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Archive for May, 2007

Starting a Laundromat can be a tough for several reasons.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
Plenty of competition High real estate costs/rents High water/sewage costs (you pay for the water you take in, then again for sewage when it goes out). Many landlords don’t want laundries/dry cleaners in their buildings Insurance Labor

And so on,

Look in the Sunday Papers under Laundries/Dry Cleaners for sale to get an idea for the market.

Drop stores can work but if the guy down the street (and there will always be at least one if not several others in a block radius), does the work in his own on site plant, customers might prefer him.

The name of the game is volume, volume. You can only charge but so much for an item, so the only way to keep margins up is to do enough business to cover your monthly expenses and hopefully make some money.

Yes, you will have to work your tail off to make it, the laundry/DC business is *NOT* easy. And just because you own a drop store does not mean everything will arrive back from your wholesaler in perfect ready to deliver condition. You will need to learn how to touch up press and possibly sew/alter.

Remember the more you send out to a wholesaler the tighter your margins will be. On the reverse the more you can do in house the more money you can keep for yourself.

Do a business plan costing shirts/laundry to be sent out, versus doing it yourself besides the other factors needed in your plan.

Consider the demographics and competition within the area you are considering opening your store/purchasing an existing store.

In the case of opening a new store, what is your competition? There are only X amount of customers in a certian area, so what are you going to do different to bring customers from existing stores to yours? Are you sure enough will switch to make it worthwhile?

If purchasing an existing store find out why the owner is selling. What are the financials? Can you make an substantial increase in business with only a little bit of improvements? Most important how in both cases how long will your lease be? The longer the better, but many  landlords don’t like anything longer than 4 years or so.

Look in the Yellow Pages for wholesale laundries, and start calling to get rates and contract information. The problem with drop stores is you are only as good whatever wholesaler you use. If quality is not up to your customers standards they will hold you responsible and vote with their feet.

Finally have a realistic talk with yourself about how committed you are to this. You will probably not be able to afford help for awhile, so your going to have to be at your store 6 days a week. Remember if your not open and your competitors are, customers are likely to go straight to them, not wait for you.

What I’ve noticed even in many small stores, they have been installing “homestyle” commercial equipment to do the laundry in house and cutting out the middleman. Check out the chain “All Washed Up”, they are all over Manhattan.

Check out coinwash.com too. Although founded for coin laundry owners, there is quite allot of information for store owners and those in general seeking to enter the laundry business.

Best of luck,

A Few Random Thoughts As I See Things

Sunday, May 20th, 2007
  Norman; 

 

A leader need not have all the skills of his subordinates, but a leader must realize this does not mean those skills are unimportant.

 Art is accomplished through inspired problem solving, and it need not, and generally should not, follow established paths. Science is accomplished by repetition, and can be reproduced. Leadership is an art.

 Ideas are not nuggets of ore for a leader to hand out and forget.

Ideas are lenses to direct and focus energy and must be lived.

  ACTIVITY/LABOR 

 Sparks, smoke, and flash do not make a warm, usable fire.

Steady burning furnishes the energy to accomplish something.

 The individual sitting motionless, with eyes closed, often generates more productive activity & more useful ideas, than the frantic flailing of an undirected employee.

  DESIRE/MOTIVATION

  Motivation cannot be taught. One can only find the motivation that is there, and bring it to the light of awareness. If it is not there, all other effort is a waste of time, and energy.

 The key to motivation is as unique to each individual as their own DNA. Money is not the key to motivating everyone. There is no universal motivator.

  KNOWLEDGE/EDUCATION

  A carpenter does not wait to buy a hammer until after he arrives on the job. Learn all you can before circumstances force you to learn the hard way.

 If you would be a problem solver, read widely. New solutions usually involve information from outside the subject involved.

 The measure of the person is not how much they know, but how well they apply what they know.

 Degrees are useful for measuring angles and temperature. They are useless for measuring the strength and value of a mind.

 I once tried to share an idea with a colleague. He looked at the three pages involved and said, “It’s too long to read. Just tell me about it in a few words.” Great ideas might be condensed to a few words. But the understanding of the idea may take volumes. The idea is not yours until the whole is comprehended.

 Close the libraries, and very few would cry out. But close down the broadcasters and a wail would arise that would shake the Moon in its orbit. This is the source of our society’s collapse.

 RESULTS/SUCCESS

 There is no finish line marked “Success.” Success is a state of being that is maintained through continued effort.

 If results are measured only in dollars and cents, the drug lords are the best businessmen on the planet. Results must satisfy additional scales of values to be acceptable.

 GOALS/PLANS

  Properly set goals are not ends, they are steps, each a bit higher than the last.

 Give me the “Detail Man” to get the job done. But for Heaven’s sake, don’t let him set the goals! The job will never get started!!

 A plan is predicated on known facts. If it doesn’t change when additional facts are learned, it is no longer a plan, but a map to destruction.

 TIME MANAGEMENT

 Time is not money! It is much more precious than that. I haven’t found a single place to buy one irreplaceable minute.

