundromat or even if you’re thinking about buying 1, this is an awesome thing to have so you can, you know, take a look around at these laundromat and see, hey, here’s some places where I could actually improve the income and therefore improve the value, the equity in my laundromat. So Here’s the link from the YouTube video.

Jordan Berry [00:09:26]:

It’s slash more money. And, I’ll put links again in the description and on the show notes page, so go download that. That’s for free. You don’t need to even give an email address for it. you can just download it for free. So go do that. those are ways that you can invest in your laundromat and and some of them require some monetary investment and some of them don’t.

Jordan Berry [00:09:55]:

So double down on your investment your laundromat is an asset that you have. So utilize it to its fullest, to its maximum that you can utilize it because because you have it already. So why not do that? So that’s the second way you can double down. The third way that you can double down is to double down on the value that you’re offering your customers. Now, you know, Dave means and show 2. I’ll put a link if you haven’t listened to that one. That one is that episode. Dave is he’s a he’s a rock star and you have to listen to episode 2, show 2, lot of my slash show too, if you haven’t yet.

Jordan Berry [00:10:36]:

but he talks a lot about value and offering your customers value And that doesn’t mean, having the cheapest prices in town. In fact, Dave says that he offers a ton of value He’s one of the most expensive laundromats in his area. and so that doesn’t mean that, but it does mean, hey, you know, make sure you’re having conversations with your attendance about the experience your customers have when they walk in their laundromat. Are they greeted with a smile? Are your attendance helping bring in laundry. Are they helping carry laundry out? You know, is the store spick and span when customers come in you know, find ways to add value to customers that make them want to keep coming back. And I think that you’ll find the more value you add the more loyalty you breed and the more that customers want to support you in what you’re doing. I just I’m, like, I’m recording this at my laundromat. It’s after I close, it’s just when I had time to do it.

Jordan Berry [00:11:38]:

And I was just talking to a lady that was here finishing up And she said that the reason that she’s here is because her husband met me and he just really wanted to support what I’m doing because he loves what I’m doing in the community. and that is that’s it, man. When you provide value for the community, they’re gonna wanna support you That is it. When you provide value for the community, they’re going to want to support you and what you’re doing even when the economy slows. So look for ways to double down on the value that you provide the customers. Go the extra mile encourage your employees to go the extra mile, take the next step, double down, double down on your time, double down on your investment, and double down on the value that you’re providing with your laundromat. Alright. So that’s one kind of category I wanted to hit.

Jordan Berry [00:12:34]:

There’s 2 more. And, you know, I just again, I I I know the feeling of feeling so frustrated of feeling so hopeless of not knowing what to do. So I’m trying to put some tools in your hands just to kinda get the brain started again, get things moving. And if you need some help there, if you need some inspiration, hopefully you’re getting it here. So here’s the second thing. is, you know, when business is down, think short term. Now here’s here’s few ways that I think that you can think short term. number 1 is you need to look at your expenses.

Jordan Berry [00:13:09]:

You need to kind of be ruthless when business is down It’s really hard to do because again, this is like a community thing that we’re, you know, we’re building here. You know, if you have employees, they become like family. but you need to, this is a business too. You know? So you need to be ruthless. And here’s what I mean by that. You need to look at all your expenses and cut all the expenses that aren’t necessary, for the short term. It doesn’t mean you need to cut them completely forever. but, you know, if business is down 40%, you need to look at ways to cut some costs.

Jordan Berry [00:13:48]:

Sometimes that means cutting hours. Sometimes that means, you know, if furloughing people or letting people go temporarily so you can rehire them. Those are difficult difficult decisions, but a lot of times, the decision is between doing that or losing the business. And if it’s between those two, you need to preserve the business so that you have an opportunity to bring those people back after you know, all of this is over with and things are back to normal because if you lose your business, they’re gonna lose their job anyways, and there’s nothing for them to come back to. So sometimes we need to make hard decisions when it comes to employees, when it comes to hours, those kinds of things. But there are other costs that you can cut first. So look at all of those expenses, you know, maybe you need to cut that cable bill for a little bit and just buy some antennas, you know, HD antennas and stick them on top of the TV and you know, watching PBS for a while or whatever. you know, there’s there’s things that you can do.

Jordan Berry [00:14:55]:

So look at all your expenses. Figure out what’s not absolutely necessary. Cut those costs And then don’t be afraid to make hard decisions when you’re thinking, short term and, a second thing when you’re thinking short term, is look for needs that you can meet. And here’s what I mean by that. You know, there are different different needs that you can meet for the customers that are coming in or for your customers when they do come in. So look for other opportunities to meet different needs that they have. Maybe they need, you know, alterations or maybe they need, just snacks and having different snack varieties there. for them to, you know, munch on while they’re there.

Jordan Berry [00:15:36]:

And you can make a little bit of revenue back that way. So look for whatever needs you can find. and and look for ways to meet those needs because it’s when you meet needs that you’re creating value and when you create value, that is when customers will, trade that value for money. And that’s what we’re trying to do here. So look for ways to meet needs and to create value that way in the short term And it might be things that you continue on once things recover, but it might not be. It might be things that are just for this time right now. So be creative there and look for ways to meet needs. Okay.

Jordan Berry [00:16:11]:

So number 1, double down your, time, your investment, and your value. Number 2, think short term and, you know, cut those costs wherever you can. and meet needs. So number 3, the 3rd kind of category of of things that you can be doing while, while business is down, is think long term. Now this is the hard one because long term things don’t necessarily contribute right now. They’re not the things that are gonna keep your business afloat right now necessarily. However, We have an opportunity right now to take a look at our businesses while everybody’s kind of suffering together, take a look at our businesses, and think, okay. This is not gonna be like this forever.

Jordan Berry [00:17:04]:

So when things come back, when businesses back, how can I set myself up to be ahead of everyone else? What are the things that I can be doing right now to be ahead of the game and to be able to shoot out of that gate, you know, at lightning speed. And I think that question is a huge question, and it’s one that we don’t often have a lot of time to just kind of stop the whirlwind of all the things that need to be done to run our business and to try to recoup money that we’re losing and and you know, get out from under the stress and just think long term a little bit, but I think that the dividends that that pays right now will be huge. huge for you, huge for your business. So take that time. Let’s talk a little bit about some ways to do that. Now One thing that you one question that you can ask yourself is, what is my community going to look like? The community might longer imagine, what’s it gonna look like? in 1 year from now or in 5 years from now or in 10 years from now. how are things going to change what are the implications of the way things are now versus the way things are gonna be then? And how can I kind of try to get ahead of that? Now those are tough questions to ask and tough questions to answer, because nobody obviously has a crystal ball. but you know, those are the kinds of questions that you can be asking.

Jordan Berry [00:18:35]:

Now here’s another one. What’s the laundromat industry gonna be like 5 years from now, 10 years from now? I’ve kinda talked a little bit about how I think, laundromats are moving more and more towards a pickup and delivery, you know, pick up a delivery service kind of model, a fluff and fold. Obviously, those things have been going for a long time, but just I think that pickup in delivery in particular is going to continue to grow more and more and more every year. So maybe you’re thinking long term, okay, how can I begin to implement this? Maybe I’m not launching a full on pickup and delivery service, but maybe I can go get a couple of clients and and do that, or maybe I can start laying groundwork for that, whatever that might look like. Maybe that’s, you know, adding a payment system that’s easy to use for attendance to do laundry, maybe a card system on even just a few machines or or whatever that might look like. laying the groundwork for that. you know, another question you can ask is how can I get in front of more people And how can I get my business and my laundromat in front of more people right now? And so maybe that is, hey, you know, I don’t have a website for my laundromat. If that’s you, you have got to go to learn about slash get online and, you know, Man, get online.

Jordan Berry [00:19:57]:

You have to be online. You need to have a website. You need to have a Google My Business account. You need to be on Google Maps. Apple Maps. You do you need to have that presence. So, if you don’t have that, let us help you do it. we do for for our businesses, we’ve helped a lot of other people do it for their businesses.

Jordan Berry [00:20:16]:

you know, our my, you know, my log about website ranks number 1 on Google, and it’s on you know, Google Maps, on AppleMath, all that stuff. So we know what we’re doing. We know marketing. We know, longer maths. So we can help you out there. But, you know, maybe you already have a web presence in your website, but now is a good time to really refresh that and really take a look at that and say, okay. Well, it’s just been sitting there. How can I be a little more proactive about driving people to that website so that they know that I’m there? So maybe you need to start making some YouTube videos and getting out there.

Jordan Berry [00:20:50]:

Maybe you need to, you know, up your Instagram game or your Facebook game or, you know, whatever the case may be, but how can you lay that groundwork where you can start getting in front of more people? so that, you know, that’s another question that you can ask. Another question to ask is how can I reinforce customer loyalty right now? Are there things that you can be doing right now to just really make your current customers be like, I can’t believe they did that during that time. I know it had to have been hard for them. you know, during that time and yet they still thought of me in this way. What can you do to reinforce customer loyalty? So those are just a few ideas I wanted to go over. I don’t wanna talk your ear off forever. I’ve already been talking for way too long. and I appreciate you listening this long.

Jordan Berry [00:21:39]:

Hopefully, you found something valuable in that. but, hey, you know what? I know times are tough right now. but let’s just pull together you know, let’s help each other out. Let’s help each other through this time and let’s, you know, let’s be a little proactive right now too. I know I’m doing that with my businesses. And I, you know, I encourage you to keep doing that with your businesses also. So let’s, you know, let’s just Keep on trucking, but let’s keep doing it in a smart way where we’re being proactive and we’re looking for ways to improve our businesses even now, even when it’s tough. even when business is down.

Jordan Berry [00:22:16]:

Alright. Thank you guys. I am so pumped that we are here doing this thing together. I love every second of it and make sure that you’re subscribed because the net believe me, the next few weeks of episodes will blow your mind. You will get tons in tons of value. I promise I’m not gonna talk at you for any amount of time hardly at all. I’m gonna let these other guys do all the talking because they have some incredible things going on and some incredible things to share with you. So we will see you next Tuesday for the episode celebration, it’s gonna be a party.

Jordan Berry [00:22:52]:

So be there. We’ll see you next week. Peace.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 12 with Jordan Berry

Jordan Berry [00:00:01]:

Check check. Check. What’s up, guys? It’s Jordan from Laundromat Resource podcast, and I am pumped that you’re here today because today, we listen. Oh, at Lautamat Resource, we are all about helping you find financial freedom through Lautamat ownership That’s our goal. That’s our aim. We’re doing a ton of things to help you do that, including this podcast where we’re sharing a ton of useful information, hopefully, and we’re interviewing other owners who are sharing their stories and their secrets to success. It’s been incredible run so far. We have coaching calls.

Jordan Berry [00:00:56]:

We have free coaching. We have, relatively inexpensive coaching once you get really into the process. still at We have a blog. We have a YouTube channel. We got a lot going on. to help you.

Jordan Berry [00:01:14]:

We’re trying to help you match you up with brokers. I mean, there’s we have a ton of stuff going on, and there’s more coming all the time. and today is all about helping you find financial freedom through laundromat ownership. So if you own a laundromat or laundromats, or if you’re trying to get into the business, today is a a day where I just wanna, take a few minutes of of time. It’s gonna be a little bit shorter of a podcast because I I just wanna take a little bit of time because it’s the middle of the year when we’re when we’re recording this, if you’re listening to it later, it’s still gonna apply, for you. But right now, it’s timely because it’s the middle of the year, and it’s a natural time for us to just take a look at the first half of the year and look forward to the second half of the year, and that’s what we’re gonna do, just for a few minutes today. but before we get into that, I I wanna, highlight one of the questions on the forum from Steven. I actually know Steven.

Jordan Berry [00:02:17]:

I’ve known Steven since he was a kid, basically. and he’s an awesome guy, but he jumped on the forum. He’s looking into buying a laundromat. And here’s basically what he says on the forum. He says, hey, guys. What’s up? I found a laundromat that I think is a really good deal, and it seems to fit what I’m looking for really well. but he says 3.8 miles away, there is a pristine laundromat that is larger and it’s better. And I don’t know if that’s gonna affect the business of the laundromat I’m eyeballing or not.

Jordan Berry [00:02:52]:

how far away does a laundromat need to be in order for it to not really affect, you know, a business, another laundromat I thought that was a great question because it comes up. Some variation of that comes up all the time in, in coaching calls that I do and conversations that I have with people. who are getting into, the laundromat business or wanting to. and even people who are buying you know, their second or third laundromat, they just that’s a just a really common question. And I thought that some of you guys who’ve gone through this process before are gonna know how to help Steven because obviously the answer is it depends. but I thought that a lot of you guys who really are knowledgeable about this can really help him figure out what it depends on and in his particular situation, how he can determine kind of what that radius should be. So head over to Click on the laundromat’s forums because that’s where he posted the question.

Jordan Berry [00:03:55]:

Go help Steven out over there, with that question. And I know that he will be super appreciative and not only him, but I know a lot of people who have that question will head over there and see that. And so you will be basically an essentially a laundromat hero by answering Steven’s questions. So go be a laundromat hero and answer Steven’s question at and I’ll put the link down in the description or in the show notes. today’s show notes are all one word. But while you’re over at the forums, you know the drill every single week. I’m just gonna try to brainwash you.

Jordan Berry [00:04:39]:

That’s my goal now is to brainwash you, go to the forums every week, ask a question, answer a question, And the reason for it is because I’ve had a couple of coaching calls, and people were like, I know, ask a question and answer question. I love that. it just makes me Really, it makes me feel powerful. It makes me feel powerful that I can brainwash you. No. I’m just kidding. but seriously, I honestly genuinely believe that, we’re all gonna be better off by going over to those forums. getting to know each other, helping each other out and, answering questions, asking questions, interacting, talking about what’s working, even talking specific numbers, I know there’s been a big taboo about in our industry about talking specific numbers, turns per day, how much equipment costs, all that stuff.

Jordan Berry [00:05:30]:

But you know what? I think that it only benefits us more to talk about those things. and the reason I think that those things are seekers because it benefits the people who are providing those services more than us. So that’s just my opinion, but go over there and share all of that stuff. I don’t know if you can hear what’s going on right now, but it’s getting crazy over outside of my laundromat. I don’t know what’s happening, but it sounds fun. you probably can’t hear it. Sorry. but I’m having a blast listening to it.

Jordan Berry [00:06:01]:

Anyways, one other thing about the forms while you’re over there answering Steven’s question, asking your question, answering your question, on the forms, I know that you guys have loved hearing the stories and the interviews of laundromat owners that we’ve had so far. We’ve had incredible people on so far. And and we have some more incredible people coming on. I’ve already been talking to them. and I know you guys have really, really loved. I’ve gotten a ton of really good feedback on these, guests that we’ve had. And to be honest with you, It’s one of my fave it’s probably my favorite thing that I’m doing in life right now outside of hanging out with my family and stuff, but, like, getting to know these podcast guests and, you know, really just kind of becoming friends with them. speaking of which, quick pause, If you’re interested in being on the podcast and you own a laundromat or multiple laundromats, slash podcast guest, for more information.

Jordan Berry [00:06:58]:

I love to have you on. I am looking forward to just getting to know. So as many of you as possible. So go check that out. If you’re interested, guest, again, link in the descriptions or in the show notes at check that out. but anyways, I know you guys are really loved that. I’ve really loved that, and we’re gonna be doing a lot more of that.

Jordan Berry [00:07:22]:

I have more line up for you. Don’t worry. You’re not gonna be listening to me forever. Check check. But somebody made this suggestion. I thought it was a great suggestion, and they said, hey. We need a place to get to know each other outside of the podcast, we need a place to network and to get to know each other. So what I went ahead and did was on the forums,, I created a new forum, and the forum is called introductions.

Jordan Berry [00:07:54]:

And that probably seems really obvious about what it is. But just in case, introductions is just a place where you can go and introduce yourself. it’s a place where you can say, here’s where I’m at in my laundromat journey. you know, I own a laundromat. I own multiple laundromats. I own commercial real estate. I own residential real estate. I’m brand new, and I’m trying to get into laundromats.

Jordan Berry [00:08:14]:

I wanna buy my first one. Here’s where I live. just what, you know, let people get to know you and get to know other people and go interact network. you know, and that’s what that forum is all about and what it’s for. It’s for networking, introducing yourself, and and being, you know, welcoming each other to the community. So go do that there. If you have questions about real estate, go do that in the laundromats, forum, in the financing forum, in the commercial real estate forum, in the repairs forum, any of those forms. The introductions form is only for, introductions.

Jordan Berry [00:08:53]:

That’s what it’s for. That’s what it’s there for. So Go do that. I’m super excited about it. Now I am ready to get into this, this show today because I think it’s a really important one. It is for me. Maybe it’s just for me that 2020 has been kicking my butt, and I need a little bit of a pep talk, and I need a little bit of a vision of how to move forward for the rest of this year so that I’m not just cling to life in 2020. I’m actually growing and thriving and surviving with my businesses this year, and that’s what today’s all about.

Jordan Berry [00:09:23]:

But before we get into it, here’s a quick message. Check check. Alright. 2020 has been a doozy for a lot of us is thrown a lot at us this first half of the year that no one could have anticipated. And I don’t know about you, but it’s kinda left my head spinning a little bit. I know some of you guys, your businesses are have not been affected by anything going on this year. Some of you guys, your business has been way down. Some of you your business has been down a little bit.

Jordan Berry [00:10:23]:

So all all the way in between, some of you guys like me at one of my lawn repairs right now are struggling to even find quarters there’s no quarters anywhere. I mean, there’s just, man, it the 2020 is man, it’s just throwing it all at everyone this year. and I’m trying to figure out what is going on. and maybe you are too. And I wanted to take this this show, this podcast episode to, look forward because as I’m recording this, if you’re listening to this right when it comes out, we’re about the midway of the year. And, you know, so many of us have just kinda been hanging on for dear life. I know. I have in some regards, just been hanging on for dear life, trying to survive, keeping our heads above water.

Jordan Berry [00:11:11]:

but I really wanted to have a mindset shift for the second half of the year, and I really wanted to get back to, okay, how can I help my businesses grow. How can I end 2020 stronger than how I began it? And, And and so I wanted to just take this time. And if you’re listening to this, it’s not the middle of, you know, 2020. It’s some other time. It’s not the middle of the year. you can still do this. And I think that, I I wanna go over 4 different sort of step that I’m taking that I think might be helpful for you, whether you own a laundromat and you’re wanting to finish the year strong with your laundromat or laundromats, Or, if you, you know, if you’re trying to get into the laundromat business, I think that they’re is still a lot for you to take away also into helping you achieve that goal, by the end of the year. So before we get into it, I want to just take a second and do something that it might just feel a little weird, for you.

Jordan Berry [00:12:13]:

It might sound a little weird, but 2020 has just created a lot of anxiety and stress for so many of us. and I wanted to just take a second before we jump into this to just take a couple of deep breaths and relax And I wanna do this, actually, and also kind of metaphorically, but actually, so we’re you’re at, whatever you’re doing, if you are driving or you’re, at your desk where you should be working, forget about that. That doesn’t That’s not important right now. I’m just kidding. but just, you know, take a deep breath with me, a couple of times, and then we’ll jump into it. So in through the nose, out through the mouth. We do it every day, but let’s just do it purposefully for just a second together. Just relax.

Jordan Berry [00:13:19]:

And let’s take a step away from the whirlwind that is running businesses in the first half of twenty twenty because if it’s anything like it’s been for me, for you, it’s been a whirlwind. There’s always more to do. There’s always something I can be working on. There’s always some issue coming up. There’s always some bill to pay, it’s so easy to get sucked in to doing the day to day things and to not take a second to just take a deep breath to relax and to widen our view out. I know we’ve talked about this before, but the reason I want this to be a little bit shorter of a podcast episode is because I want us to actually do it. Let’s not spend so much time consuming and learn and let’s do, I’m gonna talk about 4 sort of steps that I’m taking that you can take to to figure out how to grow your business in the second half of twenty twenty, or if you’re looking to get into the industry to buy your 1st business, how you can move towards that goal by the end of 2020, despite what 2020’s thrown at us so far. Let’s take things into our own hands and let’s shift our mindsets to growing our businesses, not just hanging on for dear life.

Jordan Berry [00:14:47]:

So the first, step I’m taking. And, again, this is stuff that I’m doing that I thought might be helpful for the rest of you, and, and all of us, really. the first step that I’m taking is I’m asking myself, what’s the one thing that I can really focus on between now and the end of the year that is really going to propel my the growth of my businesses the most. What’s the one focus that I can have, between now and the end of the year. And for you, that can be any number of things. Maybe for you, It’s, you know, getting in there and fixing up machines that have been broken for a long time. Maybe for you, it’s renovating your store. Maybe for you, you need to do a better job of marketing your laundromat and, you know, whether you’re doing that yourself or through a marketing company,

Jordan Berry [00:15:50]:

excuse me. Shame plug. Sorry. but, you know, maybe for you, it is, you know, adding, like, a service to what you’re offering. Maybe it’s adding a a fluff and fold service or a pickup and delivery service to what you’re doing now. maybe just maybe you’ve had an employee who hasn’t been performing the way that you had hoped or the way they need to be performing and you’ve put off dealing with that problem. You know, I think Luke, Willeford a couple episodes ago, shared, you know, when you have a problem, it’s better to hit it head on and just address a problem. And maybe you have an employee that you have been putting off addressing that you need to address and replace to help your business go to that next level.

Jordan Berry [00:16:40]:

Whatever the the goal, the focus might be for you between now and the end of the year that you think is going to propel the most growth over the next few months take a second and figure out what that might be. Set aside all of the things that usually take our attention. you know, the bill paying, the managing the employees, the dealing with unhappy customers, the fixing broken machines, whatever it is that takes up all your time, take a second, set it aside, find a quiet place, and ask yourself the question. What’s the one thing that I can focus on for the rest of this year that’s really going to propel the growth of my business between now and the end of the year. Or whenever you’re listening to this, pick a date and and do it. So that is number 1. And, I think that just stepping back and doing that, really helps just kind of shift the mindset. And it really, you know, for me, a lot of what’s happened this year has felt like it’s taken a lot of control of my businesses out of my hands.

Jordan Berry [00:17:48]:

And this is one way that you can gain a little bit of that control back. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m trying to do. that’s step 1. Now when you set a goal like that, maybe it’s like, I wanna add a fluff and full business, part of my business and I wanna make $5000 a month by the end of the year. Whatever the goal might be, let’s just take that as an example. now by the end of the year, you’re able to look to see if you hit that goal or not, but it’s too late to do anything about it. So that’s called a lag measure.

Jordan Berry [00:18:19]:

Your goal is probably gonna be a lag measure. Now step number 2, you need to figure out some lead measures some things that you can do along the way consistently between now and the end of the year that will help you achieve that goal So when you get there and you can see whether you hit that lag measure, that goal, step number 1. Now, you know, for example, this could be, you know, we’ll just we’ll just stick with our fluff and fold, adding a fluff and fold service, to our business example. Now, a la the lag measure is $5000 a month by the end of the year. we’ll know if we hit that, but we won’t be able to do anything about it. So let’s talk about some lead measures. Let’s just brainstorm that, together for whatever your goal might be, you know, your lead measures might be something like I want to figure out how to run Facebook ads, you know, and and spend $5 a day you know, for the next 3 months to try to build up the business. And so that’s a lead measure.

Jordan Berry [00:19:26]:

You’re setting up your your ads, your Facebook ads, or whatever the case might be, and you’re running those for $5 a day. another lead measure might be, I wanna train my employees to offer the Sluff and fold service to our regular customers, who are coming anyways just to offer it to ten people a day. And if they offer it to ten people a day, then it’s gonna help build up the business. And, you know, those that’s something you can control. You can measure you can adjust it along the way, and it’s gonna help get you towards your goal. So maybe another one might be I want to create flyers with 50% off coupon that I wanna, you know, get out to, the surrounding neighborhoods. or whatever the case might be for you, what are the things that you can be doing consistently between now and the end of the year that are gonna help you get to your goal that you can measure and that you can determine along the way if you’re hitting those lead measures. And if those lead measures are helping you get closer, to your goal to your lag measure.

Jordan Berry [00:20:39]:

now that’s step number 2. And those two steps are super important. and they’re easier said than done. So really spend a little bit of time on these things figuring out what is the one thing that’s gonna help my business the most between now and the end of the year or whatever date you end up picking. And what are the things that I need to be doing in order to help me hit the goal? what are the things that I need to be implementing in my business and the way that I run it, in the way that I train my employees, that are gonna lead me closer and closer to that goal to be able to hit it by your target date into the air or whatever it might be. Now that is good in all. but sometimes it could be super overwhelming when you have all of these things, all these lead measures you’re trying to hit. So, for those of you bigger pocket fans out there, I know Brandon Turner has mentioned if you, if you’ve listened to the podcast, we’re watching you their videos.

Jordan Berry [00:21:38]:

you know, he’s mentioned the men’s m i n s, and the men’s is the most important next step. That’s step number 3 is now that you know your goal and your lead So step number 3 is now that you know your goal and your lead measures, you need to determine what is the next thing, the most important next thing that I need to do in order to hit those lead measures in order to hit my ultimate goal So for example, you know, sticking with our fluff and fold example, let’s say, you know, you wanna do Facebook, marketing And so your most important next step might be, for example, you know, I need to create a Facebook business account for my laundromat so that I can run ads, on Facebook. Or, and then after you do that, maybe your next then you have to establish another miz and most important next step. So after you’ve completed that, fill out the profile and everything, and you have a completed a business profile on Facebook. Well, now maybe your next means is to jump on to YouTube and learn how to run Facebook ads. so that can be a progression that you do to help you, hit your lead measures for your for your marketing, goal, if that’s your if that’s your goal to, in order lead measure goal in order to hit your main goal of $5000 a month for Fluffin Full another route that you might take is, hey, I need to the most important next step for me is to do some research on a marketing company that can help me run Facebook ads for my fluff and fold business. Excuse me.

Jordan Berry [00:23:30]:

shameless plug again. but, maybe or whoever, you know, whoever it might be, you know, finding that might be your means is researching, you know, marketing companies that can help you run. so That’s your min. So step number 3 is breaking those lead measures down into your most important next thing to do. The something to take action on. You gotta do it today, tomorrow as soon as possible. It’s the most important thing that’s gonna help you hit your lead measures. gonna help you hit your ultimate goal.

Jordan Berry [00:24:03]:

and so you gotta do it. Now the thing is with that, once you know what it is, let’s say it’s researching, you know, marketing companies help run Facebook ads for you. If you know that’s on there, it’s on your checklist. It’s on your to do list. So for me, and I think for a lot of people, it may or may not get done. it’s just things get so overwhelming. So many there’s so many important things to do all the time that sometimes we procrastinate on the most important things because they’re not the funniest. They make us feel uncomfortable.

Jordan Berry [00:24:41]:

Whatever the case might be. So step number 4, once you have your big goal, and your lead measures that are gonna help you achieve that big goal in your mens, your most important next step that are gonna help you hit those lead measures to hit your main goal, then you need to schedule it. You need to put it in your calendar so that it gets done. Now keep that time sacred. Make sure that you are focusing on it because it’s the most important next step to help you hit your goal. super important to do. So that’s your men’s. And I this is kind of the process that I am going through right now, you know, for me, I’m trying to grow my pickup and delivery service right now.

Jordan Berry [00:25:26]:

So that’s my big goal for the end of the year is to grow that portion of my business pickup and delivery service. And so, you know, I have different lead measures to help me get there. And that include things like advertising. That includes things like reorganizing and restructuring my the physical laundromat store to make it, more ideal to, facilitate, pick up and delivery services. And you know, my most important next steps. I’m defining this along the way. And after I complete one, I think about, okay, what’s my next men’s? What’s my next most important next step. and then I put that in my calendar and make sure I have time to actually accomplish it, set it aside, make it sacred, and put away all the other things that are always taking up my attention so that I can work on that.

Jordan Berry [00:26:19]:

Now, again, this is the middle of the year while I’m recording this white, you know, you might be listening to it later. whenever you’re listening to it, it doesn’t have to be at midpoint of the year or the beginning of the year. Wherever you’re at might be a good time to just take a breath Set aside all of the whirlwind things that are keeping us busy and focus on your business and say, how can I grow my business between now and whenever? And what are the things that I need to do What are the things that I need to focus on? Schedule it and get working on it. Now, again, this is a little bit shorter episode than normal part actually because we don’t have an interview this week, but we’ll have them. Don’t worry. I know you love them. I love them. They’re not going away.

Jordan Berry [00:27:06]:

We’re bringing people back. I got a bunch of people lined up, and if you’re interested in being one of those people, slash podcast guest, I would love to talk to you to hear your story, to hear what’s working for you and to hear what your experience has been like, owning laundromats. So lawnmat slash podcast guest, This is Jordan, for the automatic resource podcast, show number 12. Thanks for listening. And I hope that the end of 2020, And whenever you’re listening to this, going forward, is your best yet and that you’re seeking growth. You’re always looking to grow your business, your influence in the community, and the good that you’re doing in this world. And let’s do it together by going to Go to the introductions thing.

Jordan Berry [00:27:52]:

meet some people there, introduce yourself over there, and let’s just, you know, man, let let’s just do it all together. Alright? Financial Freedom through Lautamat Ownership. This is Jordan again, and we will see you next week. Peace.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 112 with David Laing

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

Hey. Hey. What’s up, guys? This is Jordan with the Long Term Resource podcast. This is show 112, and I am pumped that you’re here today because today, We have on the show David Lang, who’s about to just back up a dump truck right in front of you and just empty out a huge pile of gold right at your feet. And all you gotta do today is pick it up and run with it. Okay? But the key is you gotta pick it up and run with it. You gotta take action on some of this stuff. So if there’s an episode that you need to pick up your note taking device and take some notes it’s this 1 and probably actually the next 2 even also because those ones are jam packed. Also, I’m super excited about this little 3 in a row that we’ve got right here. And, man, you gotta take some action on this thing. The action is what’s gonna help you achieve your goals, whether that’s getting into your first laundromat. optimizing the operations of your current laundromat or laundromats or scaling up to, you know, a laundry empire. Whatever your goal is, you’ve gotta take action on that. So, you know, pick something out of this episode in every episode and take some action on it. I’ll share my big takeaway. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but I’ll share my big takeaway if I can do it at the back end of this, and and, hopefully, you can share your big takeaway too. Alright. Super excited that, you know, you get to hear from David, and we’re gonna do that in one second. But really quickly, I wanna just mention 2 things. Number 1 is March 7th. We’re doing what we call our mastermind in the pro community. And, you know, about every 6 weeks or so, we get together, everybody who wants to join a mastermind group, or who wants to join another mastermind group, gets together, and I I put everybody in mastermind groups, and we kick off new mastermind groups. And that happens about every 6 weeks that’s happening March 7 2023. So if you’re listening to this, then the 1st week or so of when this comes out, and you’re interested in joining a mastermind group. Check it out come check it out. Not only do you get access to a mastermind group, and I’ll tell you what that is in a second, we do weekly live calls. And in fact, David Lang is doing our live q and a along with me. This week, today’s guest is doing the live q and a in the pro community this week. Super excited about that. And we’ve had other guests like Andrew Cunningham and Moore will be coming. We do panel discussions. We do deal analysis analysis analysis. And now we analyze deals on calls. So we got a lot of really cool stuff. We’re doing every single week in the pro community. And not only that, but you get access to all the tools and resources and the community itself. Super cool. Check it out at, especially if you wanna get into that. mastermind a mastermind group here in the next week or so. Okay. So there’s that. And I just wanted to mention that because that only happens every 6 weeks that we do that. And, you know, if we need to, we’ll make it more frequent, but that’s where we’re at right now about every 6 weeks and that’s happening now. So Come jump in. And if you’re listening to this after the fact, you know, come join us anyways. There’s a ton going on all the time over there. a lot of really valuable info, a lot of really valuable insight and information, and it’s great. And real quick, what a mastermind group is just in case you don’t know. a group of about 3 to 5 people and maybe 6 or so. And, you know, what you’re doing is you you’re sharing your your goals together. You’re sharing your lives together. You’re sharing, you know, business practices. You’re keeping each other accountable. And, you know, I’ve been saying it forever is we’re all better when we work together. And so I’ve really tried to design this pro community around that concept. That’s like like a core tenant. of what I’ve been trying to do. It’s why I do the podcast, and we’re asking other owners, you know, what they’re doing and what’s working and all that stuff. It’s all intentional because I do think that we’re all better when we work together. And there’s the whole you’re the average of the five people surround yourself with. You’re spending the most time with. Right? And so why not get into a group of people who are, number 1, going in the same direction as you thinking through the same things in as you and can help you, you know, problem solve and take the next step in your journey. Man, I just I love the idea of the mastermind group, and I think it’s probably the most powerful thing you could do to hit bigger goals faster. And if your goal is to hit bigger goals faster, whether that’s leaving your 9 to 5 or, you know, just getting some side income and building that, you know, side income up or that passive income, quote unquote, up. Or if it’s building a laundromat empire, whatever those goals are, if you wanna go bigger and you wanna faster. The best way to do that is to get in a room either literally or digitally. I don’t know. Get Get around other people who are, number 1, going the same direction as you, and number 2, can help you get to you know, those goals and help you keep you accountable and help you problem solve all that stuff. Anyway, I’m super excited. I could go on forever, but I won’t because you guys always tell me how long I take and how long winded I am. So let’s jump into it with David Lang right now. David, thank you for coming on the show. How are you doing today?

David Laing [00:05:22]:

I’m good, Jordan. Thank you so much. This is awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:05:25]:

This is — I’m excited. Yeah. No. This is super awesome. And you just reminded me we actually met, like, a year almost, like, exactly a year ago, I think. Yeah. It was. Yeah. It’s almost exactly a year ago. Yeah. And we’re — — last year. Yeah. We’re we’re talking about a lot about you’re thinking about buying that you ended up not buying. Right? That’s right. Yeah. We couldn’t agree on the price. Yeah. That’s funny. But, man, I can’t wait to hear I don’t think we’ve really talked since then, so I can’t wait to hear kind of the progress and the update. But before we get into all that, Mhmm. First of all, I gotta tell you, I am I’m freezing cold over here at 50 degrees in raining. But I know you are up in up in the Great White North up there. Yes. What’s the weather like right now? You know what? It’s for a year, it’s it’s been a really mild January. Just the ski hill basically just open. So we’re on going skiing tonight.

David Laing [00:06:17]:

But it’s I think it’s, like, minus 1 Celsius today. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit. probably — That’s mild. Yeah. Yeah. — something. But, yeah, I mean, it’s definitely not like California. That’s for sure.

Jordan Berry [00:06:30]:

Gosh, man. I I I think I said this on, like, a previous podcast episode, but I genuinely I don’t know that I’ve ever been in negative temperature weather. ever — Oh, really? Ever? My life. Yeah. Well, you gotta come on come on up here, man. We’ll go see you.

David Laing [00:06:47]:

Yeah. I I would love to.

Jordan Berry [00:06:49]:

Just for brief moments — Yeah. — not not long term. Alright. So that you don’t freeze solid. Let’s keep this thing moving. Absolutely. Sounds good. Yeah. Tell tell us a little bit about you, your background, who you are, and then maybe how you started getting into interested into laundromats.

David Laing [00:07:09]:

Yeah. For sure. I’m I’m an airline pilot by trade, and I work for a a a big airline here in Canada. And I’ve been doing that for 11 years with this particular company. I wanted to I’ve been always been interested in, like, in investing, in business. Real estate investing was always something even as a teenager, I saw I was like, that’s that that’s really cool. That’s what I wanna do. You know, I had some uncles that were into business. And So I ended up about I guess it was I think it was 2016. We had bought our 1st, like, multifamily, small

Jordan Berry [00:07:51]:

it was a triplex, a small apartment building.

David Laing [00:07:55]:

I had just sold a our our first house. And, basically, we used some of that extra equity to invest.

Jordan Berry [00:08:06]:

So I partnered with my mom on that. We bought a Triplex.

David Laing [00:08:09]:

And then that same year, we bought another triplex that was a complete gut renovation. And I’ve partnered with a friend of mine who’s He’s he’s like a a pretty big real estate investor around here, especially in that fairly, he’s got a lot of the small building we really knew the market and found a new so he was able to lead us on this renovation project. So I partnered with him We got our 2nd property, and then that same year, we bought another property, 5 plex and partnered with my mother-in-law on that one. So we were able to kinda, like, spread the equity that I wanted to invest over at 3 properties by partnering with different people. And that was in 2016. The market was good in this little city west of Toronto. But you know, as, like, everywhere, things have just gone absolutely crazy. you know, this year, I wanted to well, rather last year, you know, I was looking to buy another rental property. and things were just I I couldn’t I couldn’t wrap my head around or I couldn’t justify buying anything because the prices were so outrageous, and rents just hadn’t kept pace. So I I happen to be listening to my first million. It’s a podcast. You know, where they talk about different business ideas all the time, and They had this woman, Cody Sanchez. Mhmm. Very, very smart lady. And she was kinda talking about how she likes to buy boring businesses. And, you know, she ended up talking about laundromats as an example. She’s got I think she owns a few laundromats. So she she sort of made the case for why a laundromat in this day and age can be a better investment or better use of your money than a rental property. And so I started kind of it really tweaked my interest. It really spoke to me because I was like, I can’t find a rental pretty right now that I can justify buying. So I kinda went down this whole rabbit hole of the laundromat, and then I came across laundromat resource. and, you know, just going through your website and then you you know, all the free tools on there listening to the podcast, and then that, you know, came across Coinbase Association and all the Facebook groups and everything, and know, just all that wealth and information. I just kinda went down the rabbit hole, and I was like, yeah. This is this sounds awesome. You know? Great opportunity. So that’s that’s when that’s when you and I ended up talking a year ago. You know? about our first the first one that we had put an offer on. Yeah. You got sucked into the vortex.

Jordan Berry [00:10:55]:

Yeah. I think dog. That’s hilarious. Yeah. That’s awesome. Okay. So yeah. Okay. So we talked you were looking at you were looking at a deal, and it ended up not working out. So tell me what what what happened after that? Did I mean, I I I talked to a lot of people who go after a deal. Mhmm. It doesn’t work out. it get discouraged, and that’s that. What was that experience like for you when you couldn’t come to terms with a a price for that deal?

David Laing [00:11:29]:

Yeah. It was you know, I think it was really a blessing in disguise too because the second deal turned out to be much better. But the the basically, we went in. We knew going into into this one in particular, I felt really well prepared after having talked to you about that particular deal and all the research we had done you know, I knew that I knew with the population density in the immediate area. I knew how many turns per day they were doing. Even though they weren’t disclosing it, you know, tax wise, it was just a cash operation. We we we’re able to look at the spreadsheets, and then we’re able to reconstruct revenue based on the water use. Mhmm. It seemed to line up. You know, it it was we went in basically thinking, okay. This is gonna be You know, just a starting point, we’re here to build the business. And you had asked us, do you want an investment or a business? And I said, you know, I wanna build a business, you know, with a wash and fold and pickup and delivery. So I’m okay with the fact that revenue is really low right now. They they were just really, really badly managing it, like, to just you know, they turned off all the lights. just to save energy, and it was kinda dark and dingy. Like, sort of a typical zombie mat type of thing. Yeah. we just come come to terms on price. You know? And then eventually, the the seller pulled it from the market, and we’re really bombed. But was just within a few days, we found another listing that come came up. And that one turned out to be better because there already was an existing Washington fold with the full time attendant, so we’re we’re pretty happy about that.

Jordan Berry [00:13:21]:

Yeah. It’s a nice win. when your goal is to have that and it’s already built in there and it’s already built into the model, you don’t have to build it from scratch because that can be it can be a little bit of a run up trying to figure out how to ramp that thing up. Are you gonna eat some salary until you get enough business to cover it? Or are you gonna work it yourself? Or Yeah. What’s the what’s the game plan here? Are you gonna do a part time and then try to ramp the time? You know, it it can be tough to figure out how to navigate that, so that is good that that was already there. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about that second one, like, what the deal look like?

David Laing [00:13:56]:

For sure. It was nice. So Basically, it was asking price was a 175,000. It’s a small place. It’s only a 1000 square feet. just a little bit under, actually. And he so he was asking 175. It was netting about 50,000 a year We ended up settling on 160. What I liked about it was the The the immediate area is is very dense with low rise apart lots of low rise apartment buildings. And then there’s also sort of higher end development that’s been taking place over the last 5 or 6 years in the area. It’s on the north end of town, so it’s not like it’s centrally located, but the immediate area is really like, the self serve side of the business is really, really strong. And yeah. Yeah. So it’s the machines were The machines are older. Like, we’re so the the mash these got £350 machines,

Jordan Berry [00:15:08]:

£350 Dexter’s,

David Laing [00:15:12]:

3.30 pound decksters, and there’s a few like a little mix of

Jordan Berry [00:15:19]:

like, 20, £25

David Laing [00:15:21]:

machines. Mhmm. They’re all, like, fifteen to twenty years old. And so we’re we’re starting to, this year, replace some of the older machines. But the big thing that was really attractive to us was So first of all, he was turning a profit on the Washington fold on the service side. Very strong self serve revenue from what we could tell. it actually has gotten a lot stronger since we’ve implemented launcher works like the card system. Mhmm. Because we’re able to see you know, down to the dollar exactly what the self serve is bringing in before it was sort of but he was he didn’t even really know. It was kind of ballpark. He’s like, hey. Worst case scenario, it’s gonna be I think he had told us $1200 a week, but it’s it’s turned out to be a lot. stronger than that. Part of it too is with the cache, you know, just it’s just you know how messy it is with coins and everything and — Oh, yeah. You know, we we we so that basically, that was one of the first orders of business was to switch over to the card system.

Jordan Berry [00:16:35]:

But, yeah, the the big thing for us was that it it already had an established wash and full business.

