Luis Alicea joins us on the show today from the island of Puerto Rico. As a former fortune 500 executive, he now runs a top-notch laundry service business and self-service laundromat. Focusing on using technology and service to differentiate his business from competitors, he’s found quick success and has high aspirations for his business.

In this episode, Luis and Jordan talk about:
* Why Luis bought a laundromat
* Practical steps to plan, launch, and differentiate your business
* How technology can be a differentiator
* How he uses social media to help grow his business
* His Air BnB strategy
* How he uses his card payment system
* Why he has higher prices than his competitors
* The three principles of exceptional client service
* Tips for anyone trying to buy their first laundromat
* Resources to help you succeed in your laundry business

And a lot more!

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Watch The Podcast Here

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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!

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    Episode Transcript

    hey what’s up guys it’s jordan with the
    laundromat resource
    podcast this is show 65
    and i’ll punch you here today because
    today we are being joined
    from puerto rico uh from
    our friend luis alicea uh who is
    bringing the he he’s bringing the
    knowledge today it
    is an awesome awesome interview tons and
    tons
    of knowledge in this one you’re going to
    love it
    cannot wait and very cool to have
    somebody who’s out there in puerto rico
    uh running a laundromat out there and a
    whole laundry business so
    pretty awesome episode you’re gonna love
    it
    stay tuned for that real quick before we
    jump into it
    i want to just take a second to remind
    you there’s a lot going on on the forums
    all the time
    uh people are joining up over there i
    can’t believe how many people are
    joining
    over at laundromat resource.com if you
    have not done that yet head over to
    laundromat resource.com join
    we have a free membership and a pro
    membership over there and
    uh man it’s awesome uh just how that
    community is growing
    and how much knowledge is being dropped
    over there very very cool
    obviously we’re adding stuff all the
    time between different podcast episodes
    a blog post every thursday coming out
    uh you know we got a live q a
    uh happening with dave lautermatt
    millionaire men’s
    this week that’s july 28th
    at 4 p.m pacific 7 pm uh
    if you’re on the uh quote unquote beast
    coast
    over there uh that’s on thursday july
    28th that’s 2021
    if you’re listening to this when it’s
    coming out come join us over there
    there’s a link
    in the show notes which will be at
    laundryresource.com
    show 65 if you’re on youtube the link
    will be down below
    so make sure you uh click that link and
    set a reminder to join us
    on wednesday thursday those of you guys
    who
    missed our webinar last week with
    mike kelly’s atmosphere tv you’re in
    luck because we’re
    actually we had some difficulties we had
    to push it out a week and we’re doing it
    this week instead
    thursday we do a free live webinar every
    thursday and this week we’re being
    joined
    by atmosphere tv’s mike kelly so many of
    us have been
    switching uh off of cable and going over
    to atmosphere tv
    and enjoying all the benefits of it over
    there and if you have not yet
    jumped on that bandwagon first of all
    just
    do it i have a link down below that’s an
    affiliate link we partner with
    uh with atmosphere tv but you don’t have
    to use it you can just google atmosphere
    tv also
    does not matter to me but i would love
    love love
    for you guys at least check it out if
    you want to uh see it
    a little bit more and ask some questions
    uh
    fro to me and mike on thursday
    that’s at 4 p.m pacific 7 p.m east coast
    time
    uh come join us over there you can sign
    up at laundromat resource.com right at
    the top of the page there
    so obviously we’ve got a lot of
    information that’s coming out
    all the time between our different
    platforms but also
    so many of you guys have been joining in
    conversations in the forums and adding a
    ton of value over there
    go be a part of that add your own value
    ask your own
    questions do it every week and make sure
    make sure make sure you go over to the
    new members
    introduction forum and uh
    go introduce yourself over there because
    cool stuff is happening when people are
    introducing them
    introducing themselves on the forum over
    there
    all right i got a little bit of a cold i
    don’t i’m sure you can hear that sorry
    um but uh so so excited today
    to be talking with luis uh and
    let’s let’s jump into it with them right
    after
    this message about atmosphere tv
    and again come join us on that webinar
    if you’re listening to this past
    uh the webinar day you can listen to
    that webinar
    every other webinar we’ve had when you
    join the pro membership you have access
    to every
    webinar we’ve ever done so make sure
    that
    you come and join us over there uh
    on the pro membership all right guys
    right after this we’ll jump into it with
    luis
    all right guys today’s episode is
    brought to you by atmosphere tv
    you may remember back in episode 34 when
    atmosphere tv’s mike kelly
    joined me on the podcast it was an epic
    epic episode if you haven’t listened to
    it
    show 34 lawnmower resource.com show 34
    go check it out it’s incredible a ton of
    value there one of the things we talked
    about
    is just the importance of creating a
    good positive
    atmosphere in your laundromat and i was
    just rereading the book by simon
    sinek start with why and one of the
    things that really stands out to me
    is that people don’t make purchase
    decisions
    based on you know the logic of you know
    any
    decision that they’re making to spend
    their money it’s more based on a feeling
    and an association
    and so it’s really important to create a
    positive feeling a
    positive atmosphere no pun intended
    in your laundromat to help people
    associate
    this chore that most people don’t like
    doing with something positive
    atmosphere tv is an incredible way to
    help improve the atmosphere
    of your laundromat and basically if you
    haven’t heard of it
    what it is is it has 50 plus channels
    created specifically for businesses with
    everything from
    uh sports clips hilarious fail videos
    draw dropping videos from
    all over the world there’s automobile
    channels
    there’s a ton of stuff my kids love love
    love it
    and my customers love it atmosphere tv
    could be a great way to either
    supplement your cable
    or a lot of us laundromat owners are
    cutting our cable bill
    completely and running atmosphere tv
    they’re designed to be used
    with no audio but they also do have an
    audio option that way you can kind of
    design the atmosphere of your laundromat
    the way that you want it so get rid of
    cable get rid of those news channels
    that are bringing negativity into your
    laundromat and fill
    your laundromat with positive videos
    that bring positive vibes to your
    customers
    with atmosphere tv and if you use the
    code word the keyword
    the promo code i don’t know resource
    promo 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 luis
    thank you so much for coming on the
    podcast today
    how are you doing man very good very
    good thank you for uh for having me i
    know that we
    we tried a few months back and now we’re
    we’re in the game now i have a little
    bit more time to breathe and
    and make sure that i can give you uh all
    the info that i know everybody wants to
    what’s now yeah well this has been a
    long time coming i have been
    anticipating it forever and we just
    chatted a little bit before we hit
    record and i’m
    i’m actually really really excited uh
    just to hear
    about how you’re running your business
    how you got into it and all that stuff
    but
    before we jump into all that can you
    give us a little bit of a background
    on you and who you are and then we’ll go
    into
    how you got into this business sure sure
    sure
    so my name is luis alicia and i
    am uh i i was born and raised in san
    juan puerto rico
    i i currently live in san juan and we
    operate uh our business out of san juan
    um but most of my family is actually in
    the states
    so i have family in miami i have family
    in missouri i found in new jersey
    and my my grandfather used to live in in
    new york
    my mom was born in new york city
    but the rest of my family were born in
    pennsylvania for my
    my mother’s side um i’m a
    single child which means that uh
    i cherish my five cousins that i have
    and they all live in the states
    so uh my wife is from puerto rico we’ve
    been married uh
    we’ve been together now for 11 years but
    we have four kids so it’s kind of a
    little puerto rican brady bunch so yeah
    two from my side two from my
    my wife’s side a beautiful kids that’s
    uh
    that’s who we uh we will do everything
    for
    and uh i’ve i’ve been i’ve actually was
    uh i’ve worked for three major fortune
    500 companies i kind of retired from
    that
    and eventually with the background that
    i have in technology technology sales
    leadership i kind of figure out figured
    out i wanted to do something different
    very different by the way and my wife
    and i we kind of figured out okay
    where can we put our brains together and
    uh you know you hear this word
    disruption right
    um how can we disrupt a little bit a
    market that you know
    or business or product offering
    where in our market hasn’t really been
    looked
    that so we wanted to kind of jump into
    to do something
    again very different and that’s how we
    started into into the laundry business
    so are you trying to tell me that
    there’s not a lot of overlap between
    working at a fortune 500 and owning a
    laundromat
    i think that there is a lot of things
    that you don’t want to do from a fortune
    500 company level
    to bring into the into the laundromat
    but i think that there’s a lot of
    different things
    that done right from an entrepreneurial
    vision um you know taking out all the
    red tape taking out all the
    cumbersome stuff that happens at a
    fortune 500 company
    but saying you know the essence of good
    service
    the essence of uh knowing your numbers
    your kpis
    knowing how technology really can help
    you
    and how there’s a bunch of different
    things that today fortune 500s pay for
    but small business can get almost for
    free
    at different levels so it’s not
    very difficult to implement a very good
    sound
    business plan a very good sound
    implementation of a
    of a business strategy and execute
    probably at a higher level than many
    people think that they are not capable
    of doing
    but that now they’re available there’s
    technology and there’s services out
    there
    that can help you um and it’s it’s not
    expensive first of all
    it’s not cumbersome or difficult um it’s
    just that it was probably available for
    high level companies or very
    very competitive companies that are
    making a lot of money um
    and probably have uh you know different
    pricing structures or different business
    models
    that what a laundromat should should be
    looked at
    but listen to be honest with you when we
    started thinking about the laundromat it
    was more about
    as an investor right when you do your
    research there’s a lot out there
    as an investor and where you can put
    your money and let it grow
    and you know have somebody else uh
    do the work for you including just
    having unattended laundromats
    um and that’s a business strategy i mean
    that’s something that’s worked
    out for a lot of people there’s a lot of
    people out there making good money
    um with unattended laundromats we
    thought about it from a different
    perspective
    so we we thought about it from the
    perspective that
    if we put our heads together we could
    compete
    probably in the laundry business using
    a model of a laundromat as your as your
    base
    right so your home base is that that one
    location that you can process
    a lot of clothes um at different levels
    and that has given us the ability to
    kind of
    diversify our product offering and at
    the same time
    grow exponentially from
    zero to where we are today and we can
    talk about the numbers later on
    yeah i mean you said a lot of stuff in
    there that
    was semi-cryptic and very
    intriguing about you know things that we
    can do with small business owners
    for free or very cheap so i definitely
    want to get into that in a little bit
    sure don’t let me forget to ask you
    about that but let me let me go back
    a little bit here and so i know you
    you said you were looking for maybe
    something you can kind of
    semi-disrupt in your in your market
    what what was it about laundromats that
    was like yes this is the direction that
    we want to go
    so listen we live in an island
    so basically you’re in puerto rico still
    right
    yeah yeah we’re in puerto rico so it
    means that we’re
    [Music]
    you know we’re in the middle of the
    atlantic ocean uh
