Kent Wales is a 15+ year veteran in the laundromat business. He started out owning a self-serve coin laundromat and grew his business and expended into the service sector, offering drop-off and pickup and delivery service.

As a veteran who has taken a business he bought with very little money and grown it into a huge business, he joins us on the show today and offers us a Laundromat MBA. Kent hits all 3 of the main focuses of Laundromat Resource: Buy, Optimize, Scale.

He shares how he bought his first laundromat and gives advice to anyone looking to buy their first laundromat or anyone looking to expand into laundry pickup and delivery (PUD).

He talks about optimizing his business and offers great advice to any owner on how to do that.

He then spends a lot of time talking about how to scale your business. He shares very practical and actionable advice, including knowing if a problem is worth pursuing or not, transitioning from being a DIY laundromat owner to scaling up help, and a big mistake he made (twice!) when scaling his business!

In this show, Kent and I discuss:

  • How he got into the laundry business
  • Vending machine routes
  • How to buy your first laundromat with little money
  • A lesson learned while arguing with his landlord
  • How to know if a problem is important enough to pursue
  • How to transition from a self-employed laundromat owner to being a business operator
  • The biggest mistake he made (twice) when scaling his pickup and delivery business
  • How to build a great team
  • How to pay your team well
  • Strategy to increase prices
  • How to grow your team
  • “None of this is new”
  • Plus, Kent shares a BUNCH of resources to help you succeed!

And way, way more! Get out your notepad and get ready for your Laundromat MBA!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

Today's Sponsor

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

Kent's Bio

As a fourth-generation Spokanite, Kent Wales never imagined he’d be in the laundry business. Kent
graduated from the University of Idaho with a BS in Visual Communications. After serving youth in South
Carolina, he worked as an industrial engineer at Boeing and then spent time at a dot-com start-up. His
experience as a software program manager laid a strong business savvy foundation to build his latest
venture, Happy Laundry.
In 2006, Kent became, as he calls himself, a laundro-preneur. Happy Laundry just celebrated 15 years as
the premier laundry service across the Inland Northwest. Happy Laundry specializes in commercial,
personal laundry, and dry-cleaning services. Approximately 90% of Happy Laundry revenue is generated
through picking-up dirty clothes and linens and delivering fresh laundry to door-steps and businesses
throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Kent credits the success of his company to
hardworking team members, staff leadership, and loyal customers.
Kent is dedicated to giving back to a community he cherishes. He serves on the board of the Northeast
Youth Center and is actively involved in Leadership Spokane. In his free time, you can find him playing
with his schnauzer, Riley, and traveling across the western United States with his wife, Monica.

Join The Laundromat Resource Community!

Upload
Facebook
Twitter
Google
I want to buy my first laundromat
I own 1 laundromat
I own multiple laundromats