David Laing [00:16:41]:

with about 13 or 14 weekly drop off orders. Mhmm. Mostly recurring customers. And he’ll be had 12 corporate customers, like RMTs, like massage therapists, a couple of hair salons. And he had one big contract with the county. They have, like, an overnight kinda shelter facility. Mhmm. And so so he had a big contract with them, which ultimately Well, ultimately, it like, when we take it over, they were no longer a customer. They put it in their own facility and everything, so we didn’t actually get to keep those guys. Unfortunately, But we’ve more thankfully, we’ve more than made up for it with with new corporate customers. So

Jordan Berry [00:17:33]:

Yeah. I think that was just a huge benefit. Like, I I know, like, just on a straight,

David Laing [00:17:39]:

you know, investment metric, kind of the rule of thumb is 3 to 5 x net. But I think for us, it just saved us so much work having the built in, like, a driver that knew the roots. Really great attendant that works full time. She lives right next door. The customers love her. She’s really good with customer service, and she works really hard. So we felt really blessed, especially in this day and age when the labor market is so tough for employers. You know? We were like, yeah. You know, there’s value in this as well. So — Oh, for sure. We’re gonna have to invest in, you know, just cosmetic, like paint. We put we, you know, we painted the place. We put up we all we re fully rebranded, put up new signage. in the card system as well, which I think was a really good investment.

Jordan Berry [00:18:30]:

Yeah. Alright. There’s a lot to talk about.

David Laing [00:18:33]:

So, yeah,

Jordan Berry [00:18:35]:

Yeah. So let me ask you this. So you kinda going back to going back to the deal, you said they’re asking 175. You settled on 160. They were netting 50. When you took over, did you find out they were actually netting about 50? Is that did that prove to be true?

David Laing [00:18:56]:

Okay. Yes and no. With the with that county contract, it was. But once they we lost the county contract, it wasn’t making 50 anymore. And in fact, the Watson fold, what we discovered was actually losing money. When when you remove that big contract. Like, that was a huge contract. Pricing was super, super low. Like, the Washington fold at the time when we took over was a dollar a pound. and they only had outside of the corp and so the corporate was dollar dollar a pound. Drop off was a dollar a pound. And keep in mind, the corporate, of course, is pickup and delivery, so we’re also paying for the driver. Mhmm. And They only had a couple of residential pickup and delivery customers. I think there was sort of 2 semi regular residential pickup and delivery customers. So we knew right away that we were gonna have to increase pricing across the board on the machines. So we actually did end up increasing vendor prices as well. And on the service side, we we I’ve reached out to all the corporate customers. all twelve that we took over, and we said that, yeah, I just introduced myself. I said I wouldn’t be you know, as far as they’re concerned, all of their service and everything would remain the exact same, you know, for the remainder of the year. So we took over July 6th. So, essentially, for 6 months, we just honored the $1 a pound for the rest of the year even though we were losing money on it. And I wanted to really, like, sort of cement myself as being a great solution to their laundry problem in their business — Mhmm. — and kind of establish that relationship. because there is — There’s no — — other pickup and delivery in that city. as of yet. But there are other laundromats that offer Washington Fold service, and they do it cheaper. And I I wanted to that they know that when we do the prices, you know, we’re good people. You know? Like, we’re a good company that this gonna serve them and work really hard to make sure that, you know, they were happy. So we ultimately ended up just in the beginning of summer. I give them everybody a notice that we’re gonna be raising the those corporate rates to a dollar 50. which I know is still sort of low, but at least it’s I mean, it’s 50% more than we were making on it before, not at least now we’re returning a profit on that corporate service side. And and we started onboarding at a dollar 50 as well. So we took on some new customers throughout that the last 6 months. And and then are we moved all of our drop off to a dollar 50 as well from a dollar? So, again, that’s like, we were we were doing right now, we average 14 a week drop off orders. So we went from a dollar to a dollar 50 on all of those, and there’s been absolutely zero drop in business. And in fact, we’re getting more business. Like, we’re getting busier. and our pickup and delivery for residential is all at $2 a pound. So we went from just a couple a dollar to right now, we’re averaging on about 6 to 7 residential pickup and delivery orders a week at $2 a pound. So we’re really trying to grow that side of the business. I feel like we I I was tracking our so when we first took over in the first quarter that we were we took over July, August, September. Mhmm. We were kinda just trying to figure things out and be like, basically, like, get a lay of the land and figure out what was happening. So there was we made very, very little. We’re doing, like, 1 or 2 pickup and delivery orders a week. at a dollar a pound in the second quarter. So last quarter that we just finished, October, November, December, we saw, like, a 250% increase in our pickup and delivery business, which is still, like, modest, but we’re you know, just just definitely just trying to grow it And I found the only really, probably the only difference was we just started answering the phone. I don’t think the previous guy was he was just too busy and just not in his mind. He wasn’t on the business. So we literally just we got a dedicated phone, like a cell phone, and we just answer it. And Yeah. We’re we’re like, yeah. We have a driver out 5 days a week. We’ll slot you in. So our driver does the corporate stuff and then any resident special stuff. It’s, like, picks up and delivers those as well. And so just that alone, just like by saying, yeah, we can do that. we we find we have, like, a foundation of the residential pickup and delivery business that we can now grow upon. So that’s been really exciting. We’ve got a lot of return customers. People have been really, really happy. Everyone’s like, what we you know, we’re finding that just by being friendly, like people are so used to, you know, those the phone menus, you call a big company, and you get, you know, an automated service and everything. Just by yeah. You’re talking to a human being. Right now, yes. I can take your order, and, yes, we can do that. Here’s the pricing, you know, answer any of your questions. Yeah. You have any issues? just give a call. And then we we find people just like to text us. So, like, when it’s a return, like, a a return customer, just shoot us a text and say, hey. Can I get a pickup on Wednesday? Yep. No problem. So that’s been really cool. And, yeah, I mean, the goal for now is to really lean into that residential pickup of delivery.

Jordan Berry [00:25:03]:

Yeah. Are you doing are you doing online orders at all, or you’re not doing that? Yeah.

David Laing [00:25:11]:

Oh, yeah. And I was gonna shoot. I was gonna say something. I forget what it was now. Bye.

Jordan Berry [00:25:17]:

Are you doing are you doing online orders at all, or you’re not doing that yet?

David Laing [00:25:21]:

Yes. We we we signed up with clean cloud. And so we we implemented the booking tool on our website. So we had our we had our website with the new branding, like, fully Done up. If anybody’s interested to look at it and see what our booking tool looks like, you can go to Guelph is spelled guelph. so It’s this the website, I think, looks really, really good. We’ve got, you know, Google Analytics on it, and and I think we’ve got a Facebook pixel on it too for our marketing,

Jordan Berry [00:26:01]:

and that’s one of our partners does all of the digital marketing.

David Laing [00:26:07]:

But yeah. So clean cloud gives you a a booking tool, and you can put it in your site. And we you can set up what your delivery slot times are and everything. Right now, we just we’re kind of experimenting with it sort of trying to grow the residential side. So we we just have a we have a morning slot from 9 AM till noon, and then we have an evening slot to try to get the after like, the after work crowd from I think it’s He actually just implemented that, like, 2 weeks ago, the evening slot. And pretty much, it’s just gonna be me or my wife that does them now until we get busier, and we can tick on an evening driver kind of thing. I think one of your one of the people you had on your podcast, a guy that has a really little He said it was, like, same same like my laundromat. It’s, like, a 1000 square feet, but he got so busy that he ended up closing the self serve side. Mhmm. And I remember he was saying, you know, every now and again, you just have to stand in the gap, and that’s kinda, like, what we’ve been doing too. It’s like, right now for the evening slots of an evening, pickup and delivery order comes in. We stand in the gap, and we just do it ourselves. know, until we get busy enough, then we can have a driver in the evenings. Yeah. That was oh, yeah. One of the other

Jordan Berry [00:27:29]:

Sorry. Go ahead. I was gonna say real quick. That was Daniel Logan’s episode. And I’ll link to that, and I’ll link to your guelphs in the show notes. So if you’re listening, check out the show notes, or if you’re on YouTube down below, you’ll get those links, all the links that we talk about. will all be there. So I just wanted to mention that. But Daniel Logan is the 1. That was an awesome episode too. Yes. Yes. It was it was it was resonated with me because I I have a small laundromat as well.

David Laing [00:27:56]:

And, like you know, so I I was thinking just like he has, You know, you with a cool thing about a laundromat is, you know, you can even though we’re the square footage is small, we can expand Like, we have room to add bigger machines. We still we can upgrade a couple of our smaller machines to larger capacity machines. We increase the capacity and then we can increase the hours. Like, we can have ideally run sort of a 24 hour operation where we have all your corporate stuff being done overnight and everything. So It it sounded like that’s exactly what he was doing. So, yeah, really awesome guy. Yeah. Yeah. One of the things that’s been sort of interesting with the, you know, with the pickup and delivery. You know, we had wife and I kinda gone on this sort of interesting entrepreneurial journey where a couple of years ago, we got started with Amazon, FBA, which is you know, where you design a product overseas or or it doesn’t have to be overseas, but you design a product. Generally, it’s manufactured in China or India. and then you sell it on Amazon. And we kinda went on this, like, started down that path before we had discovered laundromats. And Amazon being extremely, extremely competitive for 3rd party sellers. You you know, you you have no choice but to offer absolute top service. Like, you have to have the best quality and the best service. Otherwise, you’ll just get crushed and you, you know, you’ll lose money. So we kinda, you know one of the things that’s common in Amazon for among third party sellers is trying to convert customers from being Amazon buyers to being buyers of your company. Like, trying to get those customers to be part of you or a part of your business. Mhmm. And the question is, like, how do you do that? because Amazon has very tight regulations on how you can communicate with their customers. So what people will do is out is put insert cards in the product. So oftentimes when you get a product, from Amazon. In the box, you’ll see, like, a card that says, thank you so much a little bit about us. You know? fill out a survey or whatever and possibly win a prize or something like that. Mhmm. And so we’ve decided we started doing that as well with our drop off in our Watson fold is like we’ve got the custom little cards that we put in all of the orders that go back out. I’m just saying, you know, we’re a small family run business. We super appreciate, you know, you and and being our customer. And and then on on the other side, it’s right now, it just says, you know, your laundry was washed and folded with care by Karen, you know, who are our attendant. But I I like the idea of having those little things because it’s like an extra little personal touch. It costs next to nothing to print these little cards. Mhmm. and it takes Karen 2 seconds to throw him into the orders. But we could also it’s it’s another way for us to communicate with our customers. Like, we could have you know, possibly a QR code that they could scan, and then, you know, we could enter them into a draw. You know, if if they they could opt into our email list, and we can, you know, communicate with them about different sales or things like that. You know, just to help build that loyalty. And and so I I’ve something that from a hyper competitive environment like Amazon, you know, where you you have to be You have to have great customer service and a great product. And, you know, you have no choice. In the laundry business we’re finding is and you would know, Jordan, like, it’s all like, people are almost amazed when you when you deliver

Jordan Berry [00:31:52]:

higher than standard customer service. Right? Like, customers — The bar is low. Yeah.

David Laing [00:31:57]:

Yeah. The bar’s been set really low. So it’s it’s it’s not hard to do. Like, if you just treat people the way that they’ve been become accustomed to, like, and you have that customer focus, People they they really appreciate it. And and that’s why we we’ve been getting, like, really nice comments from people, and they’re like, oh, you guys are the best. You know? It feels really good.

Jordan Berry [00:32:20]:

Yeah. Well and one of the things I found too is that especially for, you know, a a company that is laser focused on providing, like, a great service is you know, one of the things I found very effective is Turn those fans of your business into your Salesforce, right, and and drop in with those cards, drop in hey. You know, refer a friend. You guys both get 1% off or x dollars off your next order or whatever. Like, you can rack up you know, the more people we refer, the more, you know, those kinds of things and and dropping those also in every single order, like, hey. We appreciate you, you know, Refer a friend if you enjoy the service, and, you know, we’ll give both of you guys whatever. Yeah. Big time. And and that could be super effective promotion is especially when you’re laser focused on providing a great experience for people — Mhmm. — and and being friendly and take care of the basics. like, answering the phone. And you know what I mean? Like — That’s right. Yeah. The when when you’re there, I people want to you know, refer their friends to people who they know are gonna take care of their friends. Right? Absolutely. And so if you’re that person, that can be a really really effective way to to promote your your business, especially as you’re starting to grow it.

David Laing [00:33:39]:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I know it’s been exciting. So you mentioned marketing and

Jordan Berry [00:33:44]:

that you have, like, a marketing company that’s kinda helping you do some stuff. I mean, are you are you what kind of marketing doing? Are you doing digital marketing? Are you doing offline marketing in store? Like, what are you what

David Laing [00:33:55]:

are you doing to try to build that business? Yeah. So right now we do a mix of in store marketing and digital marketing. So my my brother-in-law is has done the website, and he’s doing all the Google Ads. He’s running our Facebook ads. So I so to talk about the marketing, I guess I’ll start with the in store. We do just simple stuff. Like, we’ll just print a poster and So right now, we have a Google we’re trying to build our Google reviews because we rebranded. Mhmm. So we don’t get the benefit of the previous company’s Google reviews. Like, he had not that he had, like, a ton anyway, but I think he had maybe

Jordan Berry [00:34:42]:

30 or something like that. And they’re they’re pretty good. I think it was all 4 star pretty much. It was a 4 star — Mhmm. — more than 4 stars.

David Laing [00:34:52]:

But with the rebranding, we’re we were essentially starting from scratch. So what we did in our store and this is the benefit of laundry works. is that we printed up a poster and basically said, leave us an honest review. Here’s the QR code to scan this on your phone. It takes you to our business listing. People leave a review. So send us a screenshot of the review and then send us a picture of the back of your Laundry Works card with the where the number is, and then we’ll add $5 to your account. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad review. Just give us an honest review. And

Jordan Berry [00:35:31]:

and then we ask our attendant

David Laing [00:35:33]:

to, you know, make sure people are aware of it. And so she’s been doing a great job at that. And so we’ve just in couple of short months since we started this. We’ve already got 25 reviews, and they’re all, like, like, 4.9 star. And I think the highest reviewed laundromat in the city is has to be, like, a 130 or something like that. So I within the year, I’m hoping that this year, we’ll hit a 100 reviews. And, you know, that’s been helping us big time with our

Jordan Berry [00:36:06]:

with our ranking or listing. The other thing is we we search we sort of search engine optimized the name of our company. We called it Guelph Landry Company. Guelph Landry Co.

David Laing [00:36:15]:

So the idea being if anybody searches in Google for guelphlaundry service or something, you know, we come up. So we’ve been getting so my brother-in-law, as I mentioned, does the digital marketing, and he’s been monitoring our Google Analytics, and he can see where on the page people are looking and whether it results in a phone call, whether they’re looking at the phone number or looking at the map for the address. more if they’re looking at the LonzaWorks Booking tool. Mhmm. And so we can kinda see are those converting to sales? Are they converting to self serve business? or, you know, are people making a call? Ideally, they call us, and then, generally, when people call about our service, it converts to a sale. So we’re we’re sort of again, it’s like it’s we’re we’re we’re we still don’t have a ton of data. We’ve only been at it for a few months, but You know, the the goal right now, we we literally only have a $500 a month paid marketing budget. That’s going to Facebook and Google. but we’re trying to see a positive return on our ad spend. So we’ll be, you know, monitoring that, keeping it at the 500 until we can say, you know, for sure, positively that we have a positive ROAS on our ad on our ad spend.

Jordan Berry [00:37:39]:

The other thing is we’re

David Laing [00:37:41]:

doing some organic. We haven’t gotten our social media to where I want it yet. I I wanna be posting daily. Basically, right now, I like, I’ll write content. I’ll do 1 day a week. I’ll write, like, a little article, like a 250 300 Word article, and then we’ll convert that content to multiple formats so I can make, like, an Instagram carousel out of that little article. Like, it could be something like question of the day. You know? Can I leave my like, one of the biggest questions one of the most common questions on Google about laundromats is can I leave the laundromat when I’m doing my laundry. Mhmm. So, like, I’ll I wrote a little article on that, so we put that as a blog on the website. And then I quickly in Canva make up a little poster that we can put on Pinterest, and it links to our blog on the website. And then we make up, like, a little 6 or 7 slide Instagram carousel with the same thing, and then also a Facebook post. So with, like it takes me maybe no more than half an hour a week to to write a little article. And then right now, like, I’m doing it right now. My sister helps as well. She does it. Actually, she was doing all the socials. But she’s since she said she doesn’t wanna do it anymore, which I totally get because she has a little baby at home, and she just started a new job. So So that’s that’s all good. So we might get I’m maybe just hire somebody for on fiber to basically convert all this stuff into the different like, the Instagram carousel and Pinterest and everything and just have them do it It it doesn’t take long. I do it myself right now. I like to do it for the last couple weeks. We’ve been posting in local groups, Facebook groups, There’s like online market groups where sellers, you know, of crafts and local Businessing those, and those have actually been really great. The like, those are for sure converted into customers. Like, we’ve actually had people reach out to us and say, hey. I saw your post in the local Facebook group there. Can I get some more price can I get some pricing on your pickup and delivery service? And so that’s resulted in 2 sales right there, which are now actually recurring customers. So, yeah, you just can’t beat free on on that side. So — That’s right.

Jordan Berry [00:40:24]:

Yeah. So it sounds like you got a lot — Yeah. So for right now, that’s — Go ahead. Sorry. Sorry.

David Laing [00:40:29]:

No. I was gonna say that’s that’s that’s the extent of our marketing right now. We haven’t been doing anything physical the city. We haven’t done any signage or or anything like that. But, yeah, I’m thinking I I I I think maybe attending local markets would be cool. Maybe this summer, you know, if things are happening. you know, doing doing draws and just to really, like, the whole goal is we’re really trying to go after this residential pickup and delivery, and that’s really what we’re trying to promote. Self serve is great. We’re really happy with where that’s at. We could also increase the drop off, but the the pickup and delivery is really what we wanna be going this year.

Jordan Berry [00:41:14]:

Yeah. No. That’s awesome. Yeah. And I think You know, what what’s really funny is you you’re talking kinda casual about your your marketing, like, oh, yeah. We’re just kinda ramping up. That that kind of stuff. But, like, the amount of stuff you’re doing, I guarantee you’re doing more than 90 plus percent of Lottermat owners out there through, you know, running ads. doing, you know, an in store poster that’s trying to get actively trying to get Google reviews, which is I mean, that’s probably the the best thing that you can do organically, right, is try to get — Big time. — reviews on on Google, especially Yelp, too, but mostly Google. Mhmm. You know, I love the, you know, the the stack of going from the the short blog post to, you know, doing all the other social media stuff from that post. I think that’s great. I think that’s a really great way to go and then post it in Facebook groups. I mean, that’s that’s kind of a lot of stuff for a laundromat from an industry that traditionally Really didn’t do a whole lot of anything. If anything, maybe, like, you know, door hangers or something like that around the neighborhood. Yeah. So yeah. No. That’s that’s awesome. And and, I mean, I think, you know, that that should be a lesson for for all of us. Right? Like, this this is kinda where our industry’s going. Like, you’ve got to do some some marketing and advertising. Right? You said, ah, we’re only spending, you know, $500 a month right now. But, I mean, I would say probably most laundromats still are not spending anything a month. on their marketing. So, yeah, so kudos to you. Great great job marketing. I wanted to ask you about the card system, launcherworks, when you put that in, why did you make that decision and what impact has it had on the business?

David Laing [00:43:15]:

Well, I so I I I knew I wanted to put in a card system. for the analytics and just just I mean, just for the ease of getting rid of coins, I didn’t know which way to go because as you know, there’s a few. I just kinda scoured the Facebook groups and in the search On the Facebook groups, I just typed in card readers, card system, and then the individual names like Lonja Works, And, you know, spider wash is the other one, I think, and I don’t know. There’s a few of them. And I I had only gotten I’d only seen good reviews from people that were using laundry works.

Jordan Berry [00:44:00]:


David Laing [00:44:03]:

yeah. So we ended up making the decision. It’s not cheap. It’s mean, I have no problem talking pricing. Like, it it basically, we bought the there’s 2 so for people that don’t know, why don’t I just back up? for people that don’t know, when you put in a laundry card system like laundry works, you is food, the machines themselves only have a card reader, so you can’t put any money into a machine. Mhmm. So all the machines have a reader, and the readers communicate with it’s called a VAC or a value add center. It’s kinda like your kiosk where you actually put your money in. It’s the point of sale, and then you get a a laundry card with value on it. So we we ended up going with the system, so you have to buy a reader for each machine. We’ve got double stack dryers, the Dexter 30 pound double stack dryers. And so it’s one meter per double stack dryer. Mhmm. And so the VAC itself I I I mean, don’t quote me exactly on the breakdown, but The VAC itself is, like, 8 or $9000. And then all in all, including installation, we helped we hired a a local technician to help us install it. We had to close the business for 2 full days. And It was about 18,000 after tax all in with the technician’s help. He was about 1800, I think. So it’s about 18 k all in. So it’s it’s not, like, a decision that should be taken lightly, like, we definitely but I had thought about it a ton I’d researched a lot. And I couldn’t be happier. The customers love it. the

Jordan Berry [00:46:01]:

analytics that we get are outstanding. So before we

David Laing [00:46:05]:

yeah, we were estimating. We’re making around 1200 a a week for the self serve, and it’s turning out we’re we’re bringing in around 8000 a month now on on self serve. And it it’s off. Awesome. Because we can see to the dollar, what machines are making, what, we can see you know, exactly what people prefer, so I I can I can tell, you know, how many staff machine starts we’ve had. I can tell how much we’ve spent in, you know, our staff doing corporate laundry. Plus, you build a float. So As people are paying for their laundry card, let’s say they put 20 bucks on their card, and they only and fifteen you essentially have another $5 that sits in what they call the float.

Jordan Berry [00:47:00]:

And it’s essentially, like, deferred revenue. It’s it’s the money you brought in, they’re gonna come back to your laundromat because they wanna

David Laing [00:47:07]:

use that $5. Mhmm. And So it kinda builds loyalty. It it makes it easy, and I can just go on the dashboard every single day. online, and I can see. Yep. Right now in so the VAC takes debit and credit, but it it also takes bills for people that still prefer to use refining around 50%, still like to use cash. So they’ll put a $20 bill in. And, you know, they get their card and away they go. They can also we haven’t actually leaned into this yet as far as marketing, but we will. People will what makes it unique, our laundromat versus any other laundromat in the city is people can go on Laundry works has it’s called my And they can actually see they put in their hard number, which is linked to our laundromat. They could see how busy it is. So from home, they can say, oh, there’s only 2 machines in use right now. Awesome. It’s a good time for me to go get my get my laundry done. Mhmm.

Jordan Berry [00:48:09]:

And they there’s also historical graphs that show the optimal times of the day

David Laing [00:48:15]:

to come in. So, you know, as people can it just gives them more, like, more It makes it experience better. And, ideally, people will start, you know, using that information coming at times that aren’t so busy, so we kinda spread out our you know, how busy we are throughout the week. Yeah. I can. The other thing too is real quick.

Jordan Berry [00:48:40]:

I can’t remember if it’s laundry works or not, but I think you you may be able to implement that right into your website, actually,

David Laing [00:48:47]:

to where I can’t remember — Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:48:50]:

Can’t remember whether works does that. I thought they did, but I could be wrong about that. But that might be worth looking into just to have it right there on your website so you have to go to some other site to log in.

David Laing [00:48:59]:

That’s a great point, actually, Jordan. Yeah. I hadn’t thought of that. Yeah. Yeah. No. That’s a great point. But it’s it’s a great tool. And then you know, you can have customers like, we’re we’ll eventually run a campaign where we’ll have customers register the card. know, number 1, the benefit to them is if they lose the card and it’s got, like, 40 fifty bucks on it, You can just shoot us an email, and we’ll say, yep. No problem. We’ll cancel that card and transfer the value over to another one. Mhmm. So it sort of is like insurance. Mhmm. And then also you know, they could opt in to our marketing. So we could say, hey. You know, thanks for registering your card. If you’re interested, you know, is it okay if we send you different deals and specials and stuff? And You know? Again, the idea would be, ideally, converting our self serve customers into the next level of service, which should be, you know, drop off Washington fold. But at very least, it’s just better customer retention and just a better user experience.

Jordan Berry [00:49:59]:

Yeah. So I I have a feeling I already know the answer to this question, but just to give you an opportunity to say it, like, has Has the transition to the card system? Has it been worth it for you guys? Definitely. From our side,

David Laing [00:50:17]:

we have a so number 1, we get Just a lot less hassle. We had this old change machine that would constantly jam. It was such a hassle. Like, we’d be, like, I get a call at, like, 9 o’clock at night. You know? Just put my son to bed, and, you know, I’m I’m really ready to just chill out. And it’s like, oh, I gotta go up to the laundromat now and open up this change machine and there’s such a pain. And, you know, and then we’d have, like, all the coins, like, it would take us shoot. It’d probably take us 5 hours to, you know, roll all the coins and go to the bank and You know, and the bank hated it too, and they were like, it it was just such a pain. I like, I I was so happy to get rid of them. You know? So just this I figured just dealing with cache, just processing cache,

Jordan Berry [00:51:13]:

probably took us 7 to 10 hours a week. Like, just that alone.

David Laing [00:51:17]:

Like, going we’d have to you know, I’d have to drive up every single night mean, I don’t I wouldn’t have to. I guess you could go every couple of days, but

Jordan Berry [00:51:27]:

there we were busy enough that the the coins like, I’d I’d have to go up at very least, every probably second day.

David Laing [00:51:33]:

Mhmm. And so I just not having to do that was just amazing. I remember we were we were hoping that we were gonna get the laundry the laundry works system installed before we had that big family trip plan to Greece back in September. And I was telling my wife, I was like, yeah. It’ll be awesome. Like, we’ll be sitting in Greece. just enjoying the the seaside and, you know, having a glass of wine or something, and we can, like, log in and see what the laundromat’s doing. But we didn’t get it in in time, unfortunately. So I had to my brother-in-law and my mom had to go up every day and collect the coins. So bless them for that. Yes.

Jordan Berry [00:52:16]:

Now you owe them. Big time.

David Laing [00:52:18]:

Yeah. Big time. Yeah. That’s what they — But, yeah, I know. I I’d say, like, I think just for the analytics, I I think so if I could give, like, some you know, like, a a real world example,

Jordan Berry [00:52:34]:

we when we bought the laundromat, well, it is there’s, like right now, there’s 5

David Laing [00:52:39]:

utts to the 6 small twenty pound machines. Mhmm. And we finally get the lowest utilization. So

Jordan Berry [00:52:48]:

Before I didn’t like, when we were dealing with caps, I didn’t really know that. I

David Laing [00:52:53]:

I I thought people kind of like, I thought they were just as busy as any of the other machines. Mhmm. One of the machines actually we bought, it didn’t work. It it was broken when we bought it, but there was a a holdback, a $10,000 holdback if the owner didn’t fix it within 30 days of So it was we got the $10,000. We got to keep that to apply towards a new machine.

Jordan Berry [00:53:19]:

I think from just making the business decision of what size machine, I can look at our launcher works, and I can break it down per machine. I can say, without a doubt, that our our 3 big machines

David Laing [00:53:31]:

like, the £50 machines are the busiest, and they produce the most amount of income. Like, I know that they produce around a $1000 a month in income. So when we go to buy a couple of new machines here in Canada. This this 40 like, we’re looking at these forty five pound wascomats. like, fully installed with the base and everything, they’re gonna be about $16,000 each, like, after tax, installation, everything. Okay. So I was thinking, alright. Well, I mean, if we just if we just finance it, say, over 18 months or 2 years, you know, we you pay $700 a month, but they’re actually generating around $900 a month. So your cash flow positive right from the get go, and after 2 years, you pretty much have, like, these 2 new machines. Mhmm. So without that, like, intense level of detail and data that LunchWorks gives us, it’d be harder to make that decision. I think that’d be other thing. Yeah. I think the big machines are the way to go, but, like, I don’t, you know, I don’t really know exactly how much they’re producing each month without exactly keeping track of all the coins and everything and keeping them separate machine by machine. So That to us just to make business decisions is, you know, invaluable.

Jordan Berry [00:55:01]:

The biggest issue with the

David Laing [00:55:05]:

it’s not an issue with laundry works per se. It’s just in our situation, they’re older machines, so it was a little bit finicky like LonzaWorks, the readers it was a little bit finicky at first. The LogicWorks does have some all these different manuals that are machine specific. So if you’ve got decksters that are you know, this series versus that series, you can just, like, look at the installation manual, and it’s really not that difficult. If somebody knew like us, I felt a lot more comfortable just having our technician that we use for maintenance. He came and helped us out for 2 days, and It it took us a few days after that. Some of them were being a bit finicky, and we had to go in and, you know, mess around with some wires and stuff. But within within 1 week, everything was running perfectly. So —

Jordan Berry [00:55:59]:

Yeah. There’s always that always that learning curve when you especially when you’re implementing new technologies. There’s gonna be a learning curve from you, and then there’s also gonna be a learning curve for your customer base who also has to learn that in your staff and everything who have to teach the customer base. So, yeah, that’s that’s to be expected. Last I I don’t wanna you know, sit on the the cards in some too long. But last kind of question, I think, unless you say something that triggers another question, which is a pain. But Last question that I have for now on the card system is, I mean, are there for anybody out there who’s, like, considering maybe adding a card December they’ve been on the fence going back and forth. Is there any considerations or anything that you can think of that can help them figure out how to make that decision, or do you think kind of blanket like, hey. Just the data alone or the added payment options or the differ dip differentiator? that it makes, you know, for your laundromat versus other ones in the neighborhood is worth it? Or is there anything that should be considered?

David Laing [00:57:02]:

Yeah. I think I know that with some of the other card systems, I know there’s other laundromats in town here that have, like, Niox card readers on some of their machines. so people can use a credit card for that one specific machine, and then they also have but they still have other machines that are cash. Like, it it

Jordan Berry [00:57:24]:

with with the this with the laundry work system, yes, it is expensive,

David Laing [00:57:29]:

but you do build a float Like, already, we’re running at a $3000 float after a 3 months. So we’ve we’ve essentially brought in an additional $3000 in revenue over a 3 month period, which I mean, the whole system was, like, 18,000 all in. You know, like, that’s that 3000 is already, like, working towards paying off that entire machine or the entire system. And it solves the problem of serving both cash customers and card customers. Like, when you have, like, the the example I just gave some of the other laundromats that have Niox readers and some of the machines, Yeah. It gives people the ability to use cards there, but you still have to go and collect all the coins and deal with all the coins. Yeah. You know, at least with LonzaWorks, is just bills. And I can see at any given time on on my Linger works dashboard, a whole it’ll it’ll say, yep. You’ve got

Jordan Berry [00:58:33]:


David Laing [00:58:34]:

in bills in the machine right now. totaling, you know, whatever. It’s like, say, 26 or 30 builds or something like that or whatever, 50 builds. So, like and so I you just go every so often, pull out all the bills. It tells you what the exact breakdown is, how many twenties, tens, and fives. So you can just make your deposit slip really quick for the bank and, you know, you’re in and out in no time. And with all the card and credit and debit, you know, you have you that money is getting deposited every single night. you know, every every night at midnight, boom, you’re getting your deposit from yesterday. So you get you get And I think too, you get enhanced like, just going to a bank. You can go to walk into any bank and say, hey. I I wanna get finance things for some new machines. You know? Like, you can show them and say, look. This is here’s what we make on our self serve. Here’s what we make on our corporate and you know, there’s no, like, well, you know, do you have this big task component? Are you, you know, are you declaring all that income, you know, etcetera, etcetera. I know banks can or at least I’ve heard banks can be you know, hesitant about lending lending to laundromats because of the cash component. At least here, it’s like, boom. This this is what we got. you know, there’s no question. Down to the set. This is what we’re making. So, yeah, I think for just access to lending is a huge benefit right there too. Yeah. Well,

Jordan Berry [01:00:17]:

Before this episode comes out, I’ll give Lana Works a call over there and have him send you a big fat check for — Yeah. Big so yeah, I wanted to miss it. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Thank you for sharing all that stuff. I mean, I think that helps out a lot of owners because, you know, right now, Still, the majority of laundromats are cash only businesses. Right? And more and more, laundromats are adding other payment options. And so I think I think a lot of people are trying to figure out how to navigate that. Right? And And, you know because there is cost associated up front and and kinda ongoing, you know, processing fees, or credit card fees, those kinds of things that they’re trying to figure out. Like, how do I navigate that? And, you know, just All of that. It could be it could be tough to to navigate. So having somebody share their experience with adding it, to a laundromat that didn’t have it before and what that was like on the back end and to hear, you know, the positivity that you’re expressing right now is I think I could be encouraging for a lot of owners. I appreciate you sharing that. Okay. Of course. Yeah. So you You took over this business. You said July. Right?

David Laing [01:01:35]:

Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. Okay.

Jordan Berry [01:01:38]:

What what are I mean, did you do you feel like you’ve made a lot of changes in either the actual laundromat or the operations of the laundromat since taking over? And if so, like, what are some of those changes that you’ve made?

David Laing [01:02:00]:

Yeah. We We we’ve we’ve been sort of measured in what we’ve done. We wanted to Really, first quarter that we were in business, the first from July, August, September, it was really more, like, assessing where’s our baseline where we at? What do we need to change? And at last quarter, it was really about, you know, making certain changes Aesthetically, like, we we we so we shut down for 2 days to install laundry works. And during that time, We painted my my wife and my mom spent 2 days painting. So and then we put in some new like, basic. Like, we we bought art on Facebook Marketplace for, like,

Jordan Berry [01:02:49]:

15, $20,

David Laing [01:02:50]:

you know, per Canvas and put those up in the wall. So it just it looks it looks nice. We put in some plants. Just nice, like, basic furniture from Ikea, some nice chairs. You know, nothing crazy. We got rid of the old stuff from, like, 1981 and

Jordan Berry [01:03:09]:

just just made it look like a little you know, an updated nice place. And in fact, we’re getting so many know, people still

David Laing [01:03:18]:

when I when I happen to be in there, they’ll be like, hey. Are you the new owner? Yeah. Like, oh, I just wanna let you know this place great. Like, it’s I really like what you guys are doing here. So, you know, what we’re makes the customer experience feel better. You know, we got stumped that come in, and they’ll spend a couple hours doing, you know, with you know, they’ll take over a bunch of machines. And so at least it makes their time there. nicer. So I’d say, like, aesthetically and also the branding. We did new signage and everything. I think it looked really, really sharp. and the websites and all of our posters that we put up in store are all branded and everything. So And you know what? I I I think I can tell that our our employee, she seems She’s proud to be there. You know? People come in and they’re telling her all the time. Yeah. This place looks great. So I think you know, it it’s just it’s good for her morale. And, yeah, it’s just it’s cool. I mean, I I see some of these places on Facebook like, guys in Texas with, like, these, like, 10000 square foot, you know, massive places that are, you know, just awesome. Like, they’re beautiful. Like, they’ve got, like, all the stuff. And, you know, we we just don’t have the space to do. You know, kids play areas and all this other stuff. But just, like, just, you know, some nice pink, some nice art on the walls, some plants, and some nice chairs. Like, we I found, like, that alone has just you know, make quite a dramatic impact. So yeah. And then I guess the other thing is just where, you know, just putting in a couple of new machines and slowly upgrading all of our dryers and everything. That’s that’s on the to do list for this year. So

Jordan Berry [01:05:05]:

Yeah. Well, and it’s it’s funny. Right? Because you’re like, well, we just did, you know, some pain, and we added some plans and put some art But it’s like all those little touches. Right? Like, we’re talking about customer service. And, you know, one of the things I’ve been talking about more and more lately is The laundromat business is in in the industry is rapidly moving more and more towards service customer service base and service based even in the self serve side. Right? Like — Mhmm. Right. know, maybe the majority of us are still gonna be self serve laundromats. And, you know, and so we think, hey. It’s self serve. So you know, serve yourself. But even self serve only laundromats need to have a a focus on on service. And what that looks like is taking care of the basics, keeping the machines running, keeping the place clean, but also all these little touches, right, that that let your customers know that you care and and give that pride of, you know, pride of ownership to the the employees that are working there, the attendants that are working there. And all these little things, they seem very little. Right? but they all add up to the the picture that you’re painting of your business. Right? We call that a brand. Right? Like, how people think about your business. And all of these little things contribute to your brand, to the image of your laundromat. And — Yeah. — you know, it’s it’s no, you know, it’s no accident that your business has been improving and growing, and you’re getting more customers in. You’re answering the phone. Seems basic, seems easy, is basic, not always easy, but, you know, shooting text messages, offering different payment options, you know, having online ordering, taking care of, making sure you have a good what? all these things just they’re they’re all little individually, but they all add up to something really big and put you on a trajectory towards you know, you’ve been growing, but it’s only been, like, 6, 7 months. Right? Like, it’s gonna continue to grow, you know, from here. in in that time. So — Absolutely.

David Laing [01:07:27]:

Yeah. Pretty pretty cool. It’s been where you guys are going. Go ahead. Oh, thank you, Jordan. Yeah. No. And it’s what’s interesting I I think this is probably the funniest side of this business I didn’t really anticipate. with the corporate so I’ve been I’ve been literally just cold calling businesses around like, I’ve got a, like, a big spreadsheet with, like, every single RMT in the city, every single hair salon in the city. Like, I I just made, like, different spreadsheets for all these different businesses. And I just go to the website, put in a couple of quick key piece of information, like phone number, and if I could find the owner’s name, like, in the about us page of that website, I’d put the owner’s name down there. And so I would start calling, and I I would just say something like, you know, hi. Could I speak to, you know, Jessica, the owner of this you know, whoever the owner is. And, you know, the if it’s if I happen to get Jessica, she says, yeah. Hi. Yeah. This is Jessica. I’d be like, oh, hi. This is My name is David Lang. I’m the owner of Guelph Landry Company here. We’re a laundromat here in the city. And it’s hilarious because the like, when have you ever been cold called by a laundromat? Right? Like,

Jordan Berry [01:08:39]:

I’ve never been like — — cold call by Landerbilt. I know. It’s it’s funny because they’re stunned. They’re like, oh, oh, Yeah. Okay. Cool. Yeah. What what’s up? Like, I have no idea why I’m calling.

David Laing [01:08:52]:

But I’ll be like, yeah. I just wanna let you know that we serve have a bunch of RMTs here in the city. Love to talk to you, you know, about whether we can do your laundry for you, you know, etcetera, etcetera. And Basically, just try to go over to their place and get do a weigh in and get an assessment of how much laundry they have and try to give them an estimate. But, yeah, I I just thought it was so funny because they’re everyone’s super receptive and very interested. They’ve never been called by a laundromat before. So they’re like, oh, okay. Cool. When What does this guy want?

Jordan Berry [01:09:24]:

That’s awesome. You know? And that’s that’s the kind of going above and beyond. Right? Like, And and I think that’s what it takes. Like, when you’re building your base of business, specifically, you know, specifically corporate eyes, but also, you know, just any kind of, like, pick up a delivery. Right? Like, I don’t know that you necessarily wanna be calling people’s homes. I don’t know. Maybe you do. I don’t know. I’ve never done that, but I don’t know. Maybe that’s effective. But but definitely on the on the business b to b side. Right? You know, the that’s the kind of stuff you need to do to to build your base business out. Start getting the word out. Right? Like, digital ads are good. kind of the hunting versus fishing model. Right? Right. Yeah. Good point. The fishing is like the — Awesome. You know, you’re you’re throwing your ads out there. You got hooks on the water and, you know, Maybe a fish is gonna bite every now and then, and that’s awesome, and that can feed your family. Right? But there’s also the hunting method where you’re actually going out your door you’re cold calling, you’re doing those kinds of things too, or you have an employee, or, you know, you you make your kid do it or whatever. Right? Like, somebody’s doing that for you. And but that’s that’s the kind of thing that I see the successful people, not just in in the laundromat business, but just you know, business owners in general. That’s the kind of thing that I see, you know, people doing where they’re like, I’m gonna try every kind of method I can try to build this into what my vision of this business is. And if you have big vision for your business, you’ve gotta do some take some big action, you know, to to get there. Right? And so I love I love the cold calling thing. I think more of us should be cold calling even though it’s probably the most painful thing in the world for a lot of people. People hate cold calling, but — Absolute so so the the the bright side is for anybody that does wanna start cold calling for building the corporates thought I’d like people love it. They think it’s hilarious. They’re like, why is this laundromat calling me? Yeah. Yeah. And they’re all super receptive. So I, like, I haven’t had anybody that’s been upset at all. Alright. Caviot to that, though, is that you are in Canada and everybody we know is friendly in Canada all the time. So

David Laing [01:11:35]:

I just kidding. Sure. The there’s that. There’s there’s that. There’s the Canada factor, I guess. The Canada. Yeah. The Canada factor.

Jordan Berry [01:11:42]:

Exactly. Okay. So you’ve got this business going. Can I ask, like, I know that you’re still you’re you’re filling the gap You’re standing in the gap for, you know, certain parts of your business. You’re early on, the early phase, and you’re in growth mode. So with that kind of knowledge as a background of this question. Like, how much time are you spending on this business? Like, you’re you’re a pilot. You’ve got a you’ve got a job. that you’re you’ve got a family. Obviously, like, how much time are you spending on this business?

David Laing [01:12:12]:

Right now so I I don’t work in the business very often. Like, we Like, I will do I’ll go and do deliveries. This is the odd time I’ll even go in and help with the washing fold. If it’s, like, a really big order, you know, our our attendance feel overwhelmed. But, like, week to week, I’m I’m not in the business very often, but I’m working on the business. So we have I I actually learned about traction, the book traction by Gina Wickman through your podcast. Awesome. I remember you talking about it with with that guy with the the engineer from —

Jordan Berry [01:12:46]:

Yeah. Brian, I think. Probably.

