Can You Work a 9-5 AND Own Laundromats?

Many people interested in owning a laundromat business are trying to escape their 9-5 job and take back some freedom in their life. However, that doesn’t always happen right away. And some people actaully enjoy their full-time jobs and just want to start a business on the side, make some extra income, or benefit from the tax advantages of owning laundromats.

Whichever camp you’re in, I’ve been asked many times, “Can I own laundromats while working full-time?” Lauren Berkoski joins us on the show to tell you it’s possible, tell you how she did it, and to fill you in on the challenges and opportunities. She doesn’t pull any punches in this revealing interview.

Lauren and Jordan discuss:

  • Lauren’s work background
  • How she got into the laundromat business
  • What it was like being a laundromat kid
  • The tragedy that led to tough decisions
  • Why Lauren and her husband decided to buy a laundromat
  • How to know when to hire in a growing business
  • What it’s like owning laundromats with a full-time job
  • What she loves about owning laundromats
  • How automation and technology help her manager her laundromats
  • How she started a laundry pick-up and delivery service
  • Marketing a pick-up and delivery business
  • How to stay organized
  • Converting a laundromat from coin-operated to card-operated
  • The power of networking

And a whole lot more!

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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 this is jordan with
the laundromat resource podcast this is
show number 90. and i’m pumped you’re
here with me today because today we’re
hanging out with lauren burkoski and she
is talking about owning multiple
laundromats while holding down a nine to
five job that she enjoys um and so i
mean i think that’s one of the beauties
of this business is that it gives you
options right i know a lot of you guys
out there either have or are aspiring to
escape that nine to five some of you
guys may love your nine to five you’re
looking for a little side income or
you’re looking for a side business to
run um and so the laundromats give you
that flexibility but there are some
challenges that come along with owning
any business while working another nine
to five so lauren is going to talk about
that today a lot of really good
information and a lot of really good
quotes i wrote down a bunch of quotes
from her uh in this interview and we
just have a really great time hanging
out and a lot of great information is
flowing so i know you’re going to enjoy
that uh real quick before we get into
that
big welcome to everybody uh over at
london resource.com who has joined the
community lately uh it’s yeah i always
say this man but it just keeps blowing
me away and in fact we’re gonna
celebrate some big milestones next
episode uh and i can’t you know wait to
share those with you uh because it’s you
know it’s all of our celebration so
looking forward to that um
real quick for uh this week’s fast lane
uh which is just tips on how you can
best utilize laundromat resource to help
you achieve your goals whatever that
next step is have overcoming hurdles or
you know taking the next stride towards
uh the life that you want to live
uh so your fast lane tip is
i don’t know if if you know this or not
but there’s a social
aspect to social media type aspect to
laundromat resource
dot com when you sign up for either the
free or the pro membership uh you get
your own account over there and i just
want to encourage you fill out your
account details there’s a little account
uh tab at the top uh when you log in
click on that
and upload a picture in fact i i’ve said
this before but i crack up uh
some of the pictures that you guys
upload some of you guys are very
professional and how dare i say it
model-esque uh with you with your uh
profile pictures that you upload and
some of you guys go the more comedy
route and i enjoy both
but every time i log in and and check
out you know who some of the new users
are and what the new profile pictures
are uh never ceases to uh surprise me
and put a smile on my face so anyways go
fill out that profile over there upload
a picture whether you go the
professional route the model route the
comedy route however you go your your
laundromat brand route which is another
way that people go uh you know
and fill out your information there and
the reason i say that is because one of
my resources a place to connect with
other owners uh it’s not just you know
the place where i dump you know the
podcast episodes and funnel youtube
videos and write blog posts and all that
stuff uh i you know it’s it’s a place
where people are connecting so whether
you’re connecting on the forums um
through the you know through the website
there or however you want to connect
you can message other users directly and
when you fill out that profile over
there and include a photo of yourself
number one it lets people know who you
are a little bit better and if if you
know that connection’s gonna be worth
the effort it takes to connect with
people
but also uh you know it allows you to
reach out to other people
uh too and be able to see who they are
and i say this all the time but
when we’re working together when when a
group of people who have similar goals
similar aspirations are you know
coming up with ideas together they’re
helping each other out that doesn’t just
help
you know one individual that helps all
of us
right and so you know part of that
connecting part of that network part of
that community is uh you know happening
over there at lottermyresource.com so go
log in to either the free or the pro
membership over there and you know fill
out your account profile and start
connecting with people um and man i
promise you when you start doing that
it’s going to help you accomplish your
goals faster okay that’s today’s fast
lane let’s jump in with lauren today
because this is a great great interview
and you’re going to love it hey lauren
thank you for coming on the show how are
you doing today
doing great thanks so much for having me
ah man i’m super excited cannot wait to
hear your story we chatted just a little
bit about it i was trying to like really
hold back from asking the questions
because i wanted to do it on here but uh
man i love uh i love what i’ve heard so
far and can’t wait to hear the rest of
it so
before we kind of jump into your
laundromat journey why don’t you tell us
a little bit about who you are and then
we’ll jump into how you got into the
business
sure absolutely
so um my name is lauren berkowski i am
located in central pennsylvania
specifically the harrisburg area
um if anybody is familiar with that area
um i have two kids and um a husband
who’s awesome you’ll hear a little bit
more about him
and my professional background so i
actually have a degree in marketing and
communications and um
when i received that degree i really
went full force into like the marketing
and advertising industry so i actually
work um
in that industry i’ve been in the
industry for about 12 years now which is
awesome
love my career did a lot of traveling
pre-covered and
since that time have really honestly
been focusing
on um growing the laundromat business
and really
hoping at at some point to be
like a full-time entrepreneur with my
husband
um
but for now i’m really like i said
working in the marketing industry
really passionate about that
um really passionate about the central
pennsylvania community i love living in
harrisburg there’s a lot going on
in the community love having businesses
in this area
and love being here um just in terms of
like my kids growing up it’s a it’s a
great family-friendly area
yeah well i mean it’s a good thing you
like having businesses in your area
because sounds like you got a lot going
on there yep uh
okay so let’s thank you for the
background uh so let’s talk about
uh how did i mean
how did your marketing oh first of all
what kind of what kind of marketing do
you do
so
it actually varies um
i have worked in organizations that do a
lot of like digital marketing a lot of
like web-based software-based
um
builds basically for clients but then
i’ve also worked in more of the like
strategic brand building spaces as well
and then i did um a lot of creative
production work so a lot of video
production a lot of photography
um
it’s i mean event production you name it
like i kind of i feel like i’m
definitely like a generalist as it
relates to marketing and advertising
um i’ve had clients in the automotive
industry in the cpg industry
um energy
startups
what else transportation
um so my background i mean it’s it’s
honestly really interesting i’ve never
really like worked in-house and worked
on like one client specifically
which is definitely for me like i feel
like that’s helped me grow in a number
of ways so yeah that’s pretty awesome i
i like that i mean kind of a jack of all
marketing trades there
that’s pretty much how i feel like about
what i do and like when
you know i talk to my my peers and my
clients about like my expertise it’s
really it’s really that
i’ve dabbled in a lot of things so
yeah sounds like it uh okay so
awesome marketing career sounds
interesting sounds like you like it
where did i i mean where did laundromats
come in here how did you get into the
laundromat business yeah so okay
i am going to take it back to i think it
was like 1999
um my dad actually purchased a
laundromat
he purchased it um
i’ve i can’t tell you what grade i was
in i was really i was definitely younger
um
he was working full-time he really
didn’t love his like
experience at his like at his job um it
really wasn’t giving him like
fulfillment like what he needed in life
and really like what he was passionate
about so
um i think him and my mom like spent
some time trying to like
really figure out what they wanted to do
they were just like
we know we want to be entrepreneurs we
know we want to like own our own
business we want financial freedom
um
what can we do and i think it was
they saw an ad in the paper
for a laundromat for sale
and um my mom was the one that said to
my dad like hey this might be a really
great opportunity let’s pursue it
so
um they went ahead they actually
purchased that laundromat um that was
our original laundromat and frankly like
at that time my dad and i like my dad
basically quit his job took over the
laundromats um and my brother and i we i
mean we spent like our whole childhood
basically at this laundromat right like
cleaning
um helping collect quarters talking to
customers like
all that stuff so we basically go like
every every summer
um to the laundromat and spend time with
my dad so
that was like the original laundromat
that we had
um the laundromat was purchased from
like
this group they’re they’re actually our
distributor
um currently but it was a family
family-run distributor um they owned a
number of different laundromats like in
the central pennsylvania area
and when they started to sell some other
ones
um they asked my dad like if he was
interested in buying another store
so he then bought another store and our
stores are so like harrisburg is um
centrally located to all of our stores
they’re in just like different um
metros of harrisburg
but he bought this next door from the
same from the same owner same name it’s
dolly’s laundromat
um
and then from there he purchased another
one from somebody else so different name
different city
um still kind of like small town feel
right pretty pretty like
low-key in terms of um
like the metro area right
and then in 2014 is when my dad and mom
decided to build like this new
laundromat and that’s actually located
in harrisburg
um it’s also called dolly’s laundromat
and basically
um that was a complete from like the
ground up build
so our other laundromats were basically
um
they were just like existing laundromats
that my mom and dad came in kind of
retooled a little bit you know
um did a ton of maintenance updated
machines flooring paint
what have you
um
so then they like i said they did the
new the new laundromat in 2014 and 2014.