    it’s it’s not too difficult to visualize
    that you are about a thousand miles away
    a little bit less
    than a thousand miles away from miami
    which is kind of the closest point
    um nonetheless uh in puerto rico there
    is
    quite a few there are quite a few
    laundromats available
    but when you go the population that that
    they cater to
    tends to be the lower end kind of client
    um the what we were able to see is that
    there is an
    untapped market that meets the services
    of a laundromat
    and because the investment has not
    been made in the current laundromats um
    we were thinking like okay is it because
    there is no money out there to be made
    in a higher end or
    a better set up laundromat even if it
    caters to the same market
    here here’s what what the catch is
    our goal was not to to
    our goal was not to discriminate against
    a specific market
    our goal was to build a community-based
    laundromat
    where anybody could go in there and
    expect
    great service great great wash
    at an affordable price so
    what we we started seeing when when my
    wife and i
    uh started talking about this is okay
    what happened
    2017 there was a hurricane in puerto
    rico
    and it took out the whole electric
    electrical system so for example in my
    house
    we were out of power for about 90 days
    to a little bit over
    a little bit over 90 days and
    we were able to get electricity back
    rather quickly
    what we learned is with our power
    generator which
    a lot of houses have in puerto rico not
    all of them but a lot
    you can’t run your washer dryer it’s
    it’s very difficult to do
    especially the dryer it takes a lot of
    power because most dryers here are
    you know 220 volts or they’re not
    gas-based so in our case we did we went
    ahead and we bought a washer
    the new wash new dryer which we were due
    to buy in the house anyway
    and we saw that there was a need even in
    my office
    i was working for the largest brokerage
    firm uh
    in puerto rico back then i was a vice
    president of sales for that for that
    firm
    and everybody had it was 120 associates
    everybody had the same problem
    they didn’t know where to take their
    laundry
    so in other words if you have executives
    people that are that have the purchasing
    power
    to outsource their laundry
    when they really needed it and there was
    no one place in particular in their mind
    that was capable of saying okay can you
    call them up and have them pick up the
    clothes
    and bring it back in the afternoon
    that’s not available in the market
    okay can i take it somewhere
    no you can’t because the places that are
    available are jam-packed
    and they’re catering to a different
    market
    so some companies we saw that they
    bought washers and dryers and they
    installed them in their businesses and
    they offered the free service to their
    associates
    my wife and i were thinking wait a
    minute i think there’s there’s
    you know there’s a market out there for
    having
    a product that is available at at that
    level
    you know it might not be 24 7. in our
    island we don’t have a 24 7
    laundromat available so it’s a it’s a
    market that has that
    open still so we kept thinking about it
    again this is 2017. 2018 2019 and 2019
    we were able to
    kind of figure out that there was a
    location outside of san juan area
    it was cheaper utilities cheaper uh
    rent that we could build a home base
    and offer products and services from
    that location
    so we made the investment in uh
    in 2019
    [Music]
    we started doing the build-out at the
    end of 19
    and we opened in january of 2020
    so think about this january 2020 right
    when
    the situation with covert 19 was coming
    about
    and and here here’s the kicker on that
    50 states including the territories
    uh you know the u.s 50 states guam which
    is a territory usvi which is
    territory they all this they all
    decreed right that laundry services were
    essential services
    what are we going to government said no
    it’s not
    it’s not an essential service you got to
    close
    and we’re like okay so we wrote to the
    government
    hey listen you know the cla
    is is is uh is advocating for
    every state jurisdiction everybody to
    say that laundromats or laundry services
    are uh you know they need to be open
    even with whatever restrictions you want
    to put but they have to provide the
    service
    especially because of hygiene and
    everything else and they said no you
    can’t open
    you can’t operate we went back and we
    said listen look at the look at the list
    of people that are in your essential
    services
    uh category every one of those
    categories
    from top to bottom our clients
    every one of them they do you know the
    the pharmacist
    you don’t know how many uh nurses we
    have we have a bunch of nurses we do a
    lot of scrubs
    um and and i’m closed
    so when we explain the situation what
    they said is
    okay you can operate but you can’t open
    to the public
    so we’re thinking okay so we’ve been
    thinking from the beginning that we
    would establish a pickup and delivery
    service
    and some sort of and we knew that the
    growth of the business the revenue
    generating portion of the business would
    be watch unfold
    so from january through march which is
    basically when puerto rico decided to
    close
    and they did a hard stop they said okay
    march 15th
    everybody’s got to close um
    we had probably two three clients in
    washing fold
    we i mean it was really like
    [ __ ] i know i know we gotta get into it
    but it’s
    it’s it’s hard right it’s it’s hard
    because it’s it’s an
    unknown company an unknown brand an
    unknown
    location um so
    covet hit we closed we asked for
    permission two weeks later they gave it
    to us and we started
    uh slowly but surely uh getting the word
    out that we were open
    that we were able to do pick-up and
    delivery and then we activated
    from our pos system the pick-up and
    delivery portion
    of the pos because we already had the
    technology to do it it was just a matter
    of
    a big push turning on the switch and
    uh we didn’t have a truck we didn’t have
    the you know
    the driver we didn’t have anything so
    i’m like crap i gotta do it
    i i gotta go out there and do it so i
    took my car and then i took my mom’s
    truck
    um and then i took my wife’s car and
    then it was like
    okay so eventually we bought a truck and
    that’s you know that’s a whole different
    thing but uh
    but we were able to grow uh the wash and
    fall type of business
    in into what’s what we do today which is
    almost 50 of our revenue
    nonetheless going back to the original
    story
    is you know when we thought about the
    business we thought about it from the
    perspective that
    it’s not only an investment it’s really
    where we want to spend
    time and develop and hopefully you know
    we have this one location we’ve already
    looked at different locations where we
    can do investments
    in the near future but we’ve been
    cautiously optimistic about
    investing in those locations we want to
    get what we have
    now to a point where we know it’s it’s
    working and so far
    so far so good man talk about trial by
    fire right there just being open and
    you know pretty much shutting down like
    within a few months
    and having to really pivot your whole
    business model i mean shutting down is
    one thing but
    it might be even more difficult more
    trying to have to pivot
    your whole business model well i mean
    you know sounds like you were
    thinking about doing that anyways but
    really accelerating it to where you’re
    like
    whatever vehicle i can get a hold of
    yeah cause i’ll get a hold of it yeah
    when we did our business when we thought
    about it let’s not even talk about doing
    a
    formal business plan okay when you’re
    thinking about it and jotting down your
    notes
    okay by 2021 we want to get into the
    pickup and delivery business because we
    think that there’s
    there’s you know we get some of our
    grocery
    this is what we thought right we get
    some of our groceries from
    a supermarket nearby actually the next
    town over
    that they do pick up they do delivery
    and they do a very good job
    and they have their trucks and they have
    their website and you order and it’s
    super simple
    and it works and i’m looking at how they
    do it and i’m like
    these guys are in the next town over i
    mean it’s not like they’re next door
    and from that next town over they have a
    bigger store
    which serves the the
    an area which is far beyond their
    one mile one square mile right much
    bigger radius
    and we thought about that we and we said
    why do we build
    even if it’s two thousand square foot
    but what if we have enough machines
    that we could service outside of our
    area
    so when we build the business plan yes
    you know when you do your
    your research for a location population
    density is super important
    but then think about okay i have
    roughly about a million a million people
    that live
    san juan and the adjacent municipalities
    about a million 1.1
    out of almost 3 million which is a whole
    island
    so i can do very well with a million i
    mean i can do very i mean i could get to
    a point where
    you need 10 stores and i don’t you know
    and i already have kind of a
    where the locations would be um but but
    the idea is
    how do we you know exploit basically
    what we have
    and we get to the breaking point and
    then we say okay now that’s
    that’s running that’s it’s a well-oiled
    machine
    things are running okay now we can open
    a second location or a third or a fourth
    or a fifth it doesn’t matter
    um but let’s do it right the first time
    but that but those
    those who were thinking those were ideas
    for 2021
    and beyond right which
    when we had to close i i told my wife
    i mean we we got to pay the rent we got
    to pay the
    lease on the machines we got to pay this
    this doesn’t stop
    and you might get a 90-day extension but
    that’s it
    so so we jumped on the on the on the
    bandwagon
    of pushing through and making sure that
    we could take care of would
    find the spots where there was
    opportunity and
    make sure that we went after them and
    it’s it’s paid out it’s paid out
    very well very well jeez
    well yeah i mean talk about accelerating
    that timeline
    you know thinking about starting to ramp
    it up you know in 2021
    and nine months before that having to go
    pretty much pedal to the metal
    in order to survive the so i mean i know
    everybody was scrambling at that point
    trying to figure out what was going on
    trying to figure out what they were
    going to do but
    you know being brand new into the
    business it’s a it’s a tough stuff
    being very tough yeah but but again we
    we you know we love the challenge i
    think that that’s what makes
    it different for for us it’s that first
    of all we love the challenge second of
    all
    we know that we knew it wasn’t going to
    be easy
    we knew that that the only way to see if
    we were being successful technically was
    one client at a time
    and kind of figure out if we’re doing
    something wrong fix it immediately
    and and then you know just don’t wait
    for things to pile up
    um and and that having that resiliency
    and having that
    mindset of okay you gotta wake up every
    morning and
    you’re probably on the first five or six
    days you’re going to do the same thing
    and nothing is going to happen except
    that you’re
    truly moving forward unless
    you see something breaking and then you
    you know you pivot and you fix it and
    you do that consistently
    um and and that that’s not for everybody
    i mean that’s either this business or
    any other business you get into
    and you’re almost falling without a
    parachute
    until the the last moment um
    that parachute is going to probably be a
    very big
    a parachute that says success on top
    but it does take countless days seven
    days a week
    uh you know and driving probably things
    that
    that if you’re comfortable in another
    type of business and you’re complacent
    uh this is not gonna it’s not gonna work
    out for you it’s not
    yeah it’s almost like you’re weaving
    that parachute on the way down
    and you only survive if you finish you
    know
    right i mean and that’s where the grit
    comes in too right like
    success is i mean you know
    i don’t have actual statistics on this
    but success is like 90
    grit right it’s like you just keep
    growing
    keep learning keep pivoting keep
    adjusting
    and eventually you get it figured out
    and there are ways to shortcut that
    by you know finding mentors or people
    who’ve already done it or
    you know learning you know being on
    forums or facebook groups like that kind
    of stuff but
    uh but man it’s still that grit that it
    really
    requires and i know the last you know
    year and a half or so has been
    crazy and unprecedented but there’s
    always unprecedented times there’s
    always
    big challenges and small challenges that
    come and through those curve balls and
    if you’re not if you’re not ready to
