“You are an extension of your customers’ house.”

Elizabeth Bricken Wilson  is  a dynamo laundromat owner! She is an absolute MASTER at listening to others and responding with empathy and decisive action. Her humble demeanor belies the genius of her success in the laundromat business.

“I don’t exist without my customers.”

As I spoke with Elizabeth, it become more and more clear to me that I was speaking with someone who gets it. She casually dropped genius perspectives, innovative ideas, and powerful wisdom as if were just chit chat over coffee. And yet, the power in her perspective on her business is something we all need more of!

“It’s awesome to be a conduit for the neighborhood to support their neighbors.”

I (Jordan) listened to this episode twice before it even came out and was struck by how great Elizabeth is at listening to her customers and staff, learning what they want and need, and finding ways to both give it to them and help them get it themselves.

“It doesn’t cost extra to listen to your customers.”

In this episode we cover topics such as: 

  • Using NextDoor.com to find out how to craft a laundromat your neighborhood wants
  • Lessons learned from buying her first laundromat business
  • Preconceived misconceptions about owning laundromats
  • How to stand out in a crowded market
  • Personally running shifts early on
  • Marketing your laundromat business
  • Integrating laundry drop-off & pick-up and delivery services
  • Goals for the next year
  • Innovative and powerful secret sauce to success in the laundromat business
  • Get to know laundromats
  • The power of learning from successful people

And much more!

“If my husband can hire someone to do lawn care, I can hire someone to do the laundry.”

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

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Episode Transcript

hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
laundromat resource podcast this is show
number 39
and i’m pumped that you’re here today
because today we’re talking with
elizabeth
wilson and i just love the passion that
she has
about her laundromat she’s kind of a
reluctant laundromat
owner from the beginning and now just
loves loves loves it and
it’s so cool to hear her story hear her
share her experiences you’re going to
really love it and you’re actually going
to learn a lot from it too i know i did
so make sure you get uh you know your
favorite note-taking app or
a notepad and pencil out and make sure
you’re taking notes throughout this one
uh but before we get to that interview i
just want to uh
man just take a second and say i am
excited about what’s happening with
laundromat resource right now this past
week we rolled out with some new
features
on the website one of them i’m very very
excited about you may have gotten an
email about it if you’re on the email
list
but now uh laundromat resource is a
better place to
network with this industry uh because
now we have the capability to
message privately we have the
capabilities to have friends
on a lot of my resource and follow
people
and uh just more and more we’re building
in things to help
us network together better because i’m
saying it all the time but
we are better together we’re all going
to make more money we’re going to help
more people we’re gonna do it all a lot
faster
when we’re working together and so we’re
trying to figure out more and more ways
to do that
uh through laundromat resource and and
this week we made a big step forward i’m
super excited about it i know some of
you guys have already been using it i’ve
been getting some messages on the site
and stuff so go find me
a lot of myresource.com sign up for a
free membership get access to the free
ebook and all the other tools
and participate in the forums and start
making some friends networking messaging
having conversations
growing learning and overall just
succeeding
more so i’m super excited about it hope
you guys are excited to get over there
make a profile
fill out your profile and let us know
who you are and start interacting or
keep interacting if you’re already doing
that
lots of stuff going on in the forums
i’ll let you guys head over this week to
check those things out a lot of cool
conversations happening i know you guys
were pretty active this week and some
new people on the forums too so welcome
to all you guys who are new to
laundromat resource
and the membership uh i say it all the
time but get in there
ask a question answer a question in
those forums
every week get the discussions rolling
because that’s
where you’re going to start seeing that
growth
all right so man i’m let’s just jump
into it with
elizabeth because i just had such a
great time
and i’m excited because uh she committed
to coming back
on next year around this time so we
could check on some of her progress
she’s going to talk about that
you’re going to love this whole thing so
let’s get into it right after
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the description
how are you doing thanks for coming on
the show jordan glad to be here
i know this has been in the works for a
long time so this is kind of
like i’ve been anticipating this forever
don’t let me down that’s what i’m trying
to say
it’s gonna know it’s gonna be a lot of
fun well i’m super excited because
we i mean we literally have been
probably for like almost a year
talking about doing something like this
and so it’s very cool to be doing it
finally with you
and i can’t wait to hear more about your
story because we’ve never talked before
this is our first time talking also
i hear your first time on a podcast is
that
my very first podcast and yes it’s going
to be so exciting i can already tell
it’s going to be a lot of fun
uh so i want to hear about your
experience with laundromats but before
we get to that
can you tell us a little bit about you
who are you where you come from
where do i come from i’m from a small
town called telahoma tennessee which is
right in the middle of the state
i lived there until i was 18. and since
then i’ve moved
almost every year um for lots of reasons
i’ve lived all over the world france
africa
south america i ended up in memphis
tennessee about seven years ago
and since then my husband and i have
done primarily real estate
related work anything from primarily
single-family housing
anything related to that flips
foreclosures rentals
um subject to lease options and then we
bought our first laundry mat
um in august of 18.
some two and a half years in wow okay
well first of all i want to just
pause for a second i do want to hear
about you but i just wanted to mention
that your
husband has an awesome podcast thanks
and i i think that you know if you’re
out there and you’re interested in
commercial real estate you got to check
out
you know sam sam right is his name how
to scale commercial real estate podcast
on all the
normal platforms it’s a daily short 15
20 minute podcast that he interviews
you know anyone related to commercial
real estate i’ve enjoyed just listening
to them while he’s interviewing it’s
it’s impressive how many people are
doing just really cool stuff out there
related to commercial real estate
yeah so if you’re at all interested in
commercial real estate you got to check
out this episode
it’s crazy he is like on a pace that is
killer he has more
episodes out than i do and he just
started you know like in november of
last year
and he but he’s been putting him out
every day he’s recording multiple a day
right
stockpiling those things and um yeah so
you got to check it out how to scale
real
commercial real estate make sure you go
over there and subscribe to that and get
some inspiration
because that is i mean i always
say that i need to brainwash myself to
keep me
on task and keep me motivated and the
way that i do that
a lot of times is i listen to podcasts
that have you know people on who were
talking about
the big things that they’re doing and
and that kind of thing so
he is one of my my podcasts that are
keeping me focused and i’m looking to
buy some commercial real estate here
pretty soon and
it’s super helpful for me so awesome
what says what’s the rule when you
surround yourself by what the seven
people or five people you surround
yourself with
and i think that’s a way we can do it
especially in this environment where you
don’t get that face-to-face time
is through podcasts you can listen to
those experts you can’t connect with
otherwise which i just think is amazing
yeah i agree completely okay enough of
commercial for your husband this is not
about him we really don’t care about him
we care about you
uh so okay real quick very briefly i
mean you kind of piqued my interest
you’ve traveled all around what were you
doing living all over the world
just for fun i got a scholarship
to do my master’s um from the rotary
club it was called the ambassadorial
scholarship
and i’ve always wanted to live in africa
and so i applied to five different
schools
and i got my top pick which is a
university called the tall in durban
south africa right on the coast
and so i just spent two years down there
doing my masters in environmental
science
and just loved it would stay around
longer if i could
and then spent two years learning french
in paris
and the rest of the travels just been
mildly for work wow
romantic romantic life okay so you go
from this
like dream life and then you’re like
yeah and then we moved to
you know memphis and then we bought a
laundromat okay so
we got a there’s like now if you look at
my resume it looks like can she not
decide on any career choice and i don’t
know just
here i am you know i’m the exact same
way so
there’s no judgment here i actually like
that i think that’s awesome
uh okay so okay fill in some blanks here
for us so
why’d you land in memphis um
that’s a really another random one so my
background is actually in
um linguistics in bible translation
which is why i was end up in france i
