The laundromat industry is changing faster than ever before! Are you ready for it? In today’s episode, Alex Jekowsy, CEO of Cents, and Jordan explore the trends in the laundromat industry and what role technology is playing to usher our industry into the future.

It’s packed with valuable information to help you stay on the leading edge of the laundromat industry, plus practical insight and advice to help you run a better business, serve more customers, and find financial freedom through laundromat ownership!

Alex and Jordan also discuss Cents, the business-in-a-box solution for all of your laundromat business needs.  Cents is a company building the first market-network in laundry with a mission to outsource laundry day in America to local garment care professionals and business owners. Through Cents, garment care professionals have access to best-in-class software & hardware proven to save them money that will drive additional revenue through remote ordering, on-demand services, and more.

In today’s show, Alex and Jordan discuss:

  • Alex’s background and what brought him to the laundromat industry
  • What drives Alex’s passions for the industry
  • Why it’s never been a better time to be a laundromat owner
  • Simple ways to impact business with technology
  • The purpose of new technology in business
  • Who is Cents and what do they offer laundromat owners?
  • Why investors are investing in Cents
  • The future landscape of the laundromat industry
  • The fate of the owner-operator model
  • Franchise models and laundromats
  • How to get started with Cents
  • Advice for new laundromat operators
  • Who is Cents for
  • The mission of Cents

And a lot more!

Be sure to join us for our webinar with Cents CEO, Alex Jekowsky on July 1st, 2021. Visit https://laundromatresource.com/events to sign up.

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Watch The Podcast Here

Today's Sponsor

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. 

Alex's Bio

Alex Jekowsky is a sought after Entrepreneur, specializing in B2B software solutions for SMB verticals. Prior to launching Cents, he was the founder and CEO of Ulyngo, an award-winning marketplace and payments platform for HigherEd. After 5 years of growth, Ulyngo was acquired by Modo Labs. His passions have always revolved around building businesses with a focus on leadership and human development. He loves to create, think of new ways to do everyday things, and put his own spin on everything he’s involved with. Above all else, he loves to smile and make others laugh!

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    Episode Transcript

    hey hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with
    the laundromat resource
    podcast show 59 and i am pumped
    that you are here today because today
    we’re talking
    with alex jakowski who is
    from the venture-backed company called
    sense
    and if you haven’t heard of since yet
    you will hear about them obviously
    because you’re listening to this podcast
    but also they’re doing some interesting
    things
    in our business and in fact we talk a
    lot
    about what the future of this industry
    is
    and how they intend to play a role
    in the future of this industry so
    very very intriguing very interesting
    and not only that but it’s packed full
    of awesome
    awesome insights and advice and tips
    for laundromat owners what i loved about
    this is that
    scent is a venture-backed company which
    means that
    investors have invested in this company
    betting it’s going to be a success
    and you know one of the questions i ask
    is well what is it that these investors
    see
    in our industry that make them think
    that this
    business is a good one to invest in so
    that was a very intriguing question
    and a very intriguing answer and it kind
    of
    shed some light on how some of the
    people who have
    money are thinking about our business
    and
    what kind of outlook they have towards
    it so it’s very interesting but there’s
    a ton a pack
    a ton of ton of information packed into
    this episode
    for you and you are gonna love it and
    not only that but alex is really really
    fun to talk to really uh good
    communicator so you’re gonna love love
    love this episode
    everything about it um real quick i
    wanna say welcome to
    all the new members at laundromat
    resource
    dot com uh we’re i think we’re close to
    three thousand
    members now so and a lot of you guys i
    still have not really launched the paid
    membership but a lot of you guys have
    found it
    i have no idea you guys are a little
    sleuths uh
    looking forward over there but there is
    going to be this is not a launching of
    it by the way you can find it if you
    look for it but
    uh there is going to be some really cool
    stuff coming up for pro members here
    in a little bit i’ve been working a
    little bit behind the scenes um
    to to get some of that stuff going but
    welcome to all of you new members
    of laundromat resource dot com i love
    the community that we’re having make
    sure you go
    to the forums laudermartresource.com
    forums introduce yourself on the new
    members forums
    and the coolest thing by far happening
    on the entire website
    in my opinion is on the new members
    forums where people
    are connecting with each other you know
    geographically
    uh if you’re if you’re close by to
    people people are you know introducing
    themselves
    letting you know where on the laundromat
    journey they are
    and where in the world they are and
    people are connecting that way
    super cool um and we’ve talked about it
    all the time but when we’re connecting
    with people who have similar goals
    as us it just helps us all achieve those
    goals a lot quicker so
    make sure you’re connecting over there
    and then check out the other forums too
    while you’re at it
    we have one laundromat specific
    questions we have commercial real estate
    there’s financing forum and
    there’s another one and i can’t remember
    off top of my head what it is but go
    jump in uh have a discussion every
    single week ask a question
    answer a question i haven’t brainwashed
    you guys enough lately so
    go to the forums lot of my resource.com
    uh
    forums and ask a question answer a
    question over there
    and uh and dude let’s all let’s all jump
    on there and
    uh be communicating connecting with one
    another helping each other out
    helping each other find success quicker
    cool so you can find that link all the
    links from
    this episode you can find at laundromat
    resource dot com
    show 59 show five nine so check
    that out and check out all the links to
    everything and there are a lot of links
    to some very interesting things uh in
    this episode
    one of which that we’re gonna bring up
    is a brand new
    link a brand new page on the website
    it’s the events page
    now uh we are starting to
    put together some events right now some
    virtual i’d like to do some in-person
    ones i’m still in california and
    you know everything’s everything’s just
    i don’t know we can’t do anything yet uh
    i mean we can do more than we could do
    but
    anyways i’d like to start getting some
    in-person events and i do want to direct
    you to one
    in-person event and i’ll put a link to
    this in
    the description if you’re on youtube or
    in the show notes
    but there’s a meetup happening in
    scottsdale coming up
    um in uh i think
    june 25th somewhere around there i’ll
    put the date and the link
    in the description so if you’re in or
    near scottsdale or want to go
    check that one out make sure you
    check that out put it on the events page
    laundromat resource.com events
    but also we’re going to talk about a
    webinar here in this episode that’s
    coming out so that’ll be up there and
    there’s some other webinars coming up
    um also so those will all be on the
    events page and i’ll be adding to that
    as we get more and more events happening
    um that you know i’m just i’m super
    excited about these events because my
    goal is to help you succeed
    in the industry so i’m starting to pull
    together people who
    can do just that help you succeed in
    this industry
    and they’re willing to come talk to you
    about what it takes to succeed and
    um and some of them even have some some
    tools and resources that will help you
    succeed so look at that uh that events
    page
    join us in some of these events and uh
    alex is gonna be teaching
    a webinar here uh pretty soon you’ll
    hear about that
    and uh it’s gonna be awesome i think
    you’re gonna love it okay
    uh man let’s uh that’s enough man let’s
    jump into it with alex
    right after this 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 lawnmower resource.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
    in your 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
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    my kids love love love it and my
    customers love it
    atmosphere tv can 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
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    uh 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 okay again this is alex
    jakowski
    the founder of sense the venture back
    company who in his own words he says
    we built sense to back the operator
    he’ll say that in this interview i loved
    that and uh here we go let’s get into it
    with alex
    alex man thank you for joining me on the
    show i’m super pumped that you’re here
    how
    are you doing man doing well man thanks
    so much for having me i’m i’m
    i’m stoked to get into this oh dude it’s
    my pleasure
    and we’ve talked a couple times already
    and every single time
    you know there’s been it’s it’s just
    been energetic and a lot of fun so i
    know this is gonna be a lot of
    energy and a lot of fun and you have a
    lot of really really great stuff to add
    today we’ve talked about a little bit
    of it offline um and i you know i think
    everybody’s gonna get a lot of value for
    it from it but before we do
    why don’t you tell us a little bit about
    who you are and
    the path you’ve you’ve been on this very
    unique path
    to get into the laundromat industry so
    tell us who you are and then maybe take
    us along the path a little bit
    to the laundromat industry yeah
    absolutely absolutely well
    i again thanks so much for having me on
    i’m super excited to
    to you know get to know you it’s been
    just so awesome to
    to pick your brain and hear your
    experience in the industry and that’s
    really what it’s been about for me
    um and our entire business is to get as
    deep into this industry and as deep into
    to
    being a sponge as we can to understand
    what what it’s like to be operators and
    um and and really be knowledgeable in
    the space because you know i didn’t come
    from laundry necessarily i didn’t have
    my parents didn’t open a laundromat i
    didn’t have you know family members that
    did it
    i i started more in institutional
    technology i built a company about five
