Nathalie Beaubien

I often hear from laundromat owners or former owners that when they first bought their laundromat it wasn’t what they expected. Often it was significantly more work and stress than they anticipated. 

Many owners cut their losses and sell their laundromat business. They then go off and explore other opportunities. A very few tough it out and either eventually find success, or eventually throw in the towel. Even less end up selling their laundromats only to regret it and buy the exact businesses they sold back.

That’s Nathalie Beaubien’s story. After a stressful and overwhelming start in her laundromat journey, she got to a point where she needed to sell her businesses. Shortly after she did, she regretted it. 

In today’s show, Nathalie tells her story about why laundromat ownership was overwhelming, why she sold her businesses, why she bought them back, and what was different the second time around that turned her into the “Soap Box Queen!”

In today’s show, Nathalie and Jordan discuss:

  • The path of Nathalie’s journey in the laundromat business
  • One of the problems with laundromats
  • Why she sold her business
  • Why she bought her exact laundromats back
  • How the last 7 years was different from her first 5 years owning her laundromats
  • Where she found opportunity with her laundromats
  • Why she prefers to be hands-on in her business
  • How her personal brand has affected her businesses
  • How she grew her wash and fold business
  • What her secret sauce to success is
  • The #1 tip she gives to new laundromat owners
  • The best places she has gone to do her research on the laundromat business

And a lot more!

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By Laundromat Owners.
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Today's Sponsors

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

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Nathalie's Bio

Hi! My name is Nathalie, and along with my husband Marc we own 2 laundromats, Soap Box Laundromat in Newmarket, Ontario, which is just 25 minutes north of Toronto. It has certainly been a journey over the last 14 years, trying to navigate this crazy laundry world, seeing what works, what machines we like, what our customers expect and much more. I never thought I would be the Soap Box Queen – but here I am..at least, that’s how I’m known around town! 

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Episode Transcript

hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
laundromat resource
podcast show number 60.
and i pumped you here today because
today we’re talking with
natalie who is up in the great white
north she’s
she’s canadian and just about as far
away from me
as you can get and we talk a little bit
about the weather and how i can’t handle
it
but besides that we talk a lot about
laundromats and her experience she’s
been in the business for a
long time and in fact she’s built up
quite the reputation for herself in her
community
and her community has given her the
nickname the soapbox queen which i
thought was
awesome and so i asked her about that
but in all honesty she
she has a ton uh to teach us about
laundromats and how to run this business
and how to do it well
and how to brand uh and this is all kind
of happened unintentionally for her
originally but she’s embraced it
and uh and it it’s come through
just providing amazing service and
building great relationships
so we’re going to talk about that how
she did that how all of that played out
for her
and she has this crazy journey with
laundromat
you’re just gonna love it i’m gonna tell
you too much because you’re gonna love
it we’re gonna jump into it here
in a second real quick i just want to
say a big welcome to
everybody who uh you know joined
laundromat resource.com joined the
membership over there over this past
week i just checked we’re we’re over
2000
members now which is insane to me uh
so much fun a lot of you guys getting to
know each other on the forums
uh the new member introduction forums
the laundromat forums commercial real
estate forms
the repair form i mean it’s so cool to
see everything going on over there
if you’re not over there i am going to
stick
with my intention of brainwashing you to
get
on the forums every single week find
some time to go over there
ask a question answer a question i
cannot emphasize to you how important it
is that we are connecting with each
other
um whether you already own a laundromat
or laundromats
or you’re trying to buy your first one
connecting with each other is not only
going to help you find success in
whatever
your next goal is faster
but it’s going to take you to higher
goals we are
truly all better when we’re working
together that’s happening over there on
the forums
super cool to see super cool to be a
part of i’m humbled
and honored to be a part of it uh come
join us over there on the forums
all right uh i mean the only other thing
i wanted to
just remind you guys is that we have a
live weekly
uh webinar every single week you can
sign up
just on the homepage at
laundermartresource.com every week
they’re free
they’re live and i am super excited
because we are
now starting to integrate um some
other voices into these webinars that
are going to join me
and so you’re not going to want to miss
those make sure you’re checking
that out you can check it out laundromat
resource.com events
that’s where those webinars will be
posted and you can
sign up for those um and it
they’re awesome uh they’re they’re
really awesome and i’m
really really excited about some of the
uh the webinars that we have from some
outside voices coming up
you’ll be hearing about those as we go
along but go check those out on my
resource.com
events you can find that link in every
other link from this
uh episode at laundromat resource dot
com slash
show 60 show 60
super super super excited that we made
it to 60. i remember
i think i’ve already reminisced about
this at one point some other landmark
maybe 50 or something but
i just i remember when i was super
excited to hit
show eight because show eight there’s
some stat out there that may or may not
be true but i read it
and it was on the internet so it must be
true uh
that most podcasts don’t make it past
eight episodes and i remember
celebrating that and now here we are
celebrating 60 so huge thank you to you
guys
um and to all the guests that have come
on uh just
again truly truly an honor i’ve learned
a ton
i hope you guys have learned a ton and
that you’re reaching out to these
guests who are for the most part willing
to
to chat with you guys so if you connect
with guests you connect with natalie
today or or past guests
reach out to them they’d love to help
you uh wherever you’re at in your
journey and uh
yeah let’s jump into it with natalie
right after this alright 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
positive atmosphere no pun intended
uh and you’re a laundromat to help
people associate
this chore that most people don’t like
doing with something positive
atmosphere tv is an incredible way to
help improve the atmosphere
of your laundromat and basically if you
haven’t heard of it
what it is is it has 50 plus channels
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dropping videos from
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there’s a ton of stuff 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
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your
atmosphere so check out atmosphere.tv
i’ll put a link down in the description
on youtube or in the show notes
check it out there make sure you use the
keyword resource that we can get that
thing for free
and or if you’d like email mike
mike.kelly
atmosphere.tv okay here’s natalie bobian
the soapbox queen natalie thank you for
coming on
the podcast how are you doing today i’m
fantastic jordan how are you
i am doing awesome it’s funny because
yeah oh it’s it’s my pleasure my honor
uh it’s funny because i know you’re up
in canada and i’m in southern california
we’re just talking about how
well we had to get some help from siri
to figure out
this but that it’s hotter up there than
it is down here right now it’s pretty
crazy
it is crazy but we had snow a couple
weeks ago which is just
you know you go from that’s the thing
about when you live in canada you can go
from snow
to you know 80 to 85 degrees
you know in in a matter of a week so
it’s never boring here i like how you
pretended like you knew what 85 degrees
was
well i’m just kidding
i’m just kidding i’m just kidding well
it’s uh
natalie with an h in bobian right is
that
got it yeah you’re french right i am not
friend
no i was uh born in amsterdam
moved to canada about 40 years ago oh
gosh now i feel old
um i was three by the way and uh
i’ve been here ever since so i married a
french guy a great guy
and i have a very french name and
it gets me in a lot of trouble because
people think automatically think oh she
speaks french
and the only thing i can tell you is or
ask you is how to get to the bathroom
so yeah well the only thing i know is
a competiton home alone that’s really
the only thing that i know i don’t even
know if that’s how you say
it but that’s how i mimic it so
uh well hey why don’t you tell us okay i
mean man born in antonin that’s pretty
