Jason Dodge, author of How to Find, Evaluate, and Buy a Laundromat, joins me on the podcast today to tell his incredible story of how he got into the industry and what his experience has been like so far.

His journey into the laundromat business begins with him on unemployment, leads to him writing a book out of desperation to help his laundromat survive a new competitor, and takes us up to now, where he’s doing one of the exact things he advises NOT to do in his book!

You’re going to love his story, get a lot of wisdom from his experience in the laundromat industry, and you’ll love him as a person, too!

In today’s episode, Jason and I talk about:

  • Buying a laundromat while on unemployment
  • Creative financing techniques
  • His experience opening his first laundromat
  • What to do when new competitors invade your territory
  • Creative promotional ideas
  • Online advertising
  • Building a laundromat from scratch
  • His tattoo of his grandma

And so much more!

Check out what Jason posted behind him in the pictures below! Ha! The world may never know…

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

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Jason's Bio

I’m married and I have two boys. I was in the car business for 10 years. My wife decided to scale back and work part time and go to college full time, all while we were raising our two young boys. Then, I and got fired. That’s how I got into the laundromat business. I have now been in the laundry business for 13 years. I am building my 3rd laundromat now.

I own a few residential rental properties. I just bought my first commercial building. I am building my newest laundromat in that building.

I wrote the book How To Find, Evaluate and Buy a Laundromat. This book began when I had a laundromat being built in my trade area and I started to outline how I was going to survive. That book somehow turned into a how-to book as I started adding analysis data. I looked at so many laundries for sale that I got good at analysis. I do suffer from analysis paralysis and quite honestly have struck out many times at putting deals together for multiple reasons. 

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    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource
    podcast this is show number 42 and i’m
    pumped
    that you’re here and i’m also a little
    bit relieved to be on
    this side of the interviews again uh
    now i’m just kidding uh last week if you
    missed it uh peter mayberry former guest
    of the podcast
    interviewed me uh for last week’s show
    so if you haven’t checked that out go
    check that one out
    uh laudermintresource.comshow41
    where you can find that but today i’m
    very excited for you because we have
    uh author and forum superstar
    jason dodge on the show today um he
    just i just i loved this interview
    uh he has a ton of wisdom a ton of great
    things to say
    he’s the author of how to buy uh how to
    find
    oh man it’s right here how to find
    evaluate
    and buy a laundromat um and i will put
    links to that you will be talking about
    a little bit later but i’ll put links to
    that in the show notes or if you’re on
    youtube it’s in the description down
    below
    um you can find the show notes by the
    way lottermyresource.comshow42
    and uh there’s actually a couple little
    easter eggs
    over there some funny stuff that jason
    sent me so if you want to go check those
    out uh do that
    but uh speaking of forum superstar the
    forums were going
    crazy this week there was a lot of
    action happening over there
    if you have not yet headed over to the
    forums and check those out
    asked a question answer the question
    should be doing that every week
    first of all i haven’t brainwashed you
    in a little while but get over there and
    do that every week
    but genuinely that is a great place to
    network not just get questions answered
    and answer other people’s questions help
    them out but also
    just to network and again we got a lot
    of really cool stuff
    uh coming up and the way that i found
    jason to come on this podcast is over
    there on the forums as he was helping a
    ton of people out
    um so huge huge hero in my book for
    a lot of you guys so head over the
    forums check those out
    welcome to all of you new people who
    just
    uh signed up this week and who
    introduced yourselves on the
    introductions forum
    uh man just so much cool stuff happening
    over there
    very very excited and super super glad
    to be a part of that
    um hey there is something a little bit
    uh different that i’m gonna start doing
    starting this week
    actually it’s kind of a soft opening for
    this i guess
    but head over to uh lotterysource.com if
    you want to
    jump on board this very first one if
    you’re getting this if you’re listening
    to this like within the first day or two
    this episode’s coming out i’m gonna
    start doing webinars
    every single thursday uh
    so that’ll be at four o’clock pacific
    time also known as best coast time or uh
    what is that
    what did i say seven o’clock east coast
    also known as beast coast
    yeah i guess time uh so four o’clock
    on thursday pacific time seven o’clock
    thursday
    east coast time they’re gonna be live
    webinars
    you will get a chance to ask your
    questions over there
    i’m just really looking forward to it i
    think it’s a great way for us
    not to just get some information across
    but also have some cool interactions
    uh as a group so again soft opening this
    week so if you’re listening to this
    right away
    uh head over there and and join us this
    thursday that’s february 11
    2021 uh for our very first webinar all
    right
    i’m excited about that another little
    tweak that i’m making
    is i don’t know about you but i’m kind
    of tired of hearing
    the advertising advertising company at a
    lot of my resource marketing
    ad that comes on on the podcast and i
    started thinking about it and
    i just decided that from now on if we’re
    gonna have any kind of ad whether it’s
    for
    something that we’re doing or someone
    else is doing it’s gonna be a value
    first ad and the whole point of
    uh of the ad for me is one to give you
    exposure to
    uh people resources services
    equipment whatever that is going to be
    beneficial to you
    first and foremost and the way that that
    ad
    gets delivered to you also needs to be
    beneficial so we’re not just wasting
    time it’s not just a commercial
    something that’s actually adding to your
    uh your journey your experience with
    laundromats so
    with that said uh we’re gonna introduce
    a little segment in place of the ad it’s
    gonna just be
    quick marketing tips i’m gonna be doing
    some of them
    john who’s the head of marketing for a
    lot of my resource marketing will be
    doing some of them we’ll do some of them
    together
    but hopefully that will be a better
    tweak for you guys
    and uh and bring some more value all
    right let me know what you think about
    it
    and with that said let’s roll into this
    week’s
    marketing tip hey what’s up guys it’s
    john here head of marketing and i’m here
    for your
    marketing tip of the day and it is
    simply this
    i need you to be easier to find
    than your competition that means
    here’s what you need to do you need to
    go claim your google my business
    if you already have it i need you to
    update your google my business
    weekly add photos add posts
    and keep that bad boy updated i also
    need you
    to update your website if you had your
    website built
    in the early 2000s it is time to update
    that if you don’t have a website it’s
    time to get one
    they are pretty cheap and pretty easy to
    get going so do that
    and lastly be where your customers
    are if your customers are on facebook
    get your business on facebook
    if your customers are on instagram get
    on instagram
    if they’re on tick tock it is time for
    you to start dancing on tick tock
    in your laundromat make sure you check
    out laundromat resource
    dot com slash get online all right have
    at it guys
    you got this all right without further
    ado let’s jump into it with
    author and laundromat resource forum
    superstar jason dodge jason
    thank you for coming on the show how are
    you doing man i’m doing awesome
    how are you sir i am doing great this is
    uh honestly man this is an
    honor for me i have been looking forward
    to this one for a long time
    for a few different reasons we’ll get
    into you know some of those later but
    one of them is
    uh you have been just killing it on the
    forums and helping
    tons of people out i just been blown
    away
    uh and i you know as i started reading
    your forum post i was like this guy’s
    got to come on the podcast
    so here we are man this is awesome i’ve
    been doing this a little while and i
    you know there’s some questions if i can
    add some value i will if i can’t i just
    more or less keep my mouth shut
    so yeah that
    is a rare skill my friend
    a rare skill uh but well i want to hear
    about some of this wisdom and experience
    that you have
    in a second but before we do that can
    you give us a little bit of a background
    about who you are
    and absolutely catch us up until you get
    into laundromats
    before i jump into me i just want to
    thank you for doing this
    and not not for doing this with you and
    me but just for doing
    laundromat resource and doing these
    podcasts and talking to people
    and um it’s weird because like you know
    you’re on these facebook groups and you
    you know you’re commenting on stuff and
    you see these names but you don’t really
    know who they are or
    how long they’ve been in business or
    whatever but you know i feel a lot
    closer to all those people
    even though i’ve never even spoken to
    them directly but because i saw them on
    a podcast or listen to them
    and i kind of have a little bit of their
    background like i feel you know like i
    could call a rock star
    you know and i could i could call peter
    mayberry i’ve already spoke to dave
    men’s you know i can
    i can just call these people and i feel
    like i know them already to a certain
    extent so i think that you’re really
    you’re taking this huge community and
    you’re kind of shrinking it down
    um and that’s cool so so thank you for
    that
    i think uh and we’ll and we can talk
    about you know
    later you know about the book and stuff
    like that but because there was nothing
    out there back then
    you know on this stuff and now this is
    great so so
    thank you so there we go yeah thank you
    i appreciate you saying that it is funny
    because it is
    i feel the same way and it’s funny
    because you know some of these guys like
    the three guys you mentioned and some
    others they’re like some of my best
    friends now and i’ve only
    really known them for a couple of months
    you know and but we’re chatting all the
    time we’re talking business we’re
    talking life and
    um and it is this is a very cool format
    to just kind of get to know people
    and build that community aspect
    of it and and really get a feel for
    people so yeah
    but thank you for saying that i really
    appreciate it it’s been a lot of fun for
    me and it’s
    a huge honor and enough about that let’s
    hear about
    you right so um
    so me i mean i’m a regular guy um i’m
    married
    i’ve been married my wife and i uh we
    met
    she was 18 i was 20. i’m 48 now so we’ve
    been together a long time we have two
    kids
    uh carson and aiden one is a sophomore
    uh at uw wisconsin madison so he’s a
    badger he’s in the business program
    there he’s doing very well uh my younger
    son is a senior in high school just got
    accepted at madison
    um uw wisconsin so direct admit to the
    business program so we’re super proud of
    him i got some
    luckily my kids got my my wife’s brains
    because uh
    because you know they’re doing great so
    i’m really i’m really proud of them so
    um but that’s that’s a little bit about
    me my wife is a nurse she’s uh
    she’s already been vaccinated so she’s
    right
    working you know working the front lines
    there a little bit um mostly in
    surgeries but she’s
    also helped out with some of the kobit
    stuff so
    um but that’s a little bit about me so
    i’ve been in the laundromat business for
    13 years now i think um
    when i first started um
    i i worked a lot like i worked in the
    shift i worked 40 plus hours
    a week you know at my location at the
    first location so
    um but that’s a little bit about me i
    don’t i don’t want to just ramble on did
    you
    yeah no yes okay well i mean awesome to
    hear and congrats to your son for
    getting into
    uh into madison and in business you know
    the business program and your other son
    for doing so well and your wife for
    saving lives and your family is like a
    super family right now yeah
    um which is cool about that but we’re
    very lucky so yeah well very cool
    um okay well let’s back up uh from where
    you left off a little bit
    and how i mean i’m always curious as to
    how people get into this business
    because it’s
    it’s kind of a random little business
    and i think it’s coming more to the
    forefront
    right now like it’s happening right now
    but up until
    i don’t know six months ago you know
    this is what beginning of february
    2021 until about six months ago uh
    it was pretty much off the radar you
    know and i think kovid’s really put a
    spotlight on it so
    tell me about how what why laundromats
    and how did you get into this crazy
    business
    so um it started well 13 years ago
    um my wife was in college i was in the
    car business
    um we just had our two boys
    and the car business just really
    consumes a lot of your time so i was
    working i’m sure 50 plus hours a week
    there’s always a sale you never have a
    full weekend off you’re working every