David Laing [01:12:50]:

And yeah. Yeah. So I I ended up reading that book, and I was like, oh, this is amazing. So we so now we’ve implemented the weekly the weekly pulse meeting that Gino talks about in his book. So that’s every single Monday, my me, my wife, my sister, and my brother-in-law. that’s working on the business. We just had our annual meeting down in Niagara Falls, and we, like, planned out our we did, like, our 10 year revenue target, core focus, core values, a 3 year picture, you know, 1 year plan, you know, went through all of the issues, did, like, a SWAT analysis, and We just like did all the stuff from from the book, basically, and got ourselves, you know, kind of on the same page. And Yeah. So so week to week, I would say my wife is very every day, she’s she does, like, operations. You know, she she basically acts as a store manager. So she makes sure that every morning, the driver knows exactly what pickups and drop offs are happening. She does you know, invoicing customers, day to day, answering questions, so you manage the phone, deals with our attendant day to day, My wife is a lawyer as well, so she actually made the employment contracts for, you know, our driver, our cleaner that comes in and are attendant. So she’s, like, very much, like, operations manager, basically. She’s, like, the inter she’s the integrator, you know, from and I know you talked about rocket fuel, which I I haven’t read yet, but be very interested too. And I know he does talk about, you know, the visionaries need to find their integrator, and integrators need to find their visionary. You know? And when when we sort of looked into that. I was like, wow. Like, that’s totally us. I think, well, that’s why we work so well together with my wife. Really spends more time day to day working you know, as manager in the business kind of idea. And I would spend more time sort of sales, like sales calls, cold calls, you know, dealing with our corporate customers. If there’s a problem, they call me. you know, doing content for our our marketing and and sort of yeah. Just kind of more more strategic type stuff. So I if I had to put an hour figure on it, I I do a bit every day, probably 1 to 2 hours a day on average kinda thing, maybe 10:10, 12 hours a week. maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less.

Jordan Berry [01:15:37]:

Yeah. But — Yeah. I that’s awesome. I mean because it sounds like you’re doing a lot of stuff. And but then when you get to that down to, like, you know, I’m really, I’m doing, like, 10, maybe 12 hours a week. Like, that’s — Yeah. that’s doable for most people even if they’re working a full time job. Right? And so that’s you know, it’s It’s just it’s interesting. Right? Like, I think this business gets sold as passive a lot. Right? Do not agree with. It’s not a passive business. However, I will say that it’s probably is that you can have that can provide the kinds of returns that Alonormack can provide. So that’s what’s interesting. And I I would call it more time independent than than passive because it’s not I mean, you gotta do stuff. And, like, this whole one of one of the cool things about this whole episode or interview so far that of the things that you’re saying is, like, you’re doing a lot of things, but it’s a lot of little things that are adding up. Right? And I I think that when people first get intrigued by this laundromat industry, this laundromat business, they get sold on the passive side of things. Right. But there are things to do. And I would say, like, hey. There’s a ton of people, and there’s a ton of machines. So whenever you have people or machines, you’re gonna have problems. Right? So there’s gonna be a second to deal with. it could be things to do. But, you know, even still, you know, 10, 12 hours a week is is pretty reasonable to be able to do all these different things. And I I mean, I need to go back. I need to go back and just — Absolutely. Dude, killer killer job on developing your plan for like, who does that for their laundromat? I love that I think more more of us need to, you know, take a retreat at the end of the year, the beginning of the year, and draw out our our goals and, you know, do our SWAT analysis and, you know, do all of those things. Look at our key performance indicators from last year. set new ones, you know, new standards and new goals for the next year. And, like, I I love love love that you’re doing that. you know, for your business because that’s what it takes to grow a business into a business. So I dude, killer. Yeah. And I I hope that’s the new standard for everybody. Thank you.

David Laing [01:18:01]:

Thank you. Can you talk? You know what? It was

Jordan Berry [01:18:03]:

Okay. Yeah. I was just gonna say, can you tell us a little bit about, like, what exactly you guys did on that little retreat and, like, what you were planning and — Yeah. — through for anybody who’s like, yeah, I should do that for my business.

David Laing [01:18:16]:

Absolutely. So I I I so first of all, I read the book traction by Gina Wickman. It’s very, very for anybody that doesn’t know, it’s a book that teaches you how to it’s just the tools to run a business. doesn’t matter what business or what size. This is how you run a successful

Jordan Berry [01:18:34]:

good quality business. You know, assuming you have a product or service that people actually want, And

David Laing [01:18:42]:

so It’s a very easy read. So we we went through all of the steps that he suggests in the book. And, basically, we we used that time in Niagara Falls. We just booked a hotel on points on our business credit card points, and we had a really great time. We we slotted 6 hours. Like, I know in the book, he’s like, you should have 2 days for this. We just have the luxury of having 2 days, but we we did set aside, basically, a 6 hour time slot. And Me, my wife, my sister, and my brother-in-law, we all have a role in the business. And we sat down and just went through the entire thing. So we actually have I got the agenda here, actually. So are are you probably seeing that’s the VTO? Oh, yeah. the the vision traction organizer organizer. Basically, we went through the exercise of filling that out over the 6 hour period. And for people that don’t know, it’s basically your entire business plan on two pages. How to get your vision that you have for where you wanna go and to get your team on the same vision and then how to actually, like, implement it. Like, what are you gonna do you wanna get over here in 10 years, you know, what are you gonna do to get there? Like, what is where are you gonna be in 3 years from now? And if in 3 years from now you wanna be there, you know, well, you may need more staff. You may need bigger machines. So these are all things that you know, we need to think about, and and so we were able to kinda put pen to paper and

Jordan Berry [01:20:24]:

get granular on what it was that we wanted to

David Laing [01:20:28]:

to achieve and what we wanted to do. So it is yeah. So that that was cool. We went through that. And, basically, I just printed out an agenda where we we’re like, okay. Number 1, We’re a new company. We need to establish what our core values are. You know? And, again, this is just all part of the book. Mhmm. So we we discussed what was important to us as people and what, you know, we would want in the business. So we came up with you know, 6 core values that we thought were important. And then core focus yeah. Again, so I’m going through this in preparation for the meeting, and I’m going through core values, core focus, and I was like, I okay. I get I get why, you know, Fortune 500 Companies have a value statement and a focus statement.

Jordan Berry [01:21:20]:

I mean, it it it looks good. It looks like you’re but it like,

David Laing [01:21:24]:

I didn’t realize how much importance there is to actually doing this. Like, core values, for example, for any business, In the book, you know, Wickman says, you hire a fire and reward based on core values. You know, do you want to have people that are working with you that and working for you that, you know, embody those core values because and it’s just gonna make your HR problems don’t wanna say go away, but it should minimize, like, how how many sort of HR type problems you have because you’re hiring people and rewarding people based on the same values that you possess as a business owner. And then so I was like, okay. Alright. This makes sense to me. This is really cool. There’s, like, actual real world use as a business owner to establishing core values. So then I started going through core focus. And for anybody that doesn’t know. Yeah. So in the book, core focus, is essentially you have to figure out what it is that drives your business beyond it can’t be making money.

Jordan Berry [01:22:37]:

What is it? Like, why are you in business?

David Laing [01:22:39]:

You know, you’re serving people or you’re selling a product. But what’s the higher cause, purpose, or passion? For us as in the service industry, you know, providing laundry services, you know, we’re we’re giving people back time. You know, we’re we’re allowing people to spend time with their families or focus on the business or go hiking, work out whatever they wanna do instead of doing laundry. And when it’s for a business, it allows them to focus on rent revenue generating activity instead of doing laundry, like RMTs. It takes them 5 hours a week to do the laundry. That could be 5 you know, if that’s a $110 per massage, you know, that’s, like, $550 right there in revenue. Mhmm. You know? So we’re giving people back time to spend the time doing what they want. So that’s what your main purpose is when you’re figuring your core focus. So what’s your higher passion? Like, for us, our you know, we believe people deserve more time. And then what’s the net Well, obviously, it’s, you know, pretty much in the laundry business. It’s providing quality laundry service. So when I dove deeper into core focus, I came across a guy named Simon Sinec. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him at all. Oh, yeah. But yeah. I mean, the guy is just amazing. And there’s that TED talk of him talking about core focus and why the best companies in the world speak from the why. Like, the why essentially is what drives your marketing message. You know, when you talk about why you’re in business and what your core passion is, and for us, we believe people deserve more time. It that that should be in all of our marketing. You know, that’s where your voice comes from. And rather than just saying, Yeah. We have a laundry service, you know, $2 a pound pickup and delivery. It’s like, oh, okay. Like, who yeah. Okay. Fine. That’s good. Who cares? Right. You know? But it’s like, hey. I I believe you deserve more time. Like, you’re a busy parent. you’ve got stuff going on. You don’t need to be doing 5 to 7 hours of laundry. Like, what if I could give you the time to go hiking every weekend with your family. Mhmm. You know? Well, if that sounds interesting to you, boy, do we have the right service for you? You know? Like, that is so much more powerful than, like, yeah, it’s $2 a pound. We’ll come to your house, pick up your laundry, and clean it. So that I think when when I was going through this whole process and I came across Simon Seneck in his TED talk, I was just like, blown away. I was like, this is, like, the most important, you know, 20 minute YouTube video I’ve seen, like, probably in the last, you know, couple of years. And and for us that are trying to build a pickup and delivery laundry service in a new market where it didn’t exist before, which for a lot of us is the case. You know? Like, unless you live in a big city, like a big metro city — Mhmm. — like, in our little of a 150,000 people. Even in our whole region, there’s probably one and a half million people in our re like, region. outside of Toronto really doesn’t exist. And so Simon Satek talks about the law of diffusion of innovation where you need to sell early adopters. And when you get 15 to 18 percent market penetration by selling to your early adopters, It’s only then that you’ll actually start seeing mass market adoption. And so how do you talk to the first 15%? How do you sell the first fifteen sent, those people are only gonna buy into your service if they believe what you believe. You know? And that’s why you have to talk to them from the why. That’s what’s gonna resonate with them because they’re buying into something. And so just and that all goes to core focus. So, again, that, you know, that was item number 2 on our on our annual planning saying and it’s really just developing who we are as a company, what our focus is, and then that drives our marketing message.

Jordan Berry [01:27:08]:

Dude. So good. Well, you know, what’s really funny to me, right, and that we need to keep in perspective here, and you kind of alluded to it is that this, you know, this sounds really great for, you know, Fortune 500 Companies, whoever. You’re a thousand square foot laundromat. Right? And and, you know, it it sounds funny because it’s like, okay, dude. Like, taking things too seriously or something. But but, genuinely, like, this is a way to professionalize your laundromat. Right? And And it almost sounds like an oxymoron. Right? Like, a professional laundromat, right, or professional — Right. Yeah. Yeah. Right. You’re just like, okay, dude. You’re like a laundry. Not even a big one. Right? Like but but, again, going back to the image, going back to the brand, how people see you if you conduct yourself in a way that’s professional and you’re thoughtful about the way that you wanna present yourself and the way that you wanna operate, which what I love about you going through attraction and and actually implementing it with a concept. Right? Like, actually, implementing the grid. You know, that is becoming crystal clear on who you are and how you want to operate and how you want people to see you, and people notice that. And they wanna do business with that. And like you said, people are like, when you first you know, brush the topic with them like, hey. I’m a laundromat cold calling you here. Like, they’re really intrigued by that. Right? Because it’s like, well, what laundromat ever cold calls anybody.

David Laing [01:28:44]:

Yeah. Right. Right? But,

Jordan Berry [01:28:47]:

yeah, killer killer killer stuff. And, you know, Simon Snack, I don’t know if you read his book, the start with why book. I haven’t I I I would love to. Put it on your list. Great. So I’m gonna link to traction. You mentioned rocket fuel. I’ll link to that. I’ll try to dig out his assignments next TED Talk, and I’ll link to that. And then I’ll link to his book also start with why that book you know, transformational. It actually took me from from you know, I I’ve I’ve made some major life changes because of that book, like, in terms of my nutrition plan, my nutrition has, you know, just on a personal level. I’ve shifted it because my why I like I got pretty clear on my on my why on why I do that. Right? And the you know, when especially when you’re when you’re implementing something new, right, and you’re kinda mentioning, hey. There’s not really any other pickup in delivery services and stuff. Right? Like, it’s hard to get people to change, including yourself, but other people, especially, hard to get people to change unless there’s a clear reason why they should change that really benefits them. Right? Right. And so that’s, I think, what you’re getting at with, like, hey. When I’m, you know, when I’m trying to sell this thing, I’m trying to sell that why because the why is gonna be the compelling reason to change from them doing their laundry. However, they’re doing their laundry right now to allowing you to do their laundry so that they can have whatever that why it going hiking with the kids, making more money at their job, you know, whatever they end up wanting to do. you know, instead of doing their laundry. And and that why and that’s why it’s it could be so powerful to sell the story. Yes. Right? And that’s what we’re selling. We’re not selling laundry services. We’re selling the story of the life of what life could look like for them.

David Laing [01:30:42]:

without laundry without having to do something. Right? Like, that’s that’s what we’re selling. So — Exactly. And and what I think is interesting and in the law of diffusion of innovation that Simon Cenac talks about is, you know, those early adopters will buy based on that belief that belief in what you’re selling. What you they because they believe what you believe. We believe people deserve more time. And here’s a way to give it back to you.

Jordan Berry [01:31:12]:

Once you get the early the early mass market, You know, they they’re gonna buy more because

David Laing [01:31:22]:

oh, yeah. No. Well, you know, Joe at work uses this laundry service, and he, you know, he never has to do laundry again. Like, that’s pretty awesome. I think I’m gonna try that out too. They’re getting more do it because somebody they know maybe recommended it or suggested that they ever talked about it. But you only get to that point when you get the believers kind of thing that are believing what it is that you’re out trying to do. So I thought that was, like so as you talked about. Transport transformational.

Jordan Berry [01:31:51]:

Yeah. Yeah. Killer. Yeah. And it just as you were talking about all the, like, doing your your traction, retreat, and all that. Like, I was just saying it. So one of the things I’ve mentioned this before on the podcast specifically early, but I I like read and listen to a lot of audiobooks and and, you know, just nonfiction books in general that I’ll read. And I’ve I’ve been doing, like, 50 to 60 a year books that have been going for the last, like, 4 or 5 years. Good for you. This year, my goal actually is to do half that or less because one of the reasons is I I’ve I’ve read a lot of books now. I’ve implemented very few of the things that I’ve been reading. And so now I’m trying to dial back what I’m consuming because if I if I really believe there’s value in a book like traction, right, I need to be implementing what traction is saying in in this book. You know? Another one that really was transformational for me was you know, 4 disciplines of execution. Right? And and, basically, like, how to how to get stuff done, how to execute on on that plan that you come up with track That was, like, a game changer book for me. Right? And and and implementing that traction plan and making sure that everything is aligned and incentivized properly and all that. So — Right. So my focus this year is don’t consume as much and and and do more. Implement more. Interesting. That’s cool. — more as in, you know, like, be busier, but, like — Right. — implement more of what I’m learning

David Laing [01:33:38]:

and — Yeah. — soon less of it. So — I think we could all use that lesson. That’s that’s wonderful. Yeah. Just a little interesting thing. But — For sure. Dude,

Jordan Berry [01:33:47]:

killer killer input. Thank you for sharing sort of the process that you’re going through and and and the stuff that you’re doing to professionalize your laundromat business. Like, For sure. Seriously, very, very impressive. And I think more of us need to be approaching our businesses

David Laing [01:34:03]:

this way. So Awesome. Cool. Thank you, Jordan.

Jordan Berry [01:34:06]:

One more question before we get to our next segment of the podcast is — Yeah. — do you have any you have any plans or aspirations for the future? Is the plan to just continue to grow this laundromat? Are you gonna add more? Are you what you have any thoughts on I mean, you’re still pretty early in the process, so I don’t know where you’re at with that, but just out of curiosity.

David Laing [01:34:25]:

Yeah. I mean, definitely our My vision is we have this great resource, which is this team. You know? Me, my wife, my sister, my brother-in-law, the four of us work so well together. We all have different strengths. I really just wanna lean into that, and we all kinda came on the same page at our annual retreat. And, yeah, the goal is I I mean, I would like to be the the category king in the region. Like, I’d like to be the biggest best go to pickup and delivery laundry service. You know? in the in the whole region. There’s there’s, like, a a group of cities that are all west of Toronto. There’s there’s a lot of population and varied socioeconomic groups, but there there’s just nothing we’re actually starting to get calls from some of these surrounding cities already. And some of our one of our biggest corporate customers has a location in a neighboring city as well. So it’s kind of it’d be a good stepping stone for us to move into that market. So the goal is definitely to to to grow the company. And, you know, how I mean, I just I love the Wilford Brothers. Those guys are amazing. They’ve been on your podcast a bunch, and I I follow them on Facebook and stuff. And as far as laughing, because I their their corporate retreat, like, or the Christmas party has light. thousands of people, like Santa Claus shows up, and there’s there’s, like, there’s massive, like, dinner and everything. And and we had, like, a little Christmas appreciation for our employees that we had, like, brief pizzas and some chicken wings. You know? Yeah. But but, I mean, you know, I I I look at guys like that as as inspiration, and and yourself, you’ve got multiple places and I wanna be because I I I really, really enjoy this business. I really enjoy the fact that You know, we’re we’re you’re dealing with people all the time. Like, customers are really happy, and they appreciate the service. They appreciate what we’re doing. I feel lucky to be dealing with such great customers on, you know, maybe not a daily basis, but they reach out. They’re appreciative if they have a problem. We fix it, and they’re super happy. And, yeah, I I I wanna I I really like it, and I just wanna keep growing to more locations and kind of be, you know, a regional dominant player kind of thing.

Jordan Berry [01:37:00]:

Love it. I love those those goals and aspirations. And, yeah, I genuinely, like, I think You’re on you’re on the path towards that. Right? You’re you’re on the path towards that big old Christmas party because you’re Well, for brother’s Christmas party. That’s right. You’re you’re doing those things. You may have a little ways to catch up to those guys. But — For sure. But it’s doable. I mean, like, genuinely, like, run your business like a professional business and watch it grow. Like, that’s that’s that’s the the miracle gross sauce there. Right? Run it like professional business. Take it seriously. Take your customer seriously. Treat them well. Watch it grow. Alright. Awesome. Yeah. Alright. We have a segment of the podcast called secret sauce. Listen up. It’s the secret sauce. Alright. And secret sauce is basically hey. What what is something I mean, we’ve been talking about a ton of things already. Mhmm. Yeah. But what’s something that you have to say to current laundromat owners that can help them run their business better or improve their business?

David Laing [01:38:12]:

I would say so I have 2 things for that. I’d say number 1, try to work on the business instead of in it as much as possible. I found that when I I was doing deliveries three times a week like our pickup route, three times a week for a while, and it it was too busy. I I found myself too tired to focus on anything else, like, on marketing and stuff. It was just you know, for the 20 well, like, prepared contract drivers 20 bucks an hour. You know, for the $20 an hour that you’re saving, it’s just it’s just not worth it. It’s just too it just it just takes up too much of your time. You know? So as much as possible, try to work on the business instead of in the business. And the other thing is our marketing. I feel like like our Google reviews campaign, that’s super simple with the the in store poster. where we incentivize. We reward customers for leaving us honest reviews. I mean, even if you we do it through our card reader system, but even if you didn’t have a card reader system. You could still say, hey. You know, do our you know, give us a Google review, an honest review, and we’ll enter your name into a draft or, you know, whatever. You know, there there’d be there’s still ways to incentivize people to leave you reviews. And and And if you happen to be attended, then, you know, use that resource, that in store person to make sure that people are aware of your campaign. Big one for us, again, has been using local Facebook market groups or or rather Facebook groups. Some of them are online markets and other ones are just, like, sort of, you know, local groups for the city and different happenings and stuff. So you know, kind of being active in posting in those. There’s also Yeah. And I think I think for us, it’s too it it’s too early for me to say if our I I know some of our social media is is driving awareness to our business. We just haven’t gotten our social media to where I want it. Like, we’re not we need to be posting daily, like, 5 days a week. And, you know, again, I’m I’m able to do it really easily by just creating one piece of content and repurposing it to the different platforms. So that’ll be this quarter one of our, you know, rocks or or goals for this quarter is gonna be to get our social media on point and be consistent with that. So I think just yeah. I I guess that, in a nutshell, just speaks to running your business like a 21st century company, you know, even though we’re a small were small local businesses. Running it the way that people have been accustomed to interacting with businesses, you know, as as consumers, you know, marketing, social media social media presence, and Yeah. Working again, that goes to working on the business instead of in the business.

Jordan Berry [01:41:32]:

Yeah. Awesome advice. And, you know, like I said, it’s all those little things that add up that you’re doing. That’s that’s killer. And I I love the working on your business instead of in it. Now, you know and And, you know, kinda going back to you. Like, there are times to work in your business. Right? And especially if you happen to stand in the gap and all that stuff. So this you know, I I think people get shamed sometimes online. I’ve seen some of that happening for, you know, working in their business, doing the cleaning, doing the driving, doing that stuff. And, you know, I just my my perspective on that is that, first of all, run your business how you wanna run your business. If you wanna work in the business, work in the business — Yeah. Of course. — with that. Right? That’s right. Yeah. 2nd of all, sometimes you just you gotta do that to get to the next phase. Right? You you either have the money to pay somebody or you don’t. You gotta do it yourself if you wanna done. Right? And so, you know, just to kinda destigmatize working in your business, but if you’re trying to build a business and grow a business, you have to carve out time to work on your business. Right. And the more working on your business you can do the more you can do with your business. Mhmm. You know? So, yeah, I think that’s awesome advice. For sure. Okay. We have another segment called pro tips. Pro tips. And Pro tips is for the newbie. The person that was you maybe like a year ago looking to buy their first Londer, Matt. Do you have any advice for for them? Absolutely. My

David Laing [01:42:56]:

advice is there’s so much great research out there. So I’d I’d say just put some time into research, laundromat resource. That was the first product I came across. you’ve got all those awesome tools. Like, I went through all of your tools that you had on your the the free members area of your website You know? And checklists and and all that kind of stuff, start there, laundromat resource. That that to me, literally, like, when we met or when we spoke a year ago, you know, well, it saved us a bunch of time because I had gone through all of your stuff already, and we were able to kinda get down to the nitty gritty because I could say, okay. You know, Jordan, here’s all the information that we should have when assessing a laundromat. So here’s what we’ve got. You know? Not where do we go from here?

Jordan Berry [01:43:52]:

Yeah. Just real quick, I went back while we were talking before we hit record just to look at the notes from our our call. And I saw it like you had the you had the score for the laundromat, the pre analysis score And I think it was yeah. I can’t remember. I I just looked at it. So, like, you you’re one of the few people who’ve come to one of the coaching calls. with all that stuff ready to go. Here’s the number. Here’s the score. Let’s talk about let’s get into the nitty gritty now. So yeah. Yeah. Big time. No. That was and that that was really interesting. And it gave us a lot of confidence

David Laing [01:44:23]:

with you know, when we went to the next deal, which is the one that we purchased. Mhmm. It just went through that same procedure. Facebook groups have been really good. I found you know, there’s there’s there’s a bunch out there. If you just type in, like, laundromat resource groups, you know, the I I just I joined pretty much all of them. And then the Coin And Landry Association, I use them as well too. Not as much as the Facebook groups and your website. So I would say do your research. long term ad resource, you know, your website, podcast, Facebook groups, point laundry association.

Jordan Berry [01:45:00]:

Yeah. Great. Now I gotta get you a check from Laundra Works, and I have to send you a check to you. I’ve — That’s right. I mean, this is this is the most expensive podcast interview overall. No. That those are great tips. And, again, links to all that stuff down below. Alright. Last segment before we wrap this thing up is do you have any resources that you recommend to people to help them grow, themselves personally or their businesses. I know we’ve already mentioned quite a few, but,

David Laing [01:45:31]:

yeah, let’s put them all right here. I I would say the number one for me if I had to choose 1, we talked about it a lot already is traction, the book. It it if you’ve never owned a business before, which I haven’t I mean, I’ve got real estate investments, but they’re it’s it’s just completely passive. Owning a business like, it’s just bar none. It’s it’s just so useful. Like, you can just start implementing things right away. So, yeah, I I would I would go with that for sure.

Jordan Berry [01:46:01]:

Yeah. Yeah. I I agree. And and you know what? If I was gonna do a this is I don’t know. I’d I’m just taking over here recommended resources. But if I was gonna do a sort of a trifecta, I would say start with start with y. Oh, nice. Then go to traction — Yep. — and then go to 4 disciplines of execution. Nice. And you will be unstoppable. Like, genuinely, like, I and and I’m only, like, putting this together, like, in this order right now. Like — Yeah. like, today, like, as we’re as we’re speaking and as, you know, you brought up, you know, Simon Sinex, TED Talk, which I think either came from start with y or turned into start with y the book. But, you know, that plus traction. I was like, yeah. That’s a powerful combo. And I was like, if you have 40 x, 4 dis disciplines of execution to that. That’s a that’s a powerhouse combo right there. So — Awesome. That’s like that’s the starter kit right there. That’s that’s the starter kit and the, you know and then throw in rocket fuel after that, and then you’re — Oh. — the moon. Yeah. That’s right. You’re going to the moon. Man, we just We just changed everybody’s lives right now, which just says four books. That’s great. That’s right. Sweet. Yeah. And, again, links to all that stuff down below. and and specifically at attraction if you wanna go check that out. Dude, this has been an I’m, like, so energized and jazzed up. I don’t like — Me too. We just we just talk for, like, almost 2 hours. And I am just, like, so pumped up in jazz right now because of what you got going on and all the stuff that you shared, like, so much good stuff from just like the the simple practical stuff of talking to the card system stuff. But really, man, I got fired up when I heard that you took a retreat, you know, with your family to talk about the business and lay the groundwork and talk about going forward. And I’m oh, gosh. Like, I’m super excited. So hopefully, you guys listening to this are also just as jazzed up as as we are over here. Dave, this has been awesome. Thank you again for taking the time to come on and share your wisdom, your experience, your story with everybody. I have one last question for you. Mhmm. If other people are just super jazzed up right now and they wanna connect with you. They wanna you know, I’ll ask you some questions or they just wanna be your friend because you’re doing awesome things. And maybe they want you to fly him around a little bit. I don’t know. What’s the best way that people can get in contact with you? Definitely.

David Laing [01:48:42]:

they can email me info at Guelph is so it’s info at I’m on Twitter at tracking_david. and or you can find me on Facebook, David Lang, any one of those 3.

Jordan Berry [01:49:09]:

Cool. I will, again, link to all that stuff in the show notes and down below if you’re on If you’re on YouTube, David. You’re awesome, dude. Thank you so much. You’re awesome, Jordan. Thank you. I you know, this this is gonna have to be a part 1, I think, because — Let’s do it. There’s I I think you’re You’re gonna be I think you’re gonna look back at this interview at the end of this year and be like, holy cow. Was that just only a year ago? because I think you’re you’re going to the moon. So — Thanks, man. Appreciate you coming on again, and I look forward to having you back on again with an update episode.

David Laing [01:49:48]:

100%. That’d be great. That’d be awesome.

Jordan Berry [01:49:51]:

Awesome. Alright, man. We’ll talk to you soon. Okay, Jordan. Thanks. Alright. I know you love that episode. And, again, you know, David is joining for a live q and a. And, I mean, just so much good stuff, David. Huge shout out to you and a huge thanks. Make sure you follow him. I’ll put his Twitter handle down below. He’s sharing a bunch of really cool laundromat related stuff on his Twitter too, so make sure you follow him there. And listen, pick something that you’re gonna put into action today. For me, I got super excited about this, like, combo that we started putting together of the start with y and then traction and then the 4 disciplines of execution. So I’m actually gonna pull out all of those books again this week and kinda go through them and see how I can implement those things in the businesses that I’m running. So that’s my action step for this week. What’s your action step? Pick something, put it into action, maybe go share it on the forums, Let’s get it done, people. My goal is to help you achieve that financial freedom, and so Listen. You gotta put stuff into action. So let’s do it. Let’s do it together because we’re all better when we do it together. Alright. We’ll see you next week. Peace.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 114 with Michael Jones

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

Hey. What’s up, guys? It’s Jordan with the Lautermade Resource podcast. This is show 114, and I can’t tell you how pumped I am. Probably more pumped about this episode than any other episode that I’ve ever had here. This episode is incredible, and I promise a guarantee that if you make it to the end of this episode, your mind will be blown. And whether you’re trying to buy your first laundromat, or whether you’re trying to grow your existing laundromats. I don’t care if you have one laundromat, 0 laundromats, 30 laundromats. It does not matter. This episode is incredible. Michael is incredible, but you’re gonna love what he has to say. You’re gonna love a story. But then at the end of this episode, we get into crazy detail about how he went from being homeless and sleeping in his laundromat to doing 40,000 plus a month. in his laundromat. So this episode and and it’s just detail detail detail. If you’ve ever needed to take notes in an episode, it’s this one. In fact, it’s so good. That’s really all I wanna say. I just want you to jump into this. Hang tough to the whole end because there’s so much good stuff. And I’m not even gonna come in on the back end because I just want you to marinate on what he talks about this whole entire episode. So enjoy this. No fat. Well, your fast lane tip today. Join the pro community. Go check it out. Tons of great perks for being a part of the pro community. But without further ado, let’s jump into it with Michael and be ready to have your mind loan. Michael, thank you for coming on the show. How are you doing today, man?

Michael Jones [00:01:41]:

Doing great, Jordan. How are you doing?

Jordan Berry [00:01:44]:

I am doing excellent. Excellent. Excellent. I’m a little bit chilly over here. I gotta be honest. It’s, you know, in the probably the low sixties, and my hands, I can barely feel them. I don’t know.

Michael Jones [00:01:57]:

How are you doing? Same way we got it same way we got it over here on the other side of the country. Yeah. Where are you located? Daytona Beach, Florida.

Jordan Berry [00:02:07]:

Living the dream in Florida. I love it. I love it. I’m jealous. Yeah. Hey. I we kinda chatted a little bit, and I’m I’m really excited to talk to you about your experience with Lonne muscular. I think you have a really good story to tell. But before we get into your experience with Lonneumatic, why don’t you give us a little bit of background on who you are and then we’ll talk about how you got into this weird little industry that we’re in here.

Michael Jones [00:02:32]:

Oh, alright. First thing I’ll say here is for everybody watching and listening at home. Get out of pen and a paper. You’re gonna be writing down a lot of stuff here. because Jordan and I are committed to making this the very best episode of the laundromat resource ever. This is gonna be very content heavy. This is gonna be very practical advice heavy. This is one of those ones. You probably wanna be sitting down to watch this one.

Jordan Berry [00:03:00]:

Now what time? — with me here. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. I I just got excited right now because I did not know that you were gonna say that, and I did not know we were bringing it hard. So I’ll put my game face on, and we’re going for it. I love it. Alright. Get your get your notepads out, get your remarkables out. That’s what I use to take notes. and let’s get this thing going. Okay. So give us a background, and then we’re gonna get into it.

Michael Jones [00:03:22]:

Alright. So I I think it’s probably the part of my story where people care about. Yeah. Childhood all that. We skip past all that. I think the part of the story people are gonna be most interested in was What was I doing before I got into laundromats and what triggered the interest in it? Mhmm. So what I’ll tell you is it’s a story of, like, one of those guys that’s He had it all, but he lost it, and then got it all back. And that’s a message of hope for everybody watching. It is possible to do that. in today’s world. Hadd it all. Well, here’s what it is is that I was working for one of the most respectable companies in Financial Services, Fidelity Investments. Had a very respectable job title with them, an office with my name on the door. people coming to see me for appointments asking what to do with their money and everything. We cannot necessarily the corner office, but pretty close to bits. living in very nice apartments in Altamonte Springs, eating at fancy restaurants, and every weekend, is living that life that’s the single guy’s dream of going out partying at clubs dancing or pool parties. It was all fun and games for a long time, but I had a realization there that’s this is all great and everything. But in any second, it really can be taken from me. It can go away because I’m so heavily dependent on my employer If the wrong person above me or the wrong customer has a complaint, it can all end. And this lavish lifestyle that I’m used to living will disappear. And when you look at these fancy jobs under salaries and everything. There’s a hidden component that they don’t tell you about, and that’s the the salary is as high as it is. because the expenses and where you have to live to work that job are very high there too. If you’re making they say they’ve paid you a 100,000 a year, but the cost of living in that area is $90,000. Now you could see why that is because you got expensive apartments and high gasoline cost, car maintenance cost because of all the driving. You’re gonna have to do in Big City. And the groceries and clothes I mean, we we had to look very nice to be a financial adviser wearing the fancy suits and everything. So you spent through that salary pretty quickly. It was already spoken for by the time you got it. and it’s the hand that feeds that you’re so dependent on. And if you If one day maybe nothing bad happens, but one day you stop liking it, which you will. You will get sick of everything, and it loses its Nuance, it’s novelty. Then you’re gonna wake up one morning and be like, man, I really don’t wanna do this, but I’m stuck in this. And I had this the realization a couple of times was where the things that I would do for fun, they stopped being fun. I stopped with being able to enjoy them because I stopped enjoying my job, and dreaded going back into work because it was the same conversations over and over again trying to put people through these sales funnels to get them to do a certain thing and kind of looking at every person as just a number or something that you work this sales funnel template on or this scripted conversation on. instead of working with people 1 to 1 like an individual for their specific needs. It was a, bosses, you got this product. You gotta push. push it, do whatever you can, get the customer to see it your way, get it to see it company’s way. When you get tired of that, and had the realization one time doing something that’s I really enjoyed doing all the weekends was just going to the beach. Those days where you You go out, and you forget what time it is because you have such a good time playing volleyball with your friends or something, and you realize what time it is when the sun goes down. But one day, I wasn’t enjoying it because as each second passed, to it’s ticking and ticking closer to the day, and I gotta wake up Monday morning and clock back into this job that I can’t stand. And It’s just barely giving me enough to cover the bills that I have to pay in order to work the job. Yeah. They they say his salary is the drug that they give you to make you forget your dreams. And so, yeah, it really dawned on me just sitting in my car one day before at work, listening to that that metallica song, unforgiven. It the lyrics. I’ve never listened to them before. I heard this song a million times. I never really listened to the lyrics, but I know it’s that point where James Hatfield is singing about. Yeah. They dedicate their lives to run an old his. He tries to please them all, better man he is. And I was like, man, It’s incredible. Like, he’s described my life to a tee here that’s in this corporate America polished appearance matrix world that we’re living in. Everything we do is for other people, and we never really get to do anything that we want to do. And when we get the time to do what we wanna do, we don’t really enjoy because we’re dreading going back to work when the weekend is over. So I was looking for anything I could to get out of that, to get out of the matrix. And laundromats, it wasn’t anything special about it. It’s like you could have sold me business selling sweaters in the Sahara Deserts And if you had convinced me that it would get me out of corporate America, I would have bought it. That’s how unhappy I was at my job. And that’s really what led me into a laundromat system. You know, first, I wanted to get into the storage business, but the Real Estate Investment Trusts have bought up all these storage facilities and driven the price up so high that you gotta be a millionaire to buy it. but laundromats was something where it was still kind of a hidden gem at the time back in

Jordan Berry [00:09:18]:


Michael Jones [00:09:19]:

when I bought it. it wasn’t as, like, sought after like it is now because a lot of people have the misconception. Like, oh, how can you get rich with quarters. You’re not thinking about the real stickiness of the business and long term relationships with customers, how those can benefit if you gather enough money. So didn’t really know much about laundromats. I did tune in to many episodes of your show and Dave Men’s and some others. But I was totally in, over my head, no idea what I was getting into. And that’s really the the lessons that we’re gonna learn today here. When I talked about, like, how I was kind of thrown into the deep end with sharks because I got 5 competitors within one mile of the store. I was doing this specifically to get away from corporate America when I was doing it, it just made me more dependent on it first until I finally got my head above water and realized what I was doing. And at one point, We got so destitute and so strained for money that, you know, spending money that, like, majority of my net worth was spend to acquire the business and fix up the laundromats that I bought. That’s a lot of future income. was getting spoken for already with credit cards and business loans. And it got so destitute to the point where I had to live inside my laundry when the lease on my apartment ended because the crazy rental and real estate prices that are going on right now I could not afford those back then. Couldn’t take on another lease obligation, especially for a place that I really wasn’t gonna be that much. I was either gonna day job, or I was gonna be at the laundromats fixing things and tidying up, making sure everything works, doing customer service. and bought hook line and sinker into the misconception that’s a laundromat can be passive income. It’s anything about the sorts unless you have a full staff of employees that are there 247, take care of everything. So I was just so desperate to get out of corporate America blinded by by hatreds for it that I bought into the laundromat business and went into the deep end way over my head, but learned a lot of lessons, and that’s why I’m here today. That’s what we’re gonna talk about today. Here’s everything that brought me to the point where I was good enough to get on Jordan’s show and talk to him.

Jordan Berry [00:11:49]:

Yeah. Well, I yeah. I’m I’m excited to dig into the store. I mean, we’ve talked, you know, before, and I I know kinda what you you’ve gone through, and you’ve set the stage well. I mean, I think so many people who listen to the show and so many people who should be listening to the show, but don’t. Yeah. I can can identify with that feeling of I am desperate to get out of my current situation. I don’t like my job. I don’t like my financial situation. I don’t like the feelings and the stress. I I mean, I’ve been there. I I just I know so many of us can relate with that in the desperation there. And, you know, kudos to you. I mean, I know you you jumped into the deep in in into the middle of a pool of sharks. And but kudos to you for for taking some action. Right? Not die in a slow death. You almost kinda put yourself in a situation where you’re gonna you’re gonna swim or you’re gonna die a quick death and then have to totally restart over. And you know, I I know a little bit about your story, and and we’re gonna get into it for sure. But kudos to you for getting into it. So take me back to, okay, you’re you’re desperate to get out. How how did Laundromats become the thing that you focused on there to to help you get out.

Michael Jones [00:13:20]:

Yeah. I was interested in the idea because I remember at one point when I moved into my first house I ended up selling this house later. But when I moved into my first house, there was plenty of time in the beginning where I didn’t have working equipment. for wash and cook wash and dryer. So I had to visit the laundromats. And you can just remember thinking, man, this must be a pretty good racket. because customers are coming in the door paying you to do their own work. And I was like, That must be a great business like car wash or storage facilities or anywhere else where it’s customer self serve. And I think that’s probably like where the first seed was planted that had me initially interested in it. I was looking for all sorts of businesses. So ironically, the laundromat business is nothing like this, but ironically, I was looking for businesses to get away for people. because people is what was causing all of the headaches and everything that I had back when I was a financial advisor at The great thing about businesses like parking lots or storage facilities and everything is that it’s like real estate investing, but not the biggest cause of all the problems in real estate, which is people.

Jordan Berry [00:14:36]:

And — I would say biggest cause of all the problems just in general

Michael Jones [00:14:41]:

in the world. Yeah. Exactly. Causing all problems on earth as people. So I’m just sitting here thinking, well, I’m still gonna be dealing with people, but I’ll have less interactions with them because they’re supposed to help themselves, the vending machine business. learning the hard way. That’s not the case with longer maths. But that was my trigger of interest into it. Was trying to minimize interactions between me and the customer.

Jordan Berry [00:15:09]:

Yeah. That I that is I mean, it is funny. I because it’s true. I mean, there are there are plenty of laundromat owners that don’t interact with customers very much. But You know, it it’s a people business. Like, it’s a community business by and large, and so that’s it’s a funny funny way to end up into the business by trying to get away from people when you’re, you know, jumping into a community business there. So okay. So I mean, we you were looking at all kinds of different businesses and just a particular laundromat jumped out? Or, like, how did that happen to where you finally were like, okay. I’m gonna buy this business.

Michael Jones [00:15:49]:

It was completely by accident that I got, the one that it did here because was living in Altamonte Springs, which is the Orlando area. So I was thinking I could stay in that area and still work my day job till The laundromat got busy enough for me to quit the job. And there was one for sale on the by the cell that was in Orlando, but it was already sold. They just had to take the listing down, but the barometer I talked to told me about one that he was about to list and hadn’t put it up yet. It was over in South Daytona, which is here, and that’s it was a great opportunity because this is them retooling and completely remodeling the store. But if once was the laundromats, the old owners didn’t keep up with it. The business failed, and the machines were all broken down so they had to get rid of all. They were gonna come in with all new speed clean machines. And they said, this is a good opportunity because you’re going to avoid a lot of the initial barriers to entry like those in those environmental impact fees. Mhmm. So this would be, like, the closest brand new turnkey lowest cost store that you could possibly get is how the broker sold it to me. And I’m thinking, in my head, when I hear the words turnkey, it’s just Oh, yeah. Open the doors, and the customers just got right in. Yeah. But I’ve had no idea, like, how much more work was gonna be involved in it. So I would tell people that it it was a brand new store because it had been out of business for a good year. before I got to take over. And those those are good opportunities to look for, by the way, is zombie mats that failed or laundromats or things that used to be laundromats that failed, and they just kinda look at them under why they had failed. And in this case, it’s just that the old owner didn’t keep up with the machines and the maintenance. And when you got 5 competitors within one mile at the store, you gotta be doing that stuff. You gotta stay ahead of the curve, and he didn’t. That’s why he failed. And it was a good low cost way for me to get in initially But the initial purchase price is not the only price that you pay at the beginning. You’re going to find all sorts of new costs later on, which we did. The all sorts of new things that needed to be fixed are in just putting in new machines and new drywall, flooring, and everything. So and over my head with that one too.

Jordan Berry [00:18:26]:

Yeah. Okay. So so when you when you talk to this broker, And he said, hey. I’ve got one that I’m listing. Was Was that when a did you purchase it, or did you purchase equipment? Like, how did that how did that kinda play out in terms of how you actually acquired the business?