    come in and do what it takes
    then it’s going to be a big struggle you
    know so
    um okay well can you tell us a little
    bit about
    how you bought the i mean did you buy a
    laundromat did you build it did you
    what was that experience like yeah i
    mean
    when we we went out to the market
    locally
    and we we visited almost every
    laundromat in the area
    so i i took the task and i made about
    two visits my wife went and did all the
    visits
    and she came back with pricing with
    models with uh
    kind of a square footage she’s very good
    at that and
    and she’s like look every single place
    we’re looking for we’re looking at
    we would have to gut out and redo okay
    um there was
    one that we saw which was
    newer it was very well placed
    really good location a high traffic area
    and we’re like i think that’s you know
    that’s a model we can we can kind of
    follow
    first of all then my wife and i we visit
    we went to miami we have family there so
    we went to miami and we visited a couple
    of laundromats
    uh over there and then you know we did a
    lot of uh research on the web there’s
    there’s a bunch of different brokers out
    there there’s
    obviously all the brands have their own
    marketing
    information so we absorbed as much as we
    could
    trying to figure out okay do we want to
    buy an existing laundromat
    and that has its pros and cons or do we
    want to just
    build it out from scratch and do it our
    way uh
    based on on our vision for the business
    and at the end of the day that’s what we
    decided on um
    there really wasn’t a local location
    that we we felt comfortable with
    kind of putting an offer in or figuring
    out
    um you know there’s there’s a lot of
    laundromats in
    in our area that you go in there and
    they might have
    ten machines and two are working um
    you know 20 dryers and three are working
    and and
    at least they turn on it doesn’t mean
    that they dry it just means
    so you know there’s a lot of that and
    and it was very difficult for us to kind
    of comprehend
    why we would buy something that has
    already been depreciated and we will
    have to gut and redo and it would
    it’s like you know and in our market
    we’re not going to get it for free
    you know it doesn’t matter how much you
    you negotiate you’re not just like
    you’re not going to get a key for free
    so
    uh so we we decided on a specific
    location that we had already seen
    uh 2 000 square foot uh high traffic
    area
    very good uh area in terms of uh
    population density
    um a lot of residential areas in in
    the vicinity uh good location
    to access other areas so
    we can get to a lot of different areas
    within the san juan metropolitan area
    just from that one location
    um and and and we made an offer for
    the rental basically uh at the same time
    that we’re trying to figure out okay
    who do we go with in terms of the
    technology that we wanted to
    to put in place and the goal wasn’t to
    buy
    uh to buy cheap that wasn’t the goal the
    goal was never to get
    um the the cheapest machines at the
    cheapest price
    because our our
    our experience tells us that if you do
    that you’re probably going to start on
    the wrong foot
    just because you you don’t know where
    you want to get
    if you don’t if you do that then you
    don’t know where you want to get to and
    our goal was we know exactly where we
    want to get to
    i mean we want to operate 24 hours we
    don’t want to open 24 hours but we do
    want to operate 24 hours
    so that means that you know 50 of the
    business we wanted it to be walk-in
    traffic people coming in doing their own
    stuff
    that gives you some revenue coming in
    and then we wanted to operate
    uh with employees and at later
    hours we want to do you know the wash
    and fold uh
    for for residential uh clients and we
    also wanted to do
    small commercials you know we’re very
    well aware of
    our limitations in the commercial space
    but you know if you do airbnbs and you
    do towels and you do
    uh that type of of uh of servicing
    that’s something that you can do
    overnight and make like good money on
    that
    so we knew that that was our goal our
    ultimate goal was to offer
    a a service which was agnostic to where
    the location of our business was
    so we have a lot of clients that really
    they’ve never visited our
    location they don’t know where we are
    they do know because we sell it
    that we have uh the correct machines
    to do their commercial uh laundry
    and because the type of equipment that
    we have
    then we were able to offer an improved
    service
    or a quality of service timing
    that is very difficult to match so our
    our thought was let’s go on the higher
    end and let’s figure out can we get a
    local
    vendor to do it because i need support i
    mean
    with one store i don’t have a staff or i
    don’t have people to
    there to fix anything that happens and
    and it’s not like that i’m not a
    handyman it’s just that i
    i want to be able to get on the phone
    and have somebody come over
    and fix you know major things maybe
    something small
    not necessarily but major things we do
    need support so eventually
    um we looked at the
    vendors uh and dealers in in miami
    uh which were the closest uh there’s
    some brands that don’t have
    representation in puerto rico
    so we were able to kind of figure out
    okay well who are the ones that are in
    puerto rico
    um and those are uh
    continental has a very good
    representation of puerto rico they have
    a lot
    some good machines installed and they
    don’t have a lot they have just
    very good machines installed in in
    different places especially opl uh
    hotels and stuff like that uh and we
    were able to kind of figure out okay
    if you’re doing this for this type of
    industry it’s somewhat similar to where
    we want to be
    is it a brand that we would want to
    partner with
    and let me tell you it was the best
    decision it was really really the best
    decision
    the the dealer in this case
    they supplied not only the machines but
    they helped us
    with the actual design of the store
    uh top to bottom you know when we
    got the key we had already been
    negotiating with them so
    when we cleaned out everything we called
    them in we said okay here’s the store
    what do we want to do with this where do
    we want to put the machines
    because that that takes care of
    electricity the water
    uh you know how do we get water in water
    out how do we storage water what type of
    pumps do we need what type of
    if if we’re gonna have hot water then
    what do we use for that
    so and they helped with everything it
    was kind of a turnkey solution
    was it cheap no it wasn’t cheap but
    but here’s the thing and and this you
    might want to put a parentheses to
    anybody that’s listening to this
    think that when you’re dealing with or
    negotiating with your vendor
    if you start haggling let’s say that
    they have 10 clients
    and you start haggling they take you
    down to number 11
    because then you’re not a priority
    client
    you’re just a client that wants the best
    price for the you know probably the
    cheapest or the mid-range machines
    and and hey at the end of the day if you
    have a budget
    then that’s the budget you got to tell
    your dealer with and and they’ll
    help you with that but they got to be
    your business partner
    if if you see them as just the company
    that’s going to sell you the machines
    and that’s it
    then that’s a mistake because at the end
    of the day
    look the machine’s going to get there
    it’ll probably take some time to
    because of what’s happening nowadays
    with shipping and manufacturing and
    everything it’s going to take some time
    to get there but once it’s installed
    and you have revenue coming in you need
    to have somebody
    especially the dealer that has access to
    the parts it has access to the
    technicians
    it has access to whatever it is that you
    need on an ongoing basis to make sure
    that your
    your business is running and if you just
    because you’re haggling you’re making it
    difficult to do business with
    uh if you get to number two out of the
    top 10 clients you become number 11 or
    15th or the last
    when you call they’re not going to take
    your call because they’re dealing with
    the clients that are paying you the fair
    price for
    whatever it is that they’re offering now
    are there
    are there dealers like my dealer out
    there
    which i truly trust what they what they
    do
    yes there are you got to do your
    research not every market
    uses the same brands so top name brands
    of machines in our market probably are
    not available
    not all of them not all of them so we
    were able to buy the best that we could
    afford
    with the best support and
    i gotta tell you i mean right now
    we run 12 hour shifts every day
    from eight o’clock in the morning to
    eight o’clock at night seven days a week
    and
    our machines are working flawlessly
    i had one machine 60 pound machine one
    that had an issue with it with a seal
    with a door seal
    call them up i have an issue it’s
    dripping water
    here’s the video here’s what’s happening
    you got to come and fix it
    yes two days later the guy comes up he
    fixes
    sends me i think they sent me uh
    an invoice basically because it was
    under warranty but they need to send out
    the invoice
    and it was zero charge and everything’s
    working and then the guy called me
    now the good thing about this guy who
    was a sales person he calls me every
    everything’s working everything’s
    working
    he is now the president of the company
    so his character is so
    uh clean that he went from sales to
    being the president
    it doesn’t it doesn’t hurt that he’s the
    son of the owner but he
    he deserves it right he deserves it he
    deserves to be in the position
    and the only things that have happened
    to our machines i can name them
    that seal one card
    uh one communications card that went
    bust in one 20-pound machine
    and one cable that came out of a dryer
    and it was it was kind of connection
    cable which
    activated the uh
    the heat spark um that’s it
    in a year and a half and we’ve done
    you know thousands of starts on uh on a
    monthly basis
    uh so having the uh good equipment
    uh really has helped us out kind of just
    focus on making sure that
    we can reach your goals and not have
    the issues of because you don’t have the
    right equipment you’re trying to get
    into the wrong type of business and then
    it hurts your business because your
    client says wait a minute you told me
    you could do this but
    in essence you can’t you have the idea
    of what you really want to do but you
    got to make sure that you have the
    equipment
    to do it paired up with the employees to
    help you
    because at the end of the day without
    the manpower you’re not gonna you’re not
    gonna get there
    yeah yeah and i i’ve man awesome awesome
    uh advice and input there because i mean
    i think
    i’ve said this before but working with
    the best people helps you become your
    best right
    and when you especially when you’re
    working with a good distributor
    who can help you do things like lay out
    the store uh
    help you think through machine mix uh
    who’s gonna give you that support on the
    back end which is missing with a lot of
    um distributors you know but when you
    can get that and you work with somebody
    like that
    i mean your chances of success and the
    heights that you can go to with your
    success
    dramatically increase so
    awesome that you found really good
    support and really good equipment
    and you’re able to kind of take
    advantage of
    that um so so you built the store
    basically
    did you have to do all the
    infrastructure how long did all that
    take
    so it was about 90 days uh
    90 days unchanged uh i don’t know if you
    remember that movie that
    the the guy was saying oh two weeks
    everything takes two weeks everything’s
    yeah and and it’s not two weeks but
    uh but we were able to find so so we we
    divided the plan
    based on first of all we thought okay
    let’s let’s get out the store so
    so our location fortunately is
    it’s basically uh
    it was basically all open open space
    with two columns in the middle um we
    redid the bathrooms which was the first
    thing we did
    uh we redid the bathrooms we figured out
    that there wasn’t really any
    infrastructure for water coming in or
    out there was just one
    input outlet uh and one outlet
    and one input of water and that was it
    and it was in the back of the store
    and all the electricity uh what we were
    able to find out was that the
    panel the electrical panel uh did
    support the amount of machines that we
    wanted to have
    so yeah so so we were able to get
    the same guy to do the plumbing he did
    our uh physical drywall
    stuff and then so we had him for
    plumbing and drywall
    and then we had the electrician and that
    was basically it
    because the distributor was able to get
    us
    for free basically for free uh
    all the schematics and all the design
    work
    associated with with um