    saturday um
    it just it was starting to wear on me so
    i i did finance so when you buy a car
    i’m the guy that you you know
    arranges loans or the leasing for you
    does all the contracts and stuff like
    that
    getting a little burnt out on the
    industry i thought to myself i’m like
    man i want to go work for a bank
    so i’m gonna i want to be the guy on the
    other end of the phone when i’m calling
    to get deals approved i want to be the
    guy that’s
    the underwriter that’s improving the
    deal and i had a ton of contacts and i’m
    like how banks got
    you know two weeks vacation and they
    have all this stuff you know so i’m like
    this is this is where i’m gonna go do
    that
    so i go on some interviews i come back
    to work the next day
    well this goes on for a while one of the
    days i come back to work
    my boss is like did you go on an
    interview yesterday at a bank and i’m
    like
    uh no what do you mean i don’t know any
    interviews you know trying to
    because i didn’t get hired i’m like i
    don’t want to get let go um
    by the end of the day or maybe the next
    day i was fired i was gone
    so somebody saw me there interviewing
    ratting me out and uh and i was gone so
    then i’m just like
    oh what am i gonna do now so i had i had
    a couple rental properties
    um i had filed for unemployment i was on
    unemployment
    and i started thinking to myself i’m
    like i am i got two young kids
    i don’t remember if they were in t-ball
    yet or not but they were starting to get
    into that
    sort of some of those things and i’m
    like and i don’t want to i don’t want to
    miss that stuff you know i want to be
    around for my kids so
    i’m like i’m gonna i’m gonna start a
    business
    and really just blindlessly just kind of
    looking at franchises and there’s like
    this radiator business that i
    almost bought and bought into i should
    say it was a franchise and
    just kind of exploring everything and
    bumped into a laundromat that’s right in
    my neighborhood here in wauwatosa a
    little place
    and it just and at the time like knowing
    now
    i’m glad i didn’t you know pursue that
    one because there’s no parking you know
    it’s it’s upside was limited
    um it’s not even in business it’s not
    even there anymore um
    with the time i’m like oh this is great
    i’m gonna buy this laundromat that’s
    gonna be the answer
    you’re not realizing that that little
    place you know once i got into the
    numbers of the place i’m like man it
    doesn’t make any money
    you know i’m like well this is this
    isn’t my answer you know what am i going
    to do here
    um and keep in mind while i’m looking at
    these businesses like i don’t have any
    money
    like i got you know i’m on unemployment
    my wife’s in school working part-time we
    got two kids a mortgage you know we got
    all that stuff going for us so
    i’m like all right so i had a 401k
    and some you know some of that stuff
    from um from the car business but
    i didn’t really have much of anything in
    the bank so
    i really i just kept going i just really
    wanted to be self-employed and kept
    going for it
    so i’m talking to my stepdad about this
    laundromat that’s
    right in the neighborhood and he says oh
    one of my friends from high school has a
    laundromat he’s doing really well
    i’m like great can i talk to the guy
    he’s like i think he sold it i’m like i
    don’t care i want to talk to the guy you
    know because i don’t know anything about
    this business
    and i need to figure out you know i need
    to know if this is a business worth
    going into and he’s like oh yeah i’m
    pretty sure he’s selling the place well
    you know that was a lot i’m sure it sold
    you know i’m like okay whatever i want
    to talk to him so
    uh he reaches out to the guy and
    the guy says yeah you know come on out
    you know i think the next day or
    whatever was thanksgiving day and he was
    closed
    and he’s like well i’m going to go there
    and i’m going to be cleaning just doing
    some stuff that we can’t do
    when all the customers are in the store
    so my son and i will be there and come
    on in and i’ll tell you about it
    great so i go in and i’m just helping
    him move like top loaders and he’s
    scrubbing the sides of the machines
    because all the soap that’s spilled in
    between the machines and you know he’s
    mopping the floor and everything and
    we just start talking about the business
    and he’s like yeah it’s for sale you
    know i had a guy that was interested but
    he couldn’t come down with the money or
    uh i don’t know something happened and
    um
    we just started talking and all of a
    sudden
    like i’m getting you know profit loss
    statements from the guy and i’m trying
    to find money and you know it just
    um somehow i was i managed to buy this
    place and it was way more than
    like i’m i went from looking at a little
    place that was unattended
    you know that was netting like 400 bucks
    a month you know to this business that’s
    4 500 square feet
    tanning beds dry cleaning wash and fold
    and you know it’s got employees and all
    this stuff um not what i was looking for
    at all but um
    somehow i ended up getting it i mean i
    had to cash out my 401k
    which is maybe wasn’t the best decision
    how they got these programs actually
    they had these programs then where you
    could borrow money from yourself
    right i’m just like i don’t know how i’m
    gonna pay myself back like i’m gonna
    have to work there all the time you know
    and it just kind of
    i had no idea what i was doing i just
    jumped
    um and i bought it that’s were you still
    on
    unemployment when you bought it i i was
    i ran out of unemployment
    literally the week that we closed so i
    think you get whatever you get
    it might be six months or something and
    it’s like 300
    a week you know it’s a lot of money so i
    but we needed every penny of it i mean
    we i wasn’t working and
    that much money in the bank so it saved
    us you know it bought us some time
    and i told my wife i said i you’re not
    you’re in college full now she was going
    to school to be a nurse at the time i’m
    like you
    that’s the priority is is keeping you in
    school
    and looking out for the future you know
    so we need to like i’ll figure it out if
    i have to i’ll go back in the car
    business you know but i don’t
    that’s i don’t want to do that so when i
    had some offers coming in because i
    i was okay at my job so people were you
    know i could have easily went right back
    into the car business but i just
    didn’t want to do it i wanted to be my
    kid’s dad so
    yeah yet i am i’ve been very good at
    that so
    um so yeah so there you have it well i
    mean that’s a
    that’s a that’s what i’m never like
    i’m i’m still always surprised about
    people’s stories about getting in the
    business and that i mean that’s like a
    pretty shocking
    one right like you get fired or let go
    and
    you are on unemployment you’re looking
    at this little laundromat and you end up
    with
    something that you thought was way out
    of your range was your
    i don’t want to pry too much into like
    numbers and stuff but like
    was your did your 401k cover it or
    did you have to find how did you no i
    can’t imagine you got like a traditional
    loan no because i didn’t have a job
    right
    so how did that happen yeah so it was a
    combination of a few things
    um but it was my it was my 401k
    it was my wife’s 401k um and she’s
    always supported me 100
    on all these goofy things that i do um
    so it was both of ours so she was
    invested in this um
    i took a loan from the seller so
    the guy selling the place they had a
    loan with him for a certain amount and
    then we got into it he wanted to have a
    life insurance policy on me in case i
    die he wanted obviously he has an
    insurable interest
    um if i pass away you know he wants to
    make sure he gets his money so then we
    got into it over that
    so he ended up putting um we agreed on
    him putting a mortgage on one of my
    rental properties
    and he’s like well i’ll just put this
    mortgage on there and then if you pay me
    off i’ll take the mortgage
    i’m like fine we’ll do that so more or
    less just kind of a placeholder on the
    title
    um and i raised some private funds from
    family
    um and a combination of those three or
    four things i probably hit my credit
    cards and you know all of that stuff so
    um i don’t know how i pulled it off
    honestly but it somehow worked
    and that i mean that is
    i mean i love that though because you
    know it’s like
    look you wanted to be a dad for your
    kids right like you wanted to be
    at home and you knew you had an option
    but it wasn’t an option that was going
    to give you
    what you wanted in life right and
    you know i think a lot of times we get
    stuck in
    you know you can either have a good job
    that has a lot of money or
    you can be present for your family or
    you know there i mean there’s a lot of
    either ores right in life
    and we feel like we have to choose one
    or the other
    and my initial question is always okay
    well how can i have both
    right like i want i want both of those i
    want a good job and i want to be there
    with
    you know see my kids grow up and be a
    part of their lives and
    have make good memories together and how
    can i have both and
    i just i love that you dug deep i mean
    what you did was
    was risky right but you dug deep because
    you knew
    you knew what you were what you’re going
    after and you use creative financing i
    love that you’re piecing together
    you know cash out retirement accounts
    and raising private money
    and seller financing and
    this insurance policy i mean and
    cross-collateralizing with your real
    estate i mean
    you pulled out all the stops to try to
    achieve your goal
    right and i mean for me that’s i mean it
    makes me i’ll be honest it makes my
    palms a little sweaty
    but it’s also super inspiring right i
    mean it reminds me of a lot of the
    stories of the successful owners we’ve
    had
    on here who just did
    what it took to get it done you know
    that first one
    and and i say it all the time like if
    you get that first one
    and you do it right sky’s the limit for
    you but
    if you do it wrong it’s hard to get out
    of that so
    yeah kudos to you for for getting
    creative with your financing and getting
    in there uh can we talk a little bit
    about your experience like
    okay you did all this stuff right like
    you jumped on there
    yeah you left and you’re taking over
    what’s that like so i started training
    um with the owners
    and you know they’re showing me around
    but immediately the employees kind of
    started thinking that i was gonna fire
    everybody
    i don’t know why they thought that but
    they just had this feeling that
    i was gonna let people go so people
    started quitting they started finding
    other jobs and i’m like oh i’m like i
    need you guys i don’t know what i’m
    doing
    you know like i i really i really needed
    these people i they know way more about
    this industry working there that i
    um i didn’t know how to fold clothes or
    work a cash register
    um or any of that stuff it’s like i’m
    good with people i’m you know because
    i’ve been in sales i’m good with numbers
    because you know i was in finance you
    know but i don’t
    i don’t know how to fix a washing
    machine or you know any of this stuff so
    so people started quitting and i’m like
    well
    i’m just going to take their house
    because we have this big debt service
    now that we have to take care of
    you know going through the numbers 100
    million ways i knew i was going to have
    to put in time anyways
    um to get through our first few years
    because the business
    the business was doing really good but
    with the new debt and everything
    it wasn’t really making much money so i
    had to
    i’m like i’m going to have to grow this
    business somehow and to kind of give you
    a picture of what the place looked like
    um it was really dark and dingy
    it had carpeting like this dark blue
    carpeting in there like
    commercial like really thin pile
    carpeting but
    the whole place is carpeted except for
    in front of the washers that had
    that vct or cvt whatever it is that kind
    of vinyl floor
    you know the squares square foot square
    yeah they had those
    and they were really i don’t know what
    they did to them but they had no shine
    to them at all
    they had one tv like on a box kind of
    there
    with the big antenna on it and a lot of
    handwritten signs everywhere in the
    place and
    it didn’t look good you know the lights
    the lights were all on i think most of
    them but
    um it hadn’t been painted in a long time
    and it just it just looked really
    dated so i mean the first thing i wanted
    to do was like well we’re gonna paint
    you know we’re gonna do things we’re
    gonna just try to slowly implement stuff
    as we have a little extra money
    um and we did that um over time so
    but i ended up kind of taking i think i
    worked like
    i would work a day shift on mondays a
    night shift on tuesdays and then a day
    shift on wednesday i just ended up being
    about 40 hours a week in the store
    um and then somebody one of my weekend
    people quit so then my
    my wife started working the weekend
    mornings and she quit her part-time job
    um and then my mother-in-law started
    working there for me
    so like i had it made like um it was
    doing i thought really well
    like okay i got people in place you know
    a couple of the good employees that we
    had stayed
    and they were on for years um
    and everything was was starting to go
    really good so
    um business was slowly you know
    increasing a little bit we raised some
