Shawn Dandridge, former White House employee and Congressman candidate, shares his laundromat experience with us. His laundromat was destroyed shortly after he purchased it and Shawn shares the difficulties of dealing with that and what it’s taken to claw his way back.

In this episode, Shawn and Jordan talk about:

  • The difficulty of running a laundry pick-up and delivery without a laundromat
  • Rundown laundromats
  • What to look for in a laundromat to buy
  • Grand opening promotions
  • Community events in your laundromat
  • Tips to buy your first laundromat
  • Resources to help you succeed in your laundromat business

And a lot more!

Listen To The Podcast Here

Watch The Podcast Here

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By Laundromat Owners.
For Laundromat Owners.

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    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource
    podcast this is show 64.
    and i’m pumped you’re here today because
    today we’re talking with sean
    dandridge and this was an incredible
    conversation i mean
    this guy went from basically i mean
    essentially
    being the leader of the free world to
    owning a laundromat
    uh and tells you the story of how he got
    there is really really fascinating
    he had a lot of really great stuff to
    share and uh
    his process has been insane and i think
    you’re really going to enjoy it
    get a lot out of it cannot wait for you
    to meet him
    and in fact i think it’s going to spawn
    a new maybe
    short series podcast uh talking about
    his experience in politics because i
    just found that super fascinating we
    might actually
    get together and uh talk about his story
    and
    what that was like not here on this
    podcast uh but stay tuned just in case
    you’re interested
    after you listen to this podcast and i
    think you might be
    she’s a really really fascinating guy
    okay well
    uh we’ll get to sean here in a second
    but real quick i wanted to let you know
    that
    um our sponsor here for this episode is
    atmosphere tv you’ll hear about that in
    a second
    but i just want to let you know that
    mike kelly from atmosphere tv who’s a
    previous podcast guest
    he and i are going to be doing a webinar
    together
    about atmosphere tv what it can do for
    your business how it really
    uh can improve your business and how he
    can do it all with no
    upfront cost from you um and it’s
    incredible i love love love atmosphere
    tv if you’re not using it
    and you own a laundromat or multiple
    laundromats you should be using it
    so come check out this webinar if you’re
    interested in hearing a little bit more
    about atmosphere tv and not only that
    but we’re going to talk about
    atmosphere of your laundromat in general
    and how to create a good
    positive vibe in your laundromat and how
    that can translate to more and better
    business for you so make sure you check
    that out
    you can register at uh laundromat
    resource dot com
    on the top of the home page you can go
    to londonmyresource.com events
    register for it there so make sure you
    join us it’s gonna be a really good time
    and uh yeah i mean just just be there
    especially if you don’t have atmosphere
    tv yet come here
    what it’s all about and he’s got a
    a great offer for you where basically
    you can get one for free
    so we’ll talk about that at the webinar
    but come join us and check it out see
    what it’s all about
    okay i gotta take one second to stop
    and say a huge thank you to stephen
    clayton who sent me
    a shirt if you’re on youtube you can see
    it
    says peace love and the laundromat
    resource and the laundromat resource
    logo
    is in there it’s awesome uh huge shout
    out and thank you to stephen clayton for
    that
    and a big shout out to the anonymous
    gifter
    who sent me the rage against the washing
    machine
    t-shirt love it love it love it you’ll
    see that one in a future episode i’m
    sure
    a lot of fun so anyways make sure you
    are jumping on those forums throughout
    the week there’s a lot of awesome
    conversations happening over there all
    the time
    go introduce yourself in the
    introductions forms laundry source dot
    com
    forums go introduce yourself over there
    let people know who you are
    where you’re at in your laundromat
    journey where you’re located in the
    world
    and who knows you might make a new best
    friend over there i hear that’s
    happening
    all the time on the introductions forum
    and then make sure you go jump in on the
    conversations on the other forums as
    well the laundromat specific one the
    real estate one the financing one the
    machine repair forum
    we got it all happening over there so go
    jump in be a part of
    the conversation meet each other and i
    say it all the time but i truly believe
    it we are all
    going to succeed faster and hit higher
    heights
    when we are working together helping
    each other out
    all right so that’s on the forums i mean
    there’s a lot lot going on
    make sure you’re checking us out on
    youtube if you haven’t done that yet
    check out the blog i’ve been blogging
    every single week
    and there are new blog posts coming out
    every single thursday so make sure you
    check
    those out those are sponsored by sense
    make sure you check out the webinar with
    sense and i mean there’s just a lot of
    awesome stuff happening right now
    so much good stuff in fact that i
    when this happens man my brain goes nuts
    and i just come up with more and more
    ideas
    um and so there’s more and more coming
    up on the horizon
    two final things i wanted to let you
    know about very very
    big and monumentous in my
    career i don’t know uh is number one
    this week on the laundromat millionaire
    podcast
    i finally have made it in my life and i
    am on
    the laundromat millionaire podcast this
    week so make sure you check
    that out you can just search laundromat
    millionaire uh in any podcast platform
    go to the laundromat millionaire youtube
    channel i’m sure you can find it there
    uh check out londonmillionaire.com it’s
    all over if you search along about
    millionaire you will find it’s coming
    out this
    week and also speaking of dave and the
    laundromat millionaire men’s
    he and i are doing a live q a together
    on july 28th which is a wednesday
    uh four o’clock pacific time seven
    o’clock eastern
    this month it’s on my youtube channel so
    make sure you go subscribe over there
    and jump in on the live q a
    there and every other month
    we switch offs we do a live q a every
    single
    month and this month happens to be on my
    channel make sure you go to his 2 and
    subscribe because we’ll do
    next months on his channel so make sure
    you’re checking
    those two things out my featured podcast
    on the ladder met millionaire podcast
    super pumped to be on that and our live
    q a but with me
    and dave the lottery millionaire mint
    and so stay tuned for all that
    but without further ado let’s skip the
    ad read
    come to the atmosphere webinar instead
    hear what it’s all about come ask your
    questions
    and maybe just come give it a try try it
    out so that’s happening on
    thursday that is july
    i don’t know what is it the 22nd
    something like that 20 21 yeah july 22nd
    4 o’clock pacific time 7 o’clock eastern
    time
    come check that out we’ll skip the out
    read just come to the webinar
    talk with mike talk with me we’re going
    to have a good time and you hear all
    about atmosphere tv
    and also we’ll talk about atmosphere in
    your laundromat
    all right without further ado i don’t
    think i had anything else let’s jump
    into it with sean dandridge because this
    is an
    awesome interview i know you’re gonna
    love it i know i loved it
    super cool guy lots to offer let’s do it
    sean thank you for coming on the show
    how are you doing
    i’m doing good my man how are you i am
    awesome i’m awesome i’m really excited
    you know i
    we chatted just a little bit and you
    promised some good stories so i’m really
    excited i always love a good story
    uh really excited to hear about your
    experience with laundromats
    and to hear how you’re you’re like a
    little
    like somewhere around a year in is that
    right well
    actually not even a year i bought my
    laundromat
    in january 31st of this year so
    literally about seven months or so in so
    not even a full year yet
    all right good well you know what if
    there’s anything that i know it’s that
    seven months in laundromats you can
    accumulate
    quite a bit of experience in this that
    seems like a lifetime
    yeah it can it can seem like a lifetime
    you’re right so
    but before we get into that story and
    all of that i want to hear a little bit
    about you can you give us a little bit
    of backstory
    about you and who you are yeah
    absolutely so
    like you said my name is sean dandridge
    i’m currently in the dallas fort worth
    metro area arlington to be exact
    was in the army for about ten and a half
    years
    deployed to iraq a couple of times i got
    a bronze star one of those deployments
    right worked at the white house for
    about five and a half years so i was a
    white house aide to
    president obama uh my background is i.t
    so i did worldwide communications for
    the president the vice president
    cabinet members so
    okay well hold on time out i didn’t know
    it was an interesting guy
    i just got super nervous i didn’t know
    you were such a big deal here
    oh man all right well well i don’t know
    well can you
    before i mean listen you can’t just drop
    something like that we got to talk about
    that for just a minute can you tell us
    about
    maybe your experience uh working in the
    white house and
    thank you for your service by the way
    and you know we really appreciate
    welcome not a problem
    that that does for us and in our country
    uh but tell us a little bit about
    working in the white house what was that
    like
    um it’s a very interesting place it
    never slows down
    it never stops there’s always something
    to do and
    always somewhere to be like i said i did
    communication so
    the team or the organization i was with
    is actually called
    waka it stands for white house
    communications agency so
    basically we travel all over the world
    in support of the president and the vice
    president
    and cabinet members i actually worked at
    camp david so
    when the president would be on air force
    one or anywhere away from the white
    house we
    were responsible for ensuring that he
    could connect with world leaders
    and the command and control of the
    united states wherever he may be
    wow okay okay man i mean you’re just
    making me more nervous
    that’s pretty cool i mean essentially
    what you’re telling me