Michael Jones [00:18:51]:

Okay. The commercial real estate is leased because it’s in a plaza, and we got a landlord over all the tenants in the plaza. So part of the purchasing the business was entering into a lease with that landlord. And it’s the distributor alliance state or state wide or alliance or it’s both. They’re the ones sold maybe Speed Queen Machines, the broker, he he did more than just selling me the machines and giving the financing for the was really involved in the retooling and remodeling of the store. He’s a good guy. And got the electrician’s plumbers, carpenters to come on out, make the place look nice and fancy, and had been kind of working with me one on one a lot kinda tell me, hey. This is what you’re gonna be paying for, and everything is what you’re getting into. Still, all I heard was good parts actively ignoring the bad parts just because I wanted to get out of corporate America so badly. But that’s that’s how it happened there. It was it’s one of those contracts that you get with the alliance to buy the equipments, and they get you a location They install everything and kinda really get you set to go. What you’re left with is you gotta open the doors. You gotta marketplace. You gotta operate the place. And that sounds like it’s small potatoes, but what you’re what they’re doing for you compared to what they’re handing off to you is incredibly disproportionately heavy on your side. Mhmm. But you gotta know that going in here that’s you never buy a turnkey LonderWatt. No such thing as a turnkey businesses in this business.

Jordan Berry [00:20:38]:

Yeah. Interesting. I like it. Okay. So Real quick. I mean, we’re gonna get into when when you first took over and what that was like and what your experience was like. But before we get into that, I think You know? And I’ve asked this to a couple people before, but I’m I’m curious on your take because you mentioned, hey. When you decided to buy this business, The majority of your net worth was going towards the acquisition of this business, and I talked to a lot of people on consulting calls and just kind of in general who are, like, overcome with fear to take that step to actually do and and and maybe the beginning of your story is not actually gonna help that in a lot of people. because of, you know, how things kinda went down a little bit. But I’m curious, like, do you for you, was it just like, straight like, the desperation that helped you overcome that fear of of investing that money or or How did you overcome that fear of of saying, okay. Here’s everything I have pretty much. I’m gonna I’m gonna go all in here with this business. How’d you how’d you take that step?

Michael Jones [00:21:52]:

Yeah. Well, to be honest with you, there’s a lot of arrogance in it too. because it was November of 2021 when I wrote the down payment check and added it to the broker. Now let’s wind the clocks back. What was going on in November of 2021? Particularly for us guys in financial services. The market was good, Ben. Majority of my net worth that added investments in the stock market crypto and Bitcoin. That was the Bitcoin top. It was November 2021. Yeah. So I was thinking, okay. Yeah. This thing is gonna continue for ever here. We’re eventually going to keep getting 20% returns in the stock market. Bitcoin’s gonna go to a 100,000 So, yeah, I’m in great shape here and everything. Write the check to the broker, and then that’s when the decline for both stocks and the crypto markets began. And a lot of that stuff it’s it’s not totally wiped out. It’s just it is down so bad here that that did help the situation either, particularly when I gotta be writing lots of checks for — Right. — new carpentry to come in, new flooring to be put in and everything. So what I would say to that person who is kind of paralyzed by fear I will say you need a lot more money than you think you do or then they tell you that you do. Whatever they quote you as a total price or a down price, I would multiply that by at least 3. And what you really want is to have that money out of investments and set aside safely in cash when you’re ready to buy or at the moment you shake hands on the deal, get it into cash there because you you’re gonna be spending a lot of it. I was Erogan made the mistake of thinking, oh, I know so much about investment. So, you know, I’m a financial adviser here. I can leave that money in because I’m a smart investor. But no matter how smart you are, a receding tide is going to put all the ships out there in peril. So you’re not too good or too smart or anything to not need money. You’re not too clever or too good at negotiation, but price down and everything to not need money. And that’s okay. What? Like, what’s true for For me, and I think true for a lot of people is that just how he feels better than spending money because what comes with it is options, what comes with it is freedom. So you want to have a good mattress of cash to lay your head on.

Jordan Berry [00:24:28]:

Well, I appreciate you, Sharon. I mean, that’s a that’s a very fulnerable thing to say to say, you know, I was just arrogant. Like, that’s that’s a an a tough thing to say. So I appreciate you sharing that. And you know, for me, like, I I’ve looked back in in my life, and I have I mean, I when I bought my first laundromat, I was scared, and I was nervous, and I wasn’t confident that I knew what I was doing, but I was very confident that Hey. Listen. I’ve read everybody succeeds in this business. It’s almost impossible to fail, and I I genuinely thought. You know? I am better than most people at most things, and so I’m golden. I’m gonna be great. Well, guess what? I lost a ton of money for a long time and did not know what to do and got humbled real quick there. with that first laundromat. And so but that’s a very hard thing to say and a hard thing to do. So I appreciate you sharing that Because I think that there’s lessons to be learned there for for all of us in, hey. You know? We we can’t we can only control what we can control and the things we can’t control, you know, we’re we’re at the a whim of, you know, the markets or the crypto market has been beat up real bad. You know? And so — Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate you sharing that. Okay. So when you when you said yes. Okay. I mean, I’m buying this business. It was not built out yet. Is that the case? or it was already built out?

Michael Jones [00:26:07]:

I mean, the old store structure was there. Right. But may I have a got I’ve got 5 pictures of it, but, like, some before picture before after pictures of it because it looked horrible. Absolutely horrible.

Jordan Berry [00:26:19]:

If you find those, by the way, send those over to me. I’ll I’ll put them up if people can see them on the show notes. Absolutely.

Michael Jones [00:26:26]:

Yeah. Absolutely. I will. It just was so outdated, and it can be completely gutted and redone. It No. It’s a thing to our last point here is that there there is a little bit of a bias that we fall into that hurts us in the acquisition phase of this is that you only visit successful laundromats if you’re a laundromat customer. And when you’re prospecting them to, you think of laundromats probably visited successful ones in your life, and so that was your impression of what the business is like. Like, hey. When I visited, it seemed packed. looked like it was turning a lot of business over, but you don’t visit the failures. You don’t go to the laundromat graveyard. and see the ones that are dying because it’s one that you would drive past because you wouldn’t wanna do business there or anything. So I think that a good thing for early education in this business is to find yourself a dying one, not not necessarily for the business opportunity of buying it, but just to learn. And I sit there and ask yourself why you’re looking at it or you go inside and say, why is this place family? What are all the things that they’re doing wrong here? And what could I do better if I either took over this store or opened up another store at Mike’s. And I think that you’ll lose a lot of that false impression and that bias that you get when you see one that’s struggling and you see that’s failure is possible because we’ve all seen the statistic. We got, like, a 96% success rate in laundromats.

Jordan Berry [00:28:12]:

Yeah. Okay. So I’m I’m trying to write down all these quotes that I mean, you’re just spitting out gyms already. So Yes. And I’m not very good at doing multiple things at once. Okay. So take me back to You have invested in this laundromat, and it is open for business for the first time now. What how were you feeling up at that time, and what was that experience like?

Michael Jones [00:28:41]:

Oh, man. It was at first, it was like, man. It feels too good to be true. Like, soon, I’m gonna be living my dream, sitting on the shores of Daytona Beach, but They mock Rita in one hands, and girlfriends on the other side of me playing in a hammocks. because the money is just rolling in from coins going into those machines. So that was what lasted probably the 1st 3 days of the place being open for business. Before that, you know, there was a lot of going in there and painting and cleaning and thinking about marketing and everything. A lot lot of labor beforehand, but 3 days into it. So I was like, oh, it’s coming soon, the wave of business and everything, but it slowly started to ticked down into despair, slowly started to, you know, the energy, the excitement was dying down and going away with each day that passed by where you’d see cars drive past the store. And, yeah, you’re looking through the windows, and you think there’s, like, all front face of the store is all windows. And I’m looking there, and I was like, is this a customer No. It drove past. And there’d be some days where I was the only person in there all day long. or there’d be other days where I just gave 1 or 2 customers to come in. And, of course, I gave him the most white glove treatment if possible could. And, like, can’t you please tell all your friends about me and everything? They’re like, oh, I will. I will. But, yeah, it really does does it ever come up in conversation with your friends? Hey. I went to a new laundromat today. Right. And on that note here, I’m gonna say that anybody that tells you that their primary source of marketing is word-of-mouth is a person that tells you, yeah, I don’t know how we get our customers because Word-of-mouth is not as prevalent as people think it is. There were so many days, like, where we would get 10 to 12 customers a day, and it was a struggle to get those. And working my day job still, and then I’m working all day around the clock at the launch of that trying to keep it clean and everything. The social life completely died. Completely was clearly erased and eradicated. Lost all my friends, in this process, old friends that I had at that time, got new friends now. So don’t feel too sorry for me. But, yeah, lost all friends, social life, nonexistent. It had been, like, living back in the 1800 where he woke up at the crack of dawn every day. and worked until it was too dark to continue working, and he did that 7 days a week. So there were some 22 hour days, but the average was 18 hours. And when I fell asleep when I was living in the laundromat sleeping on the floor, I slept well, not because it was comfortable, but because I was just so tired.

Jordan Berry [00:31:42]:

Yeah. So okay. Sorry that this happened to you. Like, I mean, we’ve talked about this, but Here’s the situation. Right? You’re so desperate to get out of your job. that you can’t stand anymore, that you go out and by a business to help you get out of that job and your working all day and all night even more now, and you’re sleeping on the floor at your business at your laundromat. Some days, no customers come in. Where what’s your mental you’re losing your friends? Like, what’s your mental state at this point in the story.

Michael Jones [00:32:36]:

Say it like the one good thing going for me. I mean, it was just spare color. There was one good thing going for me. always keep this in my ear. Mhmm. I’ve got a subscription into a YouTube premium, which allows you to just, like, listen to it. So I’m listening to YouTube premium the whole time that I’m working in that laundromat, the whole time that I’ve got to eat free time to clean or, like, there was one commercial customer that really kept the business alive, a vacation rental cleaner that would drop off a lot of sheets and towels and everything. It wouldn’t be enough to be profitable, but it was enough to kinda keep the business lights on. Still weren’t making a profit yet, though. Still losing money. But I’m listening to YouTube listening to your show. I’m listening to Wally Cope. and a little bit of Dave Manns, a little bit of some of the it was a guy I think it’s Ken Barrett. The laundromat out to was listening to him and everything. and just hoping that, like, man, maybe one day we’ll turn around and be like one of these guys. But, yeah, throughout when I didn’t have this going in my ear, it was totaled spare because you write checks for things that are breaking. There were still plumbing issues that came up later. That’s why you wanna have more cap set aside because so you will run into more problems, particularly when you’re taking over either a new store or a retooled store, or even if you bought a old one. They’re selling it because they don’t wanna deal with problems. You’re gonna inherit them. You do wanna have money set aside for that. I was running into a ton of those. And there’s just so much a despair when particularly when someone walks through the door, and they’re only in there to use the bathroom. or it’s a charity solicitor that comes in and is asking you for money. You know, we’re like, I’m the one that eats charity here. And you know, and, yeah, lose hope very fast. And it got to a point where the before I even contacted you, I contacted a business broker, not the one that sold me to place. I was too ashamed to, like, show my face to him thinking, like, yeah, I’m gonna be, like, his failure case here. He set me up with, like, the best thing possible, and I’m this complete moron loser that failed. And he’s gonna be like, dude, why can’t you make this work? So I contacted our business broker and say, I gotta get out of here. Help me get out of this. And, oh, and I told him, like, only cash flow I had for an entire month was $48100. He’s like, there’s no way I could market that.

Jordan Berry [00:35:16]:

And — That’s gross. Right? — broker. 48100 gross.

Michael Jones [00:35:19]:

Yeah. It was gross revenue. Yeah. nerve business broker contacted who said, well, you know, I might have this client that is interested in buying laundromats. Maybe I can get in to buy want he wants a laundromat for sure. And I’ll always thank the fact that this guy was a total neophytes for for not being able to sell my laundromat for me. I always think it’s not a lot for that success, everything. I didn’t lose it. But he had asked me to send pro form a over, and I was gonna send the exact same one that my broker said. And I did. I attached it to the email, but this guy was, like, such a neophyte, and really bad at technology. He had no idea how to open the attachment, never saw it. So his one customer that was interested in buying a lot from that never got the the pro form a or anything, so a deal never happens. thankfully, to the technological ignorance of this one broker guy here, I still have a business that became successful but I couldn’t remember the night before sleeping on the floor in that lodge or bads being so desperate to not being able to really sleep just constantly looking up at the ceiling. and thinking, man, I hope this guy can get me out of this because this is the biggest mistake of my life. But when that deal didn’t happen, I was like, okay. He’s gonna throw this out there. I’m gonna I’m gonna go contact Jordan. I’m sure he charges money or something here, but I’m gonna go contact him. I’ll pay whatever it is just to here if there’s hope or maybe he could tell me, yeah, get rid of this place. It’s a you got the, what they call, laundry milled. Anyway, they just keep turning it over and over to make a commission. But as of today, either one of being told either one of those things would’ve helped me at that point because then I’d have some clarity.

Jordan Berry [00:37:03]:

Yeah. Yeah, man. That’s a that’s a a tough spot. And and, you know, I I’m I can’t tell you how excited I am to be having this interview right now because when we first talked, I I didn’t know. Like, didn’t know if you were gonna make it or not because, you know, it was it was tough, man. You’re like, I’m sleeping in the laundromat. I I want out. Like, help help me get out. Okay. So we’ll get into that too. So well, let’s talk about that. Okay? So, I mean, you you mentioned Okay. So it’s not doing well at all. But you mentioned, hey. I’m glad I stuck with it because now it’s doing a lot better. So walk us through. Like, what changed from I’m desperate. I’m sleeping on the floor in my laundromat. I’m losing money to I actually feel good about owning a laundromat now.

Michael Jones [00:37:57]:

Mhmm. Okay. Good question. The broker that sold me a place encourage me, hey. Do a free wash. Do it. It’s worth doing. And I was afraid to do it. He goes, I’m thinking, can I even afford to do that? Imagine what the water people should be like. And I’d asked you, even our first coaching session, should I do that, if you say? And I did end up doing it. When I was able to gather from that, that gave me hope, was that there is a need out here for it that there is enough people to make the business work in this laundromat. That’s kind of where our hope came back here was when I ran that free wash week And then the next week, we did a half price week. And then the week after that, we continued to have prices as long as he had paid with the Pay Range app. trying to get people into established weekly habits of being a customer of mine because, yeah, you come here and get these promos. You gotta free wash this week and have prices next. Now you’ve come here three times in the last 3 weeks. It should be a habit by now. Hopefully, that they were addicted to the place and the free watch was also to get people out of competitive stores. I don’t know I don’t really think or know or believe that any of that really helps with the marketing of the store. Don’t think it necessarily did. but it did give me hope because I saw hey. People are coming here, and there’s people here that can use this place And when I look at the the people that came, it was, like, the demographic that you expect for a lot of hats to renters. Dean, working class families and everything. So that’s even I guess there is enough of them out here in sustained business. And I was charging for the drying and from, like, what I estimate for drying costs on an average load. It looked like we were doing 6 to 7 turns a day. during those promo weeks. Now after the those promo weeks ended, we kinda went back to the same the same bad place we were in before where very few people came in regularly, but it’s did kind of put us on the map in the sense of people know we exist now, and What it also had done was had gotten a a commercial customer again after that. And, you know, it’s funny saying it’s like Pat and Natwood. They probably the laundromat in the area that has most commercial customers. That’s something that we’ll talk in-depth about about how to get those But it was good enough to get me to believe in the place again and get out of that hole of despair of, man, I made the biggest mistake of my life. And now I can enjoy putting effort and energy into it. And one day in particular, where it really changed was. I was still working my day job, which was over in Orlando. That’s 40 minutes away from Daytona where the laundromat was. Had one of the worst days of work at my day job in Orlando, Adi. Bus, you you think that it’s it’s kinda like a joke or something, but that people do or an archetype just in movies and shows, but no. No. It’s real. There is such a thing as having a sadistic boss, and they just chewed me out, dressed me down, over results not being that great because, you know, I’ve got a lack of sleep, and I’m working too much. There’s, like, nothing happy happening in my life. So I’m not being a great salesman at the job either. So they chewed me up and ate me alive. And then one day, I’m driving back to do the laundromats going from Orlando to Daytona. And I get a call from a a business broker saying, hey. I got a a customer here who is gonna list their long patch with our firm. And That’s gonna take some time because, you know, we gotta find a buyer. We gotta retool everything and all, but he does have a commercial customer that needs service right now. It’s the Bethune Cookman University, they their football team needs their jerseys washed just about every day. and they’re willing to pay a $100 a day to do it. And I was like, absolutely. I’ll take that customer because I’m desperate for any business that I couldn’t get. But in that drive home, what I realized was yeah. I think I know where I need to be now. I think I know where all my efforts need to be. It’s in the laundromat working for myself instead of trying to save whatever pathetic career might be left at this job that I hate. And that’s where, like, I regained the hope where the story really turned around, and we had been all uphill ever since then. slowly. It was a slow struggle uphill, but it was still progress.

Jordan Berry [00:43:00]:

Yeah. Man, crazy crazy and wild. Okay. So did I mean, did you end up quitting your job at some point along the the way, or are you still working there? What’s the what’s the situation now?

Michael Jones [00:43:12]:

Yes. So that happens in October is when I had left Fidelity Investments because I had won over enough commercial customers to the point where it just wasn’t possible at all for me to be able to work the day job and get all the wash dry, full deep done for these commercial customers. A lot of property managers that are doing rentals out here at Dayton Beach, and they drop off lots of limits. Like, some that I got right now, they’re managing about 60 properties. So there’s a lot of lender in that. It just wasn’t physically possible to do the job and serve these customers. And I was like, I know which thing I’d rather be doing. I know where I belong where I’d rather be, so I’m gonna do that instead. And there was enough from those commercial customers to pay the bills and give me a little bit of money to have need to come myself as well. So that that was recently October 2022 when I was able to do that. And it was it was Terry, But it felt really great afterwards. So, like, you know, in corporate America, you you put on this facade where if you’re a funny person and you can’t really be funny because, you know, it might offend somebody’s not not necessarily like offensive jokes, but just like, you know, there’s somebody else that’s not having a good day, and they don’t like you being happy. or your opinions you have to suppress. You gotta put on this polished smiley appearance and put on these PR Grins for people. There are customers, and they’re insulting you to your face, and you just gotta stand there and take it and look happy and everything like it doesn’t bother you when it does. But it does something to you physically. That’s incredibly bad. Like and I don’t know if you can remember way back when you were a kid. The very first time you told him, lie. and you felt bad. Physically, you felt bad because you knew you did something wrong. I mean, your body has morality as well. And when you are immoral or when you’re just not being your authentic self, your body attacks you saying, you shouldn’t do that. And the whole time that you’re in corporate America putting on this fake appearance and everything being someone you’re not suppressed with we really are for the sake of a company image. Mhmm. That kind of has the exact same effect physically and some emotion. It’s really sucks your soul out if you have So being able to escape that was it was one of those liberating moments of my life.

Jordan Berry [00:45:48]:

Yeah. Well, hey. Good for you. Love it. Congratulations on being able to do that. Alright. So let’s talk about I mean, how did you you said you had a slow slow incline of business. So, I mean, what how did you do that? What did that look like? What are what are some of the practical things that you did to increase your business?

Michael Jones [00:46:06]:

Alright. After our promo weeks, we put up a promo for, like, almost each day to give people a reason to come on weekdays. See, weekend business, you’re always gonna have that. Always gonna be people who need to do laundry on weekends. By getting people in on the weekdays, that’s the trouble. So we did small promos there. We have Pay Range installed in the machines, which we get rid of and replacing with the SENSE card system that they’ve got. to talk about that later. But with Mondays, we call them money back Mondays where if you spend $10 on pay range, we’ll give you a $4 in app credit. And I’ll tell you what, a lot of people will think, well, man, that’s not nuts. You’re giving away, way too much here. How do you stay profitable? It’s not hurt us one bit as far as profitability because Pay range, and this is kind of why I’m getting rid of it. It’s it’s not too user friendly. It’s not that user friendly. Like, when you get a reward or a promo from it as a customer, you got you jumped through a lot of steps here. So not everybody got to then got the cashback reward ended up using it because I couldn’t figure out how to. even though the staff and I have tried to, like, proactively show people how to do it. Mhmm. But Tuesdays, We have free detergent, Tuesday. I just put out a bucket of detergent powder there. People can scoop from it. Wednesdays, we call that big wash Wednesday. And that’s where our biggest washers, the sixty pounders are discounted from 7.75 to $6. And then Thursdays, But get rid of this promo here because it was successful, but it was way too successful. It was a 30% Thursday where the drop off service is 30% off. So instead of a dollar 25 a pound, it was like 87¢ a pound.

Jordan Berry [00:47:51]:

Yeah. Woah. That yeah. But that’s hey, man.

Michael Jones [00:47:57]:

Getting them in. Getting them in. Yeah. So that encouraged a lot of business, got us a lot of new customers, another thing that really helps. was using dense point of sale software for the drop off service. As a lot of people think, well, all it does is it keeps you organized and notifies customs. I can do that. pen and paper, And I can call customers and let them know laundry’s done and everything. Yeah. You can. But there there’s a critical principle that you wanna adhere to as religiously as you can in this business, and that’s the principle of speed. You want to move as fast as you can. This is true for all businesses, not just laundromatops. Speed is absolutely critical. Anything you can do to save time is absolutely worth it. and having this the SENSE app that automatically notifies customer by text message when their laundry is done. It may only save you one minute from dialing up and calling that customer or send a text message yourself. But these minutes add up, and they are critical. Other things with speed is getting paid as soon as possible. You wanna collect money right away as quick as you can? because money does a lot more for you sitting in the bank in the company bank account than it does appearing on the accounts receivable side of your business balance sheet. You want that money in the bank because that money can be used right away to go market to other customers with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and win you more business. You want to be nor, I say greedy or, you know, money hungry or anything or Penny mentioned. But do you do you wanna be taking those dollars in as fast as you can? And with drop offs, the speed is critically important as well. If you wanna do those drop offs right away, if possible, I’m not saying that you gotta advertise to the customer. Hey. I’ll get it done today. I’ll get it done 2 hours, but you wanna get it done as soon as possible so that they don’t stack up. That is when they stack up, we run into higher risks of running greater labor costs when your staff comes and do it or a greater risk of getting laundries mixed up. customer electronics mixed up or losing things. So you definitely wanna get them done as soon as possible compared to that principle of speed. as best as you can. Going back to your question and then get into the second principle to stick to religiously is a principle of stickiness You wanna be as sticky with the customers as possible. And our wash and fold business was able to do that because Let’s see. Gonna do this here. I’m gonna share my screen with you. Where we got it? Here we go.

Jordan Berry [00:50:44]:

While you’re pulling that up, in case you’re listening on the podcast and not watching on the video, I’m gonna post a link to just a section here. So in case you wanna see visually what he’s showing us, you can watch that part without having to watch the whole episode. So I’ll put a link in the show notes there for you to be able to check that out.

Michael Jones [00:51:03]:

Alright. You’re able to see this. Right? The — Yep. — browser and everything? Okay. This is a business card that’s all of my drop off customers got. And what we did here was we’d stamp it every time they used it. This was a way to go on this, so I do this here. We don’t do £30 of free up to 10 uses. What we do is now is this was the first one I was doing, but what we do now is We’ll give you £20 free after we’ve done £400 for you, which we can keep track of now through the census app. how many pounds we’ve done for that customer. And this is what’s made it sticky is customers are coming back to fill up that card and get their free use. You definitely wanna set those kind of limitations to it. Like, you don’t wanna say your 11th use of us is free. You’re gonna say, We’ll do £20 or so free for you after we’ve done £400 because that’s just a

Jordan Berry [00:51:54]:


Michael Jones [00:51:56]:

of the business that you’ve already done with this customer. And a customer that brings you that much has brought £400 to you is a very profitable customer anyway, so you’re gonna wanna keep them. This is a good way to do it and make it sticky with them. Some other things that you could do besides like a loyalty rewards card like this is in your for self serve customers in your machines that’s if they’re able to accept cards, if you’re using Payrange, you can have loyalty rewards built into those I’ve got that where you spend $50, we will give you $5 back. There’s other kinds of, like, rewards discounts that frequent users of it are able to use. When we get the sense system installed on all the machines, those boxes where you can, like, swipe a card right on the machine. We’re able to do that. We’re gonna be able to do something like that as well, and that helps reinforce the habit of coming there. And that’s what you’re trying to do is reinforcing the habit. Anything that you can do to reinforce that is definitely worth doing here. I mean, if it for spending a $100 a day in Google Ads, don’t be put off by that or anything because As long as you see people coming into the store and their new faces, even if that $100 was 20% of the revenue you made that day. Those can be long term customers. You put a good impression on. if you win their loyalty as long as they enjoyed the the the visit to your laundromat when they came in. and found it superior to the competitors. So that $100 at that day was worth spending as long as you, you know, got enough customers to justify it. So any anything you can do. Laundromats are meant to be a sticky business. Anything you can do to reinforce that principle will help you, and that’s what had helped me. And then the big thing that it helped me was with my YouTube premium description. It wasn’t just listening to these laundromat podcasts, but also listening to digital’s social media marketing and Google Ads marketing. to just learn those ecosystems inside outs. And I tell you what, if you haven’t bought a laundromat yet, but you’re going to, you’re looking for it. First, study digital marketing, study Google, and those kind of ads, and study Facebook, and Instagram, because, you know, as evil as these social media companies are, they are the one thing that’s keeping a lot of small businesses in business. They can be your friend as a business owner when you understand how best to use them. So I I would definitely recommend even even if you’re already in because it’s worth taking the time to learn. And that’s what has led to a lot of our current success now was I just finally learned and understood how to market the business. Marketing will make or break your business. Are you are you marketing

Jordan Berry [00:55:06]:

for self serve customers, for drop off customers, for both? What do you Yeah. Both. Yeah. Both.

Michael Jones [00:55:13]:

And they there’s 2 different kinds of marketing. Like, the ad that I’m gonna show a drop off customer is different than the ad that I show a self serve customer because they’re 2 different kinds of people. Mhmm.

Jordan Berry [00:55:23]:

Yeah. And are you marketing for the for the drop off? Are you marketing both to commercial and residential, or are you focusing on 1 or the other in your marketing?

Michael Jones [00:55:34]:

I’ll show you exactly how to do it. see here. I’m gonna share the screen again. It’s something that you want to really know about inside outs, and that’s what’s called landing pages. Landing pages here. And this is just a a homepage of our website, and we’ve got this slider going on here that shows that this is what our laundromat looks like. Here’s a drop off service that we do. Pickup and delivery. We also got commercial services and everything. We got all of that. SB, if somebody just kinda, like, stumbled on our page of everything that we do here from a Google search or just typing in our name, But the ads that I run, specifically for drop off customers, they’re gonna come to this landing page, and it’s gonna be looking a lot different here. This is something that maybe we’re gonna get into the details of is that you’re selling the benefits before anything else. And the benefit here is We’re gonna give you back 6 hours of time in your week by you you delegating your laundry to us. I’m gonna use all sorts of media here. Like, this was a video that I had put together video I had put together just using stock footage from pixels. as just to say, I’m voting this year. You have a family for those reasons not to be doing all this laundry here and everything. Can I show people why — Mhmm. — use us. And then we come in with here’s what we do. Here’s how good we are for you. Anything going on about benefits, get directions, got those called actions and everything. Those are the kind of ads that show the drop off customer. It can also go through reasons and everything here. whereas a self serve customer must show them a different kind of ad. Let’s see. Do I have one I can show you here a thing to do? See if we go back to, like, yeah, there’s one. because you know who our customer is. Typically, it’s the ladies, and it’s the mother in the family or something, or maybe it’s college students or it’s someone that just has Lots of responsibilities that’s involved caring for other people. That’s really our main customer. It’s a person with those responsibilities. What do they care about the most? They care about clean. They care about safe. Mhmm. They care about having help on hands when they need it. and, like, help from an actual person, not just a phone number. I honestly think that in a few years, unattended laundromats will be a thing of the past. because people who need help, there’s just so much that can go wrong. And with competition getting as tight as this, if I can get help from a person on-site as opposed to calling up some phone number where maybe the guy can’t help me or not. I’m going with the bet where the guy has the keys to start machines for me. And that’s what I try to advertise in my ads to self serve customers. Yeah. I’m not trying to compete on price because that’s just a race to the bottom. What I am competing on is I’m clean because I have someone there to clean the place at all hours of the day. I’m safe. because somebody’s there in case anything ever got out of hand. And also safe in the sense that If anything went wrong, we’d be have somebody there to help you. Machine stopped working, refund your money, move you to another machine. We do what Walid Cook calls aggressive customer service where — Right. — customer is unhappy, and they’re asking for something. Just give them what they want because that’s better to It’s better to get gypped by a customer or grafted by one to shut them up and lose just a teeny bit of money there. Then for them to leave that place, very angry to the point where they’re gonna leave a nasty Google review or something that everybody else will see. So that’s kind of like my advertising differences between drop off and self serve customers.

Jordan Berry [01:00:03]:

Yeah. That was awesome. And thanks for sharing. Again, if you’re listening to this on the podcast, I’ll have a link to his landing pages and his ad that he just showed. That way, you can just go watch that little clip if you want to also. Yeah. Thanks for for sharing that. Okay. So what I mean, can you tell us a little bit about, like, what does your business look like today? versus — Yes. — that that very bleak and depressing and dark picture that you painted from what it looked like in the beginning? Alright.

Michael Jones [01:00:33]:

So I’ll start with numbers that people think matter, but don’t really matter, not getting numbers that really. We we did 48100 gross 1 month, month of October. We we got very close to doing 40,000 gross income. And that’s combining the washing fold, the pickup and delivery at the self serve customers altogether. pretty close to 40,000 that month, and we’re on track for another month like that this month of January.

Jordan Berry [01:01:04]:

Wait. Hold on a second. Let’s just rewind that a second. Okay. So you started out at 48100 ish gross a month. And you’re at you’re at a month of what now?

Michael Jones [01:01:16]:

Pretty close to 40,000. Just shy of it.

Jordan Berry [01:01:20]:


Michael Jones [01:01:21]:


Jordan Berry [01:01:22]:

holy Guacamole. You almost 10 x your business?

Michael Jones [01:01:26]:

Zachary. We almost 10 x ed it, and we can attribute all of that to the principles of speed, sticky, and marketing.

Jordan Berry [01:01:37]:

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. What are you, like, Grant Cardone over here? Like, what’s the Grant Cardone let’s just double you right now. The Grant Cardone of Laundromat, 10x, and the business. Man, that’s incredible. Yes. I I love to hear that because well, because number 1, like, nobody should have to go through what you went through. in the beginning. And number 2, I did not see that kind of growth coming when we first talked way back when that That’s incredible, dude. I love hearing that. And huge, huge, huge kudos to you for persevering and sticking with it and not losing hope. Like, I’ve talked before about how I I mean, I I don’t know if This is common or not with people, but I I suffer from the emotional roller coaster that is entrepreneurship. Right? I can in the same day, I can be at an all time high, and then later that day can be, like, one little thing that triggers me. And I’m at an all time low. Right? I’m on this roller coaster, and I’ve talked about how I have to brainwash myself by being very, very and you kind of had talked about this too, like, being very intentional about what I let into my head, who I listen to, who I watch, what books I read, all of that, who who I spend my time with even. You talk about that too with your friends and, man, to help me try to regulate the emotional roller coaster. But, man, kudos to you for for sticking with it. Brainwashing yourself, to success. That’s incredible. Incredible. Yeah.

Michael Jones [01:03:19]:

Thank you. Well, well, we gotta get to the number that really matters. because, you know, the 40,000 gross number, that sounds great. That’s what were my expenses. Yeah. because expenses can eat up a lot of that. And here’s here’s what it is. It’s like that month in particular, we just pocketed $10,000 of profit. and it’s a pretty common profit margin for us to be 30 to 40%. I am very aggressive with marketing because I want us to real I wanna really set us up as a place to go in this town, and I’m fighting 5 competitors. And another thing is I wanna pay my employees very well. I guess the thing that employees are gonna be an incredible resource. They’re gonna be, like, probably one of the greatest selling points of your business here to get people to come. So I’ve paid them very well. So, yeah, 40,000 sounds great. What you gotta be okay with, though, is spend 25 to 30,000 to make 40,000. Still, we’re in good prop margins here. I’m making more money than I did back when I was working my corporate job at Fidelity.

Jordan Berry [01:04:30]:

Well and you’re making a whole heck of a lot more money than you were those early months when you were losing money. Right? Like, that’s I mean, to me, that’s Dude, I I love that. Let me let me ask you this question, and I I generally don’t know the answer to it. Are you still sleeping at your laundromat?

Michael Jones [01:04:50]:

Sometimes. Yes. Sometimes because I’m just there so much. I guess that’s another thing here. It’s like, I don’t wanna paint it as, like, it’s all rosy and everything yet. because I’m still gonna be working around the clock. This time, though, I’m, like, having better days. It’s more enjoyable work and everything because I know we’re making money. I’m not worried about money flying out the door and everything. So I still work pretty long days, like, 10 hours or so, but that’s because I really want to not just beat the competition, but monopolize the area. That’s the position that I have instead of being able to monopolize and say, hey. because I know we’re we’re running a better operation. than everybody else in town. It is a competitive game of longevity. Just being able to be there the longest is gonna have you an enormous advantage. So that’s something that’s yeah. You gotta bear in mind to produce those kind of numbers. It will require a lot of involvement from you. and you gotta be a competitive person if you’re in a market like mine. because maybe if you’re in a different kind of markets, you might not have those kind of references like I do, like being having to spend 1000 dollars each month on marketing, having to bring in have a 3 shifts a day of employees or doing a lot of work there yourself, everything. Those that kind of effort, that kind of output is gonna be required in a very competitive market. And, yeah, I know understand now why Dave Fed says he stays away from them because, yeah, it’s a lot of work. But if you’re like me and you, wound up in this situation, not knowing anything, got in over your head. Or perhaps like the place you bought, competition moved in. Mhmm. Then you gotta be able to do these things. But I don’t believe that you would have to be doing these things forever. You just do it till either the competitors concede to you or when the customer base just has you permanently identified the customer base in the area has you permanently identified as the most valuable place in the area.

Jordan Berry [01:06:56]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And and and probably for you, your next iteration because I I I can tell. You’re still in the I mean, you you basically just said it. Like, you’re still in the building the business phase right now. Right? And, eventually, you’re gonna get to a point where you’re like, okay. We’ve built the business. We monopolized the area. I you know? The the next iteration of that is beginning to remove yourself from more of the day to day. and and inputting people to help you do even more of that. So, you know, the story is is not over for you yet, and there’s more iterations to come. And depending on which direction you wanna go and how big you wanna build your business, you’re gonna continue to evolve along the way. So that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Okay. So Man, net in 10,000, I mean, that’s incredible incredible stuff. Are you doing a lot of pickup in delivery? Are you doing a lot of wash dry fold? Where’s the majority kind of of this income coming from?

Michael Jones [01:08:09]:

Yeah. Lots of wash dry full, very little pickup in delivery. I was hoping that there’d be a lot of it out here because it’s a vacation town, and I was hoping that would save business. But I think happiness pulled out of the Daytona area because they were only bringing in, like, 15,000 gross revenue a year for pickup and delivery. Oh, wow. So Not too much of that out here. I think that it’s just not being marketed correctly. It it’s something that’s eventually, I wanna figure out how to market those things. But it’s not too much of an out here because people are happy to come drop off and see. I’ll show you this here. Just kinda like where we are on the map and everything that kinda shows, like and this is something that that would encourage every laundromat owner to do and to be able to understand this about their business, just kinda look at the the map Here’s what I can show you about my business here. It’s this. My store is right over here. this green dot. And just for everybody listening, I’m showing this on the screen. So I’ve come to our I’ve come to Jordan’s YouTube channel to see this. Mhmm. Here’s the beaches where all the vacation was going. There’s no laundromats or wash and folds in this entire strip of lambs. there was this place, Lowell Lottery, but Hurricane Ian took them out. And when I talked about, like, No. Well, let’s talk about it by 5 competitors here and everything. You can see here is 1, 2, 3, or, actually, this picture shows better here. see all these red. Those are all my competitors within the area. Mhmm. And then here’s where I saw, like, the opportunity is that in this big chunk of the city, there’s no washing vaults. So for about ten miles here, I mean, I’m right here in the corner, but for these ten miles, there’s no washable. So I was like, man, if I could market to that because there’s lots of people that would use wash fold in this area. If I could market those people specifically, learn how to do that, then I can find ways to stay in my business while the self serve side of the business starts building itself up. And that’s what really saved us there was being able to do that in the sense app really helped with it because it brought us back to the principal speed. But, yeah, not too much pickup and delivery out here. Probably will be in the future, though. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [01:10:36]:

Yeah. Yeah. I well and that’s that’s kind of a an encouraging thing, actually, that nobody’s really figured out how to tap into that pickup in the delivery market yet because there’s I mean, there’s gonna be business there. So It’s just a matter of figuring out the formula. Yeah. Yeah. So okay. Do do you know, like, ish, like, a breakdown? Like, how much residential versus commercial are you doing?

Michael Jones [01:11:03]:

Yes. Yes. May I can show you this here too. I mean, I’ve got the let’s see. 8. I believe it was 8. I make commercial customers that I got. Got to get up in here and go back to our website. because this is another thing you wanna do for your landing pages with commercial customers is show off the ones that you’re working with already. These aren’t the only ones, but these are the 8 biggest ones in the area that people would instantly wreck guys. We got probably half of the drop off business is done by commercial customers. and the other half is done by residential. And you can kind of expect that breakdown depending on, like, what kind of area that you live in because in commercial business. It’s more regular as probably larger drop offs coming in, whereas residential, it’s There’s there’s a drop off less laundry at a time. Probably there’s more time in between. It might be once a week or something or maybe even once a month that they drop off. Whereas, so my commercial customers is gonna be pretty much every day I get something from them or a couple times a week. And the laundry needs of these two customers are so different and everything. You can kind of expect it to be half and half if you’re in an area where there’s lots of businesses that could use laundry.

Jordan Berry [01:12:27]:

Yeah. And I’m like, writing as furiously as possible as you’re talking. It’s great stuff. There’s so much you’re alright, man. Hopefully, you guys are taking notes. And if you’re not, then and you’re still here, then you’re probably gonna need to go back and listen to this thing again and and start taking some notes. Okay. Alright. So you’ve got about half commercial, half residential. How how have you acquired your commercial customers.

Michael Jones [01:12:58]:

Good question. Good question. One thing I was really good at that came from financial services that’s has stuck with me is networking. If you’re not a good networking person, you wanna get to be a good networking person. You wanna learn how to do that. And networking is not going to these meetings like Chamber of Commerce or anything and handed out your business card because all it happens is they take it. and they stuff it away and never see it again. Networking is gonna be just going to the hotspots of business owners. And you don’t necessarily want to be this salesman to them or anything. What you wanna do is you want to find some kind of value you can provide to them upfront. And then later, you can tell them about your business. Right? So I suppose you were a person in my local area and you wanted to learn the laundromat business Worst thing I wanna hear is somebody come up and say, hey. I wanna pick your brain because what I what I hear when they say that is I wanna pick your pocket. or pick your time, waste your time. What’s would win my attention there is you say, hey. I I love the volunteer. at your shop, do some folding for you if you know, and maybe while I’m I’m doing that, you could spare a few minutes just kinda, like, tell me about the business and everything. I don’t think any one of us laundromat owners would say no to something like that. Mhmm. So you wanna do something similar with these with the networking that you do. What I did that really helped me out with club fitness is a gym that’s in the plaza with my locker mat. I went up to them and said, hey. You know, I think what could be a great thing to benefit your business and a benefit that you could use to sell more gym memberships is if my store gave an exclusive discount to your members, they walk in, show me the membership card, I’ll give them 20% off on the washer full tube just like a commercial customer. And they were like, yeah. That would be great because that’s something that plant fitness ain’t offering that. crunch fit in the same offering, something like that. They don’t have that. And you’re right around the corner, and all they gotta do is just walk a few feet down the plaza, drop off the laundry. Probably by the time they get done working out, they can pick it up. And that’s how both of our businesses. So with networking, start with the neighbors, see what you can do there. because I’ll tell you what, like, why is America the big superpower that it is Well, a big part of what’s not talked about is that we have friendly neighbors to the north and the south. Yeah. Canada and Mexico aren’t trying to go to war with us. They’re friendly neighbors, happy to trade with us and everything. But not the same thing. You want to see how you can benefit your neighbors in the Plaza that you’re in or the town center that you’re in or whatever businesses are close by. See what you can do to be a benefit to them, and that will help you stand out more than just giving them a business card. Some other things But the thing that we you wanna really be looking into is Facebook groups. Facebook groups is gonna be one of your biggest benefit of beneficial activities is going through Facebook groups. They have the local ones to your town, and particularly local ones to business owners and types of businesses. For me out here, it’s a lot of Airbnb property owners, property managers. I’m in all of their groups, and when I see them post something about needing clean linens or something like write offs, write on top of it. lot of networking can be done in Facebook groups.

Jordan Berry [01:16:39]:

Yeah. I think that is a very underutilized resource there. And, I mean, those could be used on the residential side too, you know, in in terms of, like, mom groups or all kinds of different local Facebook groups. Like, there’s a the town I have in or or town I live in has a Facebook group that’s the you know, the the city buzz. Right? And so, you know, getting in a group like that. And, again, leading with the you leading with offering something and and trying to meet people’s needs even sometimes for free just to kinda, you know, get an inroad in there and build some trust and build some familiarity and and make it so you’re not just trying to take, trying to get in people’s pocket pocketbooks, but you’re also contributing and helping there. So, yeah, I think that’s That’s huge, and those are good. Yeah. I love the offering exclusive members. discount to the the gym members of the of the neighboring gym there. I love that because it and it is a natural fit. Right? Like, I leave the gym. My clothes are are dirty. Like, they’re sweat soaked, and, yeah, they need to wash. And so it’s it’s just kind of a natural fit for them, natural fit for you. That’s a win win situation,

Michael Jones [01:18:03]:

and that’s where there’s good money to be made. So I love that. They they were happy for me to put up posters inside the gym, inside the locker rooms, and everything.