    prices
    you know painted some things got a nicer
    tv just kind of get slowly doing some
    things
    and i think we’re there i don’t know if
    it’s a year and a half
    two years somewhere in there and then
    all of a sudden somebody’s like oh hey
    um there’s a new laundromat getting
    built down the road did you see that
    i’m like i mean i like lost it
    so i’m literally like my financial life
    i think just passed before my eyes i’m
    just going
    i just invested everything i have into
    this place like we’re just starting to
    do better
    and now this place is going to be built
    you know down the road for me
    um so i had to take a a serious
    step back and just look at the bus the
    building the business and just be like
    okay what do we need to do
    to remain in business and
    um yeah that’s actually when i started
    writing my book i i was more is more
    therapeutic than anything
    i was just kind of writing out how i was
    planning how i was gonna survive
    this new competition um and then when i
    was telling i was still looking at other
    laundromats to buy and they’ll tell my
    buddies of mine
    you know how i would analyze water bills
    and all this stuff and they’re like you
    got to write a book about this thing so
    that their
    influence kind of got me to write the
    book about all the other stuff
    um but that’s kind of how that
    so it took about
    it took a long time for that laundromat
    to open like they were there’s all these
    machines just sitting in a storefront
    for months maybe it was even a year i’m
    sitting there
    so i personally saw it i got so mad i
    started calling every distributor i
    could find
    i’m like who was building this
    laundromat like i was just angry like
    how dare you
    you know we’re gonna go out of business
    and i was just freaking out um
    and it turned out it was some
    distributor and owner like who happened
    to own this strip mall but he has a
    bunch of
    places in the chicago area and he just
    happened to you know he’s like well i’m
    going to put a laundromat in my one of
    my vacant spaces and his distributor i
    think was from
    the chicago area so nobody knew anything
    about it
    and you know in hindsight and now
    knowing what i know and having
    uh having survived that you know
    um i’m not as worried about that anymore
    you know but
    at the time it was yeah i really was
    pretty scared
    so that’s a huge i mean a holy cow man
    that’s like
    and and that’s like a it’s almost like a
    punch in the gut man because you
    you take this huge leap you make this
    it’s kind of a risky move
    you’re putting everything into your
    business you’re finally starting to see
    traction
    and you know you got a competitor coming
    in down the road
    and that is scary i mean
    can we talk about i mean you said you
    survived it so
    yeah i’m glad you survived it but i
    think that’s a huge fear for a lot of
    owners
    yeah you know a new especially you know
    if you don’t have enough time to kind of
    get established
    you know if you if you buy a laundromat
    that needs some work and you’re kind of
    slowly putting some work into it and
    you’re not
    quite where you want it to be yet and
    another one’s popping up
    that’s a that’s a bad situation to be in
    and i think that’s a fear of a lot of
    owners
    and you just said you’re not as worried
    about that
    anymore now that you’ve been through and
    survived it so
    put us at ease man tell us why are you
    not
    freaked out about that still let me tell
    you what i did
    um first so okay yeah when i found out
    about it
    you know i had to look at the business
    and i didn’t not knowing a lot about the
    industry i
    asked my car i just started asking my
    customers i
    i bought a bicycle i put it up on one of
    the bulkheads
    and i had a card printed up from you
    know uh
    one of the print houses in the
    neighborhood and it just had some
    questions on and then there’s comments
    up
    and some of the questions were like how
    do you feel about our vendor pricing how
    do you
    do we need more washers or dryers do we
    you know and i just
    are we clean you know i just kind of
    asked a bunch of questions
    and then if they answered the questions
    they put their card in the box and they
    had a chance to win this bike
    so i started with that and
    wasn’t thrilled obviously i wanted their
    address and stuff too so that way i
    could see where they were coming from
    because i wanted to see
    i’m like well i know where this guy’s
    building are they
    are they gonna pass him on the way to me
    like i’m trying to think of all these
    things in my head
    um of what’s what’s going to happen um
    a lot of the answers came back really
    positive um
    and we had made some changes coming up
    to that
    you know i think there’s some people
    like you know it looks kind of old in
    here and stuff like that so we made some
    changes
    that way a lot of people said we didn’t
    have enough dryers which i knew was a
    problem and i did not have the money to
    uh add dryers at the time so there
    really wasn’t anything i could do about
    that
    um but at least i knew that that was an
    issue so
    what we ended up doing is just really
    going through the business we put a new
    floor and got rid of the carpeting
    the carpeting actually went up to a
    chair rail on the wall that’s how bad it
    was so it went up to
    you know whatever 36 inches or something
    okay
    how can you get rid of that carpet man i
    mean you got carpet in a laundromat
    right i hope that you just went straight
    shag carpet from there on
    all the way up the wall yup yeah that
    was that was our answer yeah that’s
    crazy
    and a disco golf ball with a disc and
    then uh
    i’m digging this laundromat now all
    right that’s groovy
    so uh so we ripped the carpeting off the
    walls
    off the floor it’s got to be a sentence
    that you’ve never thought you would say
    we ripped the carpeting off the wall all
    right sorry i’m off the carpet
    all right go ahead and put the carpeting
    off the wall so yeah we got that off and
    there’s all these glue marks you know
    from the trowels where they glued it so
    then we had to skim coat all the walls
    but anyways we ended up painting them
    all
    over time replaced a lot of the lights
    um
    at the time this is led wasn’t really a
    big thing so we’re going from t8 bulbs
    to
    whatever it is now you know the there’s
    a little better
    better ball or maybe it’s through the
    tvs but um
    so we you know updated the lighting um
    painted
    just i ended up putting uh we ended up
    doing more raffles of bicycles
    um the laundromat when i bought it they
    had a rule that
    under no circumstance would they refund
    anybody anything
    which i thought was ridiculous so when i
    first got in there i’m like okay i’m
    just gonna i’m gonna run
    things the way that they’re around so i
    just kind of kept that rule for like i
    think maybe a week
    and we ended up changing that rule i was
    putting up like new signs and
    a customer actually was like no refunds
    like he was laughing at me as i’m
    putting it up and i’m like yeah i’m like
    why am i doing this
    you know so then i you know after a
    little while i took the signs down and
    i’m like you know what
    we are going to help every customer no
    matter what the problem is
    i don’t care they need a free wash we’re
    going to get it so
    um if they’re not happy with where they
    parked we’re going to give them a free
    wash you know let’s just help everybody
    out
    so we changed that philosophy and just
    tried to really help people
    um that was a big change um
    lost my training thought there’s other
    things that we that we that we did to
    improve the place but it was mostly just
    improving the atmosphere making it look
    better
    yeah um did you did you learn i mean
    you said when you did your survey that
    you know a lot of the feedback came back
    you needed
    new dryers and you already knew that um
    did you
    learn did you learn anything else like
    did anybody
    say hey you need to get rid of this
    carpet
    i’m stuck on the carpet but nobody said
    that yeah they probably loved
    it man i know i would have no but did
    you learn anything
    did anything else stand out from that
    that survey
    nothing else comes you know i i think i
    put the answers in my book actually but
    i don’t remember off the top of my head
    but there were there were little changes
    that we made
    um to help people with that
    but the dryer thing we just got better
    at managing the dryer problem and we
    were we had more wash capacity
    and dry capacity and now
    you know i you know in building the new
    store you know we wanted
    i think that you should always have like
    10 more dry capacity than wash you shoot
    for 110
    you know on your dryers versus your wash
    and you always want to have a couple
    more drier pockets than washer pockets
    um
    and that is to alleviate those you know
    those
    backups of your dryers um we had way
    less pockets
    i think we had like 40 washers and
    28 dryers or something you know but from
    a compound perspective it was pretty
    close but we had so many small washers
    that um people would take stuff from one
    of the top loaders and put in one 30
    pound dryer
    you know it’s like we could actually put
    three more you know washers loads in
    there but
    it just didn’t work that way so it ended
    up being a bottleneck but
    um but we managed that better just by
    helping people out
    monitoring we put a process in place
    that when we got that busy
    um you know our attendance would be at
    attention and helping people moving them
    in and out of the dryers if they had a
    problem
    free drive you know we just made it work
    out so um
    when that laundromat opened you know i
    was freaking out and i remember i posted
    on i think the
    coin laundry associations forum and
    everybody gave me a bunch of bad news i
    didn’t want to hear
    um you know oh your revenue is going to
    go down 25 and all this stuff
    and and the revenue did go down but it
    didn’t go down a ton
    and you know so a little bit of gross is
    a lot of nets
    you know when you think about a little
    bit of gross sales turns out to be a lot
    of net income so the net income went
    down quite a bit
    the gross went down not too bad but
    we started um doing time of day pricing
    and we had run no specials at all and
    we started you know i realized that the
    new store once they opened they had a
    lot of big machines i mean they’re
    building like you see stores being built
    now with a lot of big
    and this guy had been in the business a
    long time and he knew exactly what to
    put in there
    um so i’m like well we got all these
    small machines and i can’t afford to
    replace them so i’m like i’m gonna do at
    the time of 75 cent wash i’m gonna do
    that three days a week
    on these small machines and i’m just
    gonna try to crank up the volume
    and um it took some time but it ended up
    taking in those
    those three slow days tuesday wednesday
    thursday ended up being our busiest day
    um and all those washer turns you know
    resulted in more dryer turns you know
    at full price and so um it took a little
    time but eventually we got back to where
    we were
    and then we exceeded that you know and
    then we started raising prices all the
    time so
    um to get off because that’s pretty
    cheap so
    but we wanted to come up with something
    you know and we didn’t do that right
    away because we want to get into a price
    you know thing where
    you know a lot of people’s a new place
    opens immediately they’re thinking oh my
    gosh she’s doing half-price sales so
    then they do it you know and it’s just
    you don’t want to compete with that um
    and that person never changed their
    pricing strategy they just came out with
    what they came out with and they just
    ran with it
    and we just made some changes to
    compensate for what our
    equipment layout was and it ended up
    turning things around so we also
    improved washing fold and stuff like
    that
    so the tanning business every year just
    kind of went like that went down
    um and dry cleaned never did great we
    didn’t we contracted dry cleaning so
    we’re just a drop off dry clean site but
    okay
    um but we didn’t need self-serve in
    washington
    so yeah yeah well i kind of like it’s
    almost kind of like
    guerrilla warfare a little bit in your
    situation because
    you just you were outgunned right and so
    you kind of had to do the highlander hit
    run hide kind of deal where you
    you have you know what what i love
    about what you did is that i mean people
    are going to listen to this story right
    now and think that you’re an
    idiot for doing 75 washes
    or 75 cent washes right and
    but what i love about what you did is
    when your back is against the wall
    you got to do something dramatic right
    in order to
    to fight back like to survive you have
    to do i mean think of a cornered animal
    right they do
    it gets dramatic real fast right
    and so i and i it’s probably why
    a big part of why you survived i mean
    obviously there’s all the other stuff
    you were doing also
    improving the business but doing
    something dramatic and
    and i think the proof is in that those
    three days became your
    your biggest days right that and it
    makes sense right
    because everybody wants you know 75 cent
    wash
    oh i’ll bring my stuff from california
    there to do so
    well and keep in mind that was 10 years
    ago too right the other thing is
    um you know there’s a lot of especially
    on these facebook pages in the forums
    people you know they’re upset about free
    dry