    machine placement so based on
    on the volume that we wanted to have and
    based on
    uh the placement that we thought was
    good
    then we were able to kind of say okay
    here’s where the machines go
    um it’s kind of a circle um
    and then we we were able to say okay
    everything
    you know for the dryers we need to have
    three foot behind just for support
    cleaning and everything and then the
    machines need to have the water coming
    in the water going out
    and it needs to be in a way that we can
    manage
    maintenance in the middle so all the
    machines are back to back
    and with that information and with just
    the size
    of the location uh
    [Music]
    the manufacturer actually is the one who
    did the design work
    for uh our template for the store
    um because we we were you know we told
    them
    from the get-go you know this is what we
    want to do
    if we can at least have a uh you know
    this is our budget this is what we want
    to do
    what do you suggest we saw a couple of
    machines that we thought were the ones
    that we really wanted to to use
    and then once we had all of that decided
    then we went into
    designing and they you know they
    invested on their part
    with having the support with you know we
    have like a mechanical plants
    electrical plants plumbing plants all of
    that was done
    actually by by the manufacturer uh
    awesome so the support i mean you can’t
    you know what am i gonna get two percent
    less on a machine
    i’d rather pay the two percent and say
    hey you know i’m a good client
    yeah that’s right that’s it and that
    that really helped us out so again 90
    days
    um for the actual
    uh uh build out a little bit less than
    90
    a little bit less than 90 days it would
    probably be 60 days
    uh for uh basically to have
    just all of that mechanical stuff and
    all the design
    work everything all of that done
    prior to starting and we
    i think we placed the order for the
    machines
    late november and they arrived december
    30th oh awesome in puerto rico they were
    this
    but but again it was in the moment where
    nothing was really backed up i mean
    for that right yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
    okay so i mean your brand new laundromat
    new location wasn’t there before
    no existing clients what was your plan
    to promote it to differentiate
    to you know what was the plan how are
    you going to
    make this business happen so and so
    here’s where
    where you can go back to your notes and
    and look at the free stuff
    so facebook first thing we did with
    facebook was
    uh well prior to that
    figure out a name for the business
    figure out a brand name
    for the business um we
    we decided on a specific name we
    we did not want it to be associated
    necessarily with the location um
    and we didn’t necessarily want it to be
    associated with
    laundromat so so we decided on a
    specific name
    we kind of build out uh the logo
    uh color schemes and
    but these are again these are things
    that you can do online
    basically for free i mean you can use
    there’s there’s a website called canva
    and it helps you out with kind of
    figuring out how to do a little logo
    again these are things you could pay for
    but these are there are also things that
    you can do on your own um
    and and canva what we did is we just
    selected a
    a letter a type uh and we just stuck to
    that
    and we said if we repeat it you know
    it’ll it’ll
    we’ll own it basically um so
    but it’s it’s generic right i mean it’s
    something generic so we use canva to
    create our logo
    um and then eventually what we did is we
    took the logo
    we opened up a facebook account with a
    facebook page
    for the business and the only thing that
    we started to advertise
    is opening soon
    and we tried to kind of figure out okay
    what are the two or three things that we
    know we will deliver
    for the business for for our clients
    what are the two or three things that we
    we will deliver
    which kind of becomes your promise you
    know what are you promising your clients
    so one of the things because of the
    machines that we
    that we bought we were able to tell our
    clients
    hey you can wash and dry in one hour or
    less
    simple message simple stuff right why
    because
    machines in essence are minute cycles
    and the dryers are set to
    30 minute cycles and you should be able
    to wash
    and dry at the basic level
    either with cold uh
    what is it cold um and hot water
    um and warm water so we have three uh
    cold warm and hot water funny thing is
    in puerto rico it’s always warm water
    anyway
    but cold warm and hot um
    24 minutes uh our machines they have
    a panel and you can kind of up upsell
    some other stuff which
    which is really cool um you can do
    what’s called superwash and it does a
    longer
    cycle hot water faster
    faster spinning and then
    the drying because we’re using a card
    system
    and it’s not quarter based we’re not
    using coins at all
    then we were able to kind of set okay we
    can do three minutes at a minimum six
    minutes
    15 minutes and 30 minutes and those are
    on the we have 30 pound machines and 45
    pound machines so
    on the base you can tell a client hey
    you can
    wash and dry in an hour or less and then
    that’s what we started advertising
    but the way we did it was we set up a
    profile
    in facebook we set up a profile in
    google um
    my business again it’s free you set it
    up
    and you put your information there and
    we did set up a a very cheap
    uh website which was just a splash page
    and the splash page what we did is we
    bought a stock photo
    it was ten dollars a stock photo of a
    girl
    basically very happy and it just said
    opening soon
    laundromat location and the tagline
    you know wash and dry in one hour or
    less and it did have
    a subscription place
    where it said sign up for announcements
    or for promos promotions whatever
    the idea was to start getting people to
    leave us their email
    because we would be announcing our
    opening date
    to that public in specific whatever it
    is that we
    we knew we were going to open we we did
    a soft opening
    january 17th and we never closed so we
    just opened and that was it
    um but our
    uh the google page is free
    facebook page is free instagram is free
    yelp which not many people like yelp
    but here’s the catch with yelp use it
    open your page put it up
    put your logos put your your photos put
    all your business information
    and that’s it and leave it there why
    because yelp
    drives information to google
    and they have what’s called a top 10
    list which it’s organically made
    based on whoever’s in there um and if
    you do it well
    again for free if you do it well your
    business
    in that specific location where you’re
    at will appear in the top 10 list
    so within within the first
    less than 90 days before after we opened
    we were already trending in their top
    ten list free of charge
    we were already appearing in google
    searches
    faster just because we had presence
    in facebook google yelp
    instagram and we had a small website
    that uh that was capturing which
    eventually we were able to convert it to
    um to a website that had a basic
    information
    uh within this next six to seven
    when we started doing pickup and
    delivery uh
    then we took it down and we uh
    we were able to kind of just figure out
    a different way of promoting our
    business
    and now by the end of this month of july
    we’re reopening our website
    and it’s it’s more geared toward other
    services that we want to promote
    um which are more search based uh
    and and you know at the end of the day
    all these platforms that exist if you
    know how to use them
    um and it’s not rocket science just take
    take five
    ten minutes and kind of figure out do
    the tutorials or do
    you know follow the couple of steps that
    they ask you to follow
    you would see a dramatic increase
    for example we get probably one or two
    new clients a day that do
    that come to us because they do a google
    search and google says
    laundromats near me that’s one of the
    first search categories that they force
    they kind of force it into the client so
    when they click on that
    if you if you have your profile
    well maintained in google they will
    promote you
    organically meaning that that
    yes you can pay for clicks and ads and
    stuff within google
    but if you do it well you use yelp on
    the back end
    and use google on the front end and then
    you do the rest that you could do
    in facebook and even instagram
    organically meaning for free
    and meaning that they’re gonna do it
    they’re gonna promote a business
    that is probably more active and we get
    one or two
    a day organically we’ve
    actually we’ve never paid for paid ads
    in in google which you should do
    but let’s say that you don’t do it as
    long as you have it
    if you maintain it you maintain the
    information correctly
    um google is going to probably sponsor
    you a little bit better
    organically you’re going to get more
    hits
    where we’ve paid is in facebook ads
    because that’s kind of a dif it’s kind
    of a different thing right
    facebook google is for people who are
    looking for your service
    facebook is more for people that are not
    necessarily looking for your service
    but if you push them a promotion they’re
    going to go like hey oh look at this
    uh so we did a promo in may of of 2020
    we did a promotion
    for uh for bedding comforters
    and and bedding it was like ten dollars
    any size and all we’re thinking is you
    know i need to
    i need to get those machines running
    somehow so for ten dollars you could get
    your
    your comforter we did the first month we
    did 75
    okay at 10 bucks second month we did
    150 third month we’re doing 300
    and it’s never stopped and we kept it at
    10 bucks we’re about to increase prices
    now because
    you know it keeps going and going going
    but what what was cool about it is
    betting is something that people that do
    not go to
    laundromats use yep yep so
    i was able to kind of get a hook and
    compete in a
    completely different category which is
    not associated necessarily with
    laundromats
    but with that i was able to get airbnbs
    i was able to get some other type of
    business
    just because i had a i had a hook i had
    something
    to offer but the the way to do it was
    basically through facebook because you
    can do targeted ads for location and
    even though it’s changed a little bit
    now but
    but it still works wonders uh
    specifically if in your
    region uh facebook has good
    good coverage which they which typically
    they do
    they do yeah super smart
    super smart i love kind of your
    strategies uh
    and for anybody who’s not familiar with
    canva
    uh which you mentioned earlier i’ll put
    a link in the show notes or if you’re on
    youtube down below in the description
    you can check out canva but it’s a
    it’s a free tool where you can do some
    great not just logo designs but even
    social media posts or and it’s going to
    look good and
    and uh make you look professional like
    you look like a graphic designer
    so check that out but i love the the
    strategy
    uh that you guys had in terms of running
    some ads before
    you were open trying to drive traffic to
    your landing page which was collecting
    email addresses that way you
    when you flung open the doors you
    already had a client list that you could
    start marketing to
    and and wooing um through your different
    techniques uh of marketing promotions
    those kinds of things
    um i think it’s super smart that you did
    the
    betting promotion because like you said
    you know a lot of people who are never
    going to think about
    you know using a laundromat all right
    they
    they still have that question like how
    do i wash my
    bedding right like comforters hard to
    fit a comforter in
    your you know in your at-home washing
    machine if you have one
    and but but introducing them to that
    service
    and then letting them know hey you know
    how all that other laundry that you hate
    doing
    we can do all that too and uh i mean i
    think i was super
    super smart um okay so
    oh go ahead we’re gonna say something no
    go ahead no no yeah so i mean you
    mentioned
    airbnbs are you doing a lot of airbnb
    stuff and how’s that how’s that going
    it’s been that’s that’s been kind of a
    wild ride and
    it started with uh
    [Music]
    a friend of some friend of ours they
    kind of didn’t know what we were
    we were up to and uh
    we started having a conversation with
    them and they’re like
    what do you mean that you have a laundry
    service because sometimes it depends on
    who you talk to
    they kind of either get it or they don’t
    get it if you say a laundromat
    then their vision is okay you go there
    you put the coins in and you wash your
    clothes okay
    right that’s rather simple but there’s
    some people
    and and in our case we wanted to decatur
    probably uh to other services i kind of
    knew where
    what they were doing i just didn’t know
    the extent of what they were doing um