that um is a speed queen laundromat
and then um in 2015 my dad actually
passed away unexpectedly he um
he had a known heart condition and then
like went into surgery and then
unfortunately passed away as a result of
the surgery so
yeah it was it was a really
like
hard time frankly for like my family
like all of us we were very close
um like i said me my dad my brother like
we were always in the laundromats
together
we spent a lot of time together
um
i’m fortunate that he got to meet like
my kids
so that was awesome
um loved my dad loved spending time with
him
but then at that point
um
we made the decision to like keep the
laundromats right because
my mom was working full time at this
time she works at um a financial
institution locally
so
she’s working full time i’m working full
time my husband’s working full time and
we were like you know what do we do we
were kind of faced with this decision
does my mom you know keep these
laundromats does she
sell them what what do we do
and i think my mom is kind of one of
those people that really like when the
going gets tough the tough gets going
right
and she definitely has like a long-term
vision in her head of like what she
wants in life right
so she decided to keep the laundromats
um
to push ahead my husband at that point
um got involved with like maintenance
and just like general support for her
but she was honestly doing a lot of the
work right
um we had great support like we had
great cleaning people great attendance
um we have a great distributor that like
helped helps us with things of course
but um
i’m not gonna sugarcoat it it was
definitely like a tough
couple years
so um during that time so between 2015
and present day
my mom actually sold one of our like the
smaller laundromat
um that my dad had purchased and it it
wasn’t the original laundromat it’s um
the one in e-town we sold that off
and
at that point um
you know we were basically trying to
like help her maintain keep things going
um
i
i guess i continued to like
grow my interest in the laundromats
professionally i had never really sat
down and said you know when i graduated
college oh i’m gonna go and run this
laundromat with for my dad right cause i
i honestly didn’t see
him passing away and you know that
happening
um but
it just slowly started to like hit me
over over those years that was like hey
i think you would be really good at this
i think you really like this right like
what where does your passions lie
um
how can you get to that financial
freedom faster right
and for me
that was a lot of self-reflection but it
was really literally like hey
i think the laundromats are something
that you should you know talk to your
mom about this is me talking to myself
but and my husband at the time um so i
kind of expressed more interest in you
know
helping with the laundromats again my
husband’s helping my mom like in the
evenings um we talked about like she she
kind of approached me and said like hey
do you want to start thinking about
purchasing
the original laundromat that my dad
bought in 1999 in carlisle
and i said you know let me think about
it let me just start to
to really put together like what my
plans are related to this um
we worked on a deal
so
um she sold that first laundromat to me
which i’m again running solo at this
point
uh with the support of everybody else
and then um
the other two laundromats
like i’m i’m helping her with those but
my husband is honestly at this point um
he quit his job last year
so he is pretty much um
like doing a lot of the work in terms of
like the maintenance
um helping the customers you know
schedules for our employees supplies
like all of that good stuff so
it’s definitely kind of like a combined
effort between the three of us
it’s definitely
dividing and conquering like
based on what we’re good at and not good
at right
so between the three of us for running
things
um
and then
last year we made actually this was a we
had been my mom and i had been talking
about this for a while but um last year
we made the decision to start like a
pickup and delivery service for laundry
which was
it’s totally different than running a
laundromat
um it’s definitely
much more like business oriented than
like and service oriented than a
traditional like laundromat would be
um
but we’ve been running that it’s a
little less than a year now
so we’re building that business and
growing and learning and
um
we’ll see what’s next i i don’t know but
that’s kind of where that’s how i’ve
kind of arrived here
at where i’m at today um
i know that was a lot so
yeah that was a roller coaster and you
know first of all sorry to hear about
your dad lost mine unexpectedly too so i
i get the
punch in the gut that that is right and
uh and just really really difficult and
and puts you in
a situation where you got to make a lot
of really difficult decisions right what
are we going to do with these businesses
and and it affects
a lot long term right so yeah
uh you know kudos to you and to your mom
and your husband for
you know
knuckling down and
and moving forward you know i’m sure it
was
difficult uh yeah the journey so uh okay
so
let’s go back again uh what was it like
yeah i know well we’ll kind of like work
our way back through a little bit for
sure what was it like being a laundromat
kid i mean there’s not too many you know
multi-generation
people out there owners i guess out
there who grew up as a laundromat kid
and now we’re running laundromat so yeah
do you like going i know my kids
sometimes they like going to laundromat
and sometimes
they don’t want anything to do with it
so i’m curious about you
right i would love to ask my kids that
in 15 years and see what they have to
say
um i would say that it was definitely
like overall i mean we spent a lot of
time there so it was all like for me
it’s definitely like very nostalgic
very positive memory
um a lot of laughs i mean that’s that’s
really where i started to like learn how
to to do things right like clean and
like talk to adults
um in like a way where it was like hey
you need do you need help like i can
help you with this
um so it it definitely i feel like helps
me grow like my independent skills and
like my ability to like problem solve
and
and frankly like seeing my parents
you know be small business owners be
entrepreneurs like it it definitely was
a positive force in my life so
i look at it as like a really positive
thing um i will say that back in the day
the laundromat like i don’t know if the
air didn’t work or like it just was like
not operational or what but it was it
was hot like i just remember in
pennsylvania you know it does get warm
in the summer
so i just remember spending my summer
break like sweating cleaning up dryer
sheets you know like all the not great
things
um but my my dad definitely made it fun
so we always you know
business in the morning
we would go have fun like hershey park
go
go out do things in the afternoon so it
was definitely it was definitely good
yeah that’s fun i mean i i think it’s
good right and and for kids to kind of
be around and see you know how the
business works and stuff like that i
mean i think it’s a good
a good thing and you know i’m sure
you’re you’re shielded from some of the
highs and lows there but uh but you
still get a glimpse of what it’s like
and right
how even at a young age
you know you learn that nobody knows how
to pick up a dryer sheet like it’s
impossible right right it said it’s the
heaviest thing in the world
i love that that’s great that’s great uh
yeah so okay cool so i mean
when
when you guys
had to make the big decision
what was
what was kind of helping you decide
whether or not you would
continue on with the businesses or
uh or sell them and move in a different
direction what were some of the i mean i
know right it’s probably originally your
mom mostly right um but kind of what was
what was some of the deciding factors in
that decision
so she definitely was i mean at that
point from a
business first legal perspective she and
my dad had owned the businesses right so
she was making those those end-all
be-all decisions but
i like she had definitely like we were
talking about it we were in conversation
um i think my mom you know originally
was just in like
fight-or-flight mode and she was
fighting right just getting things done
making sure things are operational
you know she started to take a a step
back and really assess like what her
future looked like
and i think a couple things kind of came
into play there
um definitely my dad’s legacy i think we
we talked a lot about that because he
was so passionate about the laundry
industry which is like funny because he
kind of fell into that industry right
like he wasn’t he didn’t start out in
life and say like i want to own a
laundromat
as um
right yeah right everybody aspires to
that yeah i hope my kids do but i won’t
i mean if they don’t want to do it
that’s totally fine with me i will
support them in whatever they do but
um
i think it was definitely like hey dad
was super passionate he’s he invested
like years of his life in this business
right and we just felt like
why can’t we keep this going you know
um i also think the financial impact was
definitely like we know what we what we
have right and the opportunity that we
have ahead of us
and i definitely think
like laundromats are are a great way to
help diversify your income and like i
think
just just thinking about this current
situation like economic wise we don’t
know what we what is coming next right
so it’s always good in my from my
standpoint to have more than like one
source of income because
things can things can change very
quickly as we learned with like
covid um and other things happening in
the world so
i think that was a big factor um and i
also think like my mom i she so she
a little bit about her she works in like
the finance industry
she’s a senior leader of her team which
is amazing
she
actually was running other businesses in
addition to the laundromat so at one
point she had like a fitness center we
ran an airbnb together so i feel like my
mom has always been motivated and always
just
this this is who she is and she will
always
want to like