    or or a guy that’s doing you know time
    day pricing three days a week and he’s
    really cheap on this or he’s really
    cheap on that
    these are all just marketing strategies
    they’re nothing more than that
    and um you know you can’t
    you can come up with your own marketing
    strategy you know and
    you have to just make it work and every
    every location is different i mean one
    place might have killer parking
    and one place doesn’t have good parking
    so maybe you need to have a little
    better pricing
    because your parking lot isn’t great you
    know or or maybe you do have some older
    equipment and you just need to
    be a little more aggressive on pricing
    if you have a new store yes you should
    be the high price leader i mean you have
    big bills you have brand new equipment
    you know
    and you have the best of the best i mean
    you should be charging more so
    um everybody’s situation is different
    and
    i don’t look down on anybody for doing
    anything um
    because i think what works for one you
    know situation may work
    not work for the other or vice versa you
    know it just everybody’s got to do what
    works for them
    and that’s that’s the bottom line so
    that worked for me
    um a lot of the guys that do the free
    dry they charge a little bit more for
    their dryer for their washes and stuff
    like that that works for them that’s
    their marketing approach
    um so with our new location we’re gonna
    have more stuff that we’ll do
    i mean you had a guy i don’t remember
    his name but he had that the
    um one of the guy i can’t remember who
    did the half price wash it was the name
    of his store yeah
    yeah hank so uh what was his name hank
    yeah so yeah that’s his that’s his
    marketing thing right so that’s what he
    does i mean good for him he’s got
    something that brings people in the door
    so
    um his pricing goes up and down it’s
    half price this day is you know it’s
    just
    um that’s totally creative i love it
    so um it’s a business like any other you
    have to
    run specials and do things and that’s
    why pick and save in the grocery stores
    they all send you coupons every week and
    they’re pricing stuff so yeah yeah and
    i’m glad you said that too because i
    you know obviously we we all want
    we’d all love to be the price leader and
    to be able to do that and to command
    those prices and and i think you can you
    can get there
    uh but the key to that is providing the
    most
    value right and so you got to figure out
    where
    can you provide the most value and
    and leverage that right and if you can’t
    provide the most value in
    newer equipment you can provide the most
    value
    in you know maybe your your employees
    that you have and your
    your service that you offer and i love i
    mean that was one of the things that you
    did right help every customer out no
    matter what
    they don’t get a good parking spot let’s
    give them a free wash you know what
    whatever it takes right because that’s
    providing the most
    value right and so so i mean i love that
    you said
    you know hey it’s all marketing
    strategies and
    you know different things work for
    different people um
    and you know and our goal and like you
    said too like
    you did it for a time and you’ve raised
    prices over the years and
    you know and you get to where you’re
    trying to go but sometimes
    early on you know and i think it’s easy
    for people who are
    now kind of in the flow of successful
    things to
    forget how it was when you’re scrappy
    you know you know trying to pull
    yourself up by your bootstraps and some
    of the things that they had to do
    you know and now they just remember kind
    of where they’re at now
    and but and that’s why you say that
    because i feel like
    i’m still being having to be scrappy and
    you know and do whatever it takes so
    um you know this this new location like
    it’s no different
    you know this is so it’s so much more
    expensive you know you would think i
    know all this stuff right i wrote a book
    on it and all this you know
    but building this location i’ve learned
    so much
    you know so i’ve been you know a student
    of the laundromat industry for
    13 years now and i’m continuing to learn
    every day in this build
    um is i’m learning every day and
    sometimes very painfully just as i’ve
    learned all through my life
    and by the you know i’m having to pay
    for that lesson
    um but it’s it’s uh
    it’s interesting so i i still feel like
    i i’m totally still the little guy who’s
    who i feel like i’m still being scrappy
    and having to do whatever it takes to
    get there so
    um because this location’s no different
    i feel than the first one like i’m
    putting everything i’m throwing
    everything at it
    um and we’re going to make it work you
    know we’re going to be scrappy and we’re
    going to you know
    um but now we can utilize technology we
    can really have
    some good promotions you know so we can
    do yeah
    you know these app-based systems you can
    do anything so it’s just uh
    it’s a different ball game now but yeah
    well let’s talk about that build
    in a second because i want to hear about
    what you have been learning i know
    you’re not through with it yet but
    you know that process a little bit but
    just to kind of put a pin in
    uh this competitor story
    uh can you just kind of fill us in like
    you said you
    business did drop for a little bit and
    eventually it kind of
    can you give us like a timeline on
    what that was um
    and when he first opened it i don’t like
    it can take
    them about a year to ramp up to where
    they’re going to be or even two years
    so we didn’t notice it right away and we
    opened i’m like i don’t even think i
    don’t even notice it
    but then that slowly it i think it was
    probably
    maybe it was about a year and i got a
    horrible memory so i
    um i’m really bad at dates and times and
    all that stuff but
    our business was pretty stable but then
    it’s it was slowly trickling off
    and all of a sudden one day i’m like man
    the bills are getting really tight and
    that’s when i kind of noticed that we
    were down
    um and then it just seemed i just i
    could see the trajectory kind of slowly
    going down so that’s when i started
    freaking out a little bit and started
    doing the time of day pricing and stuff
    like that
    um so we were probably about a year into
    it
    with that competitor before we made
    pricing changes
    and then that pricing change and nothing
    happens overnight and i see this on the
    um a lot of times in on these laundry
    forums and stuff and they’re like i
    i made this change and i don’t see any
    any difference you know it’s like well
    any change you make it’s kind of like a
    ship in the water like it turns really
    slow it doesn’t
    turn really fast like a speedboat it
    takes time for these changes to take
    effect so
    you know that that new laundromat took a
    long time for that to turn
    you know to get customers and then we
    slowly kind of felt the effect of that
    and then when we
    made pricing changes it slowly turned to
    our
    favor back again and um
    when you think about when you discount
    prices now you have to do
    like two turns where you did one turn
    just to break even
    so then it’s kind of and i ended up
    making a little spreadsheet which i love
    making spreadsheets so i made a
    spreadsheet that showed
    okay these are my terms and then if i
    discounted it this many days how many
    turns that i have to do to
    break even you know and so how many more
    customers and turns that i have to do to
    break even and then
    and then what did that do to my drier
    revenue so i just kind of played with
    these numbers a little bit
    um but so to answer your question it was
    about a year before it really started
    affecting us
    we made some changes and maybe it was
    another
    six months to a year before we kind of
    came out of that yeah so it was a couple
    year process
    um because again nothing happens real
    fast right
    oh i love when people say they mail a
    postcard and they’re like i don’t know i
    sent out 1000 postcards and nobody
    showed up it’s like well
    it doesn’t happen that fast you know
    first off don’t send any more postcards
    but
    uh yeah all right well good i mean
    uh one more one more question i’m just
    kind of curious about this is like
    getting in the details a little bit but
    when you did your
    um your time of day pricing how did you
    promote that
    so i was big into social media
    so when we bought this place almost no
    laundromats had even a website and i
    think a lot of them still don’t but now
    you see a lot more websites
    um we started doing websites we got a
    facebook page right away
    um we started doing promotions on
    facebook we were doing adwords
    um for stuff like that um
    adwords can get expensive pretty fast
    but
    but it works and you can kind of track
    to see at least you can see how many
    people are seeing it and clicking on it
    and coming through your site
    um facebook worked really well for us
    and we would advertise a really tight
    circle around our location
    probably you know just maybe two miles
    maybe three miles something like that
    just a tight circle which is great on
    facebook you can
    you can only advertise to that that
    small group of people right
    and people would comment and share and
    you could interact with a customer in
    real time practically and
    that is just that’s one of the ways that
    we did it so i
    i really like facebook facebook
    marketing but
    yeah did you do signage in the store or
    windows or anything like that oh yeah so
    we put big decals on the windows
    um we had signs on those banks of
    washers
    and um and they were big round
    yellow bright yellow decals one on every
    window i think we had three or four
    windows on the front and we just put one
    on every on every window
    because you have to let everybody know
    so there’s some marketing and then
    obviously people are coming to the store
    and they’re seeing the signage and
    there’s then you start getting a little
    bit busier and some people are like oh
    well now you just moved all your weekend
    customers to your three days during the
    week it’s like
    it doesn’t really work that way so um
    it’s funny people just start finding you
    and and they start coming so um at first
    yes maybe our weekend people
    some of them turned into during the week
    people
    but then we got so busy during the week
    that people are like oh it’s too busy in
    here so then we would get
    a little bit busier on monday and friday
    when we had no specials going which were
    generally not real busy days
    because people just didn’t want to be
    around the craziness on the busy days
    um so it just i don’t know it ended up
    just balancing it out so
    it’s uh it’s not a zero-sum game it’s
    not you’re not just moving that customer
    from one day to another you know
    other people come in so yeah
    [Music]
    cool i mean i appreciate you sharing
    that let’s talk a little bit about this
    build
    uh that you got going on when did you
    decide to build a laundromat
    and how did that kind of process happen
    yeah so it’s actually funny if uh if you
    look in my book i actually suggest
    against building laundromats
    it’s one of the things i put in there
    and a large part of that is due to
    um my frame of mind at the time
    when i started writing this book
    somebody’s building a new laundromat
    down the road for me
    so i wasn’t happy about that so that’s
    one of the things the other thing i do
    know that it is easier to buy an
    existing store and have a customer base
    already
    and then just improve that store and
    bring in more customers whether it’s new
    equipment or just
    cleaning up the space or doing whatever
    right um
    and i didn’t have that money and i still
    don’t i feel like i still don’t have the
    money but
    i didn’t have the money then even think
    about building a new store so
    um i’m just like it’s very hard to build
    a new store and you have to
    you know so i just kind of let put that
    in the book and it is very hard building
    a new store but
    um knowing what i know when learning you
    know throughout the years
    and seeing what other people are doing
    and kind of becoming a student of
    just i’m i’m really big at getting know
    other laundromat owners
    and i just go in and talk to him you
    know if i see dude’s car in the driveway
    or in the parking lot of his store like
    i just pull in i’m like hey man what’s
    going on how are you doing you know
    how’s business you know especially guys
    that have news stores or newer stores
    i’m talking to them because i want to
    see
    what what are they doing you know why
    are they successful are they more
    successful than i am with my older store
    you know what are they doing
    and over time i started to learn it they
    were doing pretty good so
    um it was a very expensive to get in but
    they ended up doing really well
    so i started to look into that so
    um i ended up selling one of my
    locations about a year ago
    and a long story into that my wife and i
    were thinking of well we still are
    thinking having a place up north
    and um in the northern part of the state
    and that place is very management heavy
    and i’m thinking well i’m going to sell
    this place it might take a couple years
    to sell it
    and then i’m going to buy a couple of
    smaller laundries they’re a little easy
    to manage
    and you know that way we can go out of
    town more and live the lifestyle that we
    want to live
    well laundromats just don’t come up for
    sale in milwaukee so
    it just doesn’t often i’ve tried to buy
    just about every single one that came up