Jordan Berry [01:18:13]:

Yeah. That’s killer. That’s killer. Okay. We wanna talk a little bit about specifics about your business, but anything else that we need to chat about before we get into down to business?

Michael Jones [01:18:26]:

Let’s get down to business here because this is where we’re gonna get, like, some real juice.

Jordan Berry [01:18:32]:

Let’s get down to business. Alright now. Remind us again. When did you buy your your laundromat?

Michael Jones [01:18:42]:

official wrote the check November of 2021. Didn’t get to open the doors until May of 2022. took that long to build out.

Jordan Berry [01:18:53]:

And you got one laundromat right now. Do you got any plans for for more? What’s the what’s the game plan here? Do you know? Yeah. I hope Actually, there’s a vacant

Michael Jones [01:19:03]:

unit in the plaza next to us. The hope is that we’ll be able to expand out into that. Yeah. Become a laundry center instead of just a laundromat.

Jordan Berry [01:19:14]:

Like that. And what would you do with that space?

Michael Jones [01:19:17]:

Definitely need more storage storage for our drop off business. Yeah. But I put in a few more big machines because right now my biggest machine, I only got 4 of them. and that’s the most popular machine. Mhmm. And we get in some more dryers and everything, but just to have more space for folding and everything. That’s another thing to say is that when you’re looking for a laundromat to buy, you need a lot more space than you think you do. I don’t think too much about having too many machines think more about having the space, so that’s it’s not a claustrophobic feeling for customers.

Jordan Berry [01:19:51]:

Yeah. That is true. And especially if you’re going into a drop off or pickup and delivery, that is the That is a limiting factor for a lot of laundromats that wanna delve into, like, pickup and delivery, for example, is there’s just this struggle with finding the space I remember Mark Vaskamp at the fold. He’s been on a couple times. He’s been on some other YouTube stuff. He kills it. Pick a delivery shout out to Mark. And I’ll link to his episodes in case you missed them because they’re a killer too. But he sent me a video. He texted me a video one day of just This was before he got his location, and he had guys unloading the truck all out along the sidewalk out side. There were bags of laundry. He goes inside. All along the walls were bags of laundry, and all along the bulkheads were bags of laundry. There just wasn’t storage for him. Right? And this wasn’t even his laundromat as somebody else’s laundromat. So crazy craziness. But if you’re thinking about going into wash dry fold, drop off laundry service, or pick up in delivery, that storage piece is is critical. Yeah. For sure. Can you can you talk us through, like, what what is your what’s your staff look like? I mean, is it just you running all this laundry? Do you got people on board? How did you start? Where are you at now? Is it similar? How has that evolution taken place?

Michael Jones [01:21:17]:

Yeah. 5 employees, but first, it was just me doing everything. Eventually, I was able to hire a morning person so I could sleep in, so desperately needed. But and then I also hired a person to come do some late night cleaning. Still got those employees. Now I got one employee that specifically handles pickup and delivery for commercial customers because one of the vets that we work with wants that. and the nursery that we do laundry for wanted that as well. And I got another employee for some daytime coverage to take in drop offs. And then one that comes in at night to do everything that we couldn’t get done throughout the day. Kind of the way we handle drop off is we give them the expectation that It’ll take us 24 hours of one day to do it. You’ll get it back the next day. Unless you wanna pay an extra quarter per pound, we’ll do it for you right now and get it back to you the same day.

Jordan Berry [01:22:20]:

Nice. I like that. Alright. So you got 5 employees. I mean, that’s pretty that’s pretty incredible to be able to scale up. I mean, relatively quickly. I mean, you’re talking May 2022. Right now, we’re talking January 2023, and and you’re just scaled up to 5 employees. That’s pretty good, especially since you started off sleeping on the floor and losing money. So that’s that’s pretty impressive, man. Pretty impressive. Okay. So can we talk about how how much does it cost to do laundry at your location.

Michael Jones [01:22:55]:

Yeah. Probably gonna be raising these prices soon once I get the new scent system in. And what I’ll do is I’ll keep the old price if you pay with a card on the SENSE system. And if you pay with coins, I’ll raise the price because you’re making me do more work. But my biggest wash is 775 for the sixty pounders. That’s a regular cycle. I’ll upcharge you on a deluxe or an ultra cycle by a quarter each. and upcharge for warm water and hot water by a quarter each. And that’s true of all my machines. I got 4 of those, sixty pounders, got 4 of the 40 pounders at 5.50. I’ve got 5 of the 30 pounders. That’s $4. and I got 8 of the little £20 machines at $3, And my dryers got those stack dryers that the first quarter will buy you 5 minutes, but every quarter after that will buy you 4

Jordan Berry [01:23:57]:

Nice. Nice. Nice. Okay. I mean, that that sounds great. That sounds great. Do you have a sense of turns per day, like, what you’re doing these days. I know you had some days where you were doing 0 turns per day. So you have a sense of where you’re at now?

Michael Jones [01:24:16]:

Probably the best number I can give you, like, an average right now is 5.4to5.6 turns per day. Really pushing it as hard as it can. and to make it six turns a day. That’s, like, the whole here is to make it six turns a day. But here’s a a critical thing about this isn’t necessarily the golden ratio that everybody thinks it is. I mean, yeah, it’s it shows you that your marketing is working. That’s the good thing about it. It shows your marketing is working. But What really matters is how much money is coming in and how much of that money you keep, how much profit. So here’s one of the things that I did that was right is I never lowered my price And I would encourage everybody watching, don’t lower your prices if you’re trying to get business. It’s not a good thing that you think it is because you’ll be doing more work for less money. Your machines are gonna be enduring more wear and tear and giving you less money. and utility bills and everything will cost more because you’re using the machines more. And you took in less cash flow from those uses. So I think that a metric you really wanna look at is, I’m gonna say, profitability by machine, you know, and they can RAC, which machines are the most used, everything. And it’s like yeah. So kind of, like, too nitpicky of a metric to get into. But Just the the profitability, the the net profit overall is, I think, your most important metric more so than turns per day. because even if I’m doing 3 turns per day, I’m at the prices in the area that still get me that’s profit margin of 30 to 40%. I’m okay with that because it’s less wear and tear on my machines, probably less cleaning than my staff do too. Mhmm. And it is more money in your pocket.

Jordan Berry [01:26:09]:

Yeah. So you do sort of track turns per day, but you’re not going all in on turns per day. You’re looking at that net profit number.

Michael Jones [01:26:18]:

I’ll track it just to know about how good my marketing is working.

Jordan Berry [01:26:22]:

Yeah. That’s smart. I like that. Okay. So do you have are you fully attended? Do you have somebody there at all times when you’re open?

Michael Jones [01:26:32]:

Most of the time. Yes. It’ll be, like, a few hours a night where where there’s nobody there. stay open a little bit while or there’s nobody that can help you with machines and stuff and drop offs there. It’s just my cleaner. Mhmm. We figure while she’s in there, it may as well stay open. But, yeah, throughout the majority of the day, there’s somebody there to help you or somebody could drop laundry off to. and they know when the ins and outs store and everything. And I think that that will be the future going forward here is that won’t have many unattended launch paths just because of all the problems and liabilities you can run into and can be easily avoided by having an employee there. Mhmm.

Jordan Berry [01:27:09]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t I mean, we’re definitely as an industry moving more towards service base. And I don’t necessarily mean wash dry folds or pick up a delivery, although I think we are moving more that direction too. But I think Yeah. For probably decades, service was not really a priority in self-service laundry because it was like, hey. Yeah. You do it yourself, and and deal with deal with it. You know? Like, that’s your that’s your thing. You’re just using my machines. Right? But I do think that service is becoming more and more important you know, to be able to compete and stay in business, especially as business gets a little more complicated because we’ve got things like higher interest rates and inflation and growing utility costs. And, you know, we’re we’re having to navigate all this stuff and and more technology coming into our industry. So there’s a lot to navigate there, and that service side of the business is just becoming more and more important. along with marketing. And I think you’re you’re dead on on that one too. So are you planning on staying high grid? I know you’re changing your your card payment system. Are you planning on staying hybrid?

Michael Jones [01:28:24]:

Yeah. Yeah. We want to be able to have people pay anyway that they’re willing to pay. Sometimes if I want to give you money, you don’t necessarily wanna care too much about what form they’ve given in. But there’s some little things you can do around a chart. There’s less for card payments and easier payments to accept and collect. And so we’ll stay hybrid until we get to a point where coins are obsolete

Jordan Berry [01:28:47]:

Yeah. And I I mean, I like the I mean, I think there’s something to be said for an all card system, especially if you’re gonna scale to multiple multiple laundromats. It gets more and more difficult to start collecting coins. But I I I’m a fan of the hybrid system, and I’m a fan of incentivizing the ways that you want your customers to pay. So if that’s the card, system that you’d prefer, incentivize that, and give them the option to pay. And that’s you know, I think that’s a similar tact that people take with top load machines. Right? Like, okay. If you wanna use the top load machine, that’s fine. But we’re gonna maybe even disincentivize using that and incentivize using the machines we want you to use because it’s gonna give you a better wash and yada yada yada. So I’m a I’m a fan of that. Alright. Last question for down to business that I have, I think, is And I you may have mentioned this already, actually. But do you have an an idea of, like, you were working 18 hour days early on. between your job and the laundromat and all that stuff. Do you have a sense of how much time you’re spending on the business now?

Michael Jones [01:30:00]:

I live and breathe my laundromats, and that’s That’s my life here. And it’s because I’m so determined. Like, if somebody were to trade lives with me, they don’t have to do it. They don’t have to do it like I do, but I’m just so determined to have a monopoly on the air area. That’s I am going to stop at nothing to make that happen. So living and breathing the laundromat right now, but that’s not to say that it has to be that way.

Jordan Berry [01:30:25]:

Yeah. Alright. I thought of another question that I wanna ask before we move on to secret sauce here. Okay. I mean, I I I think we all know the answer to this, but I just wanna give you an opportunity to to speak to it, which is you hated your corporate job, you made this move, to to change, you know, directions in your life. You’re still working like an animal. Are you glad you made the change or or no?

Michael Jones [01:30:58]:

Absolutely. When it comes to corporate America, I’m never going back. I’m never going to like, it it really is the matrix. It really is the matrix and everything. Like, now that you’ve experience freedom and what it’s like. It’s electrified. It’s a dick to be able to say what you really want to say and, yeah, even and just dress however you wanna dress too instead of always wearing the suit and tie and everything. I mean, that necktie is it’s the neck shackle, really. and being able to you know, even even though, I guess, you could say I spend more time on my business and everything. I am happy to be a slave to myself. than to corporate America.

Jordan Berry [01:31:43]:

Yeah. That’s that’s potent. I’m I’m glad I gave you the opportunity to say that because that that’s potent phrase right there. I like that. And and that’s that I think that sums up entrepreneurship. Right? It’s like, there’s all these memes I’ve seen. You know? It’s like, you give up work in the 10 hour days for someone else to work 18 hour days for yourself. Right? Like, you’re working harder but you’re enjoying it and you’re doing it for yourself. And, you know, I think putting it in the way of I’m I’m glad to be a slave to for myself much more than I am to be a slave for the corporate culture. I I mean, I think that was you said it way better than I just did. But, I mean, I think that’s just a very potent quote. So awesome. Alright. We have a segment of the show called Secret SaaS. And secret sauce is you know, we we’ve been talking about secret sauce this entire time here. So but, you know, do you if you had one piece of advice maybe or or maybe couple of quick things that you would give for someone who owns a laundromat currently to help them improve their business. We got for them.

Michael Jones [01:32:54]:

I got a lot of things. I don’t think they’re quick, though. Well, let’s just get this one then. Yeah. Here here’s the juice. Like, yeah, get your pen and paper ready here because here’s the juice thing I wanna say is print marketing. Don’t do it. Never do print marketing. It’s a dead form of marketing. It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of money. Direct mail. flyers on people’s cars. But I tell you what, whenever a guy goes to any public places and someone hands me a flyer, I I think that what they should say that is they what they should be saying is, here, throw this away from me. That’s what that’s what I’m thinking the whole time. Mhmm. All those things is a total waste. You’re all your marketing and you wanna do. digitally because you have interruption marketing, which could be direct mail or telemarketing, not that we do that for laundromats, or handing out flyers, sticking things on people’s cars. That’s interruption marketing versus permission marketing is what you really wanna focus on. That’s where you’re making yourself available to the people who want your services and are seeking you out, like Google search, those are customers that want your services because they’re looking for it. You wanna focus more on that. What else I would say I’m not gonna wanna name any name, so I wanna badmouth any people, but I would never again hire a person to do digital marketing for me. They’re wasting your money than what they do and everything. And for what they charge, it’s just it’s not proportionate. And you’d be paying them a 1000 a month, and they put up a few posts a week for you on your Facebook page. It’s a waste of money there. It’s you’re better off taking the time to learn and understand the social media ecosystem yourself because you know what’s best for your business, you know what goes on in your community, you know who the best people who reach out what your customers are, not some third party that you hired to do before. Another thing, secret sauce. is the website where you wanna go back to the principal speed. You wanna get it up as fast as you can. Even before your laundromats even open, if Sorry. Get it up as fast as you can. That was a mistake on me that didn’t do that. I used to believe in WordPress that they were the best websites you could have, but something strange happened with WordPress where it’s just not easy to use anymore. I don’t know what happened there. So I use Wix now. Wix, I think, is very well worth the extra expense that it costs because it’s so easy to edit and do business on and everything. You wanna focus on fast loading times for your website because that helps you with your rank and search engine. Wix is very good at making it run fast. It’s easy to update. And the more you update your website, the more favorable Google looks at that in search engine results pages. And some people say, well, yeah, I’ve been told that I I should blog on my website for this, but what does a long about to have to talk about? Totally get that. So legitimate complaint or problem or something. Here’s some things I’ll show you. It’s like, if I’m doing it, what I’ll do is I don’t really call it a blog. I just call it news and promos. And there, all I’m doing is just putting up, like, hey. Here’s some promos, new services that I’ve introduced in or some new equipment and everything. And that’s what I post up on there. I’ll do a blog post on our website. I will also post it to Facebook, and Google my business, the more that you are posting on these things, they they all work together. They they they work together to kind of form like this in music terms. We call it a crescendo. Are it’s a mosaic of little pieces, the Legos that snap together to come up with something great. I’ll kinda try to show you exactly what that looks like here. landing pages for each service, you know, like, here’s my pickup and delivery 1. Just wanna make it very easy to do business with people, make it, like, one click. And very first thing you see here is schedule pickup scheduled pickup. It’s very easy to do business with us. and try to be as convincing as you can with getting people do business on these landing pages. So after those listening, I’m not showing this on the screen here. So definitely subscribe to Jordan’s YouTube channel. Now here’s the super secret sauce like this, oh, and me. Perhaps the most beneficial thing that I could tell somebody here, maybe make sure I got the screen for it. When it comes to that Google search engine results page, you don’t just wanna appear on it and you don’t just wanna appear on the top, you want to dominate If I were to type in to a search engine, just launch a mess. Here’s the first thing you see is my ad. My paid ad right here. Mhmm. On my paid ad, I’m utilizing everything possible. This is showing you the Google page, right, on the screen sharing. Right? Okay. Yep. k. Good. Make sure it’s showing the right thing. Here’s something that is new that Google is doing. These are called site link additions. And then here’s us another thing that they call I I forget what it’s called. It’s like something sticky, though. But you wanna utilize every single one of these. Now tell you what, if you’re somebody that doesn’t know how to do this or anything and you want somebody to walk you through write this, reach out to me. Be happy to get on a Zoom call with you. I just kinda show you how to do this. So first thing you’re gonna see is my ad. Take you to our Google My Business page. Then look at this. Here. We’ve got our website, our official website. It’s got up some services and everything down here.

Jordan Berry [01:38:28]:

Well, you skipped over too. You were the top one on the map.

Michael Jones [01:38:32]:

Up to love. — on that. Yep. Yep. Well, right here, yeah, because there’s my paid ad. Then here’s organic search. I’m number 1 there too. Mhmm. What’s next? Facebook — Mhmm. — brought up our Facebook is the next thing. Then we go down a little bit further. Here’s our Instagram. And there’s another ad further down the page. The reason you’re doing social media is not to just keep doing posts because It’s something that people say you should do, and it’s the any benefit mindset. Maybe somebody will see it. Maybe the wrong reason you’re doing it. is the more you update your social media, the more the Google search engine likes it, and the more it’s likely to put it on one of the earlier pages and search engine results, and now you have not 1, not 2, but possibly 4 properties that you can have on that search engine page, people might have to go out of their way to click on your competitors when there’s that much of you playing here. This is our YouTube channel. that we uploaded our ads to because we were gonna do some YouTube advertising. Here’s Manta. I don’t know if they’ll even use that directory anymore, but because it links to our main website, and our main website gets a ton of traffic from social media and search engines, Google thinks, hey. It’s a good thing to show. So you really got to intentionally click on a competitor on that first page of Google results. You wanna dominate the first page, 2 kinds of ads that you can run at the same time for the same kind of customer are ads that focus on maximizing clicks that puts you at the top, and then there’s another one that focuses on maximizing conversion that puts you later on in the page. But I think that when a person scrolls through that page, it’s because they’re just not finding what they’re looking for. Google is it’s it’s AI is intelligent enough to understand what that person is looking for and show it to them at the most opportune time. Another critical element to this is what I would say is robust keyword discipline. You’ve gotta police your keywords, and I’m gonna try to show you what I mean by that here because a lot of people think, well, I know the keywords, We wanna appear in the search for laundromat near me. You know what? That’s nice. Yeah. A lot of people search for that to be probably the most popular keyword. but there can be a lot of keywords that you don’t want to be ranking for. You don’t want to appear in the search score that. So every couple of weeks or every month go through this here, and I’d be happy to show somebody how to do this too if they need the help. and look at this here. This shows you what keywords did your ad appear for. And if you see anything that you don’t want to appear for, check it and then add it to a negative keyword theme set. What that means is these are things that you don’t wanna appear for. Like me, I don’t wanna appear for searches for cleaning because I don’t have a dry cleaning equipment. It’s a waste of time for someone to call me up and say, hey. Can you do dry cleaning? The one up here in any of those searches. I put it like a washer and full mirror because this is my self-service ad. I don’t want my self-service ad competing with my washer and full ad. Laundromack for sale I don’t wanna appear for that kind of search. I don’t want people calling me up asking me thinking about buying a business from me. Uh-uh. Ain’t letting go of this thing for for anything. And then there’s lots you’ll find lots of unrelated stuff here. When you kick out those bad keywords, your ads are becoming more efficient, They’ll be shown to the right people more often, and your cost per click, it will eventually go down. gonna start out pretty high, but it’ll eventually go down here because your ads are becoming more efficient. Mhmm. And noticing that you can also be doing is just looking at when these searches are being conducted and focus the majority of your budget on those times. If I could edit the times right here, Here, it doesn’t show me, like, when are they most popular? When you start out, run them all day and everything, and then you can see when are they when when does a laundromat like most searched for on Google in the local area, and then run your ads during those because those are the competitive hours that you really want went. And and see how I can show people where that is too. Yeah. It’s kind of over here in the search trends, interest, and everything. This is a lot to take in right here. You’re kind of, like, drinking from a fire hose or a fire hydrant right now here with all of this. But When you you take this is why you wanna take the time and learn this stuff ahead of time here because this is what’s gonna have you destroy your competitors. Start out with a wide net, great budget being spent on all hours of the day, and then refine it, bring it down. have these things connect to your landing pages. You wanna really understand what’s many YouTube videos on landing pages. Understand what works and what doesn’t work in landing page. and all that is. That’s just where do you go after we click on the link in the Google ad. More traffic, from those paid search ads can bring out better results in organic SEO as well. It was a tip I was debating on whether or not I should give out. And that’s when you’re looking for keywords to rank for, also look for misspelled versions of those keywords because not everybody spells laundromat the correct way. Some of us spell it with, like, a laundry m a t. And — Yes, ma’am. — what you’re looking for earlier with this?

Jordan Berry [01:44:14]:

Yeah. Exactly. Longer boys. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Jones [01:44:17]:

There’s a tool that Google has here that shows you how often something is search on their engine, the the keyword planner tool. When you’re using that, make sure you localize it. You’re not looking for what is the entire US search. You’re looking for what to people in your area search, and they allow you to specified to certain ZIP codes. So definitely do that. If you wanna get your interaction rate above 10% and your cost per click below $2. Well, when you got that, then you’re you’re doing really good here. So this is practically 10%. compared to how often it appears, how often it’s clicked on, and it’s just under $2. That’s a successful Google campaign. We we got the time to really get into the ins and outs of Facebook and Instagram. I mean, it’s it’s interesting you got got time for that?

Jordan Berry [01:45:09]:

Yeah. Let’s just do it. Alright. And, again, if you are if you’re listening to this, I’ll have links to these videos so you can go back and actually see he’s sharing his screen right now, and you can actually see everything that he’s talking about. But, yeah, let’s talk about Let’s talk about Facebook ads.

Michael Jones [01:45:27]:

So a lot of people are thinking, yeah, they don’t even know where to begin with social media because What’s a laundromat gonna post about? What could people possibly wanna follow my laundromat’s page for? Well, I’ll tell you. There are three things you can do, and it’s not all promotional. A lot of people are thinking that’s promotions. People are gonna sick of seeing me promote my business over and over again, and they will. But you can do something very powerful here, and that’s make your promotion of your business the thing you do on your page the least, but you you may say, wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. That’s the purpose of me having social media here, and If I’m not promoting my business, what else would I be doing? The principle you want to adhere to is you’re making the Internet or whatever social media platform that you’re on, you’re making it a better place. And here’s how you do. It’s three things you can post about.

Jordan Berry [01:46:23]:


Michael Jones [01:46:24]:

Post something funny. Everybody who enjoys a good laugh. Even if it’s a dad joke. Post something funny. Shane example here. This here. Think about the way you can do with lost socks, You see it’s silly and everything. Or this year, little laundry joke. Little star wars reference.

Jordan Berry [01:46:49]:


Michael Jones [01:46:50]:

Everybody’s happy to see those, especially with just cute animals. So so post something funny? Another thing is post something helpful. something like maybe a laundry tip or a life hack related to laundry. Something I like to post about is I like to show people videos here of How do we fold people’s clothes during our wash and fold? because this is a way that we add value of our wash and fold as we focus on folds that specifically save space in the customer’s dresser. And we show them here. Here’s how we do it. Take your laundry here to us. We’re gonna fold it like this here. Even the complicated stuff like women’s underwear is probably very people don’t know where to begin on where to fold that or fitted sheets. pants, all sorts of things here. We got a video on just about every sort of article of clothing on how to fold it And that’s what we use for our educational and informative posts. One third of our time on social media is spent doing those posts, and then

Jordan Berry [01:47:54]:

we focus — Real quick on that one. — on 3rd. real quick on that one. That one has the the added benefit of showing it it actually is kind of a promotional video in disguise. Right? Describe is a helpful video because like you said, it’s showing the customers, hey. We know what we’re doing. Like, here’s how we do it. Here’s how you could do it better, but we We can do it for you. We know what we’re doing here, and it demonstrates that authority, which, consequently, Google also likes, which is probably why your Instagram ranks pretty high on, you know, laundromat in your area because you’re demonstrating that authority. Google’s all about the eat, right, expertise, authority, and whatever the t. I forget what the t is off top of my head. But yeah. So, anyways, sorry. I just wanna interject that because that’s a great little sneaky way to promote while actually being also helpful at the same time. Yeah. So go ahead. The tea is traffic.

Michael Jones [01:48:50]:

pumpounding effect. Like, the more traffic page gets, the more Google thinks it’s authoritative. Mhmm. So notice all of these are videos too. use videos as much as you can on the Instagram and Facebook because they wanna compete with TikTok so they favorite videos. Then I’m promotional. I do something like this here, or say, good reasons to wash your bedding. So this video here got a cute baby and a cute puppy all the bed or this year talking about our money back Mondays thing. Yeah. With some videos, great resources, the website You can get a lot of good footage that you can play around with, and you can make these videos and on because they specifically format them to fit for Instagram reels and Facebook reels. and they give you a whole bunch of our tools to make it very easy. You don’t have to be a world class editor or anything to make this stuff.

Jordan Berry [01:49:47]:

I’ll have links to both Canva and Pexel’s, by the way, in the show notes or if you’re on YouTube down below. Go ahead.

Michael Jones [01:49:53]:

Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Those are just our videos. But we also wanna take a look here at our regular picture posts. This is something I wanna do every single time I post something that’s not a video, something that’s just a picture. It’s a carousel. It’s multiple pictures at a time. Why am I doing this? Well, one, Do more than just tell the joke for our funny posts or give the tip for our helpful posts. throw in a little thing here that says, hey. Is this something we got going on today? It’s big wash Wednesday. That’s the promo. Or and then here is just, yeah, all of the information on our long term mat where it’s located and everything. It’s a carousel, and that means that when someone scrolls through and may go through those pictures like we just did, To the social media algorithm that counts as engagement. And that also counts with Google as something they favor as well. This is a well engaged post. Engagement is gonna be important later on when you’re doing ads. It also helps you in the natural algorithm for social media. Reels, what I’ve heard, the the rule is that he wants to be 7 seconds long. forgive the reason behind that. So, like, it’s like an attention span thing. Give it a good description. Don’t waste too much time on descriptions. your time is better served making more reels, more videos, more posts than trying to mine out as much goodness out of each one. Now here’s the problem we run into. Facebook, Instagram, Meta, and Jackal. They’re not your friends when it comes to showing what you post to your followers or the people that are already decided, hey, I wanna do business with them. I wanna follow them. Not your friend, so they’re not gonna show it to them all the time, but you can overcome this. One thing is that with Facebook, whenever I post on there, I’m doing it through the planner, the page planner and met a business suite. It will also allow you to post specifically to Facebook groups unless you do a post up to 3 at a time. Find yourself 3 good Facebook groups to post to, and they’ll let you do it. Those Facebook groups. What I like from the local area is ones that you’d mentioned earlier, it’s moms. of mom groups. And another one that I like is the college student groups, because we got 3 colleges here in Dayton. I try to get the my content into those groups as well. And I’m also just paying attention to what’s going on in those groups. because I wanna see what’s going on in the community. Maybe there’s something that our contraband can service or help with. So Facebooks is not your friends in doing it naturally on its own, but Facebook can be your friend. when you pay them when you pay for them to be at. And also with Facebook and Instagram stories, if you’re running daily promos like I do every weekday, Those make for good stories because that way you’re not doing a post of them every day. Just reminding people of stories that disappear when the day is over. But back to what I said, Facebook is your friend when you pay them? You wanna run 3 times now. — my friends, by the way. That’s how that’s how I get friends. Yeah. dish up the money. So know the struggle. Yep. Yeah. Yep. 3 kinds of ads you wanna do. First one, is an educational ad that just kinda tells people about your service, what benefit is of it, why they should use it and everything. I’ll show you the example of it here. Like, this is an example of that ad. Just talks about how much of your life spent doing laundry goes through it step by step here. And in conclusion, a person can waste about 1.6 years of their life doing laundry if you’re just doing one load a week, if your family is about 5 years of your life gone, yeah, doing 4 loads a week. If you wanna get that time back, our Washington Ford service will help with that. For that campaign, there’s getting, like, do it really deep in the weeds to wanna know more about this contact me. But for that campaign, you won’t have to be an awareness building same with a local radius. Here’s the the juiciest thing I’ve ever learned about Facebook. It’s a lot of people think they should specifically target certain kinds of people and demographics in Facebook. No. No. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. It’s really it’s really nice that it’s this easy, but Facebook and Instagram, what they want more than anything else is for people stay on. They’re apt to stay on the platform and keep scrolling. So they’re only gonna show your ads to the people they think would be most interested in it. They don’t wanna clog up the ads They don’t wanna clog up the the streams of people with apps and ads that are not relevant to. That will make them think, man, Facebook will show me too much garbage. I’m not and it may go somewhere else. It may go do something else. So don’t try to figure out who your audience is. Let Facebook do it for you. because they are much better at gathering data and sifting through that data than any person could be. Also, another critical thing here about ads is this thing here called the Pixel. I tell you what. For a lot of people, the best thing you can do, you can call up Meta. Get an appointment. It’s totally free. They will tell you how to set up these campaigns, how to install the pixel. Basically, what the pixel does is it tracks What do people do after seeing your ad? Do they go to your website, or do they click on their website? And it saves those people don’t actually ever know who they are, but Facebook saves who it is so you can run ads to them again later because you know how many times a person has to see something before they take action. They say sometimes seven times. I think it’s more like 3 or 4 times. So you wanna save that data, and you do that with a pixel. You call them data. They will show they will talk you through how’s I’ve set this up. here. I’ve had 3 phone calls with them. I haven’t paid a cent because I pay so much, and these Facebook ads, I run so many of them. So that’s add 1. that you run the pixel off of is an awareness building campaign, and the next one would be a traffic campaign where you want them to take a certain action like click a link and go to a certain landing page. And then the last one is what’s called a retargeting ad campaign where it’s using the data that it collected from the pixel like who took action and then remarketing to them as well. And this is all good because when you get people off Facebook to your website or off Instagram to your website, Those are traffic hits that Google pays attention to to help you rank higher. And they also take a look at where did that traffic come from. Came from your social media. They like that. better than if it came from somewhere else. And with the ads, what I use are carousel ads, carousel ads, which people have to kinda click through here to see. It’s kinda tiny here, but people click through, like, those carousel posts, and that counts as engagement, and they’ll move it up because a person would probably only look through those if they’re interested. And that’s also a customer that the Pixel will capture to retarget to later. Retargeting is important because it allows you to get a second chance with a customer that just hasn’t seen enough of your advertising yet to wanna try you or remind them that you exist after a maybe a bad experience with a competitor. With Facebook, you’ll have lower click through rates, but you’re also gonna pay less per click. You pay, like, maybe, a 50¢ a click. and that’s worth doing. And the reason for that is people don’t go to Facebook or go to Instagram specifically to look for a laundromat to be business with. That’s a critical thing you wanna know about your Google advertising, by the way. I kinda skipped over it. It was that what’s real critical to pay attention to is user intent. the user of the search engine, what is their intent with each keyword? Well, put yourself in those shoes and think from that perspective. But when someone types in this keyword, are they looking for a laundromat to do business with and spend money at? If the answer is no, that keyword is useless and you shouldn’t use it. But all these things you could see here working together are what’s gonna allow you to dominate the search engine results page of Google, beyond the first page, and allow you to win new customers. And I’ll tell you what, that more than anything else is how I want a bunch of my commercial customers because they call me. I didn’t go run around, knocking on doors, trying to get them to come to trying to get them to use my laundromat. A lot of them came to me and called me up, and It’s how you do it is by dominating the first page on Google.

Jordan Berry [01:58:56]:

I did not realize that we’re just gonna get a master class today when we jumped on this interview. We went from this, like, emotional story to, like, straight up laundromat marketing university. like, right here right now today. I love it. Incredible. And and, you know, just first of all, man, thank you. Appreciate just sharing all that level of detail showing the showing the screen shares. Once again, Links will be down below if you wanna go and you’re listening and you wanna go check out the the the actual screen chair that he was sharing. Or if you’re watching on YouTube and you wanna go back and reference just these little clips without having to scroll through and find them, go check those videos out. in the links there. But, man, super secret sauce is an understatement for what all the that you just talked through from from Google to Facebook and Instagram ads like holy cow, man. That’s great. And I’m just sitting here as you’re talking. I was just sitting over here thinking, Oh, well, man, no wonder you’re dominating right now and have come from where you were to where you are now is because you have obviously invested a lot of time and effort and money into learning how to dominate your market, and that is exactly what you’re doing both online and offline your well, on your way to doing that also. So, dude, huge kudos to you. I wanna make sure you hit everything you wanna hit. in the secret sauce because I don’t wanna move on until you’ve said everything you wanna say. So let me know if you got anything else. Otherwise, we’ll move on to pro tips.

Michael Jones [02:00:38]:

Give me one more little thing here. You wanna look into what’s called geo fencing. Mhmm. And Financial Services have people say, hey. Pay attention to what the smart bucket does. The hedge fund managers, the pension managers, the endowment managers. That’s the so called smart money because it’s 1,000,000,000 of dollars. What are they investing in it? In laundromats, we can do the same thing. If we look at what are the Willeford brothers? pay or spend a lot of money on, or what do they use for marketing? What does some of the other guys that own multiple mats and our agents’ success do? Well, I saw that they were spending a lot of money on geo fencing. And I wanted to know what is that and everything. The company I use, Kalari, Media, guy that runs it Ernesto Colara, he could do a much better job of explaining it than I could. Probably be a great guy to have as a guest on show sometime here. That’s they have a way of using satellites and cell phone data and foot traffic data to determine who’s visually your competitors? And let’s show them some ads while they browse the Internet so that if they have a bad experience at a competitor, they know there’s no longer maps that could might be nicer and is newer that they can go to. We’ve been doing them for about 2 months since. He has a way to show me specifically what kind of foot traffic I got from it, gotten some foot traffic, some successes. It generally does take probably about 2, 3 months to really start working and everything. But that’s another little gem I’ll give you there for secret sauce is it’s called Geo Fencing and Kalari Media. c u l l a r i is who you wanna check out.

Jordan Berry [02:02:16]:

Nice. Yeah. And, yeah, man, connect me up, and we’ll we’ll chat with him too. That’d be awesome. Alright. Holy cow. That was the most thorough in-depth secret sauce we have ever had by far and I I mean, you stated at the beginning, hey. The goal is to make this the best episode, and we’re well on our way here and and some. So awesome. Alright. Let’s talk about pro tips. Somebody who is maybe they’re desperate in there and they’re to get out of their job or maybe they’re just looking for a side investment or ever the case may be. They’re looking to buy their first laundromat. What advice can you give somebody in that situation? Pro tips.

Michael Jones [02:02:57]:

Alright. Start out with competitive analysis. find a failing laundromat asked yourself, why is it failing? You need to find a successful laundromat asked yourself, why is it so successful? What are they doing right? Study your competition as well. Just see what are their weak points, what are some things where you can add value. What I found that would help me get an easy win was just having automatic doors in my laundromat because no other laundromat in town has that. And a lot of customers have given a lot of positive feedback to that. Another thing you could be doing here is that you wanna get started on your digital marketing right away, get started on learning how to do it and everything. learn the Google ecosystem and the meta and the Facebook ecosystem, understand those things. Website construction, start that right away. Don’t wait until the the laundromat was open like I did because here’s my fear. It was that I put the little website up or put the Google business profile up, And people find it, and then they come to the laundromat and see it’s still under construction, and they’re jaded, and I lose that cusp. doesn’t doesn’t happen. What happens is they look forward to your opening. And they’re like, yeah. I can’t wait to check this place out because it’s closer than the one I normally go to or something like that. And also with Google My Business, I had this horrible thing happen to me early on where to verify that you own business. They send a postcard with a code to the location. Mhmm. And wait months before mine came. So for months that we were open, I wasn’t even on Google, and that definitely hurt us bad. It was a big black eye that we took early on. So that’s something that you should be doing from the start. It started on marketing right away. It’s at do that competitive analysis from the very beginning.

Jordan Berry [02:04:43]:

Just wanna store what I’d say is — Yep. So I was just gonna say real quick on the getting online as soon as possible. You’re absolutely right. They do physically mail you something that can take a long time. But also your website like, I I I hear a lot of people who are like, I don’t wanna put my website up because it’s not know, we’re not open, and maybe their fear is, you know, somebody’s gonna come and check it out, and it’s not gonna be open. But a lot of times what their fear is is like, hey. I don’t you know, the the laundromats not ready. Right? Maybe they’re doing renovations or whatever. It’s I don’t want people showing up or or or even even when they’re under contract. I’ll sometimes I’ll say, hey. This is looking like it’s gonna close. It’s looking good. Let’s get your website up ASAP because it also takes time for Google to index that site, basically, like, a seasoning period, right, before Google starts testing you to see where you’re gonna fit in the rankings. And, again, the the goal is to dominate that first page, but it it takes time to get there, and it doesn’t always happen right away. And so I’d say, hey, man. Get that stuff up. and get it going as soon as possible because it’s just gonna benefit you. And I love the way that you’re phrased in dominating the first page. Same with the social sites. You know? Put upcoming soon. Put up, hey. We’re getting new equipment. Hey. Whatever you’re doing and and get it up and go in ASAP. Yes. To communicate with the customers, but also more so to even season so you can start moving up the ranks in Google. So I just wanted to add that, but great tip. Yeah.

Michael Jones [02:06:14]:

And the last thing I’d say is don’t have a white floor. I had a white floor terrible.

Jordan Berry [02:06:18]:

They did the same mistake. Yeah. Yeah. I thought, hey, white floor, I just gotta keep it clean. It’s gonna look Nice all the time, and it’s gonna look good. It’s just impossible to keep it white. Mhmm. So no matter what I did, I could I just couldn’t keep it white. So That’s a that’s a good little pro tip actually. Never had that one on the show. That’s awesome. Alright. The final segment we have on the show is called recommended resources. We are laundromat resource. And so do you have any resources that you can recommend to help people grow personally or help them grow their business.

Michael Jones [02:06:58]:

Get coaching. I’d say, a coaching I think it’s expensive, but here’s the second. So it’s better to spend a $1000 on a coach. who can save you tens of 1000 stalls. So if you got the opportunity to get coaching from someone like a Jordan or a Wally Coke or something, go for it. because it’s worth the expense, because wise man pardon me, excuse me, a smart man learns from his own mistakes. wise man will learn from the mistakes of others. So that’s totally worth doing. Your neighbors we covered this earlier, like the gym in my plaza. get friendly with your neighbors. That’s why America is successful is because we don’t have hostile neighbors. No. Everything I’d say is that’s a next best resource would be Facebook groups, laundromat owners is one of them, and I think they’re long about owners’ ideas for success. Those are well worth doing. Yeah. And I’ll put links. Do I join them? Yep. Join them. You’ll see a host of tips. Yeah. I think you get more good information out of those Facebook groups than you would ever get from the Coin And Landry Association membership.

Jordan Berry [02:08:13]:

Alright. There you have it. I’m I’m not gonna argue with you. So okay. So, man, this has been incredible. I’ve been looking forward to this episode since we first talked way back when, but I have got I gotta say, man, it’s it’s blown me away. I am my expectations have been far, far, far exceeded, and You know? I know that in the middle of it all, it probably didn’t feel like it. But, you know, at this point, looking back, it it seems obvious to me, like, you were you were gonna dig yourself out of it. And, you know, sometimes you just have to go through stuff to get to a point where you can become the person you need to be to get to where you wanna go in life. and I think that that is something that we overlook a lot. And we want kind of the easy thing. And and and this industry kind of attracts that. Right? it attracts the, hey. An easy button. Hey. I’m just gonna have to come and collect, hey. It’s passive. Hey. You know? it attracts that sort of, like, easy button kind of personality butt or or just desire. But And sometimes in life, we just need to go through things, not because of anything about us, not because there’s anything wrong with us, not because we’re failures, not for any of those reasons, but it’s because we need to go through some of those things to develop in ourselves the skills, and the character and and the abilities that we need to become the person that we wanna be to have the life we wanna have. And now here you are, Not saying that you’ve made it to where you wanna go, not saying that everything’s perfect, not saying that you’re not gonna have, you know, struggles and trials going ahead. But you’re working for yourself now, and you’re building your own thing. You’re a slave to your own self, to your own desires, and not to somebody else’s. and you’re on your way going where you wanna go. And I just I loved your story and then just to kind of the 12 punch and followed up with just, man, incredible practical tips. This truly has been one of the best, if not the best, episode. So, man, I really appreciate you spending your time to come on here. I have one last question for you. have a feeling that your story and your knowledge is gonna be very compelling for people. It’s compelling for me. I think it’s gonna be compelling for a lot of people. So is there a good way that if somebody wants to reach out to you to just, you know, ask you any questions fill you out, maybe talk to you about some of the marketing stuff that you were talking about or just, you know, wants to tell you how awesome you are. Is there a good way that they can connect with you?

Michael Jones [02:11:05]:

Absolutely. because I’m happy to help people out, send the elevator back down, help people avoid the pain I had to let the painful lessons I had to learn partway. So if you wanna reach out to me, absolutely, well, maybe we can arrange for it to talk on the phone or get on a Zoom call. We could say just start with email [email protected]. I’m also fanatical about the Facebook Messenger. So you can always message the laundromats. It’s just slash Daytona Laundromats. It all ends up in the same place. So we wanted to get some help that’s will save you from a lot of the problems I experienced and get to dominate the Google page in your local area. I’d be happy to take you through that. and just show you the kind of the ins now of it or at least point you to the resources of how I was able to do it there. because there’s a lot of free information, a lot of free resource out there that a lot of people just don’t know about. And, you know, I was starting to say to you, Jordan, thank you for having me on. It was, like, great that I was able to rebound from the the horrible place I was in to be able to be good enough to be on and share all these tips. I hope that we did give it the best episode ever. If not, always happy to come back and share some more of this juice here with the audience because I know a lot of these guys from the Facebook groups and everything. So they’re great audience out there.

