If you have a desire to succeed with laundromats it only makes sense to learn from the best. Well, today, you get to learn how to run your laundromat from the BEST!

Luke Williford is on the show today! Luke is well known in the industry and for good reason. Luke and his family own and operate 37 laundromats! You read that correctly. Luke and his family own 37 laundromats!

Luke has a passion and even an obsession for customer service, operational efficiency, and employee training and care. It is that passion and obsession that has driven him to the success he has found so far. And he’s just getting started!

In this show Luke shares a ton of valuable information on how to effectively buy and run a laundromat. He also shares the one thing that has helped him achieve such massive success! And the beauty of it is that it can work for you, too!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

Jump To These Show Segments

Interview Starts: 6:12

Down To Business: 45:34

Secret Sauce: 1:01:55

Pro Tips: 1:07:42

Recommended Resources: 1:11:25

Today's Sponsor

Laundromat Resource Marketing If you need help building or managing a website for your laundromats, let the experts at Laundromat Resource Marketing help you design and build a custom, professional website for you! As experts in the laundromat industry AND in web design and online marketing, we at Laundromat Resource Marketing are able to provide you with a professional website at an affordable price. We’re always transparent so there are no hidden fees. What we quote you is what you pay. Satisfaction and performance guaranteed! With no contracts to sign and guarantees like that, why not let us take care of your online presence while you focus on welcoming all of your new laundry customers? Click the logo or link above to find out more information. 

Links from the show

Connect with Luke

Follow him @lukefwilliford on facebook and instagram for daily encoragement focused on faith family and the laundry business. 
Follow business pages:
The Wash House Laundromats @thewashhouseinc      www.thewashhouseinc.com  
Interactive Payment Systems @freedomfromcoins      www.freedomfromcoins.com  (800) 215-0548

Luke's Bio

Luke Williford is one of the most well known individuals in the laundry industry. Luke is a third generation laundromat owner-operator of The Wash House Laundromats Luke is grateful to work with his father Marshall, brother Lee and brother in laws Josh and Justis. Luke and the team operate 34 laundromats with 3 undercontract today. The company started in rural eastern NC in 1967 and today is based out of Raleigh North Carolina. Luke is a expert in the laundromat industry due to his multitude of experience. Luke oversees operations and loves operating systems that can scale. He plays contractor on new builds and Chief Operating Officer in the day to day of the company. Luke has been the lead on growing the chain from 12 units in 2010 to 34 today. His team and him do all installs and maintenaince. Luke and his brother Lee are co founders of Interactive Payment Systems which has recently released the laundromats ultimate payment solution known as “Freedom” by IPS. Freedom was created to do just that, create Freedom from the ever nagging issues related to operating laundromats on coin. Luke accredits his companies success to the team, consistent hard work, a customer prioritized approach and to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has gone before Luke and his growing company every step of the way. Luke loves the laundry industry and Luke loves people. He is excited to be on the laundromat resource podcast with you today to do one of his favorite things, talk about the laundromat business. 

