Steve Marcionetti, President of Card Concepts, Inc (CCI) and multi-laundromat owner, joins me on the podcast this week to cover a HUGE range of laundromat-related wisdom. 

We center around the pros and cons of adding a card system into your laundromat as a payment alternative or replacement for the increasing number of coins required to operate laundry machines. Steve gives a ton of great advice on how to add value to your customers AND to your business through using a card payment system without drifting into a sales pitch.

This episode by a true veteran in the industry is packed with practical information, including:

  • Steve’s background in the laundromat industry
  • Changes he’s seen in the laundromat industry over the past 22 years
  • What draws investors to this industry
  • What changes are coming in the laundromat industry
  • What Steve thinks successful owners are doing better than average owners
  • The benefits of a card payment system
  • Things to consider when deciding to add a card payment system
  • Are card systems suitable for lower-income areas?
  • Effective promotions with card systems
  • How to add value to your customers
  • Getting referrals before you get into business or make a large business purchase
  • Is a card system too big of an expense for your laundromat?

And a ton more!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

Today's Sponsors

AtmosphereTV We’re brought to you today by my friends at AtmoshereTV! Now You may have heard my interview a few months back with Mike Kelly from AtmosphereTV where we talked about what a simple change in content on your TVs can do for your laundromat by getting depressing news stations OFF and something much more fun, entertaining, and family-friendly ON.  Since then, Atmosphere has grown to 50+ channels included in their service with everything from Surfing Dogs to Extreme sports, hilarious fails, and jaw-dropping videos from all over the world built specifically for business use. Atmosphere can be used to supplement your cable or you can completely cut your expensive cable bill and use Atmosphere 100% FREE saving thousands a year! Use my code RESOURCE when you check out or click the link or image to have your setup fee waived or contact [email protected]Atmosphere.tv for more information!

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. 

Steve's Bio

Family owned and operated, Card Concepts, Inc. was born from over 40 years of experience in the vended laundry industry. The company was founded in 2000 with the aim of providing innovative and reliable payment products, making strong use of redundant systems to protect our customer’s interests.  Steve Marcionetti started the business with his father Dion and brother Andy and has built a distribution network of over 200 resellers that now serve over 2000 CCI locations.  The Marcionetti family also own an operate a small chain of Laundromats in the Chicagoland area as well as run a laundromat equipment distributor.

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Episode Transcript

hey hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with
the laundromat resource
podcast this is show number 58
and i’m super pumped you’re here today
because today we’re talking
with steve marcinetti who is the
president
of cci which is card concepts inc
and they’re the makers of fast card
laundry card
you are maybe familiar with some of
these card payment systems
and we have an awesome interview because
not only is he the president of cci but
he also owns laundromats himself
and so we get to talk a little bit about
those laundromats we get to talk a
little bit about car
payment systems how they can be
beneficial
when you should consider getting one who
shouldn’t consider getting one and a
whole lot more
in this episode a lot a lot a lot of
really great tips i took a lot of notes
i wrote down a bunch of quotes and i
just had a blast getting to talk with
steve
and i learned a ton i know you will too
and i cannot wait to get into it
uh but real quick i want to just mention
that the forums are still going
super strong so if you haven’t been over
there in a little bit go check out the
forums laundromat resource.com
forums that link and all other links
that will be discussed today will be
available
on the show notes which will be at
laundromat resource dot com
show 58 show five eight and also if
you’re on youtube it’ll be down in the
descriptions
all right uh man i’m super pumped about
this interview with steve
really really honored to have him on and
uh can’t wait for you to hear
this interview with him i know you’re
gonna get a lot out of it so make sure
you got something to write
with uh because you might want to take
some notes unless you’re
driving or exercising quick side note
a lot of you guys have told me that you
listen to this
podcast while exercising you know riding
bikes going on jogs
and lifting and just i know i’ve
mentioned this before but
man go get it today man do that extra
rep
that’s what i like to hear all right i
just felt like i should just
pump you up a little bit uh all right
well after this
quick message we’re gonna jump into it
with steve marcenetti president of cci
card concepts inc all right guys today’s
episode is brought to you by
atmosphere tv you may remember back in
episode 34
when atmosphere tv’s mike kelly joined
me on the podcast it was an
epic epic episode if you haven’t
listened to it show
34 lawnmowers.com show 34 go check it
out it’s incredible a ton of value there
one of the things we talked about is
just the importance of
creating a good positive atmosphere in
your laundromat
and i was just rereading the book by
simon sinek start with why
and one of the things that really stands
out to me is that people
don’t make purchase decisions based on
you know the logic of you know any
decision that they’re making to spend
their money it’s more based on a feeling
and an association
and so it’s really important to
create a positive feeling a positive
atmosphere
no pun intended uh and you’re a
laundromat to help people associate
this chore that most people don’t like
doing with something
positive atmosphere tv is an incredible
way to help improve the atmosphere of
your laundromat
and basically if you haven’t heard of it
what it is is it has
50 plus channels created specifically
for businesses with
everything from sports clips hilarious
fail videos draw dropping videos from
all over the world
there’s automobile channels there’s a
ton of stuff my kids
love love love it and my customers love
it atmosphere tv could be a great way to
either supplement your cable
or a lot of us laundromat owners are
cutting our cable bill
completely and running atmosphere tv
they’re designed to be used
with no audio but they also do have an
audio option that way you can kind of
design the atmosphere of your laundromat
the way that you want it so get rid of
cable get rid of those news channels
that are bringing negativity into your
laundromat and fill your
laundromat with positive videos that
bring positive vibes to your
customers with atmosphere tv and if you
use the code word the keyword the
promo code i don’t know resource promo
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and now everything is going to be free
there’s no monthly fee for it
you can use it for free in your
laundromat and it’s going to bring a
positive vibe to your
atmosphere so check out atmosphere.tv
i’ll put a link down in the description
on youtube or in the show notes
check it out there make sure you use the
keyword resource that way you can get
that thing for free
and or if you’d like email mike
mike.kelly
atmosphere.tv all right let’s jump into
it with steve
steve thank you so much for coming on
the show i’m super excited to hear
your uh what like 30 years of wisdom
that’s coming our way right now
in this industry thanks for coming on
man how are you
i’m doing good but i don’t know if i
feel as good anymore because it’s not
been quite 30 years but if i look that
old then
uh it looks like it’s time to touch this
white stuff up
[Laughter]
not at all not at all well i’m super
excited to have you on
um and just hear your wisdom from this
industry i know you’re coming from a
a pretty unique perspective we haven’t
heard from yet on the podcast so i’m
excited
but before we jump into that why don’t
you tell people who you are and how many
years you do
have in this industry sure well thanks
sure i appreciate uh
including us and this is uh uh
interesting times and
it’s interesting it’s great to
communicate this way so yeah i’m steve
marcinetti i’m the president
of cci card concepts for those who don’t
know what that stands for
you know we’re we’re a payment systems
manufacturer we like to think ourselves
think of ourselves a little more than
that um
but i’ve been in the industry for 22
years so not quite 30 yet but
working my way there but cci’s been
around for 21 of those years
um and yeah we come from an interesting
um you perspective i guess and that’s
something that kind of sets
um sets me apart i guess a little bit
from some of others is that
we are store owners that my family has
been in the
laundromat business for 50 years
certainly before i was involved in it
but we own stores in the chicagoland
area as a family
um and manage those uh we also have a
distribution business
so you know those who buy laundry
equipment um
are familiar with the distribution model
we we have a distribution
company that runs locally here and
services this area and then
in 2000 uh we saw essentially an
opportunity
in the payments area this is obviously a
long time ago people weren’t quite
thinking about alternative payments as
as much as they are today and um
so you know my background prior to
getting in the laundry business was in
more of an i.t background
and as a as a family that was installing
building stores for investors as a
distributor
we um we were essentially selling
other payment systems there were other
payment systems on the market
um and we just saw an opportunity my
background in i.t i saw
it seem like there was something missing
uh primarily it was reliability and
support some of the things that kind of
give a lot of opportunity out there and
we decided to
to look at building our own products and
so that started cci
and got us into the manufacturing side
of business so
you know fast forward like i said 21
years and over 2000 locations
with our product it must be working