    years ago in the
    higher education space um running
    got a payments white label marketplace
    platform that facilitated kind of daily
    student life transactions meal plans
    membership dues peer-to-peer payments
    um and there was at one point where i
    was going from the national association
    of
    student affairs professionals conference
    to the coin laundry association golden
    gate chapter gala and i thought
    man i am doing this right i am the
    sexiest of industries
    but no you know i i got into the space
    because i had just heard
    yeah i think it was through friends and
    friends of friends that laundromats were
    great
    investments and i had an apartment in
    san francisco that i paid an arm and a
    leg for and it still took me
    65 quarters to do my laundry i always
    wanted to get you know
    in my wash and fold um and so i had kind
    of a peripheral experience and
    understanding of the business but it
    wasn’t until after i sold my last
    company
    to one of the largest players in the
    higher ed landscape
    that i looked more and more into the
    business as an investor i
    i wanted to you know roll up my sleeves
    get my hands dirty
    really run an smb business buy a couple
    stores maybe more scale it up
    um but obviously before i wanted to get
    into that and and uh
    i needed to understand what it would
    really mean um so from there i joined
    the cla
    i went to an event where you know brian
    wallace spoke and got to connect with a
    lot of operators in the bay area
    and the more i spoke with operators the
    more excited i got
    about the industry and about the
    business but the more disturbed
    and maybe disturbed is the wrong word
    but the more disturbed i i was in terms
    of
    the technology that’s out there
    supporting them and again i came from an
    industry that was very bureaucratic
    very large but technology didn’t you
    know it was 10 years was a 10-year lag
    behind anything else very familiar with
    that experience um
    and the other folks on our team have
    come from building the largest company
    in uh you know largest accounting and
    business management system in the
    home services interior design home
    remodeling building space and so
    you know working with a lot of smbs in
    different industries so
    we we all came from different industries
    um all institutional
    software businesses that we’ve all
    exited for for tens of millions
    um and we’ve processed billions of
    dollars through our various companies
    but i think one of our superpowers is is
    we didn’t really start
    in the industry uh we just became
    obsessed and
    with it and a psychopath on how much
    we’re obsessed with it over the last you
    know three or four years as we’ve gotten
    deeper and deeper into the business so
    that’s kind of the story of it i’m still
    on the hunt of buying my my first stores
    and i just moved to new york so i’m
    always looking at stores that i can buy
    personally and
    different team members are are trying to
    buy so um
    yeah yeah man we just we love this
    business we love this industry and love
    the folks that are in it
    well you know we’re we’re an industry
    full of psychopaths so you’re in good
    company
    uh but out of curiosity i mean what
    what intrigued you guys so much or maybe
    you specifically so much about
    this industry that you know you did
    become
    i mean listen man i’m just going to
    shoot straight with you it’s a little
    weird
    that somebody gets obsessed with
    laundromats right like so
    you know what what drove you to that
    yeah i think
    you know naturally i i do gravitate
    towards these kind of unsexy businesses
    and unsexy industries but it’s
    frankly it’s usually the ones that are
    that have the most opportunity right and
    are operating at the the
    least efficient and have so much room to
    grow
    right this industry has been very very
    stable it’s one of the most attractive
    parts of it it’s you know the pandemic
    has been
    brutal for a lot of smbs a lot of
    business owners but it’s been
    really incredible to see how a lot of
    our operators are not just
    surviving but in some cases thriving
    opening news stores
    um you know during the pandemic so
    something
    attractive to me is i see laundry and
    laundromats
    as one of the probably the last
    retailers standing as things move
    uh you know as more ghost kitchens pop
    up as things move
    online it’s just a you know and this
    paints it in a negative light
    but i kind of call a laundromat like the
    cockroach of main street you can’t kill
    it it’s just
    always going to be there it’s such a
    staple of society
    and it and and a cornerstone of a
    community so
    i think those businesses when i look at
    it with my with my tech and investor hat
    on
    show the most you know the the most
    promising opportunity of growth
    and the fact that when you look at
    technology really in the space
    in laundry when i was assessing the
    companies that are that are providing
    services and
    in the industry it was always the uber
    for laundry it was never really focused
    on the
    owner operator and focusing on backing
    and empowering the operator
    um it was always trying to do things
    outside and and catch the consumer
    trends of people wanting to outsource
    laundry and i think that that is what is
    so compelling it was so compelling
    getting into the business
    but having the chance to work now with
    with hundreds of operators
    and hear how they got into the business
    what they’re struggling with and what
    they’re succeeding
    at it’s like it’s like we wake up with
    fresh eyes every day and and get this
    new
    uh excitement because there is just so
    much opportunity i think that that’s the
    driving factor of our
    of what makes us all obsessive
    psychopaths and in the business because
    there’s just
    there’s so much that can be done there’s
    so much that can be optimized
    um and and but there’s also so much to
    love about the industry today
    um so it feels like just open fields
    um you know ahead
    yeah i i mean i i love that and i think
    you’re right and it is like a unique
    combination of a
    stable business with big upside
    potential
    uh right now because we’re starting to
    see you know i i like that you mentioned
    you know the the higher education kind
    of technology stuff was
    you know 10 years behind i don’t know if
    we even qualify in the 10 years behind
    technologically
    but we’re catching up and things are
    changing really fast right now
    um and uh i mean i think we have a long
    way to go but i
    but you know the amount of change i’ve
    seen in the last even
    like three to five years has been
    like way more than probably the last
    couple decades beforehand
    and i think it’s only going to continue
    to go fast and i’ve been saying over the
    last
    few episodes here like hey laundromat
    owners
    keep your eyes open stuff’s changing if
    you don’t change you’re going to be
    you’re going to end up a zombie mad
    owner down the line here because
    the industry is is moving and we can’t
    just you know that stability is still
    there
    but stability doesn’t mean keep
    everything the same
    forever anymore like it used to yeah and
    i think the beauty of it now i mean
    the timing is great right it’s it’s
    never been a better time i think to be
    kind of a laundromat owner or smb owner
    because let’s look at the
    other industries right and i this is
    something i tell operators all the time
    when we get on the phone with them and
    talk about their business and say
    look what pizza shops are doing look at
    what barber shops are doing
    gyms hotels you know small accounting
    firms
    there are beauty salons this is kind of
    the renaissance
    in in you know tech we call it vertical
    sass
    right hyper verticalized businesses
    where you’re focused on
    deadly focus on one industry and you’re
    building software as a service so it’s
    kind of one
    platform that can be dynamic for
    different business owners depending on
    how they operate their business but
    there are companies like squire which is
    serving thousands and thousands of
    barber shops raised
    you know 80 plus million dollars and
    slice
    powering all they do is power local
    pizza shops
    right their tagline is order pizza
    online and support your local pizzeria
    companies like boulevard and mind body
    and
    and you know these businesses that are
    hyper verticalized
    focusing on industries that have been
    really hit with just really generic
    software and really generic systems
    or really outdated systems from the
    players that were leading
    for 30 years um and and so
    i tell our operators like check these
    companies out look at what’s happening
    in other verticals and that’s what gets
    us so excited it’s what’s enabled us to
    raise you know those 10 million dollars
    and have the
    the most top-tier vcs and investors
    um behind what we’re doing because i
    think this is one of the last
    uh companies that one of the last
    industries excuse me that
    that hasn’t been addressed um it hasn’t
    been focused on
    and this is the timing is is just so
    great because there are playbooks
    um that other small business owners have
    been able to utilize
    when when being able to leverage
    impactful software um so i think
    it’s not just a technology revolution
    where there should be friction
    right this is something that there’s a
    wave of of possibility
    and operators can take advantage of it
    in a very basic way
    right just digitizing you know very
    small things about your business
    reaching customers in a different way
    without
    creating process for the sake of
    creating process like there are
    small ways that you can get into this
    next-gen
    store ownership you don’t have to have
    robots and machine learning and
    take crypto and do all you know you
    don’t have to be on the forefront of
    everything there are small things that
    you can start to do for your business
    at low cost and high impact and that’s
    really what the value of modern
    technology should be should be dynamic
    should be simple to use because frankly
    the the most difficult software to build
    is the one that’s robust and simple at
    the same time
    yeah yeah absolutely absolutely well i
    mean
    you can’t really just tease us like that
    with hey there are simple things that
    you know you can start with and and i
    was kind of talking about this
    in a previous uh episode of the podcast
    um where
    you know we were talking about uh data
    analysis
    and you know that can be very
    overwhelming for
    a lot of laundromat owners right we’re
    not typically data analysts that you
    know are
    it’s not like a natural bridge right and
    so even just the terminology
    you know that data analysts use can be
    overwhelming but