    for sale and i’ve struck out man
    time and time again we can go in all
    those stories if you want but
    um there’s a lot of ways that i that you
    know
    laundromats it didn’t turn out that way
    so about it i was just looking in the
    timeline uh
    last night about a year ago last
    february i first saw the building that
    i’m building it now and i didn’t know if
    i would be able to
    afford to build a laundromat or not i
    was talking to a friend of mine who has
    about 10 laundromats
    and he’s like why don’t you just call
    he’s like call my banker buddy
    you know he does sbl sba loans and other
    loans and
    um just see you know just talk to him
    and see if you think that you know if
    if that’s a fit for you or not and i
    wanted to
    you know i i lease space now i wanted to
    own the building because i just know
    that that’s the better route to go long
    term there’s different there’s more exit
    strategies you know when it comes time
    to sell and things like that
    um you don’t have to worry about
    somebody raising your rent and all that
    goofy stuff so
    i wanted to buy the building and i
    didn’t know if i would be able to afford
    it so i ended up talking to the banker
    we talked for a while on the phone
    i said you know he wanted all these
    documents and taxes and bank statements
    and all that so i just
    downloaded everything over to him and
    you know you know he called me back he
    goes jason i think we can do it
    he goes you just gotta be under this you
    know this amount i’m like
    okay well how much cash do i need you
    know and he just you know he laid it out
    and it was pretty much every penny i had
    you know the amount of money that he’s
    telling me to lay out i’m like okay well
    let’s i’ve been in this situation before
    and let’s figure it out you know so
    yeah um so last you know february 2020
    is when i
    end up finding this building um
    you know talk to the the banker about it
    you know can i afford this can we do
    this you know yeah yeah so
    um about uh i think it was about a month
    later we ended up putting an offer on it
    after viewing the building put an offer
    on it
    the building was on the market for a
    long time it’s very close to my home
    which i love
    there were two laundromats actually very
    close to it that had gone out of
    business
    smaller locations and i tried buying
    both of them over the years and that
    didn’t work out but
    now they’re gone um i
    offered like a hundred thousand dollars
    below asking because it was on the
    market for a long time and he had just
    reduced the price by a hundred thousand
    and the guy never even responded to my
    offer he just like
    just he’s like this guy’s an idiot you
    know
    so that’s how you know you made a good
    first offer though
    right oh my gosh he snaps it up right
    away then you’re like dang it yeah
    should have gone oh all right well i
    guess he doesn’t want to sell to us so
    started looking at other buildings and
    nothing else was coming up
    and i’m like you know so i started
    looking back at this building again
    and then we talked to the selling broker
    and he kind of informed us a little bit
    like well the guy
    owns he still owes some money in the
    building he doesn’t want to take a loss
    below what he owes
    so we ended up putting another offer in
    that was still below what he was asking
    um but was more definitely more
    reasonable and more of a win-win for
    everybody so um
    so we end up buying the building um then
    the sba process starts
    [Music]
    i don’t know if you talked to anybody on
    that yet but yeah well
    why don’t you tell us a little bit about
    it i mean we’ve we’ve hinted on it a
    little bit here and i know that it’s a
    it’s a bear to wrestle but tell us a
    little bit about your experience with it
    you know i knew that it wasn’t going to
    be easy because i had talked to a lot of
    people and
    not that it wasn’t going to be easy just
    that they they want a lot of documents
    they want every document that you have
    and um i decided to go sba because
    their rates are so good like the
    interest rate was really good it’s a
    fixed rate it’s a
    you know you can i can take a long-term
    loan on the building at a fixed rate i
    don’t have to renew this loan every 10
    years
    um i don’t have to worry about the rate
    going up or anything like that so i’m
    like all right so there’s a lot of
    benefits to this
    um the sba fees are high but it’s offset
    by this
    excellent interest rate um so in
    is from a paperwork standpoint they want
    everything they want all the p ls from
    all your businesses
    any rental properties you own they want
    all of your bank statements um
    all your taxes it just seems like it’s
    just endless supply and then they just
    make up forms that you want you know
    it’s just
    you know they want they want a lease so
    you know one llc owns the building and
    then another llc owns the laundromat
    well they want
    a lease document from the laundromat to
    the building it’s like well i own both
    you know oh we gotta have this document
    it’s like well
    okay you know but it’s just they seem to
    invent a lot of documents
    um and it’s it’s just kind of a long
    grueling process and then the copic
    thing didn’t seem to help because
    everybody was working at home and it
    just seemed to
    yeah slow everything down and it was
    kind of slowed down and the loan officer
    that i had was excellent
    like super nice guy i still call him on
    the phone just to talk sometimes
    um because he’s a great guy um
    and was very helpful but he’s you know
    he there’s just a lot of documents this
    is part of what he you know he has to do
    so
    yeah um we had some problems coming up
    to the closing
    with appraisals um
    with the coping environment for a while
    the appraisers will not go into a
    property
    so i’m like well how can you appraise
    something if you don’t go in it you know
    so this we had some problems with like
    they wanted to they wanted to appraise
    my house
    so um but they didn’t but they wouldn’t
    go in it
    i’m like oh so the appraisal came in
    short and i’m like well you guys
    you gotta go in my house you know yeah
    i need to overcome some of that stuff um
    and but it you know we ended up we ended
    up closing
    and it took a while we closed september
    so sometime in march we had that
    accepted offer and then we ended up
    closing on the
    the building beginning of september so
    it was it was a process
    it took a while um
    and then we had to start the permitting
    process
    so right same thing it’s another covet
    thing
    getting i don’t know if all the
    inspector people
    i know they are for the city of
    milwaukee a lot of them aren’t you leave
    a message and then they call you back so
    they’re not even in their office you
    know they’re at home but it just took
    forever for this
    for the for our plan review to get
    approved for our plumbing permits to get
    approved our hvac i mean we just got
    hvac permits a couple weeks ago i mean
    it’s just
    it’s just it’s been forever it seems
    like but yeah
    um but we’re going through it man baby
    step in it
    is there any uh is there any timeline
    that you have right now i mean
    whatever it is we can throw it out the
    window i’m sure but yeah is there hoping
    like so it’s the beginning of february
    right now i’m hoping to be open
    um middle of march okay so you know a
    lot of
    this has to do with um we have equipment
    should be coming next week
    but our bulkheads were delayed a little
    bit um we had some last minute
    measurement changes that we had to do
    um just because the country got the
    concrete guys
    i don’t know where the problem was it
    was the concrete guys or the guys the
    people making the
    architect drawing everything out but one
    of the ball kit’s gonna be longer than
    it should have been
    or the trough was longer than it was
    supposed to had to make the bulkhead
    bigger now to cover this big trough so
    just goofy little things like that that
    come up and you’re
    just pivoting to make all these right
    make everything work so
    so you already have plumbing laid oh
    yeah you’ve pulled electrical
    everything’s ready to go so you’re i
    mean i know that
    we’re originally going to postpone this
    interview because you had machines
    coming
    and they got delayed but um so you’re
    right you’re like there you’re you’re
    ready to
    put machines in and start doing
    finishing touches we’re close
    yeah so today when i stopped in this
    morning the electrician was
    still working on our ceiling fans a
    couple lighting uh things in there
    inside the store but the ceilings all
    open exposed is black we got the big
    chrome or
    stainless looking spiral duct work
    that’s all was laid in yesterday
    some stainless ceiling fans that are um
    come off the ceiling we’re redoing the
    concrete floor like a natural
    looking concrete so we’re still kind of
    dealing with that’s one of the things
    i’m dealing with right now is
    the look that they were going to put
    down isn’t the look that i wanted so
    we’re trying to figure that out but yeah
    um but we are we’re getting very close
    like it’s
    we have windows and doors now we didn’t
    have that for a long time
    um yeah well those are we’re getting
    there so it’s um
    yeah hopefully yeah soon those are yeah
    those are big steps getting the windows
    and doors in well
    shoot man when when you get that thing
    opened we’re gonna have to do a zoom
    uh video tour and we can just throw it
    up so people can
    come check out your you check out your
    new building and you’re new yeah we
    could i’m excited about it you know
    there’s a lot of
    again it’s a learning experience for me
    and there’s some things that i’ll do
    differently next time
    um and there’s a lot of lessons learned
    in this process
    um and something that i we
    we probably did i don’t know 30 or more
    equipment layouts like going this way
    going that way mixing the machines up
    and
    you want to have your big machines and
    i’ve heard this on on the on your
    podcast too so
    you want to have the big machines right
    by the front door so people come in
    i remember this over the years is this
    your biggest machine you know like they
    plop everything down right there so you
    want that biggest machine as close to
    the front door as possible
    um so that’s what we were shooting for
    but then we’re trying to work around
    this these posts or polls that are
    holding up the beams and you know you
    got these
    posts in the building or yeah and you’re
    trying to work around that
    and then when we were doing the demo the
    floor was so bad
    in half of the building that we had to
    completely rip out
    the concrete floor and pour a new floor
    in half the building
    so in order to save money there we moved
    one of our bulkheads from where it was
    going to be
    where we were going to be cutting in new
    pads and the plumbing and we moved it
    over to the spot where
    the floor was bad just to save money so
    that kind of
    um messed with our floor plan kind of
    last minute we had to make some changes
    that weren’t ideal
    um but i simply couldn’t spend any more
    money so we had to just find ways to
    make it work and that was one of the
    ways to make it work um
    so there’s all these little shifts like
    that um
    well that’s why i mean one of the things
    that i always say is like you can’t
    you don’t know something until you’ve
    done it
    right like i’ve never built a store out
    and i’ve talked to
    i mean i’m talking to you right now i’ve
    talked to a ton of people who’ve built
    stores
    and like i know it but i don’t know it
    right because i’ve never done it because
    there’s
    all these little things that come up you
    know when you’re doing
    a build and you know lessons that you
    can’t learn until you
    until you do it right so you don’t know
    it until you’ve done it you know i
    i honestly thought that was very and i
    feel like i still am mentally prepared
    for everything but
    i knew that people had problems and you
    just can’t explain it until you’re in
    the middle of it so i mean i’ve just
    been i’ve never
    you know doing my best to not get upset
    when these little things come up and
    just try to just roll with the punches
    and just
    okay that happens now we got to do this
    you know what are we going to do to
    to make that work and most of this stuff
    comes up in your demo you know you just
    that’s when you realize
    oh yeah ceiling doesn’t look good and we
    want to have an exposed ceiling well how
    are we going to fix that you know so
    right which is another problem well it’s
    funny
    like i’m like redoing our house right
    now and the more you know it’s like the
    more things you
    pull down the more things you have to
    pull down
    you know so and the more problems you
    uncover and
    so yeah i get that well
    okay i mean you may not even be in a
    position right now
    because you’re in the thick of it but
    you may not be in a position to answer
    this question but i am curious maybe you
    have thought about this a little bit
    what are your do you have any like goals
    or aspirations
    in regards to laundromats or maybe other
    investments or businesses or just life
    in general
    yeah i mean i i’m really big on like
    personal relationship like my family
    type
    goals um and then i try to figure out
    how we’re going to make that a reality
    so
    um you know personal goals are you know
    my wife and i we still want to buy this
    property up in the northern part of
    state we want
    it’s going to be on a lake we don’t have
    the boat and all this stuff so we’re
    trying to