we’re still
we’re still putting them out there um
but that’s it so you know it’s kind of
nice because people who buy our products
they typically see
can tell that it came from a laundry
operator because pretty much everything
that we do
is tested in our own laundries before we
ship it out to anybody else so
you know having uh the distribution
experience the store owner um
experience um and then obviously the
manufacturing side
um just kind of rounds us out we pretty
much part
we’re a big big proponent to the cla and
it’s difficult to choose what category
i’m in i’m on the board of directors now
actually i’m in my sixth year
on the national board of directors i am
in as a manufacturer but
in all fairness i could probably go in
in any any category
yeah so okay how many years have you
owned
laundromats um um so
you know the family my my father has
owned
laundry for years uh prior then it was a
bit of a gap
um and then we have now owned as a
family
owned stores for about 10 years okay
um i think that’s uh the oldest one is
about that
um and we’re still uh you know uh
investing in new locations and things
we’re not super aggressive about it it’s
got to be the right spot just like
anybody
um but we’re confident we really i
really love this industry frankly it’s
provided my
myself and my family you know every
opportunity that we could think of and
so you know it’s um
uh you know we believe in it you know
we’re willing to invest in it and
not not just ask people to buy our
products but we’re willing to
invest in it as well so yeah
well how many years have you been in
distribution
uh 21 years 22 years yeah okay
so yeah i mean here’s here’s the reality
of the situation that i undersold your
experience
if we’re going to add these oh okay i
mean you’re talking like
50 years of experience yeah if you count
i don’t know i don’t know it get time
served if you kind of just add it all on
yeah i guess
i guess it really really starts that’s
my mistake i
under undersold your experience here the
wisdom we’re about to receive from you
yeah that’s
very cool that you i mean you’re you’re
like all
all up in everything from you know
distribution to the tech side of things
with your
with the payment system to owner
operator side
of things on the cla board i mean you’re
you’re you’re in the thick of it you’re
in i’m in i i went in both feet in
and you know i love it i do i do like it
a lot and it’s um
you know it’s actually it’s exciting for
my family i’ve got a couple
of of kids and my son’s in college now
and he sees
a future there and you know and
typically you know young people
i mean maybe this is my perspective they
don’t look at the laundry business as
being real exciting you know what i mean
it’s not the industry that’s real sexy
that people
in college want to go in but he sees it
differently he sees
um how well you can do if you work hard
and this is an industry that certainly
has a good return if you work hard and
you do things right
um and so that’s a great it’s a great
role model for for young people that
want to get interested and i
i find it exciting because we need more
young people frankly to get involved
this year there’s a lot of
um there’s a lot of people been doing a
lot of years
me included i’m not ready to let go yet
but um
uh but we need young people to get
involved because this injuries isn’t
going anywhere we’re going to be
needing to wash clothes for a long time
that’s right yeah
yeah well and that’s that’s interesting
because
you know just as i was hearing you talk
about your
your experience your nearly 50 years of
collective experience
no but your your experience and you know
as you were saying
i think people weren’t thinking about
payment systems the same way when
you know when you kind of started 21
years ago or whatever
um and you know and then and then saying
hey we need more new people
you know coming into this industry
bringing fresh perspective so i’m
curious as to
you know what changes have you seen
you know in the industry over these
years you know the last 20
so years uh that you’ve been in here um
because i’m sure there’s been
quite a few changes and then just to
prep your mind
yeah i want to ask you what changes you
see coming down the pipeline but yeah
let’s talk about
let’s talk about the past sure um
you know we’ve seen a lot and i guess to
put in a perspective of
of our of our payment side something
that’s been interesting
um is you know 20 years ago people
didn’t really know much about
alternative payment and so we were
we were continually struggling with just
helping
getting people to accept the idea that
you didn’t have to accept only quarters
or or to potentially think about
eliminating quarters
and so i think the one thing that’s been
good and bad for us over the last 20
years is there’s been a lot more
exposure
there’s a lot more options now that
hasn’t haven’t always been there
and so now people aren’t necessarily
asking
you know they’re questioning whether
they should eliminate coin it’s more
about
there’s a lot more legitimacy into
considering how to run your business
differently
and we’re not here to tell you that
coins are the wrong way you know we have
you know we we run coins in one of our
stores and you know it’s
it’s um there’s a lot of different ways
there’s a lot of things you have to
think about when you’re thinking about
payment
but people are way more um
willing to consider uh
something different than quarters alone
certainly and and many of them are
looking to eliminate coins and there’s a
lot of there’s a lot of benefits to that
but
um so i think just over the years just a
better mindset
on it um yeah i mean i think for
from our um from that perspective for
sure i think
from a store ownership perspective i’ve
noticed
you know early on it seemed like you
know from our distribution side
it seemed like we were building stores
for the same guys that have owned stores
forever and they were building adding
another location and they were there
and they’re great people and operators
but what i’ve seen
is particularly as the years have gone
on is a new generation of owner operator
investor i’m
actually going to call them investor now
not not even as much owner operator
although they need to be but they’re
willing to invest in an industry that
has a lot of stability
you know i think a great example and you
know we’re all coming out of we hope
coming out of this pandemic
um and um just
the stability that i think laundries
were able to kind of
maintain their business you know
obviously we had some struggles in some
points but in some areas
more than others but it’s opened the
eyes up to people who are looking for a
way to invest
money and laundromats is a way that’s
attractive so
you know it’s it’s opened up um more
people to consider
our industry as a viable way to
diversify
their you know their their funds and i
think that’s that’s good because
those investors come with fresh eyes and
fresh minds and they want to do things
that
are right by the customer and they have
new perspectives
i think all of us that have been doing
this for a long time
um we can all get in our own habits you
know we get into ruts and we don’t see
the forest through the trees or the
trees through the forest and
um you know it takes fresh minds to kind
of wake us up a little bit
and uh make sure that we’re not uh
forgetting about what’s important and
trying new things so
i’ve seen a lot of things being tried
just from fresh
eyes being there and so that’s exciting
that’s exciting
yeah i mean i i think you’re right on
about that and it’s kind of i mean one
of the coolest things for me
just personally and selfishly is doing
this podcast is hearing
you know and i’ve said this multiple
times in the past but like
this is a very simple business right but
there
are so many different ways that people
are running this business
and you know successfully uh that
it it’s very surprising to me right and
so we had
um a guy tom donnelly on a few episodes
ago
and he lived out here in california he
partnered with another investor
and they bought a laundromat in atlanta
or outside of atlanta
sight unseen he’s never seen it and you
know
and that’s just a you know crazy way to
do and
possibility yeah thomas landenberger who
lives in
you know the italian countryside and he
owns
some laundromats in italy but he also
owns laundromats in florida
right and so it’s kind of there’s
a whole lot of different ways you know
there’s people who are succeeding
like the willafords who own a thousand
million
uh you know laundromats but they’re all
self-serve laundromats right and then
there’s guys like rick rome who shut
down himself serve laundromat to do only
pick up and deliver and there’s just
there’s so much variety and so many
different ways of doing this that
i think it you know hearing about that
for me at least has really opened my
eyes to okay
how do i want to run my business because
i when i got in this industry
i thought okay well it’s going to be a
self-serve business i didn’t even think
that because that’s just what i assumed
right and it’s going to be i’m going to
put new equipment in there i’m going to
keep things clean
and the machine’s running and it’s going
to be good to go right and that is a way
to run the business
but it’s not the only way by any means
so it’s yeah
that fresh eyes is it it’s interesting
you say that because
you know i’m almost embarrassed to admit
this but in some of the stores we own
there’s one location that we’ve owned
for
close to 10 years i’ve never been there
that’s awesome now i know i know what it
looks like because you know you have the
the camera systems and we have the the
payment side so i’m very aware of its
business and what it does but
you know there is a way to build a model
where you know you can remotely operate
i guess that’s really the
the interesting part and certainly some
of the technology helps with that you
know um
in aiding and that but yeah it’s
possible it is and we’re seeing we’re
seeing a lot of that so
we’ll see it opens up opportunities for
people who never thought this industry
was for them
yeah and i think technology like you
know like yours this the
you know the payment systems like that
allow for a lot of those new
opportunities and and kind of they don’t
force owners to think about that but if
you don’t start thinking about
some of those things you’re at risk of
getting left
behind you know right with with the
industry because