    you know one of the points i was making
    is you can start simple you can do
    simple things and get more
    sophisticated as you start to grasp
    the simple stuff and you don’t have to
    be sophisticated all at once right and
    even
    you know a simple model will help you
    improve your business and you can make
    the model more robust and more
    sophisticated
    as you go but you don’t need a
    sophisticated one you know right off
    right off the bat so so okay so you
    mentioned some of these
    simple things i mean do you have any
    examples of you know to throw out there
    for us yeah absolutely i mean and and
    just your your point earlier i mean
    there are
    definitely tech phrases that are scary
    making data driven decisions
    feels like some corporatey heavy thing
    that i have to have a
    you know i need to have a data scientist
    i need to have somebody a tech person to
    understand
    making data-driven decisions just
    looking at what’s happening in your
    business
    and actually being able to see it and
    then know what’s good and what’s bad or
    like you know we have a lot more
    customers that come in when the price is
    this compared to when the price is that
    well then we can make a data-driven
    decision over either price or the
    service you know things like that but
    i’d say for the way that we think about
    little ways of of
    impacting a better customer experience
    better store ownership
    um is you know through technologies you
    know small things like instead of sticky
    notes and paper logs and paper tags and
    writing on the tickets and
    you know taping them in front of the
    machine but digitizing
    order flow right the management of
    orders and i used to talk to operators
    who said
    hey the people in my store my attendance
    my team members they get it
    you know they’ve just been doing the
    same thing for years and years and
    and i just trust that they’ll get it
    done and to a certain extent i i think
    there is truth to that for sure
    right when you trust your employees and
    they be and they build
    habits then you can trust that they’ll
    get the job done
    but we try to impart to operators is
    you can take your high-performing
    employees but realizing that this
    industry
    experiences a lot of employee churn and
    so you can’t
    always guarantee that the employees that
    understand your process
    today are going to be there tomorrow um
    but also how do we make it so you don’t
    have to be managing them so so directly
    that
    we limit the amount of opportunities for
    failure the opportunities for mistakes
    that they could have
    just knowing what order went into what
    machine by which employee at what time
    right now that seems like a process but
    you know
    with sense and really what what really
    should be with just solid and
    modern technology it should just be two
    clicks of
    of buttons to be able to track that
    level of granularity now
    some operators say i don’t need all that
    data you know
    the machine just runs and it just
    happens and it’s okay and to a certain
    extent i
    i also understand that let’s let’s not
    build process for the sake of building
    process but
    but good technology should fit all the
    operating models you want to get as
    granular
    into the roi on your labor and the
    pounds per hour your employee
    employees fold and certain utilization
    of machines based on
    the volume capacity of a of a washing
    machine based on the
    wash and fold pound you know the pound
    of the wash and pulled order to make
    sure that your
    80 pound order isn’t being stuffed into
    a 60 pound machine yeah
    if you want to get that granular good
    software should help you do that
    if you just want to know that an order
    was handled by an employee
    it was processed and it was given back
    to a customer and to know generally
    the weight differential and make sure
    nothing was lost
    you should be able to have access to
    basic systems that are
    more scalable um and provide a better
    opportunity of transparency and
    customer service and and you know
    through that technology and the last
    thing i’ll say is
    you know my job is to sell software
    to business owners to make their lives
    better
    but truthfully the laundromat owner
    operator you know in
    some cases they are our end user but by
    and large it’s the in-store attendant
    and i feel like a lot of technology and
    i felt this way in my last business in
    higher ed
    you build who you sell to right when you
    sell to the cios
    you sell expensive software you need to
    build product for them
    but the students were the one using the
    platforms right
    in many cases they’re the ones making
    the payments
    and in our case right we sell the
    software to the business owner they’re
    the decision maker but the in-store
    attendants are using the system
    every single day the customers are
    dropping in the orders
    and experiencing our product every
    single day and so
    that’s really who we try to focus on
    when we think about building technology
    it’s not just what is how does the owner
    operator think it’s
    what actually makes the lives of the
    employees better what makes
    what makes it easier for them to do
    their job how can we actually make them
    happier when they do their job
    and make it less possible or make it
    i’ll say less of a requirement for them
    to make decisions
    right it’s why mark zuckerberg and all
    these tech guys wear
    just gray shirts because they’re trying
    to eliminate the amount of decisions
    they need to make in their day
    when they know what they’re going to
    wear before they wake up and so how can
    we eliminate the required decisions
    of an employee which then you know
    will of course limit the amount of
    mistakes that they’ll make
    and when they’re succeeding at their job
    they’re going to be happier the
    retention is going to be there’d be
    higher performing
    so i think that’s a a nuance that a lot
    of
    tech companies and and just people in
    general they don’t think about
    who is the actual person using the
    product and while i need to sell this
    thing i want people using and buying and
    distributing this amongst all the stores
    in the country
    but we really got to think about the
    attendant and of course the customer
    experience because
    the attendance are our best retention
    tools we never lost a customer never
    lost an operator
    because the attendants love our system
    yeah
    yeah and i mean one of the things that
    you said that i thought
    was really really good is um
    that the the end user really is your
    attendant
    right and i think a lot of
    owners you know are a little hesitant to
    get into
    technology because number one they’re
    just not familiar with it especially if
    they’ve been in the industry for a while
    and it makes it feel like it’s it
    complicates things right they just kind
    of know how the business works and it
    complicates things
    and i think maybe one of the things that
    can be easily missed is that
    yes if you implement a technology
    there’s probably going to be a little
    bit of a learning curve you’re going to
    have to put a little effort into
    learning the system your attendance will
    probably have to put a little bit of
    effort into learning the system
    and developing the habits to utilize it
    but ultimately the point of having a
    technology is not to complicate
    life for anyone right to simplify life
    and to eliminate
    decisions yes but also mistakes to make
    things more efficient
    to be more cost effective you know and
    ultimately to help you make better
    decisions across the board
    not just for your business and your
    your bottom line but also for your
    employees and also for your customers
    and clients you know when you’re doing
    pick-up and delivery and all that so
    um i mean i think that gets overlooked a
    little bit is that technology
    can feel a little bit overwhelming
    especially when it’s brand new and
    there’s a learning curve
    but it is really there to simplify life
    not make things more
    complicated and that goes double for
    attendance
    who i’ve seen can be the most
    resistant sometimes to utilizing
    technology because
    again they have to put a little more
    effort into learning the system but
    being able to communicate
    hey this is this is going to make your
    life easier
    this is going to make your job easier
    once we
    kind of get over the learning hub is
    that is that accurate
    yeah i think you’re totally right i mean
    look there’s there’s a couple sides to
    this right it’s
    there are the best way to phrase this
    there are entrepreneurial
    uh uh you know team members attendants
    that like to build their own businesses
    inside of stores
    so maybe they’ll pocket that 5 or ten or
    twenty dollars for that wash and fold
    order or
    start a machine with their cash card
    after a customer
    you know slips them five bucks and that
    is a creative entrepreneur
    entrepreneurial spirit which in the
    right setting is great
    um and so so there’s of course a little
    resistance
    on that front because maybe your an
    employee was able to
    make more money uh without that kind of
    uh
    visibility um but i will say i think
    it’s also in any new technology whether
    you’re setting up your
    you know your cable box or you just
    bought an iphone or
    anything like that i mean i feel this
    today i i run a software company and
    when you get new technology it can feel
    scary can feel you know isolating
    when you’re using something that you you
    either haven’t been trained on or
    you’ve gotten some generic information
    and you just kind of have to learn how
    to do it
    um so you know we’ve hired many people
    on our
    team specifically focused on working
    with in-store attendance
    but beyond that one of the programs that
    that we’ve run
    that’s probably been one of my favorites
    is actually
    using the attendance of the stores that
    we work with
    who make money by training other
    attendants
    right because when the people that are
    best
    utilized to use the system and could
    show people that this
    actually makes a difference in my
    day-to-day difference in my day-to-day
    when we did our press release of our of
    our seed round
    um which was which was led by bessemer
    and you know folks that started
    seamless grub hub and you know really
    incredible incredible angels and
    investors on the company
    one of the quotes we used in in that
    press release was from an attendant at
    one of our stores
    because like we we really focus on
    working closely with the attendance we
    have
    weekly calls with attendance at various
    stores that we’d work with
    because you know they provide us such
    incredible insight on how to build
    better software
    but they are champions of our product
    and so i think there are many sides some