was trying to be a bible translator to
teach
in central africa he wasn’t going to be
this like missionary bible translator
pilot
thing and so in order to be a missionary
pilot you have to get your mechanics
license
into the main school in tennessee is in
memphis
eight years later here we are still is
he still a pilot
he’s still a pilot we don’t know what we
used to but you know what nobody cares
nobody cares about him
okay this is about you next time you
should have him on i got no i don’t even
care about him
no he means nothing to me so okay uh
all right so you guys ended up in
memphis and uh you guys
have done real estate right you’ve
you’ve been doing all this
invent like a lot of stuff man it sounds
like a lot
um okay so how did you wind up with
a laundromat like yeah so i left
town for something i can’t remember why
oh that’s your fault
i know you should never leave town
because who knows what your husband’s
gonna do that’s why i tell my wife like
you leave town you don’t know what’s
gonna happen i might have a laundromat
i have a new dog i don’t know i married
a serial entrepreneur going back to sam
and so with that comes a lot of benefits
and a lot of just like what you do uh
it’s our left hand he had to take our
comforter the laundromat i can’t
remember what happened
and next thing i know it’s like hey i’m
talking to the owner of this laundromat
because we’re going to buy it i’m like
no no no we know nothing about
laundromats
i mean it’s the closest laundry mat to
our house that is literally
exactly a mile from our house right now
and so he started talking with sky and i
wanted nothing to do with it
i mean i did everything a wife could
possibly do to say
no i want no part of it i wasn’t part of
the negotiation this laundromat was
falling apart
i tell people picture like the worst
scene in a quentin tarantino movie
lights falling in machines hanging open
really random people in it just it was
gross um this was actually the oldest
laundromat in memphis
that i think it was built in 59 or 60
um owned by the same owner until he died
that’s the year he bought at 18 and his
son took it over and didn’t want
anything to do with it
and so you can imagine just the
disrepair and deferred maintenance
and so sam bought it and then we started
remodeling it and i started hanging out
in it
and i fell in love with the silly little
underwear fell in love with it
i fell in love with um what i could see
really is a community
space just the people that have come in
we have so many regular customers
it is the heart of our little
neighborhood and that’s sort of how we
grew it
um so yeah now sam almost since the
first two months after the remodel
he has nothing to do with it
occasionally other than that it’s all
mine
that’s that’s what my wife pulled on me
actually we really
the laundromat was her idea and somehow
i’m the one who deals with it now and
she does nothing for i don’t know
how how they pulled that off but they
did but they somehow did it
they pulled us in genius evil geniuses
okay so you so you bought this
laundromat that was like
run down in disrepair and disrepair
yeah what was that experience like
especially as someone who really didn’t
want it
um that was probably rough ish i mean we
got through it i think the roughest part
was the unknowns
of laundry mat business unknowns of i
mean i’m not a mechanical person
and so hiring a plumber to come in and
like re-plumb things because
you know washer and dryers have changed
so much that’s the laundry mountain
building you know all these
old top loaders so there’s a lot of
lessons like
anything else you do knew lessons
learned you know should have hired a
plumber to come in and evaluate some of
the older pipes
um but we all put in a lot of new
machines we’ve
since then have replaced almost
everything except for
two 1970 sissel dryers that i think my
customers would completely rebel if i
took out
but wait in line for these dryers really
they’ve they’ve like gotten to that
point where they’re so
old now that they’re cool again and
people want them well i think it’s
pretty epa rules on
i think it’d be exceptionally hot yeah
well and also people come in and say you
know this is the dryers my mom
used or my grandmother used yeah a
little sentimental value to
coming into a laundromat that’s been
around in a neighborhood for that long
yeah
yeah then that’s kind of cool to to get
a laundromat like that and to be able to
keep like a piece of that
um you know just that history that’s
been there for a really long time so
that
that is pretty cool to be able to do
that um okay so you guys
bought this laundromat what would you
okay like they handed you the keys like
here here’s your here’s your laundromat
good luck you know slapped you on the
back and walked out the door what
would you do what was it like luckily i
wasn’t part of the first part i think i
would have panicked a little bit
um and so sam actually met with our
dexter rep
and just sort of started walking through
about what we needed new machines that
kind of stuff would look like and
um oh and this was also the first
maybe the second time i’ve ever stepped
foot into a loaner night so it wasn’t
like i had some sort of preconceived
idea of like oh yeah these are what
laundromat machines
should look like or pricing on it or
anything so it’s not
beyond new like i have no idea what
people do in laundromats which is good
and bad because i can come into it with
fresh eyes and be like
i think the bad part about our industry
is the preconceived notion
that laundromats are scary and people
that come to them are sketchy
which is not true you can have that you
don’t have to have that you can put
things in place like
there’s no reason laundromats can’t be
clean and have nice lighting
there’s no reason you can’t have
friendly staff and i think all that
stuff can take away
that stereotype that people have with
laundromats um
so i think because i didn’t have a
background in industry
i was able to look at it and even ask
neighbors i mean
um one of the first things that i did
was like get on
the um social media nextdoor
nextdoor.com
since we live in the neighborhood and
say hey we just bought this laundromat
well what would you guys like to have a
neighborhood laundromat what are you
looking for what kind of stuff is
important to you
because i didn’t know what i wanted
i went straight to the customer base and
say hey and people love that
people love the oh they actually care
about what we want and we’re thinking
about this and so that’s sort of how
i looked at it and went into it
i mean let’s just call like it is it’s
it’s novel to actually ask people what
they want
and help and help them make it happen
like i mean i think
it’s so simple right and it sounds so
obvious but
it’s so easy to get caught up in your
own vision i talk to people all the time
in coaching who are like i want to do
this and i want to do this and i want to
do this
but they never asked the people who
it’s going to serve or who are in that
community
what would you guys like what would you
you know what would you want your
laundry mat to look like and
i do think that’s a huge a huge
advantage to you
because it not only tells you what they
want but it also creates that buy-in
you know from them it becomes part of
their own and
you know when something’s your own first
of all you take better care of it and
second of all you don’t leave it as easy
um so you’re building that customer
loyalty and trust and
all of that so genius genius move so if
anybody out there is looking
to you know redo your laundromat or
you’re buying one that needs to be
redone or
or even if you just have one and you’re
just running it you don’t have to be
redoing anything
asking the customers hey what would make
this a better experience for you
that’s that’s a huge tip i mean because
i’m done exists without them
i mean they’re the reason that this
laundry mat exists i mean i’m not going
to hang out a laundry by myself
so if i can do anything to make that
experience
i mean the biggest compliment someone
can give me is that you’ve made my
laundry day
better great because no one likes doing
laundry no one likes coming nuts
yeah yeah that better awesome yeah no
i i love that and i think that’s that
that’s the mentality that
the best people in our industry have
right you know there’s there’s
a lot of different mentalities you can
come to this business in but the
consistently the people who that i see
who are doing the best in this industry
are the ones
that have that mindset that are saying
hey i i just want to
help my customers have a better laundry
experience i want to
you know provide you know dave men’s use
the word value like i want to provide a
lot of value to my
customers be saying the same thing right
like i want this experience to not be so
painful
and maybe possibly even be enjoyable to
on you know on
some level you know you still gotta fold
fitted sheets and stuff like that so
um i know yeah uh
especially an industry like iris where
you could literally i mean i don’t know
how many laundromats are within
a couple of miles from us i’m guessing
what ten ish and so
if you’re thinking about um standing out
in a crowded marketplace i mean
these things don’t cost extra you know
it doesn’t cost extra to listen to your
customers oh gosh honestly
um my best source of information is my
staff my staff will talk to customers
customers will
mention things offhand and my staff and
so i tell my staff
all the time you hear stuff i mean a lot
of the stuff we can’t do or that i don’t
want to do
um but a lot of them like oh would not
have thought about that
oh no oh we couldn’t be open earlier in
the morning without costing anything the
doors just unlock earlier
so it’s um so that’s been a great source
of
can’t even say inspiration just insight
yeah
yeah that’s huge and you know the staff
especially if you’re not
you know if you’re not some people
manage their own you know they’re there