    professionally i’m like all right what
    do i have to do to get to that goal
    so um and i’m not one of those guys that
    wants to own 10 or 20 or
    100 laundromats i just i want to get to
    where
    to a point where it’s comfortable i have
    a very good
    uh work life balance where
    you know i’m i’m working a good amount
    of hours but i can still get away when i
    want to
    um and do the things that are important
    in life you know with family and things
    like that
    so i don’t you know professionally
    you know i’d like to maybe build out a
    couple few more stores we’ll see
    is that you know is it having five
    stores is it having
    seven or eight stores i i don’t know so
    um
    so i i don’t know my goals are kind of
    changing all i know right now is i’m
    already thinking about
    building the next one but i also know
    that i’m like man where am i going to
    get the money to build the next one
    haven’t you learned already that’s
    irrelevant like it doesn’t
    it’s a relevant question the money just
    shows up
    i hope so yeah i’m i’ve been planting
    money trees
    and i’m just waiting so when the snow
    melts
    i don’t snow what is what is that yeah
    i heard man it people are getting
    hammered with snow right now it’s crazy
    because it’s
    70 degrees here in sunny i might go to
    the beach later i don’t know
    right might be too hot i’m not sure for
    that
    i went for a walk today because it was
    sunny outside
    regardless that it was it was 20 degrees
    but i’m like you know i’m gonna go for a
    walk it’s sunny it’s a nice day
    and we’ve had so much snow over the last
    couple weeks that the walk that
    everybody’s sidewalk is getting
    narrower and narrower and the new
    building
    the parking lot you know that once had
    20 parking spaces now has 10 because
    it’s just filled with snow
    snow piles to the point that i literally
    have
    a front end loader coming this weekend
    and we don’t even need parking x we’re
    not open but
    it’s in the way of other stuff that
    we’re trying to do so i’m like i’m gonna
    have a front end loader come and move
    snow out
    because um and that’s gonna be a problem
    next year so i can see that already
    coming where we’re gonna have
    you know i i can’t lose parking spots
    you need for you want to have enough
    parking spots for when you
    during your peak hours right um there’s
    there’s nobody fighting you know parking
    on the street and all that stuff so
    um so we’re going to be moving snow next
    year for sure
    holy cow man i mean just foreign concept
    to me
    well i want to take a slight tangential
    detour uh to chat a little bit about i
    picked up
    your book it’s called i got one too
    hey yeah i’m gonna mail mine to you so
    you can
    sign it and then mail it back to me
    right it’s called how to find
    evaluate and buy a laundromat and
    i want to hear a little bit about i mean
    we’ve already kind of
    you know teased it a little bit about
    what the inspiration was
    and um and all that but i’m just
    kind of curious about you know what was
    the
    okay i’m gonna sit down and write a book
    and how was that process
    so and first i’ll explain the name my
    name is jason dodge right the book is
    written by jason lombardo
    my that’s my grandparents name and my
    grandparents i was very close to growing
    up
    um and my grandma lombardo i’m going to
    stand up for a second
    she’s actually tattooed on my arm that’s
    my grandma lombardo there
    if you’re listening right now you know
    i’m going to take a screenshot of that
    and i’ll put it in the show notes so you
    can that’s a cool tattoo
    i like that you so um but so that’s
    that’s a family name and that’s one of
    the reasons i
    i put that name on on the book so it’s
    just important to me and my family and
    i’m a family guys
    as you know so um so i just
    the inspiration again it started with
    just somebody building a lot the threat
    of me losing my business i guess kind of
    got me to start writing it writing about
    how i’m gonna survive
    and at the time even though you know i
    didn’t have any money or anything i’m
    looking at all these laundromats to buy
    and i somehow got really good at just
    analyzing
    the data and you know trying to figure
    out
    how you know was the guy telling the
    truth was he not telling the truth is
    the least good is it is it bad you know
    and i just kind of
    you know how do you verify income and
    and
    and one of the things i mentioned in the
    book is i paid too much for that first
    laundromat
    and the reason i paid too much is
    because i didn’t know any better
    and i didn’t know how to i just took his
    word for everything and luckily
    everything luckily he was an honest guy
    and everything worked out just fine
    but it could have gone so wrong
    you know and had i not you know been so
    lucky so
    i started kind of documenting the ways
    that i was
    looking at these different laundromats
    and keep in mind i struck out
    like 99 of these so but i had like a
    networking group of buddies that i still
    go out to lunch with on occasion and
    i would just tell them hey i looked at
    this business and
    you know the guy says his revenue is
    this so i ended up pulling his water
    bills and
    kind of backed into it and i don’t think
    he’s being truthful about this or that
    and
    um and they started you know just
    jokingly
    the friend of mine wrote a book about
    like how to run marathons or something
    he’s like you gotta write a book man he
    goes it’s so easy i’ll publish it for
    you know just start writing and i’m like
    like joe i don’t even know how to like i
    can’t i don’t know how to write like i
    don’t even like to read that much
    now i’m gonna write a book i mean my
    spelling is so bad that the spell
    checker doesn’t know what i’m trying to
    say
    that’s how bad my spelling is and
    sometimes it’s frustrating now i’m so
    happy to have google on my phone i can
    you know
    i can say the word they’ll just come up
    and like oh that’s how you spell it you
    know so
    that’s how bad i am but so i thought it
    was kind of laughable that i was gonna
    write this book but i just started
    one day just started writing things down
    you know typing things down and i was
    working at the laundromat my first store
    um and i only had one store you know at
    the time
    and um and i still don’t have much but
    um
    i just in my spare time you know it’d be
    nine o’clock at night the store was
    clean there’s no customers
    i’d open up the computer and i’d just
    start typing you know just start typing
    stuff out and i don’t know how long it
    took me not
    real long it’s not a real big book um
    and then my body was like here we’ll
    have it edited and we’ll have it i got a
    cover guy for you
    and he’ll design your cover and we’ll
    make a kindle version and
    um and we published it and at the time
    so there were there was only one other
    laundry book really
    that was on amazon at the time and i
    don’t remember the name of it i don’t
    know i’m sure it’s still around but
    the information wasn’t really out there
    so when that book hit the market like it
    was selling like crazy it was selling so
    good
    in my my definition of crazy like is
    making a few hundred bucks a month i’m
    like wow this is great you know i can’t
    believe how much money this book is
    making so
    so it was doing really well um but then
    right away somebody else wrote a book
    you know and then the sales went down a
    little bit and somebody else wrote a
    book now there’s a ton of laundromat
    books and i like to read all of them
    so um when you were doing that
    especially with dave mends and all of
    those guys
    they’re talking about the today’s
    laundromat book i mean i bought it right
    that second while you guys are doing the
    thing i’m like i haven’t read it yet but
    i love reading all these all these
    laundromat books and
    um and that’s what if you’re looking to
    buy one you should read every
    read everything you can especially books
    about laundromats they’re pretty quick
    reads so
    yeah yeah well i mean i think that’s
    huge i mean i love that you just
    i mean again it’s like you just kind of
    went out and did it and
    i i think that that is awesome i do
    think that even still there’s a lack of
    books you know for laundromat owners and
    people trying to get in the industry i
    think that there’s a lot of room for
    more
    and you know i’ve got a i’ve got a
    running list of
    uh of book ideas going and
    um you know one of my one of the things
    that i want to do is
    um and this year i’m actually kind of
    launching it is putting out a publishing
    company to get some of these books
    um written not not all by me um but
    you know one one of the things that
    really intrigued me about you is that
    you’re pretty active on the forums and
    you’re
    you know you’re very insightful you’re
    helping a ton of people out and those
    are the things that make my ears perk so
    when i’m looking through my list of
    books
    i’m starting to write names next to them
    like hey
    you know this guy might be a good one to
    write this book if he’s interested you
    know
    and i’ll help i’ll do that um yeah
    so you’re gonna get my it’s gonna be
    really
    it’s gonna be a run-on sentence all
    misspellings
    that’s what editors are for man right
    you gotta you gotta
    put the knowledge in it and then the
    enemies make it look pretty and sound
    pretty
    that’s what they’re for um yeah but
    awesome man and so what was the
    experience like writing it
    uh you know what it was a good
    experience really because whenever i
    would kind of hit a roadblock you know
    i’d call my buddy
    you know who gave me the idea i’m like i
    don’t i’m like i don’t know what should
    i do here and he’s like oh you got to
    put a couple case studies in there you
    got to do this you got to do that you
    know so then
    i mean you know people need examples of
    you know
    different scenarios so give them some
    examples of stuff so i you know put a
    couple examples of places that i looked
    at in there
    um and you know put the p
    l’s in there and i really like the
    performance you know and
    when it comes to evaluating a business
    you really need to know what a
    performance and i
    when i was looking at you know buying my
    first place i didn’t know
    all the incoming expenses that are
    associated with a laundromat you just
    kind of think oh well there’s utilities
    and there’s rent and
    or a mortgage and i don’t know what else
    is there you know it’s just kind of
    but there’s a lot more to it if it’s a
    small unintended store it’s really not
    that much but
    something with tani and washing fold and
    if you don’t pick up on delivery even
    there’s all these different layers of
    things so um i really wanted to make
    sure that there was a profit loss or
    performer or something like that
    in the book so that people had something
    to to look at and
    at least know that oh these are some of
    the common expenses you know and you can
    kind of fill in those blanks what the
    numbers are but
    um that will that tells you a pretty
    good story of what
    the business financial picture is just
    by looking at their
    their performance maybe sometimes you
    can figure out why they’re selling
    you’re like wow
    why is the rank so high you know yeah
    yeah
    they’re doing all this business but
    there’s no bottom line why is that you
    know so there’s
    um and if you have all those all the
    right numbers in there you can kind of
    figure out what’s going on so
    but so the experience was good um and
    i’ve had i’ve actually helped
    a couple other people write books since
    then is going back a few years but
    um i tell guys you know um just kind of
    help them organize their thoughts and
    write write the book a little bit and
    now
    i don’t even know if i would know what
    to do but um at the time you know
    there was a company called create space
    where you could which was owned by
    amazon which i think now it’s all one
    company under amazon but
    once the book is edited in the cover
    work you literally just upload it to
    this site
    and they just put it on amazon so like i
    don’t even
    have to sell this book like it’s just on
    amazon
    you type in laundromat all these
    different laundromat books come up
    mine’s one of them
    i don’t have any inventory or anything
    you order it it just comes from
    amazon’s wherever and it just shows up
    at their door
    the coolest thing so um
    so i don’t know i guess it’s i guess
    that’s really what mailbox money is
    what people are talking about male 1 box
    money for you right there well hey i’m
    gonna put a link
    to the book in the description in the
    show notes so
    if you’re looking for a good laundromat
    book to to read especially if you’re
    looking to buy your first one
    um you got to pick it up how to find
    evaluate and buy
    a laundromat by jason lombardo aka
    you got the inside scoop right here
    jason batch
    all right well we got a little section
    we call down to business
    let’s get down to business over and out
    and that’s where we just talk about some
    of the details of your business so tell
    us where
    where are you located so in milwaukee
    city milwaukee in wisconsin
    um and right now i just have i have one
    unattended location and i have the one
    we’re building so i sold the uh the big
    store
    um just a little over a year ago now um
    so we’re in milwaukee we just have a
    couple locations that we’re working on
    and um that’s where we are nice
    uh man you just skipped right down there
    i love it uh and
    you’ve mentioned you’ve been in the
    business for 13 years is that in