    is that our country stops to function if
    it’s not for
    what you did during those years that’s
    what i’m hearing
    there’s no communication we’re done for
    if it wasn’t for you
    if if the president cannot talk we’re in
    trouble so
    i would say that’s an accurate statement
    so yeah so i mean
    yeah basically you ran the country
    the quasi-type of way yeah i’m just
    saying it out right you ran the country
    and you’re on the podcast i love it uh
    well that is
    crazy okay so i mean this
    begs the question in my mind then uh how
    do you get from the white house to
    laundromats how does this happen
    so so um i got out of the army in
    april of 2016 moved to dallas um
    for years my wife always had this uh
    this thing with
    like laundry it’s like oh man we need to
    start this laundry business you know we
    can pick up people’s clothes
    and wash them and do all this stuff i
    was like okay you’re
    kind of crazy i don’t want to do that
    did she not know that you were
    basically the most powerful person in
    the world at the time
    i don’t think she cared she still
    doesn’t care
    sounds like my wife i don’t know okay so
    of course i didn’t know about the whole
    you know the technical terms to pick up
    in delivery
    and the wash and fold i was just like
    okay she wants to go to people’s houses
    and pick up their clothes and watch them
    that sounds
    crazy there’s no money in that so
    we actually so after years and years and
    years
    i finally relented and i was like okay
    we’ll try so we did it and we
    actually did very well but what we found
    out is
    we we contracted with a laundry local
    laundromat
    but what we found out is if you don’t
    control the entire supply chain of
    actually owning the laundromat and
    owning the processes
    it’s never going to work so it started
    out pretty good but
    as we got bigger and grew it very
    rapidly
    failed because we didn’t control the
    critical piece of the laundromat
    can can you tell me a little bit about
    because i get this question a lot is can
    you start
    without a laundromat doing exactly what
    you guys did can you tell me some of the
    struggles you guys had
    um doing it that way i
    i would say the the easiest thing was
    actually finding a laundromat to
    do it i mean we have several laundromats
    and they were already doing it so it was
    just kind of like
    hey can you give me a corporate rate
    type deal if i bring in x amount of
    pounds every week
    but the biggest part was finding
    reliable workers to actually
    pick up the laundry and drive that was
    the biggest thing and we were scaling so
    quickly that
    we just could not find reliable people
    and
    then my wife started law school and i
    had a full-time job so it quickly went
    bust just because of logistical things
    yeah that makes a lot of sense and i
    mean i think that that
    those can be difficulties whether you
    have a location or not especially right
    now when there’s
    you know we’re in middle of 2021 and you
    know it’s
    labor is tough right now kind of all
    across the board not just in our
    industry but across the board so
    yeah but i also think the biggest thing
    is obviously we knew
    nothing about the laundry industry so we
    were kind of
    learning on the job and learning with
    our own money so that was
    that was a very eye-opening experience
    as well
    yeah so would you would you suggest
    people get into the business that way or
    would you say hey
    you know what you’re way better off
    saving your money and buying a
    laundromat
    and doing it that way like i said i
    i think you’re at a significant
    disadvantage if you don’t own the
    laundromat
    so i personally would not recommend
    people
    go that route to get into the business
    because you’re kind of at
    someone’s someone’s mercy along the
    entire
    chain of the process other than
    you know having the website and having a
    phone number where to pick up laundry
    but
    yeah other than that you don’t control
    anything else
    right yeah yeah i know that that is
    tough we had a guy mark vlaskamp who’s
    actually also in texas
    who him and his buddies started that
    same way
    and there they’ve scaled crazy amounts
    and you know last i talked to him they
    were looking for a location for the
    exact same reasons because it just
    didn’t make sense anymore for them to do
    it the way they were doing it so
    can be difficult for sure okay so
    your wife pestered you and then promptly
    started law school
    and that fizzled at that point did you
    guys stop doing the business or did you
    continue what happened
    um we continued for a while uh i also
    have a full-time job i’m
    uh i t manager at a publicly traded
    company so okay
    i really couldn’t do both she couldn’t
    do both so it kind of slowly
    fizzled out from there as we both got a
    little busier but
    always in the back of our minds we were
    like man that was a good idea
    we just need to control more of the
    process so
    that kind of after i relented and i saw
    that okay this can make some money the
    laundry business is
    okay i just always kind of kept my eye
    out for laundromats and
    you know signed up for business mailing
    lists from different brokers and stuff
    and that’s kind of how i got into owning
    a laundromat
    just so happens one day i got an email
    for laundromat
    about 45 minutes from me it was a
    complete dump
    the guy just wanted to get out i went
    over there and i was like okay
    i’m gonna do this so that’s how i bought
    my first launcher man
    holy cow okay so you you had just talked
    to a bunch of brokers and eventually
    somebody brought you a deal that was
    close enough and
    made sense enough for you to pull the
    trigger is that how you feel well
    well this broker i got an email from a
    broker i
    honestly didn’t know the broker never
    talked to him don’t even know how he got
    my email address but
    it was a laundromat it like i said it
    was it was run down
    it had about eight machines working in
    there
    and i was like okay i think this is what
    i’ve been waiting for
    so i’m just gonna do it without even
    knowing much about
    laundromats in general i just decided
    okay this is what i’m gonna try
    okay so
    all right but i mean here’s what you
    just here’s what i just heard you say
    is this laundromat was run down it had
    barely eight machines working and i said
    this is what i’ve been waiting for and
    what i’ve been looking for
    what was it about this place that was
    falling apart that was what you were
    looking for
    what made you say oh yes this is the one
    when i got there when i first pulled up
    i immediately turned across the street
    and there was
    an entire apartment complex i drove down
    the street
    there was three more apartment complexes
    and a gentleman on the outside of the
    laundromat
    decided or told me he’s like hey you
    know none of those
    apartments have washer and dryer hookups
    so at that point i was like i know i can
    make this work whatever’s going on
    inside i’m sure i can fix it i can make
    that work
    if there’s 500 apartment units within
    a walking radius and they have no no
    washer and dryer hookups
    so that was kind of my determining
    factor without even
    delving much into anything else
    yeah good uh okay so
    what was the process like buying it was
    it easy did you just kind of be like
    okay we’ll take it and that was it or
    did you
    go through a process of evaluating it
    at all or did you not bother because it
    was so run down
    well i did do some due diligence the
    guys they were kind of selling it
    i guess ass is is what they called it so
    they had some numbers i wouldn’t say the
    books were very good
    because when i actually took ownership
    and
    and got in there the first week was
    significantly lower than the average
    week of the numbers they gave me which
    which i kind of expected yeah because
    i’ve done real estate and other things
    so
    um the numbers are never what the owners
    say they’re always much more rosier than
    what they actually are so
    i negotiated on price and discounts for
    that because i just
    knew just based on how i looked i i knew
    you weren’t making the amount of money
    that you’re telling me
    so so did you negotiate after you had
    made your initial offer or
    when in the process did you negotiate
    that um it was
    pretty much at the beginning when i saw
    it they told me what they wanted
    and i just straight up told the guy i’m
    not giving you that i’ll give you
    probably 60 of this
    because mainly 30 for potential and 30
    for the equipment that’s there that’s
    actually functioning
    right so okay
    so you negotiated this deal got it at
    deep discount what i mean what did you
    did you
    replace equipment did you put some new
    stuff in use stuff
    leave it as is what’d you do so um
    the first day i got there they they had
    like a
    i honestly still to this day don’t know
    what they’re trying to do maybe create
    like a little grocery store on the side
    or something
    so it the place was filthy like i’ve
    never seen a place more dirty in my
    entire life
    so the first thing i did was hire a
    cleaning company to come in there and
    like just
    get all of the years of lent and dust
    and
    all of that stuff yeah just everything
    and even just by doing that people are
    like whoa
    did you do anything different in here it
    looks different
    i was like no all i did was clean yeah
    yeah i haven’t done anything else i
    promise you um
    after that like i said it was only seven
    or eight machines working and
    they were they just needed a good
    cleaning and but
    the interesting thing that i saw was
    even though the place was run down it
    only had seven or eight machines
    people would still come in there and do
    laundry and i’m like i would never come
    in here and do my laundry
    but that just tells me that there’s a
    significant need
    for a laundromat in this area even
    though there’s
    a huge one up the street and another one
    a couple of miles away this
    in this area right here this is the only
    laundromat that people can actually walk
    to if they don’t have a car
    from these apartment buildings right so
    that that really caught my attention and
    piqued my interest
    yeah okay so i mean does it still only
    have eight working machines in it or
    now we’re closed um i decided i don’t
    know if you’re familiar but in texas we
    had this major storm in february where
    they turned off all the power
    and all that stuff so during that time i
    had
    pipes that burst in all types of things
    but
    the plumbing was already like crap it
    was
    one of the workers when i walked in