    so i started talking about our laundry
    service and then we
    talked about the different things that
    we do and they looked at me and they
    said like okay i got i got to hook you
    up with my daughter my youngest daughter
    she’s managing one of our to have a real
    estate company
    but but she’s managing one of the side
    side businesses
    of the real estate company which is
    airbnb i’m like okay that’s curious
    we might be able to help her out uh i’m
    not sure if i can but
    but i’ll try so two weeks later we
    talked to her
    and she’s like yeah i have 11 properties
    and we have like 24 beds that we need to
    do
    on a weekly basis that’s that’s a small
    hotel you know 24 beds it’s a small
    hotel
    um i’m like okay so where’s the location
    the location was a little bit outside of
    my service area
    but here i’m thinking opportunity so
    i’ll take i’ll take a stab at it
    and it’s it’s amazing so what happens is
    she has high-end clients
    that give her their homes um
    she managed she buys the linen so in
    this case she’s the one who owns the
    linen
    the owner allows her to put her linen
    and we take care of the washing and what
    she told me was
    listen my number one headache right now
    is turnover of linen
    turnover in terms of of of keeping
    the linen because we we tend to not buy
    the correct linen first of all second of
    all
    we use whatever machines are available
    at the individual houses so it turns out
    she has 11 properties right
    so not every property has a machine
    so she needs to carry back and forth
    the linen to different houses just to to
    to
    clean it and then it’s costing her an
    arm and a leg because it takes about 10
    hours to do the laundry
    basically for one property one property
    is about 10 hours
    because that property has i don’t know
    six or seven beds
    plus the type of bedding that they have
    is is
    is large the type of towels that they
    buy is large
    so when i started talking to her i kind
    of
    i put my business hat on and i started
    doing a little bit of research and kind
    of figure out hey listen if you
    change the type of bedding there is
    bedding out there there are sheets and
    linens out there which are
    hotel grade but you don’t have to buy in
    bulk you can just
    you know you can just buy what you need
    and
    and and they weigh less they dry faster
    and it’ll be probably cheaper if we do
    it for you
    and then and she’s like okay let’s do a
    trial so
    she gave us one property we did the
    turnaround
    she gave it to me in the morning i
    called her at night and said listen i
    have i have the order here for you
    and she’s like what do you mean i’m like
    yeah it’s already done
    okay for the same day yeah same day um
    so i delivered back and it was all it
    was all
    what we did to differentiate ourselves
    was you know
    kind of figure out the sizes and match
    them
    up and give her a bag that says
    you know here’s a queen bed here’s a
    king size bed
    here’s a twin or the couple of twin beds
    and here’s the tops
    and here’s all your towels and
    everything’s stacked and everything is
    organized
    and here’s the whole order and that way
    you can take that
    and give it to your cleaning lady and
    she knows exactly where it goes in every
    room
    and she was like oh my god can you do
    that for all my properties i’m like yes
    i can
    all i need is the opportunity yeah now
    here here’s what
    having the right systems in place from
    the beginning
    helped us out rpos was built for that
    so i was able to just tell her listen
    i’ll open an account
    i’ll put your credit card on file and
    every time i go and pick up
    i will pick it up i will give you a flat
    rate
    per weight i will weigh it i will
    charge you and i will process and
    deliver back in the moment that you tell
    me
    by the way because we have the
    technology in place
    you’re going to know when the driver is
    on the way to pick it up
    when it was picked up when it was
    cleaned when the driver’s
    going back and then when it went when it
    was delivered
    all that communication plus
    you’re gonna get to see online all your
    invoices or your bills
    per property um so you can build back
    because
    she builds my services she builds it
    back either to the client
    or she takes it away from the uh from
    the cleaning fee
    so in essence you know everything is
    digested for her
    and we have technically become her right
    hand
    in that that business and she’s she’s
    i think she’s 26 she’s a she’s just a
    young
    girl starting out she went to law school
    and she didn’t like it
    and now she’s into real estate she does
    very well
    but we become her right hand in terms of
    of supporting her business because we
    can do
    fast turnarounds with great
    communication
    and we build her and she never has an
    issue with what we built her
    she never has an issue with with our
    service and
    if for whatever reason something has to
    has to be redone or
    she needs something rush then we kind of
    figure out a way like
    today we were talking about it uh um i
    picked up
    i think it was a 10 in the morning
    [Music]
    45 minute drive pick it up bring it back
    to the store by 2 p.m
    2 30 p.m it was already delivered at the
    house
    45 minutes away um and it’s a big house
    it’s a super super big house
    so so that’s where we started with the
    airbnbs
    and then from that ward started going
    around because she knows other people
    that have airbnbs and they started
    giving us opportunities
    i think we’re now up to 15 clients
    um i think about 25 to 30 properties
    and uh and we have
    a small hotel which we’re doing daily
    service
    and then eventually again put my
    business hat on and
    started starting kind of figuring out
    why are you doing
    you know daily cert i don’t mind daily
    service i get a daily bill
    and again same thing put it on a credit
    card uh and i charge enough to cover my
    credit card fee so to me that’s kind of
    a
    cost of doing business it’s completely
    irrelevant um
    so i was able to to kind of figure and
    then it was well we don’t have enough
    inventory okay let’s figure out a vendor
    that can help you
    let me help you out with this and then
    help her help my client kind of figure
    out okay
    where can we save you money
    if i get to offer that as part of
    my service a value add that that’s
    brought to the client
    where i’m not i’m not trying to figure
    out how to charge
    more i’m trying to figure out how to
    charge appropriately
    and make them comfortable with my
    service
    and at the same time i can’t i mean you
    can do a hotel
    30 days and then 60 days and then night
    but
    every single day pick up delivery
    processing
    it gets to a point where you’re like
    listen we gotta figure out a way
    to spread it out the only way to do that
    is to have more inventory
    and if you have more inventory i can
    probably give you a price break
    and then you know i can free up
    resources
    to grow into another another client so
    from that conversation on we started
    doing
    uh almost every other day and then
    every three days and then all the extra
    capacity that i had
    i was able to go out and get more
    clients so about 11 to 15 clients
    um is is what we have now
    but we have not yet reached the one-year
    mark
    for that service so it should happen in
    october and hopefully
    from here to october we should grow by
    another four or five clients
    um and and what’s interesting about
    airbnbs is that
    if if you get to connect with an
    administrator
    you never see them because all you all
    if you have the right technology in
    place
    um they can go online and place the
    order or
    they send you the calendar and you just
    go into the system
    and plug in the dates of the orders
    and that’s it i mean at the end it’s
    it’s if there’s a change and there’s a
    change for that
    order but then every everything else in
    the system
    so you know we haven’t gotten to this
    but
    we were doing pick up and delivery with
    my car now we have a truck and we have a
    driver
    so the driver he knows what to do when
    he sees the order
    and he sees the packages and he knows he
    connects with the client and he he knows
    what he needs to do
    the cleaning folks they know what they
    need to do and then on
    our end my wife and i we know exactly
    what’s happened because we have
    the right systems in place we know
    exactly what’s happening with each order
    either coming in or going out
    yeah sounds like you’ve you’ve got your
    systems that you’re
    locking in and are you’re able to
    you know say yes to things and use that
    to figure out
    best ways to do it and then what i
    really love about what you said is that
    you’re
    then you’re thinking about okay how can
    i save the client money but also
    free our business up to be going to look
    for more clients
    right you know and so you know
    encouraging them to get more inventory
    or buy
    smaller sheets or towels or whatever the
    case may be
    it’s going to make it easier for them
    make it easier for you and then you can
    scale it up and make even more money
    doing it
    and once you have those systems down
    you know i mean sky’s the limit right
    you’ll be on your way to getting those
    10 laundromats and
    and being able to process a whole lot
    that’s the goal that’s the goal but
    funny thing about having having a truck
    with with your brand on it right which
    we do we have a small truck
    um and and our goal was let’s have
    something small
    lower gas bill lower uh insurance bill
    and if we grow then we buy bigger and
    that’s that’s the way
    at least we think it should be i was
    driving through
    a an area which tends to be uh
    touristy right it’s a tourist area we
    have a couple of clients there that we
    do wash and fold
    with pickup in delivery and there’s this
    guy that stops me in the middle of the
    street and says hey
    do you guys do hotels like well there’s
    hotels and then there’s hotels
    i can’t do the marriott down the street
    but i can do and he’s like no no it’s
    only 12
    25 rooms so it took me about
    probably three weeks to connect
    which by the way um you know i asked him
    which is the hotel
    and who was the owner he’s like no no
    don’t worry let me get your information
    i’m like yeah sure but just
    just let me know out of curiosity and he
    told me the name of the so
    the next thing i did is i drove up to
    the hotel
    and then after the owner and i didn’t
    get the owner
    yeah but at least i went in there i kind
    of saw what what it was all about
    right uh because you got to make sure
    that you
    you can at least deliver on on
    on what you think you can do
    and and i am very
    very cautious about the type of business
    that i get into
    because as a new business you don’t want
    to get a reputation
    that you you’re not doing the right
    thing for your client
    and that could you know there’s a lot of
    things that that even if you get over
    your head with
    something that you’re trying to
    accomplish which is basically
    in our case is we want to get into the
    commercial um
    commercial
    small commercial really uh to keep our
    laundromats
    running so we want to get into this more
    commercial uh
    of the business but we want to be very
    cautious about how we do it
    and make sure that we’re delivering on
    the promise
    that we you know keeping our promises to
    the client and we deliver
    on the quality that we’re trying to
    deliver on um
    and then we obviously we make a profit
    and the clients can’t afford it and
    and and to be honest with you i
    we thought we we saw what the volume was
    and the first thing that came to my head
    is okay i’m gonna do it
    i’m i’m i’ll put the resources and we
    started
    delivering on a daily basis um and we
    were getting
    more income which allows us to do other
    stuff
    but then the first thing that i thought
    was okay what happens
    if they get the employees back that they
    need if they lower the volume
    that we think
    project that we can get in at the end of
    the day
    we’re stuck with either an overhead that
    we can’t afford so we gotta lay off
    people
    um or we’ve missed opportunities
    because we’ve been distracted by this
    bigger opportunity which seems to be
    good but
    how do we protect ourselves from that
    and by doing so
    we we we’ve kept the business but we’ve
    helped the client kind of figure out
    how to how to afford our services at the
    same time
    okay but we do have this capability how
    do we
    continue selling and then don’t stop the
    growth of the business just because hey
    we got this big big client it’s
    you know they’re doing x amount of
    pounds per day
    which helps us out a lot but what we can
    keep you know we can’t not focus on
    the growth of the business and things we
    need to do and
    and that you know that’s a question that
    that
    we always ask ourselves is okay we have
    this great client
    we’re doing very well with them you know
    what if we don’t have them
    how do we replace that first of all and