really put effort behind something that
she believes in business-wise
so i think she i think she is definitely
motivated also
as well in that regard
yeah sounds like that apple didn’t fall
too far from the tree
for you maybe right you seem pretty
motivated and uh passionate about what
you’re doing um okay so i mean all that
is awesome and i love like the the
legacy of your dad kind of aspect of
that i mean i think is
i i think it’s a beautiful you know
tribute really uh
to because it’s you know it’s making big
decisions and part of that is to honor
on your dad so i love that
um okay so not to interrupt but i i
didn’t want to say that i still
literally have people come up to me that
have been going to my laundromat and
tell me like oh i knew your dad like
this is how i like and they would give
me like a story about him or or this or
that and
always like in a really positive way so
sometimes where the you know it gets
hard to see that light at the end of the
tunnel i have somebody come up to me and
say that to me or they’ll call me and be
like oh i knew your dad and this is blah
blah so it’s definitely um
for me
like fulfilling in that aspect yeah
yeah i like that
um okay so
it sounds like then at some point there
was a
kind of phase two of that decision
making when your mom said hey you know
you want to buy one of these so
can you walk me through okay what was
yours and your husband’s
uh kind of thought process behind okay
you know we’ll we’ll take one of these
on
ourselves
right
well i don’t i didn’t think i don’t know
that we knew what we were getting into
if that makes sense so i think we were
thinking like hey
this is a great opportunity
definitely don’t want to pass it up um
you know i want to build my business
equity and credit right so i want to
like eventually do more than just you
know having one laundromat under my name
but
definitely like
thinking about the future um
we both at that time had worked nine to
five and this is pre-pandemic right
so this is before like
i was really doing a lot of like remote
work he was doing remote work as well at
that time
and i think we were honestly thinking of
it as a way to get
one of us out of our our jobs at the
time i really honestly didn’t have a
great um
like i didn’t love the company that i
worked for like i was growing and
learning and doing things but
it didn’t necessarily align with
where i was at that time i’m at a
different job now which i actually
really love and it’s a completely
different situation so i’m not i’m i’m
really happy with where i am but at that
time my husband and i were both like
okay we don’t really like what’s going
on here with our careers
and um
i think at that point we were deciding
like who would be able to take that step
and um
we didn’t we didn’t know what the time
rates were again both working nine to
five
but we wanted more um so my mom and i
you know we started have conversations
about it started to think about like
what the price could be for me to
purchase um how i would do that all of
that good stuff we have a lawyer that um
we both work with now so he actually
helped us like draft up like a bill of
sale and all of that good stuff and then
um my mom started introducing me to all
of her business contacts so um
from like a accounting perspective
um you know where i would get where she
would get all of her parts from where
she would get other supplies from just
to start to to help introduce me into
the industry right so this was this was
even before we bought the laundromat so
that way i could start to like build
just
what i what my knowledge base was
um
and then
that was
probably like
2017-2018
and then when we purchased the
laundromat it was 2019.
okay so in february of 2019.
yeah so i mean that’s interesting and
then so i mean one of your goals was to
get
you or and or your husband out of
uh out of a the job the career right you
were a path that you were in uh you’re
obviously still in that career path what
about your husband where’s he at with
all that so um he was working in the
finance industry and he was working in
operations he
they you know his job basically said
like hey you can continue here um
that’s fine but
it
it really like didn’t align with his
passions
like he i could tell was like not very
happy
um
and then
i had i don’t know if i mentioned this
yet um but he also started his own
pressure washing business so his
exterior cleaning business
so he was basically doing that on the
side so like weekends evenings um taking
pto for like big jobs stuff like that
so he was doing that
um and he’ll get into like his busy
season in the summer so like
pennsylvania definitely has like a hard
winter where we can’t like he can’t do
any exterior cleaning um so he spends a
lot more time like helping with the
laundromats and things like that but um
at that point we kind of sat down you
know we looked at our finances
um
we had you know we were able to reduce a
lot of expenses because of kovid so like
i wasn’t driving to work i i wasn’t even
you know spending the time that that we
would do commuting um my kids didn’t
need to go to aftercare because
like there was no aftercare with kovid
right they just had to come home right
after school they were also doing the
remote school um
there was no summer camp so that was
like a reduced expense
and i think we literally sat down and we
just said like hey
i think it’s time i think we can do this
we debate it we actually debated on it
for like months months we’re just like
super unsure about it
um
it’s it’s scary right to like cut it for
a hard decision yeah right right and
again it was something like he had
worked in this this financial industry
for eight years
so like he had worked there for a long
time build a lot of like rapport he had
a great reputation at the firm he was in
like everybody loved working with my
husband um but
he just kind of decided like
i need more i can’t be like take i can’t
be like tied down by this
nine to five again that really he wasn’t
super passionate about
so ripped the band-aid off um
mid last year
and he has been working so he again he’s
working for my mom and i for the
laundromats that we co-own the two
laundromats um
and then he is also working for me at
the one in carlisle that i own by myself
yeah wow i mean that that’s that’s a
really hard
thing to do
and you know i see that and it really
doesn’t matter what income level you’re
at right at your job it’s still it’s
hard if you’re a high income earner it’s
hard to give up that high income if
you’re a low income earner it’s hard to
give up that income and it doesn’t
matter right that’s just a tough
right brave decision to make yeah and
also i mean there’s benefits that come
with that right so like you have your
health insurance you have paid time off
um you have disability so there’s a lot
of things that kind of go into that
decision now we have been able to make
things happen for my husband outside of
that so when he quit we were still able
to like do everything we needed to do
for him there i mean we don’t get pto
but we’re also
making income while we’re on while we’re
off so it’s it’s kind of like a
you know um a give and take i will say
though that the laundry service he’s
been doing a lot of the work with the
laundry service which is great
um but we’re at this position like we
are we are going to be hiring because he
at this point like
he has so many things going on that i
don’t want to take away from one of
those things by having him do a lot of
this laundry service work so
we
we have made that decision and um
we’re hoping that that then helps us
you know get stuff off of our plate so
we can focus on some other things so
yeah well i mean i think that’s uh i
think that’s awesome that uh
you know he was able to kind of make
that decision you guys both were able to
kind of make that decision you’re able
to make it work and
uh and i mean it’s it’s also tough to
you know if he’s if he’s kind of the
primary driver of your you know pick up
a delivery
service business it’s that’s a hard
transition to make too when you’re like
how do you know when you’re ready to
hire
somebody you know for that role and
spend your time somewhere else how did
you guys make that decision i mean
i think it i think it
really honestly came down to his time
like where was he spending his time
again we’re also getting into the busy
season for his pressure washing business
so
like i don’t want to take away from that
because that’s a
highly competitive industry and again in
central pennsylvania it’s only
like a short time period so he has to
really focus on that and building that
business too
so
it was definitely a difficult decision
but
we knew that like when he was spending
too much of his time there and not being
able to like get to the other things
that it was it was time to to switch
that
yeah
so how
i mean how has it been so far
since you’ve taken over that laundromat
for you guys i mean i know you’re still
helping your mom run the other one the
other two
also but since you took over your
you know the one how has that
how do you feel about that
i mean it’s definitely been a challenge
like it’s a challenge for me personally
i am definitely still trying to figure
out like balance and i’ll put that in
like air quotes because yeah i don’t
know that you ever will have balance
right like i think it’s more about
ebbing and flowing there are times where
i am much busier and much more involved
um and then there are some times where i
can’t be
as involved or as busy but it definitely
it just depends and i also appreciate
like my husband we like
we are a great team because we both like
see each other’s strengths and we play
into that um we’re also very supportive
of each other so when i have like a very
critical time period at my job right
like there are some days where i’m like
no i can’t answer the phone right or no
i can’t go do these things um so he he
is he is there and can pick up the slack
now i don’t know if if i you know he
thought his nine to five if he would be
able to do that as much um
but
definitely um
very like
supportive and
i mean there are some days there are
hard days like i’m not gonna sugarcoat