    there they actually told me hey you know
    when you came in here and
    did an inspection with the plumbers the
    guys turned off the water so you
    wouldn’t see the leak
    so the previous owners but
    but when i immediately when you walk in
    you see the entire floor is wet behind
    the washer so you know there’s a leak
    somewhere even though water isn’t
    leaking
    so everything was rusted out leaking
    so the storm was kind of a blessing in
    disguise because it kind of solidified
    hey
    you know in order to make this work i
    need to get in here i need to rip all
    this stuff out
    i need to redo the plumbing i need to
    you know make it look nicer build a new
    office for
    wash and fold service there was really
    no office it was kind of like a run down
    closet that they had
    so the building is i completely gutted
    the building
    reframed it um put new ac units in there
    the place hadn’t had ac for like 15
    years the lady told me that worked there
    so um got new equipment uh went through
    uh laundry
    lux electrolux for new equipment so
    all new equipment and that’s kind of
    where i’m at now just
    going through a i wouldn’t say a full
    remodel but
    a pretty big remodel to get things
    up and the way working should be
    sounds like it i mean you’re you’re
    you’re trying to rival
    ross dodds here who came on the podcast
    in his
    his laundromat burned down after i think
    five days of owning it or something like
    that wow
    but i mean having i mean your pipes
    basically burst a month after you bought
    it right
    three weeks three weeks oh gosh
    well if it makes you feel any better
    ross now has like a thousand
    laundromats and you know he and i are
    buying
    laundromats together and stuff yeah i’m
    a big fan of ross i’m
    on the laundromat owner’s message boards
    i always love his stories about his
    wrecked vehicles so i am definitely a
    ross fan and i am looking forward to
    meeting him one day
    oh yeah he would love it he listens to
    every episode so he’ll hear this and i’m
    sure he’ll reach out
    um that’s good uh that’s if you haven’t
    i’ll put the
    in case you listen to this and you want
    to hear ross’s story which is pretty
    crazy it’s probably time to have him
    back on because he’s
    he’s doing a lot of stuff right now but
    um i’ll put the link to his
    episode just in case anybody wants to
    hear it in the show notes
    or if you’re on youtube down below in
    the description it’s worth a listen for
    sure
    um okay so you bought a lot okay
    man i had no idea like he bought a
    laundromat three weeks later the pipes
    burst he had to shut it down and
    basically have to do a get
    job is that a good summary
    yes it’s a great summary so what’s your
    what’s your timeline looking like in
    terms of
    reopening now but before we
    get to that question i want to move back
    a little bit let’s go back um this kind
    of um
    talks about your episode with the
    distributors i have
    so once i bought the laundromat and i
    was reaching out to these distributors
    my local distributors here uh the sales
    guys they were okay
    i had one he was um dexter guy
    you know they just about every
    laundromat in dallas for whatever reason
    has dexter’s machine so they
    they’ve like cornered the market here
    reached out to this guy he was going to
    give me a quote
    never heard back from the guy and i was
    looking to spend
    you know hundreds of thousands of
    dollars the guy wouldn’t even give me a
    quote
    i’m like you don’t want to make any
    money
    so that guy never heard back from our
    local dexter distributor in dallas
    shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who
    he is there’s only one
    um then i went over to um
    hips my local hips distributor heard
    back from him but
    the financing guy there was like
    it was weird it seemed like he was much
    more interested
    in how i made my money even though i
    have a full-time job
    to be quite honest he was talking to me
    like i ran like a drug cartel like i was
    like pablo escobar or something
    i’m like i’m showing you all this proof
    that uh this is how i make this
    do money know who i am i ruled the world
    at one point in time
    that didn’t click with him yeah so but
    then i reached out to uh
    laundry luxe and um texas coin laundry
    they were fantastic within the week of
    reaching out to them
    i had a quote a week and a half later i
    had an approval for all the equipment
    and it was on order so that was probably
    the easiest
    process i’ve dealt with with a laundry
    distributor in
    seven months so it was definitely night
    and day
    between dealing with the other two yeah
    and funny enough when i got the approval
    from laundry lux the same day i got an
    approval from hips
    that’s how that works yeah yeah of
    course they didn’t get a call back
    i know still well one of the problems
    with the distributorship model right now
    that i didn’t even touch on in that
    episode that you referred to which i’ll
    put a link to if you’re
    um interested in hearing that one
    but is the
    the sales people are assigned
    territories basically
    and they can’t sell outside of their
    territory so if you’re stuck in a
    location with a bad
    rep like you know a rep who won’t get
    back to you or somebody who
    is obviously just in it for a quick buck
    and is not there to help you long haul
    um you know then basically you either
    gotta suffer with that or you have to go
    to a different brand because you can’t
    use a different rep and like you said in
    dallas there’s one
    rep so if that guy doesn’t get back to
    you you can’t get that brand of
    equipment
    right and that’s a huge huge issue not
    just for owners because we get stuck
    with bad ones
    if we’re unfortunate enough to live in
    an area where there’s a bad rep but it’s
    also
    kind of unfortunate for the good reps
    out there because there’s there are a
    lot of really great reps i’ve had a few
    of them on the podcast
    who i would consider great you know jd
    dixon would be one michael ambrose would
    be i mean there’s some great reps out
    there
    um but they can’t help you if you don’t
    live
    inside the territory that they’ve been
    assigned
    um and that’s that’s a pretty big
    problem because if you had wanted dexter
    you’d have just been out of luck right
    that’s such a broken system and
    it is not sustainable over the long term
    especially in this hyper-inflated
    technology space that we currently live
    in i don’t see how that is
    even sustainable for an additional 10
    years personally
    i just think that’s a dying model yeah
    yeah i think you’re probably right um
    okay
    so yeah thank you for thank you for
    sharing all that that experience because
    i get that
    question a lot too about how do you you
    know how do you go about
    finding distributors or choosing one
    sometimes it’s just the only one who
    will respond to you
    um if that’s if that’s the case
    uh but okay so all right so going back
    to your rebuild
    what is your timeline looking like so
    um the equipment should be here within
    the next couple of weeks and
    hopefully i’ll be open by the beginning
    of september
    okay awesome are you going to be doing
    or maybe you haven’t thought about this
    yet but
    just out of curiosity are you going to
    be doing any kind of
    grand opening or any kind of promotions
    to
    kind of try to win some customers over
    when you when you open up
    yeah i’ve um kicked around a couple of
    things and the thing that i’m kind of
    stuck on that’s doing
    one dollar washes for two weeks or a
    month
    i think if someone sees a big banner out
    there that says
    one dollar washes no matter what machine
    you pick that
    it’s kind of hard to turn that down yeah
    yeah that is attractive especially you
    know when you have all those apartments
    right there right and our favorite guy
    ross i
    uh posted this uh a similar question
    what should i do for a grand opening he
    responded um
    so i’m also getting the the laundry lux
    app
    and he responded that maybe i should do
    like a match
    whatever you load on the app do a match
    so thinking about doing that too i
    never thought about that so that’s a
    good idea
    yeah you know what luke williford who
    was show 10 which is another
    classic episode if you know if anybody
    hasn’t listened to that that’s another
    one
    i’ll put a link to it um but he does
    that
    um he does a match for i think he does
    it for the first
    month i want to say um where however
    much people load onto there they’ll
    they’ll match it and it’s a huge success
    for him i mean they’re pushing 40
    laundromats now so
    you know he and his brother lee know
    their stuff and they know what they’re
    doing and
    you know not a bad not a bad
    team right there to model after so um
    yeah so that’s that’s a good good one so
    but i mean
    i think the dollar wash is equally um
    [Music]
    attractive you know for people um
    you just yeah that in i’m just thinking
    mainly you know
    you’re gonna no matter if someone shows
    up or not you’re still gonna have the
    same fixed cost so
    get them in the door and hey look what
    we got here it’s not the same laundromat
    that you’re used to for the past 20
    years look it’s it’s actually clean and
    nice in here now
    yeah that’s kind of what i’m going for
    and there’s no
    there’s no machine you know lottery
    where you put your money in and you’re
    not sure if it’s going to work or not
    you know the lights aren’t occurring i
    forgot to tell you that they had the
    first day i walked
    in a cat follows me in and
    the attendant’s like hey we have a
    mascot
    there it is like what if you like hear
    customers like oh my god there’s a cat
    in here she’s like oh
    this is the mascot i’m like you can’t do
    that anymore
    there’s no more mascot that ends today
    that’s pretty funny so yeah when i was a
    just related slideshow when i was
    retooling my first store
    um i had come in and you know in the
    night time after they had
    ended for the day and i was cleaning up
    or whatever
    and i kept hearing a sound
    and a cat a little kitten had kind of
    worked its way
    into one of the bulkheads somehow and
    was mowing
    in there so we also had a little mascot
    for a night that’s funny what you can
    find in life
    yeah it’s very interesting yeah i’m
    curious
    i mean i think we we need to have maybe
    we should start a thread on that
    facebook group the laundromat owners
    facebook group which i’ll link to by the
    way that group because it’s a good one
    if you haven’t um joined it yet you
    should
    tell ross i said to let you in and he’ll
    let you in
    but we should start a thread on the