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    Episode Transcript

    you’re listening to the laundromat
    resource podcast the show laundromat
    owners for laundromat
    [Music]
    [Music]
    haha alright what’s up guys it’s Jordan
    berry from the laundromat resource calm
    and a lot of Matt resource podcasts this
    is show number 10 and I am like I’m so
    excited today not only did we fill up
    two hands with this episode show number
    ten last week if you listened to last
    week’s episode first of all if you
    haven’t goal is in the last week’s
    because Ross the story was incredible
    it’s it’s I mean you guys have just
    really loved that episode in fact we
    loved it so much that last episode we
    celebrated a thousand downloads together
    that was amazing this week we’re gonna
    celebrate 1500 downloads I can’t believe
    it happened that fast but man thank you
    guys for tuning in for listening to
    these your just your fellow laundromat
    owners who are sharing their stories
    sharing their wisdom sharing their
    experience share their stories with
    other people if you haven’t yet so man
    awesome big celebration again 1500
    downloads celebrated a thousand last
    week it’s just rolling and I you know
    it’s it’s you guys so thank you guys for
    that support and we’re glad you’re here
    and today we’re gonna reward you with an
    interview with Luke Willa for Willeford
    and Luke and his family own I think 37
    laundromats you heard that right 37
    laundromats
    and I mean if you’re someone who either
    has a laundromat or wants to get into
    the laundromat business and you want to
    succeed I mean Luke’s the guy I talked
    to he has the 37 of them they’re just
    killing it and he’s sharing his story
    and all throughout this whole interview
    he is just infusing it with ways to help
    you succeed so you do not miss it and in
    fact I want to keep this beginning part
    really short I want to mention one thing
    from the forums real quick
    Mitch who’s came over from BiggerPockets
    posted in our commercial real estate
    forum and I thought some of you guys
    might be able to help Mitch out kind of
    sort this deal out he has a deal that
    he’s looking at it’s a commercial real
    estate deal and the owner selling the
    real estate and also the laundromat that
    the owner operates and then there’s
    three other units I think a couple of
    apartments in a Pilates studio but the
    way that the owner has run the finances
    kind of has made a mess and he’s helped
    kind of untangling that and I thought
    some of you guys might be able to hit
    help Mitch out so head over to the forms
    laundromat resource comm slash forums
    and help Mitch out in the commercial
    real estate forum help him with this
    deal and you know I just want to
    challenge you again right now or after
    this episode head over there lot of my
    research accomplished form to help Mitch
    out but ask a question and answer a
    question help help each other I really
    think that they’re the the real success
    is gonna happen for all of us when we’re
    helping each other out and we’re helping
    each other succeed and the forms is a
    great way to do that so head over there
    lotta memory source a complex forums
    I’ll put a link in the descriptions and
    in the show notes and in fact if you
    want to see the show notes with links to
    everything that we talked about today in
    this podcast including ways to get a
    hold of Luke at the end which you’re
    gonna want to do by the end of this
    thing because he’s Jesus an awesome guy
    not only super savvy and the in the
    industry but also just a genuine awesome
    guy you’re gonna love them so his
    contact information will be in the show
    notes if you want to check all of those
    out head over to laundromat resource
    comm slash shoten laundry my resource
    calm slash shoten and check all of those
    out and and that’s it before we head
    into our interview with Luke lets do a
    quick message in today’s world if your
    laundromat is not online you’re losing
    business customers increasingly decide
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    creating a professional logo and website
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    let laundromat resource marketing take
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    laundromat resource comm slash get
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    that’s laundromat resource com slash get
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    description all right take advantage of
    that marketing service that we have
    because we know laundromats and we know
    web design and we know marketing so take
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    future and yeah take advantage of that
    alright let’s let’s jump into it with
    Luke all right we’re here with Luke Luke
    thank you for being on the podcast man
    how you doing doing great glad to be
    with you Jordan hey I am super glad that
    you’re here I’m I’m so excited because
    I’ve been I’ve been kind of stalking you
    on Instagram a little bit I follow you
    through the laundromat resource
    Instagram and you are doing some crazy
    stuffs I can’t really I can’t wait to
    hear all about what you’re doing and but
    before we get into that just tell us a
    little bit about you who are you and and
    how did you get into laundromat industry
    and give us a little background on you
    yeah man I’m just glad to be here
    I love the industry and I love people
    first and foremost I’m a believer and I
    am a husband and father
    so those are my biggest duties and then
    I do laundromats
    so whatever it takes um I said my
    understatement by the way the laundromat
    you know it’s I was born into this
    industry so I feel like I’ve been
    picking up dryer sheets ever since I was
    born and grew up in the industry
    I’m a third-generation owner operator
    and I love operations then I’ve got kind
    of what’s got us what’s helped me to
    distinguish myself is is really not any
    any special knowledge but rather my work
    ethic I’ve kind of brought my work ethic
    that helped me excel in collegiate
    sports kind of to the laundry business
    and and I work alongside my brother