the industry has been like molasses
changing for a long time and now yeah
more recently
the pace has been picking up a lot more
and we’re we’re playing catch-up in a
lot of ways to the rest of society but
it’s
we’re playing catch-up a lot quicker
than in the past
yeah and i think i think part of it is
um
to add on to that you asked about what
changes do you see coming
and it’s already started is that there’s
so much more confidence i think in our
industry that it’s
allowing people who are interested
investing a lot more than they might
have considered before
you’re seeing a lot of acquisitions uh
of distribution
businesses you’re seeing franchises and
come out of the you know come out from
everywhere you know and
and and you know whether you have an
opinion whether you like the
acquisitions
you know happening or you like all these
franchise you know deals coming out
what it should tell you as an investor
is just the legitimacy
of this industry and that it’s stable
not going anywhere
and people with um with real money are
willing to invest in it
and and it’s not going anywhere so you
know i
that’s where i see that i see that
happening more i think we’re going to
see more and more of that going on
um i i don’t have a strong opinion
whether it’s good or bad or interesting
i just think it’s gonna change
i think it’s a way that all of us do
business is gonna change a bit
um and as you said you either have to be
willing to make those changes
and adapt or you might get left behind
and so
people are going to have to make
decisions um but at the end of the day
people still have to do laundry and as
long as they still have to do laundry
we’re all going to still have an
opportunity in this business
yep i yeah that is right that is right
on and i love
you know i i love that you say you don’t
have an opinion good or bad
i kind of think that’s a fruitless
opinion to create in a lot of ways
because
you know it’s like trying to stop a
train you’re just right you’re just
not gonna be able to stop it so you
might as well
get on board one way or another or
figure out how to work with that
or within those the new changes because
they’re coming right right happening now
yeah in
and you know i mean listen it’s going to
be
one of these deals where like you said
you can’t stop it
and if you even if you and usually the
reason why you would want to stop it is
because you’re in one of your ruts
probably
you know i talked about we doing this a
long time and i’m i’m certainly guilty
of it i’ve been doing things a long
a long time the same way and it forces
us all to rethink what we’re doing and
this is just another example of us
kind of being forced to rethink what’s
happening yeah
yeah i think that is right on and
it’s hard too i mean when you’ve been
doing things like i’m empathetic to that
right you’ve been doing things a long
way it’s been working really well
and all of a sudden you know things are
changing
and you’ve been pretty comfortable for a
while and it gets uncomfortable when
things change and you have to adapt and
so
i’m empathetic with that but at the same
time if you don’t
then you do risk getting left behind so
yeah yeah for sure
yeah uh any other changes you see coming
down the pipeline
for our industry oh gosh we could
probably um
talk about a lot of them but no i think
you know that that
you know all of it ties into that to
some degree you know
i think it all you know when you talk
about larger players being
interested in distribution we talk about
larger players wanting to distribute
laundromats literally become franchise
ores
you know then you’re going to see lots
of changes from the operational
perspective
you know again it’s it’s probably cliche
at this point but this the the full
service side of business
um is really amazing to me it’s actually
quite foreign um we’ve always
as a as a family and a business been
quite focused on the self-service side
of things i think you alluded to that
you know
early on too and we are we are good
self-service operators
um and we’re just average to less than
average
full-service providers but we know it’s
an opportunity too and again some of it
is bandwidth you know if you’re willing
to put the effort into
it then you can make something have of
it and to some degree we have to
have to make time if we want that to be
a part of it but there’s an attractive
nature to the self-service industry that
that i like because i we have we are so
busy that those stores can run
in a self-service mode without us having
to to
be there every moment you know not that
we don’t have a presence there
but um the full service side of things
is a different
it’s like to me it’s like almost like
opening up a dry cleaner you know where
you’ve got to be really focused on the
customer and there’s a quality concern
and
there’s complaints and there’s loss and
things like that that
are very profitable if you decide to get
into that but you have to be willing to
put that energy into it and so i think
we’re going to see more and more
of that happening i think we’re becoming
a society that
likes things done for us and we’re
willing to pay for it and so i don’t see
that changing
but i but at the same time i don’t i’m
not i’m not um
i’m not bearish on the idea that
self-service laundries are going
anywhere either i think that there’s
going to be lots of people who
want to do it themselves whether it’s
they can’t afford it or they just want
other people
touching their stuff and i think that
there’s a lot of that still in that it’s
okay
you know i don’t think i could convince
my wife
to drop off our laundry somewhere else
not because she loves doing laundry
but she cares about her stuff very you
know in a way that would be very
difficult i think for a retailer to
to sell her on the idea that it would be
cared for in the same way she
would do it and it’s not a not a down
play on any laundry operator it’s just
mentality but as the yeah and as the
younger
group gets older and they have the money
to afford that you know like my son you
certainly couldn’t afford to do that
today but you know as he gets older he
may
he probably thinks very differently
about that than than than others so
it’ll be interesting to see that play
out and obviously there’s tons of
providers and
um you know trying to trying to show how
to run that side of your business so um
it’s again should be
it should be something exciting for
self-service owners as well because
that’s a profit opportunity if you so
choose to go at it
you can take advantage of yeah
absolutely and i think
you know i think not only do we need to
look at what’s going on in our industry
but i think we need to look at what’s
going on in
society as a whole you know and you know
that the outsourcing
culture is i think only going to grow so
like you’re saying the
the full service side of things is
definitely an opportunity for growth and
a lot of that has to do with
one laundry is like the worst thing in
the world to do
uh for a lot of people and but two you
know
people are buying time and convenience
uh back with their money and yep that’s
you know that’s going on all over the
place now from you know doordash and
ubereats and you know and also the
the gig culture could provide
opportunities for people
like we’ve had a couple people on um on
the podcast
uh nikila and mark vlaskamp who both
started pickup and delivery businesses
before they neither one of them still
has a laundromat
sure mark’s mark’s buying some
laundromats now but
um you know kind of doing it backwards
and that’s sort of part of that gig
culture
where you don’t necessarily even have to
have a laundromat to start a laundry
service business yeah so uh yeah so
there’s
again a lot of opportunities and if you
have your eye on culture and where
it’s going and how people are thinking
and more importantly how people are
behaving
and you can tap into that then there’s a
lot of opportunity there
so yep totally agree well okay
so i mean let’s go back to all of your
vast many many decades of experience
uh collectively uh let’s
i’m curious and especially i guess from
your
your payment system side of things and
maybe the distribution side of things
and maybe even the the cla side of
things what are you seeing
successful owners do that
you know maybe struggling owners or
maybe just your run-of-the-mill
owners are are doing what are successful
owners doing
differently or better yeah i think
you know and it’s it’s gonna probably
sound a little um a little simple but
it’s not forget about the core customer
you know and um we talk about some of
those habits
that we get ourselves caught into you
know i think
it’s one of the reasons you know some of
some of the habits that are out there
have attributed to to some degree our
industry not always getting the best
reputation and i think we’re all working
hard and this is a good example of
trying to elevate
all of that and i know a lot of the
people that you have on your show
talk about trying to elevate our
industry you know and just try to get a
better
you know um get some of the stigma
associated with it and
some of those habits are the reasons why
um some operators struggle and i think
some of it is not having the right
concern for the customer
the guy that actually puts coins in the
machine or swipes her card at the
at the on the card reader or whatever it
is and realizing that without him
nothing matters and without him there
without him being happy without him
coming back
every week that family doesn’t show up
every saturday morning
none of this works and so whatever you
can do
to make sure that that customer is happy
has got to be looked at and it’s simple
things i mean think about it really
you know most people just want to be
left alone when they go do laundry and
so one let’s not get in the way of that
and i think that to some degree we can
easily get in the way of that by
having lots of rules and having lots of
things going on the store and directing
them to things let them do their laundry
the way they want to
and i think that operators that have
kind of embraced the idea of that
they do very well one of the things that
i would say if i had an opinion again
this is
i’m thinking way ahead of the game is
that we have a lot of these
you know franchise groups that are
coming in and operating and and they all
i think have very good intentions and
and likely have good operational
um ideas but the root of that’s going to
have to come back to the customer