    craziest animal
    that people have found in their life i
    would be very
    curious to see what some people have
    come across
    oh yeah me too i you know you gotta know
    that like some of these rural places
    probably have like goats or i don’t know
    cats yeah yeah exactly
    some kangaroo down under i don’t know
    man like there’s got to be some stories
    out there so
    maybe we’ll start that one uh okay good
    so
    let’s go back you you bought your
    laundromat
    three weeks later you guys had a big
    storm blew everything out you basically
    decided
    hey i gotta retool this whole thing so
    what’s that process been like
    so far for you in terms of you know
    redoing all the plumbing how did you
    just out of curiosity how did you find
    somebody to come do
    plumbing so i
    so like i said when i first bought it i
    had all these leaks so i
    had a plumber that i’ve been working
    with he was fixing leaks and stuff for
    me
    and then i just copper was totally
    corroded
    most of the outlets didn’t work
    it was just they were like hey even
    before the storm they’re like hey
    you need to replace all of this because
    this
    this is not gonna work you’re just gonna
    continuously have leaks and
    all this stuff so i was already thinking
    about it before the storm but the storm
    just kind of
    you know sped up my process because it
    broke everything
    so so i just facebook groups people i
    knew i
    had all these plumbers come out and of
    course none of them had ever dealt with
    a laundromat so they’re kind of like
    uh i’m like can you just copy what’s
    here
    just make it new
    so kind of started out that way and
    but i end up going with a guy that
    actually did some work for me in my
    house he owns a construction company
    because the storm like flooded the first
    floor of my house
    so the guy came in and did all the towel
    in my house and
    i was like okay if you could do this i
    got another project for you
    come meet me over here one day so
    had him come out there he looked around
    he’s like okay i can do this he
    he’s also in real estate investing so
    he’s familiar with like you know fix and
    flips
    type of thing so so he’s the guy that i
    contracted to do that and
    they got the plumbing done um
    and so far so good it’s just uh they
    finished the framing yesterday so
    it’s slowly coming back together it’s
    looking like a laundromat again
    instead of uh empty space with
    absolutely nothing in it and busted
    pipes
    yeah yeah well it’s funny because
    you know it takes a long time for all
    that work and then it kind of just comes
    together
    fast once all the infrastructure is back
    in place and
    um yeah i mean it’s similar to like a
    flip where
    right you know you you’re doing all
    these things that no one will ever see
    and that’s what takes a lot of time and
    then you know once you’re kind of
    putting the finishing touches on that
    stuff can go fast
    and i know there’s been a backlog of the
    machines too
    you know they’ve they’re you know you’ve
    had to order them and they’ve taken
    eight weeks 12 weeks 16 weeks you know
    to get in right now so
    that holds things up too yeah um
    i was told that six to eight weeks i
    think it’s probably been about a month
    so we’re coming up on it so hopefully
    i’m done by the time the machines get
    here
    that that’s been my problem i don’t want
    to i don’t want the machines to be
    waiting on me i want to wait on the
    machine so i’m kind of in a different
    situation than
    most people when they’re waiting on the
    machines i’m like
    please don’t get here on time i won’t be
    finished
    so but i think we’re making good
    progress and we
    we should be good by
    our first september opening timeline
    yeah awesome okay well
    so i want to ask some
    questions about the business i know you
    haven’t really even been open that much
    but i’m just kind of curious about that
    but
    um
    we have a section called down to
    business
    [Applause]
    over and out yep and that’s where we
    talk about
    your business but real quick i’m just
    curious
    when you when you bought this laundromat
    how much time were you and or your wife
    spending there for those first few weeks
    so the first three weeks i was there
    just about every single day okay and
    this is probably from we opened at seven
    and i would probably get there about 10
    and stay the close which is
    9 30 a 10 every single day so
    and mainly this is for a few reasons i
    had um
    two attendants there there’s a lady she
    was there for the vast majority of the
    day and
    she was kind of left her own devices
    with previous owners so
    i think in her head she just was like
    this is my laundromat i’m gonna
    do whatever i want to so i kind of had
    to be there to break that
    cycle like this is what we’re gonna do
    this is
    my processes this is how i want it to
    run
    right and another thing is we have this
    change machine it jammed every single
    day
    and i don’t have to reset it but the
    previous owners would
    like leave the key with the lady that
    was there i didn’t quite feel
    comfortable with that
    right so i would just probably i would
    just stay there just to
    you know hey the change machine’s broken
    and i can never find anybody to come out
    and fix the change machine either
    and other equipment would break and
    they would call me in a panic oh my god
    this machine’s broken like
    i don’t fix machines i don’t know what
    to do put an out-of-order sign on
    it so so just things like that just
    you know to kind of mitigate the
    learning curve
    i needed to be there just to okay this
    breaks why is it breaking
    what is this doing why is this like this
    so
    that was mainly the reasons i was there
    so much
    just because i didn’t i didn’t know
    anything so i had to be there just to
    learn
    yeah so i mean were you working from
    there or did you take vacation or
    because you said you had a full-time job
    right no i was doing both so i was
    working from there and
    handling the other stuff on the side
    i like that i like what wait okay i mean
    i gotta ask the question wasn’t this
    whole thing your wife’s idea why wasn’t
    she there
    she was pregnant oh
    a cop out a cop out come on you know
    convenient excuse yeah it’s convenient
    well was your baby born yet
    my uh son was born february 28th
    so three weeks
    for four weeks um after we bought it and
    a week after the storm that ruined
    everything
    well congrats on your son thank you uh
    kind of unfortunate timing with
    everything else that went
    yeah he didn’t pick a great time to come
    but yeah made it work
    you always find a way to make it work
    yeah it’s funny how that works huh yeah
    that is funny
    yeah well congrats and uh now that that
    baby
    is you know four or five months old i
    hope you’re making your wife slave away
    the laundromat now well when we reopen
    she’s gonna be my uh
    general manager she says so we’ll see
    how that works she says she’s gonna be
    there
    and hang out during the day while i go
    back to work
    so yeah we’ll see how that works and we
    might have to do a follow-up episode on
    that one
    yeah well i would like to hear if she
    does how you made that work because my
    wife told me similar things and i can’t
    remember the last time she set foot in
    one of our laundromats so
    good luck with that if it works i will
    bring her on and
    tell and make her tell her story that’s
    right
    yes that’s good we’ll give her kudos
    that’s funny uh okay so uh
    so you’ve been i mean you were working
    there a lot working from there
    and being at the laundromat you know for
    pretty much all day every day for a few
    weeks there until everything went awry
    um which you know i i mean i
    don’t think that’s abnormal i think a
    lot of people when they buy their first
    laundromat they want to be there
    and to help understand what it’s all
    about
    and how everything works and
    you know to see you know their employees
    and how they’re functioning all that
    stuff so
    i think it’s pretty typical um long term
    are you planning on
    being there a lot what’s your what’s
    your game plan with it long term
    well one of the main drivers of doing
    this whole retool remodel is
    so i wouldn’t have to be there all the
    time i’m planning to automate a lot of
    stuff
    like with the app and new coin machines
    and things like that new machine so
    i don’t have to be there every waking
    moment that i’m not at work
    so that’s you know that’s not why you
    do investing so you can have another
    full-time job so
    right so that’s that’s kind of where i’m
    headed i just
    like i said after the storm i figured
    okay if i’m
    gonna get my time back and make some
    money
    this is what i have to do to accomplish
    that
    so that’s what i’m kind of working
    towards with this remodel and new
    machines and all that stuff so hopefully
    it works out and i can only be there a
    few hours a week and my wife will be
    there
    a few days a week so hopefully that
    works out for us
    yeah well i’m sure i mean i’m sure it
    will that is one of the draws of this
    business
    uh just out of curiosity did your wife
    ever get her law degree
    no so we she got pregnant again so i
    have a
    so i have a two-year-old daughter and
    now i have a four-month-old son so
    she’s been pregnant for like the past
    two years so yeah
    finished the first year and then she
    started having kids
    so well congrats on that
    and uh she’s she’s a trooper then
    she is what’s up with me so
    something special about her yeah well
    she’s smart too because you basically
    ruled the world for a while so
    she locked down a winner um okay
    i’ll have to tell her that yeah you know
    what you get her on here
    and i will i will just to your horn for
    you
    to her i love it let her know who she’s
    dealing with over here
    uh yeah i got your back don’t worry
    okay did you i can’t remember if we
    talked about this
    on the podcast or or before but can you
    tell us where you’re located
    i’m in the dallas fort worth area um my
    laundromat is located in mesquite texas
    which is about
    15 or 20 minutes from downtown dallas
    sounds very barbecuey mesquite texas
    yeah
    i like that yep okay so you’re there and
    you have uh one laundromat do you have
    any
    real estate still no i i don’t have any
    real estate i’ve i had
    about four or five rental properties
    that i
    sold once i moved to texas and i was
    kind of out of state
    so i couldn’t really manage them the way
    i wanted to
    so i i started in real estate i did fix
    and flips buy and hold so
    kind of did that and then i got into