it there are days where i’m just like
literally like i can get to my wit’s end
with somebody
and
it’s it’s definitely challenging like
the customer service aspect is difficult
you know we’ve had a lot of difficulty
with covid um with as far as like our
vendors are concerned like getting
access to the things that we need in
terms of like
maintenance fixing equipment
um parts even laundry soap like cleaning
supplies like the list goes on and on
how we were affected and impacted
because of kovid um but i’m hopeful that
over the next
couple years like that resolves to be
confirmed i have no idea you know what
what will be next but
it’s definitely
it’s given me a lot of perspective it
has brought a lot of like joy to my life
so there’s definitely a lot of like
positive parts
but i definitely um
i definitely feel like it’s it’s been
more challenging than i think i had
expected from the original like
situation like i didn’t i honestly
didn’t know really know what to expect
running my own business um i’m super
grateful for the opportunity and my mom
was like
you know i want you to if you want this
i will i will help you get this right so
i’m very appreciative of of the
opportunity
it’s definitely completely changed my
life like i’m not gonna go back right to
where i was before
and i definitely think like the future
is bright for me and my husband in terms
of like what we want to accomplish and
achieve
and
having this experience like
we can essentially apply this business
experience to any industry right
i don’t see us going away from the
laundromat industry because we love it
so much
but
i’m not going to put a cap on
what we want to achieve and accomplish
overall i like that
uh out of curiosity what do you love
about this business
well i love like so i love the
flexibility of it frankly like for me
it’s definitely great because again i
work a nine to five so when something
happens like i can literally go before
my job in the morning
um i can go on my lunch break if i need
to after work you know um there’s a lot
of things that i can do remotely
which is definitely great we you know
we’ve automated a lot of things so even
when it comes down to like answering the
phone or giving a customer a refund i do
try to do a lot of things with like
technology
which is awesome
um
i love the customers when
they love me
right yeah of course there’s always
people that are gonna complain
but you know i’m gonna put them to the
side but i will say
a lot of people have come to me and said
like hey i appreciate like having a
clean safe space to do my laundry um
they you know they take their kids there
they take their families there they’re
definitely like you have the cleanest
laundromat in this area so when i hear
things like that it’s definitely
fulfilling for me
i also love um the financial like impact
for me personally again like
our goal is to diversify our income so
we’re not putting all of our eggs in one
basket and for me like it’s definitely
helped open doors for me financially
just overall
yeah that’s i mean
that i i think those are the reasons
that we get into the business right like
right the most of us is like the
financial stuff and the
flexibility the flex time
you know before work during lunch after
work kind of stuff and and the community
aspect too i think gets overlooked a lot
uh which is
i don’t know i think it’s one of the
beauties of this industry because
laundromats do tend to be a community
hub
right that’s where the community gets
together
to do their least favorite chore right
right one of them
i mean i have a lot of people that love
doing laundry
well they’re weird no that’s good
they’re hired
right exactly
exactly um but it’s definitely like
i i have learned a lot about myself
i have made a lot of connections which i
really like like i’m definitely an
extrovert i’m a people person like i
like to meet people
um talk to people understand their
motivations like their story their
perspective in life and it’s definitely
helped me expand my network a lot
yeah
uh you mentioned kind of automation and
using technology like what what kinds of
things are you utilizing to help you
kind of run your business or or automate
your business right so
all of our stores are unattended
um some have an attendant like a
cleaning person longer than others just
depending on the location
um but we’re able to
lock and open the store remotely so we
have two that are on timers um one of
our stores 24 hours
um we do have like cameras obviously we
have a two-way camera
you say obviously but there’s a lot of
laundry mats that don’t have cameras
so they better they better buckle up and
get the camera i know um that’s a little
scary i know that was like
my dad had cameras but i don’t know if
they were like as high quality as as
what
my mom ended up putting in she was like
this is one of the things i’m gonna do
um we have a two-way camera so you can
literally talk to somebody like if
somebody’s sleeping there like you know
past time or whatever
um doing a lot of like the texting
so instead of having to like call
somebody back they get a text message
and and frankly what what i’m doing so
to one of our store is a card store and
then two of them are still coin
so with the card store it makes it a lot
easier to give somebody a refund
obviously
but
um for the coin store we’re doing like
apple pay venmo
um cash app
and of course like we’ll mail it to you
if you really want it mailed to you but
a lot of my customers appreciate like
the fact that we can just venmo them
whatever whatever they lost in a machine
which it does happen
um but they seem to be a little bit more
like
understanding when i can give them their
their funds immediately yeah
yeah that does help a lot to be able to
do that because i know for a lot of
unattended stores that’s a big kind of
sticking point because when things do go
wrong or
you know a bank quarter goes in and now
all of a sudden you can’t put any more
quarters in and or whatever the case may
be
uh you know when you look around and
there’s nobody there to help you it’s
nice yeah it’s not great and it’s not a
good experience but it’s nice to be able
to say
hey no big deal right you know here let
me give you your money back right now
you throw the other machine
so that’s that’s good definitely
positive and we’re i mean we’re always
looking for new things so
like i would like to get our other
stores to like a hybrid store
um situation where we’re able to like
accept card and coin like that would be
ideal uh we’re not there yet there’s
other things that we’re investing in but
it’s definitely like
you have to pace out what you’re doing
you can’t you can’t just like do
everything at once it’s just
it’s not attainable yeah or realistic
right yeah yeah and i mean and that is
that’s part of like growing your
business right if you
if you just throw
a lot of money even if you have it right
like you just throw all the money in at
once it’s not
well it might work but right it’s more
likely to work if you can
can build it and you have a solid
foundation for it and you’re and you’re
ready to go so right right exactly
yeah it does
sadly sometimes i know i know
that’s that’s kind of so like when i
first started
this long when i was on my own solo
venture right i
i was getting frustrated with myself
because i definitely like to like have
things be perfect right and i would get
really upset when things wouldn’t go
right
and i had to literally learn
to take a step back
like think big picture but also like
not rome wasn’t built in a day right so
like have to really pace what the
biggest highest priority item is focus
your energy on that get to the next
thing you know focus your energy on that
and go to the next thing so it’s
definitely progressive
and i could definitely get overwhelmed
just looking at like all of the things
that i need done so really i was
spending
like i have spent my time really
focusing my energy over the last couple
years
yeah
i’m not personally i’m not very great at
like
knocking down one domino at a time you
know kind of thing i am like
bam bam bam bam like all over the map
and i
that’s my natural tendency and i have to
focus really hard to like see one thing
through completion and then move to the
next one because i’m pain i’m on i think
that’s human nature i also think that’s
indicative of the time that we’re in
right now right with like social media
all these distractions um it’s
definitely like
and
trying not to compare yourself to
somebody else like that’s a really big
thing
um so
really trying to i found that when i do
focus on one thing i actually get better
results because i i can get it done
faster absolutely i’m like a
full believer in that and yet still i
struggle
with that uh all over the place all over
the place totally you can you could ask
my husband he’s he would be like yeah
yeah she’s doing the dishes forget
something walks away not doing the
dishes you know what i mean like that’s
so me yeah i know well yeah it’s like my
my wife will think that i’m like
a slob or something because i’ll do
something like that or i’ll like be
eating and i’ll leave my plate like on
the table and then i’ll do something
else and i for totally forget about it
coming back going to go to bed and i’m
like oh my gosh
my dinner’s still here i forgot yeah you
know like sounds accurate yeah
um okay so what point did you decide to
start a pickup and delivery
business i mean you didn’t have enough
going on so you’re like right right
that’s what everybody says all my
friends are just like
how are you doing all this and i’m like
well it’s a lot of delegation you know
it’s like you pick and choose your
battles but um
why did we start well again my mom was
like hey i think we should look into
this
we talked to a few people we actually we
went to the clean show um
i guess that was in 2019
i think it was in new orleans yeah um we
went there we looked at a lot of the
different
technologies um
signed up for some demos just to try to
start to get some information right and
then covet hit and we were like wait
this is a serious business opportunity
um
let’s continue to investigate this
and then we
like decided i think it was like the end