    are resistant to change
    because they’re it’s scary
    it’s something new that they have to
    learn maybe they
    had a nice side business that something
    like this would eliminate
    which of course the operator wants to
    eliminate but
    um we also think of it as look
    through dynamic better digitized
    software owner operators can think of
    new models
    of compensating employees commission
    based employees
    because you know laundry inherently you
    know
    it’s low-skill labor minimum wage kind
    of
    kind of kind of labor but
    high-performing employees are
    game changers in your business they can
    convert
    that self-serve customer to the wash and
    fold they can fold
    more clothes per hour than a robot can
    right and and you can get such a return
    on that labor and you can find ways to
    incentivize your quality
    labor for them to be entrepreneurial by
    working harder
    in a system that makes their job easier
    right so
    labor can be a difficult thing in this
    business especially in the pandemic and
    um but you know that that is the power
    of good software and
    and there are integrations that sense
    has made with other companies that allow
    for
    an example a good friend of mine that
    runs a company that provides same-day
    payment
    for hourly workers right so you know by
    working at this laundromat i can get my
    paycheck faster
    than i work somewhere else right there
    there are just a lot of
    you know a lot of systems that when you
    combine it with good technology
    and you build for your end user as well
    as the person who you sell to that owner
    operator
    it makes a huge difference in in the
    business
    yeah yeah well i mean this might be a
    good time to just kind of pause on the
    conversation
    and i mean can you tell us a little bit
    about
    sense and i mean what who are you guys
    what are you guys doing
    and what what does that mean for
    for me as a laundromat owner yeah
    i mean i basically said we do everything
    so it’s good to maybe
    fill in the fill in the blanks uh to a
    certain extent yeah i mean
    really again how i got in the business
    and how i got in the industry was uh
    was seeing that launch man ownership was
    something that had massive opportunity
    day one when you buy the store
    but how much kind of i think how much
    inefficiency exists in
    in the business and how many you know
    how many operators are we call it
    frankensteining their business together
    by using
    a generic point of sale or no point of
    sale at all
    paper logs excel spreadsheets generic
    time keeping um and no
    way of reaching customers is you know
    they take all these you know bits and
    pieces of either generic or
    other industry specific tools to try to
    you know build some kind of scalable
    um uh operation and really what we’re
    focused on and
    you know i i fought with our marketing
    team in the very beginning
    when we were building our website which
    is like i don’t want to put on our
    website that we’re a point of sale
    because point of sale is a feature of
    what we do but it’s a it’s really the
    gateway to unlock
    more valuable uh feature set for
    operators
    so at a high level how we look at our
    system is really what we call the sense
    os
    it’s an operating system it’s it’s a
    business
    in a box for an operator an operator
    should you know
    buy their store sign their lease
    whatever it might be get their equipment
    be ready to open buy their scent system
    and they’re done whether it’s single
    store ownership multi-store ownership
    everything from revenue reconciliation
    crm
    delivery management point of sale
    employee management
    shifts and tasks dynamic pro promo and
    coupon campaigns
    you know website and cms and the really
    truly
    business in a box technology for an
    owner operator
    but it starts there right that’s
    our mission isn’t just to build great
    software for business owners
    it’s it’s what it enables us to do is
    build a community and a network of
    operators and leverage that purchasing
    power
    leverage that network and our position
    within the
    the tech ecosystem of being one of the
    only truly venture-backed businesses in
    the space
    and our connection and collaboration
    with other tech companies
    and and other platforms that are
    introducing new operating models
    in so many other verticals why are
    restaurants the only ones
    and actually now retailers they’re able
    to do
    gig economy uh deliveries right
    why is that the case why uh
    in terms of the different uh promos and
    coupon campaigns why is
    the pizza pizza shops and pizza shop
    owners able to leverage integrations of
    you know order online with google and
    and order online with tripadvisor
    without actually doing any of the work
    of making that happen like
    why are all these things possible in so
    many other industries
    and not ours right well because nobody’s
    done it
    nobody’s enabled that to happen for the
    owner operator so
    our goal is to work with as many owner
    operators
    and store owners as we can not
    because like that’s the secret sauce of
    how we’re going to succeed as a business
    but our fate as a company is directly
    intertwined with the fate of our
    operators
    the more successful our laundromats are
    the more successful we are
    right and so we want to find ways to
    deliver
    through good technology through that
    infrastructure of the point of sale the
    order management
    the most granular order tracking the
    best customer experience through mobile
    ordering and
    and live link you know tracking and all
    these
    uh different products that we have we
    want to leverage
    that technology to create new operating
    models
    and enable business owners to try new
    things
    to see how other industries are
    expanding and growing and other small
    business owners
    are enabling them to to launch more
    initiatives
    generate more revenue without adding a
    gna structure without
    adding cost in capex right grow the
    revenue and grow the margin
    so look i mean that’s very high level
    view i can go deeper into the nuances of
    online ordering and how the customer
    experience pairs with the
    the order tracking in the store and how
    we aggregate orders and drive more
    revenue to stores to our partners in
    the residential space and direct to
    consumer
    i can go into all that but at a high
    level i think what i want to convey to
    the folks watching this is
    if you own the laundromat whether
    yourself serve a full serve and you want
    to know where
    you want to be able to see all of your
    data you want to be able to
    understand how all of your stores and
    different regions and districts may be
    in towns are running
    you want to be able to know how well
    your employees are doing the return
    you’re getting
    how often they’re working their their
    time their time sheets their time cards
    the tasks
    right you want to know order 101 what
    washer went into at what time and on
    which cycle
    right all of that information exists
    within the sense os
    and why we love working with our
    operators is now let’s find a way
    to take that data and put it to use and
    help you make good decisions with your
    business
    and and build this kind of this network
    of operators
    yeah a couple things i really love about
    that is number one
    very timely of you to come in with that
    message because
    we’ve been talking about that a lot here
    in the last few weeks
    on the podcast so uh man very timely on
    your part
    number two i love the concept of
    business in a box
    and first of all it’s just got a good
    ring to it so that’s just
    solid marketing right there but uh but i
    like the concept behind it too
    and i want to talk about that in a
    second but i just had a question that
    popped up this is kind of irrelevant
    compared to
    everything else we’re talking about but
    i’m just curious about this what’s your
    you know you you mentioned at one point
    you’re one of the only venture-backed
    companies in
    in the industry which i think is true um
    what what’s your pitch to these guys i
    mean what why are they interested in
    investing in what you’re doing in
    investing in this industry um i mean we
    talked
    a little bit about some of the things
    that are probably intriguing to them but
    uh i’m just i’m just curious why why are
    they investing
    now and and why haven’t they before and
    you know i yeah yeah i mean
    uh i mean let’s let’s go back probably
    about five six
    oh my god it’s 20 21 now maybe seven
    years ago when uh
    you know six seven years ago when when
    the uber for x
    any industry uber for laundry uber for
    retail uber for any you know anything
    um uh became like the hottest thing in
    tech
    so a bunch of companies raised a bunch
    of money
    35 million here 12 million there 9
    million here
    like top venture capital firms top
    investors were flooding the market with
    capital
    for the uber for laundry and almost
    every single one of the businesses that
    started like six seven years ago
    have all gone out of business yeah
    they’re very few
    but for the most part they’ve all gone
    out of business so laundry
    you know a lot of investors would look
    around and see the dead bodies they’d
    see the
    the the companies that have crashed and
    burned and there was some
    thought of you know this is a real owner
    operator business
    it’s a you know fragmented industry no
    laundry delivery company has ever really
    worked
    and nobody’s thought about it in a
    different way i i’ll say that
    kind of to set the stage a lot of our
    operators
    even in the beginning when we were
    building out a lot of the functionality
    that we have today
    a lot of them signed on with us because
    it wasn’t just what we had today
    it was the way that our team thought
    about the industry the way we think
    about
    product our product roadmap what we’re
    really trying to create in this business
    opposed to a point of sale product that
    we add features to
    or you know just a software system that
    we’re just trying to add little features
    here and there
    um to make it a little bit better along
    the way we have a fundamental different
    viewpoint on on
    on the opportunity in this industry and
    it isn’t just
    let’s create a you know a good specific
    point of sale system with great features
    our vision is so much bigger and and you
    know
    and the beauty of it is everything that
    we do
    ever what i tell investors you know
    about our business is
    we built sense to back the operator
    that’s everything that we did all of our
    infrastructure goes back to believing
    that laundromat owners whether it’s a 80
    store owner a one store owner a five
    ten whatever shape and size of the
    business our system is