Episode Transcript

hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
laundromat resource
podcast this is show number 48 and i’m
pumped you’re here today
because today you’re about to get a
laundromat
nba that’s right kent wales is coming on
the show today and you are going to
learn a ton and
also you’re going to get a lot of
homework i’m just going to warn you up
front
so listen to this one at your own risk
but it’s all
good stuff and it’s going to help you
find some
great great success in your business and
just in your life
in general so you’re gonna love it uh
real quick before we get
into that i want to just take a second
and let you know of
all the crazy things happening around
here right now not all of them but a
couple of the crazy things happening
around here so first and foremost man
awesome awesome stuff going on in the
forums
if you have not been over there on the
forums in a little while
it’s time to go check it out again go
reconnect over there and
jump in on some conversations ask a
question
answer a question do that every week and
uh
at least once a week oh my goodness do
it every day
man and uh let’s all grow over there
together
help each other out and learn some stuff
along the way
so that’s always going on in the forums
also i just want to remind you we have
um uh what do you call a webinars we
have
webinars happening every single thursday
if that is something that you’re
interested in uh
man they’re happening every single week
so head over to laundromat resource.com
right at the top of the page there
is a form you can fill out just your
name and email address we’re not going
to spam you nothing like that
um you can jump in on the forums you can
join one you can join
all of them you can do uh whatever
you need to do to help you find success
in laundromats that
that’s what we’re doing them for they’re
always free forums always free
uh podcast always free uh
i don’t know we’re just doing a lot of
free stuff over here it’s craziness
wild insanity
the other thing that i want to just i
just want to put this in your ear i know
a lot of you guys probably
most of you guys have gone over to
laundromat resource dot com
slash join and join the free membership
over there i want to encourage you
if you haven’t done that yet get in over
there because there is a lot of stuff
going on behind the scenes over here and
you are going to find out about that
stuff
first over there uh when you are a
member so
it’s a free membership it gives you
access to a bunch of free tools
um it’s a little bit of free information
that um only members get and also and
probably most
importantly you’re gonna get the sneak
peek you’re gonna be on the inside
of what’s happening over here at
laundromat resource and i’m telling you
there’s a lot of really really cool
stuff going on
behind the scenes that’s about to get in
front of the scenes but you’ll find out
about it first if you remember so
enough of that i just wanted to put that
in your ear if you haven’t done it yet
go do it and uh come come jump in and
join what we’re doing over here it’s
awesome there’s so many people who are
all along the journey you know we’re
kind of hitting three main
uh three main themes i guess that we’re
trying to hit at laundromat resource and
that’s to help you buy
your first laundromat help you optimize
your business and then help you scale
your business
those are the three main things that
we’re doing we got people all along the
spectrum over there
uh and so come be a part of what’s
happening no matter where you are on the
spectrum
we’ve got stuff going on for everybody
and there’s more
and more happening all the time so
get ready to take some notes and uh
man just prep yourself for a little bit
of homework because he’s got some
awesome
awesome resources he’s gonna point you
towards so get excited for that
all right let’s do this right now with
kent wales
kent thank you for coming on the
laundromat resource podcast
i am super excited that you came on man
thanks
awesome no worries happy to be here hey
well i can’t wait to hear
your story i know you have like a pretty
cool story you’ve gone kind of a unique
direction
uh with laundromats so i can’t wait to
hear that
but before we jump into your laundromat
story why don’t you tell us a little bit
about you
and who you are and and what makes you
you what makes you special what’s your
mom say about you
like what my mom say huh that’s a deep
question
all right we’ll skip it let’s just have
a little background then
yeah sure uh kent wales from spokane
washington
born and raised fourth generation
actually
uh like many people in spokane i did a
very common thing which was after high
school say
this place is too small and you gotta go
you gotta find
kind of your own path uh went to school
in idaho
uh eventually ended up in south carolina
then to seattle
las vegas and finally like maybe
spokane’s not too bad
so back here in my early 30s and um
following the entrepreneurship path um
not necessarily as a plan other than
you know hey it’s it’s time to be back
and there weren’t a lot of big corporate
jobs i was interested in
here in town so yeah were you doing the
entrepreneur thing as you were
hopping from town to town or were you
following jobs or what took you all over
a little bit of following jobs so in
college i
became a reserve and volunteer
firefighter
worked on an ambulance as well and kind
of made
you know decided well maybe that’s not
my career path
uh went to south carolina followed a
friend and worked at a
camp for troubled kids in a for with a
state school for a couple years
and you know after living in the south
uh being from the northwest
uh it was time to it was time to go back
yeah
um south’s a very nice place and learned
a lot but i missed the mountains
so came back to spokane for a couple
weeks realized that uh
hey maybe seattle let’s try that um
worked for boeing for a while a.com
company around
2000s and then eventually took a
consulting gig in
las vegas and then finally hung it up
and said you know
it’s time to stop moving and time to get
going home so put the roots down
yep yep yep all right downs and fly
fishing in our family lake place really
drew me back here
so hey man a lake house has got
a magnet that is just too strong to be
avoided
and can’t even flee to the other side of
the country so draws you back
it does well awesome well so i’m not
hearing anything in there yet
about laundry so how in the world did
you get into this
crazy business yeah so
growing up my dad had taught me just a
ton of skills
you know remodeling he had some duplexes
and rental properties
so i grew up in uh cleaning up after
people basically
uh and learning how to build fences and
patch drywall
and paint build stairs and stuff like
that so
i took those skills uh it used to be my
first couple houses
and then i started when i came back to
spokane i started flipping houses
and you know i had a few going before
2008
and kind of saw the writing on the wall
and at that point
i had been led kind of in
entrepreneurship uh followed robert
kiyosaki was
leveraging up everything that i could
and
you know i got a little nervous i’m like
whoa if i hit one stumble what’s gonna
happen
and uh through that robert kiyosaki
path one of the one of the things he did
was a a
a game called cash flow 101 and on there
you’re kind of going around this rat
race and the board
and you’re trying to get out trying to
get out of the day-to-day
and it seemed every time that i would
win that game when i was playing with my
friends
i’d buy a coin up you know automated
coin operated business
and so that i i first tried vending
machine routes
and turns out i hate selling candy
machines to businesses
it’s just not something i enjoyed or was
very good at
and the next car washes didn’t seem to
be the right
you know path and uh laundromats came up
and i was like all right well i got to
start looking into that
and that’s i mean that’s kind of my
progression into the laundromat business
um didn’t have a lot of cash starting
early
uh so i was looking for something where
i could it was in a leased space where i
could buy the equipment from an owner
and this started poking around at it
um i got a lot of help from the cla
early on uh they had uh these seminars i
think it went down to las vegas and took
one
um where it was you know what what you
need to know about buying a coin laundry
and they used to have those i think
maybe once a year or twice a year
it was definitely worth it got a kind of
an overview of the industry and
what things to look at and then i
started in earnest looking at three or
four before i finally bought the one i
have today
nice so you let me i just want to get
this straight
you decided to determine the path of
your future
based off of a board game i just want to
pretty much
okay okay i just want to be clear about
that
be careful what board games you play
because it may determine your future
yeah well it’s all the role of the dice
right so
that’s right yeah well i mean but
seriously that’s a pretty cool
uh story and kind of an interesting
observation but from playing i mean the
game is designed
to help you see the power in something
like a laundromat
or you know something that’s a little
could be a little less hands-off if you
want it to be
um correct so i mean it’s not that
surprising but on the other hand i mean
you know picking a picking a direction
to go in life from a board game even if
it is kind of designed to help you see
that that’s
that’s bold i like that well yeah you
know the one great thing about the board
game is and i
i mean i’ve had uh entrepreneurship’s
been in my family for
at least a couple generations three
generations i guess you know
but most of my family were business kind
of order taker type
businesses we were in the lumber
business and my great grandfather was
originally a bookkeeper that started his
own sales business
and you know i didn’t really get the
mechanics of the business as much so
what the board game was teaching us
early on
assets and liabilities income statements
and just
just things that i hadn’t learned yet
and so you know pairing those two
together
at the time that made really good sense
yeah that’s pretty cool so i mean if
just real quick if anybody’s interested
i’ll put a link down below in case
you’re interested in that cash flow
board game
um you know we were talking a little bit
before this and
i was just saying man there’s a kids
version that i think would be a lot of
fun to play with my kids to help them
learn
you know just some financial knowledge
uh
you know on the one hand so anyways i’ll
put a link down below just in case
you’re interested in that
okay so you decided to get a laundry mat
i mean you said
that you didn’t have a ton of money so
can you tell us a little bit about the
process of how you
went about getting into that first
laundromat
sure so i i looked for something
so i knew kind of early on that i
wouldn’t be able to
i didn’t know enough yet to go out and
build my first laundromat from scratch
without running one
um i considered going to work for
somebody that owned one but
at the same time i didn’t know that i
was going to get you know looking at the
business that i would get direct
experience working with an owner you’d
kind of be an attendant which
you’re you’re taking care of a store at
that point um
so i looked at let’s see one two
i think three or four deals before i
decided on this one
um a lot of them were people that had
bought it
you know one one of them was somebody
that had bought it for and their
son was running it was kind of they were
buying their kid a job
um but i looked to the real estate the
lease was not good
um they were making pretty decent money
but the lease was a huge chunk of what
they did and the layout of the building
was
was terrible and and that you were
taking care of all the triple net
yourself
so i kind of early on it was like you
know it’s just not going to work
another one was just too small it was an
outlying town
when i finally found this one i just
kind of heard through the grapevine
talking to the distributor
you know this guy kind of maybe wants to
sell he spent a whole lot of time there
himself
and um i looked and i saw that they had
put
they had too few dryers in there so it
was one
thing kind of early on i looked at and
i’m like we could slap you know six
stack dryers in there and kind of
alleviate a bottleneck
um the landlord actually owned the note
on the equipment
when he bought the building and so for
me it was
less than the price of a new car uh down
and i was you know signed my name on the
dotted line and here i am owning a lease
and a job
so yeah that’s awesome
my first walk into it yeah so the
distributor kind of turned you on to
this location and just because of the
way that everything was already set up
and structured with the landlord
holding the note he i’m assuming he
carried
some of the note you know he continued
to do that and
so you were able to just cut a
relatively small check and get your foot
in the door
yep exactly nice
all kinds of freedom and to being like
one of
two employees and you know 24 you know
24 7 responsibility
it’s totally awesome yeah right yeah how
how did you feel after you first bought
your
laundry i mean where you’re like man
that stupid board game or
you know i was i was watching your uh
interview or kind of about
about you on your page and said you know
learning those lessons
up front it reminded me i remember
closing
on new year’s eve 2005 you know it was
2006
was uh the day i took over and
my girlfriend at the time and i had
plans to go out and i got an argument
with the owner
or the previous owner over some stuff
that was supposed to be
left a couple computers and some tools
as we were counting out the till
after you know nine o’clock and the
quarters in the store um
you know and so you know here i am i
think i got the world by the tail i got
this figured out and the first thing i
do is getting an argument with the
previous owner