all the time at their laundromats but if
you’re not running it that way
your staff are a huge source of
information you know for you
they’re the boots on the ground they’re
the ones where you know when there’s an
issue
they are the ones who hear about that
issue and creating
a relationship with your staff that has
open lines of communication where
they feel like they can bring that
information to you
and not only that they can bring it to
you but that you’re gonna do something
about it
you know it not only helps your
customers but it helps your staff too
because they’re the ones who are dealing
with the complaints or you know all that
stuff so
yeah that goes back to your questions
like one of the things that we did at
the beginning was because i didn’t know
anything about the industry
i started running shifts you know i was
there all the time like i want to learn
how this works i want to learn the
customers i want to be there
i’m not there much now because i’m an
amazing manager but that was part of
getting to know like
so when i bought the business i also
inherited free staff to go along with it
and so part of it was getting to know
them getting to know not that i distrust
them when they say something like oh
what does that actually look like
from someone who’s not familiar with um
the industry when we bought it we’re
also a dry cleaner drop off
that because no one’s dry cleaning
anything and heard no
people quit dry cleaning last year about
different fabrics and how all that works
so i had to really learn a lot
just to just in order to teach them how
to manage it well
yeah yeah and i i think that you know
a lot of people get into the business
thinking you know it’s a relatively
hands-off business it’s relatively easy
and it is right but i think what’s not
talked about a lot is exactly what
you’re saying and this has come up
over and over and over again with
podcast guests and
even in particular the most successful
podcast guests where
early on they actually had to put a lot
of effort and time in
up front to learn the business and to
get things running the way that they
wanted to run it and to learn how to
deal with their employees and to get the
right employees in place
that takes a lot of time and effort and
so you know when you talk about
a laundromat being relatively easy and
relatively hands-off
yes but up front a lot of times it can
take some effort and time that you’re
going to need to put into it so
you know kudos to you for going in and
learning hands-on the business
it was fun you know
yeah it’s fun man i think that’s what
business should be you get to know the
people you get to know and that that
part of it’s fun
you know it’s like you figure out and
also figure out who you want to hire
you can be around and you’re like oh you
can interview someone like you don’t
like this you’re not going to like this
job
yeah you know i don’t think it’s not
like i owned a company like
apple i could have sit in every position
and figure out what a good fit is it for
but for most laundromats once you figure
out
what the attendance role should be then
you can easily train them to do what you
feel is best for your particular
laundromat
yeah yeah i think that’s great okay so
uh so you guys went in and you put in
some new
machines right and you work with the
distributor
on that uh what was the response to that
by
customers loved it they’ve loved
everything
about the only pushback i ever got was
um
some of our older
customers did not like the fact i was
replacing the majority of the toddlers
but again two part of that’s just
training i think the visualization that
front loaders don’t look like they can
hold as much they don’t
they don’t fill with water like top
loaders do yeah
there’s always that balance between
training customers and listening to
their feedback on what they want
yeah yeah that and that is uh
a big challenge because i do think you
know i took top loaders out of one of my
stores and it was like it was a learning
curve because
you know people are like there’s no
water in this machine right and i’m like
there is water you know and i’ve tried
to explain to them you know and a lot of
them speak spanish and my spanish is
it’s rough you know um but i’m trying to
experience a big fan
i know i know i do that in the car
sometimes on the way there on the way
back trying to like
sharpen up my spanish but uh you know
trying to explain to them you know the
orientation
of the drum you know requires less water
and
you know usually what i end up telling
is hey you know here’s a wash on me
if it’s not clean let me know and
you know we’ll fix it we’ll i’ll put it
in a bigger washer or
whatever and we’ll fix it and you know
and and a lot of times
they’ll start to see and smell that
their clothes are actually cleaner in a
front loader right but
it does take some education because it’s
not filling up this huge
bucket of water basically you know to
get them clean so
yeah otherwise great feedback because we
had no large machines in there really
and so
now we have an eight liter which is
great yeah how’s that one is that one
being used a lot
loved loved my customers there’s nothing
better than seeing like a family come in
with like two 55-gallon
garbage bags and just stuff it in and
walk out yeah
yeah that is great those big old
machines man they
they’re just like workhorses they’re
amazing yeah it’s pretty cool
yeah uh brandon understall who was i
want to say like
show seven he was he gave a great tip
that keeps getting brought up all the
time and he
you know he basically says his his tip
for for owners is put bigger machines in
because people love them
and and and they’re also good for
business
so yeah huge people like seeing them
people will use them more
um because like the ones the smaller
ones the two and three loaders they’re
two and three loaders but you see a five
loader it’s just a dollar more
yeah almost always yep yep
smart okay so you put in new machines
people
responded well did business grow
you did that yeah very much so we’ve
done
three rounds i guess of new machines
editions we did the big one the first
time
and then we replaced all the dryers
except for those two sizzles
and then we’ve replaced every almost all
the other washers with
um new machines i think we still have
six old ones
but so yeah we’ve done three different
rounds and part of it was just figuring
out
what the finances were with that uh one
of the benefits of
2020 for a lot of businesses was
financing on new equipment
so with that kind of financing it was
easy to make that decision like okay
we can do this um and our utility bills
go down with new machines so it works
out
great for everybody yeah yeah 2020 was a
great
year for in terms of like interest rates
and
terms and people are willing to wheel
and deal just trying to keep
business going and keep stuff moving
great and i think probably still right
now in 2021 early 2021 it’s
a good time to be you know looking into
that if that’s something that you’re
needing you know give your distributor
call up
and see if they’re ready to wheel and
deal with you a little bit
um okay did you when you when you were
rolling out new machines and stuff did
you do any promotions with that or
anything
or you just if you build it they will
come
i still have my giant grand opening
banner in a box
that i never pulled out when we bought
the great idea of doing something and
next i know six months have passed i’m
like
yeah having to do any sort of it just
sort of more organically
started and word spread um
yeah haven’t seen serious
promotions like that at all nothing
and they just they just came that’s
awesome
that’s awesome and i think that is part
of the power of putting in new
equipment right is like people love the
shiny people love the new and people
love to see
business owners take care of their
community business right and so i can’t
remember
who said it i want to say maybe joe dan
reed but somebody was like hey
make sure every year you are investing
back in your business in some way and in
particular some visible way so whether
that’s even just slapping a new coat of
paint on it doesn’t have to be like buy
new
machines every year but you know
sprucing up outside plant some flowers
just
something that shows customers you’re
keeping that business
up and running and uh yeah so
very true and having great staff that
are willing to get in there and clean
i mean the fact that someone comes into
our laundry mat and that’s the first
thing they tell me it’s like oh my gosh
your laundry right so clean i’m like
i have an amazing i do have amazing
staff that just really take pride in
what they do
and keep the place clean how did you how
did you get
such an amazing staff did you train them
that way were they born that way what’s
a
that’s a great question um
so i have still one employee that i
actually she’s my manager that i
retained from when we bought the
business
and since then i’ve hired five more all
from the neighborhood
um i don’t know so it’s a mixture of
training i’m a big
i’m a big fan of lists and i think if
people have
the whole idea of good fences make good
neighbors i think it’s very important
with
managing people like this is what i
expect i’m not the world’s best manager
i’m really not i’m not like not good at
discipline
you know i set the expectations of like
this is what i want you to do and please
do it because i don’t
have to like i mean i’ve had to find my
first person ever and it was just
that was just awful um so i’m not good
at that i know i’m not good at that my
manager i have now is much better about
it she’s just
uh which is awesome so yeah a big fan of
lists this is what’s required from first
shift this is required from second shift
um yeah and they just
they just do it but occasionally i still
have to go in there and say hey why
wasn’t this done and
we were bombarded with you know drop off
quarters and
but otherwise they just take great pride