    this crazy
    laundry industry
    yes that’s what i like to hear so there
    are a lot of similarities between the
    two industries funny enough
    so i can see how people go from one or
    the other because there’s a
    lot of things that are very much alike
    yeah i
    couldn’t agree with you more that’s one
    of the things that really draws me to
    this business
    and i think it’s uh
    i mean i think there’s a lot of things
    you know that are similar between them
    but i also think they complement each
    other pretty well
    um so having both is is awesome if you
    can do it
    um which you can if you want to you can
    do anything
    one thing i do want to touch on before i
    move forward is
    um i friends and family asked me like
    you know
    how can i get into the laundromat
    industry i
    i don’t know if that’s a if we’re going
    to talk about that but
    one thing i didn’t know before i bought
    a laundromat is
    wow um they are very capital intensive
    you have to have a lot of
    upfront money and i think if i would
    have known the amount of money that it
    would have
    cost me upfront i would have i would
    have never done it because
    i would have been like this is insane
    like there’s no way i could do this so
    luckily i did not know and i moved
    forward anyways but
    i i would say if i did know i probably
    would have passed
    what uh what i mean i think that’s a
    really great point can you kind of
    elaborate on that what are some of the
    capital
    expenses that you’ve encountered that
    maybe you didn’t anticipate
    can you think of any off top of your
    head oh the first one is plumbing
    to redo the plumbing it’s like 30 grand
    i was like
    for pipes am i missing something here
    but i went and got four or five quotes
    and
    everybody was around the same price i’m
    like
    okay this is the price yeah and
    if somebody would have told me it was 10
    grand for a washing machine
    i’m like a washing machine you’re out of
    your mind
    but it’s just things like that it’s just
    very
    eye-opening and you you wouldn’t know
    that i mean i’ve visited laundromats
    before i actually
    ever thought about only one and i never
    in a million years thought man that’s a
    5 000 washer over there never crossed my
    mind so it’s just things like that
    yeah yeah well we’ll see how long they
    stay
    that much but yeah you can spend well
    over ten thousand dollars
    uh on a washing machine easier these
    days
    so i mean you’re right it is crazy and
    you know when i
    when i’m helping people buy a laundromat
    whether i’m consulting with them
    or if i’m representing them as a broker
    you know i always
    i always tell my clients hey let’s do
    let’s pay a little bit of money and do a
    plumbing
    inspection i know you did that too but
    just to know
    what you’re getting into because
    plumbing is expensive and if there’s
    problems
    you want to know about them beforehand
    if at all possible
    you know if a freak storm rolls in and
    blows out all your plumbing then i guess
    you’re out of luck but
    yeah it’s uh yeah it’s
    it is crazy it is crazy you’re right it
    is capital intensive but
    you say luckily
    so does that mean you’re not regretting
    it yet or
    too soon to tell or what where are you
    at
    no even the three weeks that i was open
    and
    like i said only had like five working
    washers and
    the amount of revenue i was making off
    of those five washers i was like okay
    i i got something here it’s not where i
    want to be
    but i just need to
    fix it so i never regretted it but
    it was just a lot of i guess sticker
    shock and
    eye-opening revelations that i never
    would have thought of
    yeah no and i think that’s a really
    great point i’m really glad you brought
    that up because i do
    think that it’s shocking you know and
    there’s
    there’s a you know i mean
    the whole free laundromat thing is
    really popular and
    you know for the record you can you know
    take over a location
    for free but there is nothing that’s
    free
    out there right yeah i don’t subscribe
    to that i see
    people that say oh i got this for free
    no you didn’t
    yeah you i guarantee you spent some
    money somewhere
    and i would be willing to bet every
    dollar i will ever make that you spent
    some money somewhere there’s
    no such thing as free especially in this
    business
    yeah and even if you didn’t spend any
    money you will be spending money because
    because like you said i mean the
    machines are not cheap and you know
    having work done on the place
    you know is is not cheap you know the
    plumbing’s expensive the electrical is
    expensive you need commercial
    electrician
    you know the you know your boiler or
    tankless water heater is going to be
    expensive your card system
    is expensi i mean it can go on and on
    and on so
    there’s a lot of expense so i’m really
    glad that you brought that up and you
    know just
    for anybody out there who’s thinking
    about getting in maybe you don’t have a
    ton of capital
    know that there are ways to do it um but
    a lot of times it means that you’re
    gonna have to put in a lot more sweat
    equity
    if uh if you don’t have the money to put
    into it and
    sometimes it’s not going to work um
    and i’ve seen that happen unfortunately
    quite a few times too
    but yeah actually sorry once i’m
    actually done with the remodel i would
    love to come back and
    come with raw numbers of what i actually
    spent
    break down everything line by line
    because
    one thing i’ve also found out about this
    people are like very secretive in this
    business for whatever reason it’s like
    oh don’t steal my idea or don’t do this
    it’s like
    it’s like man i work i had a top secret
    clearance and nobody was this secretive
    what do you guys hide but i would love
    to just
    break down like every expense everything
    that i have because
    i personally have nothing to uh this
    if it’s gonna help somebody i will tell
    you because i mean
    what i’m making and what i’m spending
    what’s that gonna matter to you
    right but other than helping you yeah
    well i mean that’s the mindset that
    this industry needs desperately right
    now i mean it’s a big part of why i
    started the podcast
    because there’s not a lot of people out
    there who are willing to share
    that stuff and you know i was like i
    know there’s got to be some so let’s get
    them
    get them here and start to shift that
    culture of secrecy a little bit and
    there’s
    it’s it’s deeply ingrained in our
    industry there’s
    you know uh price you know secrecy
    throughout our industry and all kinds of
    different
    you know arenas of our industry and
    that’s perpetuated
    you know by manufacturers that’s
    perpetuated by the coin laundry
    association
    um and in others and it’s it doesn’t it
    doesn’t help own it doesn’t do anything
    good for owners
    right so um but yeah i mean i let’s
    definitely do that and we’ll
    we’ll run through you know what the what
    the real costs are
    because i think that that would be
    really helpful for people to know
    before they get through the business
    without enough money
    to get them over a hump if their pipes
    explode
    yep yeah awesome well let’s talk about
    those five
    machines that you had working can you
    if you can remember this far back can
    you remember
    like what sizes they were and about how
    much
    the vend cost was how much customers
    paid to do their laundry there
    absolutely so i keep a little so on my
    phone i had this little
    i started a little notes with laundromat
    notes and i have all of that information
    right here in front of me
    awesome because i just organized keep
    this type of stuff
    yeah you are not a natural laundromat
    owner here you don’t keep those kinds of
    things
    so when i first got there i had
    16 um double stacked dexters
    they were they’re the older model the
    the kind of
    i guess almond color so um
    dryers that we’re talking about dryers
    yes sorry
    so um most of those actually worked
    there was two that were like
    in the corner burned out i guess there
    was like a fire three years ago and
    okay just kind of put some plastic over
    two of them and
    left them i’m like uh when did that
    happen
    they’re like oh about four years ago
    okay well there you go
    so those were 25 cents
    um so i had a dexter t300
    double loaders so there was actually
    nine there
    five were broken and the vin price on
    those were two dollars for everything
    okay um had a dexter
    ford dexter 400s thoroughbred 400s
    four of those three were broken uh
    275 ben price
    dexter t600s two of those
    325 dexter
    900’s uh the mega loaders two of those
    450. okay that’s the vin price
    so as you can see most of the machines
    were broken right
    yeah interesting yeah and
    probably underpriced because so many i
    was broken i was getting to that
    so i go down i was like man this
    this seems kind of cheap so i go down i
    have a laundromat
    a huge laundromat like probably a mile
    down the street from me and i
    go in there i’m like man all of my
    machines are
    underpriced by like a dollar dollar
    fifty
    and then i go to another launcher man i
    have another one maybe two miles from me
    same thing i’m like man they’re they’re
    giving away washes over here
    yeah so i increased the price by like
    50 cents a machine and
    the revenue probably doubled the next
    week
    just by doing that yeah and i also found
    out that
    my first day there hey you know there’s
    no hot water here
    i’m like what you’re charging people for
    hot water but you don’t have any
    you’re like yeah the hot the attendant
    was like yeah the hot water
    heater has been broken for i don’t know
    a year or two
    so the previous owner was charging
    people for hot water
    but actually no hot water so
    obviously i fixed that yeah
    i mean classic i mean kind of classic
    mismanagement
    stuff you know being underpriced which
    is difficult man i think that’s a
    difficult issue for a lot of owners and
    raising prices but it’s also
    when you’re buying a new laundromat i
    would say it’s probably the number one
    way to add value to your laundromat
    immediately
    is you know raise your prices up to you
    know where they should be
    if they’re not there um like you said
    you doubled
    almost your revenue just by raising it
    by 50 cents a machine
    so right and i have the actual numbers
    and
    what i want to illustrate by giving
    these is
    this is what the first week that i
    didn’t really do anything
    to the second week what was all i did
    was
    mop and clean so the
    first week it was for washers 440
    and dryers 220 okay
    two weeks later 725 for washers