    business for 13 years yeah
    yeah that’s a long time long time uh
    can we i’ve never i don’t think i’ve
    ever been to milwaukee
    wisconsin so can you tell me what does
    it cost to do laundry in milwaukee
    wisconsin
    so we like to drink beer a lot if you’ve
    never been here there’s a lot of little
    breweries
    around town uh whenever we go like we go
    to key west like i did it last week
    everybody is just amazed at how much the
    wisconsin people can just down because
    it just
    i don’t know what it is we just drink
    here but you know what it is look at
    your question but
    you get holed up in the winter over
    there you don’t have anything better to
    do
    looking for something to do so yeah
    we’re gonna have a beer so
    um so prices and like at the
    at the new location we’re gonna we’re
    gonna do our best to be the high price
    leaders and we’re gonna run some
    promotions and things like that
    obviously we have grand openings but
    then down the road with our app and i
    haven’t really
    um thought everything out completely but
    we’ll probably do some sort of bonus
    that people are loading 20 bucks
    they get a percentage back um and i
    don’t know if we’ll do like maybe the
    lucky wash or you know one of those kind
    of lucky spin kind of things too like
    every so many cycles you get one for
    free and stuff like that but
    i want to make sure that we kind of keep
    it interesting and i don’t know if i
    want to do something that’s
    kind of a rolling promotion that it
    might be one day a week or
    or two days a week but it might be a
    different promotion each time we’ll have
    to kind of see how all that plays out
    once the software
    once i get to learn all the software and
    all the fun stuff but so event prices
    you know our double loaders i i’m
    thinking like we’re gonna be 275 three
    dollars
    probably for a you know small front end
    loader our
    40s in in our equipment mix is going to
    be 20 40
    60 80 and 100. pound washers
    and um so our 40s will probably be five
    bucks
    60s should be seven our 80s will be
    eight and it’ll be eleven dollars
    probably on the hundreds
    um i’m most likely going to do single
    dry pricing
    i’ve heard a lot of good feedback on
    that i do not do it right now
    um but everybody that has done it swears
    by it
    and you always get the people that come
    in and they want to try
    one pair of underwear and they’re upset
    that it doesn’t dry for a quarter you
    know and it just kind of it’s just
    floating around in this machine and then
    you gotta have the conversation of you
    know why there’s no friction
    and you know so yeah um it you know
    you know just drying i just keep putting
    quarters in there to dry their underwear
    anyways but
    i think just with the single drive a
    single price vend
    you know it’s a buck 50 to start that
    that dryer and it’s guaranteed dry so
    we’ll have an attendant there and if
    it’s if it’s not dry we’re going to dry
    it for you
    and with the high extract washers that
    we have it’ll probably be dry in 20
    minutes anyways so
    that’ll be if they overload the dryer a
    little bit um so we’re probably going to
    do a dollar fifty on the 30s
    two dollars on the 45s and three dollars
    on the 75 pound dryers
    and that could change in an hour i’m
    always
    you know changing everything um
    so that’s roughly what you know what
    we’re shooting for
    yeah i mean that’s good i’ve heard
    really great things i
    i don’t do the single
    uh vin price or drive in price um
    but i’ve heard great things too and
    right and i should probably sit down at
    some point and
    you know work it yeah it’s probably i
    think it’s easier when you have a new
    location or
    maybe you put a new dryers or something
    just to start with it yeah
    um as opposed to take somebody that’s
    paying
    you know whatever they’re paying per
    quarter and then and then now they got
    to pay a dollar 25 or more so maybe
    you know maybe and maybe you start off a
    little less and it’s a dollar and then
    it’s a dollar 25.50 you know you kind of
    inch it off to ease people into it so
    you’re not upsetting your your customer
    base but
    um but the people that i’ve talked to
    that have changed over um
    they all seem to like it so i i don’t
    know i think that
    i think the good offset’s the bad really
    you don’t have the guys putting in
    a quarter anymore because they have to
    put in about 50 but they’re happy
    because they get their stuff dry
    so yeah uh
    i mean can i ask about you know for your
    your store that’s open obviously but
    what can you give us a ballpark of like
    turns per day that you’re you’re doing
    over there
    yeah we do like 35 turns a day um
    so no i’m kidding so it’s what can you
    give me the address again
    yeah we’re probably we’re probably
    really close to what the national
    averages are for laundromats and
    i’m just and i don’t haven’t read that
    in a long time but i think it was
    somewhere around three three and a half
    somewhere in there
    we’re probably right in that ballpark um
    obviously it varies on the different
    types of washers and dryers and things
    like that but
    um and i haven’t calculated in a while
    i’m hoping that we do more than that in
    a new location but time will tell
    um but that’s probably where we’re at so
    i you know i calculated a while ago and
    that’s about where we’re at probably
    yeah uh
    attended unattended
    so are you planning on doing fully
    attended for the new one we’re most
    likely gonna do fully attended so and
    i’m
    still kind of trying to figure that out
    exactly so the plan is to be
    fully attended but the store is built in
    a manner that you know it can be
    unattended so the doors will lock and
    unlock lights will go on and off all
    that kind of stuff
    um the areas that need to be locked up
    are locked up so
    the store could be unattended but we
    want to do the kind of volume that
    requires an attendant to be there so um
    and i think that stores with attendance
    if you can afford to have that attendant
    there
    you’re going to do a lot better your
    customers will be a lot happier um
    the store is going to stay in a better
    condition much longer
    yeah but you have to have a certain size
    store
    um to have that or you need to have a
    washer bowl or something else to
    supplement that income
    so um now the unattended store
    is so easy like it’s just it’s it’s
    great because it’s so easy
    like there’s nobody calling in sick you
    know nothing like that um
    we have a cleaning person but if she
    can’t do it then we just going to clean
    the store you know i just go down there
    and clean it but
    um the simplicity sometimes of the
    smaller stores and it’s a really small
    location so it doesn’t
    do a ton of revenue but it’s but it’s so
    painless that it just kind of just does
    what it does
    um and you know people are just there it
    unlocks and people go and it’s just so
    easy you know
    in that store you know for a while and
    my initial thought when i had sold the
    bigger store was i’m like i’m gonna own
    some more of these smaller ones but
    obviously that didn’t pan out but it’s
    just the simplicity with some of the
    smaller stores is great
    so it’s you know you work two three
    hours a week and
    uh well it’s probably sometimes it’s
    more than x i fix all my own equipment
    but
    um it’s just so easy compared to
    dealing with attendance and everybody
    else well that’s the
    that’s the whole dream right of people
    wanting to get in the businesses
    easy peasy not too much time and
    you know does what it’s supposed to do
    and right
    you know it is not passive everybody
    there’s all these people that just think
    that it’s passive income and you have to
    work at it so
    and i say like oh that one location
    doesn’t require much but
    that relocation doesn’t do a lot of
    revenue so it doesn’t you know it’s it’s
    a smaller store
    and we actually had somebody that built
    within a mile circle of us and
    for whatever reason it never affected us
    ever which is really weird
    the day they opened and it’s been a
    couple years now our revenues
    never went down so it’s just um i
    can’t explain it but it just never went
    down it’s all like great we’re doing the
    right thing man
    it’s just cruising love it oh yeah we’re
    just keep going so then i thought i’m
    like man if i could just own three or
    four of these little stores that’d be
    great
    so um and some people do that yeah so
    you’re building a big new one with
    that’s going to be fully attended i’m
    pivoting and changing my mind all the
    time so
    yeah me too man yeah me too are you are
    you planning on doing wash dry fold or
    pick up and delivery
    with the new one possibly so we’re
    at the moment we want to open the launch
    mat we want to get that place cruising
    and then
    and then we’re going to consider the
    other stuff the only you know
    and i think peter uh mayberry said it
    best
    is you know the pickup and delivery is a
    logistics business
    and that’s i think that’s the i knew
    that but that’s the first time i heard
    somebody say that
    and there’s just a lot of things you
    know that need to happen
    um you know behind the scenes work
    having the right software and the
    drivers and all the people and
    and honestly one of my weak points is
    hiring i feel like
    um i don’t mind training people i’m
    really good with processes and
    i actually enjoy kind of creating
    processes and doing some of that stuff
    but the the constant management
    um of hiring firing and
    just people calling in sick and all of
    that stuff can sometimes wear on me
    so i need to find the perfect marriage
    um and maybe it’s with a partner or
    somebody down the road or something
    where i can you know
    or maybe just hiring the correct manager
    where i can
    you know do those things but then remove
    myself
    to a certain extent so i can have
    somebody else hopefully that’s much
    better than i am and enjoys doing that
    stuff
    um and i can just concentrate on running
    the business or expanding the business
    so
    yeah so maybe so i’ve talked to some
    people on that and we’ll see
    uh we’ll see where that goes so i hate
    to part of me it’s like i hate to have
    this business sitting there
    we built this beautiful laundromat tons
    of capacity we have all the room for
    folding tables and storage and
    everything
    and you hate to untap it you know what i
    mean like but then you’re like
    oh do i want all those headaches you
    know like all the stuff that
    you know that just comes up when you
    have more employees so i have to just
    if i have the right manager that would
    alleviate a lot of that i just need to
    come i just need to figure that out
    so yeah uh coin card
    both hybrid yeah so um
    both i guess so i got um we have an app
    based system and
    and quarters uh at the small store the
    new store will be quarters and dollar
    coins
    um and an app based system so
    um what i love about the app is we can
    run it a lot like a card store where we
    can run promotions and
    um we’re going to have a promotion when
    we open that will drive people hopefully
    towards that app and i know that we’ll
    never
    get 100 and we’d be lucky probably to
    get 50
    on the app base but i think it’s i just
    like that if you bring in cash
    or credit or whatever you want to do you
    can still do business here
    so the industry is slowly going away
    from quarters
    just because prices are going up and
    these machines are so big i mean who’s
    going to want to stick
    11 dollars worth of quarters in the
    machine even 11 coins is a lot just
    you know you know you know 11 of those
    um
    so i think having that app and watching
    people use it in the store and there’s
    like
    and it just starts you know it comes
    down and it just goes i’m like wow
    that’s pretty cool so
    nice yeah um so we’re kind of all of the
    above we’re not we’re not a card store
    um and i have nothing against card
    stores i really love the management
    capabilities of card stores
    um but that just i didn’t decide to do
    that on here but there’s some really
    cool programs out there now that i would
    definitely consider in the future
    so yeah uh how many
    hours ish a week on average are you
    putting into your match right now
    yeah so i mean right now i’m sure i’m
    all of 40 hours a week or more because i
    just
    i have the habit of um even when i’m at
    home sitting on the couch i have my
    laptop on my lap and i’m just kind of
    going through things and planning things
    or like we’re already advertising on
    facebook and stuff like that so
    um i tinker a lot so i’m sure i’m all
    over 40 hours a week
    and when we open this location i’m you
    know i’m just a hands-on guy so i’m
    gonna be there a lot
    in the beginning and then um as time
    rolls on
    you know i’ll have a staff when we open
    but then
    i’m gonna put myself right in the
    schedule but then eventually i’m hoping
    we can scale
    rather fast and i’m really going to be
    aggressive coming out of the gate that
    we can then get full-time staff in there
    um so i’m hoping you know even though
    i’m 40 hours a week or so right now that
    when that store opens i’m sure i’ll be
    right around the same or more
    but then hoping to probably get back
    down to my you know 15 hours a week
    somewhere in there
    you know i like this i’ll be at that
    store every day for
    a couple years that’s just what i do so
    um
    but then i need to find a way to get
    into another store which requires time
    so yeah and you know i gotta
    plant some more dollar trees so that’s
    right love it
    i’ll fill my backyard up with those