cool
so why don’t you tell us a little bit
about your background uh in
in who you are um so
i like i said i moved here when i was
three we did a lot of moving
um had to learn to adapt how to learn
how to make new friends
um finally settled sort of
north of newmarket or sort of north of
toronto
and i’m married
have two boys
and i’m on this crazy journey of
which i never expected in a million
years to
you know be a businesswoman or run
laundromat
or you know kind of be known as
the soapbox queen sort of where i live
so it’s been a really interesting
journey you know i spent time in school
doing
uh work um working with kids with
special needs i’ve
i’ve sort of been all over the place but
i’ve focused the last 14 years um
predominantly on learning about
laundromats which i’m
again in a million years and never
thought i would say
never welcome to the club i think that’s
probably true for most of us
i just have no idea
but it’s awesome pretty awesome it is
weird how
life kind of takes you in weird
directions sometimes
well okay what okay so how how did it
happen how did you get into salon if you
haven’t been planning this since you
moved to canada when you no
no no like i went to university i went
to i started a career with uh the local
school board working with kids with
special needs
and i was happy doing it i
you know had my own kids i worked and
then
one day 14 years ago i’m laying in bed
i’m pregnant with my second son
and my husband turns to me it’s like 10
o’clock at night i will
never forget this conversation he turns
to me
we had never spoken about laundromats
before
never turns to me and says
do you want to buy a laundromat
and so i stopped whatever i was doing
reading a book or something and i turned
to him and i said
it’s a laundromat like i had never
been in a lot he goes okay princess it’s
you know where you go to clean your
clothes i’m like
no what are you talking about i i had
never been in a laundromat
never i never looked for one i’ve never
been in one i
grew up with a washer and dryer what are
you talking about why do you have to go
to a laundromat
i don’t get it and he’s like okay i’m
going to bed now
and kind of laughed you know i laughed
it off i’m like oh he’s he’s kidding
no because the next day he called the
agent and was like can we come look at
your laundromat
and three months later
he convinced me he’s like natalie this
is gonna be great you’re gonna go to
work
and i’m gonna go to work and it’s gonna
run itself
yeah no that’s not how it works
but because i had not a clue yeah and i
wanted to make my husband happy and he
promised me how fantastic it was gonna
be
uh i went along with it yeah oh my
i was very foolish because we closed on
our first laundromat
um about two months after
our second son was born so i was still
on maternity leave and so everything was
fine
um again i had no idea how much work the
actual laundromat needed
and so luckily my husband’s very handy
but then i wouldn’t see him at night or
i wouldn’t see him on the weekends and
i’m like no no no this is not working
like what are you doing
um and it’s kind of a blur from there
because we went through all the motions
and i
ended up going back to work and then
i would get phone calls all the time
like
you know oh i lost a quarter oh the
dryer didn’t work
and i’m like i’m at work like i can’t
yeah
i got to a point where i couldn’t i
couldn’t run a laundromat
and have a career and be a mother and
run a house and like all these things
and i was just
i said you know we got to figure this
out
so it took a couple years um
and i finally decided to put my career
like my what i had gone to
school for uh on hold
and uh started working on the laundromat
well now laundromats uh full time
all right well hold on i want to back
you up for a second sorry i know i’m
kind of all over the place no you’re not
you’re actually you’re going straight
line
you’re you’re right on but i want to go
back to
this conversation that you had in the
middle of the night like okay you guys
had never talked
about that and you laughed it off what
what
how did he catch the bug so
he grew up in a very small town
um near i guess the closest big city
would be
windsor ontario and i didn’t know this
you know even though we were married it
never came up in conversation that
his father had had a laundromat
so although he wasn’t like my husband
wasn’t well versed
you know he knew enough about uh
machines
um he knew you know he knew the basics
of running a laundromat
um besides you know he had gone to
school for
mechanical engineering and he um is very
handy he knows how to
fix almost anything um he had sort of
been in that world
as a kid but i didn’t know that and we
had never had this conversation
so i really thought he was joking when
he asked me
and again i when i tell people they
always laugh they’re like haha what’s a
laundromat
no you have no idea like i i guess i
lived a
fairly privileged life i don’t i stayed
home when i went to
university you know so i didn’t need to
go to a laundromat i had my parents
washing machine and when i moved into my
own home
i had a washing machine so
i just honestly i was so oblivious to
to what it was what the world you know
what the world of
laundry was yeah and
then we jumped in yeah i think a lot of
people
kind of get in that way where you just
like you’ve never used one
yourself and you just kind of jump into
it and
figure out there’s a whole whole
different part of life that
you’re just not familiar with no not at
all
what kind of what kind of condition was
the laundromat in when you bought it
um so our first one wasn’t bad
in terms of uh location it had been
there for lots of
uh for many years the machines weren’t
bad um
but the owner hadn’t been you know it
was wasn’t attended
and the owner sort of you know he came
to collect money and then that was it
you know there was a phone number you
could call if you had an issue you had
to leave a message
um so the owner wasn’t very involved
um which i don’t personally
agree with you know i think as an owner
you you either need to be there yourself
or you need to have
a competent staff member on site
you know it doesn’t have to be full-time
necessarily but you need somebody there
that client or customers coming in can
see and if they need some help
that someone’s there to help them so it
wasn’t in bad condition
it was just um getting used to
you know how the machines worked what
needed to be replaced
what needed tweaking things like that
and that all takes time
so um that’s our first location
and then a couple years later you know
he does the same thing to me
he’s like well you know
there’s another laundromat in town and
i’m like
no you’re kidding me right like
[Laughter]
well how did he get okay so i mean you
talked about how it was
a tough tough go early on i mean you had
just had a baby
you had just bought your first business
you were working
you know and it was i mean it sounds
like it was pretty
pretty tough he was going working on
machines and nights and weekends
how long was that going on for first of
all i went on for at least a couple
years
yeah a couple years and he works
full-time and he still does outside of
the laundromat
um so that was a couple years and i
i got through it i would call him a lot
crying like what am i gonna do
you know i wasn’t able to 14 years later
i’m able to do a whole
you know whole gamut of things but at
the beginning i was like
what do i do what do i tell this person
how do i handle this and
and he tried his best to help me over
the phone but i was the one getting the
phone calls
right i was the one dealing with all of
this plus you know
oh by the way you have to pick up the
kids at three o’clock and oh by the way
you know
dinner has to get ready and and this
that and the other so it was a couple
years of just
um just trying to figure it all out
without a lot of you know there wasn’t
really anywhere to turn for
for help or support so it was uh
it was like here good luck see you later
yeah i mean you and i i can really
relate with you because we both got
bamboozled
a little bit uh because when i bought my
laundry mat it was my wife’s idea to do
it and then somehow i
inherited all the responsibility oh
wonder matt and i have just given birth
to a child no i’m just kidding
yeah i mean that’s tough right it was
like he’s the one who wanted to buy a
laundromat and here you are
taking calls yeah so i
i empathize with that so we’ll get to uh
that conversation after because i mean
luckily we are still married
yeah okay but uh you know
there was a point in time where i said
we gotta pick
one or the other yeah so uh but that’s
later on in the story
yeah we’ve had those conversations too
so i mean especially early on
we were losing all kinds of money at the
same time with ours and uh
hopefully yours wasn’t like that but um
okay so
how long were you trying to how long
before you
stopped your full-time job oh
so actually when i had after i had
after i went back to work i actually
went back part time
okay which was great because i would i
would work in the morning and i would be
able to
take care of any issues in the afternoon
except
there were still issues happening in the
morning so i was still being called
yeah and things were still happening so
um
it took another couple years where i