and if you can’t execute on the customer
they’re going to struggle just like it
doesn’t matter because it says
you know you know steve’s superwash
laundry and they they own 20 locations
if if it’s a terrible experience inside
the store or it’s not convenient
then it doesn’t matter and so you know
people always call laundromats kind of a
mom-and-pop
business you know it’s always kind of
had that mentality
and the reason why is because mom and
pops could have done a really nice job
because they greeted their customers
they got to know them a little bit they
cleaned
incessantly um and at the bottom at the
end of the day we can do a lot of fancy
things but if we don’t
remember those core values of
um you know cleanliness is what we hear
all about um
you know value certainly is an important
part of that value doesn’t always mean
less price um yeah and then
and just being convenient we’re a
convenient business i think you
mentioned that already and if we forget
that we’re a convenient
we’re all about convenience um we’re
going to struggle
and i think that goes right into the
owners that are there they aren’t
they aren’t thinking along those lines
um as much as they
and the good news is that generally they
can change you know that’s not
something you have to you don’t you know
that’s not something you actively choose
sometimes you don’t
know that you’re doing that so i think
paying attention you know i think that’s
really what it comes down to and not
being afraid to
give a free wash once in a while because
it’s the right thing to do when you see
a family in there and you see them in
there every week and you’re like you
know what this one’s on me
you guys are great love to see you how
the kids all that stuff
there’s that personal element that think
about how many retail businesses don’t
have that anymore you know because we’ve
become big box type things and um you
know um
so i think that’s the difference between
successful owners and not successful
owners
yeah and i love that because laundromats
really have an opportunity to be a
community gathering place so
where better to have that great kind of
personal
feel that personal touch that care and
concern
than a community gathering place that’s
that’s also your business
right like a place where people go to do
something that
most people feel at least at the very
least is not their favorite thing in the
world to do
right at the worst they hate it right
and
but if you can come and make it feel
like okay well i gotta go do my laundry
but at least i’ll go get to see steve
or steve’s attendant who’s gonna greet
me with a smile or we can talk about
my kids i know they’re gonna ask about
my kid or whatever the case may be
right make it a little more of a just a
better experience for your customers and
i love
you know what you’re saying is you know
putting the custom i wrote down
a couple of quotes that will probably
pop up on instagram or something at some
point in time uh
but i mean you said without the guy who
puts the quarter in your machines our
business doesn’t work
right and he said you can’t execute on a
customer’s
like needs and and you know
and wants then you’re gonna struggle as
a business owner
and i think right on the head and it’s
really easy to
get focused on wanting to you know
[Music]
keep things status quo not have to put a
ton of effort in
and and just let things coast right and
you can to an extent
but if you do that too much or too long
you’ll start to see a drop
off in your business because you know
that personal touch
it helps it goes a long way so sure sure
awesome uh awesome advice for to help
people
you know be successful owners and not
just average not just
you know struggling um okay well let me
shift
a little bit um
i mean i want to talk a little bit about
card payment systems
and um just i mean what are
you know from your obviously we’re gonna
we’ll just acknowledge it you have a
biased perspective
but what are your uh what would you
what would you say to a coin owner what
are the benefits of putting in
a card payment system into your store
sure sure you know
and and you know obviously we i am
biased and i think we have a great
solution but
but the reality is is that um
there’s a benefit to to at least
supplementing coin you know and i think
there’s two ways to look at it nowadays
there are really two solutions out there
um you can eliminate coin and there’s a
whole bunch of
benefits there and and some people think
well they’re very owner focused
um and not customer focused i somewhat
disagree with that but then there’s the
other solution which is a hybrid which
is
keep taking coins but also offer
everything right and so i i kind of have
to take a
take a step back and make sure that we
look at both products uniquely
real quick solutions yeah not sorry to
interrupt you but
i i always say hey if you’re going to go
the hybrid system
put in a hybrid system and then
incentivize the card system
sure because not only is that going to
be
better for you and easier to run your
business
but there’s a lot of perks you can do
for customers with the card system that
you either can’t do or are very
difficult and cumbersome to do with a
coin
payment system so and you would be
surprised too
because i think that the biggest you
know argument that
you know a store owner makes about going
coinless is
that he feels he’s going to alienate
some of his customers you know and
nobody nobody’s afraid nobody has to
lose any customers and we don’t either i
mean we know we we’re an operator we
certainly aren’t interested in that
either but
you know i can tell you from firsthand
experience we have a store it’s close to
our our office here
that’s a hybrid store it’s calling in
card and that store
is 80 card i mean and and that’s not
the customers elect that eighty percent
of the transactions in that store are
gonna be card
and and in truth i would imagine that
the
the twenty percent remaining or majority
of that twenty percent remaining
would go to card if we just gave them a
little more reason to
but they elect to go that route so you
know the argument that says that it’s
only owner benefiting you know the card
side of it is that true
you know you know think about how big
laundry equipment has gotten
just in in the i mean the 20 years i’ve
gotten here i mean
we have 130 pound machines in some of
these stores now i mean what is that
vent for 19
20 a cycle i mean how do you put
quarters in that that’s not even
that’s not even an option you know
that’s not you can’t even do it
you know it would take you 10 minutes to
start the machine that way so
you know and of course there’s dollar
coin options and tokens there’s all
kinds of things that people can do
but but the reality is there’s a there’s
a we talk about just being a convenience
business
how convenient is it to just be able to
swipe your card
whether it’s a loyalty card or a credit
or debit card that’s convenient i mean
that
i would argue that’s even more
convenient than putting coins in a
machine that’s even five dollars
so you know we can’t forget that you
know and um and that is one of the
benefits is it’s not
just store owner benefit because
obviously you don’t have to collect the
coins that’s great you know there’s less
coins to co
to collect or no coins to collect
depending on the solution but
customers don’t necessarily love
carrying quarters around or leaving with
three or four dollars in quarters that
they’re gonna save for next week or
find another way to to get to them so
you know the coin side of things
are um there i think it’s there’s equal
benefit on both sides
beyond that i think you know the
benefits start to come into really more
from a business sense
and you think about every other business
or retail place you go to
i don’t care if if it’s at walmart or
sam’s club or whatever
nobody charges an event price
whether you’re selling a pack of gum or
a couch that ends in zero or 25
you know and uh and the fact that we are
so
we have historically been so connected
to the quarter has really
limited our ability to um to get a fair
venn price for our machines and to
really adjust with
the changing of the of our utilities i
mean
i you know my dad taught us taught me a
long time my brother and
and i that we’re a utility business i’m
sure you’ve heard this before
laundromats are often referred to as
utility businesses but unfortunately you
know we can’t buy gas water and
electricity
at a rate that’s never going to change
it’s going to change always you know
here in chicago we’ve got
lots of water available to us and our
water has historically been
fairly easy to get in and inexpensive or
relatively
but that’s changing in a hurry you know
that they’re really spiking that
how do you adjust a quarter machine
to appropriately adjust for a five
percent increase
in something or an eight percent
increase
and and to a lot of degrees i think that
some of the
you know the poor stigma that we have in
our industry
comes from store owners that have been
unwilling to make vend price adjustments
because as their costs have increased
you know
one of the things that store owners have
been lacking doing is increasing their
vend prices just historically not
everybody but
if you don’t do that then you can’t do
the things that are right by your
customer which are keep it clean
keep it operating you know do all the
things that we talked about before
because you’re not charging enough you
got in this business because it made a
nice return and it was a fair return it
was all fair
and now all of a sudden your costs have
gone up your profits have gone down and
you start to have a negative feeling
about our industry
and things start to slip and then you
know years go by and all of a sudden you
have
what’s the term now zombie mad right so
now we end up with a zombie map because
we didn’t take care of it
and i think um card systems can play a
big role in offsetting that because if
you can adjust your vend price by five
percent three percent eight percent to
adjust for those changes
um you’re making the margin that’s
appropriate and quite frankly
your customers are accustomed to changes
in price
and you know the the the story that i
say all the time or the
you know that i that i make for people
to try to prove this point is that you
go to a grocery store and buy a gallon
of milk
i could go and buy that milk for three
bucks this week
and i put up my cart and i drive off and
i come back next week and that milk’s 3
15.