    built to help them manage understand and
    grow
    as i said i said in the beginning like
    our fate is directly intertwined with
    the fate of our operators and frankly
    when we raise this capital and
    raising another round now um you know
    we didn’t we didn’t make a big splash
    you know of course we could have gotten
    a tech crunch and
    all the big the big news outlets they
    would have loved to do an exclusive on
    this
    part of it is laundry is one of the best
    kept secrets in
    in any industry a lot of people don’t
    understand
    the great investment a laundromat is
    that the headache it can be to run these
    stores
    but the opportunity that exists in this
    industry
    one of the largest retailers you know 80
    or 100 stores in any other industry
    that’s
    it’d be a pipsqueak right it’d be one of
    the smaller retailers at 80 stores you
    wouldn’t even be out of one metro
    in some cases um and so
    i do think to a certain extent nobody
    thought about the business the way that
    we’re thinking about it
    i give credit to our team and we every
    single person on our team is just
    incredible they’re a difference maker um
    and on purpose we try not to make too
    much of a splash
    right we we barely even put out content
    in the industry because
    we don’t want to make too much noise we
    we have so much inbound
    you know stores reaching out to us to to
    want to jump on board
    we have invest you know some of our
    operators and customers invested
    uh you know in the company because they
    believe in it so much but
    i do think it is just one of the best
    kept secrets um
    you know out there yeah yeah
    well i mean i think that’s really
    interesting and it it is kind of uh
    kind of an interesting uh trip through
    history
    to see kind of all the all the dead
    bodies
    as you put it that are littered the way
    um but
    you know like kind of like i mentioned
    earlier like things have been changing
    and there’s
    new capabilities and new technologies
    that are
    that are coming to fruition here that
    haven’t
    enabled a company like since or or
    someone else too
    who you know to be able to be successful
    now whereas in the past maybe it just
    wasn’t quite
    ready yet um and and maybe it does take
    thinking about things a little bit
    differently
    um and you’ll be able to kind of
    overcome the things that these other
    companies weren’t able to overcome
    that’s you know there’s there’s the
    whole first mover advantage but
    it’s only an advantage if you can figure
    out how to make it work it’s the second
    third fourth mover who you know can
    stand on the shoulders of the dead
    bodies i guess i don’t know
    and you know see the path
    i think you’re exactly right i mean look
    what the famous apple tagline right was
    think different
    right that was that’s the famous the
    apple tagline but
    i think uh you know there certainly is
    something about first mover advantage
    absolutely but i think one of the big
    benefits that we’ve had and what
    now i think is this growing revolution
    in in the industry is
    there are comps somebody chooses sense
    because they know
    another company there so there is
    something about first mover advantage or
    they understand
    the concept an investor a laundromat
    owner an attendant
    a customer because they’ve scanned the
    qr code at the restaurant
    right they’ve paid on square they’ve
    used a delivery they used ubereats
    there are comps across this industry and
    across
    other industries where you don’t have to
    be
    a pioneer right you just have to do it
    right and do it well
    and execution when you’re building any
    business whether it’s a
    tech startup worth billions of dollars
    or a
    local coffee shop or laundromat or dry
    cleaner
    you have to get lucky you have to have a
    good team you have to have kind of the f
    foundational aspects of getting lucky
    really
    um but the rest of it is just execution
    if you build a good business you do it
    the right way and you execute on your
    core mission
    and the values that you that you have
    you’re going to find success now the
    level of success is going to be based on
    some other variables of
    how lucky you get how who do you meet at
    the right time
    you know who did you bump into at that
    one dinner by accident
    um that that gets you further ahead than
    maybe you would have been otherwise
    um but in any business it’s an execution
    business
    um that that’s the key to success
    frankly in in all things in life i think
    but
    especially when building a company yeah
    yeah awesome well i mean one of the
    things that you know when we were
    talking
    before we jumped on this this call um in
    the past
    uh one of the things that really
    intrigued me is kind of your
    view or vision of this industry kind of
    going forward and what
    you know i what the landscape is going
    to look like in this industry
    and i think it probably ties back
    somewhat to that whole business in a box
    uh concept that you that you mentioned
    earlier but can you
    can you just kind of give us a picture
    of where you see this industry moving
    what it’s going to look like
    you know down the pipeline in the future
    and
    and maybe even how sense fits into all
    that
    yeah i think you know it’s it’s
    interesting um
    in my sunday reading right of course uh
    i i look into the laundry industry in
    different countries in different regions
    there’s an incredible article
    um from uh harvard business school
    professors
    about the laundry industry in china
    right i think there was something like
    400 000 laundromats tiny tiny
    uh you know a couple hundred square foot
    stores that all and
    massive processing centers outside of
    cities and
    so it’s interesting to see the future of
    laundry
    and how it changes by region but i i
    think in the
    in the u.s i really do strongly believe
    in the owner operator model um because
    the way that laundromats are are
    positioned
    you know i think the numbers are was at
    50 percent of laundromats are located in
    five states right california new york
    florida texas and illinois right and
    87 or something of a laundromat customer
    lives within a mile of their store
    over 45 percent of of of laundromats in
    the country are owned by multi-store
    owners and you know
    stores follow population and so there
    are stores
    uniquely positioned within cities
    already whether they’re being built from
    the ground up or they’re being retooled
    and sold and changed and
    with facelifts there are these these
    call it like a node within a network
    so whether it’s a large direct to
    consumer business whether you’re looking
    at commercial whether you’re looking at
    residential
    route based uh universities hotels
    hospitals
    etc is there a future where there’s this
    massive processing center outside of
    every city and vans traffic
    there is but but really because of how
    the u.s market of laundromats exists
    today
    it makes so much more sense logistically
    it on an efficiency and cost basis
    for the local operator to be a node
    within the network
    processing and really powering laundry
    day in america i i
    again i said this in the very beginning
    i do believe that that laundromats
    will be one of if not the last retailer
    standing
    as everything goes offline in central
    warehouses and either amazon google or
    facebook or apple does
    whatever that is i really do believe
    that that laundromats will be one of the
    last standing retailers and the
    operating models however will have to
    change
    the operating model maybe just maybe the
    the stores to to really get to the same
    margin the same
    investment return profile will have to
    do more than just
    over the counter need to break into
    delivery right because
    to get in delivery you want to get to
    the most efficient
    uh route based delivery right some
    some folks want drivers on the road as
    long as possible going as far as they
    can to increase their total addressable
    market
    sometimes i tell operators all right
    that’s true go
    drive 45 minutes out and get everybody
    you can
    but look around you why don’t you have
    every single one of the local customers
    doing either pickup and delivery if they
    have washer and unit why the hell are
    they wasting their time on doing that
    right how can the you know but by
    working with local
    the cost can be democratized
    significantly become more palatable for
    the customer and the volumes can
    increase for the store
    um and there are some you know i i could
    talk for hours about the unique
    you know uh unit economics of a store
    with a fixed amount of labor and
    when you add in that new new unit of
    labor
    because your volumes increase you’ve now
    increased your cost and now you got to
    double the volume to get back to that
    same margin so
    there are a lot of nuances don’t get me
    wrong
    but i think what’s so fascinating about
    this business is even when things go
    offline
    the existing location of a store
    provides so much value when you think
    about a market network
    um and when you think about how do you
    take residential and all these in a
    commercial
    um you know laundry day and drive that
    back
    to the owner operator and when you talk
    about how to sense fit into that
    that’s where sense fits in as laundry
    habits change of consumers
    and they opt for more convenient
    services we want to put our operators in
    the best position
    to capture those dollars and capture
    that
    volume while spending the least amount
    of money to get it
    and the reason we started with that
    business in a box
    tech right is because they will then
    have
    the most structurally sound foundation
    of being able to handle that increase in
    volume
    to be able to have their business scale
    and grow
    sense is a platform that scales with you
    you grow into
    you grow you but you never grow out of
    right it’s something that’s going to
    stay with you as your business changes
    and grows and i think that
    the term your business is going to
    change is usually like oh my god what’s
    going to happen
    no no your business is going to change
    because it’s going to grow
    faster and so that’s kind of my
    thought on on the landscape i think it’s
    just
    the dominoes are gonna fall and even as
    you can tell i
    talk about this for hours i should
    probably shut up but as
    as more brands come into play
    not the franchises and things like that
    but as more direct to consumer brands
    the the entrepreneur that wants to
    create a business by picking up people’s
    clothes
    sure they could send out set up a
    warehouse outside of a city
    but golly it’s a hell of a lot more
    efficient logistically
    to work with local operators right and
    and so
