Nikila Gibson is a serial entrepreneur who has started businesses from preschools to drop shipping to staffing agencies, and now runs a laundry pick-up and delivery business in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has started and grown her business from scratch using mostly word-of-mouth advertising and is growing at a rapid pace!
Nikila brings grit and determination, hard work, and hard-earned business savvy to her laundry business, and, in this episode, she shares how she’s done it and gives great advice to anyone else wanting to start or improve their pick-up and delivery business. And we have a lot of fun talking about it!
In this episode we talk about:
- Nikila’s entrepreneurship background
- Being a single mom and business owner
- How she got started in the laundry business
- Eco-friendly laundry services
- Pros and cons of a laundromat owner partnering with a fluff n fold operator
- Pickup and delivery without a location
- How Nikila’s customer flow works
- How Nikila gets customers
- Pickup and delivery as a tech and logistics company
And more! Be prepared to learn from a true entrepreneur!
Listen To The Podcast Here
Watch The Podcast Here
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Links from the show
- Laundromat Resource Forums
- Cash Flow Board Game
- Cash Flow Quadrant
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Entre Leadership
- The Richest Man in Babylon
- The Ideal Team Player
- Diligence Capital Investments
- Laundromat Investor Resources
- Join Laundromat Resource
- Laundromat Resource Forums
- Laundromat Resource Blog
- Be a guest on the podcast!
- Sell your laundromat
- Laundromat Resource Coaching
Connect with Nikila
Email: [email protected]
Social Media Links:
I am a serial entrepreneur, wife and homeschooling mother of 4. I currently own Lave Wash Laundry Delivery and Autumn Teaco Jewelry. I am also 3rd generation entrepreneur which is rare in the African-American community. I was born into entrepreneurship. When I was born my father was a manager for my grandfather’s business and my mother was a saleswoman. My grandfather at that time on the door to door multi use cleaner company. My father has owned multiple businesses since managing my grandfather’s. He now founded and manages a non profit. My mother went on to own her own child care business during my younger years.
I started my first business at the age of 24 as a single mother of two toddlers a few years after the start of the last economic crash. My first business was a preschool, that turned into a full time daycare, at that same time I used my early childhood education experience in studies to form a subscription service for early childhood education curriculum. I would sell these at events with my two young girls with me. After that I started to learn about wholesaling and I begin drop shipping and wholesaling jewelry to other small businesses. From that business, grew Autumn Teaco, the luxury charm and locket company, now instead of wholesaling we have our own charms designed that is strictly sold through our website only. I also tinkered in eBay and eventually I wanted to be able to focus more on my daughters, now having four, and their homeschooling so I started a employment service called novation staffing that turned into my first logistics business by the same name (I already owned the domain and built under it so I kept the name) logistics business we would run routes for small businesses. So we would set up a schedule where we will pick up their customer orders and deliver them to their customers. I would partner with other companies from time to time to learn more about the business. This is how I learned about Laundry Delivery. One of those companies went under and we continued to deliver for the laundry service in certain San Francisco neighborhoods. I never liked working in food, so we dropped the food companies after that company went under. Did that for a few months and then began Lave in the East Bay. As we were starting Lave, I say a laundromat advertising for wash n fold. The deal was we keep up the care of the laundromat, and we can run out business from it. The main goal of a laundromat owner is to get money into their machines. By partnering with us it stabilizes their income. We did that for less than a year but there were too many blurred lines with the two businesses under one roof so we branched out on our own. From there we partnered with many Laundromats from Solano county to Oakland but under different terms. We have our own separate employees and they have theirs.
Lave wash was started in 2017. There have been many services like ours that have started and failed, I study those so I can see how we can improve on those prior models. For one, we are100% self-funded. We don’t have to worry about pleasing investors. Our only goal is to provide the best experience to our clients. Also some of those are considered tech only companies. Although our main product is laundry, lave is actually a tech and logistics business. We implement technology into our day-to-day operations to make enhance the laundry delivery experience. We have a tracking app that alerts our clients when laundry is on the way and when laundry is delivered. Everything is automated and online for ease of use for the client. From scheduling to billing to notices when laundry is delivered everything is automated. We use technology in the running of logistics for our business and even with the intake and outtake. The goal is to continuously improve on customer experience through the implementation of technology while still providing a personalized service. On the logistics side, we are continuously seeking ways to streamline the process and make getting our product from point a to point b and back again.