 Do you manage your time, or does time manage you? Re-action is filled with wasted effort and unnecessary stress.

 Einstein and Heisenberg were right! Time and space are relative. The faster I go, and the more ground I cover, the less likely I am to know where I am, and where I am going.

  LIFESTYLE

 How you live is a reflection of how you see the world. It is the sum total of your value system.

 Don’t worry so much about what people think about you. Once you realize how wrapped they are in their own lives, you will know how little time they have to spare for thoughts of you. The ones who might make critical notice probably don’t matter anyway.

 The perfect example of a hypocritical lifestyle is a “Save the Earth” bumper sticker on the rear of an automobile.

 Who are the “Faithful?” The ones you only see in church each Sunday? Or the one who sleeps in some Sundays, but painted the church walls when they needed it, and cuts the elderly neighbor’s grass?

 If you do not know the names of the people next door, their children’s names, and the name of their pets, you have denied any claim to having a good life.

 AMERICA/GOVERNMENT/POLITICS

 Remember, it says you are entitled to the “Pursuit of Happiness”.

No government legislation can guarantee you will find it.

 While being careful to protect your rights, never forget they are equally dependent on your responsibilities.

 The Constitution is not a document giving you anything. It is a contract between you, and me, and all other citizens, that allows you only as much freedom as you allow all others.

 If there is one true capital offense, it is someone saying, “There is a problem here. The government should do something about it!”

No trial.

No appeal.

Just find a tree, get a rope and quickly do what needs to be done.

 The tyranny of the majority is no less appalling than any other dictatorship. We have renounced “Might makes Right” for “Might for Right”, but sheer numbers do not necessarily make right.

   

BUSINESS/CAREER/MARKETPLACE

 Offer your customers value, and you will keep them. If all you offer is price, they will not stay.

 Ninety-Five percent of a new product’s success has nothing to do with the product or manufacturing. Did you listen to the buyers?

 Always keep in mind that you do not pay the technician for what is done. You pay the technician for knowing what to do. There is a world of difference here.

 Ethics must be as much part of what you take to work, as getting dressed. To make a distinction between “personal” and “business” ethics is too fine a cut. You either are, or you aren’t ethical.

   

RESOLVE/BELIEF/ASKING

 Question everything – repeatedly. The unexamined belief is a not only worthless but can be hazardous to your well being.

 To live is to be at risk. To live fully is to accept the risks, and do your best in spite of them.

 A resolve cannot use the word “Try”. It must be phrased “I Will” without modifiers, or exceptions.

 To ask a question opens a whole new universe to examination. To accept without question, is to live in a hole.

 After thorough examination, every belief is reduced at some point to that which must be taken on faith. Accept this and move on.

 SKILLS/FUNDAMENTALS

 Fundamentals are an essential base on which to build, and not a complete structure alone. “Back to basics” means you did not get it right the first time, or you did not foresee what would need to be done.

 Talent, knowledge, and practice are the three legs which support skill. If any one of the three are missing, there is no skill.

 To learn one skill is important. But learning many skills will make you more valued.

 COICE/CHANGE/DECISION

  A change of plans is inevitable. As the winds of fortune surround you, you will need periodic course corrections to make your destination.

 Those who do not change by choice, generally find change thrust upon them through great trauma.

 Every intersection on the road is a decision. These choices are there because not everyone has the same destination. Sometimes you may decide you need to change direction, too.

 To postpone making a decision to avoid making an error, is to have already made a decision and an error.

   

FEAR/DOUBT/NEGATIVITY

Did you ever see a movie where a truck is bearing down on a person, and they just stand there, while you say, “How stupid. Just jump out of the way.” If you let fear paralyze you into giving up a goal, are you any different?

 Fear should never be ignored. But neither should it rule. Use it to make you cautious, not useless.

 Doubt is a strange critter. Not totally positive, not totally negative, it is a wisp of neither and of both, and so is totally useless.

 You can’t cry to me about being poor if that was what you’ve been saying you’d be all along.

   

INFLUENCE/ASSOCIATION

  A banker hanging out with bookies brings to mind the question, who is influencing who? Are the bookies trying to enhance their reputation? HARDLY! With whom do YOU associate?

 If you wish to be influential, be right, not just opinionated.

This is what Coinwash.com is all about.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
I want to thank all of you for keeping the Coinwash Board civil and meaningful. This is what Coinwash.com is all about.

We are a business just like all of you. If we weren’t doing things right we wouldn’t have hundreds of people coming to our site every day, every hour, seven days a week.

We’ve certainly made mistakes in the past, and may in the future. But we have always strived to correct our errors and make this board even better. As always we seek out your criticisms and suggestions.

There are many people who work at Coinwash Corp. around the clock to keep this site running and contributing new ideas.

Some don’t work here any more because of creative differences and some were asked to leave for taking unauthorized action on the board.

Despite this, we are still here and we are here to serve you and those that are interested in the business of washing other people clothes.

This is the nature of running a small business. It has it’s highs and lows.

Thank you all!!!

Jonathan 
















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