about some computers and tools that are
probably worth 500 bucks
and so that was my entry into it
honestly
um i probably should have tuck tail to
run right then but
yeah well i’m but it is kind of uh you
know it’s like welcome to welcome to
business right
like yes you know you’re you’re
you know you got to deal with with the
things that come up and you know that
can be people
trying to take advantage of things or
you got to kind of weigh those out too
right it’s like
how big of a deal is this and do i put
my foot down or do i just
keep moving forward that’s tough so did
you get that resolved
yeah we has kind of a little bumpy but
the next day he brought a couple of the
computers back he felt bad about it
it’s just one of those life lessons that
you kind of learn you know just what
what you just said there’s been a couple
times in business where you’re like
how much is this problem worth
and is is this something i need to stand
on principle for
or is it is it something that is much
easier just to go away
you know make go away and find to find
the compromise solution for
that’s you know how i say business has
been my mba
owning a business because i’m learning
every day every single day
this is my 15th year in this business
and i just keep learning and i love it
just out of curiosity i mean you may not
know
the answer to this but how how do you
know
if it’s something whatever it is if it’s
something that you should pursue
and you know for the principle of it or
if it’s something you should just
let go what’s good question i uh
i’ll just i’ll you give another thing as
an example we had a common hallway with
our
neighbor next door and the first
vacation i took
in this business i was a week-long
rafting trip where i’m
pretty much out of contact and i come
back and then built a closet
kind of halfway down this hallway
because it was no longer going to be
accessible to the outside and
i was furious because you know it’s you
know it’s like 35 square feet
seven foot by five foot no big deal
right sat down with my
attorney and he’s a little he’s much
older he was a friend of my dad’s
and he just gave me the best advice in
these situations he’s like
how much are you willing to spend to get
that 35 square feet back
because if it ends up in court yeah i
mean it’s that’s going to be very
expensive square footage
so in this particular situation is it
is it worth the money and the effort and
the pain
to do it and that isn’t was he in the
right there’s some question
i i consider even to this day now but
and that’s it’s one of those things it’s
definitely been a lesson and teaching me
and i
i think it depends on each situation and
i think you
really have to check your temper um
and be able to look at it from a cost
benefit analysis but then also
how can you live with it for long term
because it might be something like
this closet that we have to look at
quite often right
yeah yeah i think those are awesome
points to consider and especially the
emotional part of it
you know because things can get very
emotional i can i’m pretty like even
keel most of the time but i can
think of a couple scenarios where you
know i’ve
i’ve gotten worked up for whatever
reason about an issue
and then looking back on it now i’m like
man that was not a big deal really
you know and so taking some time to
let the emotions cool off before you
decide if a problem is worth pursuing or
not
is absolutely it’s awesome advice so
yeah and the other thing i would say too
is
um like asking yourself the question i i
think the cost
benefit is the key right but also asking
yourself the question
you know is this gonna slow down my
progress like if you’re growing a
business
and you have to stop doing the things
that are gonna help you continue to grow
your business in order to
deal with a problem that may or may not
be
consequential in the long run you really
should do that intentionally right like
if you’re going to invest the time to
deal with the problem you got to make
sure it’s
worth it and it’s you know it’s not
going to slow down your progress so
[Music]
yeah absolutely especially with growth
in a business i mean
so if you’re going to grow up any
laundromat or any
laundry service business you eventually
get to this point where you’re like
i cannot be the single point of failure
you know there are certain yes things
that i do
and expertise that i bring but if i’m
the only one fixing equipment
or i’m the only one folding laundry or
i’m the only one
scheduling employees like you’re
scheduling team members like
eventually that’s going to break like
you can be super human
and i think you’ve got a i think you
really have to look at
you know as you’re growing how do you
how do you choose your battles wisely
so well i think that’s a good question
i mean this may be a little premature in
your story but out of curiosity because
i mean i think a lot of people when they
start out especially if they’re
trying to kind of bootstrap sort of the
way you did how do you go from
like initially you probably do need to
play most of those roles if not all of
those roles
um so how do you make that transition
from
i’m the one cleaning i’m the one folding
i’m the one
paying the bills i’m the one making
schedule i’m i’m the one doing
everything right now
to bringing other people on how do you
make that transition
the sooner you know the first thing i’ll
say from my experience is the sooner you
can do it
the better off you are now i know that
everybody comes to this business from a
little bit different perspective right
some people need this business it’s not
just an investment for them
in their future or you know they have a
a
some sort of a gig or they have a bunch
of money that they’re looking to get
return on
this like this is their business and i
think
when i think about those and where i
came from i was an owner operator
that’s how i would look at it there’s
the owner portions of the business and
the operator portions
as soon as you can if you want to grow
to any kind of scale
or size whether that’s in the service
business or
in the coin laundries you have to
separate those two things
the operator perspective yes you may
have to do that and work shifts for a
while
but the sooner you can get yourself away
from the
the thing that you can pay somebody 12
to 15 to 20
an hour then you can focus on the things
that you do well which is
and you may have to learn these things
right which is setting up your insurance
and saving money
on you know the different business
elements and services
and people that you employ whether
that’s insurance people
or accounting or you know all those kind
of things so
separating those two roles i think is is
is probably the biggest key and i wish
that i learned that in year two
instead of year 10.
yeah no i that’s a genius answer i love
that in separating the owner and the
operator roles
and looking to hand off the operator
roles and
and taking on the owner roles you know a
lot of
a lot of people you know say do your
your high value
tasks um you know and focus on those and
delegate your low value task or to bring
it back to kiyosaki
you were on the left side of the cash
flow quadrant which is the self-employed
and you’re moving over to the right side
of the cash flow quadrant
which is business owner right and if you
haven’t read that book
you know go go look at excuse me go look
at the
go search it online and and check out
the uh
just the general quadrant and what that
is it’s pretty it was really
enlightening for me
and uh and if you want to read that book
there’ll be a link down below i’ll put
that there too
but yeah definitely rich dad poor dad
read that one first if you haven’t it’s
a quick read it’s a story
with lots of and then you got to do cash
flow quadrant
because that those two things those
those
um those two books were the
were the foundation of my
entrepreneurial leadership in fact i
found one on the back of the
on the back of the bathroom toilet that
my dad had that had never read
and so i stole it from him that’s right
it’s the exact same thing
the same exact thing my dad had it on
the back of the toilet never read it
that’s so funny
uh yeah yeah i’ll put links to all those
uh in down below if you want to pick
those up um okay
all right so you bought your your first
one
and you immediately got into an argument
with the previous owner so that’s
awesome
so talk me through what was the what was
after that argument what was the
beginning of your experience like
you know i didn’t i didn’t have a bunch
of uh
i’ll tell you what i didn’t have i
didn’t have a bunch of experience
managing people
i’ve done i’ve been a pretty hard worker
and i was blessed with uh
work ethic and grit uh as my friend dave
menz would say
um you know i got that from whether
that’s my family or my upbringing so
you know kind of like a bulldozer back
in those days you just drop a blade and
plow a superhighway
um you know i think about that today and
i don’t do that as much anymore because
a lot of times you may not need a super
highway and maybe you only need a hiking
trail
and so you know that comes down to that
effort and what you’re gonna do
but when i started right away um you
know i started working shifts like
like a lot of people do i got to know
some customers you got to know the
kind of people that tried to scam you
out of a quarter and
get all wrapped around the axle on that
which makes absolutely no sense to me
like i should have just had i literally
should have just had like 25 bucks a
quarters in my pocket all the time
yeah and i should have just handed it to
people so much less
um so much less emotional
strain on me early on for so little
money
i know instead of fighting over is
somebody trying to scam us out of a buck
well here have a buck
yeah you know and voting again we get
back to focusing on those things that
that make a difference
i think it was maybe within the first
year because i worked shifts quite a bit
we were trying to expand i i was um
on one of my shifts i i picked up a
basket of laundry and i said
if i continue to do this i will
i will be here the rest of my life it i
can i need to get away
from picking up baskets of laundry
and i think that that it well it took me
a number of years
to start our service business in earnest
and get it rolling to the point where
you know to where we’re on the path we
are today it was that moment when i
realized
again it’s an owner operator question i
just can’t keep doing this
because i’d always been a doer and and i
never managed a whole bunch of people so
that was kind of my first couple years
was learning that
yeah that’s a huge lesson it’s that
mindset shift
of you know i i mean i love what i can
really relate to what you’re saying just
with
you know having that that gritty mindset
and
um and having to kind of almost
like leave that behind have a different
mindset not that grit is bad i love
like grit i mean i think it’s necessary
but you want to focus that on the right
things right i i
can’t even remember where i read this
now but it really
it hugely transformed uh
the way i thought about this stuff um
and i really wish i could remember where
i read it if i remember i’ll put it in
the notes
but it was just this concept that
there’s
um there’s two different kinds of
mindsets there’s a time and effort
economy mindset where you hear people
saying
like i put in all this time i put on all
this effort
i should be paid for that right and then
there’s a results economy
yes whereas you get paid for the results
that you get right
and and you know the point being
is you can be gritty and put in a ton of
time and a ton of effort
folding laundry but you’re gonna keep
folding laundry that’s
right what you’re gonna keep doing right
because that’s a time and effort economy
way of thinking about things
whereas if you have a result economy you
know you can say hey this has to get
done
but i don’t have to be the one to do it
the results just need to be there and
i’ll get compensated based on results
totally transformed the way i thought
about stuff absolutely
well and i i that’s the difference
between you know as an owner
and one of your team members and and i
think there’s some crossover that can be
done as well like you can reward people
with bonus systems and different things
to to push more on the results but at
the end of the day
they still have hours to fill whether
they’re a laundry attendant or a laundry
processor
for you know doing that doing that kind
of work and i think it’s
the more you can get to to rewarding
people
for their for their results
i think the better off your team is
going to be long term as well
huge yeah huge love that okay so you
ran this laundromat as a self-service
laundromat
for a while without really a service
component to it right
a little bit of wash dry fold but you
know i didn’t i think early on i was
really late to the game of residential
laundry because i had always been the
guy
you know i started my business in 2006.
um and my the the owner previous owner
was doing loads for really
cheap money and i didn’t see how you
know the labor costs i just didn’t see
how it’s going to work out long term
you know i always focus on getting more
coin laundry customers in the door
and then just using the the wash dry
fold just to try to kind of recoup some
of my expenses
for for uh for labor
so i i didn’t really get into the
service business probably i think it was
about a year and a half in
i went to a chamber of commerce event
and um
but they have um it’s like they call it
a business after hours and you could
meet different people
and i had been to a couple of them and
finally i decided to get a table and
set up our laundry basket some shirts a
couple of business cards and
some flyers and a guy that owned a party
rental company came to me
and said hey we’ve got we’re opening up
a business and
we need somebody to iron our table in it
and so
that that probably out of any one thing
thrust us into the into the service
business
wow wow that’s really interesting okay