finally said you know what i need to
take a leave of absence
to see if i can make this
you know what i want it to be or as
successful as i want it
and think it can be so i actually took a
leave of absence luckily working for the
school board
um they granted it so i had a whole year
off
where my kids were in school and so i
could spend a good chunk of my day
figuring things out really focusing on
customer service
on growing my wash and fold on learning
how to
maintain machines things like that
the everyday tasks that are required of
a laundromat
um and then that year turned into a
second year of
a leave of absence which they granted
you know i wanted sort of a backup plan
so if it didn’t work
you know i had something to go back to
and then finally after the second year
um
they said you need to make a decision
and i said you know what this is
it’s going fairly well things are
getting way you know much better
um so i actually ended up leaving my
position with the school board
and giving up you know my benefits and
my pension and my things like
that and i haven’t regretted that
decision
at all as much as i love working with
kids
this is a really interesting
different exciting world
yeah yeah it really is okay so
you i mean i’m curious it sounds like
you were still kind of a little bit in
the thick of it
when you know your husband
comes up with a round two idea around
two
oh yeah how did that happen how did that
conversation go
in like what what was that i mean i i’m
assuming he found a good deal
or what he thought was a good deal at
least you know what it was a really good
deal
um the laundromat was um it was a small
location
um it’s only about 1100 square feet uh
but it was
run down it was really really run down
it needed new machines it needed you
know paint floor
all of that stuff the owner was
completely absent
and um just wanted to get rid of it so
we did we got a really good deal
um and so again i went along with it
like i just what’s what’s two when
you’ve already got one right like
that’s right you might as well have ten
yeah i mean
got one just keep going right why not
so and it sounds great like on paper
and in theory it sounds great oh we’re
gonna have two locations you know
it’s almost gonna be like a brand it’s
gonna be fantastic
um you’re a multi-store owner it’s
beautiful right
yeah and uh
we cleaned that one up and we
got new machines and it’s it’s right
it’s been running fairly well
so i certainly can’t complain
and then he did it again
let’s just can we just acknowledge that
your husband has a problem here he does
i think he’s a little addicted to buying
laundromat yeah and
don’t worry he still goes to work
full-time every single day
it’s kind of like tattoos right like
once you get one you just i mean i don’t
have any but
i hear oh that’s a whole other
conversation jordan
yeah they’re pretty addicting too yeah
we’ll save that from my other podcast
that i have
there you go so number three came along
okay
how long how long between all of these
uh about two years each
so no matter six years we had three
laundromats
and it was okay because we had spent all
this time and money and
you know updating and fixing and so they
they ran fairly smoothly
smoothly because our laundromats are not
attended
um it’s not i find i don’t know why when
i
when i talk to other owners um primarily
from the states
they’re always talking about you know i
have an attendant or it’s attended
but i don’t find here
that that’s um well especially where i
am it’s not a thing like we don’t uh
i don’t have an attendant that’s because
people are nicer in canada oh you think
so well
yeah yeah maybe i don’t know i never
have a problem
that’s how that’s what we think at least
i mean it would be nice to have somebody
there all the time but
there wouldn’t be anything for them to
do
i mean it would be you could eat off the
floor it would have to be that clean
but other than that they wouldn’t have a
lot to do other than you know
help help people when they come in the
store but anyway um
so number three came along and again it
needed a lot of work and a lot of
machines
and uh we did all of that
and i was in the midst of starting wash
and fold
so i’m running three stores
i’m running two children to work or to
school
i’m trying to run wash and fold while my
children are
at school which is only six hours of the
day
and yeah it wasn’t working
it was a lot it was a lot um
so we we actually got approached by um
a couple who said hey you know we’re
interested in buying two of your
locations
uh would you be interested in selling
and i was like yeah let’s go
done i want to go on a vacation like
let’s go
when do you want to sign your husband’s
like actually we’re buying four other
ones
so um but it was
it was one of those offers that it was
almost too good to
you know turn down so
i was at the point where i said you know
you got to pick
free laundromats or your marriage i said
you pick
because i’m done like i i was really
done
i was i was burnt out it was a lot of
work
in mind the other half of your marriage
is the one running the laundromat
so really if you choose the laundromats
you get neither so
well that’s it so smart man made the
right decision
that math works out pretty easily yeah
exactly we ended up selling two of our
locations
to the couple okay and then we sold the
third location to somebody else
and the day
you know you sign and you’re happy and
you have this money in the bank
and we came home and we turned to each
other and we said
i can’t say it on you know a podcast but
we said
what did we just do yeah like why did we
do that
and we did it for all the right reasons
you know but in hindsight it was like oh
i think we made a mistake
so then we were out of the laundromat
business for a couple years
almost two years um and we got to go on
vacation
and we got to spend time with kids and
it was great but every day it was sort
of like i’m sure he was waiting
for the next laundromat to come up for
sale so that you know we could get back
into it
and uh lo and behold the couple that we
sold
two locations to came back and said okay
we’re done
you want to buy them yes yes we do right
now
like can we let’s let’s figure this out
because yes we want them back right now
so uh and that was 14 years ago so i
mean like
okay it’s been a whirlwind i know
we just in in the course of like a
minute we just
sell these laundromats or we’re getting
a divorce to
yes let us buy our laundromats back
right now
what was the i mean did you what would
you miss what
what what happened so i think what
happened
what happened was we all the time that
we spent on these three laundromats we
didn’t
we didn’t go away for the weekend we
didn’t have you know a vacation we
didn’t
have any time to do anything but
be with our kids or be at the laundromat
like there was no down time
it was one or the other and i had i was
burnt
i was done yeah like i couldn’t i
couldn’t keep doing
and getting these phone calls because
every time my phone would ring
you know nine times out of ten it was an
issue
and i had to deal with the issue so my
husband didn’t really understand
you know why i was so frustrated why i
was getting
so beat down by this business um
and then obviously we sold and we knew
right away
you know as difficult as the laundry
world is
um it was worth all of the sacrifice and
all of the
you know time and effort that you spend
at the laundromat so
what made it worth it um
i mean the independence for sure you
know making your own schedule working
for yourself
um to know
your customers you know uh majority of
my customers i know by name
they come into the store hey bill how’s
it going hey susan how’s it going right
um and so i think as soon as we
sign them away we knew we kind of had
lost that freedom so to speak you know
because they were making money you know
we weren’t getting rich by any means but
they were making money
um so i think we knew we had made a
mistake
and so when we had the opportunity to
buy them back we’re like yep let’s go
let’s do it again let’s get into this
crazy laundry world again and see what
happens jump back in
oh my gosh so it’s been great it’s been
really really great
well i’m curious i mean did you so you i
mean you because you were burnt
you were burnt out right so did anything
change
the second time around did you do things
any differently or
did you just kind of you’ve been
refreshed yeah
you’re kind of ready to go again you
just kind of kept
kept things going yeah i think you know
having two years off and having a chance
to just
relax a little bit um our kids were just
a little
you know that little bit older yeah um
so it was a little bit easier
and just knowing what we were gonna get
into right it wasn’t like
here here’s a store and good luck we
knew
we knew the ins and outs so we were
comfortable going in it wasn’t a big
surprise it wasn’t going into this new
business
that we didn’t know about um
so we just decided why not get back into
it
see what happens um
and it’s like at least the second time
around i know it’s
it seems kind of odd that you’d buy all
these and then sell them and then get
them back but
uh i think everything happens for a
reason yeah
and i think it was a good thing uh
especially for our marriage and our kids
that we did it the way that we did it