    second of all
    what if we get more like these where we
    have to increase
    you know and that’s that’s the question
    though the what-if question we use a lot
    to kind of figure out
    you know when we talk about employees
    when we talk about vendors when we talk
    about clients
    you know what if we get more what if we
    lose them
    so how do we plan for that it helps us a
    lot
    yeah i think that’s a great question and
    you know i think
    taking a second to pause and think okay
    like if i do this what are the
    repercussions of it good
    and bad right because the obvious you
    know
    good results are you’re going to have
    more business you got a more stable
    income at least for the time being
    but you know thinking through well what
    if that goes away
    and we’ve you know we’ve extended
    ourselves too far or
    you know all i think that’s a huge um
    thing i tend to be
    a little more uh
    spontaneous or like just go like i get
    an idea and i’m like okay
    go go do it right but i think there’s a
    lot of value in
    taking a beat and you know asking that
    what if question okay
    like what am i going to miss out on if i
    do this you know
    and all those questions you mentioned i
    think genius genius
    questions and something that i think any
    business owner
    you know can can take a lesson from you
    know taking a beat when
    especially you know it’s a lot easier to
    take a beat when there’s like an iffy
    proposition right you’re like i mean
    maybe
    but when it’s a really good opportunity
    you know sometimes even then you need to
    take a beat or it seems like it you need
    to take a beat and
    and ask some of those questions yeah
    there’s nothing i mean there’s nothing
    wrong we have people that come to our
    store
    and you know i’m the first one to try
    to figure out how to do it right so
    people come to a store with an
    opportunity
    or or they have something specific that
    they want to watch
    and i’m the first one to try to say yes
    um
    which which i get heat from from my team
    you know
    you know but but at the same time i’ve
    learned
    that there’s there’s things where you
    just
    you just gotta either say no because
    it’s not the correct thing
    to do it’s going to affect your image
    it’s going to affect your team it’s
    going to affect the business
    so you know the what if uh
    has has kept us from going down probably
    rabbit holes and things that we should
    not
    really get into um and at the same time
    uh it’s okay to make mistakes i mean
    that’s that’s the cool thing about
    business it’s okay you have to accept
    that mistakes will be made
    by yourself by your team by by your
    clients
    um how you deal with them is really
    the essence of of surviving uh
    in any business but in this volatile
    situation that we’re living in right now
    uh there’s a lot of variables that
    nobody really knows
    uh that are coming at you uh
    in terms of cost inflation
    accessibility to talent clients
    kind of moving around there’s a lot
    happening
    and you just got to keep your eyes open
    to make sure that
    if you make the mistakes that those
    mistakes are are fixable
    and how to deal with them so that’s to a
    degree that has
    helped us a lot with the business
    because
    we will make mistakes and in the past
    you would think well the mistake was
    that you did wash and fold and you lost
    an item
    you know you lost uh nowadays the
    mistake could be you lost a whole order
    yeah what do you do yeah
    so so that’s why again going back into
    having the right systems in place
    make sure that that limits your
    liability and that those mistakes don’t
    happen
    but that that you take care of your
    employees to make sure that that
    they’re doing right for for the client
    um
    and and that there’s leeway to figure
    out okay if we mess up
    okay what’s the recovery plan because
    it’s
    one way or another something’s something
    could happen um
    and again i mean i was an executive
    at a brokerage firm which deals with
    risks and liabilities consistently and
    that
    has helped me kind of figure out okay
    you can say yes to a lot of things but
    there’s
    there’s sometimes you just got to say no
    because it’s really not
    not going to work out yeah yeah exactly
    we’re not moving in the right direction
    or we’re trying to take your business
    those kind of things yeah
    awesome well we have a section called
    down to business
    that’s just a chance for us to kind of
    get to know your business
    just a little bit more so you are in
    puerto rico
    right and you got the one laundromat so
    far any plans to
    you know is it still too soon to be
    looking for that second one or
    where you at with all that i think that
    we
    you know we have that one location which
    we’re
    trying to make you know
    right now it’s it’s a profitable
    location it pays the bills it pays its
    own bills so that’s
    you know that’s the best the best way to
    kind of kind of
    explain it you know hey if it pays the
    bills it’s doing well
    um can we get more out of it yes we can
    and that’s that’s what we’re working
    towards and then eventually it’ll get to
    a place where
    the physical limitations of the location
    in terms of the amount of machines and
    the amount of processing power
    they will get to a limit and then we got
    to move on we got to figure out
    our goal is really to keep that location
    and then
    open up a different location now there’s
    one thing that we do
    offer which is from a
    business perspective and not necessarily
    from the laundromat perspective
    but because we offer pickup and delivery
    the clients that we cater to can
    opt to use dry cleaning services through
    us
    so within our brand they get dry
    cleaning they get
    laundry and they get home you know uh
    washing of home home items on home goods
    um
    which is the beddings and uh you know uh
    towels yeah the towels bathroom rugs
    curtains and stuff like that
    but but a very small sliver of the
    of the services that we offer is the dry
    cleaning portion
    which we our goal is to to help the
    client just kind of figure out okay if i
    have one vendor for all of this and take
    it all
    and do it and then we outsource most of
    the dry cleaning now
    to be honest with you most of the items
    that we
    dry clean they’re 90
    uh uh you’re able to wash them in water
    so we wash them
    so we take care of the stains we take
    care of the inventory we you know we
    take care of
    of the actual item we just don’t press
    it we take it somewhere else
    they do the pressing for us they do next
    day service
    so we are able to offer our dry cleaning
    clients 48-hour service
    on most items and whatever we can’t dry
    clean because it is a dry clean only
    item
    then they do it for us we make a small
    profit but we were able to service
    the client that never comes to us but we
    can get to go to them
    we can we can we can expand a little bit
    on the
    on the level of service that’s why
    sometimes when we explain
    our business we call it a laundry
    service and we don’t focus necessarily
    in the laundromat
    because it’s not a level of service that
    they will be using
    uh not necessarily we do
    get quite a few clients that their
    washers and dryers
    uh are broken for whatever reason it’s
    happening more and more often because of
    the type of machines that are being sold
    in the market nowadays
    and they find our place to be clean
    uh attended you know a different
    experience
    so they come in they watch they stay
    with us probably for about a month when
    they get their machines
    uh fixed and then when they leave
    they had a good experience so then our
    goal is to keep the client by offering
    another type of service
    which is a washington pressing which
    instead of them going to another
    dry cleaner they keep coming to us and
    we make the money on the back end
    even if it’s a small profit but at least
    we keep the client consistently coming
    which at the end of the day one of the
    first things that we
    thought about this type of business is
    the recurring revenue that happens
    because people tend to wash their
    clothes more than once of course
    yeah so yeah our goal
    our goal is to to use the same model
    but in different geographical locations
    within
    actually within the same level the same
    service area that we have now so
    in other words there will come a time
    where
    when the physical limitations of the
    store
    there’s just so much that i can process
    that
    we will be able to we will need to open
    a different store
    i’ve always said that my goal is to have
    10 stores
    my wife thinks i’m crazy and she’s
    probably right
    so we have to take one at a time we’ve
    already looked at two locations
    i’ve already looked at two locations for
    what could possibly be the next door
    um there are opportunities out there
    but again it’s one of those things that
    you have to be ready you know you know
    how they say be careful what you ask for
    yeah you got to be ready you got to be
    ready because when you make that move
    there’s a there’s a high probability
    that that that our next store
    is a current location that we would just
    have to redo and rebrand
    and because of what’s happening in the
    marketplace
    a lot of a lot of people going into the
    business
    but then there’s a lot of people going
    out so at the same time it gives us an
    opportunity to kind of make offers and
    make deals
    and and what i’ve always thought is okay
    i like the location if the guy says no
    i’ll just build next door and do my own
    thing
    right there’s the walgreens and cvs
    situation where you get a walgreens cbs
    right in front of each other they both
    coexist
    and it’s good for competition it’s good
    so i’ve always thought that
    i don’t if i can’t buy him out then i’ll
    just build
    nearby and and compete and just do my
    own thing
    yeah well for your
    walk-in self-service customers how much
    is it costing in puerto rico to do
    laundry so so we’re on the on
    a little bit of on the higher end of the
    spectrum in terms of pricing
    we’ll give you a little bit more about
    the the layout we have
    we currently have 20 20 pound i mean
    eight 20 pound um
    we have eight 40-pound machines and we
    have two 60-pound machines
    now believe it or not in in our area we
    are the only ones with 60-pound machines
    and we have we only have two um
    but the the machines are all uh soft
    mount machines which i know it’s not the
    most uh
    uh prevalent in the in in different
    marketplaces
    we did opt for continental soft mount
    machines because of the durability
    and what we were able to see the
    application of that type of machine
    in another place within puerto rico and
    within hotels
    within puerto rico so we were able to
    physically
    understand and talk to people that have
    used the machines
    um there is a dry cleaning
    chain that uses the 40 pound soft mount
    machine
    and they have about 60 or 70 of those
    machines in the island
    so we’re using the same vendor um and
    and so far it’s it’s amazing what we’ve
    been able to get from those machines
    first of all because they’re soft mount
    uh they have high rpms in
    the spin so they get to 400 g’s and we
    are able to
    offer our clients 24 hour 24 minute wash
    and 30 minute drive time so you can you
    know
    wash and dry in an hour or less so the
    20 pound machines are at 395
    3.95 the next one over which is 40
    pounds is 6.95
    and the 60 pounds are 9.95 now we know
    that the 995 might be on the low end
    and the 20 might be on the higher and
    and one of the things that we’re trying
    to drive people
    is to to just use the higher the the
    higher capacity machines
    uh basically because they’re they’re
    they’re better for washing it’s a better
    machine better construction and better
    uh water management electricity
    management um
    and the experience for the client at the
    end of the cycle is much better i mean
    the end product the washing of their
    clothes is much better
    on the dry on the dryers we do
    full cycle pricing so in other words you
    pay 6.95
    and you pay 350 for half an hour which
    is about 35 cents per minute um
    actually no it’s 35 cents per three
    minutes and it’s 350 for half an hour
    on the 30 pound machines we have 30
    pounds and we have 45 pound
    uh dryers and they’re stacked dryers
    they’re branded continental but there’s
    probably the same that
    other brands use
    so basically a 40 pound 40 pound machine
    of washer paired with the dryer it’s
    10.50 for the cycle and then what we try
    to offer our client is listen it’s 10 50
    10 45 actually 10 45 but it’s it’s a
    guaranteed price
    meaning that if you follow our
    instructions and that’s why
    i love that we’re attended which means
    that my attendants
    really take care of the clients then
    they come from another store which might
    be a dollar
    fifty the washer and they’re paying 395
    with me
    but when we do the math probably the
    size of the machine they need to use two
    or three to fit what we can do on the
    40.