so you decided to
push forward into that basically because
of this party rental guy who just
he wanted this table in an iron
so what did you do i mean did you have
an ironer what did you
how did that work we didn’t have an
ironer we set up a
ironing board on one of our folding
tables we did a lot of it by hand you
know
back in those days i just didn’t have a
ton of money i had a bunch of debt yeah
um
and i was like i just don’t i didn’t see
the numbers and how the
process was going to work even though i
was had been in the
aerospace realm for a while like
and done lean manufacturing and i could
just it didn’t
the two didn’t click for me for a while
i’m a little slow in that
sometimes um but he came to me and
you know we got it going for probably
two or three years
i guess about two years with him and i
made
probably one of my quintessential uh
mistakes in business and that was i got
one guy that was
45 of our service business
and so now i’m at basically the beck and
call
we’re the employees of his company you
know even though we had separate
you know even though we were separate
companies we were you know they they’d
say
do this and we’d like well how high do
you want us to jump
so i mean if that lesson for me probably
the biggest one
was and i had to learn that one twice um
don’t don’t let if you’re going into the
service business don’t
go get a huge customer first
get a whole bunch of little ones um
because if you lose that one big
customer it puts a heck of a hole in
your
in your business and you end up not
having enough work for people and
it’s just rough yeah and i’ve seen that
play out in multiple businesses multiple
arenas i have a buddy who
you know he he has a metal fab shop
and he he ran into that same problem
where
one of his customers was like 60 or
maybe even more than that of his
business and he was always stressing out
and they he just felt like they had so
much leverage
over him and you know finally he was
able to kind of diversify
away from that and it just relieved so
much stress and it gave him power back
over his business right he felt like he
didn’t have power over his business
because he relied on this one customer
if you lost that one customer
he was probably going to go under right
or have to make drastic changes at least
so that’s a huge huge lesson yeah and i
had to learn
you know we were kind of so dense we had
to learn it again when a
hotel came to us and said hey how you
know it’s a 40 some odd room hotel
we’d like you to do our linen which we
chose to do
and then when they got purchased in 2009
uh it was just an asset sale and they
nullified her contract and said
hey we actually own the linen for the
hotels well they gave us 24 hours to
come pick it up
oh here i am like you know yeah
tons and tons of linen and i and i
learned it again i i think it was at
that moment that i said
i am never gonna have one customer
that’s over
you know my goal is seven percent of our
total gross business
yeah and once they get over that i can’t
take on another until
until i get enough small and medium
customers to diversify that out again
because i’m not having that happen again
yeah
man that’s that’s pretty crazy but
you know it’s like that’s really hard
because and
i think that’s a really good kind of
guideline because it’s really hard like
if you’re
you know if you’re just kind of dinking
and dunking along with a few
smaller accounts and all of a sudden you
get a big one
out of the blue like it’s tough to pass
that up so what do you
what do you do about that right do you
take it and
and figure out what to do from there or
you know
yeah i mean so how would you okay so
let’s say you’re
like back in the day again and this
hotel comes and this whole situation
happens again
would you take it on and then try to go
find a bunch of smaller clients or would
you say no until you found smaller
clients what would you do
you know i i would definitely if i if i
had the knowledge that i do today i
would pass on it
because i went looking for it i knew
somebody else that owned the laundry
had it and they were struggling with it
and i
i would just say no and the reason i
would is because
you know you you really put yourself at
risk when you have somebody
that has a large portion of your
business because you don’t want to
stress
you’ve got to be able to pay for and and
the things you do have to be profitable
that’s the other thing
if there’s one thing i could tell like
owners getting started in this business
like focus on your process focus on
quality
and don’t worry about the price i mean
you have to be in the realm of reason
but
if you’re trying to undercut your
neighbor just to just to win the
business
you’re going to lose in the long in the
long run so
there’s no doubt in my mind race to the
bottom is
you know somehow amazon and walmart let
them duke that out
yeah yeah that’s great advice and you i
mean you have to have
huge scale to be able to race to the
bottom and win
that race without going under and you
know
by and large most laundry mats or even
service parts of the laundry mats aren’t
going to be able to do that so correct
awesome advice okay so you have a
laundromat
that you got for less than a price of a
car
you because of a board game just want to
keep going back to that okay
good um and then you kind of ran it as
that you you’ve learned some lessons
kind of up
to this point and you’ve kicked off your
service
business how how did that go when you
decided okay we’re gonna
we’re gonna this isn’t gonna just to be
to you know kind of help compensate our
employees we’re gonna actually try to
make this part of our business
tell us about what that was like scaling
that
scaling that out did it take a long time
sure if it i you know i’m a little
hard-headed so it definitely took
it definitely took longer than um
longer than i thought it longer than it
would for me today
we got into the business i didn’t really
think residential laundry i didn’t think
much about it this was like say 2009
2010. i’m not like i know it doesn’t
seem like anybody was talking about
delivering that
we didn’t get a lot of requests for it
we didn’t advertise it
uh but people were still building dry
cleaning pickup and delivery routes
and i had because we had sort of a drop
off or a dry cleaning business in our in
our laundromat
we still had you know had a decent
relationship with the local cleaners
and i had this van which i’d gotten for
our
our two big customers which i’ve now
lost
and i realized if i want to keep the van
and i’m and i have enough
to bring the the business in i’m gonna
have to
find something to pay for those uh pay
for those costs
and you know i was making you know we
negotiated an okay deal
you know it’s pretty decent and standard
in the in
it’s about a 50 50 deal in the business
uh for basically doing the pickup and
delivery and we have a decent cleaner
they’ve
you know we’ve had bumps over the years
and we’ve had definitely upsides
but but we learned how to go kind of
door to door
and build dry cleaning routes and that
got us
pretty much to cover our entire city
within about three years
so i you know went from having one band
to two
just to cover that and we were doing
okay we were making a little bit of
money at that
but anytime we would get a commercial
laundry customer to kind of throw on
there uh
you know it was it was gravy because the
pickup and delivery i had people five
days a week
i didn’t wasn’t sending the van just out
to one customer and back
they were as part of a route and so
while i’m not a you know we it does say
happy laundry and dry cleaning in our
in our name we don’t own the dry cleaner
uh
and you know as far as working that out
that was a good
parlay for us to build a larger route
business
so yeah i don’t know if that answered
your question
yeah no yeah it it totally did so
so you say about like three years it
took you to kind of cover
your city with those routes
yeah that’s good and and you partner
with uh a dry cleaner
which i think a lot of people are doing
now
um i don’t know how common that was when
did you start
your i’d have to go back and look but
let’s just say 2010 2011 is when we
started the okay
rounds yeah that’s pretty early on what
did you do
just out of curiosity did you use a
software were you doing it on
[Music]
sell spreadsheets on pieces of paper
what were you doing
on excel spreadsheets um it was
an ugly i just there’s too many things
to go
i i went through like four or five
different uh
software programs to try to do this
easily
we did things the hard way we just kept
beating our head against the wall like
once after another instead of
buying a dry cleaning or point of sale
software which we should have done up
front
yeah again i mean i’m all for grit
but when it’s misapplied it can be
yeah and i mean that’s a lesson i’ve
learned many times over and i’m probably
still learning in certain areas so
yeah grit can be an awesome asset but it
can also hurt you
so right right when you’re gritty about
hitting your head against the wall
you’re in trouble for sure
yeah sure yeah okay
so talk to me about what that did
for your business um when you added that
like how did that compare to the the
self-serve
portion of your laundromat compared to
your service business it was an
interesting it was an interesting time
right because we’re going from
you know probably 70 of our
income coming from from our coin laundry
to
30 being serviced we launched the
you know it’s a little bit it’s a little
bit throws the numbers off when you’re
not pro
performing the service you know and
you’re only getting 50
of it and you still have expenses for
delivery and customer management on that
but
we were at um you know pretty quickly
that got down to 50 50 and then
things started to turn the corner when
we when we
focused in earnest on commercial laundry
and got some big
uh massage therapy customers i started
doing some
direct mail work uh calling on customers
just
trying to be in scrappy and trying to
get types of businesses that
you know they’d come in and drop off at
the laundry and like oh you’re a
business do you want us to pick up and
deliver
and if they were in our service zone
we’d find a way to service them and
um and then we’ve kind of figured out
early on that
our to control the whole process and our
most profit definitely comes from our
commercial laundry business
um so what would you say i mean
if you have an idea about this what
would you say percentage of residential
versus commercial is we’re 50 50 now
okay 50 50. revenue-wise yeah
how how has how did that affect
how did the last year affect your
business i know a lot of people
they’re commercial went way down
and and a lot of people their
residential even went up a little bit
so just out of curiosity is that i mean
was that your experience this last year
yeah i mean i think like a lot of
business owners over the last
year uh coveted hits were terrified
right you’re gonna have lockdowns
is is it gonna be safe for my team
members to work
my team members are scared um and we go
from
you know this time of year which is sort
of our ramp up to summer because our
summer season is now pretty busy we have
lots of
uh vacation rental homes that we take
care of
uh get a lot of kind of seasonal laundry
that way and then we also do
wedding venues for table inning but so
we’re starting to ramp up to that this
happens and i would say in the first
two weeks after kind of that you know so
by april 1st
our business with businesses being
closed is down
60 you know
because because a lot of the commercial
customers are closed we have
quite a few residential customers that
are like you know we’re staying at home
and we’re scared yeah but the coin
laundry’s there right
so you know you’ve got this commercial
laundry business
some residential dry cleaning which
falls off the face of the earth
and then you’ve also got uh the coin
laundry well
yeah i had to lay a few of our team
members off because we’re
labor heavy for processing commercial
laundry
but i did say that of them i said you
know
if if you are if you can’t get
unemployment or you’re short on rent
money or you’re short
you guys can’t eat just let me know i’ll
be happy to help i’ll write you a check
i mean we’ve got my wife and i are
we do very well and so i’m happy to help
them through this time
and because i also wanted to come back i
know that some we’re gonna find our way
through this
but we definitely saw you know like a 60
in our service business just drop off
and then the coin lottery was down maybe
10 15
on the year so yeah it’s a big hit has
it started to come back yet
i mean we’re in we’re in march of 2021
now
yeah what’s is your commercial coming
back and
how’s that oh yeah so so i was on the
whole last year and i know this is
um i know a lot of people haven’t
haven’t experienced this so i i don’t
say this to brag but
our last year year-over-year sales was
still up 15
that’s awesome what do you attribute
that to out of curiosity like what do
you think
we were able to pivot on a couple things
like so we have the three pieces so that
helps
um and and people came to us early and
said hey we’re gonna have these needs we
had a couple of homeless shelters
um that two or three of them and a
university that was going to put some
quarantine
areas in place and so having opl
machines
and doing commercial laundry we have the
processes and procedures in place
to be able to safely handle that kind of
that laundry early on and and i have
lots of friends in the industry so i
called them up and i said you know
what do we need to be concerned about
and so
we took on some laundromat customers
that
are not laundromat some commercial
laundry customers that really have
helped us
over the last year so that that is
that’s what i attribute that to and then
by september things were
on the upswing and starting to come back
so yeah
well i that that’s where grit
can take you in the right direction
right like when you’re focusing on
okay we got to we got to figure out a