and your mental health absolutely yeah
absolutely i still you know even now i’m
like
oh gosh the phone’s ringing but uh but
now i know
how to handle issues right i feel more
confident so
it’s a good thing yeah that i mean when
you first buy your laundromat and you
get
phone calls i remember like dreading
like should i
even pick it up like i’m just scared
because i don’t know what the problem’s
gonna be
and i don’t know if i’ll know what to do
about it right when i first bought it
and it because it is scary but you
figure stuff out along the way and then
you start feeling comfortable
with it and then you know for my first
one was unattended i mean still
unattended
uh my first one but i’m a lot more
comfortable saying
you know hey fill out an out-of-order
sign
and i’ll give you a refund whereas early
on
i was like okay i’ll come out there and
give you your
three dollar refund or whatever and it’s
45-minute drive for me
right like oh gosh yeah i know
um but you learn i mean those are the
things you learn right like in some time
and i was
i mean i was an idiot also but
um i i was
inexperienced let’s put it that way we
weren’t in it i mean i really was
i was in experience and i was i was
ignorant and i learned a lot of
valuable but expensive and tough lessons
i think one of the problems sorry to
interrupt you i think one of the
problems
that some people get into is they think
that
laundromats are just cash grab
like that they’re gonna sit at home and
the money’s just gonna roll in
and that it’s cash and that it’s you
know
it’s this easy thing to do um
and it’s not like that unfortunate i
mean as much as i wish it was
um it’s not like that you know there’s
actually some
effort you need to put in and you want
to be successful and you want to make
money so you’re going to have to you
know
actually work at it yeah i think the
relative simplicity of it
gets confused with it being easy yeah
right and simple and easy
are not necessarily related right and so
i mean laundromats are relatively simple
well i mean they can be sophisticated
too depends on how you run it
yeah but the majority of laundromats are
relatively simple businesses
uh but that doesn’t mean that they’re
easy and especially your first go-around
right so absolutely
you how long ago was it that you
bought your two laundromats for the
second time
uh so that’s about seven
years ago okay so usually when i talk i
say oh we’ve had them for 14 years
because you know there’s no point in
i’m just talking to somebody off the
street you know they don’t need to know
we had three we sold them we you know
bought them back things like that
so been a good seven years now
yeah since we have them again why did
the out of curiosity
maybe you don’t know but why did the
couple want to sell them back to you
uh it was too much work yeah it was too
much work
yeah they they really honestly thought
it was uh
it was going to be very easy and that
they would just have to go collect money
once a week and then that was it yeah
and they
they fully you know admitted that to us
so
um well that’s a message that’s been
preached about our industry for a long
time right
and so changing that perception of it
it’s going to take a little time and and
that was you know a while ago too so
it makes sense um okay so you mentioned
earlier
i want to talk about the last seven
years here too but you mentioned earlier
that
you were spending some of your early
times growing your
your wash and fold service right can you
tell me a little bit about
the wash and fold and how you were
trying to grow it and
so you know if buying laundromats wasn’t
enough
um i had never even thought of
considered
doing other people’s laundry right and
then
you know as we built our business as we
got our name out there as we got into
the community
you know people started calling me you
know we had business cards at the store
so if people needed you know if they had
an issue they could call
and we had a website um
but people started calling me and asking
me to do their laundry
and i would talk to my husband and i’m
like well if i can do my own laundry
then
why can’t i do somebody else’s laundry
yeah
um so it started off very very slowly
like completely word of mouth
um it wasn’t something that i was
looking to get into to be completely
honest
i had never heard of it i had never
talked to anybody
um you know because all these years ago
well 14 years ago when we bought them
initially you know we didn’t have
facebook we didn’t i didn’t have anybody
to talk to to run ideas
past i didn’t you know i never thought
about a business coach and never thought
about
reading books about you know being in
this industry
so i thought well this is weird that
people want me to do their laundry but
sure if they’re going to pay me i might
as well have got all these machines
available
no problem so then i just uh
it started like i said it started off
real slowly and then i as i got more
into
networking um you know the online scene
the websites things like that it sort of
just
uh took off on its own i’ve been very
very fortunate i mean
other than the networking um it’s
i’m very lucky where i live in a
community where
one i don’t have a lot of competition i
don’t
but i also have made a name for myself
in terms of customer service
quality of our work that people trust
and that they talk about so what started
off as
a very small you know maybe two clients
every other day um
has turned into
you know a full-time plus
for me and uh it’s been fantastic like
i’m really really enjoying it i’m able
to help people give them their time back
i’m able to spend time at my own store
so i can support my
you know the customers that come in
there and it doesn’t hurt that i get to
you know make money
and work on my own at my own schedule
you know if
my kids need to go to the dentist you
know i stop working at 2 30 i take them
to the dentist i bring them home and i
can go back to work so i’m not
uh i’m not bound by certain hours which
is which is great
yeah yeah part of the reason i love it
are you are you running
wash and fold just out of do you still
have the two so we have the two
locations
okay um one is about 2 000 square feet
the other one’s about 1100
so obviously the bigger one um is where
i run it out of
only because you know if if clients come
in there and they want to use the
machines
there’s there’s more options right you
know i don’t want to take away from
anybody coming in to do self-serve
how far apart are the two laundromats
five minutes
oh so close they’re very close and we uh
i mean we it was it was important to us
when we bought them that we were close
by uh for security for just
for our own peace of mind we wanted to
be close so we live about 10 minutes
from each location yeah which is great
that’s awesome yeah yeah they’re pretty
much
nowhere 10 minutes from my house
you know it takes 10 minutes to get to
the freeway here
and you’re lucky if the freeway is
moving yeah
yeah i mean that’s that’s pretty cool
okay so
talk to me about the last seven years
any what what’s been going on over the
last
seven years have you just kind of been
plugging along and things
just been butchered honestly i mean
the businesses has grown the business in
terms of you know self-serve
is relatively stable you know you get
the same clients
weekly um but it’s the wash and bowl
that’s really
sort of taken off and and been great you
know it’s
opened a lot of doors i’ve met a lot of
great people through networking i’ve
um it’s just been a really
i like i i know it sounds almost been a
really cool
experience you know to be able to grow
my own business
you know and uh and people are calling
me
because well their friend told them or
they read the reviews on the website or
you know they just don’t have time and
you know
you know the daily thanks i get for just
taking this task
off of their hands um
is awesome because i know how hard it is
to be you know
a working mom or you know a busy
professional
or you know i have lots of clients who
are massage therapists and things like
that and they’d rather be working
than spending time doing laundry so uh
the last seven years has been spent
primarily on
upgrading the stores making sure we have
you know great efficient
uh well running machines
um and then as well as just building
wash and fold getting out there making
phone calls making connections
yeah it’s all right are you i mean
that’s awesome
that it’s it is cool is it’s a cool
feeling to see
the effort and the time and the blood
sweat and tears
and the nearly marriage that you’ve put
into
right you know a business and a lot of
times you can do that for a long time
without seeing a lot of payoff
and then you sell it and then you buy it
back
i mean this is just a common story that
i hear all the time
but seriously like just seeing the
fruits of your labor and
it’s working and you’re doing something
good and it sounds like you’re building
a bit of a
personal brand which i want to ask you
about in a second um
but uh real quick are you
are you running the business the fluff
and fold on your own is it just you do
you have help
are you so are you ready no great
question
um i knew from the start that i wanted
to be very very involved
um i wanted this to be my business i
wanted to be the face
and the person and behind the business