    um or even on the 60. so when you do the
    math
    yes you might be paying a dollar more
    per cycle or maybe two dollars
    more but they get to leave
    probably one or two hours earlier and
    they get a better wash and a better
    experience overall
    i mean and and we have a lot of clients
    that come to us
    from buildings that have long
    uh uh in-house laundry
    um which are vended but because the top
    of the machines that are in those
    buildings is lower
    lower end machines they come to us
    and they pay a higher price but they get
    a faster wash
    they can watch more and and it’s a
    better
    better experience overall um so again
    395 695
    995 for the washers and then 350
    for the dryers and five dollars for the
    45 pounds
    dryer for 30 minutes so these are preset
    30 minutes um on both
    so the idea is that uh you know we don’t
    have people
    adding more minutes because it’s not
    dried the idea is we want you in and out
    as fast as possible
    from our from our perspective in and out
    fast
    so we can fit more people in but but on
    their perspective it’s i don’t want to
    waste time being here
    yeah so so the design of the
    of the business it’s you know the the
    typical express laundromat
    which is you go in and out fast you have
    the type of equipment to support
    that um now there’s some other perks
    that we offer our clients
    because we’re card um then the
    the client can use their app um
    to activate the machines to know when
    the cycle is up
    when there’s machines available so if
    they’re home they can be on their phone
    if there’s machines available before
    coming in
    and the other thing that we that we do
    which uh i’m sure that if you do a poll
    50
    of people watching will say i would
    never do that and the other 50
    would go like maybe i could try to do
    that
    but we do offer the client
    the capability of hey if you put the
    wash we’ll dry it we’ll
    fold it for you for a fee and then you
    can pick it up later on
    so it’s it’s kind of a hybrid wash and
    fold
    but what happens is that our location is
    next to a supermarket and the idea is
    while you’re in the supermarket just
    leave your clothes here
    and we’ll take care of the rest and then
    what happens is
    we always get the question well okay but
    how much is it if i just
    leave it and you guys do it all well
    that’s per pound
    so it’s a dollar forty forty nine per
    pound and
    if we do the math you would pay five
    dollars more okay
    five dollars more or ten dollars more or
    twenty dollars more i’ll
    my time’s worth it so so you get
    to convert more people from the regular
    laundromat
    service when they do everything
    themselves but they get the perks of
    okay but there’s a supermarket next door
    there’s a
    little restaurant next door can i leave
    and go home and come back yeah you can
    do those things with us you can do it
    because we’re attended we know what
    orders are in
    in every machine right and we offer the
    client the option
    even if it’s for a small fee but we
    offer the client the option of us taking
    care of everything
    and eventually those clients get
    converted to um
    to wash and fold smart i like it
    uh what does it cost for do you charge
    per pound for pickup and delivery
    yes we do it’s a dollar forty dollars
    everything is a dollar forty nine
    except the airbnb is at the dollar fifty
    um
    and then you’re really engaging those
    guys yeah
    yeah extra penny
    here’s here’s what happens with that
    it’s a dollar fifty for the airbnb is a
    dollar forty nine and i’m trying to kind
    of standardize
    everything and just have it with the
    same even if it’s a penny
    difference just have it really the same
    because the sometimes happens that the
    owners of the airbnb
    they they they send us their clothes
    personal clothes so we do those at 1.49
    and then everything else is 1.50
    so sometimes if they look at the invoice
    it’s like why is this
    i’m like well that’s what it is yeah
    you’ve got your airbnb you’re making
    money out of it the other one is just a
    personal expense so
    i’ll give you a penny penny less i like
    it but
    but the airbnbs we do if we do volume
    discounts or we do
    uh per bag costs which we
    we’re testing just kind of figure out if
    it’s if it’s feasible economically
    feasible for us
    and then we also do so we do per pound
    per bag or a monthly flat rate
    oh interesting like a subscription
    basically subscription yeah
    so the idea is you get to watch as much
    as you want as much as you want
    um within certain parameters
    for x dollars a month so
    the right way of doing it is listen i
    looked at all your invoices for the past
    six months your average is
    i don’t know 200 bucks a month or 225 a
    month what if we do 199
    every month regardless of how much
    volume you have and then
    we share the risk and then the the
    parameters are
    don’t add more you know inventory that
    you already have
    because we anyway know more or less how
    much pounds you need to process
    so in other words if you go down in
    terms of pounds it’s irrelevant
    to us because we’re going to make more
    money if you add more then there’s a
    threshold where
    it jumps from 199 to 299 for example
    um but but we we’ve done that with a
    couple of clients and it kind of it
    works for
    them uh it kind of works for us so far
    it’s it’s working okay
    um but sometimes what happens is that
    they accumulate
    and then we do just one service a month
    right
    and that’s it and then but we’re
    we’re testing it out we’re testing it
    out it it works but we have to test it
    out
    um because it’s not as easy as just you
    know weigh it and whatever it is we
    charge that tip right
    but it’s straightforward pricing is very
    simple
    uh we do we do price increase
    annually so far we we from 2020 to 2021
    we did a price increase uh basically in
    most categories
    so in other words we didn’t we actually
    did not
    price increase on the washers we did
    pricing increase on the dryers
    we went from 275 to 350
    and the washing fold went from
    when we started out we were trying to
    get clients so we were at 99 cents per
    pound we went to 125
    and then to 149. and 149
    is kind of a sweet spot where
    you know we have competitors that do
    three dollars
    per pound uh but but the ones who do
    three dollars per pound their idea is
    look if you want me to do it you pay for
    it
    uh but if if i don’t do it at times i
    don’t you know that it doesn’t drive my
    business
    um it does drive hours so at 149 or 150
    it works and and i think that you know
    we might see an increase uh gas prices
    have gone have gone up
    dramatically one year yes amazing
    for us a hundred and almost 150 percent
    so it’s crazy it’s crazy
    [Music]
    but that’s it i mean everything else
    that we price out is
    uh we have what’s called a soap bar so
    the idea is
    you know because we have a supermarket
    next door
    they sell soap i mean they sell
    detergents all type of deter
    detergents we don’t make a lot of money
    on that
    so what we did is we offer
    most detergent most readily available
    commercial
    or consumer-based detergents most of
    them are
    at the store at the client’s convenience
    per machine
    so so they’re pre there’s a it’s it’s uh
    they’re pre-measured basically uh each
    machine
    has a specific measurement that they use
    and we price it out
    so most clients the first time they come
    they come with all their
    all their detergents and eventually they
    figure out i don’t want to buy more
    detergents i’ll just buy for you because
    it’s
    whatever 50 cents more if it’s a dollar
    more per machine
    it’s irrelevant to something it just it
    just makes sense
    um and then on the on the card side
    if the client uses our card then they do
    get a five percent discount
    based on volume uh that’s that’s
    on an ongoing basis so every time they
    charge
    every dollar they get five points when
    they get the 500 points which is 100
    they get five dollars back um and that
    kind of works and the machine
    that you know the equipment takes care
    of everything the software takes care of
    everything the client just needs to have
    their card or
    they need to have their app paired up
    with a card to
    to to use the the service yeah it works
    out
    awesome awesome well it sounds like you
    got a good system that you’ve got
    already set up and you’re you know i
    like the fact that you’re experimenting
    with stuff
    and and trying new things and trying new
    ways of doing things new payment models
    and
    all that and i think that is
    kind of a recipe for success right
    having that mindset that you have
    trying to offer a lot of value and a lot
    of quality to your customers and
    continually testing things and trying to
    see what
    works the best it’s awesome
    we got a section called secret sauce
    listen up it’s the secret sauce
    and secret sauce is just hey what advice
    do you
    have for current laundromat owners maybe
    something they could try or implement in
    their business
    to help them you know take their
    business up to the next level
    so so the secret sauce in our case and i
    can only speak to what we have focused
    on
    is is actually client service so client
    services is kind of thrown around
    really generously in
    in almost every industry right so so a
    lot of businesses are
    certain every equality is in the service
    but in essence what does that mean so we
    we kind of we we did we did what we
    what my wife and i think is
    what it should be there has to be a
    definition that we can teach our
    our employees and and it’s based on
    three things so the first one is
    and there’s very basic three things by
    the way um
    but but the idea is look
    if we are an attended laundromat
    it means to the client that number one
    they get they got they have to have they
    got to get
    a warm welcome i mean
    you go to a restaurant you go to
    anywhere where
    service is the centerpiece of whatever
    it is that they’re offering or even if
    it’s retail you go to a store
    and if somebody at the store
    acknowledges that you came in
    and they say hey good morning hey good
    afternoon hey how can i help you
    that in itself makes a
    big differentiator uh from
    any other business and and again it
    doesn’t have to be laundromat it could
    be
    again a restaurant a shoe store
    you know any retail retail or service
    based
    uh um place that you go to as a person
    clients love to be acknowledged and if
    you make
    your client a centerpiece because it is
    the centerpiece or whatever it is that
    you’re offering then
    that first thing basically is just just
    to get a warm welcome it’s a basic
    thing a lot of people miss the second
    thing
    is anticipate what your client needs
    and just look figure out
    why are they coming and how is that
    going to happen
    now you do get recurring clients so you
    do get people that you know what’s going
    to happen
    with them how they like to wash their
    clothes what’s the machine that they
    like what detergents they like but those
    are things that you can anticipate
    how do you anticipate a client a new
    client that comes in
    ask the question how can i help you are
    you going to wash
    or are you going to leave it or you’re
    going to wash it perfect do you have
    detergent
    i’m not sure i’m going to go to the
    supermarket and buy some but don’t worry
    because we
    here we have we have this brand and this
    brand and this brand and this
    we have all the brands and and i’ve
    spoken to other laundromat owners and
    they’re like we don’t buy all the brands
    we just buy
    the cheapest brand because that’s what
    the clients are willing to pay for
    i’m like well i don’t know i buy them
    all and i sell
    all of them turns out that i sell them
    all and i gotta keep buying
    ah but some of them are more expensive
    than others yes that is completely true
    and we just average out we sell them all
    at the same price and we make money on
    summer and we make less money on some
    others
    but we make money on all of them and at
    the end of the day
    it’s because we’re anticipating the
    needs of the clients so the client comes
    in
    anticipate do you need a bag to take it
    out do you need
    detergent do you need softener do you
    need uh whatever it is that you need
    we basically have it all and anything
    and everything that a client could buy