just in one week’s period i don’t think
twice i still
grab the milk i put it in my cart and i
say yeah you know i know things go up
and down we drive up and down gas
stations all the time and they change
every day
the price of gas changes right it’s not
because the gas in that
tank or in the in the ground is more
expensive it’s just
it everything goes up and down in price
you know and so what some laundry owners
will do is that they’ll read they’ll say
well i’ll just reduce the service dryers
are the easiest way to do that they’ll
cut a
they’ll cut the time you know they’ll
reduce the temperature or in a washer
they’ll drop
a cycle you know they’ll drop a rinse or
something you know
instead of raising the price and i would
argue that well if i went to the grocery
and i bought that gallon of milk and it
was only full
75 of the weight it was still three
dollars i would not buy that milk i
would go find a full gallon of milk
you know and um so the idea that you
know that
that retail customers won’t adjust to an
appropriate fair event price adjustment
because our costs change
is not realistic they do it every day
they buy that way or they understand
that
and you know having a payment system in
place gives you that
that capability and it’s really
important to keep that in mind
yeah that’s a pretty compelling argument
because
i mean i hear all the time and i feel
this myself too right like
the price the price uh
increases that you have to make in order
to kind of
adjust for the cost i mean it it can be
difficult to make
those adjustments you know especially
over time you know if you have to
you know raise your prices by you know
50 cents or
a dollar or whatever that just it feels
uncomfortable to do that whereas if you
can
if you can make you know 10 or 15
increases
a few times throughout the year that
feels a lot more manageable both
probably to the owner a little more
comfortable
and also to the customers as they kind
of adjust with you so i like that
you know the perspective is also changes
as well and that kind of ties perfectly
into what you just said is this kind of
comfort level
and laundry is a lot about perspective
um you know it’s convenience and
customers perspective because you know
we all talk about
uh my 40 pound washers are doing this
and my 50s are doing that but do you
think any of our customers know what a
40-pound washer is or
they have no idea they stick their head
in the tub
and they’re like my stuff will fit in
there and it seems like that’s worth
three dollars or whatever the vend is
right right
and you know when we when you raise the
price in a quarter store
from let’s say four dollars to 450 you
know i would i would imagine most of
them are not
counting the price they’re counting the
coins
and so when they get to that you know
normally it’s you know 27 quarters to
start this machine all of a sudden it’s
30 quarters to start this machine
that there’s a perception that this got
expensive that this is more money
but you know card systems help kind of
mitigate that perspective because it was
the same push-pull of a card or the same
swipe of the card last week is this week
but it was eight cents more this week
and the net effect you know
if the cycles were all eight cents more
that that customer might have paid
80 cents more for their laundry that
week and i don’t think that we would
have
a lot of argument from our customers if
because our prices change by 80 cents
one week that they would
give us a hard time and i think it’s all
about perspective yeah
that’s the other benefit yeah you know
that makes a good point and you can just
learn a lesson from chuck e cheese
because we used to go to chuck e cheese
all the time and give our kids
a few coins and it would last like a
long time because
there’s a little bit of reluctance to
put that core in because once it’s in
there it’s gone
but they switched to the cards yeah and
now
that card gets drained real quick so we
stopped checking the cheese so much man
it got expensive
um so learn lesson from chuck e cheese
and make it easy
again i mean kind of going back to the
convenience but also the perception i
think that’s
i think that’s pretty compelling um
you mentioned earlier and i wrote this
down to ask you and i didn’t want to
forget
you mentioned earlier that you know
there’s
certain things to consider when
regarding whether you should
add a pa like a card payment system to
your store or not it may be
a good fit may not be a good fit i’m
just curious do you have some things
that you feel like owners should
consider when they’re considering
adding a payment you know system card
payment system to their store because
they’re
typically not cheap right to add so it
is an investment that you’re making in
your store so how do you know
whether that’s a good thing or not to do
sure i think you know to be fair and
if you have a store that’s struggling i
am not going to hear and tell you that a
card system is going to fix that you
know that
a good store is a good store you know a
bad store is likely a bad store it
doesn’t mean that you can’t do things to
make improvements but
a card system isn’t singularly going to
change your world
um now at least uh from from a
perspective is it a good story a bad
storm i’ve certainly seen people whose
worlds have changed because they put a
payment system in
and it’s made their lives easier you
know particularly multi-store operators
they’re like
i can’t collect any more coins i’m
chasing like crazy and they you know
this
just gives them their life back and i
think you know there’s something to be
said for that
but you know is it a fit for everybody
it’s not a fit for everybody
i would say that before there were
hybrid systems you know the systems now
that can allow you to take credit card
right out the machine
you know we used to say that if you’re
in a in a real transient like vacation
type area where you know your customers
are a lot of vacationers and they’re
only there for a short time you might
struggle with
trying to convince them they had to buy
a card you know they only can do laundry
there for two weeks and they’re going
home you know
um but since we’re starting to take
credit cards directly machine that
actually is almost better for them
because they don’t need to go look for
quarters or they go to the change
machine they can just
they’re using their credit card for
anything and every anyway we go that
route
anyway so i think it really comes down
to looking at the demographic a bit
um you know again because i’m biased i
think there’s most places can do it
i think where it doesn’t work is when
the store owner just
can’t get their mind off of the fact
that there’s no quarters anymore
and usually there has to be a problem
with their
business model uh and there’s no gentle
way to say this but
you know people love our business
because it’s a cash business and
uh there’s a bit of eyes that people
feel that a card system
adds to their business that they may not
be looking for
i argue that’s not necessarily true
nobody knows what you how you run your
business you know when i file my taxes
i don’t give them a list of all the
hardware that i use to keep track of my
books i just submit my taxes you know
like anyone else and i think that’s the
same is true with this but
you know it’s not a good fit for those
operators i think that just
um can’t see the value in that and
and that’s okay because um you know
they’ll it’ll either come around or that
store will flip
and uh there’ll be other opportunities
there but i think you know you have to
you have to think about vacation spots
and things like that
um demographically um
uh you know i’ve seen it work everywhere
but you know
we’ve gotten to the point now where
there are so many options available if
you can’t find one that fits it’s just
you’re not ready and
you know being a salesman for a long
time you learn that you can’t really
sell anybody anything they’ve got to
want to buy it you’re just trying to get
them to look at
what you’re doing and show them the
value that you bring to the table so
if they’re not ready then that store’s
not ready to go card
yeah i mean i think that’s really good
input let me ask you specifically
because i get this question a lot
what about in lower income areas
uh i think there’s some concern about
you know from people who are operating
in
in lower income areas like you know
lower income
areas um you know and
i think there’s some concern about using
a card system in those areas
what did which what have you seen have
you seen it work in those areas
how how well does it work in those areas
or is that a
an exception where maybe it doesn’t work
as well i’m curious what you think
i think it depends on the operator and
what they’re willing to do and i and
what i see what i mean by that is first
of all
laundromats there are no laundromats in
beverly hills unless you tell me i’m not
you’re closer than i am but there’s
probably not a lot of laundromats
in um and and laundromats are typically
more successful in those demographics
that’s
the business that we’re in um and it’s
all about value
already talked before it’s really about
value and i would say that in those
low-income areas i would argue that
they’re probably the same demographic
that are
always looking for a coupon because
they’re looking to get best value when
they go to the grocery or when they have
to buy something they’re looking for how
do i save
some money you know and you know and
that’s where a card system can really
benefit
a demographic like that because in a
coin store how do you
you know unless you’re just going to
lower all your prices
how do you offer a value proposition
in a form of maybe a coupon you know i
mean we’ve we have coupon programs in
our in our products
that allow you to attract that type of
customer and give them more value say
hey if you’re willing to use a card
we’ll save you money
and it’s as easy as that um and who
doesn’t want to save money
you know and and especially especially
in those areas that you describe
they probably need to save money and so
as a
as an owner operator how are you how are
you
are you fulfilling that need where they
need to find a way to save value and if
it means that
they got to put ten dollars on their
card to get an extra dollar and save
them 10
i mean that’s a pretty good reward right
there you know getting 10
off on your laundry and what what you’ve
done there is you’ve bought a little
loyalty from that customer and in return
you’ve given them a discount you know
and there’s lots of examples
of other programs that you can you know
ben you know you can turn on and off and
and and give yourself give your
customers that value and you have to
look at your area to see what makes
sense but
even in those low i’ve seen in the worst
neighborhoods i mean let’s just