so it was really important to me to not
just pass it off to somebody else
so i do have a staff i have
two staff members that work with me um i
primarily do
all of the primarily do all of the
pickups and the drop-offs
and then i you know once i get back to
the shop um
i sort of oversee everything but
um i let the girls i have a
fantastic staff and i let them take care
of it
yeah so they’re doing they’re doing the
actual laundry they’re doing
the majority of the laundry right yeah
yeah like i want to i want to be the
person that shows up at your house
and you see me you know dressed in the
uniform and that you know
you see the branded vehicle um
it was important to me yeah so when you
say wash and fold you mean
drop off and pick up and delivery right
so
again when my husband
had mentioned the idea of the
laundromats it was his idea
no and now i’m thankful for it yeah but
but my idea was well
can we just buy a convenience store you
know i’d rather
be at a convenience store all day right
yeah um
he’s like no i don’t want that i i don’t
want that okay fine
um yeah because again i thought it was
going to be easy
right and i’m sure and i’m sure to
anyone who who owns a convenience store
it’s not it’s not easy
um but uh
all right come on
so right now i got off on a tangent and
i’m like where were we what were we
talking about
um we’re talking about pickup and
delivery yeah i didn’t want to be
so i didn’t want to be stuck in the
store all day right so i didn’t want to
when i started this business i thought
well i could get an attendant
um and and have them sit there all day
and hope that people bring in their
laundry
but we’re open from 6 a.m until 10 p.m
so what if nobody comes in all day um
i’m i’m paying this person you know to
sit
so i just thought you know let’s do
pickup and delivery
that way it’s a little bit more
controlled
we don’t have somebody sitting there all
day long you know
my pickups start as early as eight seven
or eight in the morning
um and then our turnaround time is
though
is less than 24 hours so
that’s we’re not playing any games here
we’re picking it up we’re getting it
done we’re bringing it back to you
this is serious it’s a big yeah it’s a
big deal
you know we’re all busy and we all we
all want things really quickly
and i my goal is to make you as a
customer happy
right so 24 hours to them is
you know so people are amazed they’re
like what are you talking about i can
get it back even on the same day
sometimes
i’m like yeah don’t worry about it it’ll
be back before you go to bed that night
and they’re just so thankful and
appreciative yeah
what what kind of radius do you service
uh oh so now we have to change from
kilometers to miles
give me give me the kilometers give me
the clone i mean
predominantly my clients are within 30
minutes
of my location okay wait a way to just
switch it to time so what is that
american time okay
um yeah so within 30 minutes but most of
them are are local to where
to our area so you know 15 20 minutes
um obviously i plan the route
you know on i plan the route every day
um so that i’m not wasting time going
back and forth everyone knows
what time i’m gonna be there and
see so worked out are you using a
software system to do that are you just
doing that manually
that’s all me oh yeah all me
yeah i think once you know like i’m
really happy with where the business is
um and it’s probably just a control
thing because i like to be in control
and i want to know what’s happening
um you know
there’s there’s this business can go as
far as you want it to go
and there’s a lot of avenues that i
haven’t pursued yet
so as we continue to grow i am
looking into those type of software
programs but things have been running so
smoothly for me the way i’ve done it
already
that right now it’s not something that
i’m i’m using like i’m a pen and paper
kind of person so
i’m good yeah well i’m just wondering
like
you start doing a little more commercial
stuff
or you know if it really takes off on
you and you can’t be the only driver
right then you know that’s when things
get pretty complicated for you with pen
and paper and keep track of everything
so
absolutely at that point you might be at
a point but it sounds like
your system’s working and and you got it
handled and you’re if you’re turning
stuff around
24 hours sometimes same day you’re it’s
working for you yeah well like i said i
have a great staff
um great staff members and uh
you know i i i get up in the morning
excited to
you know make sure i check my schedule
who’s on my schedule for today like i’m
excited i want to get out there and want
to
you know get their laundry and and just
take this this off their
to-do list yeah so as long as i get up
every morning and i’m excited to
touch people’s dirty laundry then we’re
good right as soon as you lose that
passion for people’s dirty laundry
yeah you know you need a break
i mean when you put it that way like
yeah yeah exactly or you buy another one
right yeah that’s the other option yeah
well that’s
always an option we have to get him on
the podcast get his oh my gosh
he’s a great guy yeah we’ll put him on
the hot seat and be like what are you
thinking man
like that’s good but look you know he
took a chance and i took a chance that
yeah um we certainly wouldn’t have
the life we have today yeah without
taking those chances
yeah and i think that’s a huge point
because i talked to so many i was just
having a conversation
today about this actually but i talked
to so many people
you know coaching clients and stuff who
you know
they there’s just that fear right of
taking that chance because they’re
afraid
and legitimate fear right it’s it’s
scary it’s a scary step to take because
you might be like you guys early on
where
you’re kind of miserable and life is
it’s not what you expect or the couple
who bought it from you and then sold it
back to you right like it’s not what you
expected or
there’s a fear of losing your investment
so all that fear right so
but like you said you wouldn’t have the
life you have today
you know without it and and
you know at different parts of your
story
you probably have felt very differently
obviously like if you sold them all at
one point
and we’re done with them like you might
have been feeling at that point like hey
this is not worth it
right you know it doesn’t matter um but
the story wasn’t over right and that’s
that’s one thing that’s hard to keep in
mind especially when you’re in the midst
of
difficulty right is if things aren’t
going as planned
it can feel like i’m just wasting my
time or this is
miserable i just want out of it but the
story’s not over right and where it
leads
you from there you know can be a great
place
absolutely yeah yeah so i thought that
was a great point
um okay real quick before we jump into
our next section i need to talk to you
because you just
mentioned this early on i wrote it down
uh because i
it was just really catchy just kind of
glossed over and i just don’t i don’t
want you to get away with that
oh but you you referenced yourself
as the soapbox queen so what is that
tell me about the soapbox that’s what i
was saying it sounds like you may have
been building a little bit of a brand
around yourself so what tell me about
the soapbox queen
oh goodness me so as we’re
setting up our website as we’re setting
up our email
again that’s my husband’s department i
let him do it
so he set up my email and i didn’t
i had no idea that when i sent somebody
an
email it came up as the laundry queen
like i didn’t know you could name it i
didn’t know i just thought oh it’s gonna
come up as soapbox
right our our stores are called soapbox
so he had written so uh soapbox laundry
laundry queen and so people were like
haha that’s funny like
i think that’s great that you called
yourself the soapbox queen and i’m like
i didn’t do anything i
my husband did it and you like it so
we’re gonna keep it
stick with it so it’s just kind of stuck
you know and online um
[Music]
you know people have just referenced
kind of in our community
um soapbox queen soapbox laundry queen
whatever the case is you know if
somebody um
you know before when we used to be able
to go out and go to restaurants and
somebody would introduce me you know to
somebody at the table they’d say oh this
is natalie you know
the soapbox ladies soapbox queen she
owns soapbox laundromat
and they’re being like oh yeah i’ve
heard of you and i’m like
you know and you almost feel like you’re
kind of like this
famous person for three seconds yeah um
but that’s
uh you know i’m i’m i’m a laundromat
owner
and and um
you know do i think it’s funny and cute
sure um
it’s sort of yeah it’s sort of gone with
our branding a little bit like i
certainly don’t
reference myself as that but again it
comes up as my email so
um you know people get a kick out of it
so i’ve just kind of left it
yeah and why not yeah i mean
it works with your brand second of all i
did not realize that i was gonna have a
minor laundromat celebrity yesterday
only a new market so you know up here in
canada you know you don’t even know
where that is so it’s all good
yeah no but seriously that’s pretty cool
and i really like that because
you know one of the things i found okay
this is gonna sound really
ridiculous uh and
probably it will seem irrelevant but i
think it ties in but like when i was in