of 2020 to like really pursue this
like
hey we’re gonna do this kind of thing
um and then
came up with the brand website got the
software all that good stuff
um
and we launched in i think it was april
of 2021
was like our soft launch basically yeah
what i mean what did your what is the
launch of a pick up and delivery
look like how did you start getting
customers
um miss marketing over here yeah we did
i was gonna say a lot of marketing
the social media
definitely helped us get there initially
like to get the word out
google
my business i mean that’s a big tool
for our industry overall
we had a website created um
so definitely looking at like
the digital space
and of course like word of mouth like
that’s also a big part of it as well
yeah did you do have you guys like run
any ads or anything are you just doing
it all organically so we did um we did
social ads which really performed like
to get our awareness out there
i will say there’s like a couple things
right because you need to like start to
build your brand awareness-wise
and i believe personally that this isn’t
like a
immediate kind of like decision that is
made to
like sign up for a laundry service
basically
i think that there are some
considerations that go into that and
then you know some research from the
customer side
and then from there like once they’re
convinced they’re ready to take that
next step we try to make it as easy as
possible for them to do that but
i would say the social social media is
definitely like an awareness builder and
then when you get into things like
google ads
like that is more targeted based on
conversion
so um
i am not currently running any google
ads for the laundry service but in the
future like i may do some testing there
i will say that i do run the google ads
for the laundromat
because that is a little bit different
just in terms of like i think that
there’s based on my understanding and my
own research there’s a lot of people
just basically going to google and
looking immediate like laundromat near
me right like that’s a big one of our
biggest search terms and if we’re not
ranking like organically we want to be
able to rank
and
you know use paid paid advertisements to
do that
um
not to get off track but one of my
laundromats so one of the laundromats is
in an area that is like
basically it’s a it’s a hub for for
tractor trailers
and also um there is a huge like
event scene there and it’s like a car
event scene so
like these are some of the biggest car
shows like on the east coast that that’s
literally happening in the backyard of
my laundromat so
when
when it is busy season which will start
to be in busy season in april
i will do a lot of like geofencing
around like that location
and then i also do run like a geofence
ad around the truck stops
because i know for a fact that the the
laundry services in the truck stops are
not great like that’s really really a
bad experience if they even have a
laundry service there right so we do get
a lot of truck traffic in my area so i i
think it all depends on like
who’s your customer what’s your goal
um
and frankly like
a lot of different demographic
information because
my customer in harrisburg could look a
lot different than my customer in
another city
yeah absolutely and i think knowing your
customers kind of the key
to the marketing success right and i
think it’s smart to you know target
potential audiences especially
underserved potential audiences you know
through geofencing and targeted ads
and it makes a lot of sense too
uh if you’re in if you feel like you’re
in a phase in your area where
there needs to be some education and
some nurturing customers for your
service your pick up and delivery
service
uh you know google is great but it’s
it’s search intent right and so if
people don’t know there’s that service
there right and that search is not
happening and you’re not going to get
the conversions that you’re looking for
however if somebody’s searching
laundromat near me
which happens all the time right or
search intent there
and that’s where the conversions can
come and that’s why i think social is a
great place to start for
uh you know when you’re starting off
your your business unless there are
other kind of established
businesses in your area than maybe
thrown in google in there too right
exactly and i will say like
social media is much more low-cost
than google like google can get
extremely competitive
and i feel like social helps you get
hyper targeted with your customer
but also um
like it’s it’s actually much more cost
effective than i think people think it
is
frankly
yeah what i mean which is great and the
only way you know that is if you try it
and test it and just put it out there
exactly and then improve it right and
then test it again and improve it and
test it again right and it gets cheaper
that way right and i think that’s kind
of like our motto right now because
we like i said we kind of like soft
launched because we were just like
putting feelers out there we didn’t
really know and like our
our risk was kind of low
right because we have these laundromats
we’re not needing to like lease a space
you know we do have a vehicle but we’re
also utilizing that vehicle other places
in the business like we’re using it for
the actual laundromats right
um
and we you know we purchased the
software which wasn’t
extremely you know a huge investment
it was still an investment right but
our re like i said we already had all
these pieces here so we were just like
all right let’s try to take this to the
next level
um the business is definitely growing
it is
it’s definitely like i feel like year
one is like a building year it’s all
about like experiences it’s all about
like trial and error like learning
things the hard way kind of thing
um we’ve built up a great customer base
i’m grateful for them very appreciative
of of
them subscribing to our service and you
know referring other people has been
awesome but i’m definitely like i’m
hoping that this year we can have a
renewed focus in our marketing and like
outreach efforts that’s definitely
something that i’m trying to do
but it’s always difficult again
balancing all of these things
all of these areas yeah
yeah and you’re
nine to five
and your family and all that right and
their goals and what they have going on
so well i have uh i mean i get a lot of
questions about like can you own
laundromats in a night and have a nine
to five job like a lot so can you give
us a little insight like
number one is that possible and to be
able to maintain your sanity have a nine
to five and run one or more laundromats
yeah and and number two like what what
kinds of things if it is possible help
make that possible
yeah absolutely i definitely think it is
possible
um it’s not for the faint of heart so i
think if you’re that person that
literally just wants to like get off
your nine to five
get off work right and like sit on the
couch
this is not that’s not for you um this
is not a passive industry and i think
that that i think there’s a lot of like
people that say it is passive
and it it has that reputation sometimes
it’s like easy money and i don’t think
anything is ever easy when it comes to
making money i think you have to put the
work in you have to put the dedication
in there
um
i think you have to figure out a lot of
things on your own i mean of course
there’s thing resources available which
we’ll talk a little bit more about i’m
sure but
if you’re not willing to put the work in
you’re not you’re not getting
what you want out of it right it’s just
it’s
i think if you’re expecting it to be
easy then my answer would be
don’t do it because you’re not going to
serve the customer appropriately but i
think if you’re one of those people that
says like hey i want i want more
um i want to
expand my viewpoint expand my financial
situation
and you’re willing to put the time in
absolutely i think it goes back to
being as organized as you can which is
hard easier said than done you know
trying to do your due diligence before
you get into a situation which i’m again
i’m grateful for my mom for giving me
that opportunity
so that way i didn’t just jump in
headfirst and have you know
nothing to stand on she at least gave me
some of that experience
um
it helps that she has a business
background as well and has like
financial connections which is awesome
it helps you know me out tremendously
um
i will say that
again going back to like the automation
i don’t know if like
if we bought another store
i would need to like something would
have to give right so like
that’s why i kind of talked about
perhaps maybe doing like a hybrid hybrid
situation with one of our two other
stores
um not the card store
that’s already card that that was also
one of the things that we did to like
automate was putting in the card store
um
it was previously a coin store and then
we transferred it to card
so
i would likely need to to implement
something like that
in order to like expand what i’m doing a
little bit more like if i wanted to get
into a new um location or something like
that which i would love to
but
i don’t you know i don’t really have a
time frame for that because who knows
what can happen again
um
but we would need to look at like what
we’re doing and see
how to balance that
yeah i mean because it is a lie and i
like that you say like it’s not for the
faint of heart and if depending on where
you’re at
you know in life uh
if you want
you know if you’re if you’re okay with
sometimes you’re gonna have to go before
or after work or yeah take calls
at lunch break or whatever um
or
my kids like they ride along with us
right like they definitely come they
don’t
some days they love it sometimes they
don’t yeah um but they definitely
like come with us and
get to be a part of that we do like i
have so many people that help us which
i’m grateful for
um
and again having my mom have that
experience so i’m not just like going at
this blind frankly
like that’s definitely if i had to give
somebody advice it would be like find a
mentor
like if you you don’t have if you don’t
know somebody in this industry like
start figuring that out now if you want