    brother-in-law’s and my father and
    that’s just such a blessing to do and uh
    and we’ve got an awesome team so a lot
    of times you’ll see me on the on the
    Instagram or on our Facebook because I
    do a lot of the marketing but our team
    of staff just I mean they really make it
    happen
    and are owed a lot of credit for our
    success so that’s awesome man would you
    play in college what sport football and
    baseball at a small school Division
    three program here in Rocky Mountain
    North Carolina North Carolina Wesleyan
    College played football and baseball
    there and I got a degree in business and
    then yeah and got into the laundry on
    industry father hired me and took that
    opportunity kind of grabbed it by the
    horns and have really ran with it
    um very thankful for that opportunity
    yeah yeah you definitely ran with it
    dual sport athlete that’s pretty awesome
    that’s pretty awesome we’ll have to uh
    you know get to get
    sometime and hit each other or something
    now I play golf that’s kind of kind of
    what I use to fill that void because
    there’s not many pickup football games
    yeah not too many out there I’m kind of
    interested actually because okay so my
    family is from Tennessee and I live in
    California now but when I start talking
    with them I slowly develop a thicker and
    thicker accent so I’m wondering if
    because I’m talking to you my accents
    gonna get thicker by the end of this
    thing’s so you have grown up in the
    laundromat industry you love the
    laundromat industry and you said you
    kind of took it and ran with it that’s
    an understatement we’ll get there but
    tell us a little bit about how your
    experience of it like how how have you
    liked it what do you you mentioned you
    like the operations side of it is there
    anything in particular that you like
    about the operation side of it or the
    industry as a whole yeah yeah I just I
    love that every day is different some
    people like to do the same thing over
    and over I like I like every day to be
    kind of a new challenge I’m a
    problem-solver by Nature and I really
    love flipping laundries we’ve really
    grown through acquisition we can get
    into that later but we’ve taken you know
    a lot of Sam B Matt says my friend Brian
    grill trademarked it and and really
    poured into those and and taking
    something that you know was a
    fixer-upper and and reinvested in it and
    the customers are always so appreciative
    so I love that side of taking something
    and in renovating it and turning it into
    a bill wash house laundromat and just
    seeing the results it has but more
    importantly than the financial results
    just the smiles on customers faces and
    the community just being appreciative of
    you investing back into their community
    and really the numbers take care
    so I love the free events we do in
    marketing on a regular basis I love
    engaging with people like you Jordan and
    others throughout the industry I can
    name a bunch but I’d miss somebody and
    yeah I play chief operating officer in
    our company we really don’t do titles a
    whole lot but I’m kind of on the
    operation side my brother
    serves as our CEO CFO on the financial
    side so that really allows me to get
    outside the office and be in the stores
    on a regular basis and and I’m his
    biggest fan his name’s Lee a lot of
    y’all listen probably know him and he’s
    my biggest fan so working together with
    him is a lot of fun and we’re best
    friends food so that makes it fun also
    working with my brother-in-law is Josh
    and justice whoo-hoo it’s just fun fun
    to work together and grow something and
    and yeah just just a lot of fun I love
    growth so I think that’s one of the
    things that that’s helped us did not
    stay stagnant um you know to continue to
    grow and grow and almost too much it’s
    definitely my mom and her brother would
    say sometimes but it’s it’s a lot of fun
    I love every day I do most of hiring in
    our company so I’m dealing with our
    staff and and that’s just such an
    important part I’m sure those listening
    understand finding and retaining good
    help we call our store attendants we
    call them store managers so finding good
    quality store managers is an important
    part of my role and yeah it’s been fun
    to see that growth you know a number of
    people grow number a units growing
    number of the amount of customers grow
    the geography work uh burns grunts um so
    so yeah
    yeah well a couple things that kind of
    just out of that what you just said
    there I don’t know if we can go
    off-script just a tiny bit but we had
    someone in our forums this week who
    asked a question that maybe you might be
    able to lend some advice to actually
    because you know you talk about flipping
    some of these zombie mats and and doing
    that so he was wondering how do you know
    if it’s worth investing in new machines
    in your in your laundromat how do you is
    there like a way that you determine that
    there’s a lot of factors Jordon and
    really at this point we’ve done quite a
    bit so so we go to the property and we
    pray about it we fill our gut we try to
    not lie to ourselves and and it’s kind
    of like hiring when you hire a new
    person whether you’re going to decide to
    invest in that person you kind of want
    to be very honest upfront and so you
    don’t have something the same with us
    with evaluating a new business that’s
    for sale first you have to see what they
    have for sale most of the time that is
    just the assets of the old equipment
    which typically are going to have to be
    liquidated for a small amount of the
    value they’re probably putting on but
    what I’m buying when I go into a new
    space is I’m eliminating the competitor
    in that market I’m also buying the up
    fitting and the tap fees that all avoid
    by building out a new store and I’m
    getting that existing revenue existing
    customer base although if it stays that
    based you’re probably not going to be
    able to invest the money in new machines
    and renovating the place however we
    found that typically you can take that
    base and grow it by by quite
    significantly through marketing and and