    again part of how sense fits in is who
    knows what’s going to happen
    distributors manufacturers opening up
    more stores
    being able to leverage data you know who
    knows how that’s how that’s gonna
    gonna happen and i think it’s
    it’s the responsibility of tech
    companies like sense
    um and look at slice with pizza or odeco
    with coffee shops
    how do we give the local operator and i
    i can speak for
    the pizza company slice slice gives
    local pizza shop owners the same
    powerful technology
    as a dominoes right and technology
    domino’s is just as much as a technology
    and logistics company than a pizza
    company
    right and and so it’s it’s it
    it’s really giving the operators the
    ability to not just fight back
    against changes in the landscape of
    store ownership
    but gives them the tools to win and to
    grow
    you know significantly you
    you mentioned i’m just kind of curious
    your thoughts on this and
    you know i’m not i i’m not expecting you
    to be an expert on
    this at all so i’m just curious on your
    opinion on this but you mentioned
    franchises
    where do you think those fit in in kind
    of the landscape of things going forward
    do you think they’re gonna
    catch do you think they’re not going i
    mean
    look looking in the past no franchises
    have
    really taken hold in the past but
    there’s to my knowledge i know of nine
    different
    franchises happening right now so
    they’re making another go at it and
    things are a little bit different and
    some of the technology is
    there is that something that owner
    operators
    who are not a part of the franchise need
    to be
    worried about yeah i mean look we
    so i i don’t think it’s a word i mean
    why does french why does a franchise
    exist right they’re taking a brand
    that’s a franchise franchise is yes it
    says it’s a general operating maybe an
    operating model and some technology
    but the the beauty of verticalized sas
    today
    in companies like census you don’t have
    to join a franchise to get access to the
    best tech
    right that’s no longer a need the way it
    used to but you want to open a subway
    franchise you want to buy a mcdonald’s
    you want to do that
    because they have a brand the only time
    again i’ll say these things as if i’m an
    authority on on the topic
    i’m not um but you speak with that
    confidence
    you just say it yes i i do believe that
    the only time a franchise is really
    going to be relevant in this business is
    when a
    brand is relevant in this business i
    agree um
    i think that are there are unique
    operating models around franchises some
    are franchising
    the over-the-counter or franchise just
    the self-serve and keep
    and have two separate brands i think
    there are you know the goal of sense is
    we work with so many different kinds of
    businesses that
    we kind of open up our own a la carte
    menu of
    how do you want to operate your store no
    matter how you operate
    you franchise the counter and you keep
    the self-serve you
    franchise the self-serve and you keep
    the counter whatever your business is
    sense is the underlying platform that
    makes it possible to track everything
    to track your franchisee and how they’re
    utilizing your your machines
    or to track how much revenue is coming
    into your store and and connecting a
    franchisee with a local operator
    um so but but i really think that
    franchise and the hot button topic of a
    franchise is
    it’s really just brand and why i don’t
    think any franchises have
    really caught on in this industry is
    because laundry is one of the
    only retailers where laundromat
    a and laundromat b should have
    relatively simple
    end products i mean excuse me relatively
    similar end products
    i mean if not there could be a problem
    maybe somebody is good and somebody goes
    above and beyond but at the end of the
    day
    as long as you’re not shrinking clothes
    losing clothes and the folding technique
    is solid
    the the retention of a customer base
    should be pretty high because the cost
    basis
    is relatively similar in each metro so
    i think that when it comes to pickup and
    delivery brand is more relevant
    because that direct-to-consumer brand
    will spend more on their cac
    cost to acquire a customer to get in
    front of the customer with that
    instagram ad with
    whatever it is but like am i going to
    walk an extra
    half mile or extra 10 blocks because
    there’s a brand i’m familiar with
    compared to going to my local operator
    that’s going to do just as well
    it’ll be interesting to see how can
    consumer trends consumer trends move but
    i think really the zombie map
    to nice store will stunt the growth to a
    certain extent of franchise
    franchises if operators really care i
    mean i’ll give a shout out to one of our
    customers
    lingerie out in out in san francisco
    ariana’s a a two-story
    operator and she’s got one of the best
    brands i’ve seen
    not because she is trying to franchise
    it but she cares about it
    she cares about how her store looks she
    cares about you know i remember talking
    to her about her her obsession with the
    specific tile that was going to be on
    her floor
    right and having um uh
    and having plants in her store give some
    life and energy
    and and and positive feeling when you
    walk in
    white walls clean machine you know the
    basic things now i’m not going to say
    that
    you have to have a beautiful bathroom to
    be a top operator which is something i
    i’ve heard but
    i think if you just care to a certain
    extent on the appearance of your store
    and the customer experience it does
    stunt the growth to a certain extent of
    the ability for somebody to be
    to create an effective franchise because
    franchise a versus local operator b the
    end product should be the same
    to again to a certain extent so i think
    it’s more of a brand play than anything
    but
    again we work with different you know
    operators that run franchises
    um and so our goal is just to back the
    operator and whatever
    business model works for them and helps
    them grow their business
    that’s really what what at least that
    sense we care about
    yeah i love that i love that i think
    that’s
    i mean you sound you sound like an
    expert in there so i mean
    that’s the danger that’s the thing a psa
    i’m not an expert i just really i love
    it and i’m passionate about it
    um but you know one man’s opinion
    well you know i mean it sounds very
    similar to how i’ve talked about it so
    that
    i’m pretty sure that just makes you an
    expert in math i agree with you i’m an
    expert
    i mean that’s that’s how i like to see
    it uh
    so okay cool well uh man
    we we’ve gone through a bunch of stuff
    but i want to talk about
    uh new operators like what
    you know from i guess from a sense
    perspective like let’s say you have
    somebody who’s
    who’s coming in who’s coming on board
    what do they need to know how do they
    how do they know if this is the right
    business model for them
    um or platform for them
    to operate their business model with or
    you know what
    what do they need to do to prepare for
    it what can you talk a little bit about
    that
    yeah do you mean about sense
    specifically or just like getting into
    the industry
    uh well let’s talk first about somebody
    who wants to
    you know partner up with sense and
    utilize your platform
    and you know to either i guess
    maybe just to start a pickup and
    delivery service and maybe a drop-off
    service
    um somebody who wants a business in a
    box
    you know what i’m talking about you know
    i’m familiar with the phrase
    i love using it it sounds great on you
    um
    yeah it started with something like that
    yeah yeah no like
    we actually work i mean man a lot of
    operators uh that we work with whose
    stores don’t open until july or august
    and i think you know they’re trying to
    get the tech they want to they want to
    check that box because they could be in
    permit purgatory or they’re
    negotiating a lease or they’re working
    with a distributor for a machine and
    trying to decide so they want to they
    want to get the software side handle
    right which is a great opportunity for
    us because we get to get ahead of things
    we get to
    show operators so many different models
    and the beauty of sense is
    you don’t have to make a decision about
    your business and be stuck with it
    right you know you make a decision on
    the machines you’re going to use most
    likely it’s going to be your machines
    for the next 10 years right
    but the the beauty of good software
    should be do you want to try
    leveraging the gig economy for your for
    your uh
    delivery services and then when your
    volume picks up think about leveraging a
    localized courier
    for route based deliveries or buying
    your own vans if the economics speak for
    it
    try it right try to we’re trying to
    limit the like the capex
    and the the massive upfront investment
    an operator makes in some of the
    initiatives whether it’s a
    maybe even a card system a delivery
    system is it like
    we’re trying to make it a modular
    business you want to try this operating
    model you want to try commission for
    your team
    for your employees you want to try these
    dynamic promo and coupons
    do you want to try you know these
    various business models
    until you figure out the one that’s best
    for your business the one that’s best
    for you that you enjoy
    that you feel passionate about running
    and that works best for your for your
    market for your metro for your area and
    for your customers
    so you know i’ll say operators with
    sense they get going in in days
    right when they choose our system you
    know the only reason it takes days
    compared to immediately is because
    we really focus on having our operations
    team our customer success team
    meet with operators go on zoom or you
    know now it’s
    now we can almost go in person and like
    we’ve been dying to go in person to
    stores
    and meet with our operators sit down
    with attendance go through virtual
    trainings like
    that’s the only time it actually takes
    because we want to make sure that
    operators know we’re in this with them
    especially the new ones and
    and the ones newer into the space um
    but you know my advice for for new
    operators choosing cents or really
    choosing
    anybody we feel confident that if you
    compare our system to anybody else
    you’ll come to a decision that that
    you’re choosing sense but
    at the core of it if we’re not the
    platform that’s helping grow your
    business you should go to the platform
    that’s helping grow your business
    that’s again we only care about backing
    the operator
    and uplifting this industry we believe
    we’re the ones that do it but whoever it
    is
    that’s who we really care about and we