    260 for dryers and i added some vending
    machines
    135 so that’s like two and a half times
    or almost double from the first
    and the third week and all i did was mop
    and clean
    yeah yeah well i it makes
    i mean it sounds so simple right but it
    makes so much
    sense that people number one are going
    to be willing to pay a little bit more
    for laundry you know i’m sure they were
    cheap because
    they knew that their laundromat was not
    as desirable so they’re saying well
    you know we’ll just be cheaper than
    everybody else so we’ll get some
    customers that way
    try to get more volume that way um but
    you know keeping doing the you know
    attending to the basics of laundromat
    ownership right keeping things clean
    keeping things working keeping hot water
    hot i guess
    is i guess you gotta say that happy hot
    water period
    yeah right uh you know those kinds of
    things
    are simple those are the basics
    but really they can take you quite a
    long ways especially if you’re buying
    you know a quote-unquote zombie mat um
    you know just by cleaning up and you
    know adjusting pricing a little bit
    accordingly and and taking care of
    customers right right yeah that’s
    exactly the point i’m trying to make
    here you don’t have to be a genius to
    figure
    some of this stuff out you just what
    would i what would i use
    is is always the phrase that i kind of
    tell myself would i go in here and use x
    or would i do this if the answer is no
    you probably have
    100 other people the answer is probably
    no to
    so that’s kind of how i guide myself in
    this journey
    yeah i i yeah i mean i think that that’s
    a great
    way to think about it too you know is
    think about your customers as people
    right like do they
    you know do they want to come to a dirty
    place to try to clean their clothes
    and do they leave feeling clean or do
    they leave feeling dirty
    right they’re just regular people who
    want to
    clean their clothes and leave feeling
    clean right yeah of course
    another way i put it is would you send
    your wife or your mom here
    or would you have them do this you know
    if if you get an answer that’s no
    you should probably do some type of
    evaluation or
    fix that yeah so
    yeah um okay so i mean did you
    did you keep track of like turns per day
    at all
    uh no not really turns per day because
    like i said only had seven machines
    there so
    right i don’t think it was really worth
    the effort
    yeah yeah well i’m just curious because
    it would have been interesting to hear
    how many times those machines were being
    used per day
    week one versus how many times per day
    those machines were being used week
    three right and
    if you were able to actually gain some
    new customers
    just by mopping up you know that would
    have been interesting to know
    um but okay and you said you’re
    it was attended right right so i had a
    lady she was there probably for 12 hours
    a day and another guy he came in that
    night
    basically to three hours at night to
    close down the place and mop mopping
    clean i was
    told but i don’t think that was getting
    done
    right so but i
    funny enough i i i just take from my
    time in the army and my time at my job
    if
    if people have proper leadership they
    will do what they need to do
    like this guy at night i never had an
    issue with him he always swept
    mopped it but i guess if you know you
    have an attentive owner
    you’re gonna do what you’re supposed to
    do so yes
    quite honestly i’ve never had a problem
    out of either one of them but
    i always say people are only going to
    get away with what you let them get away
    with so that’s
    kind of the mindset yeah i like that
    um yeah and i think that leadership part
    of it
    too is uh i mean i think it’s a
    difficult one for a lot of laundromat
    owners too and you know we come from all
    kinds of backgrounds i mean you ran the
    world
    i was in ministry i mean all kinds of
    different backgrounds right but
    uh you know i think by and large a lot
    of small business owners in general
    we don’t have a lot of leadership
    experience necessarily and so
    um you know but again kind of the basics
    of leadership is
    you know let people know what you expect
    and
    you know keep them accountable for what
    you expect and
    that’s kind of when you boil it down the
    essence of
    how to how to lead your attendance right
    and i think caring goes a lot into that
    i mean if people see you care
    of course they’re gonna care a little
    bit more they’re like okay this guy he’s
    just not
    here to collect money every week he
    actually cares about what’s going on in
    this place so
    obviously that kind of ups the annie
    with them a little bit as well because
    hey i gotta step my game up or
    he’s probably gonna get rid of me yeah
    yeah and that carrying is contagious too
    right and
    it’s really easy to get for an employee
    to get complacent with any business
    you know if the if the owner is
    basically outsourcing
    responsibilities to the employees
    ownership responsibilities or management
    responsibilities to the employees
    you know then it’s really easy for them
    to get complacent because they’re not
    going to care about
    your business as much as you should care
    about your business
    because not theirs they don’t get paid
    anymore any less to do a better
    or worse job right i have a funny story
    about
    you know complacency so when i was first
    looking at this laundromat and
    i went up there a couple of times you
    know just to look around and
    do some laundry as a prospective
    customer and
    they attended she kept going in this
    back room
    like what the hell’s in this back room
    and she would like disappear for like
    20 minutes at a time i’m like what’s
    going on back there
    eventually she finally went outside and
    she left the door open in this back room
    and
    i kind of snuck back there and looked
    looked around and
    i eventually figured out it’s like the
    mechanical room so the
    you know the heating and water shutoffs
    and stuff but she was back there smoking
    like right on top of the hot water
    heater like ashtray on top of the hot
    water heater and she was just smoking
    cigarettes in the back
    i’m like uh you don’t care about your
    life do you yeah yeah
    but then i found out the hot water
    heater wasn’t working so
    right yeah it hasn’t been working for a
    year
    well hopefully there’s no like gas leak
    or something because there’s no pilot
    light
    well she definitely would have died
    already
    like a cigar bar in that place back
    there oh geez
    that’s so funny so i just say that to
    say
    this is what happens when you just leave
    people to their own devices and
    yeah you think they’re going to do the
    right thing even though most people are
    good
    natured people they’re going to get
    comfortable with what they’re doing and
    do things their way which most likely
    probably doesn’t align with
    your philosophy yeah yeah
    no i i think that’s exactly exactly
    right
    and i think you know people tend to have
    a tendency towards complacency when
    they’re not inspired by anything
    and you know to be honest like your
    typical laundromat is not a super
    inspiring place
    in and of itself to work but it can be
    right if if you’re serving more and more
    customers if you know if you’re part of
    a team that’s
    growing something you’re getting more
    and more customers or you build deep
    relationships
    and attendant with customers or you’re
    working with an owner who’s
    you know who’s demonstrating that they
    care by not just taking care of you as
    an employee but by reinvesting
    into the laundromat you know or
    you’re starting new services that can be
    exciting or there’s a
    a management role that’s going to
    develop
    as a result that they have an
    opportunity to apply for something like
    that
    it can be inspiring but
    you know if things are just kind of
    coasting along then
    yeah it’s not that inspiring and your
    attendance
    will i mean just because they’re human
    right right
    they’ll tend to get complacent exactly
    yeah okay uh last question
    in the down to business section that i
    have for you
    is do you well actually i have two more
    i just lied sorry
    uh are you planning on doing pick up and
    delivery again
    i am but i think it’ll come probably
    after a few months
    once we get back open and i want to
    establish like
    processes first for even the just the
    watch and fold
    inside and then i think it’ll be a much
    better transition of
    doing pickup and delivery so i do plan
    on doing it
    again okay uh
    i thought of another question while you
    were talking sorry
    i mean i was listening to you but i was
    also thinking
    uh did are you keeping your same
    employees
    for now yes to
    to be quite honest i’m i’m kind of torn
    on the
    lady that was there i mean she’s she’s a
    nice lady but
    i think as i get more into this
    and more changes come i i think she’s
    gonna have a hard time adjusting
    and i’ve already seen that so i don’t
    i personally don’t think i’ll even have
    to
    like get rid of her i think she’ll
    probably leave on her own because it’s
    just
    it’s too much i can tell at times it’s
    like whoa
    this guy’s like you know changing my
    life here right
    so so i that’s what i see but the guy
    i have at 90s he’s awesome he seems like
    he’s motivated you know
    was looking for that breath of fresh air
    to come in and you know shake things up
    so
    i kind of see both sides of the spectrum
    from both of my employees here
    yeah and i think also when i bring in
    you know
    new employees because i think we’re
    going to have the business there i think
    that’s also going to create some type of
    you know thing with her where she’s
    probably just going to
    transition yourself out yeah
    have you kept them employed while you’re
    shut down or how does that work do they
    go on yeah i’ve
    i’ve continued to pay them their weekly
    salary every week since i’ve been shut
    down
    are you having them do anything or
    they’re just sometimes um
    i’ll have them go up there if they need
    to if a contractor needs to get in or
    something like that but just little
    stuff or when i was shut down if i
    needed
    you know go up there and make sure the
    place isn’t flooded or something but
    no major stuff that yeah during the week
    but
    i just couldn’t you know lay someone off
    during the pandemic
    and with everything else going on i mean
    it’s it’s little it’s money but it’s not
    enough money where i’m gonna miss it
    i guess is what i’m saying so i’d rather
    give it to them and