what they do yeah and i think those
lists bring a lot of clarity too
you know and i think that that’s very
important you know
with especially with this kind of line
of work where you’re just saying okay
here are the expectations
you know smile and get get the stuff
done
and you know we’re gonna have a great
experience for everybody
so yeah i think that’s that’s great okay
so you
have an awesome staff and you’re not
really giving yourself credit for it but
i will give you the credit
for that um for you uh
okay so what
at what point did you decide that okay i
don’t hate this idea
in fact maybe i kind of i kind of like
having the laundromat
i think it was the people i think once i
got to know
the handful of regular customers that
came in i think once you realize
that you owning a laundromat is a very
tangible business you are helping people
out with their laundry you’re an
extension of their house
and that was sort of
the vision i had for our laundromat was
i want people to come in
and feel like they’re home um
and so yeah that’s sort of just how it
evolved and so it’s things like
um i partner with an organization that
just called porter leaf
so we have an entire we started having
an entire reading corner in the back for
kids
and then that expanded to a little
library so now we have i don’t know two
or three hundred books that people can
take and drop off and bring back the
bookshelves were all built by a neighbor
or donated
i mean my neighborhood just loved my
little undermine it amazes me all the
time
um so that comes in there we have
rocking chairs that people can come in
and sit and rock
and it’s just people just love it
they’re not expensive touches
you know but it’s just a way to make
people they walk in there and go i feel
comfortable here
i feel safe here this is clean i want to
come back
um so anything that i can do to make
that we have potted plants
again too nothing nothing earth
shattering that we don’t do anything
crazy
but you just do things that make people
feel
known my staff know people by name they
welcome my name you come to the store
hello mrs smith nice to see you back
you know hello can i help you um it’s
things like that that just make the
world of difference
especially as a family coming in every
week to do laundry
or even people not coming into london
there’s a lot of women that we
um our location is interesting place in
memphis because we are right on the
borderline
between um million-dollar houses on one
side
and um apartment complexes on the other
so you get people that come into the
comforters
people that come in and do dog beds then
you get people who come in they don’t
have washers and dryers
and so it’s just interesting mix and
trying to make them all feel welcome
it’s just
i just love the melting pot of it so
it’s just been fun for me
yeah are you guys doing uh i think you
said you’re doing drop-off service are
you doing pick-up and delivery
both okay well i mean it sounds like
you’re in a great location
for to be doing both of those
can you tell me a little bit about did
you start doing
you know drop off and pick up and
delivery right when you started or did
you add that along the way or
the business already had um drop off
both for laundry and for dry cleaning
but we grew that substantially
like my staff were excited when they got
one or two drop-offs a day
um that was not sustainable obviously so
yeah just
put the word out there i mean it’s
something that i lived a mile from there
and never
even knew such a service existed and i
tell people all the time
there is almost nothing luxurious than
having someone else match your socks
like it’s not an expensive thing um i
have a couple of customer drop
delivery customers who are like my
husband can get someone to do the lawn
care
and i can get someone to do the laundry
i’m like
i just think it’s it’s just a time saver
it’s not an expensive little luxury
um obviously owning a laundry mat makes
it a little less expensive for me
but i love it i just even if i didn’t
know the laundry mat i still take
advantage of the services it’s just a
several hour time saver of having no one
else or someone else do something like
that
so yeah we grew that substantially we
started delivery a year and a half ago
um and that’s been going well
slow and steady again to a lot of its
educational thing we don’t live
in a big city that’s had something like
that before
so it’s not a coin up still by far our
biggest
revenue source yeah are you are you
trying to grow out your pickup and
delivery
that is my one of my 2021 goals that my
husband that’s um i would love to be a
24-hour laundromat and i think the only
way to really do that
is to get more drop-off and delivery
orders so
you know what that looks like we you
know vehicles all the capital expense
that goes into
stuff like that so that’s my that’s my
big 21 goal
how are you going to do that cross my
fingers and make lists no
hey it’s the list man it’s the list it
is picking up
good marketing you know facebook google
ads
things like that more commercial i only
have two commercial clients and so i
think if i grow that one
those are nice ones to have
um i have a list that i need to start
doing mailing to
doing drive by walk by shaking hands
meeting
people so yeah yeah
well i mean that sounds exciting that’s
a that’s a really exciting goal because
i think there is a lot of opportunity
for that right now
you know from for everything i’m hearing
uh
commercial’s been a little down over
2020
um just because a lot of businesses have
been closed but hopefully
you know things are going to start
opening up here pretty soon and maybe
that business will start picking back up
but residential has been going
gangbusters for a lot of people
and you know our our society and our
culture is just moving more and more
towards
being comfortable ordering things online
ordering services online or through an
app or whatever
and uh it’s a great time i mean it’s
amazing what can be delivered now or
taken care of by someone else
so um in 2020 i wasn’t sure what was
going to happen with delivery and stuff
because
would more people do delivery since they
don’t want to get out to a laundromat
less people doing it because they’re
staying at home and don’t have a job so
it’s been an odd mix of just seeing how
how it all play out so it’s actually
started picking back up more towards
christmas
so we’ll see yeah yeah did you have
i mean i know you haven’t been doing it
super long yet but
did you have like a dip and then come
back up or
did it plateau yeah obviously dry
cleaning completely went to zero
right yeah and then delivery dropped off
substantially
primarily the few people i talked to was
because they were working from home
indoor um had to cut back on hours lost
jobs
that kind of stuff yeah even even uh
coin not dropped off and i wasn’t sure
what to do with that but
as parents told me it’s like kids aren’t
going kids are still not going to school
here
and so you know you can wear the same
thing every day you’re going to deal
with uniforms
yeah yeah kids are disgusting
but when they’re home all day you know
that’s what it is whatever yeah my kids
are running around barefoot in the mud
all day long right now so
loving loving life yeah
get those kids back to school dirty
dirty disgusting kids
all right uh yeah okay so
i mean you’re scaling your your pickup
delivery this year that sounds exciting
uh do you have any like i don’t know do
you have any
aspirations to go snag another one or
anything like that it’s funny i keep
debating that
um actually sam debates that more than i
do probably my husband
um i would actually like to grow this
particular facility first because we
already invested the capital expenses
in the machines in the
infrastructure of the business and so if
i feel like i can grow that first
i have a great manager who’d love to
manage other laundromat too so i think
that’s a possibility
um i don’t know again of course right
ten laundromats within
two or three mile radius of us we’ll
have to look beyond that probably
so i don’t know that’s a to be
determined let’s just buy those ten that
are all right there
yeah that’s a lesson learned we bought
the laundromat because several of them
were in
disrepair and i’m like oh we’re the
better laundromat what i should have
been thinking was
we should be buying the ones and
disrepair around us but
yeah yeah get that
you got to get that dynasty going wow
yeah
it’s like you need accountability
podcast call me back a year from now
it’s like oh elizabeth how did that
scaling go that new laundromat purchase
go
i uh time out putting it in the calendar
right now
this is happening
i want to see hard numbers on how much
this thing scaled
one year from now so get your benchmark
numbers as soon as we’re done here
because
i want to hear them all uh yeah i love
that i love that your
husband is uh thinking about scaling
essentially for you uh because he’s
handing it all over to you
and not dealing with it so i got to
figure out how i can
have big goals and then just hand them
off to my wife
because that does sound pretty nice too
it truly is you almost need someone like
that for me because i’m not
the entrepreneur like like i am in the
sense of like i own a business and i
like to scale stuff but i’m not in the
i’m not the risk-taking entrepreneur
like he
he is yeah so i think everyone every
business owner needs somebody like that
it’s
the push and pull is it worth that risk
is it worth that what’s this i’m always
the one that’s like do i really want to
spend that money he’s like oh yeah we
got to spend all that money
so i’ve loved having him as a partner
like that because he’s a very different
business thinking than i am
yeah that’s like my wife and i too but
for what it’s worth i mean i’m i’m very
much on the
hey let’s just go for it and we’ll let’s
take the risk i’m very much on that side
my wife is very much the opposite of
that