    remodeling and just drawing drawing
    people in who may have not been using a
    laundry or
    who may have been going to another
    laundry typically we do not look at the
    competition outside of a mile away
    typically and and most competitors it’s
    got to be at least 1500 square foot and
    probably a 40 machine count for us to
    even really so there’s those variables
    of competition you do have to play into
    it but at the end of the day the people
    have to be there so we don’t want to
    throw a party and nobody come they have
    done that or may have attended a party
    and you were the only one who showed up
    that’s the last thing we want to do and
    that’s the last thing the listeners want
    to do especially that person evaluating
    their first store you know do your
    research you know listen to the
    laundromat resource podcast listen to
    American going listen to CLA get planet
    lunch or get American coin on get all
    those resources and and yeah take that
    advice and do the best you can go to the
    site go in every laundromat you can go
    in so you know the business you’re
    getting into if you’re not a people
    person it’s probably not the business
    for you I know Jordan you shared in
    previous podcast that you talked a few
    people out of getting in this industry I
    think that’s perfectly fine
    I’d much rather talk someone out of
    getting in this industry
    I’ve been talk someone into it after
    they and then they want to get out after
    after they’ve invested you know quarter
    million half million million dollars
    into something but one other thing is
    the rent rate so you know and these are
    all things that your local distributor
    will be able to help you with but the
    rent ratio needs to be about 50% at
    least in our market we typically like to
    see as many people in a one two and
    three mile radius as possible we do have
    stores in a rural market where the
    populations you know
    2,500 to 8,000 people and that’s really
    where my father started in those rural
    markets and their competition is a
    little bit more important because you
    can’t have four stores in a town with
    you know 4,000 people but in in bigger
    cities you know they’re they’ll drive
    past a few other laundries if you make
    it nice but ya know I kind of ran on
    there but uh hey if you’re gonna buy a
    store that you know needs renovating um
    you know you’re most likely not just
    going to be able to put a little
    lipstick and makeup on it if the
    equipment’s over 15 years old then then
    you need to plan to reinvest in the
    equipment but don’t just reinvest in the
    equipment reinvest in the business but
    time energy into that business because
    the equipment is a big piece of the
    puzzle but it’s just one portion you
    know you want to care for your customers
    give them an excellent customer service
    customer experience and they’ll come
    back you know and they’ll tell their
    friends your existing customer base is
    always your biggest marketing tool
    because they all have a cell phone now
    and they’re sharing things on Facebook
    they’re sharing you know they’re calling
    their friends let them know send in
    pictures you know so yep
    well that was just a big old bucket full
    of gold right there
    and you just make sure the people are
    there and then when you make the
    decision to go go all out and and and
    come on Jordans podcast and tell about
    how the numbers changed yeah yeah oh man
    that was that was awesome that was just
    you know so much good wisdom and I think
    you know I do a ton of coaching calls
    and people are always asking questions
    that your address and head on and and
    man I I think that’s just gonna help a
    ton of people out just listening to that
    segment so if you’re listening right now
    and you needed to hear that just rewind
    that and listen to it all over again
    maybe like four times make it your
    ringtone
    or something so you just hear all the
    time because I was just gold Hey okay so
    we’re gonna get into some of the details
    of your business here in a little bit
    but let’s can we just tell people how
    many laundromats do you own right now
    okay so today me my father brother wall
    and we own and operate 34 stores and we
    have three under contract so so that
    could be 37 in the next next few weeks
    sun-ho – yeah yeah so we we run that and
    just so thankful my dad my grandfather
    and then my dad got into the business my
    father Marshall he’s my my role model
    and he wrote and he’s just been a huge
    advocate for the industry over Agora 45
    years now seven so yeah it’s it’s it’s a
    lot of fun he is still involved and and
    and enjoys it he really loves going
    around and talking to the people and I
    think that’s that’s just the that’s the
    heart of our company and really how
    we’ve grown to that many units and more
    people if you you know take care of one
    good store and a nun and and the good
    Lord opened another opportunity to do
    that and we’ve just seen him go before
    us really and over the last I think
    about ten years we’ve got grown it from
    12 to where we are today yeah and and
    yeah it’s a lot of fun huh man whoa
    yeah I want to get into that a little
    bit more but is there is there maybe
    like one that stands it like one like
    purchase or one you know store that you
    know before and after or something like
    that is really stands out that you can
    tell us about I know there’s so many
    stores they probably all just blurt out
    other but yeah absolutely
    we’ll just take one that we did maybe a
    year ago we call the laundry basket we
    name all the stores either by the street
    name or what the previous owner called
    them so this was called the laundry
    basket is here in in Raleigh North
    Carolina and it’s one of those deals
    where
    where we were able to acquire the store
    it was it had been ran down you know we
    had found through through our experience
    investigation it was a coin store that
    there was multiple silent partners and
    that revenue that the owner thought was
    being generated it was a little more
    than that
    so actually we we purchased the store
    and we kept the key keys in the coin box