high
school i used to love mountain dew i
drink mountain dew like every day which
is
horrible i don’t do sugar anymore and
just the thought of all the sugar i
drank in high school and
into colleges oh my gosh but people
started thinking
whenever they thought mountain dew or
they saw a mountain do something
they would think oh jordan because
that’s how bad things were everything
right right right wow
uh but uh you know so i would get
like i don’t know like t-shirts i have
like pajama i have two sets of pajama
bottoms
that say mountain dew on them that
people gave me i just had
a girl that i hadn’t seen i don’t know
10 years at least okay hailed me
from across the state mailed me a
mountain dew cookbook
uh just recently and you know so it’s
like stuff like that right like so it
associates
uh you with that thing i i think that is
genius branding right so when you you
know when people talk about laundry or
soapbox um anything like that and they
think automatically of you
that’s great that’s great marketing and
great branding great business
you know for you and then when that’s
associated with
great customer service you know high
quality service
i mean it’s it’s kind of a perfect storm
of
creating a minor laundry mat celebrity
is what i’m trying to get at
it was completely i mean unintentional
like i had
again when i went into this business i
wasn’t thinking about branding at all i
didn’t have
i really honestly i didn’t go to school
and take business courses
i didn’t understand for many many years
you know the importance of branding i
didn’t
it just didn’t resonate it didn’t i
didn’t understand
how important it was and finally
something clicked
um but you know completely in terms of
like the the
email how it comes up as uh completely
unintentional i don’t
i don’t even think my husband really i
thought he was just you know he thought
he was just being cute and uh
you know oh this sounds good might as
well put you know instead of natalie
we’ll just put the laundry queen
so and it’s kind of stuck so it is you
know
whether smart or not um completely
unintentional
um but now it’s a good thing it’s worked
itself out
yeah well i will be a little bit honest
and i was a little disappointed that
you’re not wearing a tiara
oh you know what it’s um i was just
cleaning it actually being shined
right yeah yeah okay
uh well hey we have a section called
down to business
uh let’s get down to business
over and out and that’s just gonna help
us get to know these
couple laundromats that you have bought
and sold
and re-bought and are growing now so
tell us again where are you located
where are these laundromats located
they are located in newmarket ontario
so we are 25 minutes north of toronto um
we have a population of about a hundred
thousand people
okay and there’s actually five
laundromats in new market and i’m sure
if my husband could own all five of them
he would but
he wouldn’t be married to me so we don’t
own them we own two of them
um maybe he just needs more lives
no it’s not allowed that’s not allowed
here yeah um
okay but uh we’ve made a great name for
ourselves
we really really have i spent a lot of
time online um
so yeah you ever come to newmarket
yeah i’ll show you around we’ll i’m
there pretty much every year so
i’m just kidding i’ve only been to
vancouver canada i don’t think oh gosh
no
which is pretty much america i think
it’s on the west coast we’re a little
further east
yeah yeah i’ve never been on the east
coast of canada so yeah i know
great great great great spot if you ever
get here
happy to host yeah you know show around
the map
i would love to yeah no we love it here
we’re close enough to the
you know the big city that if we want to
go downtown see a show
go to a concert you know get to the
airport it’s it’s not far but
uh new market is a great place to raise
a family
great community so yeah freeze and then
burn
all within a couple weeks pretty much
perfect
okay so you’ve been i mean you know we
value honesty here at laundromat
resource see
how long have you been in the industry
i i like to save 14 years right but we
don’t want your lives
okay so like 12 years right
12 yeah combined yes everything combined
12 years
yeah okay i’m just giving you a hard
time uh
okay tell me this since i am
zero percent familiar with new market
canada
what does it cost to do laundry okay
that’s a great question yeah so uh
both of our stores pretty much have the
same uh
machines so we have 20 pound machines
30 pound machines and 40 pound washers
so they start at 350. uh for the 20
pound canadian dollars
canadian was that like a quarter
like five cents american i always like
when i’m trying to buy like a book or
something it’s like
ten dollars or 28
canadians it’s a lot better for you to
come here and do your laundry than for
me to go to california and do laundry so
you know 350 uh would probably be like
2 25 american i guess
and then their 30 pound machines are
5.50 and our 40 pound machines are 6.75
okay and then our dryers uh
our dryers are a little bit different um
we have a 50 pound dryer that we just
got that i absolutely love and i can’t
wait to get another one
nice i never thought i would say that
like i could care less about the car i
drive
right like give me another 50 pound
dryer oh like i’m all over that
yeah yeah um so that one
is uh it’s two dollars for 24 minutes
okay um and then three minutes
for every additional quarter okay so and
then the rest of the dryers are all
um 25 a quarter for five minutes
yeah so you pick how long you want to
dry for
okay i like yeah i like the i like the
full cycle
dry option have you considered doing
your smaller ones we have
for sure we have and i thought i i
thought it was going to be really hard
to
sort of teach people how to do it
because it’s not a common thing here
right but since we got our 50 pound
dryer i put a little note on it and it’s
very
clear um and people have taken to it and
they absolutely love it
awesome so i think in the future i think
in the near future
um it’s something that we’re definitely
going to do with our smaller dryers as
well
i like that i like that model i’ve been
contemplating that move for a little
while and i think it’s probably
time for me to just pull the trigger but
i just haven’t yet so you’re right
uh okay well talk to me about
your laundry do you have any idea or any
sense of
turns per day um lots
you know what um interns per day again
that we all wish again um you know had i
got into the business now
with so many more resources i think it
might have been something i would have
looked at
[Music]
but it’s not something that we’ve ever
really looked at we’ve kind of
you know obviously every week we keep
track of
um what machines are doing what in terms
of
how many coins are there but we’ve never
really done
if we had to figure it out i could tell
you it’s it’s you know
this many a day but we’ve never looked
at it like that we’ve always just
there’s money there great means it’s
being used right
um so i don’t i can’t really answer that
i wish i could but
i don’t have the i don’t have the number
yeah well
yeah which is totally fine and you know
i mean the bottom line is
you know are you are you making money
and if the answer is yes are you making
as much as you want to make and if the
answer is yes
then i mean then the turns per day
doesn’t
really yeah well that’s pretty much how
i look at it right
as long as it’s turning um that’s what’s
important to us
yeah i think the i think the benefit of
knowing the terms per day
is getting a sense of
for one like which machines are being
used the most and
because they’re different denominations
sometimes it can be difficult to
do a direct translation of that but also
trying to figure out where you can
squeeze out more performance which you
can do with your income
uh number two so yeah um okay so
attended or unattended
unattended okay completely
unattended so okay but
you got people that are doing well this
is true so
yeah are they not attending tell me
about how they function do they not help
customers or clean up who’s cleaning the
place and all that absolutely
absolutely so you know typically there’s
somebody there monday to friday from
eight to
eight to four eight to five sometimes
eight to seven just depends on how busy
we are
but absolutely they’re they’re not just
there for wash and fold
if somebody walks in and they need help
absolutely customer service
you know they stop what they’re doing
and they go and assist
the customer um they also you know if
if there’s time they’ll clean up um
take out the garbage do all the normal
things that you would do at any
business uh but absolutely they uh
they’re there to
obviously do wash and pull but also help
any customers that come in
yeah who’s cleaning your other store
because that one is unattended right
so it is completely unattended um
i pop in there once a day have a quick
look um and then
you clean up anything that needs to to
be cleaned up because it’s
it’s close and i’m passing by there five
times a day anyway
and then we have we have a company that
comes in at night
uh and cleans locks up sets the alarm
so that’s one less thing that we have to
worry about awesome
yeah we finally you know figured out
sort of i know we’re getting to the
secret sauce but