but coming from that side for what it’s
worth i think you’re wise
in trying to grow your current business
you know if an opportunity comes up
hey maybe it’s worth it to jump on it
but you know you have the assets right
now and they’re not being
fully utilized to their maximum capacity
so i think it makes a lot of sense to
utilize what you have and maximize you
know the value
in those before you move on to the next
one because bigger is not always
necessarily
better you know bigger can mean bigger
headaches
you know so yeah especially when things
break in a laundromat
yeah i know exactly expensive and messy
yeah yeah so okay so now i mean
you mentioned how before you were in the
laundromat when you first started you
were kind of working shifts you were
getting to know people and you said
you’re not really doing that as much
anymore what does your typical week look
like
laundromat was yeah it’s uh it’s a
mixture
of um a lot of social media i’m still
doing all their social media marketing
and things like that but not as much i
would probably say i spend
five to ten hours a week depending on
what i’m doing laundry mat stuff so not
and that could really scale down to
almost nothing i think once i got my
manager
trained on procedures of what to do
like she does inventory she takes care
of all the money related things
um and so my my goal was actually like
not to go to the laundromat every day
like i was babysitting my laundry mat
i was going every day i was making sure
things were taken care of opposed to
trusting my staff to do what they’re
supposed to do and the manager do what
they’re supposed to do so i’m really
pulling back from that
because i love being there i mean
honestly the easiest part is hanging out
with the customers
and related stuff opposed to seeing the
bigger picture
and putting the systems and people in
place and figuring out what’s next
with that so that’s probably my main
still do some inventory stuff
bookkeeping kind of things
yeah yeah well i hate 5 to 10 hours a
week that sounds
pretty much par for the course of what
after laundromat gets established that’s
that’s what good operators are spending
on their business and particularly
people who have uh you know who have a
good manager that’s helping them out
very important yeah also i mean one
point for
potentially grabbing another location or
20
is if you have a solid manager it’s a
lot easier to do that
you know if they can they can help
manage multiple locations for you
um so it’s nice to have that
infrastructure in place so
if that opportunity comes up or you know
if
you know it opportunity presents itself
you can jump on it
and and you have that infrastructure so
i just thought that i just had
yeah i know it’s great ah very much so
yeah okay so you’re working like five to
ten hours a week i like that
generally speaking are what are you
doing with the rest of your time are you
working on other stuff watching
yours do like that then the capitalists
put their feet up and play monopoly
that’s what i’m talking about oprah and
bonbons this is great
we actually just finished remodeling our
house and so i’ve been doing a lot of
real estate stuff around here
uh support sam and his business ventures
so anything related to that so it’s
normally businessy
kind of stuff we actually just sat down
to do a uh what are you doing every 15
minutes your day
time things i’m like where do my days
all of a sudden it’s five o’clock i’m
like did i get my stuff
done yeah that’s the good and bad as you
know
working from home i’m like i don’t have
a two hour blog for a podcast
then where do those other days
is there something about that time that
i can delegate to someone else that’s
been my big goal for last year like my
manager
these are tasks i don’t particularly
enjoy doing that i’m not good at do
my manager need to do it does my va need
to do it does someone else need to do it
um so just sort of trying to figure out
what i’m doing and
how i can hire someone else to do it
better that’s what i’m talking about i
like that and
there’s a um there’s a
uh uh business coach entrepreneur coach
super famous um oh gosh i’m gonna blank
on his name right now
uh dan uh oh gosh
he’s like think about the podcast i know
he’s like the most famous guy
uh ever but anyways he just came out
with the book but even before the book
he has a podcast
uh too and i was i listen to his podcast
a lot and
he always says think who not how and i
think you know my natural tendency is
like
okay this needs to get done how do i get
it done or how do i learn how to do this
or
and he says you need to shift your
thinking to to the who not how
and you saying you know i’m trying to
think about who i can
you know ship stuff off to can i send it
to my va can i send it to
can you know your husband’s like can i
give the laundromat to my wife you know
like
it’s the who not the how you know that
it helps you get a lot done and so you
know that’s one of the things i like
about laundromats
is it frees up that time now you can you
know help your husband
you know work on his business or you can
you know
deal with your real estate your other
real estate stuff that you have going on
um so that’s pretty cool anyways just
made me think about who not how and i’m
it’s a big issue i think because
especially in school you’re not taught
that you’re taught like here’s your task
you do it
and i think that if you’re not around
entrepreneurs you’re not around people
who think like that
it almost seems like a negative thing
let me hire someone else to do that i’m
like
yeah because you’re not gonna be good at
everything there’s so many things
business-wise i’m not
good at and don’t really want to be good
at um a lot of things that i know i need
to be good at
that you just push through like managing
stuff you read books about how to be a
better boss because that’s something
you’re not taught how to school you’re
like
this is a group project which is the
worst idea ever yeah
and so yeah learning how to do those
kind of things if you’re not exposed to
it because most of us weren’t most of
most people have parents that have w2
jobs and not that you don’t you know
aren’t entrepreneur in that it’s a very
different way to think about being
entrepreneur
yeah yeah dan sullivan is his name
ah man it was killing me i’m like
getting old already man
what’s happening here uh yeah no that’s
that’s huge and i think that’s a
huge huge point that you just made
because
you know i when i first got into this
business i knew nothing i didn’t even
know there was this like whole other
world of entrepreneurship
uh business ownership of investments
like i didn’t i
was like oblivious to it and i and
there’s a whole nother skill set that
goes with that and i you know i
i kind of was saying that i i
brainwashed myself well
you know it’s through these podcasts
through audiobooks through
reading regular books through you know
uh
talking with people like you that i’m
like oh my gosh like
i never did learn how to manage people
or
i never learned how to manage money you
know i never
learned any of this like i didn’t learn
about investments i didn’t learn about
any of that stuff
and it was a whole new world to me and
it was you know
through kind of exposing myself to
entrepreneurs who think differently than
i did that i started learning about this
and developing some of those skill sets
so i think that’s a huge point that you
make there
thank you really really important too uh
okay so you um
for the future like you you want to
scale your pickup and delivery
not necessarily gunning for more
laundromats but maybe you’re open to it
are you trying to do more real estate
yes always trying to do more real estate
um currently developing and syndicating
a uh
rv and boat storage in missouri
but that’s more of my husband’s i’m
honestly at that brink of like
i think with any small business you’ve
either got to make the jump
to 10 plus or at least in real uh
laundromats 10 plus
facilities to make that scale otherwise
i feel like that’s work between the two
just extra like i have enough to hire a
full-time maintenance guy
um and so that’s a sort of my
early 2021 what do i want to do
next because there’s so much about this
business that i love
um so i don’t know i really yeah
yeah and i think you’re right there is
like a no man’s land in there once you
get like three
five seven so i don’t know somewhere in
there there’s a no man’s land where
you’re doing a lot more work but you
don’t quite have enough to
you know have everybody on board that
you need on board to
that nice nba economies of scale yeah
yeah exactly don’t get your mba but
that’s a whole separate conversation
we’ll talk about that a year from now on
your update accountability podcast
episode
uh yeah no i yeah okay
another topic got it uh i’ll cause i’ll
go down the rabbit hole so thank you for
putting that boundary up for me
um okay well we have a section of the
podcast called down to business
down to business we just want to hear a
little bit about something like the
specifics of your business so
tell us again where where’s your laundry
mat located memphis tennessee
memphis tennessee area called berkler
burklar how do you like memphis by the
way uh there’s parts of memphis i
love like there’s it’s called the grit
and grime city i think that fits a lot
it’s
there’s a gritty part to it that’s just
a raw memphis it’s also
um culturally very southern delta
we use a lot of the food i tell pimp
people all the time you don’t come to
memphis to lose weight
i mean i just don’t between the fact
that we just
we fry everything it is delicious you
can have a good restaurant every street
corner everyone has their favorite
barbecue spot or micro brewery spot so
that’s fun it is an easy city to get
around which is nice
but small business wise it’s very small
business friendly real estate
we’ve lots of rentals things like that
so people who want to get involved in
business
it’s a lower barrier to entry opposed to