Jordan Berry [02:12:37]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, it will definitely have you back on. We’ll be doing some more stuff together, I’m sure, because your like I said, your story is not done yet. I can tell you’re you’re just revving up right now. So I’m excited to see where you go. And, again, thank you for coming on. So I’ll have his contact information. in the show notes, if you’re on YouTube, that’ll be down below. But reach out. Tell them how great he is. Thank them for coming on the show and sharing all this great stuff. Reach out with your questions. Michael, man. Incredible. Thank you again for coming on. Appreciate you. It’s my pleasure. Anytime. Alright. We’ll do some more stuff real soon. So stay tuned for that.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 115 with Brittany Centers

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

Hey. What’s up, guys? This is Jordan with the Liner Med Resource podcast. This is show 115,

Jordan Berry [00:00:05]:

and I’ll pump you here today because we are in a never ending quest to continually try to push the boundaries, try to be on top of what’s going on in our industry, in this world, and figure out how to help all of us build better businesses. And to that end, today we have on the show again, Britney Centers of Center Social, because we wanna talk about what’s going on in the online world. I’ve said so many times before marketing is the untapped potential in our industry right now. That is the low hanging fruit. And today, we have Britney on talking marketing both through paid advertising and also through organic social media stuff. And we’re gonna talk through some tactics. We’re gonna talk through some of changing, and it’s an awesome awesome episode as always. And be sure to check out Center Social dotcom if you’re interested in having Britney and her team help you out with your social media. But before you even do that, I just wanna point out, and this is today’s fast lane tip that Britney has actually partnered with Linamar Resource and has offered a pro member perk that actually exceeds the the the cost of joining the investment of joining the AlarmNet resource. Pro community. So if you’re thinking about going with Britney to do some social media stuff, think about joining the Lawn And Resource Pro community because it actually will save you money and add a ton of value to your life because you’ll get everything else that comes with that pro community, which is a bunch of stuff. So check it out. if you’re interested in that. And, also, if you wanna talk more about social media marketing and your laundromat or your future laundromat, join Britney and I, we’re gonna be doing a free live webinar slash q and a on all things marketing and social media on May 3 2023, 4 PM Pacific Time, best Coast time, 7 PM, East Coast time, So come join us there. You can find out more information about that at That link and all the links we talk about today will be in the show notes or if you’re on YouTube down below in the description. And without further ado, let’s jump into it with Britney Centers. Britney Centers of Center Social. How’s it going? It’s going well. How are you? I am doing good. I’m doing really good. And, man, you are like a you’re like a veteran on the podcast here. How’d you how’d you weasel that? The 3rd time. Yeah. Number 3. That’s pretty big. There’s that’s a very exclusive club, three times on the podcast. So very few people. Thank you. I enjoyed being here. Yeah. No. Awesome to have you. And awesome to talk about I think it underdiscussed topic, which is marketing here and, you know, who better to bring on than a marketing agency owner 4 Lautermatt owners. So here you are once again. What is going on in the world of online and the digital world?

Brittany Centers [00:03:14]:

these days. A lot. I mean, a lot is changing. You know, every time that I’m on here, I always talk about how the algorithm is changing and that is consistently happening still. You know, we’ve seen in the last 6 months, we’ve seen some of the most changes in the algorithm that, like, we’ve ever seen that I mean, I’ve been doing this since 2014. And then, like, in the last 6 months, the biggest changes have occurred. And so that’s what I wanna talk about about today. You know, I wanna talk about ads. I wanna talk about reels. I wanna talk about posts, like, how you’re doing them and all of that stuff so that people can get some help to how to market their own laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:03:57]:

Yeah. Alright. Awesome. Well, we’ve got a lot to jump into. So let’s start with well, should we start with some of the changes that are happening and that have happened over the last 6 months or whatever?

Brittany Centers [00:04:07]:

Yes. Absolutely. So everything on social media is changing right now.

Brittany Centers [00:04:13]:

specifically, like, today for just an example. So every time that there’s a holiday,

Brittany Centers [00:04:20]:

most of the time, there’s a an algorithm change. So, like, it And then that also goes to glitching. Like, there’s gonna be small glitches on Facebook, Instagram, even Google,

Brittany Centers [00:04:31]:

This year, I have, like, well, in the last 6 months, I’ve experienced with Google and Google AdWords, Google My Business that I have never experienced before. because everything’s changing so much. But, like, today, it took three times that I had to exit off my browser. in order to be able to log in to a laundromat owners page and

Brittany Centers [00:04:52]:

see their information. So it was glitching. It wasn’t working.

Brittany Centers [00:04:56]:

And it was just Easter. So, of course, like, they update things during a holiday. I don’t understand why they always update during a holiday. But most of the time that they they do, like, right after Christmas, there was a big algorithm change and, like, stuff stopped working. It it always happens. They pick right after like, during a holiday to update everything. Maybe they think we should all be out having fun with each other instead of being on social media. Correct. And and that’s really true. Like, most of the time people are I mean, they’re showing pictures of their family and stuff like posting, but as far as, like, really worried about their business. You know? A lot of times, it takes, like, a a back burner to their family at those times. So one of the biggest things is that just, like, posting a post It’s not it’s not enough anymore. Like, there’s so many things that you have to do. So if your picture is poor quality or then you’re not gonna get the results as you want. And when I say poor quality, I mean, like, blurry or not attractive. But at the same time, I want to let it right now that social media is not supposed to be like a commercial that see during the Super Bowl halftime show. Like, it’s supposed to be real life. People wanna know what’s actually going on in your water net. So it doesn’t have to be amazing. just can’t be blurry or, like, you know, something that, like, just doesn’t look good.

Jordan Berry [00:06:23]:

I mean, if you’re doing So no selfies for me is what you’re saying.

Brittany Centers [00:06:28]:

No. But, like, if you’re doing a remodel, like, how you need to oppose the if you’re doing a remodel, every step of the way. I mean, if you could get it to where let’s say someone that’s, like, doing a remodel for a laundromat, if you could post a story or a real and I post every single day of that remodel, like, even five times a day, then that further not the post, but for the stories. That would be fantastic because people want to see all of that. They want to see the real life stuff that’s going on. But just throwing up a picture and be like, oh, hey. We’re remodeling That that’s not working. Yeah. You also cannot use a flag words. So there’s lots of words that algorithm has gotten smart enough to know if you say when or if you say when as one example, if you say giveaway, like, those are words that The algorithm on Facebook and Instagram flags you immediately, and so they’re gonna push that down. But and a lot of people like to do contests, and contests are still very effective, you just have to know how to word it. So you have to be careful of the words that you’re using, the pictures that you’re using, all of that matters.

Jordan Berry [00:07:37]:

Oh, interesting. I didn’t know about flag words. So that’s a that’s a really interesting one. Yes. I saw it. Flag words. How do how do we find out what these flag words are?

Brittany Centers [00:07:48]:

Well, it takes lots of research, and most of the time, really working with an agency. Told you I’ve told everyone too. So, like, when, give away, But there are still ways that if you wanna do a giveaway or, like, a promotion or something, when we had a giveaway recently that for a laundry mat in Missouri, and they had I don’t know what that I think it was, like, 500 people enter that giveaway. It was it was a really good giveaway, but we know the algorithm. We know how it works, and we weren’t using any of the flag words. Mhmm.

Jordan Berry [00:08:34]:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Good. So we wanna stay away from flag words. I mean, sounds like they’re just trying to cut back on the spammy stuff. Right? So as long as you’re not being spammy, you know, you can say, hey. This could be yours. Or I don’t know. Maybe those are flag words. But, you know, like,

Brittany Centers [00:08:48]:

Just don’t be spammy. Right? Yes. Well and that’s it it’s good that you said that. So Facebook is starting to switch over, kind of like, their mimicking TikTok a little bit. Like, there’s like a it’s almost like there’s a for you page, and then there’s a following page. And so it’s like You can see, like, the business side of it and the stuff that you’re interested in, and then you can see, like, the people that you’re actually following. So they’re getting ready to split. I mean, they have, on some cases, already split it, but I think it’s gonna be even more of a divide because they’re mimicking to talk

Jordan Berry [00:09:23]:

Yeah. TikTok really changed the game a lot. I think, you know, I mean, everybody’s got like a TikTok esque component right now, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. Yeah. Obviously, TikTok.

Brittany Centers [00:09:37]:


Jordan Berry [00:09:38]:

I don’t know about LinkedIn yet. LinkedIn’s late on the game with the TikToks. Come on. I think I think LinkedIn is gonna stay the same.

Brittany Centers [00:09:46]:

Yeah. I mean, they’re obviously gonna have some changes, but LinkedIn is very much of, like, a business to business type of, like, you know, people in your industry or how they can benefit you. So I don’t think that TikTok is going to change as much. I mean, they’ve made some changes. but I think that it’s gonna be they’re not I don’t think that their goal is different than what, like, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram is. Totally.

Jordan Berry [00:10:13]:

Yeah. Totally.

Brittany Centers [00:10:15]:

Which, you know, leads me that so one of the biggest thing in the one in that world is that you need to know what platform that you’re on and how to work it. So each platform is different, and there’s so many different things that you can do. So you know, there’s stories. And the last podcast we talked about stories. So stories are, you know, short clips, pictures, videos, they’re going to reach the people that are actually following you. Like, the so that is getting repeat business. If is what I would call a story for the laundry mat world. Like, you’re reaching people that come to your laundry mat, that see yourself, and you’re enticing them to be repeat business. And then you go on to reels. So the last time that I was on here, I talked about TikTok and Reels and how TikTok is so important. To be honest, everybody is a little afraid of TikTok right now. Like, we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. Mhmm. you know, there’s no prediction for this. Like, you know, I’ve researched, looked studied, and we still just you know, there’s some people why hire up and us that are gonna make these decisions about TikTok. But at the same time, the real on Facebook and Instagram are very, very important. So if I would say to any business owner, whether you’re a laundromat owner, what no no matter what you are, you must do reels. Like, you are missing out because Facebook and Instagram, which they’re on by the same company, they want to take down TikTok. So they’ve changed their algorithm. So and and So to, like, let’s fast or let’s rewind back to, like, 2000

Jordan Berry [00:12:08]:

and 10 2 2010, 2012. Okay.

Brittany Centers [00:12:12]:

If you just posted a post out there on Facebook, then you would get loss of results like people would see because that was before everyone had jumped on. And so they are they’ve changed the algorithm for reels, that if you’re posting rails, you’re going to reach new people. Because they — Mhmm. — because they’re trying to take down TikTok, they’ve like, they make it easier for your customers and potential clients no matter what business that you’re in to see those reels. So they’re pushing reels. Like, they want people to post reels It works. I mean, you know, I have a real that I just did that got 500 likes on Instagram.

Jordan Berry [00:12:56]:

I did I did a real with my daughter, and out of nowhere. It was, like, first one we ever did. know where it got a 177,000 views. And we’re like, woah. What just happened? And I was like, light bulb moment. You know what I mean? Like, woah. That’s crazy. Yeah. I mean, you could almost do nothing else besides rules and

Brittany Centers [00:13:16]:

be okay. it you know, it’s one of those things that, like, stories disappear within 24 hours. But you’re updating, like, keeping it current, like, kinda what’s going on if there’s specials or promotions, and that’s just reaching your current clients. But reels are going to reach the people who could be your potential client. Now, obviously, your followers and stuff are gonna see your real some. But most of the time, it’s new people.

Jordan Berry [00:13:42]:

Mhmm. Yeah. And in fact, you know, so I do a little bit of research just for a lot of my resource stuff, and I actually set mine to where it doesn’t show up to my normal subscribers. I mean, you can still find them. You can go, you know, there’s a playlist for all the all the shorts and everything and the reels. their shorts on YouTube. And but I actually just set it so it doesn’t pop so it doesn’t, you know, bombard the subscribers with videos because you post them a lot more often. Can you can you talk to with it. So so okay, talk to a laundromat owner. Talk to me. I’m a laundromat owner, right? Talk to me. What what’s the difference between stories and reels in terms of like how should I be thinking of what should be a story and what should be a reel?

Brittany Centers [00:14:33]:

Okay. So a story should be like small updates or a promotion or something going on, something that you want your current clients that have entered your laundromat who know who you are to see. Like, you’re updating so a lot of the times, it’s like Okay. So, like, let for instance, let’s supplement, like, I’ll explain it like this. So, like, an email blast. Like, an email blast most of the time is to get really good customers. That’s what a story is. You’re reaching out to your customers who have already been there, who already know your stuff, and you’re updating that. A real, which there’s an overlap. Don’t get me wrong. Like, some of your customers are gonna see your reels. But most of the time, it is getting new customers. like, people to see whether you’re doing pickup delivery, whether you’re doing self-service, whether you’re doing wash or a boat. Like, it is getting those new customers. Now currently, right now, you cannot run an ad on a real. but it’s coming. They’ve already sent out, like, emails and notifications. Like, I would say within the next two months, we’ll be able to run ads on reels. And then that’s I mean, that’s honestly gonna be a game changer because so many people are seeing the reels already, new customers, like new people. And then once you can specifically target people with those reels, and define it down. I mean, it it’s a game changer in my opinion.

Jordan Berry [00:16:08]:

Yeah. Maybe I’ll run some ads just to make people look at my face. or

Brittany Centers [00:16:13]:

something. You should probably do that. Just to torment them.

Jordan Berry [00:16:17]:

No. I no. Thank you for breaking that down because I think, you know, I you know, it it’s it can get all confusing. Right? There’s all these different things. I mean, without really looking too far into it, you look at a story and you look at a reel and you’re It’s basically the same thing except her story disappears. Right? So how do I know what to post on each? And

Brittany Centers [00:16:39]:

real so and I’m glad that you said that because real is very important with the music. So you can have, like, the original sound, but you also need reels with trending music because, you know and, really, if you think about this, like, this is the first time that people have been able to use, like, songs from people and not get, like because, you know, if you say you go and film a video, and you people said, as like a video on Facebook or Instagram, then you’re gonna get the copyright law thing, and it’s gonna take this all the sound out. but real the music, it’s trending. And so you have to like, we have, like, a spreadsheet that we monitor every week of the the music that’s trending. And we watch, like, how many reels have been posted. And so the more reels that are posted with that sound, the more results it’s gonna get. Mhmm. So with the reels, you have to watch the sound. And, I mean, the sound is very important. for training purposes. And we do both. I mean, we do, like, original sound, and then we also do like, the or original audio, I mean, and then also the trend in sounds. And we study all of that because, you know, we have to now.

Jordan Berry [00:17:59]:

Yeah. I mean, because it changes so fast. Right? I mean, like you were just saying, like, you can’t put other people’s music on your videos, but you can’t almost not put other people’s audio on your on your reels. Right? Like so it’s kinda, you know, you gotta keep track of that stuff, and You know? Okay. So listen. We’re we’re in the laundromat business here. We’re we’re stodgy old laundromat owners. We as a group as a whole. Obviously, not a hard and fast rule, but as a as a group and as a whole, we we kinda buck the trend. Right? That’s part of why we’re in this business. Right? We we’re we’re not trend setters. We’re not trend followers. So, I mean, Do we have to pay attention to these trends? Or, like, what’s the what’s the way around this? What, like, what can we do here?

Brittany Centers [00:18:51]:

you have to do it. Okay. I mean, just Or hire somebody to do it for you. Right? Correct. I mean, like, And that’s what I meant. Like, either you hire someone to do it or you do it on your own. I so we a center social for just laundry mat owners. We’re doing about 35 reels a week for laundry mats. And some of those laundromats are only getting 1 real per week. I mean, so we have a lot of customers that are doing rails. And, I mean, you know, whether you’re doing it yourself or whether you’re hiring someone to do it, like, it is the most important thing on social media that you could be doing except for ads we’re gonna talk about in a a few minutes. But yes.

Jordan Berry [00:19:34]:

Can I throw in, like, a little this is just a little idea that just popped into my head. So and it it kinda combines with Okay. I I need this is gonna sound weird because we’re talking about Reels right now, but I need a quick disclaimer. This is not Financial advice is not tax advice. I’m not a CPA. Go talk to your CPA blah blah blah. Right? But I was talking with a CPA who was not giving you specific advice was just talking to me and saying that, hey. You know, you can You can pay your kids. I think they said, you know, if if they work for you, if you you can basically kinda hire your kids, You can pay them. I think it was up to, like, $12,500 per year tax free if they’re if they’re working for you. Right? And, you know, what popped into my head was my daughter who’s 9, and Brittany, you and I were talking about this. She’s got her own YouTube channel, and she’s been making her own video. She just crossed a 100 subscribers super excited about it. And the thing that crossed my mind was like, hey. I bet my dark could help me out with these reels. Like, I I bet you know, I could get her thinking about, you know, just the trend. I mean, she she likes all the little trends and, you know, all that stuff, and I can’t for the life of me. Like, Yeah. Keep up with all of it. Right? But pay her to do that for me and to pay attention for me, maybe even film some of those videos for me because let’s face it. People would rather see her cute face than mine. Yes. Absolutely.

Brittany Centers [00:21:00]:

And so, you know, I have experienced this. My my son so we have a reptile business, which we talked about it the the last time on the podcast. and it’s grown a lot since the last time. But he since December, he has gone viral multiple times on Instagram and TikTok. Yeah. How do you found his chameleons?

Jordan Berry [00:21:25]:

something about those kids. You know what I mean? But, I mean, you know, here’s here’s the thing is, like, there there is power in being seen. Right? And if it’s for your if it’s for your business specifically, you know, I know you you guys breed reptiles. Right? And you know, that’s really great exposure for your reptile business. And, you know but let’s bring it back to laundromat. owners here. You know, being seen, there’s just a power in that. Right? And and you see, like, these like, these movie stars, like, you think of, like, the Kardashians. Right? And they somehow got famous, but then they you know, some of them turned I don’t really know any of their names. But I know for a fact that some of them turned their fame because they were seeing they were known into like huge wealth. Right? Like, huge amounts of money. And you look around and you see people who are known, who are seen, who are able to leverage that, you know, and turn it into a business or to, you know, improve their business, grow their business, scale their business. So there’s a power in being seen there. So Being on top of the trends, actually, you know, for for those of us in the business that, you know, that’s sort of against our nature, man, just recognize the power in that and find creative ways to do it hire somebody to do it for you or hire a kid to do it for you or what you know, whatever you gotta do, but there’s power in that. Yes.

Brittany Centers [00:22:56]:

So, Kit so, recently, we started a center social. Like, we started offering different packages and changing it up a little bit, and then especially with, like, filming and videos. So we have, like, a fee where we can send someone in to take the videos and what we want. or we walk you through the process and of how you can do it. Because with real like, here’s what some people don’t understand is that with rails, like, we have to have updated content all of the time. Mhmm. And I say all the time, but I’m not all the time, but all in because we we needed to be able to post. And so, like, we’ve started working with a lot of distributors recently, and they have, like, sheet folding machines, and they had or they’re selling the sheet folding machines, and they’re selling, like, the machines that make the cake with the hydraulic press had not have all that existed until, you know, the Oh, the Clean Show. That’s where I figured out, like, all of this stuff really existed. But so, I mean, really, you need a 10 second video. So that’s important thing about the real is that, right,

Jordan Berry [00:24:11]:


Brittany Centers [00:24:12]:

3 months ago, they the perfect time for reals was 16 seconds. Now it’s between it’s about 6 seconds. yeah, batch. No. I mean, next month that could totally be completely different. So But, yes, like, short videos, want clients to send us stuff. And then, you know, oh, well, going back to what you’re saying is that, like, If you have a kid, I mean, they’re creative mostly because I’ve lived in the world of technology and — Yeah. And so they know, like, they can totally take the videos. And then whether they could either I mean, if they’re really capable, then they could edit them and post them or send them to the agency that the laundromat is working with, and they could add them use the sound, you know, know all the keywords and everything, and then post it.

Jordan Berry [00:25:04]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think it’s I think it’s super interesting. Just kinda how everything’s changing, you know, all the time in the in the digital world. And, you know, longer mats, until recently, we’re we’re Not a we’re not a big bunch of changers. Right? And things are, you know, things are changing here too now. But, you know, I I think it’s more and more important that we stay on top of what going on in the world. Right? And it’s I mean, obviously, it’s not just, you know, with social media and what Google’s doing and stuff like that. You know? We just went through a pandemic, and everything changed. And, you know, so we we’ve gotta really the whole the whole world has changed in all the time. So we’ve gotta stay on top of some of this stuff and and be paying attention and be reacting accordingly,

Brittany Centers [00:25:52]:

I bet. Yes. I mean, absolutely, like, you know, I had when the pandemic hit, I had a nine year old and then or nine year old. I don’t even have a nine year a nine month old. and also got pregnant literally March of 2020. And — Oh. — so what I realized recently is that well, in the last year, as the world is opening up, like, my middle child, he had no idea how to go to a restaurant.

Jordan Berry [00:26:19]:


Brittany Centers [00:26:20]:

He had no idea, like, how to do any of that stuff. But now he’s learning, like, you know — Mhmm. — we are getting to that point where we can go out and eat, we can go to church, all that stuff. But, yes, you’re right. Right. Like, how much the world has changed, even in the ornament world, you know, something that I hear often is about guest prices with laundromats and the electricity. And then we’ve had lots of clients recently that have had, like, break ins you know, we had one client who they broke into their laundromat and stole all the copper out of their laundromat. So, yeah, I mean, there’s there is so many changes, and I think that a lot of it is from the pandemic because there’s so many more costs that people don’t realize men.

Jordan Berry [00:27:10]:

Yeah. Let’s be like the kids who are adapting to a new life after the pandemic where they didn’t really remember what it was like before that, and let’s adapt along with them as world changes with that. Alright. So what other tips do you have for, like, getting seen online? because, I mean, like I said, there’s power and being seen. So you got any other tips for us?

Brittany Centers [00:27:33]:

ads. So, you know, I in the Watermount world, I’ve watched so many podcasts in the and just with just in the Watermount And I’ve listened to I mean, I’ve listened to all different types. You know, I’ve read websites the I get all the emails from, like, the different types of laundromat,

Jordan Berry [00:27:53]:

industry, people, not interested names or anything like that. but the most important thing. I’ll throw them all into the bus. Wait. Are you are you talking about me, though? Hold on. Time out. Are you referencing me? This is your third time on. You can’t be referencing me. Come on. Alright. Go ahead. Continue. No. Okay. Okay.

Brittany Centers [00:28:11]:

But ads, like, no one in the Watermount world really talking about ads and on social media. And, I mean, you you have to do ads at this point. Like, you you don’t have an option. Now I’m not saying that you have to spend an astronomical amount of money. Like, you don’t. you know, I have I mean, I’ve had clients that have paid $25100 for 1 month just ad spend. Like, just ad spend. And their that was their grand opening, and their revenue increased, like and, I mean, an astronomical amount. But also, like, I have clients that are spending, like, $50, you know, if they’re in a smaller area. Mhmm. a month on ads or a $100 or a 150 or $200. And but the thing is is that just like everything else in the world is changing, and all prices are going up. So, like, now you Having a social media presence and not running ads is almost pointless.

Jordan Berry [00:29:20]:

Man, that was that was like a very heavy statement. Okay. Can you unpack that a little bit? So you said Having social presence and not running ads is almost pointless. Can you unpack that a little bit? Why is that?

Brittany Centers [00:29:34]:

Because Well, for 1, you know, social media, everybody’s trying to make money. Like, the platforms are trying to make money. And there’s so many people on those platforms now, and they switched as we talked about earlier, you know, like, there’s the almost like the for you page and then you know, like your family and and, like, your people that you wanna see and then the businesses. And so you are competing with so many people and used to organically, you can get some reach. Now you still get reach with the reels, which is why reels are so impactful. Mhmm. But As far as and then you for ads, you have to go on the back end. Like so everybody now well, no. there’s this new thing called Meta Meta Business Suite. And in order to see your numbers, like, on your actual social media, you have to switch over to Meta Business suite, and it’s not easy to always get there. So, like, right now, some of our client’s pages, there’s a it’ll say on the left hand side switch, and then it’ll say, like, a bar across the top, like, switch. And one of the buttons will not always work. Hence back to how social media is glitching. but you have to actually switch to go into meta business suite to see your real numbers. And so one of the other things about ads and stuff is that in laundromats. So laundromats I mean, we all know this. We’re all in the laundromat business. LoundedMaths are not always very exciting. And if it is exciting, it’s probably not a good thing. Like, you’re probably, like, it’s broken into or something like that. Yeah. And people aren’t always going to biker posts or comment. I mean, they do sometimes, but you know, if you’re a restaurant, like, or, you know, like, a place that has a lot of music or something like that, like, if people are gonna comment a lot easier than what you were with the laundromat. And so my biggest stressor to people is that you’ve got to know your back end numbers. So, like, it could look like five people have liked your comments or liked your post in a month. But if you go into the back end, then I mean, literally, this happened today. they had reached 17,000 people in the last 28 days. Mhmm. So but that’s part of the ad. So when you’re running the ads, you’re targeting people. And with laundromats, you know, there’s self-service, there’s. There’s pick up and delivery. And so each ad is different, and that’s how you’re target people based on their demographic with each, you know, whether it’s self-service, watch our folder, pick up the delivery. But yes. ads are something that you must be doing because if not, then you’re not going to be rich in people. And I’m not talking about a boosted post. A boosted post is I mean, it’s a boosted post. You’re gonna get a little bit results by that, but you have to go into the actual met a business, and the ads manager, and actually create the ads to get the best results. Is that — Yeah. Do you understand? I I agree with that totally.

Jordan Berry [00:32:43]:

Here’s the other thing about ads. Okay? Like, this Okay. So we’ve been talking about the power being seen and going viral and, you know, even, like, laundromat viral. You know, it might be, like, 1000 or 2000 views, you know, the laundromatfiro. But all the unless you’re investment, Joy. Brandon killing it with the 100 of 1000. But here’s the thing about ads. Right? So so when you go viral with the real or you just get more views than normal with the real or something like that. You know, the thing about that is those can be people all over the place, which is awesome. If you’re an online brand or, you know, you’re something that’s location independent, we’re very, like, hyperlocal businesses. Right? So, you know, Britney seeing my, you know, me dancing on top of my washing machine to the latest trend, you know, for my at my laundromat is awesome and hilarious because I’m such a bad dancer or whatever. But not really gonna help my business. Right? No. Not not so well, it could. Yes. It could. But but My point is is that when you run an ad, it’s like you can force your content to go viral by running the ad. and you can do it exactly to the people that you want it to go to. So specifically targeting with an arrow. Yeah. So I’m not gonna run my ad to Britney unless I’m really trolling her, which now that I’m thinking about it, I might geo fence your house

Brittany Centers [00:34:12]:

and just run ads to you all the time. I am probably the other around. I should because, you know, you have a reptile. Like, I should kill fences. That’s right. That’s right.

Jordan Berry [00:34:22]:

Alright. We’re we’re about to get in an ad trolling war. can be great. But,

Brittany Centers [00:34:26]:

yes, that’s the the most important thing about ads. So, like, for self-service, if there are apartment complexes near you, like, You know? And most of the time, for self-service, you’re targeting lower income, families and individuals. And so when you’re running the ads, you’re targeting that those people, like, in apartment complexes. And then within, like, a certain radius of, you know, where you’re located. And that changes based on states. You know? In California, I don’t know. We have I don’t know. We have between 20 to 30 clients in California now. I can’t don’t actually know off the top of my head. But so in California, like, especially LA, I mean, you’re targeting, like, a mile, 2 miles. You go to — Maybe. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. But you go to Tennessee or in Kentucky. I mean, you’re targeting like, I the town that I live in there’s or the county I live in actually, there’s one laundromat. And the city itself has, like, 30,000 people. So Yes. Like, you can target people up to, like, 25, 30 miles radius. So it’s always, like, important. That’s why I was studying whenever we work able to know your demographic, which almost I mean, all wondering that owners know the demographic, and their ZIP pills with their card and stuff. But that’s how, like, you you know, like, how to narrow it down because you, like, study everything, you know, self-service picking and delivery shuffle. That’s all different. And with ads, you can target those individuals specifically. Like, washer I felt, it’s gonna be most of the time not always, but most of the time, like, the middle of the road income. Pick them in delivery, it’s gonna be, like, the we are targeting, like, the higher income, like, the top 10% within your area or the top 25% within your area. because those are the people that can you’re you’re basing everything on, like, what they can afford. Mhmm. But with self-service, you’re basing it on will have times, like, what they need because they don’t have, you know, washer and dryer.

Jordan Berry [00:36:39]:

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. And I I mean, I think that goes right to your point of, hey. They’re different. You’ve got different audiences. You need to run different ads. depending on self serve, drop off laundry, pick up and delivery laundry, target those people specifically, both in terms of who they are as a person, and and their demographic and also where they’re located.

Brittany Centers [00:37:04]:

Yes. Definitely. And — Yeah. — that’s the greatest thing about social media is that, you know, with Google, most of the time, like, we’re using Google AdWords. Like, they have to be searching for but they have to be trying to find you most of the time. But with social media, you can target people that don’t even know that you’re there, but they need you. Mhmm. And then you’re enticing them to enter your business or drop off their laundry or use pickup and delivery.

Jordan Berry [00:37:32]:

Yeah. I would argue that the greatest thing about social media is cat memes, but maybe a close second is that. I don’t know. It’s close. It’s close. Actually, I don’t really don’t like cats, so I’ll go with yours. Okay. Yeah. So, I mean, ads, super important. And and like you said, I mean, you don’t have to just jump jump all the way in to spending, you know, 100 or even 1000 of dollars. No. you know, into these ads. And in fact, you know, running ads is a little bit art and a little bit science. Right? Takes a little bit of time for ads to to run through. So if you’ve tried ads and you maybe you tried them for a month or 2 months, and you weren’t seeing the results or you couldn’t figure out if they were working not, which is one of the problems of running that specifically for self serve, is that it’s really difficult to see and to know if it’s actually working and how well it’s working or not.

Brittany Centers [00:38:31]:

Well, I mean, I almost been to differ a little bit with self-service.

Jordan Berry [00:38:37]:

Baked to differ than do it. I do. I’m sorry. If you wanna be wrong, that’s fine. No. I’m just kidding.

Brittany Centers [00:38:43]:

The self-service is one of the easiest or is the easiest out of Wash Raphael picking delivery to determine about social media? Because you just study like, if we’re wearing the ads correctly. And once again, I I know I said this, but I’m gonna say it again, boosting a post is not really an ad. I mean, it’s an ad on social media. you’re boosting it, you’re paying money for it. But it’s I mean, there’s so much more capabilities on the back end of such a million. But self-service is the easiest way to tell if social media is working or not.

Jordan Berry [00:39:15]:

How do you know? Like, how do you know if people responding to your ad or not. Because you’re going to become a breeze. Okay. Yeah. But but here’s here’s my point is I I don’t disagree with that. I think it’s hard. I think it’s harder to attribute that than if you said, hey. Come do come drop off your laundry. Use this promo code and — Yes. You know what I mean? Or do pick up a delivery, use this promo code? Now I know the ad were I know they used it, and I know specifically where that customer came from. Self serve, you could see the income increase, but you don’t. No. No. I mean, you can infer, but you don’t know, no, that they came from that ad. I guess that’s my point. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong there too. Well, correct. Welcome to be wrong. No. No. No. Yeah. I mean, you’re not wrong. But at the same time, like, it’s easier to get self-service customers

Brittany Centers [00:40:07]:

Right. Yes. Which way that you’re you’re not asking them to spend as much money. It’s like — Yeah. — one of the hardest industries in social media is real estate. because you’re asking someone to spend, you know, like, 100 of 1000 of dollars. So anytime that on social media, if you’re asking people to spend, like, more the more money you’re asking them to spend, the harder it is at the To convert them. Yeah. Yes. Now you can track the conversions with with, like, washer iPhone — Yes. — and especially pick them delivery. I mean, pick them in delivery is very easy track because you’re running an ad. You’re directing them to the website, and they’re using, you know, whatever engine delivery system, whether it be, like, cents, curbside, or clean cloud, those are just 3, you know, like, kinda mine. And so you can track all of that in the links, and then you can also use Google Analytics. As far as that is, you’re right. Self service is the hardest to track. It’s like a trail.

Jordan Berry [00:41:08]:

Yep. Yes. Hardest to track is to convert. I’m glad I was a little nervous. I’ll be honest with you when you begged to differ with me that I was gonna be wrong in front of all of my friends. No. No. Being embarrassed.

Brittany Centers [00:41:19]:

I just think that it’s You’re also right, Laci. Yeah. It’s easy to get self-service customers. Yes. Then it is to get washed out and pick a delivery. Well, and I think part of that too is that

Jordan Berry [00:41:30]:

specifically for pickup and delivery, but also I think for drop off laundry, There’s a little bit of an education factor in there too. Not everybody knows that they can drop their laundry off and have somebody else do it. And definitely not everybody knows that they can you know, fill out a form online and somebody will come to their house and pick up their laundry — Yes. — wash it, fold it, and bring it back to them. And so, you know, I I mean, I think for sure, I think you’re dead on. Like, the more money you’re asking people to spend, the lower your conversion rate, But, also, there’s that education factor where you gotta say, hey. Did you know? Yes. We’ll actually just come to your house and grab the laundry from you and You don’t even have to think about it until we drop it off,

Brittany Centers [00:42:13]:

all folded and clean for you. Smelling good, ready for you to look sharp. You know, that’s the power of social media. Like, say a CEO of a major company, they’re probably super busy. They have no idea that their laundry most of the time, they have no idea that their laundry could be like, they just it it’s just gonna be done for them. Someone’s gonna pick it up. Someone’s gonna deliver it. and they have almost nothing to do. And that’s the power of social media because we’re targeting people that could use the service, but don’t even know it. it’s there.

Jordan Berry [00:42:47]:

Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And here’s a little hack for you. huge high level CEOs out there. Why don’t you just go buy laundromat and start to pick up delivery? And then you don’t have to worry about it at all, and you don’t have to pay for it. It’s great. group? Just kidding. Use your local laundromat pickup and delivery service and support your local laundromat. you bigwig CEOs that are listening to this podcast right now. Like Britney, you’re kind of you’re kind of the demographic here. You’re a bigwig CEO of Center Social. So, I guess — I mean,

Brittany Centers [00:43:22]:

maybe I have — Kind of — — kind of big deal. — 3 small boys that have lots and lots and lots and laundry. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:43:30]:

Yes. We do all know that kids are filthy, disgusting creatures. So — Yes. — slash our best customers.

Brittany Centers [00:43:38]:

Yes. but that’s very true. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:43:42]:

Yeah. Awesome. I mean, yeah, a lot going on right now. There’s a lot of A lot of things changing, algorithms are always changing. You know, the the landscape is always changing. Right now, it’s still hot to be posting those shorts, reels, TikToks to get that exposure. But, also, I mean, like you said, and it’s been this way for a while, but, you know, running those ads is is a big deal. And I would say, hey. Listen. If you’re if you’re pretty new to run-in ads, number 1, I mean, you got you’ve got a couple of options. you know, you can either go learn all this stuff yourself and then spend a lot of money, you know, figuring it out, which is fine because you’re gonna end up spending a lot of money figuring out how to run ads or you can hire somebody to do it. There’s no right or wrong way. There’s some d u i wires, and there’s some, hey. I’m gonna get it done by somebody who already knows. No right or wrong way there. But Either way, like, get started now because I think, you know, like, what Britney was saying, I think there’s gonna be a a small window for a huge opportunity to start to get in early and start running those ads on the reels, the shorts, the TikToks and running those those ads and get in front of the people in your neighborhoods and whether that’s, you know, getting them to come to your self serve laundromat or if it’s getting them to come, you know, and try out your drop off laundry or or pick up a delivery laundry service. So but but be don’t experiment on that. Try to be ready for when that when that pops up and and jump on that early. And, I mean, I think there’s gonna be you know, ad costs are gonna be low and your views are gonna be high. early on, and those, you know, those will start inverting over time where the ad costs will continue to rise in your your impressions are gonna be lower

Brittany Centers [00:45:37]:

down the line. So get in early on that. Yes. And that’s one thing that I would like to say. Like, if you’re on the laundromat for 30, 20 years or whatever. Like, just because it’s working, like I mean, the the world is changing. You know? millennials and all these other generations. Like, how are you gonna reach those people? Like, just word-of-mouth and that you’ve been here forever. it’s gonna stop working.

Jordan Berry [00:46:02]:

Yeah. And, you know, just to kind of speak to that veteran demographic to you know, it’s the whole old dog new tricks. Well, number 1, don’t be an old dog. And but number 2 is, you know, even just think it in terms of the value of your laundromat. At some point, you’re gonna wanna exit that laundromat, and the value of your laundromat is gonna be higher. if your demographic isn’t aging with you. Right? You and and you see that a lot in you know, like, I grew up in churches and stuff, and you see there’s, like, a generation that kinda gets up, and then you see these churches that are like old churches, and there’s not a lot of young people anymore. But it’s because they weren’t able to kind of, you know, speak to upcoming generations in a way. you know, that resonated with them. And the same is true with businesses. I see us with businesses all the time too, where if, you know, you you lose your demographic if you’re not keeping up with with the trends. Not necessarily of social media. You don’t have to necessarily keep up with the social media trends, have somebody else do that for you. But just keeping up with the trends of, hey. What matters to what what matters to younger generations too. So — Yes. — just keep that in mind, I guess.

Brittany Centers [00:47:17]:

Yes. I agree.

Jordan Berry [00:47:19]:

Awesome. You got anything else for us before we wrap this up. This has been awesome.

Brittany Centers [00:47:23]:

I am good, but — Okay. — you know, if anyone has any questions, you can feel free, you know, to reach out to me or Yeah. You wanna drop your email address? I’ll put it in the show notes too. But — Yes. Is [email protected]@centersocialdot

Jordan Berry [00:47:41]:

com. Okay. And what’s your website?

Brittany Centers [00:47:44]:

Jordan Berry [00:47:46]:

Okay. I’ll put all of that in the show notes. And then also, I’m mentioned this. I say that, but I haven’t yet, but I will mention this. And you will have already heard it in the intro that we’re gonna do a webinar just talking about social media and advertising on May 3rd, 4 o’clock Pacific time, best coast time, 7 o’clock. East Coast time, least coast time. That’s May 3rd. We’re gonna do a webinar on social media and advertising. So come join us. We’ll do some q and a. At the end of that, you could talk with Britney. You can listen to my sweet sweet voice as I ask Britney questions. or just listen to Brittany. But, yeah, come hang out with us. That’ll be fun.

Brittany Centers [00:48:30]:

Thank you, Jordan.

Jordan Berry [00:48:31]:

Thank you, and I’m looking forward to that. And for the rest of you guys, hopefully, you got something good out of that. Go, you know, jump into this this marketing thing. I know it’s not been a big topic in our industry forever. almost never, but it is becoming more and more of a big deal. And I am seeing like, I have I have this cool privilege of being able to talk to laundromat owners all over, really, the world, but all over the country or all over the hemisphere. And, you know, I am seeing more and more people utilizing social media marketing, Google advertising, social media advertising. for their laundromats. It’s not necessarily. And if you build it, they will come world anymore, and it’s moving more and more away from that world and more and more to just a little more competition there. So don’t get left behind. jump in on that game. And Brittany, once again, always always a pleasure, and can’t wait to do the webinar with you. Thank you. Alright. Another incredible episode with Britney, so much good stuff in there. And man, here’s my big takeaway is number 1, you gotta be doing this. stuff. You gotta be doing some advertising. You gotta be posting on social. You’ve gotta get your business in front of eyeballs. That is critical and consistency is key. So that’s my one big takeaway. Consistency is key and just do it, Nike. Not sponsored by Nike. I don’t know why I just said that. Nike sponsored me. I don’t know why they would, but, you know, I don’t know. Michael Jordan of Laundromats? Jordan Barry of lawn? I don’t know. Okay. Anyways, that’s my big takeaway. Listen, every episode. Pick one thing. Whether you own a laundromat yet or not, pick one thing. There’s tons of stuff in here. that you can put into action this week, put it into action. Remember, it’s that action that’s gonna help you achieve your goals. It’s gonna lead you to success. So pick something, put it into action, maybe go share it on the forums, automate And we will see you in next week’s episode, which is a doozy. Alright. We’ll see you guys then peace.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 116 with Lauren Burkoski

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

Hey, what’s up guys? It’s Jordan with the Lawn about resource podcast. This is show 116 and I am pumped to hear today because today’s guest Lauren Burkoski is her second time on but her and I have been scheming secretly behind the scenes for quite some time now and what we are doing is I’m very excited about I’m very very excited about I’m gonna tell you about that in a second, but real quick, this interview is incredible. I was just looking over the notes. Couple of the things that we talk about today is, well, number 1, she found her number 4 laundromat and she works full-time and is running now 4 laundromats and is killing it. And we talk about advertising and marketing, which that’s what she does for her day job. We talk about how to own a laundromat an hour away. We talk about how to find a manager, hiring tips, how to train employees, how to navigate pricing with close competitors. I mean, we talk about a whole bunch of stuff in this episode, which I’m super excited about. So many practical things that we talk about. However, what I’m most excited about is what we’ve been scheming about, which is, you know, we’ve been talking how there’s not a whole lot of things out there for women in this industry. And Lauren is very excited to do something about that. And so our first sort of foray into helping sort of get women in this industry connected with each other is we’re going to hook while she’s going to host a meetup on me. I’m not invited because I’m not a woman, although I do have a girl’s name. So I don’t know, maybe I can sneak in. Well, we’re gonna, I don’t know, she’s gonna host a meetup on May 18. For women in the industry, or if you’re a woman who wants to get into the industry, that also you can join that. And so very excited about that. That is May 18. You can find out information about that and sign up for it at slash events. So head over there and sign up for that. If you’re a woman in the industry and you are interested in that bookmark it on your calendar, you’re not going to want to miss it. You also should be, if it’s between now and May 18th, 2023, you should be able to just go to and there should be a sign up right on top of the page there. So go sign up for that. It’s going to be very cool. Very, very excited about it. And okay. I’ve said excited like 6 times. So I am excited though. And there’s lucky 7. All right. 1 more thing that I am very excited about. I don’t know, I’m just excited right now. I’m just very excited. But 1 more thing, and this is today’s Fastlane tip, is the day before that meetup, so this is May 17th, 2023, we have our next mastermind induction, which is a mastermind group is just a small group of people who have a similar mindset who are heading in the same direction. So if you’re in this industry, you’re trying to get in the industry And you want to be in a group of maybe 3 to 5 other people that meet on a regular basis to help everybody achieve their goals quicker, whether you own laundromats now, or you’re trying to get into the business, the mastermind might be the best and biggest tool that you have in order to help you achieve those goals faster. And you know, the whole Jim Rome, I think it’s Jim Rome quote, you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. You got to be in proximity with people who can help you get to where you’re trying to go in life. And Mastermind Group is the best way. I’ve mentioned before, I’ve paid a lot of money to be in Mastermind Groups over the years and do still currently right now. This 1 is included with the pro community. So if you’re interested in joining a mastermind group, head over to slash pro and go check that out over there. If you have any questions, let me know. All right. All right. That’s it. Let’s jump into it with Lauren Borkoski. Don’t forget May 18th, women in the industry meet up, which I’m very excited about, as you know, and go sign up for that. Okay, let’s jump into it with Lauren. Lauren, welcome back on the show. Super, super pumped that you’re here. How you doing? Thanks so much, Jordan, doing great. Yeah, yeah, I am super excited to have you back on. I know, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on. We kind of talked, well, I kind of talk about, I’m predicting the future here, but I talk about it in the intro when I go and record it later. And a lot of cool stuff happening in the industry right now and a lot of cool stuff happening with you right now in your personal businesses, a lot of cool stuff happening with us right now. We’re trying to do some cool stuff together. So exciting, exciting times. Yeah, yeah. But Since, well, real quick, you know, I was going to say, since you’ve been on, you’ve had some cool stuff happening that we’re going to talk about, but why don’t you give us just in case, you know, people haven’t heard your last interview, why don’t you give us a little background, which by the way, is, it’s like number 2 or 3 or something of the most downloaded episodes of the podcast, which is pretty crazy.