way to make this work we got to pivot
you know let’s look for other
opportunities that we can
you know help help people but also keep
our business going and
and not just going but growing man i
think that’s awesome that you guys were
up 15
last year and uh man
yeah that’s awesome like you don’t hear
too many of those stories
you know no and i and i kind of i that’s
one thing i do share with people because
i
you know it’s even with the name happy
laundry it’s hard to be grumpy
you can’t you it’s just a you got to be
you got to be nice to people when you’re
talking to them and you can’t just
complain about all the bad stuff so
it is one of the things that i do say to
other business owners and when i’m
talking to like my banker and
insurance people it’s like well how are
things going and i tell them you know
how lucky we feel
and i got a great team i couldn’t i
couldn’t do this without the team
so yeah well and that’s that’s key and
what i see from a lot of top operators
like yourself
is they put together great teams right
and i think that’s
key uh maybe i don’t know do you can you
share about how how did you put together
a good team uh yeah i made
a bunch of mistakes early so the first
thing i will tell
i will say that um almost put me off
about the laundry business in general
and this was from the very beginning
reading on messaging boards and meeting
people in the
and kind of that cla forum was hearing
people complain about laundry customers
and you know how horrible they were
seeing yourself different than
somebody coming in your store or
something like that it took me a few
years to get through that mindset that
you know i don’t care who somebody is i
don’t care whether you’re homeless or
you’re a millionaire
you still deserve to be treated with
respect unless you’re not treating me
with respect in which case
leave and so from that perspective it
took me a while with my team members to
finally get to the point where i’m like
you know we provide a we provide a good
job for people a safe place to work
we provide them opportunities i’ll send
them to class
like it took that mindset shift for me
that we are a good employer
and that’s where i made the huge mistake
early on i didn’t think this was a good
job because i was trying to work it i
was just trying to
get somebody to fill in those hours
instead of like becoming a leader and
trying to help people along and
grow them outside of what they do just
from
cleaning or helping other laundry
customers or folding sheets or do
you know we’re we’re we’re but we’re
about more than that
and so it was actually you know the the
growth
and shift in my business was the shift
in my mindset of
we’re a good employer and we provide
value to our team members
that was the biggest well that’s huge
too
you know and i think you know a lot of
owners
get caught up in their when they’re
trying to hire employees they’re trying
to
pay as little as possible and
and don’t give their employees much
right in terms of training or in terms
of even just
instilling value in them and in what
they do
and the importance of what they do i
think all those things
are are huge in terms of building a
great team
and and because in in order to build a
great business you have to build a great
team
it’s like mandatory right you can’t have
you can’t have bad employees
and then have a great business it just
doesn’t work that way so
huge huge huge and again i mean
that’s one of the common threads i see
from top operators is the ability
to build a great team and whether they
just could naturally do it or
they kind of stumble through it and make
all the bad decisions until they finally
stumble on the right ones which is the
way i like to roll up you know mostly so
um whatever the case though they they do
it right they build the great teams
yeah we we um i think it was four or
five years ago we
leaned in it was a stretch for me
financially at the time
to um to afford it but we
went to a dave ramsey entree leadership
um kind of event that had happened in
our
in our area and and out of that signed
up for a business mastermind group with
them and you know dave’s entree
leadership book
i mean that’s his playbook of how he
built the dave ramsey business or
you know the businesses that are
underneath what he does
and i learned a lot about
valuing team members holding them
accountable
you know one of his great stories is
about giving people rope that’s how he
raised his kids you know
they earn a little bit at a time and you
kind of you know they got a little bit
of rope and you kind of let it out i do
the same thing with whether it’s
managers or
i try to teach my manager my managers or
lead people to do that with the people
that they’re
that they are um are responsible for
so they kind of gotta earn a little bit
of that trust and sometimes you got to
pull it back in and hold people
accountable
you know i’m not the best at it but you
also got to have the hard conversations
you know you got to hold people
accountable you got to hold yourself
accountable
yeah well and that’s really what it is
too right it’s like
you gotta know what you expect of people
then you have to be able to communicate
what you expect
of them right to them in a way that they
can hear it and then you’ve got to
hold them accountable to what you expect
of them and it’s
it’s not it’s simple but it’s not easy
to do right and it’s continually
evolving as
you know different people are coming in
and out and the roles shift your
business grows in this area so roles
need to shift a little bit so it’s
ever evolving and and you know it’s not
an easy
skill to master um but
i’ve got a long way to go i mean i’ll be
the first to tell you that my wife
used to manage uh 15 to 20 people
and i quite frequently would have
conversations with her
where do i need to go because that one
you know one time andrew was directly
managing
seven to eight nine seven eight people
trying to do schedules
with our vendors and stuff and finally
you know her and i came and she’s like
you know you’ve gotta let go of some of
this so we hired somebody
to be our laundry manager and kind of
made started in that evolution seven
years ago
um so you know that that has been
then you gotta learn not only how to
manage team members you gotta learn how
to manage managers
i mean that’s that’s the learning that i
and i’m constantly learning
on that how do i set the right example
for them
even though i’m completely you know i
work from home half the time
i’m not there as much as i used to be
it’s actually most helpful if i’m not
there because
i can try to micromanage too much stuff
and get in the way of the flow that
they’re creating
because i’m paying them to manage so let
them do what they
you’re paying them to do yeah it is
it’s a tough balance well let’s score
you some points here for a second
and because everything i’ve learned and
heard you say about your wife
is i feel like she needs to get some
credit for
some of these successes because it
sounds like she
i mean listen you sound like a really
quality guy but it sounds like you
married up a little bit here
married yeah yeah so good for you which
says a lot about you right like
i don’t know good for you uh but i mean
how involved has your wife been in the
business
and how you know how’s that look over
the years
yeah so my wife has been i mean it’ll go
six months between times that she’ll
actually set foot in the store
she does not she has not been a part of
the day-to-day
she is very much in a consulting and
advisory role
um you know we operate our family life
off of the dave ramsey principles so we
found that about seven years ago
uh paid off personally paid off all our
debt and our house and the business
you know we’ve always been kind of used
car people and that’s just kind of who i
am
um looking for a deal i guess um
but the thing i think that came
that she brought to the table early on
was uh
looking at our finances definitely from
a budget perspective
and so we worked together to make plans
and so
you know what i’ve i just can’t say
enough where she stepped in and said all
right
you can go off on this decision that’s
fine but how
how’s that going to affect these other
things you want to do over here so
you know she is definitely my closest
advisor we don’t make
you know neither of us make big
decisions without without consulting the
other person so whether it’s a business
or personal
yeah that’s awesome and it’s you know
it’s cool to have
you know partner like that that you can
bounce ideas off of and
her experience and and wisdom you know
compliments what what you’re doing and
uh that’s pretty cool and she’s a
uh she’s a financial coach right with
the she is
certified now she does helps people
through paying off debt
planning for the future uh planning for
kids college
buying a house uh figuring out what to
do with big
big financial situat their decisions so
yeah she’s
she does an awesome job with that she’s
a great listener that’s one thing i
love about her yeah that’s awesome well
hey
you know if you’re out there and you
need some financial coaching
i know i know a guy who knows
a lady who’s got you covered that’s
right yeah
cool um all right so well you mentioned
that you’re not spending as much time
there as you used to
how much time are you spending you know
physically at work i’m
um unless i’m working on a project i’m
there mondays and fridays
um and and i and i get together with my
leadership team on thursdays
um i always seem to have a project that
uh
you know we just we actually just bought
a box truck in january because some of
our commercial laundry is getting big
enough where
we’re doing cart exchange um so
you know went had to get that get that
all stickered up and ready to go
and figure out help my lead driver
figure out how that fits in the rotation
and things to do and then now we
we’re getting this space next door to us
so that’ll be my project for the next
couple months
coordinate contractors and kind of
figure out what the plan is for there
so yeah man well i mean that’s pretty
cool
all right so when you’re when you’re not
there and you’re not working on a
project
are you doing a lot of stuff from home
or we’re not really
yeah well i’m in my home office now
we’ve uh
we you know because of covid we we just
basically said hey i need to be
and i’m way more productive when i’m at
home especially with the thinking tasks
because i can be quiet we can i go work
in the living room i can take a walk
with the dog when i need to
but you know i’m not my head is in the
future
and working on future things rather than
listening to my staff sometimes
and the challenges that they’re dealing
with right there and
i got i have to separate myself all
right i find my head
and myself getting sucked back into
things you know i employ managers and
customer service people and
and laundromat attendance to to do those
things so
i gotta let them do that that’s you know
that’s
probably been one of my you know it’s
not for everybody they’re not able to
maybe not everybody is able to kind of
work from home in that way and let go
but you know every time i would take a
big vacation i would notice that we
would have a blip and new customers
and and grow out of the way
yeah that’s that always makes you feel
great doesn’t it i mean on the one hand
you’re like yeah awesome and on the
other hand you’re like
what in the world man
[Laughter]
well you must not have kids if you’re
finding a piece of quiet at home
is that i do not yeah my wife and i do
not have kids so because my kids
since we started this interview have
poked their head in the door three times
and i hope i hope you can’t hear this
but
for the past 45 minutes downstairs
there’s an alarm on the alexa that’s
been going off
that i can hear and it’s and nobody’s
here to
turn it off so it’s been going off this
whole time so there’s no peace and quiet
happening over here
yeah i get that get that yeah
my sister went through some of those
same same things with
the daughter that stayed home in the
last year and then her and her husband
both working from home so
yeah yeah yeah um well that’s awesome
though
that you’re you know you got that space
and that you
you are able to take that space and get
away and
it’s kind of that whole working on your
business for versus working in your
business
uh concept right get some time to work
on your business to do things like
expand into a new you know unit to do
things like buying
a box truck you know to accommodate your
larger commercial clients and be able to
expand into even bigger commercial
clients hopefully
right yeah so that’s awesome
um out of curiosity what are your
what do you have in store for the future
are you
you know are you trying to expand more
do you want to ramp up your
your service business so for us so the
growth area
is definitely the service business we
see um
you know dollar for dollar i get about
double the return
on the on me on the investment when i
put it in the service business
and and that’s been a lot of hard-fought
years into processes and figuring out
ways to do things and
lean manufacturing you know using those
process improvement techniques to make
to make things as
as big as possible but yeah our service
business is the growth area the other
thing we’re seeing right now hands down
is just a growth and wash raffle
um residential wash dry folding our
routes is is just exploding
so and i’m really i’m really
appreciative of that um
and we you know we we charge handsomely
for it we charge appropriately for it
we’re in one of the higher
minimum wage states we need to be above
that
to find good people bonus structures
different things like that so
um you know it’s uh i really
really feel like we have a great product
too so
i see i see residential and commercial
both kind of on par
in their growth patterns we’d love to
build you know buy our own building and
build a purpose-built facility
for both commercial and residential
laundry and we may get to the point
where we can afford to do that