la
you can buy rental properties you can
learn people are beyond friendly
so that’s always been fun especially on
a business like a laundromat
people love to come in and talk visitors
love coming and talk to you about
what’s going on in memphis so that’s
been i love living here we live a mile
from laundromat which
is its own little world um people love
the fact that we live in the
neighborhood where we work
i can be involved tangibly in things
that we do community wise
while other people if you live far away
from the laundromat you just couldn’t do
yeah yeah so cool i mean you got that
southern hospitality thing going on
there the southern comfort food going on
great yeah great barbecue over there
i mean yeah there’s a lot to love about
memphis too so
i got a bunch of family in tennessee but
they’re over in like the knoxville area
so culturally very different very yeah
totally buried and they’re they’re even
they’re kind of up in like the
appalachians a little bit so it’s a
it’s a unique unique little area over
there it’s cool
uh okay so remind me again i mean i know
you mentioned this already but how long
have you been
a laundromat owner how long have you had
a laundromat two and a half
years two and a half long years two and
a half short years
it’s just crazy like it’s hard to
believe it’s been two and a half years
and then i look back at pictures for the
last two and a half years on our social
media i’m like wow we’ve done a lot of
stuff
yeah yeah yeah and and this last year
was
just a doozy in and of itself so
kind of makes things feel even crazier
very much so
but yeah it is kind of cool to see
especially because you you bought like
an old rundown one
right and then you redid it so it’s
always crazy to look back at you know i
look back at my first one
it was like mismatched wood paneling on
all the walls super
dark and top loaders everywhere
and it was just dingy and i look at it
now and
i’m like wow man it came a long way it’s
crazy done something
yeah i know i know it’s pretty crazy
okay uh
what does it cost to do laundry in in
memphis
like vin price wise in price our
cheapest machines
are three dollars for our both uploaders
and our
front loaders or two letters to load
front loaders mainly because the
top letters i do not like they’re
expensive they break down
often i have three of them left which
are gonna be on their way out the next
time we do a remodel
i’ve left them just because i’d be
probably too nice to have some of my
customers
but yeah you know i’m just i’m just
thinking we need to like
form a club with like official club
membership card
and like a t-shirt that we all get
that’s like i hate top loaders
pretty much everybody who owns top
loaders says exactly that like i have
some
i jacked up the price because i hate
them and i don’t want people to use them
but they keep using them anyways
and what’s your do you have any like
sense of
since they’re priced the same as those
20 pounders do more people use
one or the other i think the people that
use the top letters would probably use
the top loaders
almost regardless of price wow i’m uh
you know what i should do that just keep
like every week to start raising it
when do they quit where’s the breaking
point yeah because there’s no other
laundry amount that i know of
near me that have any top letters people
that just
again too if you’ve never used any other
thing they look they look
i don’t know yeah well i mean there
there is
uh you know there is like a familiarity
about um
that’s what everybody had you know the
people who love them and who use them
they don’t love them because they’re
better
they love them because they know them
and they’re easier right and
trying to be things in them yeah other
issues like you can sit there for an
hour soaking your clothes
our prices available 75 cents above the
load limit so 16
675 um eight load machine 875.
yeah nice i cannot raise prices in a
year and probably need to
just haven’t done yet and then dryers
are the small dryers
pavlo dryers are a dollar for 24 minutes
and then the eight load dryers are a
dollar for 21 minutes except for my
1970 sissels which are still done by the
quarter yeah
nice yeah did did they before you put in
the new machines were they
like a single price for a block of time
for dryers or was the quarter minutes
quarter yeah everything was the the
quarter per six
six or seven minutes what was the what
was the response to that when you put in
new machines and you said actually now
it’s a dollar for
not nada nothing okay work i mean
people are like okay but nothing and
most people put a dollar in there anyway
it’s not like you can get your things
dry in six minutes right
yeah makes sense and now we tell
everybody that’s coming in that’s new
hey just to let you know this this is
how this machine works make sure you
check it before it’s done you can always
add a quarter
i hate three because i’m i don’t want
anybody wasting money i mean as much as
i want to make you know money on my
laundromat
i still don’t want people to feel like
they’ve been taken advantage of so
people right yeah yeah i just i hear a
lot of owners who are
contemplating that decision and have a
fear that there’s gonna be like a riot
or something
if they if they go to that model versus
the
quarter for every eight minutes or ten
minutes or whatever six minutes
i think i’ve not done a study on it but
i think it just makes sense
you just put the money in people commit
to it because they’re going to commit to
it anyway
yeah and it’s like it’s the same model
as the washer right like you don’t pay
for
a certain amount of time in the washer
you just pay what it costs and
yeah and we actually don’t charge extra
for any other thing on the washer you
know some people can do it
actually our extended wash is a quarter
but we don’t charge extra for hot water
i’ve debated that
like when i don’t like to be nickel
denied i’d rather just here’s the price
and be done it’s a quarter
yeah yeah and you could actually price
it for the hot water for
all the time and people won’t bat an eye
but when you add
exactly quarter for hot water people are
like what this is rip
off yeah yeah it’s funny that’s
marketing for you
uh are you guys coin store then coin
card and app
oh all right coin card app what payment
system do you use
um we use fast card for our um cards
and then dexter pay for our extra
machines for the app nice
nice do do a lot of people use the
dexter pay out of curiosity it’s grown a
lot
it’s um it’s a bit of training we have a
lot of people who would never use
i mean for lots of reasons don’t have
credit cards to use and debit cards we
still have a lot of coin people
um the problem with the debit cards on
the machines is that fast card or the
banks do a ten dollar hold on them
so a lot of them the app is so you you
don’t have that hold it construct
okay but yeah that’s actually i’ve been
a little impressed with all of a sudden
when i check
um my bookkeeping it’s like oh yeah more
people every month that continues to go
up
and it’s expensive for me because you
don’t have to pay for the card reader
still have to pay for a credit card fees
but i don’t have empty machines i mean
we’re not la wouldn’t i don’t think we’d
ever be a all
card or an app store um
just because it is so convenient for
people but we’ll see
yeah every 2022 when you interview me
again i can be like oh
jordan we’re completely all cards now
yeah remember when you said i would
never do all card
we’re all card now yeah machine gators
are so expensive what’s 500
a reader per machine i mean that’s we do
think orders
it adds up yeah yeah it’s definitely
yeah it’s definitely that’s that’s the
biggest you know because obviously it’s
better
it’s easier to manage for the owner when
you have the card system so
and you can run promotions easier for
customers and stuff like that
although some are still resistant even
if you’re like i’ll give you a free wash
or what
i don’t know but um but
they’re expensive that’s the big barrier
i think for them so
hopefully it continues not all of our
machines have them we have a handful of
machines that have don’t have
the carburetors on them do you feel like
they’re used less
or do you have any idea sense of that
great i’ll look that after we got the
phone i don’t know if they’re used
less we have enough i think once we did
the first remodel we didn’t put them on
all of them and after them we started
putting them on all of them
mainly because of the hassle factor it’s
less quarters for my manager i have to
deal with
if i ever was in a situation i didn’t
trust my manager which i trust her
completely
it’d be great to have more cards um so i
don’t know i’ll look
into that do you have any do you have
any systems in place or anything
for your manager collecting coins or you
just have trust and you don’t
you don’t feel like you need to i think
it’s always good to have i mean i do
trust her completely and she
there’s ways in any business there’s
ways to figure
right um the only way that we keep track
is through obviously i can tell on
machines how many turns
we’ve had i can check that way and then
our coin counter
she sends off the picture of how many
coins have gone through that
and then that goes along with each
deposit slope when she pulls money out
of that
yeah nice that’s awesome it’s a hard
problem with the business in general i
mean it’s just
it took me a long time that’s why
they’re so often it’s until you find
that person you can trust me into
there’s always
yeah i mean and you know it’s a real
it’s it’s a real kind of risk even
somebody that you trust i mean
i’ve seen where people you know even
family members
who you know brothers or whatever have
been partners and one
just hit a tough patch you know and
needed a little bit of cash and
just kind of so it can happen but uh man
when you find somebody that you can
trust that can help you out in those
ways
but all the more reason man card readers