Lauren Berkoski [00:05:11]:

Yeah, I was kind of amazed when you shared that that stat with me, didn’t totally did not expect that in terms of like how many people would be interested in my story and getting into the laundromat business and you know sharing some of my experience which is a little bit unique but definitely you know with owning right now we actually purchased another laundromat location since we last spoke. So now we have 4 locations throughout the central Pennsylvania area, which is really cool And we are continuing to grow our laundry service business. So we operate that 1 of our 1 of our laundromats and we are looking to grow our in-store wash and fold business. So there’s a lot going on. I first got into the laundromat business for those that haven’t watched the other podcast episode. I got into it just by my family. Basically, my father ran laundromats until he passed away And then my mom and I came into the the picture and took those over and we’ve been running them ever since. And I have since purchased a location from my mom and I’m running that independently. And then I run the other 3 stores in partnership with my mom. So.

Jordan Berry [00:06:32]:

Crazy, crazy. I mean, all of that while I mean, you work a

Lauren Berkoski [00:06:39]:

full time job, right? Is that right? So in addition to the laundromat duties, I actually have a couple other jobs, right? So I have a mom of 2, so that’s a whole other job on its own. And then I actually work as a marketing consultant for like my 9 to 5. So I’ve been doing that for about 12 years now, which is crazy to say. I’ve worked with a number of different clients actually across the world doing things from like a CPG to energy. You name it in terms of the marketing tactics and what I did for clients. It’s really interesting in terms of what I’ve been able to do behind the scenes in addition to running my laundromat. So.

Jordan Berry [00:07:26]:

Yeah. Well, I feel like, okay. So, I mean, you mentioned already, you bought your fourth laundromat, right? And you’re kind of ramping up, trying to ramp up some drop-off laundry or some wash and fold, fluff and fold. Whatever we want to call it. We need to standardize that. Can we all unite together somehow, all of us, everyone and pick a name for that? I think that would just simplify everything. So let’s figure out a way to standardize that service that we offer. It would definitely help with my Google ad budgets. Yeah, exactly. We’re all spending too much money because we got to hit like 7 keywords for that. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, you’re doing all that while being a mom, while working full time. And I kind of feel like when you buy your fourth laundromat, kind of feels like, you know, like you have a kid, it’s like life-changing, it’s crazy. You have a second 1 and it’s like, well, I already have 1. So, you know, it’s not a big deal. But there’s 1 like at number 3 or number 4, probably number 3 where now the kids outnumber the parents and you’re like, okay, we’re not man to man anymore. We’re zone defense kind of thing. Right, and I feel like that fourth laundromat is almost like that third kid where you’re like, you can kind of manage 1, 2, maybe 3, 3 is kind of on the border there. And 4 is like a different level in my mind for some reason. Is that true for you? Has that proven to be the case? Is it too soon to tell?

Lauren Berkoski [00:09:00]:

Well, no, we, so we’ve actually purchased it in August last year. So we have, I, what is that like, is that 6, 6 months approximately since we purchased? And I, I mean, I agree with you. I would say we, so we did at 1 point have another fourth laundry, however, and we, we sold that. Um, it just, that, that wasn’t the right fit for us in terms of like the location and things like that. So we have a little bit of experience. That was a different, that was more of a little bit of a mom and pop store, not as large as this fourth location. But it definitely being, so the other factor here is it’s an hour from our house. So all of our other laundries were between like 15 minutes to 40, 45 minutes or so. So that extra, I think 15 minutes, you know, believe it or not, driving down there, right. And back twice a week at this point is, is how frequently we’re going to that store. Um, It definitely was a, you know, it’s a change and it’s more time and more effort. However, I feel like we have gotten so good in terms of our systems, our finances, how we run and operate a store. It felt like, okay, we can definitely do, you know, do this and take this on as a challenge. And the store itself was actually, you know, operating really well in terms of like how, how the store was, was being managed. We’ve changed a few things, but nothing crazy. So we knew we were walking into something that was like, okay, this is, you know, making money, it has a staff. 1 of the staff members ended up retiring, which was totally fine. And we actually ended up bringing somebody else on who’s like a part-time manager who is really great, a really great resource. So I would say without, you know, our knowledge and our experience and like how our operations blueprint, if you want to call it, and probably that part, that assistant manager, right? Like we wouldn’t be as successful as we are. But overall, the store is thriving. It’s doing well. It does have some really close competition, which has been interesting because some of our other stores don’t have that close competition in terms of proximity. So we’ve had to tread a little bit lightly in terms of like pricing and adjustments there. We actually purchased the laundromat from another owner, from the owner. He had another laundromat in town. So he has 2 locations and He sold 1. So we’re still in contact with him. You know, we’re in communication with them around pricing. We don’t want to price ourselves out because they are they are pretty close and in terms of proximity, but overall That’s doing well I did have a really I had an interesting experience happen again. If you listen to my previous podcast, I talked about Christmas Eve of what would that be like 2021? Yes. Christmas year 2021. My laundromat had like a total sewer backup, had to go down there, clean it up, shut down the store for like several days to get our entire sewer line replaced. And I jokingly said like, oh, ha ha, nothing bad can happen again this year, the sewer sucks. And literally our newest location, the 1 we just purchased, unfortunately got so cold here in Pennsylvania. I think it was about negative, it felt like negative 13 and we had a water leak, a water break on Christmas Eve. So yeah, I feel like I jinxed myself, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought. We thought like the whole store needed shut down, but it ended up just being 1 washer. So like knocking on wood right now. Did the pipe free? I don’t understand. It did. I don’t really know how all that works cause I’ve never been in that cold of weather before. Yeah, yeah, you’re spoiled, but It normally, you know, I will say it, it was very, it was really cold. It normally doesn’t get that cold and stay that cold. And it was, it was in the, it felt like the negatives, um, for, I think over 24 hours. And I think that’s why like our, you know, our laundromat wasn’t able to sustain the heat behind the washer. So now we have a electric heater back there for the days that gets really cold.

Jordan Berry [00:13:42]:

That’s so wild. Yeah. That would never even cross my mind to have to do something like that. Yeah. All right, can we back up a little bit? You just said a lot of stuff and I was like, oh, I need to ask about this. I did, that was supposed to be the introduction. And you’re trying to like fiercely write down like, what are the questions I need to ask? So, Okay, well, let’s back up to this fourth 1 real quick. Okay, first of all, how did you come across this laundromat? How’d you find it? So we came across it online,

Lauren Berkoski [00:14:11]:

actually. Believe it or not, 1 of those like buy, biz, sell websites. For me, I’ve had some really bad leads on there, right, or brokers that just like weren’t, it wasn’t the right fit for us. But I try to, I try to go on there few times a month, just check out and see what the marketplace looks like. It was really funny. Both my mom and I saw the ad like on the same day, we must’ve been looking. And like I had reached out and she actually had reached out to, to the broker and he was like, hey, are you guys the same people? We have the same last name. Yeah. Yeah. And we’re like, yes, we work together. So it, you know, we first reached out, signed the, gave him the information that we needed to get some of the numbers. That looked good on paper. You know, we, we had some conversations with the owner in terms of like why he was selling, what his experience was like running the laundromat, which he actually had Ryan with his father. So I think that that was kind of an interesting situation. Some parallels there. And he had, he, like I said, um, he was running 2 stores at the time and he was looking to retire. So

Jordan Berry [00:15:39]:

yeah. So you found it online. So, I mean, are you, are you just like always kind of on the prowl for laundromats or what’s I mean, yeah, absolutely. So like

Lauren Berkoski [00:15:50]:

when we spoke, that was 9 months ago and we’re always looking in terms of just looking online, you know, networking with our distributors, networking with other laundromat owners, believe it or not, you know, Craigslist, just even just typing laundromat for sale and then looking on Facebook, like there are some things out there that you will find. And I will say this definitely wasn’t the first deal, right? We had gone through a number of like contacts, deals that unfortunately fell through for 1 reason or another and we ended up here. So I I believe in trusting the process you know and if something doesn’t feel right it’s not right and if it doesn’t happen for me it’s like okay that’s for a good reason. So we were definitely were selective about the next store that we took on. We didn’t wanna take on anything that was too much of a time investment at this point, just simply because I’m working, right? My mom actually is working. She has a 9 to 5 that she works in the finance industry. So we’re busy. Right. And then my husband’s running around all day to varying laundromat locations. And then he’s doing our laundry service business and running that with another team member. So we were kind of like a little trepidatious in terms of like taking this on, but we definitely felt like it was the right opportunity and a way that we could just grow our portfolio of laundromats. That’s our, I mean, that’s our goal. We wanna make smart investments. We don’t wanna just like rush into something. And, you know, if it’s not looking great on paper, we’re gonna walk away. Yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. So you said this 1 was a little bit bigger than that, your first fourth laundromat.

Jordan Berry [00:18:07]:

How big is this 1?

Lauren Berkoski [00:18:09]:

So it’s not huge. It is, I think it’s like 2, 100 square feet. Okay, yeah, that’s a good size. So It’s a decent size. It’s actually in a shopping mall, which is our first location in like a larger shopping center. So it’s a little bit different of a dynamic. The town has a completely different dynamic than some of our other locations. I actually, I really liked the store. I wish it wasn’t an hour away because I would probably be spending a little bit more time there. I’d love to spend more time there. But again, it just, it felt like, okay, this could be the next, you know, this is the next right move for us in terms of just feasibility and how we’re running things. Because if I had to be there, you know, every day I would, I would struggle. I just I don’t have the capacity. So, you know, the machines were all operational. Some of them are, you know, they’re not the newest of the newest, right? But they are, you know, within 5 years in terms of manufacturing, The structure was all there. And there’s room to expand too, in terms of the wash and fold business. So right now, they were doing no advertising, no marketing whatsoever, no promotion of the laundromat, short of just having like a Google page that they never really updated. So we came in, we, you know, started doing Google ads, social ads to get people to actually come into the location. And, you know, we are experiencing an uptick in revenue there, which is great. And then eventually we would love to add like actually like pickup and drop off. I’m sorry. Delivery service, whatever, whatever that the right term is there. Pick up and delivery?

Jordan Berry [00:20:05]:

Pick up and delivery? Oh yeah. Yes, yes, yes.

Lauren Berkoski [00:20:10]:

At somebody’s home or business. So that’s, that’s down the road a little bit because it does, you know, cause a little bit of a logistical challenge. We’re looking at some partnerships there, but definitely on our radar in terms of expanding revenue there.

Jordan Berry [00:20:27]:

Yeah, pretty crazy. Okay, well, I mean, Can we talk about like, what have you learned owning a laundromat an hour away? Cause I get asked about it this all the time, right? How far away can I own? Can I own it an hour too far? Is an hour and a half too far? You know, so what have you learned in terms of owning further away and knowing that you sort of intentionally bought a stable business an hour away also. So keep that in mind if you’re listening to this, but yeah, you know, what have you learned here? Yes, this is not a laundromat that needs a ton of TLC. So just to be really transparent, it needs modernized a little bit in terms of aesthetics,

Lauren Berkoski [00:21:07]:

but it’s very functional. And like I said, the staff was there and we brought somebody on. For me, I mean, I do not recommend this is your first laundromat and this is, you know, you’re an hour away. You are going to need to spend so much time there to really get to understand the business and really understand how things operate. And really, you have to get your hands dirty in this business, right? Like you need to understand how to fix things, how to provide great customer service, a good experience, also be a good employer. Like there’s so many layers to what we do as a laundromat owner. I just don’t, I don’t personally think that that’s the right move, you know, if you’re just getting started in this industry. Is it possible? I mean, anything is possible when you put your mind to it, right? I will say you have to like to drive. So do you know if you’re if you’re great at that. Good. We actually have so we purchased a van in 2020 for our laundry service, which we you know We just bought it for the laundry service, not really thinking about the laundromats. And it’s actually been a blessing for us because now we don’t have to use our personal vehicles to go places. And it also doubles as a place to put all of your tools, all of your supplies that you may or may not need because you’re an hour away and if you forget something, you’re going to Home Depot down the street, you’re not driving back home an hour and then back down. So definitely in terms of just being you know, operationally excellent being as organized as possible. Communicating with your employees has been really important. I will say that we definitely have made sure we have a presence in the store. So despite being an hour away, we’re down there twice a week. So we’re making sure that we’re there, we’re talking to customers, you know, We’re answering the phone when they call and there’s a problem. We’re responding to them when they have a complaint or a concern or something like that. So we’re still very involved, you know, we’re involved as much as possible. And I will say having the hiring our assistant manager was really good because she is there multiple times a day. So she’ll be there like for a set time period during the day. She also happens to run the walk-in wash and fold business. So she is a great person where we’re like, hey, this is an emergency, can you help us out? I don’t know that we would, I feel like we would be struggling a little bit more if we didn’t have that person that we could call and say, Hey, this is a challenge right now. Can you help us out? We’ve gone down there of course, when there’s, you know, been been something going on, but having that support and somebody that you trust is, is really important in all of that. So

Jordan Berry [00:24:20]:

yeah. So how did you find your, your manager? I mean, that’s, that seems to be tricky right now too.

Lauren Berkoski [00:24:26]:

Yeah. So in full transparency, We knew this person, however, they were living in a different town like 30 minutes away. And then before we actually purchased the laundromat, they actually ended up moving into the town that we purchased the laundromat in. And this was not at all intentional. We didn’t know this until after we purchased the laundromat because the staff that was there was actually supposed to come over with us. We had had conversations with them as part of the due diligence and said like, hey, here’s what we’ll offer you. We, you know, we raised their, their wages. Like we had a meeting with them. Like we were very transparent. We’re like, we’re not changing, you know, we’re not changing your shifts. We’re not changing anything except you’re just getting a raise. So, but turns out the 1 person wanted to retire. So, that then created the opportunity for us to bring in somebody with just a little bit of a different style in terms of like customer service. And yeah, we were like, okay, this is perfect. So it was, again, I feel like it was a little bit of fate. You know, If this wouldn’t have worked out and she wouldn’t have wanted to come on, I would have just hired somebody from Indeed, which can be a challenge. I’m hiring right now for actually 3 locations, which is, it’s difficult, but I think you just have to keep trying and putting yourself out there and hopefully the right person will come along. And I will also say, make sure you’re paying people a livable wage because if you’re paying them, $9, $10 an hour, I know California is a totally different scenario than Pennsylvania, but our minimum wage, I think is like 7.25. Like that, nobody can live off of that. And Unfortunately, some of these locations that we’ve acquired, they’re getting paid like 850 and I just I’m baffled by it. So anyways, I think that’s key paying, you know, paying people, having a good support system for them, training, just communicating, I think also really helps too.

Jordan Berry [00:26:55]:

Yeah. Yeah, that’s, I mean, man, if you’re hiring for 3 locations, How do you navigate that when you’re down employees like that, you have a job? I mean, it sounds like you have a pretty good team, like between yourself, your mom, your husband, you’ve got like, you kind of juggle around a little bit, responsibilities and step in if you guys need to maybe? Is that how you’re juggling it? How are you?

Lauren Berkoski [00:27:21]:

So, well, so we don’t just hire 1, like we don’t have 1 cleaning person at each location. So when we would lose somebody, we would have other people that could kind of like step in and support. So essentially we’re like shuffling around the schedule, you know, each week to make sure that we still have the coverage that we need. And then we’ll step in for sure. Like my mom, like, she like actually really likes to clean the laundromat. So she right now has a shift at our closest location that she takes on and does the cleaning, which is no problem, you know, because when you’re already there at the laundromat, going through and cleaning, I mean, it’s not a huge deal. So usually when my husband will go down and do some maintenance or whatever, collecting coin, he’ll clean at the same time. So we’re just, we’re working around it for right now. Thankfully we have the people that, you know, are there, are great at what they do. We’ve had, we, you know, have had them be able to like work around that. So not a huge deal. However, the people that we’re hiring for we want so we’re trying to actually get some more coverage in the stores like we want more cleaning people and more customer service just like to be there more often, because we’re noticing. So we’re noticing a couple of things, our stores are definitely getting dirtier, like faster. I think that might have something to do with the winter, perhaps like our floor, some 1 of our some of our locations have just been like, I’m like, I go in there and I’m like, has this been mopped? And it was just mopped, right? So we feel like we need to invest a little bit more just to get more cleaning. And then also with the wash and fold, we’re hoping that the new hires can basically do both. So they’re able to do more cleaning in the store, have more presence, offer more of a positive customer experience. And then on top of that, be able to fulfill this new revenue that we’re hoping to generate within the store itself. So we’re going to see, it’s a little bit of an experiment. I’m hoping we find the right people. You know, that’s always the toughest part. But I am not in a position where I’m like, OK, I have to hire somebody tomorrow. You know, thankfully that could happen at any point in time. Right. So I do a lot of my, some people will do their recruiting in the store, which is fine. I think it depends on the location. Some people are great. I’ve had some bad experiences recruiting people from in the store too. So I think it’s a big, it depends, right? But I also have used Indeed in the past where I’ve been able to get a lot of respondents. You know, I weed through them, I look at their, their resume. And then what I usually do is set up like a block of time that says, come in to the laundromat at this time to fill out your application. So I’m not stuck for hours waiting for people. I’m not in that business, right? So I try to do as much as I can before, make sure I have the right people, you know, call them on the phone, make that connection and then say, hey, come in during this time range and fill out an application. And then we do a background check. If everything works out, you know, we bring them on to the team. We do the hands-on training for a couple, a couple shifts. Like we don’t just like let them go off and do their own thing. So yeah, that’s kind of how we’re doing hiring right now. But like I said, it’s a really interesting time period. I’ve seen people lose their jobs and need jobs. So I’m optimistic about it. And I’m grateful that like we can employ people and give them an opportunity for sure. Yeah, totally.

Jordan Berry [00:31:41]:

That was a it took me. I’m like, 1 of the things I don’t like about this podcast is I feel like I end up telling everybody all the embarrassing things about how I did everything wrong. But it took me like an embarrassing amount of time to figure out that whole redundancy in employees, right? Instead of hiring 1 or 2 people for longer amount of hours or more hours, it just makes sense to have, you know, a few part-time employees and maybe 1 full-time employee if you need somebody full-time, right? So that you can make that shuffle. Because I, you know, I just remember I was like covering a shift while I was like between hires and I was like, why? I’m like wiping down machines or whatever. And I’m like, why don’t I just hire a few people and split the hours between it. Like, duh, like it’s so obvious, right? But it took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure that out. So just you going through that whole process.

Lauren Berkoski [00:32:41]:

Yeah, just you going through that whole process is super helpful. I appreciate you sharing that. Yeah, I mean, I would say, so for us, and again, you’ll figure this out right in terms of like, when you’re busy days when you’re busy times like that’s how and that’s why we are a little fluid there until we can figure out things and things change between summer and winter. And 1 of our stores, we realized we needed more people on Saturday and Sunday. So now we have 3 set shifts, Saturday and Sunday. Instead, Monday through Friday, we’re at 2 shifts. So it just, it honestly depends. You know, we might decide like our 1 store, we decided, Hey, we need to bring somebody on in addition to Saturday and Sunday, Friday is really busy. So we just, we have to work around that, you know, depending on each store. Yeah. And the location, so.

Jordan Berry [00:33:47]:

Yeah, when you’re looking at resumes, what are you looking for at those? I mean, you said you kind of picked through the resumes. What are you looking for in those resumes?

Lauren Berkoski [00:33:57]:

So ideally some, some form of, um, customer interface, like in terms of their experience, some form of janitorial experience would be a positive for me. Length of employment, like I don’t want somebody that’s been working, you know, they’re working 3 months, 3 months, 3 months, next job, next job. I would love to hire somebody that is like committed to being a part of our organization. So I’m usually looking at tenure. I’m not super picky, right? Like I’m willing to give people a chance and a job, but I need somebody that like wants to work. I do need people to pass a background check though, and that can be a little bit challenging, especially in this industry. So I, you know, again, I give people a second chance, right? Like I’m not gonna say no to you. I look at the situation. There are certain things that are just like non-negotiable for me as far as like a background check goes, you know, if you’re dealing with money and customers, there’s just, there’s certain things I just, I just won’t budge on. But for the most part, you know, I’m willing to give people a shot, so.

Jordan Berry [00:35:15]:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, so- Show up,

Lauren Berkoski [00:35:18]:

be on time, be nice to people. Like that’s my main goal. And like, please do just clean, clean the laundromat. Yeah, yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:35:27]:

Well, and you know, it’s probably a good sign if you’re, Well, it could be, I guess, a bad sign too. But if your laundromat’s getting dirtier than it used to, it’s either you got bad cleaners or you got more traffic coming through. Right. And hopefully it’s

Lauren Berkoski [00:35:40]:

the latter. I also think our parking lot is dirty in this location to be transparent. So I have like reached out to our landlord and was like, Hey, I think we need like some lot cleanup, you know, like we, we have a cam charge and that’s part of it. So I just like reached out to her. I’m like, there’s a lot of stones that kind of come in and they just, it’s, it’s that time of year, right? Like where there’s salt down because of the snow. So it’s just like, we just have to do more, I think. And people are messy. Like we can clean in the morning, it’s pristine. And then like literally like an hour later, it’s like a bomb went off in there. So. Yeah,

Jordan Berry [00:36:23]:

well, I’ve said it before, as soon as the dryer sheet hits the ground, it’s a free for all. You can throw your fried chicken bones all over the place and diapers, stick them to the wall. And it doesn’t matter as soon as that dry. Like it’s a free for all. Yeah. Yeah.

Lauren Berkoski [00:36:37]:

It’s an extension of their home, which I like, you know, come in, do your laundry. I get that. I want a very inviting environment. I don’t want people to feel, you know, bad about doing your laundry in my location, but people that take it too far, I’m just like, why? You know? Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:36:57]:

When you hire somebody, can you, I mean, You don’t have to go into like crazy detail, but like, can you talk a little bit about what’s your process of getting them up to speed? Do you have like a standard training process? Does it depend? How does that work?

Lauren Berkoski [00:37:11]:

Well, it will depend on what you were hired for. So Like if you’re just solely doing laundry, that’s different. But if you are doing like a cleaning, that looks a little different. And some people do both. So we do have, we’ve developed like a manual, like as far as onboarding goes and like some of our processes and like responsibilities go. That is actually presented so the the responsibilities and duties would like be presented to that person as part of hiring so they know like what’s expected of them And then as far as like the training is concerned, that’s when we’re going through, you know, those varying manuals to kind of say, okay, you’re cleaning, here’s what’s expected of you and your shift, here’s the supplies, here are the things that you need to like, okay, if there’s an emergency, call me for this, call me for that. Don’t call me for this, don’t call me for that. So just going through like operationally what’s expected, that’s like day 1. And then we will actually go through, like if it is somebody cleaning or doing the laundry, we will actually go through the shift with them and do the cleaning in partnership with them or the laundry in partnership with them so they can see exactly what is expected. And again, we have a checklist. So each shift, the person that’s coming in is supposed to go down the checklist and say, I did all of these things. You know, the dryer lint screens were cleaned on Wednesday. Like we have things that we’re putting in place across all of the stores. So that way they’re, you know, operating as closely as possible. And we’re very crystal clear on like what is expected of the employee. So Hands-on training, we’re there to support. Most people pick it up pretty quickly, so we’ll only need to do a handful of shifts with them. But I’ve never really had anybody had a problem. I’ve had people walk out like a week in and say, I can’t do this anymore. So that happens. That’s always fun when you invest a lot of time on training and getting people up to speed. But that’s why we have things put in place so I’m not recreating the wheel every time. That’s never fun.

Jordan Berry [00:39:31]:

Yeah, it is never fun. And getting that consistency is tough when you don’t have it standardized and clear for everybody. Who’s going through the shifts with the people? Is it you, your husband, your mom? Is it your manager?

Lauren Berkoski [00:39:45]:

It depends on who’s available, frankly. Like between my mom, Devener, and myself, we’re just, we’re in it together, right? So we’re communicating constantly, we have like a group text going. Really, you know, if my mom’s up for it, she likes that stuff. So I’m like, OK, you go do it. But if she’s not, then I’ll I’ll go in there. A devil go in there or some of other employees that are, you know, they’ve been they’ve been there for a long time. They’re willing to, like, say, hey, I’ll take that person on on my shift and we’ll do this together. So there are, you know, we create opportunities for people to like mentor others. And, but I will say we do a lot of stuff ourselves. And again, we’re running 4 laundromats and 1 laundry service. At some point, this is going to be unattainable. So I just want to stress, depending on where you are in your journey, maybe store 1, you’re really hands-on, you know, 4 stores we have split between 3 people and then

Jordan Berry [00:40:47]:

10 stores. I mean, I don’t know how you would do it without like a full-time manager. I really don’t. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think that’s at that point, you’re bringing people on, you’ve got a bigger team, right? And you have more levels to go there. But I mean, all the things that you just said, like I just been taking note, I mean, this is awesome. This is exactly why you and I have been talking and why you have come on board to offer consulting services. So I mean, if you’re wowed the way that I’m wowed with what Lauren is doing, and you wanna talk more with her, you can go book a call with her anytime, slash coaching. So I just, I know it’s probably awkward for you to plug yourself, but I will plug you because you are doing some crazy, incredible stuff, you know, with your business and doing it while working a 9 to 5, which is double incredible. So, Okay. So I wanted to go back again to this number 4. So you bought the laundromat from, from somebody who has another laundromat in the same city, same town. Same town. And not too far away? No, it’s literally like a mile down the road. That’s really interesting to me, right? Because III trying to think of a scenario where I like want to sell a lot, like a laundromat to competitor. Who’s going to compete directly

Lauren Berkoski [00:42:17]:

with me. Is he planning on selling that other 1? What’s the- So I definitely, I think he does eventually. That was, so that was his original store, the 1 he didn’t sell. And I think it has sentimental value, which I understand because that was like his dad’s first store. So I think he wants to hang on to that like a little bit longer. But yeah, it was, it’s this town was interesting because there are, there are 4 laundromats within I want to say a 3 mile radius, which it’s a small town. Like it’s not a very big town. Um, everybody has their, you know, their different advantage. Everybody has their little like customer base. We’re, you know, very polite to each other. I actually know, I know, um, the other owners too. So we’re all, yeah, it’s community. Yeah. I mean, we’re, we get it. We’re in the same business together. Right. So like we are competitors, but at the same time, I, you know, we’re all there to serve the same customer base and provide a service. I will say each 1 of them has their advantages. I know we’re definitely 1 of the cleanest in terms of just coming into the laundry and having a positive experience there. And the fact that we have people there on site, they’re not there all the time, but they’re there, you know, during our peak busy times, I definitely think that that helps because it adds to the overarching customer experience.

Jordan Berry [00:43:49]:

So. Yeah. How do you navigate pricing when you have like close competitors like that? You know, that’s a big struggle for a lot of people. It is. It is. Especially, sorry to interrupt, but especially when things are going, like here in California, we’ve got utility costs going up. I think other places too. Yeah. You know, interest rates going up, all that stuff is happening and that puts pressure on us because we have to adjust our pricing. But if our competitors don’t,

Lauren Berkoski [00:44:18]:

it can be tough. How do you navigate that? Yeah, so you’re 100% correct. We, when we purchased the store, we were like, this is so, the prices are so low. They were, it was just, I was blown away that this person was, you know, making a profit here. So we just, I mean, the lowest priced front loader, we, we had to up it. We updated it a quarter. That’s all we could do and feel comfortable about doing it. Um, and then, so that was back in August. And as part of the, as part of the sale, we were actually trying to get, um, the previous owner to up the prices before we purchased the laundromat. He didn’t, he didn’t want to, Our wash and fold is a different price. Because it was so low. I mean, Jordan and I, I was like, how are they making money? You know, they’re literally not. So we updated that independently. But he’s not doing, actually none of these other laundromats are doing any digital marketing. And I hope they’re not listening. I didn’t say what location, They don’t know where I’m at, but they’re not doing any of that. So I’m hopeful that if we can continue to invest, you know, in, in that tool, we’re actually going to be getting a website soon to that was on my list for this year. So I’m gonna be able to get people to, you know, engage a little bit more, get some more information about us online. I’m hoping that that will then help with additional revenue for the store. But yeah, it’s an interesting situation and I’m just, for the longest, I’m just like, how have they been successful operating at this level? And my other store is like, my electric bill went tripled, same with the gas. And it’s been like, I’m updating pricing across the board. And it’s not just a quarter, unfortunately. Like I hate to do it. I’m not that person that’s like, you know, trying to get extra money. And it’s just like operating costs, right? And we need to be profitable And I need to be able to pay my employees and give them a livable wage. And I can’t do that if I’m giving away free services, unfortunately, because it’s getting passed down to the consumer, but it’s passed to me from all of these varying organizations that unfortunately we have to work with, so.

Jordan Berry [00:47:10]:

Yeah, yeah, no, it’s true. I mean, and that’s, you know, 1 of the things we’re not good at across the industry typically is raising those prices when we need to and operational costs will eat into your profits and then it will eventually consume all of your profits. Yeah. If you don’t act and especially I mean we’ve seen a lot of inflation happening. And, you know, I think in a lot of parts of the country, the the practical inflation that we have felt in our industry, in the things that we need to utilize and consume for our businesses is even higher than, the average inflation, right? And so we have got to be on top of that stuff. Otherwise we’ll end up either with zombie mats that aren’t really making money or we’ll end up out of business.

Lauren Berkoski [00:48:04]:


Jordan Berry [00:48:05]:

That’s tough though. It is tough. And especially cause you know, a lot of us serve a lower income demographic. Right. And so it’s hard to raise prices cause we just know like everybody’s being squeezed right now. Exactly. I do

Lauren Berkoski [00:48:20]:

think like the laundry service, that’s more of like a luxury item, right? Yeah. That is less of a concern for me, but it’s really like, you know, we’re there to provide people the ability to wash their clothes. And like that is a basic level service that people need. It’s up there with food and shelter and healthcare.

Jordan Berry [00:48:46]:

Yeah, But if you’re not making enough money to cover your costs and having a profit to be able to pay yourself, you can’t serve that community, right? Like that’s what it comes down to. And that’s the perspective shift. I think a lot of us need is, You know, if you want to do something good for the community, you need to be able to charge enough to be able to do something good for the community. Otherwise you can’t.

Lauren Berkoski [00:49:11]:

And that’s, you know, that’s- I wouldn’t be able to employ my staff. Like it’s just, it’s just a trickle down effect. Totally. And I think people don’t understand how expensive it is to actually run a laundromat. Yeah. Like it’s just, it’s gotten more and more and more expensive. Every time I go to Costco, I’m like, that price went up, you know? Or that I go online to buy soap and now it’s like $20 more than what it was pre-pandemic and I was actually losing money on my soap, unfortunately. And I looked at the numbers And I’m like, oh no, I’m not making any money here at all. So I had to up my soap pricing, which again, I don’t love doing that, but I have to. It’s a part of anywhere. I said to my husband, I’m like, you can’t go to McDonald’s and buy a dollar Coke anymore. Nothing is, there’s no dollar menu at McDonald’s, right? Like there literally isn’t. So at this point it’s to be expected and I think it’s just a part of the economy and we just have to do what we have to do to survive. Yeah. For sure.

Jordan Berry [00:50:18]:

Yeah, Well, I mean, that’s awesome. Awesome input. Awesome insight into all that. Thank you for sharing. I mean, you shared a lot of like crazy cool stuff about, you know, the hiring process, the training process, navigating pricing, like all this, like so good, So good. So go book a call with Lauren if you’re, if you’re navigating any of that, you’re trying to get into this business. Awesome stuff.

Lauren Berkoski [00:50:41]:

Okay. I would love to talk to people about that. I would also, you know, if there’s things like around marketing that people have a question about if they’re like just getting into the business or they just purchased their new laundromat or if they’re, you know, an existing business, but they’re looking to expand because they may have a scenario like me where nobody was doing any digital marketing in the town that we just purchased our laundromat in. So I would say each location is different, right? And each scenario is different. So I’ve had experience in so many different things and definitely open to talking to people in, you know, about the laundromat industry. And then I have all of that, my experience in the marketing world. So I feel like that at least gives me a little bit of advantage. You know, I’m able to operationally run the stores, but then also like market them too, which is, which has definitely been a big help for me personally. Yeah, totally. And a huge opportunity in most of our markets.

Jordan Berry [00:51:48]:

Right. Low hanging fruit. Like you said, you’re in a town with a couple of little laundromats and they’re just not doing it at all. Right. And so that gives you a big advantage. Can give most of us a big advantage if we’re even doing a little bit of it. And then if you put together a full plan and implement it, I mean, you can really have a big advantage. That’s a whole other story. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and it, and it leads, this leads naturally, I think, into another thing that we’ve been talking a lot about is women in our industry. And, you know, there’s that I know of, and I don’t know if you know of anything else, but there’s not a whole lot that’s directed specifically towards women in this industry. And I think there’s some, maybe, I don’t know, we’ve talked a little bit about some of your unique challenges. I don’t know, you want to share anything about what’s it like being a woman owner in this industry?

Lauren Berkoski [00:52:42]:

Yeah. I mean, for me, so I feel like this like women in business in general, like, I hate to say this, but I feel like sometimes we’re counted out or maybe look down upon a little bit in terms of just respect and abilities. I’ve experienced in my professional career as you know a marketing consultant but in the laundromat specifically I mean just just even talking to distributors and them discounting you surrounding like what your experience is and like you know what you’re talking like I know what I’m talking about right and if I don’t I’m gonna ask the questions and I’m there for a reason and I’ve experienced things that just it’s not right Like in terms of how I was treated and I’ve learned that you have to be you know assertive a little bit. You have to communicate. You have to stick up for yourself. I’m not 1 to sit back and like let somebody disrespect me or you know provide me a subpar experience just because I’m a woman. Even just walking around I will say this the convention in Atlanta last year Like I definitely didn’t feel like it’s male dominated for sure. And the diversity is just, it’s not there for me industry wide. But again, I feel like that’s kind of similar in other industries too. But I feel like women can totally do this, right? Like you can totally run a laundromat by yourself. I saw my mom do it for several years before I came in to help her after my kids were a little bit older. It takes, you know, it just takes a little bit more effort, which is unfortunate. But I do feel like, you know, having a voice is really important in this industry. I’m excited to be able to connect with other women. I think even just going to the convention, I was able to like network and meet other women owners and prospective women owners and we’re still connected. I connected with a few on Facebook, on the Facebook group and it’s for me it’s really about like empowerment, encouragement and also like sharing your experiences because I think there’s something to like, I think there’s something that they can learn from, right? Like sharing how we’re working through things, sharing how we’ve experienced something, how we’re combating, you know, a challenge together, I feel like just makes us stronger, you know? And that my mentality is like, I’m, I kind of like joked about the fact that, you know, there’s 4 laundromats in a small town and 3 miles around, like that’s kind of tough to be profitable, right? But I think it takes just being able to like network. And I said, I know, like, I actually know all those owners, like I have their phone numbers in my phone. I know that sounds crazy. But like, just being able to put yourself out there and just try to, like, further what is what we’re doing in this industry, I think is really important. And I do like, I wanna go back to the convention, like in a couple of years, and I wanna see like more women walking around there, right? And women walking without their husbands, like I, that’s like, I know that might be a little far fetched, but I want to see more people be empowered and encouraged to be able to like do this and take this on. And it is an investment. It’s a time investment. You know, There’s times where it’s stressful and it can be challenging, but I do feel like all of us together, I mean, we can do really great things, right? And I think the laundromat industry is 1 of those just like little hidden gems, right? Like we’re kind of operating like under, you know, the radar a little bit. We’re not a glamorized industry. It’s really, you know, some days are not fun. Some days are messy and dirty, but then there, you know, are days that are super rewarding. And for me, I love making connections. That’s part of what I do in my 9 to 5 in terms of just what I do. I think it’s a part of my personality. So I definitely, for me, wanna grow my network, make more connections, and I really wanna see more women succeed. I do. That’s awesome.

Jordan Berry [00:57:39]:

Yeah. And that’s I mean, that’s why you know, mentioned in the future in the intro, We’re still working out the details now, but in the future, we will know the details and that will be in the intro or in the show notes or in, if you’re on YouTube, in the description down below, there’ll be links to how, how you can get involved. So if you’re somebody who is a woman owner of a laundromat, or if you’re someone who is a woman who is trying to get into this business, we’re putting together a free, I’ll call it a webinar. I don’t know how webinar-y it’ll be, but at least it’ll be a chance, an initial kind of chance to get together as women in the business, to come together and start those conversations happening and start putting together more things to do together and more infrastructure of support for women in this industry. And Lauren and I have been talking about how she’s, she’s pretty passionate about heading that up. And if you’re interested in either participating in that or partnering with Lauren and a lot of my resource in doing that stuff you know, go click on the links that are in the show notes or the description down below or whatever I told you to do in the intro, go do that too. But I’m really excited about that. I think it’s awesome. I think that your kind of vision for this, for our industry is great and I think it is needed and I think that, you know, like you said, in a lot of industries, women are either underrepresented or under supported And being able to put some representation and some support together for women in this industry, I think would be nothing but positive. And we’re always talking about moving the industry forward, right? This is 1 of those steps of moving the industry forward. So I’m super pumped about it. Super pumped about it. Exactly. Yeah, I feel like we can be stronger when we’re like talking to each other and we’re

Lauren Berkoski [00:59:38]:

sharing those experiences. And if we’re just like siloed in like in our own world and just going through it, right? Cause I’ve been there before where I’m just like, oh, is this even worth it? You know, I’ve asked myself that. We have bad days sometimes, but I feel like when I talk to people and when I make that connection, it makes me feel better. And I hope it makes them feel the same way. So, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from different states, different countries. That’s been a really cool experience. And there’s 1 person that I’ve been connected with, and we’re going to try to meet up in person here. She just purchased like her first laundromat, which was actually really exciting. I was really excited for her. She just got some equipment installed. And at some point, we’re hoping that we can meet up in person.

Jordan Berry [01:00:36]:

Awesome. Well, that’s the whole premise behind a lot of my resource behind this podcast. So it’s true across the board for everybody. And especially, you know, for women to, to be able to do that, too. So that’s, I love that I am super excited about it, super pumped about it. Hopefully, if you fit the demographic and wanna be a part of it, you’ll come join Lauren with, you know, at least this initial thing, as we work towards trying to figure out what this looks like long term. Yeah. You know, we’ve been talking about, you know, in person things and online things that, you know, you can engage in in a variety of different ways and support each other in a variety of different ways. So I’m super pumped. Lauren, this has been incredible as always. I’m sure this will be equally as popular, if not more so than your last interview. So thank you so much for coming on and really, really appreciate you. Can’t wait to keep working together in, you know, whether that’s on the consulting side. So go book a call with Lauren if you’re interested in the consulting side and seeing, you know, what we do together for women in this industry. Super excited about that. Lauren Ruffin Yeah. Likewise, and looking forward to connecting with a bunch of people. That’s right. All right. Well, on that note, if somebody wants to drop you a quick email, what’s the best way to contact you?

Lauren Berkoski [01:01:55]:

Yeah. So it’s my first name, last name at So Lauren Burkoski at But I feel like you should put that in the comments. Because my last thing, I mean, yeah, I’ll put it in the notes.

Jordan Berry [01:02:08]:

So you can contact her that way. Book a call with her at slash coaching and do whatever I said in the intro. If you want to get involved in the women in the industry event. All right, awesome. Thanks again, Lauren, and we’ll chat soon. Thanks everyone. Thanks Jordan.