to get in if you want to get into it
yeah you’re jumping the gun on me here i
know i’m sorry
can i i mean you just mentioned
something sort of casually but can i ask
you about uh you
you mentioned that you took a coin store
and you converted it to a card store can
you tell me like what what was that
experience like how did the customers
respond
how did it affect business
yeah so
that was the store that my dad built in
2014 and it was a speed queen store
and it was coin only um
that store was in it’s in a neighborhood
that is definitely like
it’s an interesting neighborhood um it’s
definitely like very tight-knit
community
um but there are times where there are
people that should not be there like
they’re not they’re they have ill intent
and
i think
once my dad passed away my mom was kind
of looking at what her holistic
situation was how she could get rid of
something like basically how can i get
these things that are taking me down off
my plate so i can focus on the really
important things um that was the
consideration basically
so
we went with um
cci
so they have their kiosks put the kiosks
in
um
and then basically each each machine now
they were newer machines right because
they were put in 2014. if you have older
machines you’re not going to be able to
make this conversion
um
but basically each machine has like a
you know a card reader
overall i think the customers like at
first they were a little bit like unsure
of it but with like communication around
it like we made it like we were present
when
like for the first couple weeks right of
like communicating with people about
like how to use their card what to do
um
what the benefits are we do give bonuses
right so like if you put twenty dollars
in you get a two dollar bonus so there’s
definitely benefits for the customer
right
so just trying to like explain that
um i feel like overall it makes things
like a lot easier
for us you know to run things manually
it’s it’s great for our attendants who
come in and clean when there’s an issue
they can just resolve it right then and
there you know we don’t need a phone
call and like have to hash it out with
anybody
um
but i would say overall the response has
been positive i mean
again it’s a community based store so
we’re getting a lot of repeat customers
and i like in my store
in carlisle that has a lot of the truck
traffic and the rv traffic
that’s kind of where i wanted to say
like hey let’s think about a hybrid
store because i do get a lot of people
that don’t come back i do get a lot of
traffic that is literally like hey i’m
here for this car show this weekend i
need to wash my clothes or hey i’m
coming in from this other state this is
my rest stop i need to wash my clothes
so i don’t want to like tie a customer
down with a laundry card necessarily at
this moment
um
my you know
this could change at a later time i
don’t know
um i don’t want to put anything in stone
i know i’m saying this out loud so i am
but
but at the same time
like
i feel like it’s a different customer
and they may have a different reaction
to something like that if that makes
sense yeah no i mean i think it makes
perfect sense it sounds like you’re
thinking you know logically about it and
i think you’re probably right like a
truck driver who’s just passing through
probably doesn’t want to put
twenty dollars on the card to get an
extra two dollars because
you know 18 of it’s going to sit there
right until
who knows how long right right not
forever if any yeah exactly um i will
say though like for example not taking a
credit card like i have received
feedback regarding that because there
are some truck drivers that literally
like
their company will pay for their laundry
and they have a company card and they
can’t use it because
right yeah so it it’s
again it’s one of those things where i
can’t get overwhelmed by looking into
like doing everything at one time but
i’m upgrading machines like we’re doing
a lot of things in that store so that
way at some point
if we want to convert to hybrid we have
the flexibility to do that
yeah
i like that i mean it sounds like you’re
thinking about it the right way
from what i can tell so yeah and and
also it is expensive to convert so like
i don’t want to have to you know
have all these expenses at one time
frankly for my for my own sanity yeah
and it is i mean it is a business
decision right like you have to decide
like am i going to get a return on that
money if it’s for truck drivers that
need the credit card functionality right
it’s probably not
right right so you got to find the value
there and i’m sure there’s more
obviously value and more usage
uh for that but you know you gotta you
gotta weigh that cost uh versus that
opportunity right like i would love to
be able to remote start my machines like
those types of things um
which is why
i’m
you know next five years i would love to
get there
with some of my with these these stories
that are a little bit farther away from
me yeah
yeah yeah the management becomes
so much easier
mm-hmm uh
awesome i i mean i think
those are the things that i wanted to
hit before we jump into the
first segment of our second segment i
don’t know whatever segment we’re in
called down to business
and down to business we’re just going to
talk a little more details about your
actual businesses so uh so
remind us again where are you located
okay so we have three laundromats um
we have one in uptown harrisburg
we at all in central pennsylvania we
have one in lebanon and then one in
carlisle
so i am located in harrisburg so
carlisle’s about a 30-minute drive and
then lebanon is about a 45-minute drive
in the opposite direction
okay i always thought it was
lebanon it’s lebanon
um
i think it i think it changes i also
think central pennsylvania has a
specific dialect yeah in how we
pronounce things right like one of the
areas i’d love to get into is lancaster
which a lot of people pronounce that
differently in other areas that’s how i
would say yeah yeah yeah because there’s
a is you’re in california are you in
california i’m in california yeah yeah
and there’s a lancaster california which
is pronounced differently there’s a
lancaster california yeah see no
so the dialect the dialect is definitely
different here yeah
yeah
uh okay so and then you have uh yeah the
one laundromat for you and then the one
the two that you’re helping out with
your mom right
um
and you you’re a laundromat baby
basically yeah
yeah
and so you’ve been in the industry
in one way or another literally 1999 was
when my dad bought his first laundromat
so yeah yeah i was like 10 years old
yeah so
yes you’ve been in it for a while well
tell me i mean what does it cost to do
laundry in central
pennsylvania so
our 20 right now are 20 pounds and it
depends on the store so um
some of the stores we have top loaders
in some we don’t
um
our top start at 475
and then we have 40 60s and then we have
80s in one of our stores so the 80s go
up to like 10 basically okay
yeah yeah i i mean it’s always
interesting to me to hear how much
people charge
you know all over
uh because it varies so much
it definitely varies i will say
that um
so we are in unprecedented times right
now with inflation right so we are going
to be looking at our costs like across
the board it’s not something we take
lightly because
we
we don’t like charging the customer
right too much like right that directly
impacts them but
we have seen an increase in utility
costs
um
costs to get our our you know products
that we sell
costs to actually get the machines right
like everything is literally going up
cards are going up labor’s going up
so
um like i you know we give our
attendance yearly raises and minimum
wages tbd at this point from a federal
standpoint so
everything is getting a little bit more
expensive
we definitely know we are like lower in
in the pricing just like across the
board as far as like competitors are
concerned but also industry so we we are
like looking at that but again it’s like
not something that we take super lightly
frankly yeah well and you know i think
right now especially like making sure
you’re
being priced right but also you know you
want to take care of your community so
it is a
there’s a balance that you gotta
you gotta find there um because you are
running a business and you can’t serve
your customers
well if you’re not making money
exactly
i know that firsthand so yeah
yep yep for sure yeah um all right so
you have one co uh card store and two
one card coin stores
and no hybrid stores yet
no but cbd i mean i again
i’m we’re
we don’t know where we’re going right
like we would like to to own another
laundromat um we would love to expand
our pickup and delivery services in
another metro like close by but that
then takes you know getting a laundromat
in that area if possible so we’re not
doing all the striving
um
so we’ll we’ll see what happens if that
happens then we have to look at other
ways to to make our lives easier for
sure yeah
for sure
uh and then i i mean how much time are
you spent i know your husband’s spending
a lot of time how much time are you
spending on the laundromats these days
like per week well i feel like i’m gonna
put like the laundry service to the side
because
that is a different entity and i don’t
want to like confuse it but
i mean between my mom my husband and i i
mean we’re probably at like 50 to 60
hours a week depending on what the
situation is right because we could have
weeks where people call off and i i go
and clean i do not care i will not let
my story look dirty
i will drive and make make it right
right so like some of those times where
my employee maybe needs off
i’m spending more time than i would so
again like ebbs and flows um you know
there are some weeks where i just solely
focus on paperwork and doing the
paperwork and all that and my husbands
are my husband’s in the store there are
some weeks where it’s a repair that
needs two people so i’m in the store
with him right so it just it’s kind of
i don’t want to stay finite but i would
say between like 40
to 60 hours between the three of us
yeah split between three yeah i mean
that’s great and with three things