    is the same for about two weeks and uh
    in revenue was what it was and I said no
    some doesn’t feel right so you know we
    we’ve got ways of seeing how we you know
    if quarters are going away if it’s a you
    know pool hall or a car wash coming and
    getting coins or coins are actually
    being stolen in this case we were we
    were able to to change out the coin
    boxes and bam revenue skyrocket it’s
    like wow this was after the closing on
    the store so it was it was that was
    pretty neat
    and then usually goes the other way you
    find out what a revenue wasn’t as high
    yeah so yeah the owner was extremely
    honest but they didn’t realize that that
    yeah that was taking place and we
    actually kept the existing staff there
    it wasn’t a staff member who was
    involved in this so we actually kept the
    existing staff and at that store they
    were running free drop because I had
    stores right around it and they were
    they were trying to compete with with us
    because I have two stores within you
    know a mile radius of that location and
    some listen and may say well why’d you
    buy that one well you know again back to
    that blurb earlier if we if there’s a
    need for and we can eliminate a
    competitor and and serve more people
    because because we did we we’re now
    serving more people because we acquired
    and renovated that store but moving
    forward my staff member there was having
    to do free drop which
    and I do not agree on who was on the
    pastor you know Brandon I always talk
    talk about the business and if you
    didn’t hear Brandon was one of Jordans
    interviews prior great owner/operator
    shout out to eat you Brandon alright his
    episode two so if people want to go
    listen to it was a great episode yeah
    yeah so they were doing free dry and the
    poor attendant was having to run himself
    ragged starting the machine with
    quarters and then emptying the coin box
    this started again on Sundays and
    whatnot along with trying to clean and
    handle the the problem so we we went to
    charge it for dry we put in our payment
    system freedom by interactive payment
    systems which is also a company of mine
    then I’ll tell you later more about but
    in doing that we we’ve been able to see
    on sales in this 2000 small 2,000 square
    foot store all new equipment 22 washer
    store we’ve been able to see on see
    sales almost a hundred and fifty percent
    of one hundred and fifty percent so so
    that’s one we actually did we actually
    we can link the YouTube video I did a
    YouTube of the before and after of this
    one and we’ll be able eat that so I’ll
    give you that YouTube video and it’s
    about 11 minute video but it shows you
    this zombie Matt frier it shows you a
    little bit of us during the installation
    we do all our own installations so it
    shows us tearing it out putting it back
    in we tore all that equipment out and
    put the new in in about two days so the
    staff that was the one that we were able
    to flip technically I like the new truck
    and the empty truck that’s taking old
    ones off to show up from a day apart so
    one day would tear now the next day
    we’re loading them we’re putting in the
    new and that one just just flowed pretty
    pretty seamlessly and we were we were
    able to only close for about I think it
    was three days we closed on Monday and
    we’re open on Thursday afternoon so
    that’s another thing for people
    listening if you acquire store and
    you’re going to close it for real
    don’t just close for a very long time
    because people have tendencies and we
    don’t want to break those if we do who
    want it short amount of time as possible
    so yep yeah I found that a big part of
    the laundromat industry actually is
    habit formation and habit changing you
    know people get into their rhythms they
    get into their habits of going to a
    certain store so if you’re coming in to
    buy a new store and you want to grow
    that business you know whether it’s
    somebody go into another laundromat or
    somebody who doesn’t use a laundromat
    currently you have to figure out ways to
    incentivize them to change their habits
    to start coming to your store using your
    services so yeah absolutely they get out
    of that habit of going to your store it
    can be tough you know we all know it’s
    hard to change habits oh absolutely
    did was it what was the response when
    you went from free dry to paid dry the
    did you hear back from customers about
    that the staff member really liked it
    because oh yeah causing confrontation
    between the staff member and the
    customer base and you never want to
    create tension between your staff and
    your customer right also we weren’t
    alone we weren’t at that time they
    weren’t allowing people to just come in
    and dry clothes and I do allow that in
    our business model so nobody could come
    in and just dry clothes but people were
    trying to you know come in and do that
    but yeah of course they were like what
    no free try had a few people pack up and
    and and leave but obviously I told you
    about the growth in this store so we’re
    serving more people before once we got
    done with the renovation I think they
    could understand and the value that was
    added we did go down along a little bit
    of the lowest bin price washer we was $3
    when the when the previous owner had it
    we took our lowest twenty pound
    Washington 250 kind of accomodate to
    kind of accommodate for taking away the
    free dry
    and we run a partially attended model so
    free dry is hard to harden hard to do
    around the clock yeah yeah well plus you
    earned all the laundromats around it so
    go to the other one cuz we own that one
    – you actually around still do free drop
    yeah yeah I mean nobody gives me free
    gas or I can’t find anybody tell me the
    drives for free so yeah exactly I
    understand a lot of people listening
    that had success and that’s the great
    thing really about our industry Jordan
    if you put effort into it you put your
    resources and your energy behind it you
    can be successful at this business you
    don’t have to do it just like me or just
    like you or whomever you know you can be