    you know try to build some type of
    loyalty as well
    and and keep you with some money in your
    pocket and not just
    out here with all this uncertainty we
    have going on now
    so yeah i mean i think that that mindset
    tells me enough about you to know you’re
    you know you’re on your way to ruin the
    world again uh
    just from a different angle this time so
    got it gotta rule the world twice
    just from a different industry you’re
    like i’ve already ruled the world once
    so how can i make it a little more
    challenging i’m gonna
    i’m gonna start in the laundromat
    industry and somehow
    weasel my way into rule in the world
    again so i have the uncanny ability to
    find
    anything that’s remotely challenging
    that’s like why are you doing this i
    i have that it’s just a gift that i have
    i don’t know where it came from but
    i have it yeah but you know what it is a
    gift and i want you to hold on to that
    and keep
    keep following that because that that
    does make life exciting
    for sure oh it does yeah
    uh what okay this is my actual last
    question for the down to business
    section is
    do you do you have any future plans yet
    i mean i know you’re
    really early in and you’ve been shut
    down and you’re focused on getting this
    laundromat open i know you’re thinking
    about adding you know fluff and fold and
    pick up and delivery your location
    are you planning on just scaling up that
    way do you want to get more
    locations have you thought about any of
    that yet
    oh yeah i definitely want to get another
    location
    uh probably within the next i’d say 12
    to 18 months so
    even the first week i bought it i was
    like okay i
    the laundry industry is i like it i like
    it a lot
    and i’ve always said yes i want another
    location
    i don’t know if i’ll have a hundred like
    ross but i’m definitely thinking five to
    ten is where i want to be
    i don’t know if i’ll go above that but
    that’s kind of what i have in my mind
    yeah well ross is still i think he’s on
    the upper end he’s got like
    nine i think but he’s pretty
    aggressively buying more so
    yep he’ll be at that hundred in no time
    luke williford watch your back
    uh all right we have another section
    called secret sauce listen up it’s the
    secret sauce
    and secret sauce is this do you
    have any tips for i mean in your vast
    vast three weeks of experience and
    change
    with the shutdown laundromat uh do you
    have any
    any tips for current laundromat owners i
    mean
    listen not too many of us can say that
    you came in and doubled business so
    maybe you got some real good tips for us
    but any tips for laundromat owners that
    can help them improve their business um
    i would say
    just don’t start something and don’t be
    a part of the community
    you’re in this community you want people
    to come to your business and
    spend money there you know be involved
    in the community
    you know do barbecues or
    have a customer appreciation days or
    something just don’t
    just don’t be the typical owner and
    investor just hey i’m coming to collect
    my money and i’m
    going back to the suburbs or whatever
    you know stay in there get to know
    people that’s one of the things that i
    and all the time i did spend there over
    the past the three weeks i was open is
    i got to know a lot of the customers a
    lot of the regulars and
    and it was just enjoyable just to know
    people and know their story and
    i think that kept people coming back
    because it’s like oh this guy you know
    he’s he’s pretty cool he’s pretty
    interesting you know i like him
    so i’m gonna come over there and hey let
    me see sean today and
    hey what’s going on how’s your wife or
    that was work the other night so
    just things like that just knowing
    people and
    being relatable i guess is what i would
    say
    just just don’t come in and go hide in
    your office get to know people
    yeah i like that advice and i think that
    you know when people know you and they
    see around and especially
    if you’re the kind of owner that cares
    and that is
    you know investing in that community by
    trying to
    improve the business continually i
    always say that’s that’s
    the differentiator between a laundromat
    that’s going to be thriving
    in five to ten years and a laundromat
    that’s going to be
    the new zombie mat in five to ten years
    is if the owner
    is continually reinvesting in that
    business they’re gonna be thriving in
    five to ten years and it doesn’t
    always have to be in big ways it could
    be big ways or small ways
    um but reinvesting in that business and
    showing the community that you care but
    also just being
    present and you know getting to know
    people have a conversation with people
    ask them what they like what they don’t
    like about the laundromat
    you know talk to them about things that
    are going on in the neighborhood that
    kind of stuff
    people really respond to that and and
    connect with that and that builds a lot
    of loyalty
    more than most loyalty programs do
    actually right
    those relationships you know it kind of
    just boils down to good customer service
    and
    i you made me think of a story where i
    was
    in there one day and a lady she used
    like an entire bottle of soap so she
    still had soap on her clothes and
    early attended were kind of you know
    getting into a tiff and i was just
    just kind of interjecting i was like
    just give her the money let her redo her
    clothes and the attendant kind of looked
    at me like what are you doing you’re
    giving away money you’re going to be
    giving away a lot of money if you keep
    doing that i’m like
    two dollars does that really going to
    change my life but
    that’s gonna make her keep coming back
    because it’s like oh this guy gave me
    two dollars
    to redo my laundry so
    just building that loyalty and rapport
    with customers is
    is what you need to do yep yep yep and
    and
    you know taking that opportunity to do i
    mean
    it’s treating people like they’re human
    right and just right exactly
    basic human kindness and there are
    people who will
    try to take advantage of that but you’ll
    find out who those people
    are yeah i mean in the first week you
    know you get your usual suspects or they
    just come in here they’re looking for a
    handout but
    they they always present themselves very
    early in the relationship
    so they’re they’re easy to figure out
    yep yep
    yep um awesome awesome secret sauce
    we have another section called pro tips
    pro
    tips and pro tips is for maybe the
    people who are trying to buy their first
    laundromat uh do you have any tips for
    someone
    before they buy their first laundromat
    that you feel like they should know
    about
    yeah if i would say find someone that
    has a laundromat already
    that’s gonna be that is the best pro tip
    i can give you because
    what you think you know what you think
    you’ve read in these
    guru posts and forms it is not gonna
    scratch the surface of what you’re gonna
    find when you actually walk through the
    door and start
    dealing with the laundromat so i wish i
    would have
    had a mentor of someone even a
    consultant someone that i can just say
    hey i’m gonna take you to this location
    and
    you own 10 laundromats or 2 or whatever
    and tell me what you see and what i need
    to look out for and
    aid me in my negotiation process of this
    place
    even if you literally have to pay
    someone to do that that will be the best
    money that you will ever spend i
    guarantee you
    yeah i mean i’ve shared my story on here
    before and i
    if i could go back and pay somebody ten
    thousand dollars to tell me not to buy
    the first laundromat when i bought it
    i would do it because i literally lost
    tens of thousands of dollars
    at that first location and i mean i
    think
    not that you should go out and drop 10
    grand on a consultant but
    but the point is is you know don’t
    don’t make an investment that’s going to
    be a
    pretty big investment even for a small
    laundromat
    you know don’t don’t invest that money
    on your own it reminds me of uh the
    richest man in babylon which is one of
    my favorite books
    um which is a book on finance basically
    and a guy’s teaching another guy how to
    build wealth and
    he first teaches him that he needs to
    you know set aside some of his money to
    invest it
    and he asks him after a year where he
    invested it and he had lent it out to
    i think a brick maker to go travel to a
    different country and buy some
    jewels right and he’s like you’re a fool
    your money’s gone right because you
    you know you didn’t talk to the people
    who know about the thing you’re trying
    to do right you’re not partnering with
    the right people
    he’s a brick maker he doesn’t know about
    jewels and he’s going to get ripped off
    and he does get ripped off and
    there’s a couple other similar stories
    like that in that book
    but it the point being is
    when you are making an investment
    you know do it with people who know what
    they’re doing right
    especially in this industry where
    there’s you know
    secrecy and pitfalls everywhere you look
    uh you gotta have somebody who can help
    you navigate that so
    awesome pro tip there yeah i think i
    would have taken my own advice if
    quite honestly i paid under a hundred
    grand for my laundromat
    and i think but i see laundromats
    regularly going for
    150 250 550. so
    if i’m gonna spend that type of money i
    think i would have been
    much more engaged on probably everything
    there is to know about laundromats and i
    would have taken my own advice but
    quite honestly i was like okay i can i
    know i can get my money back
    out of this thing so i can take this
    risk without knowing
    as much information as i needed to know
    yeah and i mean there’s actually a pro
    tip in that
    also where you know i i can’t tell you
    how many coaching clients i’ve talked to
    who
    you know been like i’ve been thinking
    about buying a laundromat for years and
    you know or 10 years even i mean i think
    i want to say the longest somebody had
    told me was you know multiple decades
    that they’ve been thinking about buying
    a laundromat but never did it right and
    so
    you know what i like about what you just
    said is that
    you learned enough of what you
    thought you needed to learn to be able
    to make a decision and once you made the
    decision
    you just pulled the trigger right and so
    there is
    a balance in there between how
    you know learning and research and
    you know taking action and the point of
    talking to somebody who knows about the
    industry
    is just shortcut the learning so you