where the coin laundry is is such a
small part it’s okay to
either run that as a separate entity or
um
or sell it and move to a big facility so
we’ll do one of those two things
yeah yeah well i mean you mentioned
something in there that
i mean it reminds me of you know again
what a lot of top operators talk about
and
dave mins is a big huge proponent of uh
which by the way if you haven’t heard
any of dave mintz’s podcast episodes
he’s done a couple now
with me i’ll link those down below
they’re they’re both
must listen uh episodes i think but
you know he’s a big proponent of of
value and then charging appropriately
for the value
um but you also
i mean you mentioned like you want to be
above paying minimum wage
which is awesome and i think a lot of
laundromat owners
are afraid to do that because it gets
expensive right and how do you
how do you make that jump to say okay
i’m going to commit to
trying to go after a better quality
of employee by paying a little bit more
than
what i have to pay them how do you how
do you do that
you know so the first the first part and
i hit on this earlier but i’ll just come
back to it because if
if i were doing this interview this to
say something i wanted to hear 10 years
ago
it was value what you do you’re you are
you are providing an awesome service and
if you’re not providing an awesome
service you’re just
providing a mediocre service go figure
out how to provide an
awesome service even if it costs you a
little bit right in the beginning be
proud of what you’re selling
be proud of what your your company puts
out there
and and so that was the that was the
starting point for
it all is this isn’t just a coin laundry
in a
somewhat moderately undesirable
neighborhood in
you know of your of your area where it’s
kind of clean and
there’s sort of people coming in and out
you know provide an a level service
and from there build and find people
that that
will work and create that and they’re
out there it doesn’t and even at minimum
wage
i mean we’ve we’ve had people i have
people now that have worked for me for
ten years
seven years five years four years
four years three years and then we’ve
got a handful that are brand new this
year
we have 16 team members um
so you know building that team you need
the longevity and so you got to believe
in what you do
and then you got to get them to believe
in what you do so
be a good boss be a good owner
be a good person man that ah i gotta
write that down
be a good boss be a good owner be a good
person that needs to be on a shirt
like a t-shirt probably does i’m gonna
make that shirt and i’m gonna send you
one
oh that’d be great be a good boss be a
good owner
be a good person that’s good i love that
um you know i’m in reverse you could do
that but
you know that’s and you know i took this
from dave ramsey when we hired our last
uh our newest laundry manager he’s been
with me about a year
uh he was in the restaurant business um
and he loves to teach people he loves to
train
i mean he’s a good natured human being
anybody had the experience of working in
a in a restaurant where you’ve got ups
and downs
you got fast times and slow times um
and he loves to train people so that
that makes it easy right
i mean none of this is easy but i mean
it makes it easy to
for other people to learn from him when
he likes what he’s doing
right yeah that’s
yeah that’s huge and you know just
on a very way way smaller scale
when whenever somebody says something
nice about me and this podcast
it’s never really about anything that i
say or do
it’s always like you know you really it
seems like you really
believe in this and you’re like you’re
enthusiastic about it right and that’s
like when you have that belief
in what you do and and that enthusiasm
for it it’s contagious
and and so if you can do that in your
laundry business that’s
yup it’s huge too so absolutely yeah
you know we’ve we’ve we’ve expanded for
um for our team members in the last in
the last year some benefits
you know the more i looked at it i look
and i see a lot of my team members maybe
didn’t have the
the same style of parenting that my
parents had or my grandparents
that talked a lot about business
ownership investing in the future
saving for the future so we we actually
started a retirement plan
and it’s available to everybody the best
immediately
yeah i mean even if it’s not a ton of
money right it’s
they they get a save three percent and
we match that three percent
and we you know i put a lot of effort in
the last
six eight weeks into explaining to
people why that’s important and
overcoming barriers to people who don’t
think that saving for the future is
important
so even if you know they start now and
maybe you know maybe they’re 25 or 30 or
35 whatever
and maybe they can get you know 150 or
200 000 dollars
over their lifetime you know even if
they’re uh even if they stay in that
you know 10 15 20 22 an hour
i mean that can make a huge difference
to someone
down the road yeah absolutely
that kind of stuff yeah i love that and
i love
that you do that for your employees
because again it’s not necessarily easy
to do but that’s
i mean that’s why i think it’s important
what we do is important man when we’re
trying to build a good business
it’s not just to make more money for
yourself but like
you’re doing good for obviously you’re
doing good for your community
and all your customers like that
obviously is what you’re trying to do
you’re doing good for your employees
because
you’re giving them a paycheck and stuff
but when you can go above that
and and help them
not even just help them plan for their
future but
instill in their minds that there’s
importance in doing that even
you know just just uh you know
enlightening them to that mindset that
they may not have ever even
considered before and they’ve never even
really understood
you know similar to what i think a lot
of people feel when they read rich dad
poor dad right and they have that
like oh my gosh like i never even
thought about an asset versus a
liability right like
that kind of aha moment that you can
help employees have by
saying hey it’s important to save it
reminds me of uh
i don’t know if you’ve ever read the
richest man in babylon
i have heard of it and i got about
halfway through it i’m an audiobook guys
yeah me
and i love that one especially as an
audiobook actually because
the uh the narrator is just he sounds
like he’s
straight out of babylon but anyways um
one of the things that
um that comes up in there is
one of the points that that he’s making
is you know we all think that we have to
we need every dime that we make as a
necessary expense
right and then he’s he kind of makes a
point like well how much do you make and
how much do you make and how much do you
make
and how is it that you all spend
everything that you make
even though you make different sums on
necessary expenses
right and if you can kind of help people
see that you know your employees see
that
if you take off three percent to invest
into your future
you’re not gonna miss it right like
you’re not even gonna know it’s not
there
um because you’ll just compensate and
you’ll spend your money
slightly differently but that three
percent plus the three percent you’re
going to match
is going to make a big difference down
the line
absolutely well then it’s just and it
becomes automatic
and things that we can make you know if
you can help people
automate savings for themselves i think
that’s the biggest
long-term that that will have the
biggest help
you know and being and and even if it’s
not you
as you know if you’re an owner of and
you’ve got 10 or 15 employees you can’t
know everybody’s stories but you know i
do talk to my managers about it like hey
you know if somebody’s having an issue
dude
definitely let me know i’ll be happy to
talk to them and i kind of listen to it
and hear
you know we have enough long-term team
members now too that have been around
from
some of my coaching that you know that
they get it
they try to help each other i think
that’s the most important thing
yeah huge well it makes a difference man
and i love that you said that and
you know are sharing that because i
think it does give us as laundromat
owners a little bit different
mindset to think about to
um you know in terms of how we utilize
the money that we get from our business
right
all right we’re also the backbone of the
we’re also the backbone of the economy
you don’t he i mean we’ll hear main
street and all that kind of stuff
but there’s we’re the things we do are
not um
they’re not fancy laundry’s not fancy
laundry is not aerospace laundry’s not
tesla you know we’re not amazon we’re
not tilting up warehouses that big
but it’s the day-to-day that we’re the
heart of the economy in this country
and i you know yes there’s a piece of it
and yes
i’ve done pretty well from it um
but but i try to kind of level up the
next
my team with along with me so that
they’ll you know stick it out for the
long term too
yeah i love that yeah and
i’ve never really heard anybody say
we’re the we’re the
heart of the economy but i love that man
i love that and i believe that
well i think if you look up the
percentage of employees that work for
small businesses
it’s it’s huge so yeah
yeah i’ve seen that i’ve seen that all
right
we have a little section called down to
business
uh let’s get down to business
over and out awesome and that will just
help us
get to know your business oh and how it
works a little bit more
uh so what’s your um what’s your social
security number no i’m just kidding
um so you guys are ready
you know i heard that whenever this is
totally random but whenever
uh you go to a place that has like a
loyalty card or whatever
and they need a phone number or whatever
you can use that and
somebody has registered that number
pretty much everywhere
yeah so use that one and whoever has it
registered probably
racks up on the bonus points oh
absolutely yeah
all right uh so you are in
spokane washington washington yep almost
to idaho for those that don’t know
wait what’d you say we’re almost in
idaho so
seattle is about 300 seattle’s over here
we’re over here right next to idaho so
about 300 miles apart
okay so you’re nowhere near seattle
you know near idaho i actually like
idaho i spent a lot of summers in idaho
my cousin lived there
i really like idaho have some good
memories out there we’re at
uh idaho falls yep
so not too far away by yeah yep yeah on
the
south ish yeah it’s awesome uh okay
so you only have one location right
we do okay we’ve been looking at getting
an
a second coin laundry location nothing’s
jumped out at us
it’s always you know you you look at the
investment in that
and the investment that we’ve already
made to grow a service business
yeah and that i can put in a lot less
money and get the same return in our
service business right now so
why would i do that is part of it yeah i
mean it’s a great question
a great way to think about it i mean you
know at your point
it’s like it only really makes sense
if you don’t have the capacity to do
the amount of service that you need to
do right and even at that point
probably makes more sense to buy a you
know a dedicated space to build out
you know so yeah yeah that’s it’s been
the ongoing question for the last five
years as the service business has grown
how how is like how huh
like how big is your store out of
curiosity
it’s 3 000 square feet okay i’m like
stumbling over here but
what i’m trying to get to is like how uh
how
how much you’re using these machines are
they going 24 hours or do you not have
to go 24 what are you doing
no it’s uh so we let’s see let’s see
that
three years ago we came in and we took
out we used to have about
2 000 square feet that was a laundromat
and we ran a wall down a third of it so
our actual laundry mat is only about
1500 square feet now
and the rest we opened up and put some
opl machines
on premise laundry chemical injection we
keep those going between
six and ten hours a day um and we can
flex
into the laundry space because
commercial laundry
if it’s not super dirty or it doesn’t
need special treatment
um it can go in the kind of the regular
machines and we have
we have some like soap cart or caddies
that we have
that help that help kind of speed up
that process but
that allows us to flex into the that
equipment during the day
so from eight in the morning until two
in the afternoon when there just aren’t
that many people in our laundry because
of our location
so um and that way we could lock things
up at night that was the other thing
so yeah yeah okay so you got
you got some serious stuff going on in
that um
on that commercial side yeah storage
became the issue and we
ended up putting some storage sheds in
the back that we
you know store the clean and the dirty
in separate sheds obviously but
and then they can they get loaded right
into our vans so
yeah that’s that works that’s not
because i think that storage
is um that’s a huge deal in fact a
previous guest mark vlascamp sent me a
video
i mean he’s just he’s in texas and his
service businesses
pick up and delivery is just blowing up
and he sent me this quick little video
of his shift change and there was
laundry
everywhere man like everywhere so he’s
killing it down there which is awesome
we gotta have him back on
to talk about that but um that storage
issue can be a real
issue you know you see them people
storing them like
on the bulkheads and all over the place
you know get creative with that storage
but the sheds
that’s a really good idea probably makes
it easier to kind of load and unload too
and you’re not getting in the way of
people doing laundry and
a lot of efficiency in that that way our
wash person can only bring in what they
what they need to what they need to do
at that one time
moving too much stuff you know in carts
around but you know that’s kind of the
trade-off
was this your was this your wife’s idea
be honest because it sounds really smart
so yeah oh so it was your idea that just
evolved over time