    successful in a whole lot of different
    ways which makes it awesome small
    business to be in especially this time
    through Kobe where we’ve been able to be
    classified an essential service
    throughout the country so I think more
    people are gonna be looking to get into
    the business I’m sure some of those are
    listening but I think it’s a special
    time and just the economics of our
    country and of course our industry as
    well yeah yeah I I agree I agree I think
    that’s been one of the good things
    that’s come out for the long term ed
    industry during all this debacle is you
    know we you know we’ve always said you
    know everybody needs a place to live
    food to eat and clean clothes to wear
    you know but you know they were declared
    officially of central businesses so well
    tell me okay you have all these stores
    you’re you’re in charge of operations
    tell me a little bit about what is your
    typical week look like what are you
    doing you know as a an owner who has
    managing 34 soon to be 37 stores it’s
    every week it’s not quite identical I
    mean I’m in most the stores at least
    once of once a month just technically
    call checking the temperature of the
    store
    so I’m looking on the physical side as
    well as on the power customers
    feeling treated how’s my staff doing I
    normally would take and have a personal
    conversation with all my staff as often
    as possible because really we treat our
    team like family
    we have a Christmas party that has
    almost 200 people at it and and we
    really try to try to have a relation
    that’s been one of the hardest thing for
    me and scaling is I don’t have that
    personal time which each staff member
    like I did prior when I started with the
    company I was I think I had four or five
    stores and I was a regional manager and
    and now scaling I’m just always working
    on a efficiencies hiring efficiencies
    you know making sure training
    efficiencies onboarding new staff
    members but because of life you know you
    have people are leaving and coming on
    all the time especially as you grow so
    that’s that’s something you know we we
    have to you know manage I’m fortunate
    enough because we we’ve grown to the
    scale we’ve got an office administrator
    who helps me some with with our staff as
    well as our customers we take about 20
    to 30 texts and calls a day we’ve really
    gone from from answering the phone
    kind of change that system a few months
    ago to to when people call we are we’re
    texting them and we’re just able to take
    the tone out of the conversation and
    really just solve their problem
    extremely fast now that we have freedom
    our payment solution in most of our
    stores we’re able to help that customer
    from our from our cell phone or from my
    office administrator she’s she’s
    watching that all the time so she can
    text with them there for refunds need to
    be given she can do that right through
    text message without ever having to pick
    up the phone or deal with tone and kind
    of takes the emotions out of the
    conversation and we just got really good
    feedback
    from our customers so so that’s those
    little things are things I’m working on
    we’re always got a new project I play
    contractor on all our new installs so I
    do the contracting I do the undo the
    negotiations and then as soon as we kind
    of strike a deal I turn it over to my
    brother Lee who kind of takes it from
    there I find most of the new
    acquisitions that we get typically
    they’re not listed for sale so so that
    sometimes and then sometimes on they
    they are listed but I was the first to
    contact the broker so he breaks that to
    me sometimes first and and yeah just
    trying to work extremely hard getting to
    know as many people as I can and then
    make sure we’re keeping store standards
    up so I’ve got a just brought on a new
    guy who is doing annual services for me
    so so we’re doing about three annual
    services a month and that has a
    checklist that we’ve created that kind
    of goes through maintenance so that as
    we grow larger in number of units we’re
    also growing in the quality of the care
    we’re taking care of our staff and the
    equipment from so that has an exterior
    checklist from the parking lot all the
    way to the lighting and an on fruit
    those listening it’s not perfect you’re
    never going to be perfect you can ride
    around the store and say that guy was on
    the podcast and he had a check well that
    checklist it’s always but we’re trying
    to what an annual service looks like
    it’s three days with that with two men
    on the crew it Mossad and going through
    and checking off a list from the
    exterior all the way in there taking
    making sure the belts are good all the
    backs are on every screw and the washers
    in the washer and I’m just assuming here
    but I say that that should even if it
    only extends the life of the equipment
    two or three more years that’s well
    worth it so so kind of putting those
    things in place Jordan to make sure
    we’re
    on top of it and then I’m out there with
    them doing these annual services as much
    as possible which is typically one or
    two days a week I’m I love the physical
    side so I always anybody who works with
    us works with us not for us so so
    they’re working working with us and
    that’s what I tell them and they not
    only tell them you can tell someone
    anything but when they show them that
    you’re willing to take out the garbage
    or clean the toilet then they really
    start to realize and that’s just the
    culture we’re trying to create here so
    yeah that line it up a bucket full but
    that’s kind of what my week looks like
    typically Monday through Friday and then
    I’m on my phone all the time my wife has
    to has to tell me sometimes we’ll get
    attacks come through at midnight now
    I’ll take care of it we I’m constantly
    watching their surveillance cameras
    watching the sales through through my
    own freedom app and yeah it’s it’s uh
    it’s a lot of fun it’s a lot of fun I
    enjoy it but I’ve really really gotten I
    guess a high risk tolerance I think
    something those of you looking to get in
    the intimus industry need to need to