are are awesome because you don’t have
to deal with that
yeah uh all right we already talked
about how much time you spend that was
my last down to business question but
sounds like an awesome business i mean i
love uh i love
the community aspect of it i love that
you kind of involved your customers
in what you’re doing there and uh and
that you
kind of put some elbow grease in there
yourself for a while
and got things running and have
masterfully trained your staff
to run a great business and be friendly
so
they’re awesome yeah that’s awesome well
we have another section called
secret sauce listen up it’s the secret
sauce
i like that uh secret sauce is tell us
something that’s working in your
business
that other owners can implement into
their businesses
to help them succeed more this is a
secret secret you ready for this
i’m ready for it it’s any way that you
can
barely inexpensively show love to your
community
we’ve done things like we used to have
free laundry times other people
do we can’t do that now because of
restrictions in the laundromat but we
have a laundry assistance fund
and any family that wants to come in
that comes in that needs help with water
they get six foot loans of laundry
washed again two not expensive
ten bucks the really cool thing about
that which just brings me to tears all
the time
is that it’s it’s
all funded by neighbors neighbors will
come in and send money to me for this
and it’s just been the sweetest thing to
see to be
a conduit for neighbors to give back to
their own community
it’s just been awesome i mean it’s been
a highlight for neighbors to contact me
it’s like how can we help what you’re
doing
um because obviously with codelid and
just general life people fall behind on
things and so
one of my first thoughts when i bought
the laundromat was actually through
the schools someone contacted me and
said
do you know that not having clean
clothes is a reason for
truancy and poor attendance
um something else with school-aged
children scared children in general at
schools they just wouldn’t i wouldn’t
come to school if i was the dirty kid
we were all in school with someone who
was dirty and thought you know
i own a laundromat there’s no reason why
any kid in my neighborhood
could ever have that an excuse there’s i
can come up with other excuses not to go
to school
but not that one and so i contacted all
the schools and we created a voucher
program
the counselors could give parents
vouchers just
discreetly and say hey you know you need
help with laundry come to laundromat
give them this voucher
they’ll help you out and again too it
started out as a very
uh i didn’t think about it really as a
business
um marketing but it’s really turned into
that like people just
we’re the highest rated laundromat in
memphis with the most google and
facebook reviews video under memphis
that i know of
and i think a lot of it’s just being
attuned to what your neighborhood needs
and how you can give back to it
and honestly that’s what brings me so
much joy this laundromat like it’s been
a great business but
really it’s being to be able to tangibly
involved in my community
that is killer secret sauce i mean that
that’s like that’s cool that’s like very
moving
you know yeah but but seriously like to
to be able to meet a need like that and
to have the community
again i mean i love this theme that
keeps coming up
you know with you is involving the
community
and and you know letting them
own it right and like own their own
community
and uh you know letting them kind of
support
other their neighbors right and wait
and yeah and removing barriers for you
know things that are
you know there things like truancy and
not attending school
and those those are you know indicators
of
you know the wrong path in life right
and so removing those barriers
even something as simple as giving a
voucher
for laundry can help straighten
a path i i just think that’s a that’s
super cool secret sauce
thanks it’s really it really has been
fun if i wish more laundromats it’s just
something
most people don’t think about i wouldn’t
have thought about it and because i
don’t have children i never would have
thought about being an issue unless
someone brought it up to me
you know so that’s a really sweet um
sweet thing to get to participate in
yeah can i ask you just practically you
know because i
there probably will be other people
listening to this who are like man
that’s an awesome idea i’d love to do
that
how how does that how does that work
what
what vouchers are you giving to these
counselors is that the main way that
people
they used to be kids are in school this
year right yeah
but for example when we did that very
simple i printed out
um vouchers on i forgot what the paper
is called it’s like
security paper that can’t be copied just
in case i wasn’t sure what was going to
happen
so each of the schools got x number they
pretty much told me how many they wanted
so they have this little voucher it’s
like from this school
you know we’d love to bless you and your
family with ten dollars
they would bring that to my staff and
then my staff have
a um an attendant card that’s
specifically funded
for the vouchers the the only thing that
we really ask the people to do
is to um to sign their name on a
little spreadsheet and if they want to
we ask them to fill out a little like
blank thank you card and for two reasons
one we want people who donate money to
this fund
to know that we’re actually using it for
those purposes and for people to know
it’s actually tangibly helping this
family and people want to think i mean
that people love
we did our first free laundry day we had
two hours two hours of three free
laundry
i probably had 50 cards from neighbors
bro absolute tears like thank you so
much
husband just lost a job we just had a
debate you know whatever or just
thank you for free laundry yeah people
will take advantage of it
but that’s a rare few and that’s worth
it because again
you still have to go ask staff for it
it’s not like
that’s a little bit more tangible so
that’s the way we’ve kept both staff
staff accountable staff
accountable to using that card for
people who actually need it opposed to
random person friend every every other
day or something right
yeah and then also for letting people
because again so this is funded by
neighbors
like we we split at 50 you know 60 40.
like they do 40 we use 60 or i can’t
remember what actual numbers work out
but um but yeah so we’re not profiting
from it by any stretch it’s just an
avenue to
get to bless these families man so so
cool have you been able to do that at
all this past year with
school out or how is that it goes to the
same thing any family can come in and
just ask
so it’s not necessarily a voucher per se
um we’ve tried to spread it
we have a large hispanic community here
so we try to spread it
the information through some of the
hispanic churches and
other non-profits in the neighborhood so
it’s a lot of word of mouth
people know or my staff will my staff
can tell they hear somebody having
problems
um so yeah it’s not it’s just been great
yeah that’s that’s awesome i mean that
is like
cream of the crop secrets i didn’t know
here’s the thing is that you know i know
this is your first podcast episode and i
didn’t want you to let me down and i
just wanted to know that
you have made good on your thing just
with that secret sauce right there
no seriously it’s super good now i have
to talk to people about it it’s been
there’s lots of organizations out there
that do similar stuff there’s one called
laundry love i think it’s out of
california
that we’re part of people want to donate
and get tax write-offs we don’t we’re
not we don’t do tech write-offs but
there’s a lot of really cool
groups out there doing fun things yeah
there’s some cool stuff out there
cool well awesome secret sauce we have
another section called
pro tips pro tips this is for the
newbies this is for the people who are
trying to buy their first
laundromat you have any tips for them
they’ll spend time in laundromat which
sounds really counter-intuitive to what
you would do but just go
do your laundry occasionally different
laundry mats get a feel for what
different laundry mats
do even in different cities um i wish i
had had
we talked about the earlier like one
here it was nice to come in with fresh
eyes and not know
but i wish i’d known like even pricing
go different laundry mats who’s doing
what what kind of systems they have set
up what do you like about there’s so
many different options as far as talking
distributors and different types of
equipment
there’s pros and cons to all those um
the second one is make sure if you’re
buying
a existing facility get it checked out
by your electricians get it checked out
by your plumbers
because there’s lots of hidden things
unless you’re a mechanical incline
such as i am not that i would not have
known
would not have known about and just get
started man you’re not going to know
everything
i mean none of us look back and go gosh
i wish i’d
done this oh my gosh i lost this money
or oh i’ve done
this but if you have any interest in
this business or any other business
the only way to learn is get started
there’s no safety
thing to to do or work with someone else
i mean if that’s what you want to do
you know go volunteer find a successful
laundromat owner and say hey
can i be part of your business for a
little while and just learn from me most
most of us are willing to share and
learn
so otherwise just do it yeah i’ll let
you clean my laundry map for free is
that what you’re doing oh
come on in and you learn something yeah
it’ll be great it’ll be great
yeah no but seriously i i like just in
the past week i had two different
coaching clients who
both were like yeah i’m trying to get
all my ducks in a row and i’m trying to
get all
and i said look i i’m i just want to
shoot straight with you because
you will never have all your ducks in a