    want to make sure that
    that that operators are supported in
    what they do um
    i will warn maybe warren is aggressive
    but um
    but all warren operators
    the warning cop people hello
    uh i’ll caution i like caution more than
    more
    um yeah it feels a little nicer yeah
    like yellow light you know you could run
    it
    but you know maybe not uh we’re in
    california yeah we ran all the yellows
    you run all these in a little bit of the
    red too
    uh i’ll say that
    a lot of providers in this space
    you know or i’ll say a lot of operators
    have been billed the
    same you know the same bill of goods
    have been told
    sold the same bill of goods for a long
    time
    and there have been there’s been
    language that’s used in the space that
    you know you’re over the counter has to
    be separate then you’re self-serve your
    self-serve is different your delivery is
    different you’re this is that
    they’re the operating model and the
    technology in the space has been largely
    the same
    for for many many many years and
    i i would i caution and and advise
    new operators is be a sponge look at
    other industries
    look at companies powering other
    verticals look at the opportunity that’s
    in space
    in the space talk to as many companies
    as
    you can don’t just talk to one and be
    sold which you think is doing a
    disservice to sense i mean if you talk
    to us why would i want you to talk to
    anybody else
    but i’m telling you you will see the
    difference when you talk to different
    companies and you learn
    about how they’re selling you and what
    they’re telling you is possible either
    on a technology or operating basis
    because my painting with a broad brush
    overarching statement is whatever people
    are telling you is possible
    there’s more there’s more you can do
    there’s
    more opportunity um again
    as you could say i’m not biased covering
    up my logo
    um uh you know i i do believe that sense
    is the one that will give you that
    best opportunity to grow your business
    but
    just be a sponge talk to different
    people
    talk to operators connect with mutual
    customers
    and and talk to different systems so you
    understand what is the best
    for not just you and your business but
    how you want to run your business
    how you want to operate your business
    the level of involvement you want to
    have
    what kind of employees you want to have
    and what kind of customer experience you
    want to have
    so that’s that’s that would be my feel
    well i mean
    that’s just that’s coming straight out
    of confidence right there hey go talk to
    my
    competitors and we’ll see you back here
    really look i mean if you want if you
    want another dose of confidence
    i don’t really think that i don’t really
    have to lie to hubris though
    i’ve heard that i know that’s trouble so
    stay confident just don’t cross that
    line we gotta
    i promise i’m not gonna fly too close to
    the sun okay uh
    here but but i think you know and people
    ask us like who are your competitors
    there are obvious
    competitors to sense don’t get me wrong
    right the clear
    we have competition that way but you
    know the way i think of it
    i don’t think we have in some ways and
    this is for better for worse it’s not
    sense is better because of x y and z i
    don’t really
    in in some ways i think we don’t have
    some competition in some way
    not because we’re so much better or or
    so much worse
    because we just go about it differently
    different doesn’t always mean better
    but we go about it differently and so
    again i that’s why i say
    talk to people don’t just look at their
    products don’t just take a demo
    talk to the people running this business
    because the one thing i’ve learned about
    this industry
    it’s a people business it’s it’s a it’s
    it’s all about
    being committed to this industry
    understanding it
    being a part of the community and caring
    to it obsessive psychotic level
    um if i’m going to be powering operators
    if not me but a sense is going to be
    building software that is somewhat
    foundational
    for a business you need to be obsessed
    with it you need
    to love every aspect of
    the you know tracking the weights of an
    order and making sure that we can track
    the delta and send the alerts when
    when something is you know when there’s
    five or seven pound difference of
    the pre-processing and post-processing
    weight like yeah
    talk to the people that are running the
    companies that are that are
    building the software because it’s a
    people business and you don’t want after
    you sign
    just have to deal with a chat bot you
    want to know that you’re being taken
    care of and you want to know that
    people are in this with you know people
    are in this with you
    for the long haul because that’s that’s
    what this industry needs it needs people
    believing in the future vision of it
    and not uh you know not people either
    trying to make a
    a quick buck or are are trying to go too
    broad or generic
    awesome awesome awesome uh i have a
    question for you
    fully recognizing the answers to this
    question
    may just be laundromat owners and dry
    cleaner owners
    but i’m just curious uh
    do you because we’re already in a like a
    pretty niche down
    niche here or niche for those of you
    who prefer niche is it is there an
    ideal person for
    sense or is the answer if you own a
    laundromat or you own a dry
    cleaner or you own both senses for you
    or do you have an ideal within that
    niche
    you know i thought when we first started
    the business that we would
    you know i thought in the very beginning
    single store operator you know people
    looking they have their business and
    they want to take the next level
    then i thought oh my god we’re perfect
    for the the multi-store operator
    right we work with an 80 store operator
    with a 25 store operator we work with
    one three five and what i realized is
    the pain points of a single single store
    operator whether they have
    you know 35 machines or a
    multi-store 80 store 20 store 5 10 7
    store operator with 50 machines per
    store 100
    200 300 a lot of the pain points are
    very similar
    right now they they’re multiplied i have
    the bigger the business and maybe you
    have to deal with the gna structure and
    more labor
    and more machines can go down and you
    have routes
    but but by and large there are a lot of
    similar problems which is what makes the
    community so great and
    jordan’s what makes you so great is you
    can paint with
    broad strokes of of the pain points and
    what operators can do better
    because the the pain points and the
    successes
    are shared no matter the size of the
    business so
    again there are nuances right we built
    crazy functionality
    and hub and spoke in regions districts
    like crazy mega multi-store owner
    system but then we build functionality
    that you know
    by and large supports all of our
    operators and so
    we take all of our product feedback by
    talking to as many operators we can the
    commitment we ask of our customers when
    they sign is
    we get on the phone with us every once
    in a while i mean we talk to you once a
    week if you let us
    but let us know what you’re experiencing
    so we can compare it to
    the pain points we hear from other
    operators and build the right product
    i don’t want to build the product that
    we think is right i’m going to build a
    product that
    jordan you think is right and and and
    your listeners
    so i thought we’d have
    the theme of this is long answer to a
    short question but
    uh i thought we’d have a specific
    operator that we would really succeed in
    succeed with but by and large
    everybody experiences a similar problem
    everybody experiences similar ways that
    they’re succeeding
    um and and and we’ve found success
    really with with any laundromat or dry
    cleaner or garment care professional
    you know you know somebody’s building a
    company to direct to consumer brands
    somebody’s
    doing the over-the-counter sale the
    over-the-counter business for a
    laundromat owner
    and you leverage our system or
    residential
    it’s all it really all um
    all fun you know falls into our our
    sweet spot
    yeah well i mean i that’s i wanted to
    ask that question because i think
    there’s gonna be a lot of people who
    are like well how do i know if it’s for
    me and
    so just to make a short answer to your
    long answer is if you own a laundromat
    dry cleaner or garment care business
    it’s it’s for you is that am i saying
    that
    exactly this is you’re keeping me honest
    i need to make sure i shut up a little
    bit but yes that is
    that is exactly correct if you own a
    garment care business laundromat dry
    cleaner
    sense is for you got it okay i’m only
    giving you a hard time because people
    are always like dude you are so
    long-winded and slow-talking and
    uh i’m just glad that i’m not the only
    one that’s all oh i’m worse
    guarantee i’m worse but at least you
    have this like passion behind
    everything you’re saying right like i’m
    like really just like
    sucked in with your passion and energy
    so
    something to be entertained when i talk
    for 45 minutes about
    weight changes of a laundromat problem
    and i’ve been i’ve been blown away by
    the response to how many people listen
    to this podcast and how many people
    reach out i’m like dude this is a
    laundromat podcast
    all right let’s just calm it down a
    little bit and go do something
    productive with your life i don’t know
    uh but i get psyched about it too and
    apparently we’re not the only ones man
    there’s a lot of us out there
    we’re not the only crazies in the world
    that’s right you know
    yeah need to you know what you know what
    i’m going to do i’m going to make
    t-shirts that say laundromat psychopath
    oh my god please i got to get a whole
    team
    the whole team yeah we’re yeah we’re
    going to we’re just going to get them
    out there for everybody i love that
    i’m pre-ordering uh you mentioned
    earlier about how great i was can we
    talk about that a little bit more
    yeah oh i mean how much how much time do
    you have i feel like i feel bad you’re
    asking this question
    last night we’re gonna do i mean we’re
    gonna do a full episode on that
    okay perfect just kidding uh hey man
    i mean this has been awesome i want to
    give you an opportunity if there’s
    anything else that you want to
    to chat about i mean obviously we you
    know you and me we’re on the same
    wavelength we could talk forever
    about this and and would talk forever
    about this but i want to make sure
    there’s nothing
    like super important that you want to
    make sure that you
    communicate to people um and then i also
    want to give
    people an opportunity to to find out how
    to get a hold of you find out more about