    make sure you have which is high risk
    politics by that I mean when someone
    calls and says waters leaking you’ve got
    to understand to take that when
    someone’s calls it says there’s five
    people fighting in your laundromat you
    have to take that without that like
    truly devouring you or somebody tried to
    break in the Coke machine or you know
    there was accident in the parking lot or
    some I sleep in the bathroom I think um
    some I’m it I’ve become immune to it
    I mean life says I’ve become immune to
    like so many things that she’s like
    weren’t you British and other others too
    I talked to it’s just you have to become
    a medium because we’re we’ve always got
    a glass door breaking somewhere we’ve
    always got you know incidents and I’m
    trying to pull up Ballard’s to make sure
    we don’t have
    by driving into the building so I don’t
    so I’m just trying to put in all those
    preventative things filters if you will
    to keep things from happening that I
    know are how possibility of happening so
    yeah if you’re listening
    make sure getting into this industry
    that you do love people and that you
    have a risk tolerance that that is not
    gonna keep you up at night you know
    worried about your business or or any
    anything like that cuz yeah I’m I’m glad
    that you say that because I you know so
    so many I’ve experienced every single
    one of those things that you mentioned
    you know but from somebody sleeping in
    in the laundromat to fight everything
    all of that stuff and I think that’s
    kind of you know when people think about
    the laundromat industry you know nobody
    really thinks it’s a glamorous industry
    but they think you know I’m gonna show
    up once a week collect some coins
    you know maybe shake few hands well not
    now we don’t you don’t shake hands right
    now just but maybe you know say hi give
    the little elbow bump or whatever and uh
    you know and that’s it and and there is
    a lot I mean just the nature of the
    industry the nature of the population
    tends to you know in just a nature of
    people you know it’s just stuff happens
    sometimes and so I think that’s great
    great wisdom that you’re sharing there
    because you know people need to know
    that kind of getting into it because it
    can it can to bury you I remember early
    on you know something would happen and I
    would freak out and now it’s like
    somebody can call me and like my
    laundromats burning down and I’m like
    yeah I’ll be there in like 20 minutes or
    you know whatever like it’s just you
    know you got to just take it in stride
    you know so I think that’s great yeah so
    I don’t want to put any pressure on you
    but Brandon who was on show number seven
    says that his goal is to get to 50 so
    I’m curious do you have you know do you
    have any gold you have like a number
    goal or do you have a direction that
    you’re wanting to go you know from here
    I mean you have 34 almost 37 laundromats
    what’s the future holds for you guys
    yeah just being better tomorrow and
    today benno was yesterday
    continuing to improve continuing to you
    know serve the markets that were
    currently already in the geographies
    that were already in if the stores
    needed there or for stores for sale
    there and it meets our criteria
    you know we want to to serve we want
    that we want to buy that store that’s
    like with the three that we have under
    contract there in our market so it makes
    sense um you know so that that’s it I
    really don’t have a number that that I’m
    pretty confident will most likely get to
    fifty but also you know just just won’t
    improve in every system that we have
    operationally to where we can scale to
    fifty or hundred I’ve got you know
    friends that that have 100 but you know
    I don’t know that’s not really my
    aspiration right now just continue to
    improve and I make checklist every day I
    could show you on my huge whiteboard
    that I have and also he raced them as
    fast as possible when they’re complete
    so I try to stay is short sighted in and
    you know whatever the opportunity is
    right in front of me handle that one
    because a year from now you know who
    knows what will be out there but uh but
    I try to make the list yesterday we
    needed to hire five new people I’ve got
    three O’s training today and the other
    two are training tomorrow so it’s it’s
    just just things like that I try to stay
    short sighted and by doing so checking
    stuff off every day you look back and we
    always talk about where it’s there you
    know like you’re saying where’s there
    for us and really there’s not a lot of
    clarity but we enjoy it if I stop and
    join then then then I’ll stop but I love
    it man it’s been a blessing to me just
    the industry and the opportunity that
    I’ve been given so
    I want to grow it I want to I want to
    bring more staff along because every
    time we grow I know that we’re gonna be
    providing for another family you know
    I’m gonna be able to staff more people
    and I know that we’re gonna now we’ve
    got the capability to reinvest
    completely when we take over store you
    know ten years ago we were gonna use
    what we could not be fixed and you know
    whatever equipment was there and we
    maybe add a piece or two or ten now
    we’re just able to completely remove all
    the existing equipment and add all brand
    new equipment so so I’m just thankful to
    be at that point I think a lot of times
    we all you know you know are looking to
    where there is sometimes you know just
    just stop and and smell the roses as the
    old saying goes but but yeah I just want
    to continue to build and have systems to
    to so I can be with my family more and
    be the best dad that I can be to my kids
    and husband to my wife because you know
    and that’s the great thing about this
    business you know if if I do need to
    take off I can manage a lot of things
    from my phone I’m not sure how
    entrepreneurs did it years ago before so
    for those because I’ll have contractors
    going places and and all sorts of things
    and and I can do that from my phone
    sometimes so that makes it nice I don’t
    know if that answers your question yeah