call it what it is we call them tough
neighborhoods tough neighborhoods
it works there’s a safety concern there
too you know what i mean
um something that i noticed in one of
the first stores that we put it inside
going back
20 years ago in a really kind of rough
neighborhood
was as soon as people understood what it
was you know because there was a little
bit of a learning curve 20 years ago
consumers weren’t quite sure what this
was but when they realized what it was
we saw people leveraging
as a budgeting tool to walk into a store
i mean not kidding put 50 in the machine
and then leave the store
and you’re like they didn’t have any
laundry with them nope
they were it was the first of the month
they had just gotten their money
and they wanted to make sure that 50 was
there for the whole month yeah
i’m not sure that’s why i budget but
some people need that simplistic idea
that this card has got my 50
with a laundry on it and it ain’t going
anywhere else and it’s staying in my
wallet
until it’s time to laundry so you know
those are that’s just an example of
you know maybe some of the mentality
that we deal with there
really worked i mean that made me think
you know that’s a that’s an awesome
opportunity to incentivize that even
right and like hey you know for the
first two or three days of the month
yeah you put 50 bucks in we’re gonna
give you another five or ten bucks or
you know just kind of incentivizing that
and that
not only will probably help them you
know if they’re having
trouble hanging on to money you know
that’ll incentivize them to
it’s almost like the four savings you
know yeah were
put aside for the chore um but it also i
mean it’ll help
them and it’ll give you that money up
front to be able to do more things for
your customers and for your business
with
so that could be a big win-win so
absolutely i love i mean i love
the promotional possibilities
and uh just ways to incentivize
customers and i think you know
incremental pricing
is you know it can be that can be
even a promotion in and of itself where
instead of raising a quarter you’re
raising the eight cents or whatever
um but being able to you know gift
people
money on their cards or incentivize them
to put a certain amount on and give them
you know so or however you know however
it works or
keeping track of how many washes are
being used and giving
you know free washes stuff like that so
yeah yeah
i love i love that and that stuff that’s
some of that is possible
if you’re using coins but man i tried
when i first bought my laundromat i
tried doing
that where it was like i had punch cards
and
my attendants were giving out blue
quarters to
like i was like oh this is horrible i’m
not doing this anymore ever again
that’s a nightmare yeah the benefits of
that from a promotion are unlimited and
we could talk we could have a whole show
just all the ideas in fact
you know it’s something that we’re
trying to do is to get
people’s minds together because we
provide a lot of tools i like to
describe
but people the way they use those tools
just varies across
locations and um and so it’s really
unlimited and the ideas that you know
creative store owners can um come up
with
to capitalize on the the benefits of
having just some
alternate payment option you know and be
able to turn it into a card or
or an app or whatever the case may be
there’s a lot you can do
uh can you spit a couple of like yeah
promotions that you’ve seen
out that i’ve seen some really cool
stuff i mean you know one of the things
that
i’ll tell you something that works
really well you know this isn’t uh
um i don’t know if it’s a secret because
i tell it all the time now but here
here when we open stores whether it’s
for us or if it’s an
investor and um as you might imagine we
use our our payment technology in those
stores
is that we will instead of doing
something like you know we always see a
lot of stores open they go like half
price wash and that’s a very common
grand opening type of special well we
a number of years ago and was
there’s some problems with that in our
eyes one is that
you know you’re you’re advertising a
price that you can’t maintain
um and there’s a bit of a negativity
surrounding the idea that the price is
going to go up eventually and like oh
this used to be a great place to do
laundry and then the prices went up
you know and which is well they went up
to reality is what they went up to it
can’t be half price forever
and so what we did to try to offer
something of similar value but didn’t
necessarily
um have a negative impact is we did
something called double your money
and you know it’s basically a variation
of you know put twenty dollars in your
card and get a ten percent return you’ll
get two dollars a bonus added to your
card
but taking it to the taking it out at
the way ahead of that
you know put twenty dollars in your card
get 20 in bonus
you know so now you got 40 on your card
or you know and talk about
people putting money on their card and
leaving
people run that promotion for two weeks
with people come with 50 bills 100
bills putting literally 200 at a time on
their card
in order to take advantage of that
promotion
and all all along that the vend prices
on the machine
are what you had they’re at the top
they’re at right where you wanted to be
when you open it’s well
your performance were built on so your
customers are
absolutely they actually don’t care
about your bend price at that time
because they got so much money
stashed up on their cards that the
perception of the event price is almost
irrelevant
and more importantly um what that does
is it’s
it’s a it’s a reason to return we call
these loyalty card systems for a reason
you pray in advance
so that you’re loyal to return right
and the other thing that we don’t we
don’t talk about enough is the fact that
laundry’s
laundromats don’t make anything we just
we just divert where they used to do
their laundry they were doing laundry
somewhere before you opened
and so it’s about getting them to do
laundry with you not
not with where they were doing it and
laundry is also very habit
you know i mean talk my wife always does
her laundry on mondays i mean that’s
that’s the day she does laundry you
can’t convince her to do it other days
and
i would imagine there’s a lot of that
that goes on not to mention
what laundry you go to every week if
you’re using a laundry and the route you
go to drive to that laundry is the same
every week and
and there’s a lot of habits involved in
that and
and i don’t know the specifics but
there’s there’s a lot of studies out
there about
how many times do you have to change the
way you do something for that to become
your new habit
you know it’s like it’s like seven times
you gotta
do it another way before that becomes
your new habit and i don’t remember the
exact number but it’s something in that
ballpark
how better of a way to get
customers to use your laundry as an
alternative to where they used to go by
giving this a massive
bonus on their card if they put 200 in
value on their card that’s going to take
them five
six seven trips to spend that and what
are they doing beyond getting a great
value they’re changing their habit
their habit has now shifted and now
they’re that’s your laundry of choice
and again that’s a good example of a
promo that was really designed to
give somebody you know 10 back when they
put 20 on their card and somebody got
really creative with it and said
let’s just blow it out of control let’s
just give them double their money
instead of giving them half price wash
it has almost a more powerful selling
effect
in the window of your store on the signs
on the street but at the same time
the the value is enormous to the store
owner as well
so that that’s a that was a big one you
know there’s coupon
programs to give people like free dry
credits um
there’s things that you can do to give
people rewards for wash points you know
kind of like a frequent flyer
program that’s all about giving your
best customers the best value
for being loyal and returning um you
know we do we have some we have some
programs that allow you to
turn like points into physical prizes so
you talked about chuck e cheese you know
what did they get after they played the
game they got
tickets that came spitting out of the
machine and then you’d go up to the
counter
and you turn in this 300 000 tickets to
get a
magic eraser you know shaped like a
dinosaur
um we we do things like that too where
you can get points and then those points
turn into prizes you know so it could be
gift cards for
the grocery store or a restaurant or you
know in our stores we we do a
we have a amazon fire tablet as one of
the prizes
takes a while to get to it but you can
work your way up to it and
surprisingly we probably give away you
know seven or eight tablets a year
you know uh in that program so it
there’s it’s really
um it’s really up to your imagination
how you want to you know take advantage
of these they’re just tools
but there’s lots of great ideas out
there yeah
i love i love those ideas a lot of fun
um and i love that chucky cheese has
come up twice
in this yeah
well i i mean i love that and i think
that there’s a lot of
benefits to the card system and i think
that there’s
a lot of potential to create a lot of
value i mean
like you’ve mentioned like has been
mentioned a lot on here you know what we
need to be trying to do is creating
value for our customers
and you know utilizing whatever tools
doesn’t have to be a card system but
whatever tools we can
including you know training our
employees well you know and
keeping things clean thinking about the
flow of your store
so people aren’t getting clogged all
that stuff creates value for your
customers but this can be another
tool that an owner can use to
to create that value for customers so
absolutely i love that
um i’m going to put you slightly on the
spot not
totally but slightly on the spot i
forgot to prep you on this but you know
what if you don’t get anything you don’t
got anything so
we have a section called secret sauce
and we’ve talked about
so many secret sauces
um and you just i mean you just even
mentioned one that you’re like i’m not
sure if it’s secret sauce or not so
maybe it is maybe yeah sauce but secret
sauce our section secret sauce is for
hey what’s something owners can do
[Music]
in their laundromats that might benefit
them help them improve their business
or or themselves personally even and
maybe it’s card system related maybe
it’s not but
probably it is i would say but whatever
you come up with
uh what’s your secret sauce listen up
it’s the secret sauce
oh gosh
you did put me on the spot we we’ve
talked about a lot i would say
you know secret sauce pick one yeah all
right well
let’s let’s talk about um let’s talk
about value