Laundromat Resource Podcast Episode 117 with Cory James

Jordan Berry [00:00:00]:

Hey. Hey. What’s up, guys? It’s Jordan with the Automotive Resource podcast. This is show 117,

Jordan Berry [00:00:06]:

and I’m pumped you here today. Partially because this is the first ever Lautermatt Resource podcast episode where the interview was conducted shirtless. And we’re joined today by shirtless Corey. We have a really great time, a lot of fun talking. But all there’s a lot of really great information in here. Corey owns a couple of launder mats, and he is also on the prowl, on the hunt. for a couple more. And so we talk a lot about how he got into the business, how what he’s learned since being in the business, and he shares some really great lessons. and what he’s doing to find the next couple laundromats that he wants to pick up as he’s building his empire out there in Wisconsin. So it’s a really great episode today. We have a lot of fun again, and we are in fact shirtless. So we’ll talk about why that is in the interview. But two things real quick before we jump in with shirtless Corey is, number 1, just wanted to take a second to celebrate the first ever, women in the laundromat industry meetup that was hosted through laundromat resource with Lauren Burkosky, who hosted that, one of the consultants here at Lana Resource, multi store owner, rock star, all around great person. And she hosted that meeting. I hear that it was really, really great. We had over 75 sign ups, and I know some of you guys couldn’t make it. But fear not, because it went so well that Lauren and maybe a couple other women are going to partner up together, and there’s gonna a little more consistent for women to get together and talk about, you know, being in this industry and to problem solve and to share stories and encourage each other and all that stuff. So I’m super duper excited about that. So if you’re a woman in the industry, Or if you’re a woman who hopes to get into the industry, you are welcome to those. So stay tuned for more details about meetings coming up. here in the future. You’ll be able to see those as they get scheduled at, and we’ll also email out details. as we get them, so make sure you’re on the email list. Awesome. Okay. The second thing I wanna talk about real quick it well, Brooke, and huge thank you to Lauren for taking the time and effort. I actually put a lot of work into that, and I think it was really I heard a lot of really great things about it. So huge shout out to Lauren for that. Okay. Second thing real quick that I wanna talk about before we jump in with shirtless Corey is One of the goals of one of my personal goals with Lautomat Resource is to help you achieve financial freedom through Lautomat ownership. And a big part of that, if you know my story, when I got into the business, it did not go well for me, and I ended up losing a whole lot of money, like 6 figures worth of money. early on there. And it was just a rough go, and it had nowhere to turn. I didn’t know who could help me. And so that’s a big part of why I started learning about resource. Well, As a next step on that journey of helping you achieve financial freedom through loan about ownership, I put together based on over 400 consulting calls that I’ve done now based on weekly webinars that there was interactive q and a going on during those webinars. based on a 117 now podcast episodes where I’m talking with other laundromat owners and industry professionals and getting their wisdom, aside from conversations that I’m just having with owners outside of the podcast based on my own personal experience owning and buying laundromats, and based on my experience as a broker who helps other people buy and sell laundromats. All this information that I’ve been gathering over the last almost decade now in in this business. I have compiled into a comprehensive course on how to buy a laundromat. And I’m super excited about it because It is everything that you need to know to buy your first laundromat the right way the first time and it’s everything that you need to help you to actually do that. So all the tools, all the resources that you need to actually number 1, value a laundromat, and then number 2, verify the performance of that business, which is key during the due diligence period. All of that stuff is compiled in detail step by step in this course. It’s really, really great course, and I’m not saying that because I built it. I’m saying that because kind of we have built that course together. And not only that, but it also will give you for a for for now, at least. It’s gonna give you access to the pro community if you join that course for now. So check that out. You could check out the link to to that course in the show notes, which is 117, or if you’re on YouTube, that’ll be down below. So that link will be

Jordan Berry [00:04:55]:


Jordan Berry [00:04:56]:

and all of the links that we talked about today will also be located there on the show notes page. Okay. Alright. Let’s you know what? This shirt’s feeling a little stuffy now. Let’s jump into the interview with shirtless Corey where we will both be shirtless. Alright. We’ll see you over there. Alright, Corey. What is going on? How are you doing today? Hey. How are you doing? I’m doing well.

Cory James [00:05:16]:

We were still here in Wisconsin, but we’ll be plowing that later.

Jordan Berry [00:05:21]:

Alright. I gotta explain right now because a lot of people are listening to this on the podcast episode. So you and I are both shirtless. So, I mean, if you feel like you’re missing out, you might wanna, you know, go from the podcast to the YouTube channel over there. You’re you’re in Wisconsin. You’re in the snow. It’s supposed to be 70 something here in California. So I don’t mind being shirtless. What is going on? Why are you and how did you get me to be shirtless today on this podcast?

Cory James [00:05:48]:

Well, when I reached out to you, I was a little bit embarrassed because my Facebook name is shirtless Corey, which is a story behind. But I didn’t want you being like, well, who’s this guy? Who’s this show us Corey. This is an only fans thing. What’s going on here? So A little bit background behind my story. I’ve always been a handy guy. And my shirt comes off quickly, it seems when the weather’s nice. And I get a call for my buddies because they replace a toilet in their house. Right? And they didn’t install the wax ring. And now it’s leaking down into one of my buddy’s bedrooms. And it’s like, alright. I’ll come over and change it, but you guys gotta clean it off first. So as soon as I get over there, You know? And this is this is 12, 15 years ago. They’re they’re all on the couch, on their laptops, all on Facebook. So, of course, I sent some derogatory terms and said, why don’t you get why don’t you idiots get off of Facebook — Yeah. — and Google how to change a toilet. So as I’m changing the toilet, you know, they’re like, hey, what’s your email address? We got something to send you, you know, and then they created this profile of shirtless Corey. And they invited they invited all of my girlfriend, which is now my wife, all of her friends, everybody, So now everybody’s like, well, who’s this shirtless Corey guy? And for years, my wife’s been telling me to change it because she hates tagging shirtless Corey and all these photos of our children. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So but my thing is if I change it, I lose. You know? And I’m I’m gonna be a winner, so I’m gonna stick with it. Yeah. You can’t lose. Yeah. It’s stuck.

Jordan Berry [00:07:23]:

So you are. And then I I remember I mean, you reached out to me, said you you were interested in coming on the show, and I kinda jokingly was like, hey. Okay. You can come on the show, but you gotta be shirtless, and and here we are — Here we are. — shirtless. Yeah. Maybe we’ll have a flex off here at the end of this thing or something. Sounds good. I will I will lose miserably. You know, yes. If you’re if you’re just listening to this, You could just be confident. I will lose miserably. Oh, okay. Awesome. Alright. Well, who is shirtless Corey? Tell us a little bit about you, who you are, and how you got into the laundromat industry?

Jordan Berry [00:07:59]:


Cory James [00:08:01]:

I have a beautiful little family. Got 2 boys, They’re 10 and 8 very athletically gifted. Coach there’s baseball, coach their football. My wife coaches their basketball. She’s got double state range she likes to brag about. And I got a three year old daughter, which just she’s a daddy’s girl. Like, she knows how to steal my heart. And I started my journey 10 years ago just right after we got married. I bought a rental house, and it was going well. I mean, this is this is amazing. I’m getting all this extra income coming in from this from this house. And, well, if I had 2, I’ll have twice the income. So I started acquiring these properties as we went along. Got into some small multifamily apartments. Doing well, but the problem is is tenants don’t always take care of the properties, and you’re gonna have the headaches and it’s like, you know, what I need to do is get into the commercial business. I didn’t get some commercial properties, and they’re gonna take much better care of their properties. I mean, it’s a business. So I was looking and then it just it fell the wayside, and then I had raccoons in my attic. And it’s like, what? This isn’t good. You know, where are we going with this part of the story? Right? So I have raccoons in my attic, and my wife was pregnant at the time with my daughter. And I couldn’t just throw the raccoons outside. You know, we had to give them to, like, an animal sanctuary you know, a town away had to drive out there. Turns off, the guy was a real estate agent. And he’s like, oh, I know you. You’re friends with a a buddy of mine. It’s like, oh, yeah. I know. So we’re kicking it off, and he’s like, hey, I got a property. It’s kinda near your house. You know, you should look into it. So it’s like, yeah. Alright. I know the property. know there’s a laundromat in there. I used to rob the vending machine back in the day. He says right next to a middle school. So when you’re at the link with middle school, Yes. You’d get lost over there. So I knew about it, and then I tried reaching back out to the real estate agent who was just not responsive, never got back to me. So then I’m driving past one day. And this place is literally 4 minutes from my house. It’s very close. And there was a Mercedes sitting in the Waterman parking lot. It’s like, man, that’s gotta be the owner. So I walk in. Yeah. It was the owner. had a great conversation with them. We started talking about the building and what it was getting for revenue and kicked it off and we made the deal between him and I. And it was one of those things where he’s like, well, it’s goofy with this property. You kinda gotta own and operate the laundromat. And I was one of those guys where it’s like, No. I’m not gonna buy myself another jab. Who goes to a laundered mat? Is it even successful?

Jordan Berry [00:10:47]:

Right. No. Self storage car washes? Sure. Laundered mats?

Cory James [00:10:53]:

So he’s telling me, well I tell you what to do. Run it for like 2 months. If you don’t like it, You can lease it out to the ice cream shop owner that’s one of my tenants. He’s like, he’ll be more than happy to take it over. He probably get a thousand bucks a month rent for it. So it’s like, well, Alright. So now we’re doing all the financing things, and I was trying to for like tax reasons, buy the laundromat separate Right. Instead of, like, bundled all together. Rumson. Yeah. Well, I need to find out because I’m a I’m a newbie to this commercial world. they’re like, well, if you’re gonna buy the business, you gotta have 30% down on it. It’s like, oh, that’s more that’s more down payment than what I’m willing to do. So we lumped it all together. and I acquired the property. And I ran it for about 2 months. Well, let me let’s get to a good part of the story. They wanted the clothing. I thought the raccoons was the good part of — Well, that’s how it all got started. Okay. I think raccoons raccoons in the attic. Yeah. So it’s day 1 of boarding this property. We close at 4 o’clock. I meet the owner over there. He hands over just a bundle keys. He takes out all the quarters. I buy the quarters from them. You know, we’re ready to rock. Places clean. It’s unattended laundry. Awesome. Well, I like to be a big shout at least pretend it. So when we got home that night, you know, I was about 9 o’clock at night. I made my wife a margarita. And to feel special, I smoke a nice fat cigar. Right? Oh, yeah. Big win. It took me took me, like, 7 minutes to get this thing lit. and boom. My phone phone rings. What is this? Hey, is this the owner of the west side laundry? It’s like, yeah. It’s like, yeah, my clothes are stuck in the washing machine. It’s like, That’s not good. So I can’t put the cigar out. I jump in my big white truck, fly down there, So here’s this Russian mafia looking guy. Rolling in this truck, I had a shirt on. Cut off sleeves. Okay. Cigar smoke rolling out of the truck. put the scar down. We walk in there. And she’s like, yeah. They’re stuck. I was like, yeah. They certainly are. trying to jiggle a handle. It’s not opening. She’s like, well, do you know how to fix it? It’s like, nope. Do you know how to fix it? And she’s like, no. I don’t. It’s like, well, we’re gonna learn together. So I’m trying to figure it out. You know, what do you do? Oh, it’s a shot of the power. It’s that works on computers. Right? You just — Yeah. — kill it for 10 seconds and then — Yeah. — fires back up. that didn’t work. So now it’s like, well, I gotta call somebody and I have no idea who I’m gonna call. No idea. So it powers off, water’s draining out of it, And as I was given her a refund saying, hey. I’ll get it fixed. I’ll get you laundry back tomorrow. The door unlocks. It’s like, fantastic. So then I’m putting on tape over the machine saying do not use you know, this is my first time. I know nothing. Like, there’s no lot of order signs. There’s nothing. Right. Yeah. So we we

Jordan Berry [00:13:58]:

We got it going. And one of my favorite parts of that that maybe just fall in love with floater

Cory James [00:14:07]:

math was pulling out the cash drawers and getting all those quarters and dumping them right back in the machine, taking the cash out. It’s like, man, this this is this is simple. Yeah. Like, this this has cost me 5 hours a week in just cleaning this laundered mat. You know? And then I was a big fan of just speaking to the customers. built in that relationship and then fell in love.

Jordan Berry [00:14:29]:

Yeah. So that’s how we got started. That’s crazy. Okay. So, I mean, you you got in there and, you know, pretty much right away, you you got hey. Welcome welcome to the business. Right? Like — Yes. time to time start figuring things out here. You got somebody’s clothes stuck in there. That’s that’s, like, the worst feeling too. And somebody’s clothes are stuck in there. They expect you to get them out for them. You have no idea how to get them out, and you’re like, I I don’t know what to do. That’s like a horrible feeling. I’ve been there for sure. Usually, it means there’s water not draining just, you know — Yes. — could be could be a lot of things, but usually it means the water’s not draining for whatever reason. So it won’t unlock for you. Okay. Awesome. Alright. So you you you landed in this business on almost on accident because you were trying to buy a commercial property. Right? Correct. Yeah. And I I mean, I love the commercial property with the laundromat. play. That’s you know, I I I think that’s a really powerful 12 punch in terms of wealth building because you can benefit from the cash flow of the laundromat, if it’s cash flowing. And you can benefit from the appreciation and force equity in the property. So awesome. Awesome stuff. What tell us a little bit about the property. Is it a multi unit? Is standalone building? What does it look like?

Cory James [00:15:50]:

It’s a kinda hacked together Strip building. Entrance is on all sides of the building. There’s we got an ice cream shop in there. There’s a chiropractor as a dance studio. There is a dog groomer. So it’s a it’s a good little property. It was — Click on — — on paper. Everything made sense. The property could support itself. The rents, even if the laundromat was not in in existence. So anything that was coming from the laundromat was all game.

Jordan Berry [00:16:25]:

Yeah. Alright. when did you when did you buy this property in the laundromat?

Cory James [00:16:31]:

This was a gosh. This was this was August of 2020. So we’re right in COVID. Yeah. When I was going I was going stir crazy during COVID. I mean, I ripped out a tree out of my front yard, ripped up the gas line with it, You backed away with the neighborhood. It was a good time. Yeah. Awesome. Yep.

Jordan Berry [00:16:50]:

Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. You see, like, the kind of guy who doesn’t wanna just, like, sit around. So gotta gotta tear some stuff out of the ground. I like that. Right. Yeah. And maybe stir up the neighborhood a little bit. I think Yes. Just after we moved into I mean, we’ve probably lived there for 6 months. Great great way to meet the neighbors. Yeah. Yeah. So I well, okay. So you took over in August of 2020. What I mean, what was business like? Was it Was it making money at that point in time? I mean, that’s that was sort of around the time if I remember correctly where people start they started opening kind of stuff back. People started going out a little tiny bit, I think, in August. Maybe not quite yet. But what was it like taking over then?

Cory James [00:17:33]:

I didn’t know anything to compare it off of. So — That’s true. — the guy the guy said that, hey, you’re getting roughly a thousand bucks a week. No. So it’s like, what? That’s doable. You know, I can we can run with that, so business was good. And it it it got better as COVID kinda went away. We weren’t fully masked up here, it seems like. Okay. At

Jordan Berry [00:17:57]:

west side laundry, you know, we let you be you. Yeah. It was a good one. You do you. I’m gonna be shirtless. You can wear a mask or not. It’s up to you — Right. — whatever you wanna do. Yeah. Okay. So you you bought this on a so it sounds like I mean, you didn’t really dig into, like, the performance of the business too much beforehand because you were mostly there for the property. Right? Right. Yeah. So that worked out well for you. I mean, was it doing about a $1000 a week of of net or of gross? Is it was it net or gross? It was gross. Okay. It was gross. And it was

Cory James [00:18:31]:

It was pretty good. It was it was doing probably around 12 to 1400. So I was I was pleased with that. because if you’re going in there, you’re just going off the guy’s word. Right. What is he actually making? We don’t you know, what’s his books? I don’t think he ever even claimed it ever.

Jordan Berry [00:18:50]:

Yeah. Yeah. And and if you know, usually, if they’re gonna estimate not gonna estimate low if we’re trying to sell you on it. Right. So it’s nice it worked out for you that way. Yes. Yeah. Okay. So I mean, what was the what was the laundromat like when you bought it? I mean, did it have older machines? Were the machines in good shape? Were there broken down machine? Like, what was it What was the condition of the store when you took over?

Cory James [00:19:17]:

He had a new batch of Dexter dryers, and they were They’re fantastic dryers. I did have I still do. I have 6 top loaders in there. I got a couple thirties, a couple forties. couple fifties, and I just installed some used Dexter sixties in there. Nice. And it it’s a smaller store. It’s 1200 square feet. But it it was it was clean. It was one of the nicer ones in the in our town. We have 10 laundry mats in our town. So it instantly I put it on Google and 5 star ratings were coming in. It was good. It’s good. I mean, all I had to do is clean the place, you know, have conversations with the clientele. It was very simple job. I was surprised on how easy Elon are meant to run was.

Jordan Berry [00:20:11]:

Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. That was not my experience, but I’m glad that was your experience.

Cory James [00:20:18]:

Okay. So — — works as we go. Oh, I don’t like to hear that.

Jordan Berry [00:20:23]:

Alright. So you you took over. I mean,

Jordan Berry [00:20:26]:

again, I mean, your main your main investment was the commercial property. So when you took over the laundromat, like, Did you have I mean, I know you were, like, celebrating the deal with the cigar, and then you had the, you know, the the clothes getting stuck incident. Like, Did you have how did it feel? Like, okay. Like, I own a laundromat now. Was that, like, random side note? Did that feel good? Did that feel bad? Were I mean, what did that feel like?

Cory James [00:20:51]:

That was a side note. That was a hobby. Yeah. I’m just running a laundromat as a hobby at the moment. Mhmm. It was run I mean, it is It was good. We’ll we’ll we’ll say that. It was it was enough to make me want to have another one.

Jordan Berry [00:21:06]:

Yeah. Oh, awesome. Okay. Okay. Interest peaked. Interest peaked. Yes. Okay. So you got a you got that that washing machine running, and you’ve been going for a little while now. Like, How did business progress? What was your experience like as it kinda progressed? You said it started to grow a little bit more as COVID eased up. What was what’s the process been like since, you know, that day one with the with the clothes getting stacked?

Cory James [00:21:33]:

So the first the first store has been pretty good. It’s It’s an a quiet part of town. It’s 24 hours and that’s just the way that I got it. And just kept the same name, kept running at 24 hours. We have cameras in there. We’re running a little bit quieter side of town. It’s it’s been going well until all of a sudden machines start breaking. And it’s like, oof. We gotta learn really quick on how to repair these. And being I’m a commercial electrician. I work for a mechanical company, great company. And we have plumbers, HVAC, me as an electrician. I mean I got everything covered. So at least building wise we’re set. When it comes to fixing the equipment, I have no idea what I’m doing. Right. But learning quickly.

Jordan Berry [00:22:18]:

Yeah. So how are you how are you learning? Are you just Getting in there, getting your getting your hands dirty and figuring it out, or how are you learning?

Cory James [00:22:26]:

Well, absolutely. With with being busy often because You know, like I said, we have a young family. I coach a lot of baseball football. We’re always active, always moving. So I can’t always get there, especially with the w two job. So I was calling my soap distributor, great distributor out of Rockford. He’s got a great service team came up And, of course, I wanna be in there when they’re doing it. So it’s like, oh, it’s that simple. Wow. Yeah. So that’s how I got my education.

Jordan Berry [00:22:55]:

Yeah. that I mean, I find that that is one of the best ways is bring the service person in there and just peek over their shoulder. If you’re if you’re wanting to kinda learn how to do some of the repairs and You know, I’ve said this before. A lot of people get really down on, like, doing your own repairs, and that’s fine. Like, I think that’s Right? I think in an ideal world, you don’t do any of your own repairs, and your your laundromat covers somebody else, and they show up on time and, you know, when they’re supposed to with the parts they need and get your machines running and, like, all that’s, like, ideal. Right? But sometimes I found, especially as You know? I I know a lot of people struggle to get service people out in a timely manner or even find good service people that will show up when they say they will. Yeah. You know, some of those quick fixes, you know, that you can do really quickly to get those machines back up and running, sometimes worth doing on your own. Right. So and the best way to learn how to do that is well, number 1, ask other owners. But number 2, like, get get those service people out there and just kinda peek over their shoulder. And if they’re replacing a belt on a top loader or a door lock switch or, you know, something like that that’s fairly simple. Anybody really could do it. then sometimes it’s just worth your while to take 10, 15 minutes, fix that part, and get that machine back up and running. And, also, a lot of times, distributors have service schools where they’ll teach you, you know, how to repair common things with the machines that that come up too. So keeping out for those. Yes. Actually, it’s 10 o’clock. So oh, good. What’s that? Yeah. I attend I I attended one of them, and

Cory James [00:24:31]:

it was for Dexter. It was for Dexter. This is they told us do not use your aftermarket water valves. because what happens is, you know, they’re made in China. The little seams, they’ll split open or you’ll get a pinhole and it’ll hit the top of the washer and it will come down on your control board in front of the machine. And it’s like, that ain’t gonna happen. 2 days later, the exact story happened. It was the hot water valve. pierced right through it. It was the blue valve. So from now on, it’s it’s all the way on parts.

Jordan Berry [00:25:06]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Man, that’s in you’re really you’re not saving a ton of money. But buying that after market 1 in that part, it can cost you pretty big. That’s that’s a tough lesson to learn for sure. Okay. So with that with that laundromat, I mean, like, how’s the experience been so far? Are you are you happy you got the laundromat? Is it You know? Is it still, you know, sort of a side hobby? What what’s kind of what’s the lay of the land now with that laundromat?

Cory James [00:25:34]:

That laundromat is going to be my side hobby at the moment because I just recently acquired my second Laundromat in September of last year. Okay. And that’s gonna be hopefully my golden goose.

Jordan Berry [00:25:49]:

Awesome. Well, we need we need to talk about that for sure. I mean, how did that second one come about? Is it an existing one? Are you building it out? What’s that?

Cory James [00:26:02]:

This is an existing laundry mat that I had my eye on for a while because it was also a little strip building. It’s got 26100 square feet of water mat and then 26100 square feet of retail space, which there is a barber, a kind of like a wedding boutique. And then there’s a cell phone tower that’s also attached to the building. And I would drive by that place, and it’s like, you know what? I’m gonna try to find out who owns that building. And I’m gonna buy the building. And then whenever the laundromat leases up, that might become my laundromat. That was kind of the cruel intentions that I had to start with. Yeah. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:26:44]:

So So you bought that building? Is that Yeah. I I did. Okay. They come up on the market, did a broker bring it to you? How’d you find that building?

Cory James [00:26:53]:

Well, I found the building from the fact that my alliance distributor showed up And we had a good conversation. And he’s like, you know what you should do is you should buy Dan’s laundered mat over there by the post office. And it’s right off of Milton Avenue, and it’s a very probably our busiest street in Janesville. Mhmm. And we have about 60 thousand people that live in our town. And that was kind of my prime location that if I were to buy an existing one, this is the one that I want. But I did nothing with it. And then my soap distributor also delivers soap to that guy and he’s like, hey, I think Dan’s willing to sell. Like, he’s getting he’s getting up there in age. And it’s like, well, alright. I’ll take it for what it’s worth. And I just I let it sit. I let it sit. And I’m sure you’ve heard that story. of the man that was stranded out in the ocean, and he’s he’s gonna pray to god. God will save him. And then the boats come. And he’s like, nope. God will save me. The second bolt comes. Nope. God will save me. 3rd bolt comes. God’s got me. gets to the pearly gates and he’s like, God, why don’t you help me? You know, where was the help? I’ve been praying. He’s like I sent you three bolts Right. This is my moment. You know, I had the third the third instance come up where my wife is at her CrossFit gym, and one of the ladies she works out where is like, hey, you should buy my alcohol in law’s laundromat. You know, you guys have a laundromat you like. Right? So my wife came home and told me about it. It’s like, alright. Alright. I’m gonna I’m gonna rehearse what I’m gonna say. I’m gonna call this guy. I got his number. And as soon as I call him up, you know, hey. This is gonna be, you know, Corey James blah blah. Immediately, like, I know who this is, and anybody who knows me, I can go either way. So I was a little nervous at first. Turns already used to party with my dad way back in the day. Oh, no way. That’s — Yeah. So it’s like, oh, wow. — world. Yeah. Okay. Cool. So we hit it off. It was good. He actually owns the laundromat and the building, so I didn’t have to kinda do my kick out the tenant and then create my laundromat. Yeah. So he he wanted to sell everything. So it’s like, alright. Well, I’m interested. You know, let’s let’s talk. Well, those distributors were also telling other laundromat owners in the area. So now people are hot and heavy for this place. They’re they’re jumping on the roof. They’re talking to other tenants. And we were able to strike a deal which was pretty favorable. I paid too much. I definitely paid too much. I paid 505 for the building. and then 250 for the laundromat. And which is funny is I just signed the papers that we’re gonna close on this deal And I was a big bigger pockets guy. So I would drive around at work, listen to bigger pockets — Yeah. Yeah. — podcast and everything in the real sense. Like, you know what? There’s gotta be laundromat guests. So I found yours. I found Dave Men’s, and I was listening to him. The very first episode was yours talking about how to value a laundromat and and it was just like, damn it.

Jordan Berry [00:30:08]:

Too little too late.

Cory James [00:30:11]:

Yep. So we’re gonna make it work. I mean, the way that I look at it is we’re in the middle of or we’re just starting a football game, and I just kicked off they returned the kickoff. I’m a better team, so we’re I have plenty of time. We’re gonna recover from what I paid for.

Jordan Berry [00:30:29]:

Yeah. I like that. I like that mentality. I like that mindset. And, you know, paying paying too much, obviously, you don’t wanna pay too much for a laundromat. But it’s not it’s not necessarily a deal breaker. And especially if you own the real estate also, you you have some some stuff to kinda play with there. when you also own the real estate, you can kinda move funds around and and make it all work a lot of times. So, yeah, it’s definitely okay. Yeah. They they returned that kickoff, but it’s a long game. You got a good game plan. You already have you know, you’re experience. You’ve you’ve got your playoff experience. It’s your other laundromat that you’ve been learning at over there, and you’re you’re ready to go.

Cory James [00:31:11]:

Yeah. So one of the things that allowed me to pay a little bit more than what I wanted to was the terms that we got. So this was right before interest rates really started hiking up When I I have a great commercial lender. And I think we had, you know, 4.75 interest rate locked in for 7 years. You know, amortized over 25. So it’s, like, all is a good terms. And then we had a personal note the laundromat for 250,000. and he was willing to do 4% over 15 years. So playing a little bit of the inflation game. Hopefully, 10 years from now, That’s a drop in the bucket.

Jordan Berry [00:31:52]:

Yeah. So the so the seller’s basically financing the entire laundromat purchase. Yep. Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. because I was gonna ask you if you had to lump it all together or do it separate.

Cory James [00:32:04]:

We did we did that separate. You know? And you need 20 percent down for the building, you know, and I needed to give him some cash down on that 25 for that 250,000. So a little bit of creative financing, which I used with my very first house, is when I went to go buy this first house, I’m thinking it’s 3% down blah blah blah. Well, now this is a this is a rental income property. So you gotta have 25% down. It’s like, where am I gonna get the money from? Yeah. Well, I took the money out of my truck, so I had enough equity in my truck. So it’s like, oh, I’ll just have my tenants pay for my truck. So I revisited that on laundromat where I was able to pull, like, $40 out of my truck because my truck was paid off to basically, purchase the laundry mat and its equipment.

Jordan Berry [00:32:52]:

Yeah. That’s awesome. And, you know, I I think that’s something that we haven’t really talked enough about, you know, on the podcast here is the creative financing options because, you know, you listen to bigger pockets or you’re in the real estate investing. you know, creative financing is like the, like it’s like the Mecca. Right? Like, everybody’s looking for creative financing seller financing deals. Well, I would say, like, You can get seller financing deals real estate for sure, and especially if you go commercial and sort of the smaller commercial stuff. But Laundromats, it’s actually fairly common to be able to get, you know, use creative financing, whether it’s seller financing or other you know, other options like pulling equity out of properties or a truck, I guess. I’ve never heard anybody pulling equity out of a truck, so that’s pretty cool.

Cory James [00:33:38]:

Yeah. Yeah. because, I mean, my interest rate on that was, like, three and a half, and I just extended it for 7 years. Yeah.

Jordan Berry [00:33:46]:

Yeah. And that makes a lot of it makes a lot of sense, especially, you know, once you have experience. Right? And, you know, some that should just be said is that there’s risk associated with, you know, moving equity around a little bit like that and almost sorta cross collateralizing things a little bit. But but with that said, you know, especially if you already have experience in the business, That can be a great way to go and finance finance the acquisition of a laundromat or, like you said, equipment. So, yeah, that creative financing route is that’s awesome. Alright. So you bought this second property when was this? When did you buy this 1? September

Cory James [00:34:31]:

of 2022.

Jordan Berry [00:34:32]:


Jordan Berry [00:34:33]:

Oh, so relatively newer at the end of January 23, So relatively new. How’s that been going so far?

Cory James [00:34:41]:

It’s got its ups and downs.

Jordan Berry [00:34:43]:


Cory James [00:34:44]:

My goal with this laundromat is I’m gonna get into the wash dry fold service.

Jordan Berry [00:34:49]:


Cory James [00:34:51]:

We’re just starting. I just got my bags. I haven’t done a pound of laundry yet, but I did get software set up. So, I mean, I’m I’m ready to rock. I just gotta figure out how that is all gonna come together? How am I gonna get the customers in the door? And then when do I set up for attendance to start processing and laundry.

Jordan Berry [00:35:12]:

We’ll get there. We’re working on it. Yeah. So is it is it currently

Cory James [00:35:16]:

attended, unattended, partially attended? What’s What’s that look like? This was this is unattended at the moment. So — Okay. — this one is not 24 hours. Last wash is at 9. It’s the doors locked at 9. security system comes on at 10:30. So they just basically gotta be out at 10. Yeah. And I gotta wait it at Great lady comes in. She just cleans it at night for me.

Jordan Berry [00:35:40]:

Yeah. Awesome. — everybody’s out. Yeah. So you need to figure out how you’re gonna get make it available for people to drop off and pick up their laundry. Right? Right. do that. So, I mean, have you have you thought through that at all? Like, what the what the plan is?

Cory James [00:35:55]:

Not I thought about it. I’m gonna start slow and we’re gonna probably try to get by appointment only. Okay. And then hopefully, build my brand that I have to hire people to be there, you know, because now I got my tenant, you know, picking up the dryer sheets. Right. You know, all the mess that goes out of the water, man. Yes. Yes. Especially bathrooms. goodness. People do some unforgivable things in those bathrooms. It yeah. It’s

Jordan Berry [00:36:24]:

yeah. Things that you never wanted to see before. happen in those bathrooms sometimes. And you’re like, I don’t even know how this even happened. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Okay. So you’re gonna try to shoot for, like, buy appointment only, and then are are you gonna try to put, like, signage up in the store? Are you gonna advertise?

Cory James [00:36:43]:

What what’s the plan for getting that initial customer base? I think we’re gonna start off with like Facebook, for instance, like hitting all the mom’s groups and stuff like that. You know, for you know, I’m gonna target gonna target, like, the working families, you know, because I mean, I have 3 children. A wife. We both work, and Bonry piles up Laundry definitely piles up. It does. So speaking of laundry, I don’t really do laundry,

Jordan Berry [00:37:09]:

but when I was buying — — need to, you know, wear clothes. So — You’re right. You’re right. Come on. — the watch. Yeah.

Cory James [00:37:16]:

Yeah. So when I bought my fur my second laundry mat, you know, this is this is one of these moments that am I doing the right thing? My wife was at a crossfit beer Olympics event, Father’s Day. I’ve already signed the papers. We’re gonna try to close in August. It got extended out. And I get a phone call from her sister saying, hey. I Cali hurt herself. It’s like, what do you mean she hurt herself? Well, something with her legs. Well, she blew her Achilles Devin. Oh, no. So, you know, life is almost do a screeching halt a little bit. I’m in the middle of coaching almost every day of the week of baseball. I got these laundered mats I gotta run. We’re getting to the closing date. My wife can’t go upstairs to put the kids in the bed. She can’t go downstairs to do a lawn. so I’d learn how to do that real quick.

Jordan Berry [00:38:17]:

That’s when you start that wash and fold service ASAP, so you can get your own laundry over there. Let’s — Have somebody else doing that.

Cory James [00:38:25]:

that’s what sparked it in my head. And then you kinda have everybody looking at you because I’m now going to be buying this laundromat. They’re like, is this is this a good time to be buying another laundromat? Like, they’re thinking it. They don’t wanna say it to you, but you can tell. In your head, you’re thinking it as well. But how often do you see them come off for sale? Yeah. Right. There’s there’s never if there was ever a good time, the there’s not. Yeah. So I had to jump on it. and we’re making the best out of it. She’s, you know, she’s walking around now. So, I mean, life’s pretty much back to normal.

Jordan Berry [00:38:57]:

Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s That’s a that’s a lot of obstacles to overcome in. You know, adding adding a second laundromat is it’s a lot. Right? Like, you you go from 11. 11 can be enough as you’re trying to kinda figure things out and trying to, you know, grow your business and all that stuff, and then you add a second one, and it it doesn’t always just you know? double your workload. Sometimes it’s even more than that because you’re trying to figure out how to juggle the 2, at least for a while. Right? And especially if you’re trying to figure out how to you know, grow this second one. It’s your it’s your, you know, goose that lays the golden egg over here. And so you’re trying to figure out, okay. How do I turn this into? I have the vision in my head. what it needs to be and what it can be. How do I make that a reality? And that’s a lot in and of itself. And then you throw in young kids, that’s a lot in and of itself. And then you have a wife who’s injured, that’s a lot in and of itself. And you had a full time job, and that’s a you know, it stacks up on top of each other. It could be really overwhelming. for sure.

Cory James [00:40:01]:

You just gotta keep grinding.

Jordan Berry [00:40:03]:

Gotta keep grinding. You know? And and I think too, like, trying to have that perspective, like, this is It’s easy. I think sometimes for for me at least to get wrapped up in. The way things are right now is the way things will always be. Right? And that’s not true. Right? So you’re going through great times. You can’t assume it’s always gonna be great times. But conversely, you’re going through challenging difficult depressing times. You can’t assume it’s always gonna be like that either. Things will get better. things, you know, won’t always be great. And so trying to keep that perspective like, am I executing the plan to get what I want out of life. And if so, then you just kinda stay the course. Right? And it sounds like you’ve been accumulating real estate. You’re buying up some businesses now trying to get that cash flow going, and that’s the plan. You’re sticking with the plan. Work with the plan. It’s not always gonna be the same as it is now, and sometimes it just it’s tough to lay that foundation. Right? Concrete’s heavy stuff. So if you’re gonna pour a concrete foundation, You’re gonna have to work for it a little bit. Yep.

Cory James [00:41:11]:

Yeah. That’s that’s where I’m at my journey right now.

Jordan Berry [00:41:14]:

Yeah. Well, that’s a lot, man. That’s a lot. So let me ask you this question. You could go back. to, you know, August or or July of last year, do you still buy it?

Cory James [00:41:29]:

Oh, yeah. 100%. Yeah. 100%. This is gonna be my this is gonna be my path to financial freedom by 40. and I’m 39, so I really gotta get going. Yeah. But I can continue working, but just knowing the fact that, you know what? Not today. I’m done. Just knowing that, I think, is a huge weight off my chest.

Jordan Berry [00:41:52]:

Yeah. And having that what they call it, the f u money. Right? Like — Yes. If something goes wrong, you can just say f u, I’m fine. Like — Yes. — I’ll go do something else. You know, I’ll go do something that doesn’t pay as well that’s, you know, more fun for me, you know, or I’ll go start my own CrossFit jam or what you know, whatever. Like, The f u money is what it’s all about, right, and having the choices and options in life. But the they don’t just fall in your lap. Right? You gotta make that happen. You gotta earn that a bit. Yep. Yeah. Alright. So your 30 knot, when’s your birthday? When’s 40?

Cory James [00:42:26]:

September September 22nd.

Jordan Berry [00:42:29]:

Okay. So you got a solid 8 months, almost almost of the day. Yep. Solid 8 months to turn this if we’re gonna have to have you back on, I mean, we should wait till the middle middle of winter again, so you gotta be shirtless in the middle of winter. Absolutely. But we got to be back on and see if you made it. by 40. There’s some a little accountability for you to get in there and make it happen.

Cory James [00:42:52]:

Yep. No. That’s huge. That’s huge accountability is big. Like, that’s why I I haven’t even started was dry fold, but I got the POS system in place. Yeah. The bags are now here. you know, now it’s just I’m not gonna waste that money. I mean, it’s 300 bucks for the POS every month. You know, I gotta guess, are coopulating money. Like, I have new equipment that I need to buy, which is so hard, which, for me, it boggles my mind of how I have no problem drop in a million and a half on 2 lottery mats, two buildings. But as soon as I got to spend a $180,000 to get new dryers, it’s like And I had a great distributor. This Robert from Century Lottery, kinda in the Midwest here. Uh-huh. Great guy, and he’s been kinda walking me through it for he’s I know he’s a distributor. His job is to sell, but just just do it. You’ll thank yourself later and and I am because right now I’m repairing these dryers. When I first got them, I think they only cleaned the lint out maybe once every other week, you know, and I’m doing it three times a week. Yeah. So it’s a it’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes buying that equipment.

Jordan Berry [00:44:02]:

Yeah. Well and especially right now, I mean, has been going up for all that equipment. Interest rates are higher than they’ve been in a really long time — Right. Big times. — you’re gonna do alone. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s it is tough. But, you know, that’s that’s where the opportunities are made. Right? You can — Right. — you can kinda turtle up and not do anything and try to wait for easier times, or you can you can get it done and, you know, make sure you price your dryers appropriately when you get the new ones so that they cover their costs and and keep moving forward. Right? Start start building. What’s the I mean, you you probably don’t know yet because you’re kinda in the thick of it. But, like, what’s the timeline to get that That wash dry fold up and running.

Cory James [00:44:51]:

Well, next month, that’s the goal. Okay. I set myself a goal that by theendofFebruary, this thing needs to be at least up and going and start bringing business in the doors because I have equipment to pay for now. Right.

Jordan Berry [00:45:04]:

Yeah. Okay. So let’s say, you know, I’m up there in Wisconsin, and I I I see your your drop off service, and it’s appointment only. Right? So I I call you and I say, hey. I wanna make an appointment, drop off my laundry. What’s the plan there? Are you gonna hire somebody at that point once you start getting appointments? Are you guys gonna cover it until you get enough volume to hire somebody? What’s You have an idea of what the plan is? I got a lady in mind. So she’s actually

Cory James [00:45:33]:

she does the laundry for the country club, the local country club. And she’s always wanting to launch, Matt. You know, it’s like, well, hey. Let’s team up. Yeah. Let’s get this business rolling. We’ll start getting appointments. Mhmm. You know, we’ll bulk them together. so that, hey. You can come, you know, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You know, we’ll we’ll we’ll set up a time between, like, you know, 1 to 4, something like that. So that that’s how we’re gonna at least get it started until I have the luxury of hiring ten people to process lottery. Right.

Jordan Berry [00:46:06]:

Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. And and thanks for sharing kind of that strategy. because there’s there’s different ways people start. Right? When Starting I think starting a a wash rifle from scratch, it that’s one of the toughest things to do, I think. because you have to figure out that, you know, that equation. Like, how am I going to start. because if you start by hiring somebody, you’re gonna be the red for a little while. Right? Until you until you get somebody there. Right. And you can kinda curb that. Excuse me. You gotta curb that a little bit by hiring somebody to work, like, a split shift, like somebody early, somebody late, or somebody middle of the day or something like that. So there’s little windows. But even then, you’re probably gonna be in the red for a little bit and, you know, maybe hopefully not as much in the red. Right? Or you can do by appointment only. But if, you know, it’s not convenient for people or whatever, like, You know, it’s it’s a tricky equation to kind of figure that out and how to get it started, and it’s all about starting that momentum, I think. and get the ball rolling. Try something. Get some orders and some customers under your belt. Get them spreading the word about your service and and just grow kinda steadily. And I also like Daniel Logan’s philosophy. He he was on the podcast a while ago, and he said, you know what? sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, and you might need to go stand in the gap a little bit. You might need to go, you know, be there you know, meet a customer, you know, during one of those off times to get the laundry because you need to get the thing started. Right? Like, Right. Maybe some of that happening too. So, yeah, that’s awesome. Alright. So you What I mean, how how much time are you spending on working on these laundromats right now?

Cory James [00:48:04]:

So it’s actually about 5 hours a piece. You know, so it’s not not that much during the week like I I’m actually happy with what I’m doing at the moment. I mean, it’s pretty good income for 10 hours a week.

Jordan Berry [00:48:20]:

Yeah. Is that is that second one? Is it making money right now?

Cory James [00:48:24]:

Yes. So his numbers were also correct when we talked about it. You know, that one was pulling in, you know, roughly $75100 a month in gross, and now it’s probably gross in probably 8 a half, 9. And that just needed cleaning. That was a simple cleaning of this of this laundromat. I relit the place. I mean, half his lights were working. You know, he’s a great guy but I think he was getting older. He’s getting tired. Yeah. And, yeah, just a simple cleaning. And the customers the customers all realize it right away. I mean, you’re walking in there, like, hey. This place is so much cleaner. It’s like, oh, I appreciate it. You know, I just bought this place, you know, trying to turn it around. I wanna get the card readers. I want, you know, we wanna make this like a service. Like, you’re gonna come in here. We’ll have a kiosk. I mean, it’s gonna be this is gonna be my golden goose.

Jordan Berry [00:49:16]:

I love it. I love it. Yeah. And and getting that thing, I I like how, you know, you can kinda come in do some simple touches. Light it. You don’t wanna light it and not clean it, though. It’s all just spot light on the dirt. Right? Right. So good combo there on cleaning it and lighting it. And but, you know, just simple stuff like that. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint just brings new life into the laundromat. Right? Right. Customers appreciate that stuff. And that’s no knock on, like, the previous owner. Right? But, you know, like you said, sometimes You know, they’ve been doing it in a long time or they stuff hap you know, medical stuff or family stuff or whatever happens, and and they can’t do it whatever reason. But that’s an opportunity for you to turn it into something that’s really gonna serve the community really well. You know, what I think happens a lot of times is, like,

Cory James [00:50:04]:

owners become those blind to things — Yes. — as we go through. Yes. And then, you know, stuff kinda falls by the wayside. Which it could be a little side tangent here on a nose blind story. I got CO