    I will tell you I’d like to get kind of
    a hundred payment systems out there
    pretty quick and then over the next
    couple of years we can dive into the
    fence system a little later but yeah but
    that’s all my storage converted that
    should be done by end of the year so
    yeah yeah that and that just continues
    to go on operations efficiencies
    customer experience when it’s consistent
    all across the board we try to not have
    ABCD stores we try to try to keep them
    all at at a the best we can keep maze
    well I think I think you’re
    I mean it’s it’s incredibly clear you
    know just from this conversation so far
    that you know you’re focusing on
    customer experience and your focus on
    you know your employees you know having
    good experience and being taken care of
    and being part of the family and in
    operational efficiencies and I have a
    feeling that those three main focuses
    are a big part of your success and your
    your ability to scale and to focus on
    the small day-to-day that checklist and
    checking things off of it you know like
    you said you look back and it doesn’t
    feel like a whole lot but when you look
    back and you do a little bit every
    single day you know it adds up to a
    whole lot and especially when you start
    dragging that out to five years ten
    years and you look back and all of a
    sudden you have 37 laundromats we have a
    little section in the podcast we like to
    call down to business and down to
    businesses we just we just want to hear
    a little bit of details about your your
    business so tell us you’re in tell us
    where you’re at and where your stores
    are located kind of in proximity to each
    other and into you and your family where
    you guys are operating from which are
    like radius and yeah tell us a little
    bit about the location awesome so my
    grandfather started in 1967 I think I
    told you he ended up with the with the
    laundromat and dry cleaners in 1967 he
    was working in a sawmill and he didn’t
    he was the he owned the property in the
    rock layers and laundromat tenant went
    out of business so he took that over my
    my and and the first thing he did I
    think it’s relevant now in remodeling we
    always try to renovate improve the
    stores the first thing my grandfather
    did on day one is he removed a partition
    in that laundromat in rural Eastern
    North Carolina that separated the front
    of the laundry for whites in the back of
    hydroflax
    so that was just one of the
    kind of an awesome thing you know the
    right thing to do and and and so so
    since then we’ve been trying to improve
    and get better at serving serving
    everyone so that was that and my father
    I dropped out of college and his dad
    Jimmy was my grandfather’s nickname he
    he’s still alive by the way we just
    celebrated his 95th birthday so just a
    birthday yeah I’ve got about a 12-minute
    interview with him on video where he
    just and it’s just incredible to hear a
    little bit about his life story he
    fought in World War two and was on the
    vault in the Battle of the Bulge went to
    the beach in Normandy and it’s just
    great to be here he’s told me some
    incredible stories and and King came
    back he he farmed and it is is now still
    95 years old still doing well but so we
    started rural Eastern North Carolina and
    then about ten years ago my father had I
    think it was 12 laundromats he had done
    a good job in the rural markets where
    the population wasn’t so high of kinda
    you know being the only shop in town he
    bought out the existing laundries and
    and and was able to to just kind of make
    his brand in those small towns like I
    said before some of the rural markets
    couldn’t handle two stores even so he
    wanted to to make sure that the stores
    there served in those markets work or
    the washhouse and so he did that very
    successfully and we still have oh I
    think about all of those stores and he
    brought me my brother own bone loss zone
    and and we started taking that model
    from rural Eastern North Carolina to to
    the more central North Carolina and
    triangle raleigh-durham area where the
    population instead of 5,000 people you
    got
    you know 300,000 in a city and in that
    same model works extremely well we found
    it work extremely well
    the only variable was the real-estate
    cost so your lease cost the utilities
    were the same the cost of equipment was
    the same you know so if that machine had
    rolled eastern North Carolina was doing
    three turns maybe it could do five in
    the larger city and you could have more
    machines in her store so we did that we
    found the store in Raleigh a package of
    three and grew it into Raleigh and now
    we’re based out of Raleigh North
    Carolina
    we’ve got stores all the way down to
    Lumberton at kind of the South border of
    the state right at South with a border
    that borders on South Carolina and then
    down at the coast the Outer Banks some
    people listening maybe have visited the
    Outer Banks
    we’ve got store down there and then then
    all the way on down to to Raleigh Durham
    Fayetteville and on Wake Forest North
    Carolina but but that’s a little bit
    about about our geography we cover and a
    little bit about the history of the
    company as far as our business we are
    self service laundromats so we do not do
    any wash dry fold we get that text a
    couple times a day asking do we do that
    service and we do not do that service
    and I think that’s one of the things
    that we decide to make a few years back
    and I think it was the right decision
    and we just try to be really good at
    what we’re good at
    and and it’s it’s allowed us to scale
    and so that’s kind of that keep asking
    if I didn’t ya know it’s that yeah so
    you pretty much all I’m hearing is you
    pretty much own North Carolina is that
    that’s brunette when I’m here you know
    we don’t we don’t own but about 50% of
    our the properties on our stores on the
    brand and talked a few weeks ago about
    you know a rent that was I think he used
    $8,000 he thought that was how you
    probably don’t think that’s high and
    count

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