wow okay okay maybe i just didn’t give
you enough credit early on
yes uh okay so did you
started in the business in 2010 is that
what you said
2006 was 2006. yep
you’ve been around this is our 15th year
15 years
wow that’s awesome uh
let me ask you how much does it cost to
do laundry on the self-service side
uh in spokane washington
we’re we’re definitely the price leader
um we wrap we kind of have a programmed
way of doing
price increases and i do price increases
twice a year
whether we need it or not and it’s been
about three percent
so i’ll look at you know that’s all
across our service business unless
something’s under contract which we do
have some of those
but kind of our retail wash drying fold
and and um commercial business will go
up twice a year
and and i tend to look at the coin
laundry at the same time
and so i don’t know you probably want to
know
let’s see our 40s are i think 775.
oh my gosh yeah and our our uh
little 20s which are small chassis ones
are 350 now i think
they can level up to four and a quarter
um
we’re kind of stuck on the dryers i’m
thinking about going full cycle dryer
pricing
because i’m stuck at five minutes a
quarter just say it’s pretty tough to be
like
a quarter minute you know like that’s
that’s
uh yeah well i know a lot of people are
moving to that full full cycle pricing
for the dryers and it makes a lot of
sense especially if you’re
you know your vin prices or where
they’re at you know it’s almost like
shoot man you’re kind of giving away
dryers right at
compared you know so
yeah and we’ll probably do that we’ll
probably do that as we get the next
this next space up and running in the
next few months because all
you know we’ve really our laundromat
business during the day
they’re stuck to six stack dryers
because we take up
everything else you know during our busy
time in the summer we may have six
attendants on
folding laundry um you know probably
actually
probably closer to averaging five
attendance on each shift
so that can be that can be pretty
that can be pretty busy where we’ll take
up almost all the laundry mat and all
the folding space so this
just moving this to the next level will
be helpful yeah
yeah that’s a that’s a big deal that’s
pretty cool
um okay so well what does it cost and do
you do per pound for your
pickup and delivery what does it cost
per pound
i think we’re at two
[Music]
211 or two i can’t remember
i’m so unfocused on it i don’t i don’t
focus on the price
um yeah you’re 211 or 214 actually
so one of those two okay that’s i think
you’re the first one come on who’s been
in the twos
so good for you man that’s awesome it’s
so funny because
you know i’ve said this before i think
but like some of the markets where you
would expect
prices to be high like in new york or in
la even
prices are actually relatively low
because there’s just so much competition
but prices where you wouldn’t
expect them to be as high you know they
can be
a lot higher because i guess because
there’s not as much competition
but right yeah that’s good man 211 214
that’s pretty good
[Music]
uh i mean do you have any sense of
like turns per day that your
self-service is doing
yeah i was gonna say like you know
i will say this because we for the last
three years we’ve
three four years we’ve been pushing
[Music]
you know our laundry our coin laundry
customers out the door
um you know that i i would say that i’ve
tried to find
a way you know not physically i mean
we’ve closed the laundry a couple times
when we’ve been too busy
should put assigned clothes for today
for the day because i need all the
equipment to process it out if we’re
doing a special project or something
um but
you know just taking up all the folding
space leaving one or two folding tables
for somebody that comes in
though where we’re at it’s always been
monday through friday is one number and
i’m about
uh i’m probably 10 or 15 percent higher
just on saturday and sunday alone
than i would be monday through friday
yeah so
yeah so i’m just picking attendant on
when we’re
on saturday and sunday right and we’re
not doing processing very much
commercial on those days
right yeah so at the end of every
podcast episode it might kind of like
wrap up
i try to pick one tangible thing right
to
to implement and the thing that i’m
hearing from you
is try to get customers to not come to
your laundromat
because your business will grow that’s
what i’m taking away here so far because
you’re like
well it’s either that or if you want
customers to come in
tear apart a washer where you need to
take up an entire
an entire um yeah an entire
entire row yeah you’ll just they’ll
stream in the door
yeah i know that’s that is true actually
it’ll
it’s so stressful uh do you have any do
you have any sense of how many
pounds of service laundry you’re doing
uh no um and i’ll tell you why
because we are we are split
we used to and i and this is again
learning things the hard way
i was always trying to compare myself to
a linen service early on
and i never got to understand early on
how to
sell pounds instead of pieces hmm
our business and this was i visited with
dave men’s a few years ago
and i just got it in my head i’m like i
have got to make a shift
from counting pieces of laundry
to pounds and we still have a couple of
big accounts that are by the piece
but honestly the shift to doing pounds
was fantastic for us
i i don’t i honestly don’t know i could
probably add it up and get
and get a good idea but it’s not
something i keep track of
i look at dollars what did you what did
you like about
the shift to pounds over pieces just
quicker and easier
yeah quicker and easier from a process
perspective
from a marketing perspective to my
from an ongoing marketing perspective
it’s pretty hard for
a big leading company to come in and
sell one of my commercial customers
because
they have no way to know what
we’re doing versus in comparison with
someone else
when i go to sell a company sometimes
it’s a little bit harder if they’re
trying to pull out an invoice
and they say well this company only
charges me like 40 cents a sheet
that’s all i’m paying i’m like yeah but
look down here
service charge service charge service
charge service charge total tax
oh by the way are you getting 150 sheets
delivered to you every time
because it looks like you got like 400
additional sheets here that you’re not
using
so once you kind of break that down
anyway i’m going off on the tangent but
yeah no
i mean it makes sense and i i think most
people are doing by the pound anyways
but i was just curious as to
you know most operators are but but when
you’re in the service business they’re
they’re going by the piece by the piece
kind of they’re obscuring what the
totals are
yeah okay yeah well i mean it seems to
make more sense for the customer too
a little bit more transparent to go by
the pounds
well our biggest value proposition to a
small
uh mom-and-pop business especially that
are that are
you know medium linen usage is
one if you own your own linen it’s
i like to transfer that risk to them
that’s number one
but number two i let them take advantage
of
what i would call the float if or or the
the ups and downs of their need
whereas when i lease or when a big
company leases linen they’re just
charging you a flat
inventory level so for most small
businesses the benefit is for them
you know one week they’ve got to employ
let’s say massage therapists one week
they’ve got two employees
the next week they might have one and a
half
they have enough linen to do what they
need but they only have to pay for what
they use
and so that’s that’s been a really easy
sell for me
long term yeah smart yep
are you um on the self-serve
side are you keeping an attendant there
full time or do you not really have to
do that because
you have other people there we started
that way
and then when our service business
wasn’t as big we
cut hours they would leave at like five
o’clock
and then we would have problems from
five to ten
so much so that we got a security
company to come and close up the
building because i got sick of doing it
um we have automated locks and that kind
of stuff
covid i actually cut our hours from 10
pm close to 8 at 8 pm close
and we have something somebody from open
to close
except for the hours of 6 8 or sorry
7 30 a.m to 10 p.m on or 10 a.m on the
weekends
so we still have a minor portion of
unattended but
honestly i i like the fully attended
model there’s just less
problems yeah so yeah as someone with
one of each
i can i can vouch for that for sure
um in fact if you want an unattended one
in southern california
i might be open to just giving it to you
i’m just saying think about it
i’m just kidding uh are
are you doing just coin are you doing
card on the self service
just cause coin yeah yeah ours isn’t big
enough
i think if i were to build one i’d and i
were to attend it full time i would
definitely do a card
yeah yeah i think so too
uh how many hours a week do you think
you’re working on your business
if it’s not projects it’s probably 20.
if there’s projects well i’d probably be
honest
probably 15 if there’s no projects if
there’s projects i’m probably up to
you know up to 40. yeah cool that’s
yeah that’s pretty awesome it’s pretty
awesome to have a business
you know the size and caliber of yours
and
you know i have to put in 40 hours when
something’s going on and otherwise
you’re doing half that or less
that’s pretty awesome well you know the
other thing too is with our
managers and team members i i’m not a
big fan of overtime
especially in the especially in the
processing end because people’s
you know after about six and a half
hours it’s a hard job they’re standing
on their feet
all day and they’re just not as
productive
after you know six and a half seven
hours so
you know i try even with our managers
who don’t do as much
laundry obviously they got flat other
tasks to do um
i really frown on overtime unless we
need it
because i i don’t want us to be pushing
that edge all the time
i’d like us if we got a big week to be
able to flex into it
rather than doing that so yeah again
that’s that’s
smart yep well we got another section
called
secret sauce listen up it’s the secret
sauce
secret sauce is what advice could you
give to
current laundromat owners um maybe
something that’s working well for you
that they could implement into their
businesses
to help grow their businesses uh
i’ll tell you what happened in arts um
team growth and hiring of team members
so not only realizing that you create
have a value that you provide value to a
team member that you hire
but finding the team members that fit
not only the values you have but the
values you want
and so i ran across a book by patrick
lincione
called the ideal team player
and the gist of it is is that you’re
and it’s a great story it’s an easy read
he’s got some resources online as well
where
you’re basically looking for a team
member that’s humble hungry and smart
and it doesn’t mean i don’t mean smart
and rocket science
and humble meaning they can take some
constructive criticism or they’re not
they don’t
need to be top person all the time
and they’re hungry they like they want
to work there
are questions and a way to do an
interview process
to come to that person and
that type of team member and so that was
that was a huge shift in our business
when we implemented that about
four years ago and so you know we had to
turn over a bunch of team members when
we started hiring
those those kind of people because they
only want to work with people that are
humble hungry and smart
yeah yeah that’s that’s huge well first
of all
i’ll link to that book i feel like we’re
giving people a lot of homework
uh in this episode but you got a lot of
books to buy
you got a board game to buy and you i
mean there’s
there’s a lot of things you guys need to
do out there so well
it’s an mba course right right oh i mean
like that that’s what your business is
is your mba it’s life you got to
constantly be learning
that’s it hey you want if you want to be
as successful as kent you got to get on
his level so get these books
i got i got to give you another one
though because and and i got to put the
shout out i mentioned
dave a couple of times but there have
been
no less than a dozen
to 15 people in this industry
who have helped me from where i’ve where
i’ve
come from and helped me learn
you know i’m not shy so i would pick up
a phone and i would call
and hey would you help me what about
this what about this what about this you
know
try not to annoy anybody or go overboard
but i’ve had
so much help a lot of it came from
people i met at cla events
some of my best friends are in this
business now
because of the kind of helping each
other
we’re not in direct competition you know
there’s definitely some camaraderie
between business owners
and i i would say my other secret sauce
is
to definitely reach out to owners and
how can they help because they will
people want to be helpful
yeah yeah i think that’s huge and
i think i mean
honestly it’s a big part of the reason
that i started the podcast is because i
wanted to meet
people like you who are going to help me
and improve what i’m doing
and and be able to help other people too
but you know
mostly me no but seriously
uh it’s been it’s been awesome for me to
just get to talk to so many
just incredible people human beings
uh or you know as our our t-shirt
is gonna say so many good bosses so many
good owners so many good people
uh yes you know but i think that’s huge
it’s why
you know it’s a big part of why i’m
doing what i’m doing and trying to get
get people to collaborate as much as
possible you know it’s why i’m bringing
people like you on the podcast it’s why
we have a forum on on laundry resource
it’s why
you know i’m working with some people
who are going to start
you know putting some more stuff out
there um
you know to people just sharing and that
camaraderie together but i think that
you’re right and nothing
beats reaching out to