all right so i think you know whatever
you can do to add value and convenience
to your stores is huge and this isn’t
even
card system related i’ll tell you
something that we do in our stores
that is we hate them but we love them at
the same time we put electric
sliding doors in every one of our stores
now
let me tell you something about electric
sliding doors if you don’t have one in
your store
they’re awful they break regularly
they’re the worst service they’re
expensive
they cost a fortune i want to tell you
that if you go to your store
on a busy saturday and you’ve got
a mom with a couple of kids hanging onto
the pockets of their jeans and they got
a basket of laundry on the other hip
to try to watch them go in and pull the
door handle on a laundry
if there’s no attendant or not attendant
available but have that door just swing
wide open
and they just walk in the store that’s
that’s thinking beyond
um just the inside of the store but
thinking about the customer that’s
inside of it and your typical customer
you know and and it really comes down to
it there’s a value proposition there’s a
convenience proposition that we
i think we underestimate and we can do
tons of things with the payment system
but
that is something that is this
inherently i would imagine that someone
that goes through that it’s like i’m
going to that store because i can’t get
in the door
uh with my three-year-old and my
six-year-old if
i can’t if i have to swing this open and
carry this basket of laundry so
you know anything you can do like that
to add convenience and certainly
payment systems helps with that is that
is all part of the secret sauce and
there’s there’s no one piece
um there’s lots of examples like that
yeah
i love that and i think you know i mean
that’s kind of been one of the big
themes of this whole
you know interview right is yeah ways to
add value and
and and thinking about your customer i
mean it goes right back to
what you were saying earlier about don’t
forget
like keep your customer in mind you know
without the guy who’s putting the cord
in your machine or the lady
you know you you don’t have this this
matters it doesn’t matter it doesn’t
matter yeah
so i mean i think that goes right in
line and i think it’s
you know a perspective that’s easy to
get lost when
we’re in the weeds of things or maybe
we’ve gotten in the rut
those kinds of things and i would say
too
part of that is being in communication
with your customers and just
every now and then just check in with
them when you’re at the store
you have a quick conversation like hey
you know ask them how they’re doing how
the family’s doing how it’s going and
all that and say
hey how’s your experience been here
lately is there anything i can do to
improve it
and hearing from them and not saying
that you actually have to do everything
they say
or they want you to do but you know
starting to get their perspective
because
like you said they’re they’re what
matters most so
even though i put you on the spot i
would say those
50 years of collective experience have
really
shined in the secrets
just kidding well you did so well i’m
gonna put you on the spot again and we
have a section called pro tips pro
tips pro tips is more typically it’s
more for new owner people trying to buy
their first laundromat and maybe you
want to address that and give a tip for
that
or maybe you want to give a pro tip for
somebody maybe who
is thinking about putting a card system
in for the first time
in their store and maybe a tip to help
them
uh get started in the right direction
with the card system so go either way
that you want to go
sure sure i think you know
i guess because that’s where my focus is
we talk about investors and
considering payment options you know it
i would say now more than any there’s
it can be you know it’s like paralysis
by analysis there’s so many options
and they’re all very different um so it
can be a bit challenging to determine
what’s the right thing for me
and uh what should i do in my store or
my demographic
you know i think that nothing um and
this is this is old-fashioned as well
but nothing does better than going for
referrals and what i mean by that is
talk to people you know the cla is a
good forum i’m sure
you know you’ve got a bunch of customers
or i say investors and store owners
that you have talked to over the years
that you could refer people to that have
used various technology you have to talk
to people
and find out what they like what they
don’t like
and that will guide you towards the
products
that fit your yourself you know your
your needs the best and so
you know it’s simp it’s simple but the
reality is that people so often just
take
something they see an ad for and it’s
like oh that’s what i want that’s it or
it’s the shiny new
marble in the box you know oh i’m gonna
do that but then
they don’t take a look and talk to
people and find out well how long has
that marble been around you know how
that marble’s been there for
a year and that marble might not be
there a year later
and um you know i think when you talk to
people who’ve been doing this a while
and have had success with whatever it is
that they invested in just paints so
much more confidence in an investor
that’s trying to figure out
you know what what should i do from a
payment perspective
um don’t always be attracted to the
shiny
the shiny objects every time not that
you shouldn’t pay attention to them i
think that there’s
there’s a lot of good there but you know
laundromats stick around for a while you
know i mean typical laundromats last a
long time and so when you make an
investment in a payment system
um is that is that solution going to be
there in five years when you need them
still you know do they have a
sustainable business model that’s gonna
make sure that they can take care of you
and your in your needs
when that time comes so you know that’s
and i think the best way to get
confidence that is to talk to people
and you know that’s the that’s the pro
tip for
buying a card system yeah i mean i think
that’s a really
great pro tip because i think a lot of
people you know they’ll
i think you’re right a lot of people
will just see an ad and say oh you know
what that seems like a great fit and
i’ll just jump on it
maybe it’ll work out maybe it won’t
there’s another contingent
who will do some research and figure out
which one fits best
but i think a lot of things that get
over a lot of times what gets overlooked
is
that whole hey are they going to be
around long term are they going to be
able to support you what kind of support
do they have
you know are they uh are they actively
updating it are they actively making it
better
you know what kind of communication is
there between you know
me as an owner and them as a you know a
software developer that’s
yeah and hardware developer that’s you
know creating a product that’s supposed
to help my business
you know those are questions i think get
overlooked a lot and we get
tied up in the features a lot too so
that’s why
i think talking with other owners who
are utilizing the different systems
comes in handy because they’ll have yes
they’ll know the features
but they’ll have the perspective of okay
well how is this company to work with
you know how’s the support when things
go wrong
you know those kinds of things so i
think that’s awesome pro tips
not just for buying a card system but
for anything yeah
i mean that’s that’s a great pro tip for
anybody buying their first laundromat
right like is this going to be a good
investment for you maybe or maybe not
the way you find out is yeah do some
research listen to the podcast read blog
posts
go to youtube whatever but probably even
more importantly than that is start
talking to other owners and see what
life
is like see what it’s like to own
laundromat so
yeah i think that’s what’s great about
you know you know a forum like this
which you know you’re having this
conversation and hopefully it draws
people to
just just to see what’s there but it
people who are interested in the
business and interesting purchase
is that it’s not such a big industry
that you can’t reach out to that person
individually it’s not like there’s some
you know
magic fence that you can’t get over you
just reach out if you want to call
jordan call jordan you want to call
steve call steve and the people that are
participating in these events and
participating in these things
they’re all very reachable it’s one of
the things i like about our industry is
that
they’re all people and they they’re just
small business owners and most of them
are actually proud of their success i
think most people are
and they’re actually okay with sharing
what made them successful
um and that’s really what people are
interested in they want to make sure
whatever they invest in
it is expensive in a lot of cases but if
i’m gonna do it
is it gonna is it gonna work is it gonna
be what i wanted is it going to help
me and the only way you’re going to get
that kind of confidence is to talk to
people who’ve been through it already
yeah yeah and i don’t think that ends
like if you’re buying a car system or
you’re buying a store i don’t think it
ends
after you pull the trigger on that
because like you mentioned earlier like
there’s things are changing things are
you know we need to keep
adapting keep evolving and keep our
finger on the pulse of what’s going on
and so
after you buy your store after you buy
your card system you know keep
interacting with people that’s why you
know we encourage people to
interact on forums like the cla forum or
the laundromat resource forum
that’s why we encourage you know people
to network with each other
in whatever capacity that you know that
is
is because when we kind of help each
other we all
do better right like that’s that
abundance mindset of
you know there’s plenty to go around we
can all have success it doesn’t have to
be
at the expense of anyone else and
exactly
yeah and that’s a big mindset and i
think it’s particularly
true in in our industry like
however your laundromats do have
zero impact on mine right right
i would argue in mine even the
laundromat a mile down the road
is going to have zero impact on my right
absolutely you know and so there’s
you know that’s i love i love that
pro tip all the way around and you’re
just showing
your wisdom yeah right thank you so much
seriously man this has been this has
been really really good i want to make
sure
i don’t want to leave uh
if you have anything else that you want
to share about
yourself about any advice you want to
give or about
uh your your product i want you to be
able to share a little bit about that
um if you have anything else you want to
share yeah you know the only thing that
you know i want to make sure that um is
communicated well i think