    sins all that at the end but is there
    anything that you want to make sure
    that people want to that people need to
    hear um
    before before we wrap this up yeah i
    mean
    a couple things that i’ll try to be
    brief the first thing is i’m not holding
    this
    do
    the first thing is buy
    listen watch respond engage with all
    things jordan barry
    and laundromat resource because it’s
    been no
    in all seriousness i’ve so thoroughly
    enjoyed all of our conversations and
    appreciate your
    passion and insight and and again i
    think this is such an underserved
    industry for technology but also in
    in unbiased you know and people that
    care about giving information and
    insights to operators to make their
    businesses better and
    drive value for the industry so to
    everybody who still made it at this
    point of of the podcast
    continue to engage in all things jordan
    barry whether it’s me talking or
    whoever else um or or even better just
    jordan uh continue you know and
    it’s just you know i could say just an
    amazing experience and so grateful to
    have
    to have me on the last thing is
    you know we our mission is just to to
    drive
    value for operators to increase the
    revenue drive the efficiency
    and really be a facilitator of
    outsourcing
    laundry day in america to the local
    launch mat and dry cleaner that is the
    core of everything that we do
    so if you’re a laundromat owner who has
    a system who doesn’t have a system who
    hates technology or is obsessed with
    technology
    take a call with us learn more about
    what we’re doing
    let us chew your off i promise you won’t
    have to deal with me so the phone call
    won’t be
    two and a half hours you’ll deal with
    people more specialized
    uh and more succinct but you know just
    just
    please we’d love to connect with you and
    tell you about why we’re continuing to
    tell you about why we’re passionate
    about the industry show you our product
    tell you everything that we can about
    about how we feel like we’re approaching
    this business differently
    and just be a sponge because this is
    such an
    amazing time to be a laundromat and dry
    cleaning
    you know business owner um you know the
    industry is
    really it’s it’s just take off and the
    opportunity
    for efficiency and revenue generation
    across
    all the different sides of this vertical
    are are
    ready to be to be to be snatched up by
    the local business and
    we hope that we can be a driver for that
    you know of that for you
    but talk to as many people as you can in
    this industry
    and it’s just an incredible incredible
    time so
    um that’s to be out of respect for
    everybody i’ll leave it there
    no i mean i think that’s that’s really
    good and uh i mean
    so okay so i mean you tell people to get
    a hold of you what’s the best way
    for people to a find out more
    information about
    sense and b to get a hold of someone
    adsense to hear more
    and and to kind of connect i mean you
    mentioned multiple times throughout the
    podcast hey
    talk to the people involved in the
    company is a people business so
    how do they do that yeah you go to our
    website trysense.com again
    everything we’re trying to do is just
    try it right so try sense.com
    t-r-y-c-e-n-t-s dot com
    if you go book a demo from there it’ll
    immediately take you to the calendar of
    any of our sales team and
    onboarding specialists and demo
    specialists who can give you a
    walk-through of
    you know every side of the business
    spend as much time with you as you’d
    like
    um and you can do it right from there
    you don’t have to wait for an email
    just book a time with us um on our
    website
    um you can email me alex at trisense.com
    i’ll make sure you get
    taken good care of no matter what i’m
    sure we’ll be connecting i
    i hope but anything at trisens.com go to
    our website
    talk to operators that that work with us
    um
    and you know we love to love to connect
    and and
    hopefully i’ll reach you guys again if
    uh jordan lets me on again
    oh yeah absolutely no promises i don’t
    know
    yeah well i mean it depends on how much
    you want to pay me for that so
    uh just kidding i’m just kidding just
    everybody
    no yeah nobody ever pays me to come on
    the podcast and
    nobody ever will so but seriously man
    this has been
    incredible make sure that you check out
    trisense.com
    and hey give them a try go book a call
    and and talk with
    you know the people over there at sense
    and get a
    sense for sense that should be like a
    motto
    how about another dude can i have other
    clothing we put that on the back of the
    t-shirt
    yeah like laundry psychopath yeah
    and then on the yeah i like that you
    know get a sense for sense i like that
    man this is
    we’re just marketing your company you
    know we’re just rebranding everything
    right that’s it
    i’m happy to come on any time these are
    great ideas this is amazing this is
    amazing you’re getting a lot out of this
    for free man this is great
    uh no but seriously go check out
    trisense.com the link to it
    and uh in alex’s email are gonna be
    in the show notes and also if you’re on
    youtube they’ll be down below in the
    description so
    you know click through there if you need
    to or you can just type it in on your
    browser but make sure you check it out a
    lot of cool things going on
    another thing that i want to mention uh
    before we jump off here
    if you have been you know feeling this
    energy that alex has
    and you want to hear more about
    the future of this industry and how you
    can be a part of the future of this
    industry we actually put together
    a a webinar that um that we’re going to
    host
    through laundromat resource but alex and
    his team are going to put it on
    um that’s going to be july 1st you’ll be
    able to sign up
    at laundromat resource.com events
    and i’ll put a link again in the show
    notes and in the description so that’s
    july
    1st for a webinar and we’re going to be
    talking about
    the future of of the industry and how
    you can
    be a part of that and then there’ll be
    some time for some q a so you can ask
    questions
    you know about the future you know i
    think you’re going to bring your crystal
    ball
    right i think i will yes yes yes i’ll
    i’ll dust it off haven’t been quite some
    time right
    but excited to dust it off for the
    webinar yeah there you go yeah polish it
    up
    uh but but also you’ll you’ll be able to
    ask questions about sense and
    get a sense for sense uh at that webinar
    there so check it out laundry
    resource.com
    events sign up for that uh for that
    webinar
    and uh man we’ll we’ll be super excited
    to
    to join you over there and hear some
    more from
    you not only just this incredible energy
    that you bring but also
    you know the wisdom and the experience
    of uh you know
    from all these different owners and
    operators in the different business
    models that you’re seeing and how you’re
    seeing them
    work and operate and what direction
    you’re seeing them going i think that’s
    super valuable
    so i’m super excited about it and i know
    it won’t just be you and me but even if
    it was
    incredible have a great time i’d be
    excited i’d be excited so
    thank you again for coming on really
    appreciate it we’ll definitely
    have you back on free of charge and
    uh we’ll get an update you know from you
    on how sense is going how everything
    you know is is progressing along and uh
    here’s some more of your wisdom and feed
    off some of that energy
    there’s a lot of people actually i know
    now i’m going along but
    there’s a lot of people who tell me that
    they listen while they’re
    you know working out or while they’re
    you know riding their bikes or on jogs
    and stuff like that
    so i i just i have a feeling there’s
    going to be a lot of pr’s after this
    episode because they’re just going to be
    like
    energizing you’re trying to fire people
    up you know get that last rep
    yeah set know i heard the pr last mile
    we’re going sub five minute mile uh
    listen to this one it’s gonna be great
    uh well all right man thank you again
    appreciate you coming on everything that
    you shared and can’t wait to
    join you at the webinar and everybody
    else joining us at the webinar
    and uh we’ll see you then awesome thank
    you jordan
    all right i no no no that you got a ton
    of value out of that
    episode it was an incredible interview i
    know i got a lot out of it and just felt
    very inspired by alex it was very very
    cool
    so make sure you check out sense and
    check out what they
    are doing again links to scents and to
    everything we talked about
    in this episode will be on the show
    notes laundrymatresource.com
    show 59 or if you’re on youtube they’ll
    be down in the description
    as well and as you know every single
    week i encourage you pick
    one thing from this podcast episode that
    you can put into practice pick one thing
    and actually do it right because it’s
    doing that gets you
    where you want to go it’s not just
    learning right you’ve learned
    now pick something to do action paves
    the way to success right
    okay so for me this episode i wrote down
    that well first of all i got to share my
    favorite quote of the whole interview
    which was laundromats are the cockroach
    of retail you can’t kill it
    love that by the way it’s really funny
    and kind of fitting
    but the other thing that he said is
    um uh whatever people are telling you
    is possible there’s more whatever people
    are telling you is possible there’s
    more and for me i know that’s not like a
    practical okay go do this
    but i think for me it’s a mindset shift
    in thinking about my business
    bigger right and i think laundromat
    industry can get
    you can get like very i think it’s very
    easy to
    get in your box and think okay here’s
    what the business
    is and i think sometimes we forget to
    stop and think okay do we want this
    to be bigger can we do more with it can
    we help more people with it
    can you build a better business with it
    right and so
    i’m telling you that there is a
    possibility for you to find
    financial freedom in this industry
    and alex says that even though i’m
    telling you that there’s even
    more possible for you right so hey man
    for me
    i think it’s opening up my mind and
    seeing okay what
    more is out there for me with
    laundromats
    what is it for you i’d love to hear
    about it head over to the forums on my
    resource.com
    forums share your one takeaway what are
    you putting into action
    this week based off of this episode
    all right guys this has been incredible
    as always we’ll see you again next week
    on a lot of my resource podcast
    peace
    [Music]

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