row and
you know one of them in particular was
like i’ve been thinking about buying a
laundromat
for six years and i said you’re gonna be
thinking about buying a laundromat six
years from now
unless you start moving start taking
some action
and not just learning you know and
consuming and you know i tell my kids
all the time
you guys will not just be consumers you
can play video games but you can’t just
play video games you can watch youtube
but you can’t just watch youtube
you have to create and put out there for
other people also you have to contribute
so we have this thing you know
contribute and consume right
and it’s the same yeah you know it’s the
same if you’re trying to learn a
business or something you can’t just
consume if you’re just consuming
there’s no way that you can learn the
lessons that you’ll learn
when you’re contributing right so you
got to take action even if you start
with a small action make a phone call to
a broker
you know go walk into a store and talk
to an owner
or an attendant even you got to get
moving you got to start taking action
so i love that and i love spending time
in the laundromats because
it’s all about getting familiar with the
business yeah
yeah and if you want to do it or not
either you want to do it or you don’t
there’s not like
and you’re not getting sometimes you’re
not gonna know and the worst thing
happens is you buy it you remodel it you
get it ready and you
sell it i mean this is not like you just
sold your soul for the rest of maybe i
don’t think so
um but again to go back to education
check the contract because maybe you
might have to
sell your soul i don’t know i don’t know
but i think that’s i’m not good at it
this has been a
big lesson for me is like i’m the
straight a academic
student who likes to have everything in
place before i make decisions and jumps
and
in life and business is just especially
business it’s just not like that you’re
not going to know
i mean if you knew all this stuff would
i’d be much more wealthier than i am now
but you just it’s the mistakes you make
it’s a whole you know
fail fast kind of model like obviously
don’t make stupid mistakes get all the
information you can
then make your best decision to move
forward yep
yep i love that great action taker
advice right there
i’m from a non-action taker well but
that’s that’s what makes it meaningful
right is because
you know i’m naturally i’m i’m more of
an action taker now than i used to be
but i’m not naturally an action taker
i’m
naturally kind of an analyzer a learner
i will listen to podcasts all day long
right i will watch it
informationally yeah they’re totally
safe you can’t
lose anything but you know what it
reminds me of the saying i’m gonna
butcher it right now but it’s like
um you know where does oh man
i’m gonna butcher it but it’s basically
like you know
where does wisdom come from it comes
from you know making bad decisions or i
that that’s a horrible butchering of
experience experience
yeah yeah exactly yeah
yeah so anyways get out there and do it
that’s right
good pro tip uh all right do you have
any
recommended resources for people either
to help them grow personally or to help
them grow their business
find someone you admire and learn about
them like i love reading
entrepreneurial books memoirs okay hold
on i don’t want to be
inundated with all of these people
contacting me
now i’m just kidding
one of my favorite go-to’s is uh it’s
not a laundromat one it’s phil knight’s
memoir called shoe dog about his the
story of nike and i think just the
you see the behind the scenes a little
bit of like what because i think we look
at these
amazing men and women who have
accomplished so much it’s like how did
they get started what risks did they
take
you know yes is it little rose-colored
glasses looking back
fine but um but one of his favor my
favorite lines at the end of that book
is like he was talking to himself really
about what’s on his bucket list
and his his was really that i can’t do
it all again
and it goes back to it’s like oh yeah
that’s part of the growing of business
that’s part of that and i think
hearing that from other people
especially small business owners you
just get stuck in your little world
except for things like you know facebook
groups and other things like that you
can reach out to but i think so much of
it is on your own
you can learn wisdom nugget here and
there from people who’ve gone before us
and made those decisions like oh okay
that’s my go-to thing
yeah that’s huge and i i love that
because i
i think that um you know we
we’re so good at a society at looking at
people around us who have found success
and admiring that and we’re so bad
at seeing what it took to get there
you know i just every
successful person that i’ve talked to
and that i know
has gone through it to get there right
like you have to
you have to do things that normal people
won’t aren’t willing to do you have to
endure things that normal people won’t
endure
in order to get results that normal
people won’t get right and so
you know i love you know peeking behind
the scenes learning from
people’s it’s a big part of why i’m
doing the podcast right because i got in
this business
horribly i lost a ton of money i it was
emotionally draining
i you know sunk into a deep depression
well maybe not that bad but it was bad
like
it was so hard and i was like nobody
needs to learn these lessons this way
you know i want to do anything i can do
to help
people i mean because this business can
be great if you get into it
the right way and it’s so difficult if
you don’t right it’s so hard to claw
your way out of that
if you don’t get into it the right way
and so i’d rather people
hear the lessons they need to hear up
front and get into it the right way
and and learn the lessons the easy way
as opposed to the hard way right
so take a peek you know at successful
people and what it
what they went through to get to where
they’re at i love that
true dog awesome book i’ll link to that
in the description if you
if you’re interested in that you want to
pick that up uh you can grab that there
uh man this has been so good
thanks jordan this has been fun so good
you don’t even
seem like a rookie podcaster which
you’re not now
now you are a veteran you’re an expert
nothing new on my resume in case i need
to you
i would put that right at the top of
your resume really so i mean
i can’t imagine there’s another
accomplishment that’s bigger than this
so
um well hey i really appreciate you
coming on can i ask you one last
question do you mind
yeah okay i i just know people are gonna
be
loving this episode they’re going to
have questions for you what’s the best
way for people to get in contact with
you if they want to just connect with
you or they want to ask you questions or
no okay what’s your email
suds laundry memphis at gmail.com
all right i will have that in the
description also so if you want to get
in contact with elizabeth
and talk to her about laundromats or
even i mean her secret sauce idea is
awesome so if you want more details on
that i’m sure she would share
that you know for a small fee that her
and i will both split
just kidding no i’m just kidding uh
yeah but reach out and thank you again
so much make sure that you go check out
our husbands
who we don’t really care about but let’s
make sure you check out
uh his podcast how to scale commercial
real estate if you’re interested in that
commercial real estate space
uh awesome awesome resource and if he’s
half as cool as you he’s probably a
great guy too so uh
thank you again for coming on and we’ll
talk to you again one year from now
for the update accountability podcast
episode
thank you all right all right i hope you
guys loved that
as much as i did i just man she’s so rad
she’s so cool
uh and i i just genuinely enjoyed her
story and i also learned a lot from her
um and you know every week i’m saying
let’s pick one thing
you pick one thing i’ll pick one thing
let’s pick one thing and put it into
action
uh you know this week and when we start
doing that when we start doing that
every week we start stacking those
actions right on top of each other every
week
man will i think you’ll be shocked at
how far you get
um and towards your goals so for me i
was thinking about it and
i am i was just really impressed
you know and just kind of inspired i
guess by
her saying hey bring me on you know next
year and let’s find out how i did and i
know it was kind of
half joking but uh it just got my wheels
turned in a little bit and for me i
think that’s something that i need to do
some more of so
over the next week i’m going to be
thinking of uh
something that i can do to kind of hold
myself accountable to achieving some
kind of goal and reporting that to
i don’t know if it’s to you guys or to
somebody in my circle
i’m not sure what yet i’m gonna be
thinking about it this week but
that is what i’m gonna be doing is uh
kind of holding myself accountable put
myself out there and saying hey i am
gonna do this
check in on me you know next year or
next month or whatever
the case may be so um i think that that
uh i just i love that concept i’m going
to try it out i’m going to think it’s
you know i’m going to see if it works
out the way that
uh that i think it might so i don’t know
you pick one thing it could be that it
could be something totally different but
put it into action this week because
as i’m always saying action paves the
way to success
don’t just listen to the podcast don’t
just you know watch the youtube videos
don’t just read the blog
don’t just do your research uh you gotta
get out there and start taking action
that is where you’re gonna find the
success so get out there
and we will see you again next week for
the next episode episode 40 next week
of the laundromat resource podcast i
hope you’re as excited as i am because i
am so excited all right we’ll see you
then

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