i mean yeah it’s a lot it’s a lot it is
it is i mean it’s maintenance it’s
cleaning
it’s
customer service it’s vendors like you
vendor situations right um
landlords we have to work with them a
lot um i mean the list goes on so
yeah it it’s a lot
uh all right well that sounds great
thank you for sharing about your
business we have another segment called
secret sauce
and secret sauce is this what’s
what’s a piece of advice that you have
or what’s something that’s maybe working
for your laundromats that
uh that might help other laundromat
owners grow their business or improve
their business
so i think there’s there’s probably a
couple things um
but i definitely think
you have to be hands-on
like whether that’s hands-on with the
customer hands-on with the equipment
hands-on with
other things in your business like i
said the vendor relationships the
management of everything the operation
side
so
i would say that you definitely have to
be open to learning new things um you
have to push yourself i am not very
mechanically inclined but my husband is
so he has saved us a ton of money by
doing his own repairs like when he is
able to
um
so definitely definitely try like if you
if you think you can do it just give it
a try i mean you might mess up some
things you might get buy the wrong part
it’s never ideal but
definitely
roll your sleeves up
in whatever you can do again i’m not
very mechanically inclined so i’m not
going to like sugarcoat that and you
know
misrepresent
but definitely having my husband
available and like
doing those things is definitely helpful
for me and my mom so we can focus on
more of the operation side
yeah yeah and i mean i think that that
is
uh you know i think about uh daniel
logan who’s on the podcast a little
while ago and he talks about the concept
of like standing in the gap right and
like
you know filling in the the spots that
you know taking the responsibility like
not being afraid to
jump in the car and drive to make sure
your laundry mat’s clean or making sure
machines are working or you know
whatever kind of you got to have that
like do whatever it takes mentality
literally uh to succeed in business and
when you lose that
uh that’s when your business starts to
slip so for sure i would say like again
i think i talked a little bit about this
but it’s not a passive industry so if
you’re like
trying to get into this and you think
that you can literally i mean if you
hire a manager fine but that’s cutting
into your profit right so like do you
actually want that yes or no
um payroll is definitely a big expense
so
hiring like
cleaning people that do their job
awesome
um
but do you want to add a manager onto
that like i
i’m not sure that could somebody could
sit down and say like hey i want to have
um which i know
other multi-store owners that have been
on your your show i mean they’re owning
like
20
20 40 watt laundromats which is crazy so
then of course you need to hire a
manager like that’s a different
situation here right like what we’re
talking about is a much smaller scale
than what they’re operating at so far
i never know you never know
you never know um
again i don’t want to put a cap on that
but right that’s what i’m talking about
it it all depends on like
what amount of effort you want to put in
that’s what’s going to come back to you
right and like are you updating machines
are your machines up and running is you
know are things clean are you doing a
deep clean
um does it does it need a new coat of
paint
um
like there’s a lot of things that we
have done over the years just again
really minor little things that are
making a difference um
but i also will say like expect the
unexpected
so like in the last year in my
laundromat i’ve had to replace the hot
water heater
i’ve had to replace the heater
and then on um
christmas eve my sewer line
broke oh
so i had to shut my store down for like
several days
and my landlord was on um she was
traveling for christmas internationally
and i’m lucky that i caught her on
christmas eve and it didn’t happen on
christmas day
so
basically i had to like drop everything
try to find people on christmas eve to
like
get me open basically so i could like
operate that didn’t happen for like a
week because the store was that like
degraded
um
and then basically i got all these bids
from like contractors to come in and
like replace the sewer and my landlord
you know once by the time she got back
from
her trip
she looked at the proposal said great
let’s go
um and then my sewer was replaced in a
couple days
but
those are all things that people don’t
talk about or like
think about or like plan for
so you always always always have to have
like
a backup
basically
yeah
yeah i think the redundancy thing is a
big deal too even having like multiple
plumbers
yeah you know that you have
and you know that all those kinds of
things
and and going back to i mean you were
mentioning you know
hey if you want to hire a manager and
like you know the people who’ve been on
the podcast or other people who have
like 10 20 40 300 whatever laundromats
right it’s not that they’re not
working hard it’s just as you scale
you start your role shifts and you start
working on different things right for
your business so those people are still
working hard
getting their hands dirty they’re just
getting their hands dirty
in a different way exactly and that’s
part of like going back to our earlier
conversation where
you know you you build that foundation
and then you grow and continue to evolve
and change and you know maybe it’s your
husband who’s kind of kicking off the
pickup and delivery
and now you’ve found that you know it’s
actually more valuable for him to be
spending his time doing other things
you’re gonna hire somebody to help you
with that and then as it continues to
grow you’ll probably bring on more
people
and you know and then all of a sudden
you’re at a point where you’re like well
man i need a manager to help me exactly
manage all this and now my job is going
to shift and i and those are like kind
of those key critical decisions right
when to do that how to do that what does
my role shift to can i do the new role
what do i need to learn who do i need to
become
you know to be that new role right and
so
you know it’s all it’s all the process
right the whole road wasn’t built in a
day concept
yeah my mom my mom and i talk a lot
about following the path we’re like okay
we’re just gonna keep following it
because we don’t know we don’t know what
what’s around like we’re not really sure
why this is happening we’re just gonna
keep pushing along like that’s that’s
kind of what we keep saying to each
other because again we get really
there’s days where it’s like like i said
christmas eve oh my god it was hard like
it literally was horrible horrible
timing
um a horrible situation like i never
want to shut the laundromat down that’s
like one of the things that we’re like
super proud of we’re literally like no
we run 365. um so shutting it down for
one even we i think we ended up shutting
it down for like i think it was three or
four days um that was painful for me
because i had people calling me
literally being like why aren’t you guys
open and i’m just like listen we’re
having a sewer problem like this is a
situation or sewer needs to replace it’s
something that we didn’t you know
it perfect timing basically yeah so um
it’s never an ideal situation but it’s
like you have to push through it
with whatever whatever you have to like
get to the other side
to handle the next thing
because it’s always going to be a next
thing
um but you definitely need to just again
and this is why i’m so grateful for my
mom because i think she can see
like big picture and help me
like push me a little bit to to not get
so
frustrated or
try to be short-sighted in that regard
yeah
yeah well i i mean
i get that and and those things always
happen at the worst times i had to like
sprint out just before like a birthday
party or something and then sprint back
to deal with some issue and like
yeah i i was i think i’ve mentioned this
on the podcast but one christmas eve
i couldn’t get a plumber out all right i
got one plumber out i had a clog backed
up toilet
and a plumber i got one plumber to come
out and he’s like yeah there’s something
solid in the in the
toilet
and and i was like yeah i know like
that’s why i called down i was like he’s
like i
i i can’t do anything about it and left
and i had to go out christmas eve and
remove the toilet and somebody had
shoved a potato in the drain
just like what i mean you just can’t
those are the things you can’t plan for
right now
so
yeah and people are just like
you have most of my customers are
awesome right yeah exactly you just have
those couple people that literally will
bring you down like
i have experienced i mean i could the
list could go on and on and on in terms
of like the people that have just like
been done just dumb stuff like that it’s
just not cool
and they just think they can do it
because it’s a laundromat you know right
yeah not
not my favorite part of running the
business i know it may and but the thing
about that too is like
it’s the same with the community right
the community the majority of
communities are awesome and it’s just a
few people that
make the community
you know
rough for everybody else right
um so that’s one of the things that i’ve
seen in the business is it is you got to
kind of like stuff happens and vandalism
and right you know all kinds of problems
and stuff but you got to remember
most of the most your customer base is
probably great and it’s just right
people that cause problems
um all right we got another segment
called pro tips
and pro tips is what advice do you have
for someone who’s getting into the
business for the first time
so we talked a little bit about this but
um i would definitely say network
and
like
put yourself out there do your research
um
you find people that are doing
what you’re you know you want to do
perhaps maybe that’s a mentor that is
willing to like take you in
um under under their wing or it could be
like hey meeting your distributor right
and and talking to distributors and
getting to know more about the machines