in in is that we we talk about these
solutions
um in these payment systems and
obviously that’s my focus but
um there’s there’s generally a lot of
talk about the expense of them
you know what i mean and it’s kind of
hard to hide frankly from the fact that
these are these are some of these
products are pretty expensive
um and but i think that what’s important
for people not to immediately run away
with that is to realize that why are
they expensive and at the end of the day
does it matter how much it costs as long
as it returns
you know so now we’re maybe shifting
slightly away from the customer
perspective and now talking about owner
investors and
you know owning a laundromat i mean it’s
a high capital upfront expense right i
mean
you put all your money up front on it
and then you try to get your return over
time
and frankly that’s that’s how that’s how
payment systems are the good news is is
that
um a lot of these systems have amazing
returns and their return
on investments are usually very fast
um and that’s nothing that that referral
tip that we talked about will help you
because
i can tell you how great the roi is but
it’s better if jordan’s store owner
tells you because he’s had it he’s
experienced it
i’ve experienced it but i’m up i’m
biased talk to people who have payment
systems and talk about how quickly they
think the investment
paid for itself and you know i think
that
um just like any investment if you had
high confidence that it was going to
return for you it didn’t matter what it
cost you’d do it
you would you would invest in it so you
know these solutions
are um very powerful
um they will they add value in in a lot
of ways that we’ve talked about
uh they they do require an investment um
but the return
um is amazing at the same time so you
know that that’s something that has
happened in our
in my industry is just a perception
issue
because sometimes people can’t look past
the quote you know they don’t realize
that there’s a reason
uh you know for these things so any if
anything i would say that would be
something to add on to the referral side
talk to people who’ve been through it
they’ve spent the money that you’re
being proposed if you’re looking at a
quote right now
there’s a reason why they bought three
and four and five in some cases 20 of
them
you know over the course of their their
laundry career
and um it’s not because they like me i
think it’s because
uh they like the return on investment so
that’s that’d be one thing i think is
important to kind of leave people with
yeah i think that’s really good i get
asked a lot um you know especially for
people
this is semi-related um but especially
people in in some of the larger markets
the las the san francisco’s the new
yorks
you know how much is too much to pay for
rent and i always say like
well it really depends like i don’t i
wouldn’t mind spending
10 or 12 000 a month for rent
if my business was making sixty seventy
thousand dollars a month like
right that’s an okay amount does it
really matter right it’s not about the
hard number
it’s about what kind of return and what
kind of business can you generate
utilizing that resource that you’re you
know you’re investing in and in that
case i’d be investing
in a space um you know via rent
in order to operate my business but if
i’m investing whatever the amount is
it the the hard number it feels a little
intimidating right
sure thousand dollars a month is crazy i
mean that is a lot for rent right
yeah right but on the other hand if it’s
gonna let if it’s gonna let you net
30 000 a month would you pay 10 grand to
get 30 000 a month
all day long yeah right so
so you want you got to look at it from
that perspective and shift a little bit
from that hard number
cost of how much is it going to cost me
you know to buy to invest back into my
business
and more on that roi um that like you
were talking about so
yeah i think and that that’s a little
bit of a mindset
shift it is right that it can be tough
to
it can be tough to make that shift yeah
we all go through that we all go through
that when we’re looking at stuff we
we all kind of sometimes sit back and
like oh that
that that oh that looks that looks tough
but then if you analyze it and you say
but i’m gonna make how much okay it’s
just softens the blow
and and i think to get the confidence
that you got to talk to people you know
hearing it from the guy that’s trying to
get you to buy it
it’s gonna not not be as
powerful as if you know jordan who’s got
multiple stores and says hey this is
great
you know um and this is what it did and
we’ve had multiple experiences like that
just paints so much confidence and it
really softens the idea of the
investment’s worth it
and maybe it’s not worth it maybe you
talk to somebody that says nah it wasn’t
good
but at least you’ll learn but um i’m
pretty confident you’ll see
people who actually read into it find
that it’s actually a pretty good
investment we wouldn’t be around for 20
years if it wasn’t but
there’s the attraction of all the
payment system options are out there are
great
um definers of the fact that we’re doing
something right
you know i mean so yeah that’s it’s
important
yeah and i found especially for not to
be labor at this point but especially
for new business owners
uh you know for the majority of us when
we
spend money we’re spending money on
things
that they’re not going to generate money
for us right right so we’re buying a tv
or we’re buying a car we’re buying
even a house sure it’s not really
generating money for us so when you
spend money the money is gone right
right
mentality to investing
money because that’s what you’re doing
when you’re buying a car system
or you’re paying rent or whatever your
expenses for your business as long as
it’s
a good one right the intent should be
that it’s an investment you’re not
buying money and once you spend it it’s
gone
you’re spending it in order to generate
more
back right and so that’s the mindset
shift that i see
new business owners need to make so i
think that’s really good
steve this has been incredible uh
seriously a lot i know i joked a lot
about the years of wisdom and stuff but
seriously there was a lot of
really really just quality stuff in here
um
for both you know experienced owners and
new owners alike and just
a lot of really good perspective that i
think
will benefit a lot of owners listening
to this so i really really appreciate
you coming
on and sharing all that taking your time
it’s a friday right now so you should be
you know kicking your feet up but you’re
here working hard for us
i like that right i got one more
question for you
okay if people want to a either contact
you
and ask you questions about
your own experience as an owner or cla
or anything like that
or b if they want more information about
the you know your card system that that
you offer or maybe even distribution
what’s the best way for people to get a
hold of you to ask you those questions
yeah i think you know as far as the
payment systems are concerned if you’re
looking to learn more about those
opportunities you know the website’s the
best
you know www.laundrycard.com
and you know lots of opportunities to
reach out to us through the website
um i get all of the feedback that goes
through those so when you fill out a
form saying i’m interested
it all comes to me and our sales team so
you know we’re a small company and
it’s easy to get a hold of us um
and you know so those are some of the
easiest ways to to go through it um but
you know um we’re we’re we’ve been
having this conversation for a long time
with a lot of people and um it’s been a
lot of fun talking to you about it as
well appreciate you and
including me in this uh in your in your
show and
um yeah i’m excited just to see you do
more
awesome well thank you again and i’ll
put a link to that
in the show notes for anybody listening
if you’re on youtube watching
it’ll be down in the description below
so make sure you check that out
and reach out to steve get some more
information i’m sure he can connect you
with
some referrals too if you’re interested
in in that card system
i’m sure you can connect you up with
some people who have utilized it and
you can get their perspective on it too
and see what kind of investment it might
be for your business so
steve thank you again i really really
appreciate it and
looking forward to staying in touch and
hearing how should you go in
you know for your businesses but also
you know
for the card system i know you know any
of these you know technology-based
you know systems they’re going to just
continue to evolve as you get input from
you know from your customers and as
things change in the industry
and in our culture uh you know as a
whole so a lot to have you back on down
the line to see
how things have been evolving and get
your more than
50 years worth of wisdom at that it’s
been a lot of fun thank you it’s been
great
yeah appreciate it all right we’ll talk
to you again soon all right all right i
hope you really enjoyed that interview
with steve
it was man i was so excited after this
interview it was so so good i
took a lot of stuff from this wrote it
down
plan on putting it into practice and as
you may or may not know
every episode i encourage you to pick
one
thing and put it into practice this week
because action is what paves the way to
success
you gotta be taking action if you just
sit here and listen to these amazing
interviews
absorb all this knowledge but don’t put
anything you learn into action
it’s not gonna help you achieve your
goals you gotta take the action
to get to where you’re trying to go all
right so
for me i wanted to quickly share the one
thing that i
am gonna i mean it really stood out to
me and i’m gonna put it
into action this week is i wrote down
this quote he said he said if you can’t
execute
on the customer’s needs you’re going to
struggle
you can’t execute on the customer’s
needs you’re going to struggle
so i’m on a fact-finding mission to find
out what needs my customers have that
i’m not
meeting and try to remedy uh
those things so i’m gonna go on an
information gathering
quest in my laundromats trying to figure
out
if their needs that i’m not meeting or
what needs i can meet
better for my customers and that i think
will improve my business
not only with my current customers but
hopefully will attract some new
customers also
so what about you what action are you
putting into practice this week i’d love
to hear about it on the forums
laundromat resource.com
forums go to the laundromat forum and
let us know
what action are you putting in this week
can’t wait to read about it see you guys
on the forums
and if not there then i will see you
next week on the laundromat resource
podcast
this is jordan peace
[Music]

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