    to to wash their clothes we might have
    it in stock
    you know spray and wash uh oxiclean um
    vinegar uh you know uh arm and hammer in
    actual real baking powder
    and we have it all because clients come
    and ask hey by the way do you have this
    yes we do
    and then it could be a dollar more
    it could be free and that’s because
    a 10 cent item that yes you could make
    90 cents profit but the good will that
    you generate with your client
    just by saying hey this plastic bag that
    you’re asking me which i could charge
    you a quarter for
    instead of nickel and diming your client
    raise your prices
    and give them the bag for free because
    it’s one bag and i might give out
    four bags a day maybe
    maybe and the bag is worth probably
    three cents
    maybe so so the second item is
    anticipate what your client needs and
    just be ready for it
    and then the third item which is the
    most simplest
    item which a lot of companies just
    completely miss
    is make sure that the client when they
    leave
    you say hey thank you for coming and i
    help you with the bag
    can i take it to the car you know did we
    do a good job
    is it dry you know is is your clothes
    dry
    it’s a question we always ask all of our
    clients and
    most clients you know 99 yes
    it’s it’s drive it’s great it works
    and then you know once you build that
    rapport with your client
    then you can ask hey do you mind giving
    us a review in
    whatever in google or in facebook or how
    did you find this
    oh i did a google search hey do you mind
    giving us a review on google because
    other clients might be looking for your
    services and if you had a good
    experience can you
    so right now as of today a year and a
    half later
    since we started all of our reviews in
    in
    google are five stars all of our reviews
    and
    facebook are five stars because we we
    catch if something went wrong we catch
    it
    in the moment because we acknowledge
    that the client came in
    we anticipated what their needs are and
    we gave them
    a warm goodbye and kind of closed the
    loop
    with their cert serve with whatever it
    is that they came to do with us
    because we do those three things at any
    at any moment
    of those three interactions the client
    can say hey
    something’s not right hey i activate it
    because this could happen
    i activated the dryer twice so instead
    of paying for 30 minutes i paid for
    an hour but i don’t need an hour don’t
    worry i’ll refund
    i’ll put back 350 in your card are you
    sure yeah yeah
    it doesn’t take two minutes to do it um
    yeah but what do you do with the other
    half hour
    whatever we just turn off the machine
    and the clock will keep on going don’t
    worry about that
    just use what you need so so
    service is the secret sauce
    granted it it does help that you have
    the infrastructure
    to support the level of service that
    you’re trying to provide
    but if you think of those three things
    and
    by the way these are three things that i
    that i stole from somewhere else it’s
    not
    we didn’t you know we’re not recreating
    the wheel the wheel was there
    we just took it from another industry
    and we put it in place
    in an industry that needs service but
    the definition of service was
    what so we distilled it to do three
    interactions
    so here’s an example of what happens
    when a client when a client comes in and
    our attendants
    are doing wash and fold the instructions
    are
    you stop what you’re doing and you go
    and attend the client
    oh but what happens with the wash and
    fold order it it that get
    gets delayed well you know what we have
    to learn to build
    time in between the processing of the
    wash and fold order
    to make sure that the client that does
    come in
    and is physically in our store that they
    get the support that they need
    because that’s the client that’s going
    to
    uh you know it’s the word of mouth is
    going to give you the reviews is going
    to say something positive about your
    business
    because of the interaction that they had
    with you so we’re very
    jealous about making sure that our
    employees are attending to the clients
    that are on the floor
    versus only doing wash and fold
    which is which is really what pays their
    salary
    but we build timing
    into the wash and fold orders to make
    sure
    that there’s ample space for them to
    kind of veer off a little bit and say
    okay i’m going to leave this here
    take care of a client and then come back
    basically what’s happened is
    we’ve hired additional resources just to
    make sure that the
    the the folding happens
    folding and packaging is the most manual
    piece of it
    so folding and packaging happens while
    somebody is attending to the client but
    when we started we couldn’t do that we
    couldn’t afford it
    uh we’ve gotten to a bigger scale where
    we now can afford to have an employee
    stop what they’re doing
    attend to a client take care of those
    three things
    and then and then come back and and it’s
    funny because
    uh when was it i think it was last night
    last night my wife and i were there
    at the store uh closing up
    and and this lady
    whom i’ve seen several times she says
    listen luis i just wanted to
    to tell you and your wife that that
    congratulations on keeping up with the
    promise or
    with the concept of serving the client
    because at the beginning a lot of people
    do that because the owners are there and
    everybody’s
    wanting to to take care of the business
    but
    sometimes it doesn’t last because the
    owners they start doing something else
    they start delegating and that item
    related
    specifically related to to attending
    to that client gets missed and that’s
    why we simplified it look it’s three
    things you gotta do these three things
    if you do these three things
    consistently and by the way
    within those three things if something
    goes wrong
    call me or call my wife because
    again i go back to technology i can
    credit a client
    i can start a machine in my house
    i can go into the system i can view the
    balance of
    a card or if something went wrong with a
    credit card i can go in and figure out
    what went wrong
    and either credit back process an order
    start a machine i can do all that from
    home
    the only thing i can’t do is
    physically put stuff into the machine
    and get them started
    but everything else uh we can we can do
    remotely by the way
    and we only use two apps for that we use
    a specific app
    for them for controlling the machines
    and the cart system and then the pos and
    it’s interconnected so i can
    you know if a client has balance i can
    do a ticket from home
    and and i’ve actually done orders from
    home
    call the store and say hey can you print
    the client
    and then receipt just for them to have a
    paper receipt
    which by the way all the receipts they
    get the clients get via text anyway to
    their phones so
    so it it does help to have the
    infrastructure
    and the technology but then there’s a
    mindset behind
    it where you you got to simplify
    a little bit of what you’re trying to do
    with the idea that hey i distilled
    three definitions of of
    of what service to us looks like um
    and that’s what we have to teach our
    every new employee we have to teach
    everybody everybody has to be aware that
    those are the three things that we got
    to do
    and obviously then you got to drill down
    on each and every one of them
    to make sure that that there’s support
    that there’s
    a way to support those three things yeah
    yeah that was awesome i love love love
    that and i think that that is so
    powerful and stuff like that that i mean
    it makes your business a business right
    makes you you’re operating on a
    professional
    level at that point when you are keeping
    those things in mind you’re focusing on
    those you’re staying consistent with
    those you’re continually reinforcing
    you know those three rules or principles
    that you’re trying to instill into your
    attendance your training that way
    and that’s what takes the business to
    the next level and will allow you to
    you know scale it into as big of a
    business as you want it to become
    at that point i think so i love that
    that was
    that was i would classify that as an
    epic secret
    sauce right there i love that
    uh well we have another section called
    pro tips
    pro tips and pro tips is for
    those who are looking to buy their first
    laundromat do you have any advice for
    anyone trying to buy their first
    laundromat
    or start their first laundry service
    yeah i i think that there’s
    the the biggest uh advice i could give
    them is is do your research
    and and you know question a little bit
    of what you get out there in the market
    that there’s there’s a lot of
    information out there
    uh this this same podcast has helped me
    out there’s a great
    uh there’s a lot of great information in
    it um
    the industry associations are very good
    and there are some professionals
    out there that know what they’re talking
    about um
    but you get it you got to figure out
    that there’s some things about this
    industry which are probably unspoken
    and or not thought about
    uh extensively so that’s that’s why
    disruption is happening
    that’s why there are people in the
    industry coming in
    and just doing different probably to get
    the same result right
    everybody wants to get a shirt washed
    it’s as simple as that
    but how you get to that right think
    think of
    a blockbuster right blockbuster
    was dominant they dominated
    the consumer market for watching movies
    at home
    they don’t exist anymore the end result
    is the same
    watch a movie at home netflix came in
    they disrupted the market and and it’s
    amazing when you when you see that these
    you know either technology companies and
    or
    uh uh uh
    investors are coming in to try to redo
    the industry
    there’s one thing interesting about this
    industry and there’s very few components
    that are proprietary very few
    very few the other thing is there’s very
    few brands out there
    that are dominant in the marketplace
    there’s there’s not a mcdonald’s of
    laundromats i mean i haven’t seen it yet
    there’s not one that you would say hey
    here’s here’s the uh um
    how do you say this here’s the uh
    what’s what’s it called i’m sorry what’s
    it called franchise the franchise the
    franchise
    right so this is the one franchise to
    buy but there’s a lot of franchises out
    there
    and and some of them have come here to
    puerto rico to my market
    and some of them have offered me and i
    haven’t
    seen yet one that i would say oh
    that’s the one that’s the one that i’m
    willing to pay the upfront cost
    and the revenue on the back end
    continuously um
    because it’s it’s not out there yet it’s
    not
    so there are brand names
    that compete in certain marketplaces
    there are manufacturers getting into
    creating their own locations um
    just you know obviously to put more
    machines out there because there’s some
    there’s some
    some people probably not us right
    probably we
    are the ones who would take
    those brands to another level but the
    investors are really not out there yet
    um so whoever’s trying to get into the
    game
    it’s not about putting a machine and
    collecting quarters
    that train left a long time ago
    i mean ask the toll collector
    if that train is there or not there are
    no toll collectors
    right it doesn’t exist anymore go to any
    parking space
    who’s the attendant that is cashing your
    cha
    your your ticket to let you out it’s a
    machine machine
    yep so so whoever is wanting to get into
    the industry
    there are there is a lot of technology
    out there there are some key players in
    the technology field
    some of them that are coming in new some
    of them that are already established
    that are key players that that connected
    or put together
    can allow you to have a business even as
    an investor
    that allows you to grow and even if you
    have a small laundromat
    in a small town with with whatever
    ten machines like on the west coast of
    the island we have a
    uh we have a a laundry a laundromat
    and i think i have six machines and six
    washers and six dryers and they couldn’t
    afford to buy high-end so they bought
    but they bought what they could buy for
    that marketplace
    and they’re doing very very well now the
    guy who bought it
    based on his experience and based on his
    <