    don’t have to go through all the the
    learning process on your own
    shortcut the learning so that you can
    get to the action
    and that is the action is where
    the the money’s made right right not in
    the learning
    yep love that um okay we have another
    section
    called recommended resources
    and just out of curiosity do you have
    any resources that you’d recommend to
    people to either
    you know help their businesses grow or
    to help themselves grow
    personally my biggest resource
    has been the laundromat owners facebook
    group
    i have learned more from that group than
    i once again have learned
    watching youtube videos reading guru
    post and
    things like that these people are real
    owners who are
    in the business day to day and run into
    the same problems you will eventually
    run into
    on a daily basis so i i cannot recommend
    that group enough it’s
    just things about pricing strategies and
    equipment makes and models and what
    works here and
    just things like you would never think
    of that people post questions about
    it’s just it’s been very eye-opening to
    me to just
    hear what other people have to say
    especially in different parts of the
    country what
    or even the world there’s people there
    from australia and
    india with laundromats it’s just it’s
    just a
    fantastic resource just to just to pick
    other people’s brains without
    actually directly picking their brain
    yeah i
    i mean i think that’s a great
    recommendation i’ll link to that for
    anybody who wants to join in there
    and again just you know let ross know
    that i sent you and
    you know you’ll probably get showered
    with gifts
    and praise and and all of that um not
    really
    but uh seriously just phrase this
    wrecked band
    [Laughter]
    no but that’s a it’s an awesome group
    and uh it’s
    it’s super super valuable uh can i put
    you on the spot
    with the resources real quick uh just
    because
    and if you don’t have anything that’s
    totally fine but we talked about
    leadership
    earlier and i’m wondering if you have
    any you know i don’t know
    books or resources i don’t know youtube
    channel or whatever
    uh on the leadership topic that might be
    helpful for people who want to learn a
    little more about leadership
    do you have a favorite i don’t have a
    favorite but
    being a military guy read a lot of books
    on you know
    generals and military strategies and old
    wars and things like that and i think
    just
    from that you could how those guys
    survived with
    essentially nothing as far as resources
    like i watched um documentary on grant
    it was a dvd and that dude is amazing
    like and the funny part is he was
    actually a drunk his entire time but
    he left the country in a war like so it
    doesn’t matter what
    i say that to say it doesn’t matter what
    you have going on
    personally if you’re a good leader
    it will show no matter what else is
    going on in your life
    yeah i read a i wrote a book it was a
    super long book
    i can’t remember how long it was super
    long but uh on grant and
    i mean he there’s just lessons galore
    from that guy
    and yeah i mean i think you make a good
    point you know
    we all we all struggle with whatever we
    struggle with personally
    but uh we you know he’s he was still
    able to do
    great things lead us you know in a war
    and and do it
    phenomenally and you know i think we can
    do some of the same things right maybe
    not in a war but
    um in whatever field that we’re in you
    know that leadership
    lessons can translate so yeah i am also
    a
    big political junkie i another tidbit
    about me i
    ran for congress a couple years ago
    texas sixth congressional district um
    so um for you that’s kind of a step down
    to be honest
    but that’s okay okay it’s humble that’s
    a very humble position for you
    well go ahead so i read the
    joe biden’s book promise me dad um it
    was a very good book
    it it’s really it’s not really
    i think most politicians books are he
    jus he just talks about you know
    himself his family and things like that
    i think that
    the latest book i’ve read that would be
    a good recommendation
    it’s not you know partisan one side or
    the other
    it’s just a guy talking about his life
    and his experiences and his family
    yeah cool i’ll check that one out i
    haven’t read that one
    are you gonna run again
    i’ve thought about it but it’s just the
    political landscape now
    i’m not really a fan it’s just two
    extremes on both sides and
    yeah that that’s not the point of
    serving
    in a position you’re supposed to help
    out your country and your people
    and not pander to one extreme or the
    other so
    i am not a fan of the current political
    climate and i have
    no plans to enter into it
    at this point well for what it’s worth
    i think we probably need more people
    with that mindset
    in our political system so but the funny
    thing is people with my mindset don’t
    get votes because i’m not
    extreme enough so
    it’s tough it’s tough hey
    that’s another podcast for another my
    experiences in running for congress
    that would actually be a good podcast oh
    it it’s
    it’s full of gems i can tell you that
    yeah
    i bet so i bet and i would have to i
    just hate to break up
    you know a millennial
    black guy running as a republican in
    texas i will
    start it i will that’s how i will
    pre-phase the conversation
    it is very interesting i mean it sounds
    perfect i mean what’s not extreme about
    that that sounds
    good no matter what your beliefs are
    your political
    beliefs very eye-opening from all sides
    of my life i don’t think i’ve ever
    even working at the white house i have
    never experienced anything quite what i
    experienced in
    the five or six months of running for
    office
    than i did i think it changed my life i
    think it’s safe to say that
    listen i think you and i need
    to do a spin-off podcast maybe a short
    series podcast where we just
    talk about your whole experience with
    that because i do i mean that’s pretty
    interesting i bet it was a pretty
    fascinating story
    it was i if if people
    understood how their political how what
    it takes to get into office
    they would probably hate every
    politician they ever ran in contact with
    yeah because politicians are better
    actors than anybody you will ever see in
    hollywood
    that you could ever imagine you think
    the rock is a great actor
    no look at your local politician they
    they are much better i can guarantee
    okay first of all i can’t allow you to
    insult brad pitt like that
    second of all probably right
    yeah no i’m i’m serious we need to talk
    okay we need to talk offline and figure
    out how we can get
    this series i think people would love to
    hear your experience with that
    so i would love to tell it so let’s do
    it let’s do it
    all right stay tuned for this
    other podcast that we’re gonna make
    happen it’s gonna be
    incredible don’t laugh i’m serious
    sean aka ruler of the world
    i appreciate you man and i
    i’m really really grateful that you came
    on to share your story
    um and i cannot wait to hear you know
    when when you fling open the doors again
    how it goes
    and if your wife actually helps you out
    or not
    and all the good stuff that you’re going
    to be learning but thank you for coming
    on and sharing your story here
    and i really really appreciate it was
    super
    you know not just an awesome story with
    with great lessons in there but you’re
    just
    a good good dude and really really
    appreciate you man
    i appreciate you having me on jordan it
    was great i
    i was been looking forward to this all
    week i’m sorry we
    couldn’t connect but the world was
    melting around me at work
    so i had to deal with all that crap but
    i’m glad we actually got it got together
    and got this done
    because i i just like telling my story
    because i know it’s
    very different from your typical
    laundromat experience so
    the more information we can get out
    there the more good people we can get in
    this industry i think it’ll
    help everybody i agree and i’ve never
    had a former
    world ruler on here before you’re the
    first
    you know i get that a lot yeah
    i mean i imagine i imagine so
    alexander the great is next if he buys a
    laundromat so
    he’ll be he’ll be on there next well hey
    thanks man
    and really appreciate it and i’m i’m
    serious let’s do this
    other podcast where you tell your
    experience about you know
    running for congress because i think i
    am definitely down for that i am a
    100 political junkie so
    if we could talk politics you’re you’re
    right in my wheelhouse
    i can talk anything with anybody so
    it’ll be great i believe it
    it’ll be great all right man well let’s
    connect soon
    all right what an awesome episode with
    sean is such a cool guy he’s got an
    interesting interesting history and an
    interesting path
    like most of us do leading him to
    laundromat
    ownership uh so very very cool about
    that
    and uh man cannot wait to get an update
    on how everything’s going for him
    uh you know maybe a year or so down the
    line but
    sounds like uh he is on the right track
    man i loved
    loved a lot of what he had to say and a
    lot of his mindset stuff
    let me just remind you that every
    episode i want you to try to pick
    one thing that you can put into action
    remember action
    is what paves the way to success you can
    learn all you want you can listen to the
    stories you can
    even meet the people but if you’re not
    taking the action you’re never
    going to accomplish your goals so pick
    something
    anything from this episode
    and every episode that you listen to put
    it into action put it to work
    make it a habit to be doing things
    uh to help you achieve your goals so if
    your goal is to own a laundromat
    be doing things that are going to move
    you closer to that goal if your goal is
    to optimize your laundromat
    be doing things that will help you
    optimize your laundromat
    if your goal is to scale your laundromat
    business maybe buy
    more maybe move into you know more the
    service side of laundry
    whatever the case may be be doing things
    to help you get to
    that goal all right well listen
    this was incredible as always thank you
    guys for joining me we will see you
    on the forums we’ll see you at the
    webinar with mike kelly of atmosphere tv
    on
    thursday we will see you
    i don’t know at the next on youtube
    maybe we’ll see at the next podcast
    episode we’ll see you wherever
    you find us we’re all over the place
    cannot wait
    to hang out with you some more
    [Music]

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