you know we kind of figured out systems
to have in place
to make our lives a little bit easier
yeah
all right we’ll save that i know we’re
jumping the gun
uh are you do you use coin only do you i
mean do you guys have coins in canada i
don’t even know
you know i’m just kidding i get no way
machine sometimes
everything’s done on you know with a
rock and and you know
yeah right we have coins uh we don’t
have any of the
fancy um credit card no card system
debit no card systems i mean i’m sure
they have them
i mean i know they have them um in the
city like in toronto
but we none of the laundromats in new
market actually have them so we are just
coins
and i love the question when people call
me and you know that they’ve never been
in a laundromat because they’ll ask me
if they can use their debit card
and so i secretly kind of giggle and i’m
like no we’re cash only
yeah so yeah you can use your debit card
to go get cash
exactly exactly does it have atms there
is that
banks is that yes yeah yeah yeah
uh you have any sense of
i mean i know you love this business so
how much time are you putting into it a
lot
a lot honestly i i i personally
full-time plus
hours uh yeah i would say easily 50 to
60 hours a week and that’s that’s a
that’s a but i love
doing it like i love being there every
day
um i love spending time on my computer
in the evening when i can
just sort of you know looking up
researching
checking out you know what other
businesses are out there that i can
talk to that i can tell them about my
services
you know just connect um do networking
like i love it i love it i try and take
weekends off
um and sort of disconnect but
you know if something kind of clicks and
i say oh wait a second i need to look
that up
i’m going to be looking it up right
right so
always looking for ways to improve your
business
get more business
you know this is how i support my family
at the end of the day this is
this is how i help support my family so
you know any connections i can make any
income i can make
i’m going for it yeah well you got that
entrepreneur
spirit in yeah that’s that’s what that
is right
is you you want to make this thing and
it’s working right you’re
your stuff’s growing and you you’re
loving it
and that’s kind of what matters right
yeah yeah yeah
you love it i mean i could get i could
pay somebody to
to do it for me you know because because
when i do go on vacation my staff take
over
um and i’m sure i could i could pay
somebody and
i could sit at home and you know
sit on my couch and have an easy life
but it’s not really what i want
i want yeah i want to be involved i want
to be there i want to know like i said i
want to know
the clients when they walk in i want to
say hello to them and i want to have
that connection
it’s important to me you know it might
not be for everybody but it’s important
for me
yeah all right well let’s jump into
the much anticipated secret sauce listen
up
it’s the secret sauce
so what’s something that’s working for
you guys that
you think other owners can implement to
help them in their businesses
you know what number one is excellent
customer service
it’s not rocket science like this is not
difficult
somebody calls you or you’re at the shop
and somebody has an issue
you know just being able to relate to
them talk them down
fix the problem you know it’s just uh
it’s so important especially now with
online
you know that one person who you got
them their quarterback
or you moved their laundry to another
machine
because for whatever reason that machine
didn’t spin out
you know you just kind of saved their
day and you made them
happy and all you did was okay your
machine didn’t work let’s use this one
i’ll start it for you so that you don’t
have to put any more money in
um and that goes a long long way
you know they go back they tell their
friends they go back they go online and
they write reviews
um customer service is number one
number one in the secret sauce yeah for
me anyway
yeah it sounds like a close number two
might be
good systems in place a little earlier
but right like and that seems like that
might be one of the big differences
between this go-around and your first
go-around
absolutely so the first time like we
were doing the cleaning at night and
locking
up and just doing everything
we were doing everything um
you know if people can outsource their
laundry
why can’t you outsource your social
media
your cleaning your whatever it is right
and it’s just made our life
that much easier yeah it’s given
somebody else an opportunity
to have employment
so just having good systems in place
absolutely being organized
yeah what i love about that is it allows
you to focus on the part of the business
that you
like exactly right and it sounds like
early on you were having to focus on
all the business and a lot of it was
stuff you didn’t
necessarily like or you didn’t want it
right or i wasn’t good at or
you know yeah i always
i always i’m saying i’m just not good at
cleaning so i just probably should do
whatever so
[Laughter]
my wife disagrees
yeah i would say those are the two for
me anyway um
great customer service and and good
systems in place
yeah for sure awesome well we have
another section called
pro tips pro tips
and pro tips is for someone trying to
buy their first laundromat you have any
advice for them i mean you’ve
done it twice now yeah but technically
i’ve done it
like five times um
pro tips you know what um
do as much research as you can in terms
of
um you know if you’re able to talk to
the owner
if you’re able to
you know get information from them it’s
always great to know you know
you’re always taking a risk um when
you’re buying a
sort of a cash business right but being
able to
look at financials utility bills
those are great indications to know how
the business is running
how the business is doing um
so if you’re able to my advice is talk
to the owner
the current owner if that’s an option
and don’t just take their word on what
they’re making
because i could tell you you know we
make eight hundred thousand dollars a
year
but i don’t have any books to show you
that
yeah that’s you know obviously there’s
red flags everywhere right so really
ask as many questions as you can and now
with facebook
and all of these laundromat groups um
like i said i wish i had had this
earlier
in my beginning of our journey um
because now you can ask these questions
yeah
yeah i was going to ask you what
resources do you recommend
but so facebook for sure facebook
i mean even now like i’ll go on facebook
into these groups and all ask questions
or all read about other people’s
experiences
um and it’s a fantastic resource
honestly it’s um
you know you’re dealing with other
owners and and every day
real experiences um
you know and people laugh and there’s
all these different you know
among laundromat owners um you know you
have
you have the good times and you laugh
because you know you talk about how
customers don’t read signs even though
there’s signs all over the laundromat
but then you also talk about well i
tried this with a client or i tried this
as a stain remover or i tried this as
a new operating system and it’s so
helpful
and that you can ask all these questions
and you have all of these
you know different owners from different
parts of the world who can give you
advice and it’s such a great resource so
i haven’t read any books necessarily
about it but
you know if i have a question um you go
to facebook
and and you’ll get five different
answers in a matter of moments
so it’s really really helpful and
there’s a lot of people who will
go out of their way to message you
privately as well and say hey i saw your
i saw your question this is what i’ve
done or this is what i’ve tried
um you know i hope it works out for you
you know and
and i’m happy to help in any way i can
you know if somebody is a first time
owner or they’re not sure
or they have questions i’ll do my best
to help as well
yeah yeah it’s an awesome resource and
it’s really
cool to help build that community too
because you know being an entrepreneur
of any kind or business owner of any
kind
can be pretty isolating and you
you deal with things and struggles that
not like average people don’t deal with
or struggle with and as a laundromat
owner i mean part of the reason some of
these things are funny
is because we have these weird common
experiences that
no one else ever has right uh
you know i just think of you know some
of the posts that are on here where
you know the police are involved somehow
or
you know there’s some i don’t know
there’s i could go on forever about
i know there’s some that we’ve all
experienced to one day or another so
absolutely but your podcast is also a
great resource so i hope
people share it and listen to it you
know often i’ll get in the car and i’ll
turn it on and
um you know because i’m going to be
driving for an hour so
i want to you know listen to something
other than the radio or the news or
whatever
so i’ll turn your podcast on and it’s
great to hear different owners and how
they run their business
and you know what works for them and and
how long you know all of the things that
you’re asking me um so your podcast is
also a great resource and they should
really take advantage of that
well thank you you’re welcome plug and i
will