you know people like you and people like
dave and people like
some of these other guests or just other
top owners out there
jeff jeff gardner is a great uh he’s
been involved in the cla
start helped start and laundry cares
man that most of what i learned uh
between him and myself guy
about opl equipment and so i mean that’s
why we have a quality product today was
because of
him being willing to share that
knowledge with me and i mean i really
appreciate that
yeah yeah and you know what’s kind of
cool about that
too is you know you i mean like you said
you like to learn things the hard way
you know that’s i mean that’s kind of my
story too right learning things the hard
way
but people smarter than us don’t have to
learn things the hard way
if we go if they go and talk to people
like you who’ve already learned the hard
way and they can learn from your hard
way of learning right you can shortcut a
lot of that stuff
if you get connected with the right
people who can help guide you
you know into success man
so that’s great secret sauce
amazing stuff we got another section
called pro tips
pro tips pro tips is for
the newbie what would you tell yourself
you know 15 years ago or the new person
trying to buy their first laundromat
what’s what’s a good piece of advice you
give them
ooh that’s a really good one thank you
um i thought that one myself i like that
yeah thanks
let me just say let me just suck to kind
of i should have written a
i should have written an answer to this
um
you know never give up on yourself
that’s probably
the that’s number one on the pro tip
number two
um none of this is new
i don’t care it may be things
things that you need to grow your
business right now may not be available
in
our industry but they’re
really i mean in humanity there’s
nothing new we’ve done we’re just
we’re regurgitating and putting
you know new window dressing on things
and concepts that have been around
forever
you know you talked about the richest
man in babylon i mean that’s a
fable that came from like what i can’t
remember like
a long time ago forever yeah so
so look for those uh synergies look for
those
um talk to your friends that are in
business be in
other business groups and find the
things
in your specific way as a new person
that you’re going to kind of
layer these things together to create a
great business i mean you gotta have a
good foundation there’s no
no doubt about it you know you gotta
have hopefully a little bit of capital
when you start
bootstrapping don’t don’t gosh don’t do
what i did
i mean i know that there’s a lot of
stories like that and people grew things
from nothing but
um and i had a little bit of help but i
i would definitely say
you know just look out even outside our
industry and keep learning because
there’s something that’s gonna help be
the secret sauce for your
for your your business your neighborhood
your laundromat your service business
mm-hmm yeah that that’s great advice and
uh i mean i wrote down
both of those like never give up on
yourself
and none of this is new like that’s
yeah it’s like it’s like simple but it’s
just genius you know and i’m starting to
think
that maybe your wife married up also
somehow i don’t know i’m i’m trying to
figure out how that works out but
i think maybe i don’t know okay
uh we got another section called
recommended resources which
is kind of what it says do you have any
resources you recommend
to help us grow our businesses or
ourselves
yeah i i mean number one i’m a i’m a big
proponent of the cla
they’ve done a lot of good things over
the years i mean there’s a lot
there there’s almost sometimes too much
information when you’re getting started
but i i think they were you know
instrumental for me and getting started
um growing yourself there’s a couple of
things that have been super helpful for
me personally are the the
mustachian movement uh mr money mustache
yeah he’s a popular blogger but it kind
of fits into my
realm in life about minimalism some
what frugality but also like
what what what kind of things give you
the most return
you know whether that’s emotionally
physically you know
monetarily on your time and effort
because the one thing we all
we all have the same amount of
in a day is time and we never know when
it’s over
but but a lot of times i think we try to
get i think we
we try to either do too much or really
realize maybe
you know hey gosh i got to be over here
and i’m not there yet and you’re beating
yourself up about that
you know sometimes less is more not only
in business
but in personal life so yeah yeah and
i’ll link to
both of those things cla uh which is an
awesome resource and also
i’ll link to mr money mustache’s the
article that kind of put him on the map
so he’s big if you’re not familiar with
him he’s big into the
the fire movement which is financial
independence return retire early
that big movement and a lot of that
simplicity
comes through that and you know one of
the concepts behind it is
you know that if you know
if you simplify your life you don’t need
as much money
to retire early essentially but the the
the article that really put him on the
map
made him kind of blow up was he wrote an
article that
basically said here’s how to know how
much money
you need to retire at what age from
where you’re at now here’s how much you
need to save
um and it i think it had an almost
kiyosaki-esque
aha moment for a lot of people where
they’re like okay well that puts a
number now i have a goal to shoot for
i’m
this age i want to retire at this age
here’s how much money i have to save
to be able to get there and uh yeah i
think it’s called like the shockingly
simple math
of retirement or something like that
it’s 20 25 times your yearly expenses is
how much money you need
in the bank and it’s a rough rule right
four percent
withdrawal rate that gives you the four
percent withdrawal rate for the rest of
your life
right and you know so that’s two things
right you can
earn more money but also if you look at
what you’re spending and as business
owners if
you should be fairly we should be really
good at that right if we just apply that
a little
bit to our personal lives too like if
you’re
spending less every month or you get to
where you’re comfortable and you get the
most value i mean
a lot of people talk about value you get
the most value out of that
you don’t need as much yeah
yeah yeah and i do like the concept
behind
uh behind it all which is i mean it
basically says
you know figure out what’s really
bringing value to your life
and the things that you’re spending your
time and money on that don’t bring value
to your life
right and cut those things out and focus
your
time and focus the money that you do
spend on the things that
are bringing joy and value to your life
and get rid of the rest and
yeah i think when you do that you find
out there’s a lot of things
like here’s a good example like when
when you move
and and this is like i just moved
right like in last year in august i just
moved and there are still boxes
in my garage that i have not touched and
you know that’s a great example of
probably pretty much everything in those
boxes
are things that don’t really add any
value to my life that at one point or
another i spent money on and probably
shouldn’t have
right and so that’s a good kind of
if you move what aren’t you gonna what
aren’t you gonna need
you know so yeah anyways awesome awesome
resource
so there’s a couple there’s a couple of
uh facebook groups
mustachians and practice is one and if
you just
if you just search in the search field
and facebook mustachions
spelled like mustaches because i don’t
know how to spell it so
um you’ll you’ll come up with a couple
of different ones and there’s
you know there’s some such just like the
forums such
super smart people that are thinking
about this stuff all the time so
just little tidbits to get during the
day and i really or during some of the
weeks
i really like this yeah pretty cool
that’s a good uh nobody’s ever brought
that that recommended resource that’s a
good one i like that
and i think it a lot of people resonate
with it because i think a lot of people
are trying to get out of that rat race
and don’t really know how and this kind
of puts a little bit of a
concrete spin on you know here’s here’s
what you need to do if you want to
retire early
or if you just want to stop doing what
you are doing
as a job you know this is what you need
to do
and you know whether that’s making more
to get there or making more and spending
less to get there whatever you got to do
here’s what you got to do and it makes
it very simple so awesome resource
and the philosophy behind it too super
good okay uh
man this has been killer there’s so
i have like a full page and a half of
notes i’ve written down one two three
four five six seven quotes
from you uh my goodness i’m um so you’re
about to get quoted all over the place
uh just and obviously we’ve given
people a ton of homework there’s like
seven or eight
books here there’s a board game there’s
uh
the coin laundry’s there there’s a blog
with mr money mustache there’s facebook
groups people got to join
there’s a lot of things that you got to
do here but i want to just encourage
everybody
man there’s a lot i mean there’s a ton
to take home from this but but pick at
least one thing and actually do it
right if it’s buying one of the books
buy a book if it’s
getting on a facebook group get on a
facebook group whatever it is like
pick something there’s so much to pick
from um
from the things that can if it’s and and
maybe i might encourage you
actually to pick this one thing if
you’re not sure what to pick
send kent wales an email and just
ask him a question but if people do want
to ask you a question
what’s the best way they can get a hold
of you yeah so you can
you can email me at uh my work email
address kent kent
at happy hyphen laundry.com
so cool and i’ll put that in the show
notes too
we’re at happylaundry.com is our is our
business website address
um so is it happy hyphen
laundry dot com yeah yeah either one i
finally bought the dome i finally
i finally leveled up and bought the
domain name that was painful
uh somebody somebody was parking it huh
yeah yeah it was parked for a number of
years and when we did it
i think i think originally they wanted
like five grand for it and i’m like
i’m not spending five grand for the
domain name
eventually it came down to like uh
sixteen hundred bucks
so yeah eventually yeah sometimes you
gotta just pull the trigger
but five grand yeah that’s a little
steep
yeah so all right so if you’re gonna
pick something you know pick something
grab a book or whatever but also
shoot kent an email and thank him for
sharing all this wisdom ken thank you
for sharing everything that you’ve
shared here uh you know
shared a ton of resources but you just
i think even more importantly the way
that you
look at your business the way that you
approach your business the way that you
operate your business and the model
you’re setting for your employees
uh that is just i mean it comes through
as like
no wonder you’re doing as well as you’re
doing and and no wonder you’re going to
continue to grow because
i think you have that nailed i’m sure
you know like everybody there’s
there’s tons of growth to be had you
know we can always grow if you’re not
growing you’re dying
but yeah man i mean you’re you’re in a
good spot man and
very very inspiring episode and cannot
wait for everybody to hear this so thank
you again for coming on and agreeing to
spend your time doing this with us it’s
awesome
anytime thank you sir all right man well
we’ll have to have you back on
so we can get an update to see what you
end up doing with your
if you’re if you buy a build out and
build out a separate spot or what
i don’t know if you just keep trying to
kick your self-service customers out and
i don’t know man i’m kind of curious
what happens there so
nice all right man we’ll talk to you
again soon
all right i know that if you’ve made it
this far
you are smarter than you were before you
started this show
i just you know that was just such a
cool episode kent
amazing amazing stuff he’s got a really
cool business going
and it’s growing it’s man it’s just
really cool to
uh to get to talk to somebody like that
i feel super privileged and super
honored
every single week i encourage you pick
one thing that you want to put into
practice
one thing that you can implement action
right action paves the way to success so
pick one thing that you can put into
action no matter where you’re at in your
laundromat journey
and put it into practice this week for
me
the thing that really stood out to me
and this is something that i admittedly
have struggled with
uh from the get-go and what i one of the
things he said is this is a really small
little like minute detail that uh in the
grand scheme of things
uh just it was just a little blip in the
in the podcast
but it really uh stuck out to me and he
said that
he increases his prices two times per
year and for me increasing prices is
always like a sticky
subject for me i just i don’t know if
it’s i just don’t have the confidence to
just do it like some of these other
owners
are just like hey here’s the value that
i give
here’s the price i’m gonna charge
because it’s that valuable right and i
just i don’t know if i have a hard time
with that personally or what my issue is
i got some mental block or something
but i love that he just said hey two
times a year
i’m i’m analyzing my prices and i’m
looking to increase
somewhere uh two times a year and i like
having that
schedule almost to kind of keep me
accountable
for um keeping my prices where they
should be
so i’m definitely putting that into
practice i’m gonna put it in the
calendar
and because my calendar rules my life
and uh
and i’m gonna start implementing that so
whatever yours is i would love to hear
about it
man go drop a note in the forums and
talk about you know what you’re putting
into action over there i know that that
would inspire