themselves um once you make those
connections i think they open up doors
for you like once you’re putting it out
there in the universe like things will
start coming back to you
um
i will definitely say like
relationship building is a big part of
this industry like you talked a little
bit about like having multiple
technicians like that’s huge um you need
to have a lot of people on your like
team basically helping you out which i’m
grateful for
again having a good distributor is
really important
there is this like underground
laundromat industry happening right so
like
sure you can go online and like google
laundromats for sale and you’re gonna
get a bunch of brokers and that’s fine
they’re not going to like that i saying
this but
um there’s also this hidden industry
where like
you’re it’s it’s like friends and family
kind of situation
and
i think if you start to put those
connections out there
something can could come of that but i i
think that takes time
yeah absolutely absolutely and i like i
like your phrasing kind of the hidden
underground
industry thing going on because there
are i mean a lot of laundromats are sold
even through brokers as
you know before they hit the general
market they’re
almost like pocket listings uh if you
will and so
you gotta kind of insert yourself into
that community in order to
you know find those types of deals now i
mean you know there’s other ways to get
laundromats and all that too but
you know a lot of times those are where
the opportunities are
exactly yes there are people that you
know
you can drive around and find a space
that was previously a laundromat
i mean it happens because the
i don’t know what happened to the
previous owner right maybe they weren’t
investing in the industry maybe they
weren’t investing back in their business
or they wanted to get into a different
industry the store closed landlord
situation i don’t you know
it doesn’t matter what the situation was
but there are there are laundromats that
are sitting there
without any like buddy to like take care
of them so like in that instance that’s
definitely like a hidden gem
um i’ve talked to other people that have
done that
um have taken over laundromats that are
just inoperable and and fix them but
the equipment’s worth zero dollars
right so you have to kind of know enough
to
negotiate also make sure that the things
that need to be okay like your sewer
line your utilities like
that is okay
so it’s it’s definitely like you don’t
want to get into that situation without
any
knowledge or understanding because you
could literally purchase something that
could
make you bankrupt if you don’t know what
you’re doing
yeah
yeah absolutely
and that does happen oh yeah
yeah oh yeah for sure for sure i’ve
definitely like i said i’ve gotten i’m
very like
lucky in terms of like having this
opportunity
like present itself it’s definitely
unfortunate that like this is the
situation because
i would love my dad to be here and like
you know us running them together i
think he would love that too yeah but at
the same time um
like i definitely feel like
work we’re gonna keep this going and i
don’t know like i hope my kids like want
to get involved but
you never know like they may literally
say hey i want to get out of central
pennsylvania i’m tired of this area i
want to move somewhere else and
they don’t want to take take over the
business which i see a lot but
um
i would i would feel great if they did
if they want to keep it going so
yeah
yeah well i mean just you know
keep them involved and
see what happens we’ll see we’ll see
what happens that’s right
uh all right last segment is called
recommended resources which i’m guessing
is some of the stuff we’ve already
talked about but do you have any
resources that you’d recommend
for people to help them either
improve their business or improve
themselves
so again i definitely feel like the
networking right because you you want to
you know meet people in the financial
industry
you definitely need like a great um
accountant lawyer
technician you know hvac plumbing
whatever um you definitely want to
hopefully have a good landlord i’m
really lucky i have a great landlord
that i have a great relationship with
she’s awesome
um
i feel like just those things are great
are great resources and in terms of like
having people around you that help you
mentorship if there’s somebody out there
that like has questions
i would love to to do that i’ve helped
out other laundromat owners in the past
i know that you you have a great network
um the forums on facebook i’m not a huge
like facebook person but i will go on
facebook just to look at those forms
specifically um i’ve asked questions
i’ve answered other people’s questions
in there you know i’ve pm to people and
like had whole conversations with them
um
that’s definitely definitely invaluable
i will also say the distributor like
get to know them
talk to them
um talk to the texts if the tech is
there like go and ask them questions
watch them repair something right so you
don’t have to do it the next time
um
within reason of course but definitely
definitely making those connections um i
will also say like the coin laundry
association like their events are really
nice so
um
like they’re nice because of the
networking aspect and then also just
like the educational aspect there’s a
lot of things going on it’s not just
like people selling you stuff of course
there are vendors there right that like
want that
um which
we’ve had great like we’ve had a great
experience talking to vendors so that’s
that’s amazing it’s an amazing
experience um to go to some of these
shows
but then there’s also like that
educational aspect as well
yeah i think that’s kind of what i would
that’s what i would say i’m like
reading there are some books that i read
like business based books which are
great but
i don’t personally have a ton of time to
to invest in that at this point
um i do like listen to some podcasts
like business based podcasts um
on spotify but other than that i mean
it’s kind of like
how hungry are you
you know are you willing to stick your
neck out there and just like say hey i’m
so-and-so i really want to get in this
industry like let’s chat um that takes a
lot to do that and put yourself out
there so i think if you’re really
serious about it like
come up with your pitch
figure out you know what you want to say
what you want to get out of the
situation and just
start pitching start going start like
again putting yourself out there
yeah i love i mean i think that was a
lot of really great resources and i mean
a lot of it just has to do with
hey
start meeting the people that can help
you succeed right
and and educating yourself so great
great resources
well i i mean you threw it out there so
if anybody
has any questions or
wants to connect with you and network
with you what’s the best way that they
can get a hold of you
um so i
i will give you my like do you have like
a place on your um page so you can like
link my email or anything like that
yeah linkedin i would definitely say um
email’s probably the best way to get in
touch with me or like linkedin i have a
professional linkedin page um so those
two things would probably be the best
way okay yeah and i’ll link to those in
the show notes page or if you’re what uh
watching on youtube then i’ll put them
down in the description
uh awesome lauren
this has been awesome thank you for
sharing your story with us and your
experience with us and all your wisdom
with us i thought it was a
awesome awesome show and a ton of really
good and super actionable stuff uh for
anybody who is either already in this
injury industry or who’s looking to get
into it so thanks for taking the time
and spending it with us appreciate it
thanks for having me i appreciate it
anytime you are welcome any time around
well who knows i mean again i’m not i’m
not gonna sit here and say i don’t know
where i’m gonna be in a couple years so
i might come back with a bunch of other
stories and
maybe a completely different perspective
so yeah i will i mean i’ll look forward
to i mean if you’re around uh in the
industry in a couple years you’re gonna
have
a story to tell you know there’s just no
getting around that yeah i’ve only been
in for a few years like by myself so
i can only imagine where i’ll be in a
few more years yeah so i’ll look forward
to having you back on here yeah
thank you thanks jordan all right thank
you
all right incredible incredible episode
uh interview with lauren lauren thank
you so much for coming on the show that
was really great uh man i again i i say
this every episode pretty much but pick
one thing to put it into action uh maybe
go share it on the forums after you fill
out your account details uh and and
maybe go comment on somebody else’s
forum post while you’re over there uh
but my kind of big takeaway for today’s
uh interview with lauren
actually was one of the um
i mean kind of goes hand in hand with
what i was saying in the intro there but
one of the quotes that i wrote down from
her is relationship building is a big
part of this industry and at first if if
you had said if she had said that to me
when i first got into this business i
would
not have
given her much credit for that however i
have seen just through you know starting
this podcast and meeting a lot of you
guys and a lot of people along the way
uh just how powerful that is and so
i am a full-fledged believer that the
lone wolf route is not the way to go the
much much better way to go is to build
the right relationships with people who
can help you achieve your goals and who
you also can help achieve their goals it
goes goes kind of all full circle that
way so uh for me continuing to build
relationships with you guys and with our
industry and
some very very exciting announcements
coming up regarding that for you guys
coming up here uh within the next couple
of weeks so i’m excited to tell you
about that
and as always uh man action is what
leads you to success so go out there
this week take some action and we’ll see
you in next week’s episode that’s gonna
be basically a little party so look
forward to that and we’ll see you then
peace