fax you a copy of the money that i would
perfect but since you guys don’t have
real money up there
i don’t know what else to do uh well
natalie this has been awesome
and i just your story is pretty cool
it’s i loved
love love hearing about i mean not i
didn’t love hearing about your struggles
early on but i really did
identify with those and i really i felt
those
and you know just kind of the drama in
the middle of that like
i’ve experienced similar stuff and you
know the stress it can put on you
if you’re not prepared in in on your
marriage or your family
um your relationships with friends uh
you know if you’re not prepared so i i
really identify that with that but
what i love about it is obviously you
had this
unique journey where you sold them all
and then you bought two of them back and
all that
and you’re growing it now but what i
love about it is that you guys didn’t
give up
forever and you you know your story
wasn’t done
when you sold all your laundromats and
even if you didn’t buy
laundromats again it still wouldn’t be
done right all of that is not for
nothing and
and i know a lot of different people
listen to this podcast
some of which are laundromat owners who
are in difficult times right now so just
a quick
message to you guys just hang in there
and even if
you know i i just remember thinking i’d
read that stat that’s like 95 percent of
laundromats or success and i’m like well
geez all these laundromats are
successful and i cannot figure out how
to make this thing have money
like what does that say about me right
or like it was just very discouraging
for me to hear that stat
right but you didn’t give up right right
and that was just
yeah and that’s the point and and even
if you know
there’s no there’s no shame in like
getting out of laundromat business if
you know if it’s eating away at you
mentally i mean just like you
you did and um like
you do what you got to do but just
realize
it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure
and that doesn’t it’s not the end of
your story and even if you don’t go back
and buy your laundromat again
it’s still not the end of your story and
you know as long as you
use that to grow as a person in whatever
your endeavors are
you know whether you keep your
laundromats or not uh then
you know it’s beneficial and it’s just
helping you grow to be a bigger
and better person right and it’s just
another step in your like i call it a
journey it’s not just you know
black and white it’s it’s a continuation
and
luckily for us it worked out and it was
great um and it continues to be
fantastic
so you know even the hardships and the
struggles
you know as difficult as it was
we went for round two and there was a
reason we went for round two
and uh you know once we got all our
ducks in a row
um it definitely was a little bit easier
yeah yeah yeah last question i have for
you
is if anybody wants to get a hold of you
maybe ask you some questions maybe they
can identify with your journey
or maybe they’re afraid of your journey
uh what’s the best way they can contact
you
um honestly just uh they can shoot me an
email
um it’s soapbox bell.net
uh make sure you address it to the
laundry queen no i’m just kidding
um she’s not kidding no i’m not kidding
actually
i should have that in my signature at
the bottom but i just have my
phone number yeah no right now that says
laundry queen
it’s in the wash oh no i’m not kidding
like it’s
oh you really have one okay no i do i
have like you know branded shirts they
don’t say laundry clean but they say
soapbox and all that jazz i want laundry
queen shirts
uh those might be the next one i will
put a link in the description where you
can order
a laundry queen shirt if you would like
one yeah my merch is gonna be for sale
soon
that’s right actually people have asked
me funny enough and i’m like oh i don’t
know
yeah but why not right so yeah soapbox
bell.net
um if they have any questions i’m happy
to it might take me a day or so but
uh i’ll do my best you know um yeah
i’ll do my best yeah awesome so i’ll
have that email address
uh and and links to
a couple of the good facebook groups
that i know of um i’ll put those in the
show notes um or if you’re on youtube
they’ll be down below
in the description so natalie thank you
so much this has been
awesome um
uh hearing your story hearing the wisdom
that you’ve
gained over the last 12 years
well we just said 12 plus 12 12 plus
years yeah
yeah 14-year span with a two-year gap
just a lot a lot to say but anyways
thank you for coming on really really
appreciate it huge honor privilege for
me
and uh looking forward to having you
back on down the line to hear
about how your kingdom has been your
queendom has been expanding
oh my goodness yes thank you very much
i’m glad we were finally able to connect
and
and this was an awesome conversation
thank you all right such a cool
interview with natalie i
loved it she’s so so easy to talk to
and just shared a ton of wisdom in this
episode
and she’s been through the ringer man
and i’ve i was definitely feeling her
pain
in the early years and it was really
cool to kind of see how her
journey came full circle and that she
loves loves loves the business now
and man it was just a cool cool story
and she had a lot to share so
like every week i encourage you choose
one thing
find one thing from this episode that
you can put into practice
we want to be very practical here we
want to teach
and gain some experience from other
people and learn
but all of it amounts to nothing if
we’re not taking action we’re not
putting things into actual practice
because it’s the action
that paves that way to success right so
every week pick something
that you can implement into your
business or your life
and for me this week and and share it
with us man i would love to hear
more of what you guys are taking from
this podcast and implementing into your
lives how it’s helping you grow
so head over to the over to the forums
launchermyresource.com forums
and share uh share what you’re taking
away from these
podcasts and what you’re implementing
for me
i i something kind of hit home with me
that i
didn’t really realize until i reflected
on this interview after
a little bit and just her whole journey
where
she got to a point where she was like
you know what i’m done
i need i need a break and they sold all
their laundromats
they had that period of time where they
didn’t have any laundry mats
and she said you know how much she
needed to do that
and it it kind of helped her realize
what those laundry mats meant to her and
her family and it kind of
refreshed her and gave her kind of a new
you know
vigor for the business right and
i don’t know man i just been thinking
about what all the things that i have
going on in my life right now
and what things am i just fighting
against
and that are draining life out of me and
so i think this week i’m going to take
some inventory
just kind of of my life this one got
real deep on you guys geez sorry
but i think i’m going to take some
inventory in my life and figure out what
is killing my soul in my life right now
and
is it something that i can give up you
know whether it be permanently
or or for a time and
uh and then start taking some action to
to
give some of that stuff up you know
temporarily or for good
even better um so
i love the courage it took to do that
and then to get back into it
and i think that more of us need that
courage to just give ourselves
permission like
man we’re overwhelmed or i just feel
uh you know drained by
my business or by you know a friendship
i have
or you know whatever the case may be you
know
a chore that you hate like laundry um
but what seriously whatever it might be
and it’s hard to give yourself
permission
to just stop doing that stuff sometimes
um but sometimes that’s the best thing
for us and it’s necessary to help us
get to the next level of where we’re
trying to get and
and i know for me i don’t
like putting on the brakes and i don’t
like going in reverse
and i was trying to sort of empathize
with her and feel like man
would i be going backwards if i stepped
away from my businesses
you know in her shoes
and you know i
it’s just interesting to hear her story
about how she kind of did
she put it in park and then
got back into it a couple years later
and now is growing that
business is loving that business and it
was probably one of the best things she
could have done
in that situation so anyways all of that
to say
i’m taking stock of life right now and
i’m getting ready to cut some of the fat
and and get rid of it you know what i’m
saying so i’d love to hear what you
are uh taking away from this episode um
and again there’s something to learn
from every episode i think
um but learning’s only half the battle
right that’s what gi joe said back in
the day when i was watching g.i joe’s
uh the cartoon they said knowing is half
the battle
g joe right it’s only half the battle
you gotta put it
into action i don’t think that’s what gi
joe’s going but that’s where i’m going
with it gotta put it in the act into
action and
uh and that’ll take you where you want
to go in life all right
all right well i will catch you guys on
the forums and if not
then feel ashamed of yourself and then
i’ll see you next week on the podcast
[Music]

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