    suckers to get those dollar trees going
    man
    visit yeah come come dollar picking
    uh we got a section i like to call
    secret sauce
    listen up it’s the secret sauce
    secret sauce is you know what’s
    something that you feel like is working
    in your business right now
    other owners can implement maybe that’s
    in your
    in your current laundry matter or pass
    laundromat or even in the build
    so i wrote a few things i you know i got
    i put my notes here so i got a few
    things that i put down on notes but
    the biggest thing and i kind of came up
    with this you know it was just thinking
    about this morning on my walk and
    um just help with the customer you know
    it bothers me a little bit when people
    post on forums and stuff and
    and they’re talking about even like like
    oh man losing all my quarters
    this guy comes in he put a 20 walked out
    of the store you know it’s like man
    that’s part of business you know you
    can’t get upset about that
    but the people that you know their
    clothes got damaged in the washer or
    even though
    they over soaked it their stuff is still
    soapy you know just
    just help that customer i’m telling you
    that every problem is an opportunity for
    you to increase
    business and to solve that problem so um
    and it’s not it’s not even a problem i
    mean i
    somebody has they have an issue and
    they’re like
    you know this machine won’t start or it
    won’t take my quarter or
    uh my clothes didn’t spin out properly
    or whatever it is
    you know don’t ever judge that customer
    whether they did it to themselves or not
    just help them out and then educate them
    be like oh
    well let’s take a look here you know
    let’s take let me put you in another
    washer just in case it was my washer but
    oh wow this is really soapy how much
    soap did you put in there you know
    and just kind of talk to them really
    nicely hey man i’m going to put this in
    another machine i’m just going to rinse
    it and spin it real quick while you’re
    talking you know
    and just kind of like oh thank you so
    much and like hey you know what i’m
    going to dry that for you too oh you’re
    going to try it for me too you know i
    mean
    they go home and they tell their friends
    and their neighbors and and everybody
    else and you just turned a
    20 to 30 dollar a week customer now and
    into a 60 or 90 or you know 110 dollars
    because all your friends are now coming
    because you were such a nice guy and
    help them out it didn’t accuse them
    or judge them you know based on whatever
    so
    um i just always believe in going the
    extra mile
    and helping people and even if they’re
    coming in to get change
    and you know they’re walking out i’m
    like hey man you bring comforters back
    someday you know okay
    you know just kind of hopefully they’ll
    be a customer someday
    um and losing quarters is just part of
    business so um
    that’s gonna happen but so don’t sweat
    the small things
    help everybody that you can that’s the
    secret sauce right there
    um otherwise we’ve already talked about
    this doing promotions
    advertising you have to advertise your
    laundromat it’s a business
    so just do it um and stop selling uh
    sending postcards it’s not working
    so advertise your laundry mat
    right but not with postcards
    like i don’t even know what it’s down to
    it’s like one between one and two
    percent is your rate of return on a
    postcard
    i’m not saying that that’s not it just
    seems like a colossal waste of resources
    just sending all that paper
    around you know and then and then 99 of
    the people throw it away you know so
    um where social media you can see you
    can you can see how many people click
    through to your site or
    many people commented or shared you get
    that real-time kind of
    satisfaction and knowing that it’s
    working so um
    [Music]
    awesome secret sauce we got another
    section we call pro tips
    pro tips pro tips is for the newbie
    who’s maybe looking to buy their first
    laundromat so
    other than i mean the ultimate pro tip
    obviously is
    go buy the book might be one or two pro
    tips one or two yeah there’s yeah i mean
    the pro tip is go by the book and again
    there’s a link
    in the description in the bio in the uh
    in the bio what am i on instagram link
    in uh
    in the show notes uh for you to go pick
    that up
    it’s a goodbye so so go grab it so other
    than that
    i appreciate that thank you very much um
    honestly i mean you’re doing a great job
    but just networking with people
    um reaching out to people so one of the
    things that i’ve done is i just i drive
    around the city and i’ll walk in the
    laundromat
    and i’ll talk to the owner and as soon
    as they realize that you’re not a threat
    you know and you’re not trying to build
    a laundromat across the street from them
    they’ll usually open up and you know
    sometimes i’m just like hey just
    i’m gonna say hi how you doing i’m jason
    you know um
    and then going to the once we get out of
    the kovitz stop
    hopefully the manufacturers will start
    having their school
    you know their events where they bring
    people in and have their specials and
    stuff well then you can network with
    other owners there
    um get to know people um get to know the
    distributors the repair guys you know
    the repair guys are the ones that know
    what’s working and what’s not working
    around the city you know get to know
    them ask them questions
    you know drop them a car hey man if you
    got anything that’s coming up let me
    know or do you see a place that’s being
    neglected just
    you know let me know i’ll i’ll send the
    owner a card and try to call them and
    um there’s there’s ways
    to get in there so networking is
    important um i’m just
    naturally kind of i think good at that
    because i just like talking to people
    but
    um read everything you can i mean now
    there’s more stuff out there even though
    it’s not
    enough there’s still more things now
    than there ever have been i mean we got
    this podcast
    there’s all the literature that you have
    there’s guys that are coaching there’s
    all these books the coin laundry
    association you know has
    has materials and white papers and
    things you know that you can do and
    um so there’s just a lot of information
    out there and nobody’s right or wrong
    everybody has a little bit of a
    different approach on things and i don’t
    know everything that book doesn’t teach
    everything and um some of my early
    comments were
    you know i’m kind of disappointed he
    didn’t tell me what kind of equipment to
    buy i’m like well
    that’s the whole ford versus chevy thing
    you know i’m like i don’t know you know
    a lot of them are good machines and
    everybody has an opinion on it and i
    don’t want to jump in the middle of that
    so um so i don’t talk about
    you know if you’re looking for the best
    equipment you need you need to make that
    decision and you need to go around a
    laundromat
    and just use some machines which one is
    user friendly
    you know which ones are not out of order
    you know i mean that’s how you kind of
    make your decision on that stuff so so
    there’s some pro tips i think
    yeah awesome pro tips appreciate it uh
    you got any resources you’d recommend to
    uh to anybody to help them grow their
    business or to help them grow personally
    yeah i again i’m besides besides your
    book which is
    the ultimate resource i don’t read a ton
    and i listen you know i
    i even have a hard time with audio books
    because i get i’m like man this guy
    can’t read but uh or i don’t like his
    tone of voice or something but
    um i get you know i don’t really have
    much to give you there other than all
    the things i just listed
    you know um a second ago just
    networking and reading other laundromat
    books and things like that if this if
    this is the business for you you just
    need to
    reach out and suck in all the all the
    information that you can
    um and just take it in like a sponge and
    learn
    um from everybody so um
    so i don’t i you know i could tell you
    oh yeah i love the rich dad poor dad or
    the seven habits or whatever and you
    know i mean but and those are all good
    books but i don’t really um
    yeah i’m not a big reader so no that’s
    fine
    yeah well man jason this has been
    awesome again i’ve been looking forward
    to doing this for a really
    long time and i thank you for
    just adding so much value over there on
    the forums i know it’s been helping a
    lot of newbies out over there
    and um i just i you know i follow all
    the threads over there and i’m reading
    through them even if i don’t comment on
    all of them
    but you know you just have a lot of
    really really great great things to say
    and so i really appreciate you coming on
    and sharing some of that stuff on here
    but if people are listening to you maybe
    they’ve read your book maybe they’re
    picking up your book
    which you should by the way pick up the
    book go to amazon or
    just click the link yeah
    and uh but you know if if they want to
    get in contact with you maybe they have
    some questions for you
    or they want to hear about your build or
    they just want to say thanks for coming
    on the show or whatever the case may be
    what’s the best way they can contact you
    i got a bunch of email addresses but
    i’ll give you the one for the book so
    it’s jason at
    how to buy a laundromat dot com and our
    website is how to buy
    a laundromat dot com so i am uh jason
    at how to buy laundromat calm um and you
    can email me and i’ll get back to you it
    might take me some time just depends how
    busy i
    am um but i’m happy to share
    um any information and i’ve you know
    i’ve talked to a lot of people
    and even in california there’s been a
    couple buyers i’ve kind of
    worked with on and did some coaching
    with and um
    kind of got to the point with that where
    i had to make a decision as like do i
    start charging for this or do i not and
    you know
    i ended up just stopping it because it
    was consuming a lot of my time and i
    wanted to concentrate more on
    um my my stuff so but i am glad to help
    in my free time when i can i get a
    couple days a week where i can sit down
    and
    answer questions on the forum or respond
    to some emails um
    so i’m happy to do that so they can you
    can reach out to me if they wish
    awesome and i just wanted a quick little
    plug he
    you know he has been awesome on the
    forum so you know if you’re over there
    on the forums go ask
    you know ask some questions over there
    and maybe jason or some other
    you know veteran owners over there will
    come help you out with your questions or
    even if you’re a veteran
    you know get that get that you know
    mastermind feel going where you’re
    you’re having discussions about your
    business so we can all elevate our games
    and also just a quick reminder on the
    website over there
    if you click on people’s names you can
    send them a message now
    on the website so yeah
    well jason it has been truly an honor
    and a privilege
    to have this conversation with you i
    really really appreciate it and
    cannot wait to get a video tour of your
    new build when that thing is up and
    running
    awesome i’ll be happy to do that i’m
    sorry i’m excited about it
    and i just want to say i hope i i’m
    really bad at swearing and i
    i don’t think i swore i didn’t want to
    get the rick rome disclosure at the
    beginning
    no you’re good i don’t think you did at
    all my wife got me this for christmas
    it’s a little
    it’s a little f-bomb so it’s
    um and i put it there to remind me to
    not drop any of those
    so i’m hoping i did okay you’re all good
    man
    squeaky clean i’ll listen to this one
    with my kids in the car it’s all good
    appreciate it man and looking forward to
    uh chatting again soon
    all right cool thank you all right that
    was a super super cool episode
    i’m so humbled and grateful to be able
    to have this conversation with jason
    he just brought a ton of value his story
    is insane
    he bought a laundromat while he was on
    unemployment
    by cashing out two 401ks he’s
    cross-collateralizing with real estate
    he’s using seller
    financing there’s a life insurance
    policy taken out on
    on his life and he used private money to
    get that first one like
    in sane but he got it done he made it
    happen
    and now he’s building his third location
    he’s got a book out
    all this cool stuff so man super super
    cool story
    and a ton of practical wisdom in there
    uh
    hopefully you got a lot out of it i know
    that i did and is
    every week i want to encourage you pick
    one thing to put it into practice
    wherever you’re at on your journey
    whether you’re
    just researching now go buy that book
    obviously a link
    is in the description or at the show
    notes at
    show landmarkresource.com or
    uh you know if you’re further along in
    your journey pick something
    that will help you uh move forward in
    your journey towards financial freedom
    through laundromat ownership
    uh for me my one thing what i i wrote
    down this quote that he said he said
    every problem is an opportunity for you
    to increase
    business and i know you know with the
    laundromat
    problems come up and they can be
    discouraging or time consuming or
    overwhelming sometimes
    but i love that perspective shift of
    uh looking at problems as opportunities
    to increase
    business whether that’s my problems or
    the customer’s problems
    so my go-to takeaway is going to be
    looking for opportunities that are
    actually
    problems in disguise or problems in
    disguise that are actually opportunities
    whichever way that works out i’m going