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!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

Join Us For An Upcoming Event!

By Laundromat Owners.
For Laundromat Owners.

Today's Sponsors

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

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

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! 

Join The Laundromat Resource Community!

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

    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource
    podcast 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
    created specifically for businesses with
    everything from
    sports clips hilarious fail videos draw
    dropping videos from
    all over the world there’s automobile
    channels
    there’s a ton of stuff my kids love love
    love it
    and my customers love it atmosphere tv
    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
    code word the keyword
    the promo code i don’t know resource
    promo code resource then they’re going
    to waive your setup fee and now
    everything is going to be free there’s
    no monthly fee for it
    you can use it for free in your
    laundromat and it’s going to survive to
    your
    atmosphere so check out atmosphere.tv
    i’ll put a link down in the description
    on youtube or in the show notes
    check it out there make sure you use the
    keyword resource that 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]

    0 Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Avatar placeholder