Open Forum

PUD - Getting started

  • 1.  PUD - Getting started

    Posted 11 days ago
    I'm looking to add PUD to my WDF but struggling to get started. I need to figure out who's going to be the driver. Without knowing what the demand will be, I can't just buy a van, hire a driver and hope it takes off. I live too far away to do it myself, plus I have a full time W2 job myself.

    Do you use existing employees and their cars to start out? How did you compensate them for the extra work?
    Did you go PUD 7 days a week right out the gate? Or did you limit the days to M,W,F?

    How did you get that ball rolling?

    ------------------------------
    Bryan Hennen
    Washland Laundromat
    Wilson NC
    ------------------------------
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  • 2.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 10 days ago
    Hi Bryan.....Due to your particular circumstance of living too far away with a full time W-2 job and currently taking in WDF, you already have your hands full.   You may want to make a deal with a professional third party to provide all the pick-up and delivery service outside of your immediate market area and you stick to just doing the laundry.   You may not make as much money but you will be bringing in business you normally would not be getting and you will be sleeping better at night......Wish you the best.....Cary

    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

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  • 3.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 10 days ago
    Cary is 110% correct...doing PUD is not a passive investment...Don't offer it unless you can be there at least 20+ hours a week or have family help or a great partner

    ------------------------------
    Rick Rome
    Owner/Operator
    WashClubTrak
    POS/Laundry Delivery Software
    New York
    Rick@washclubtrak.com
    ------------------------------

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  • 4.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 9 days ago
    Why do you feel I must be there for it to be successful? I've hired employees and a manager to handle the day to day business activities. Why is that something they can't handle?

    But back to my original question. I'm wondering how people ramp up from zero to that unknown amount of business. What's been tried before and was successful.
    Thanks

    ------------------------------
    Bryan Hennen
    Washland Laundromat
    Wilson NC
    ------------------------------

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  • 5.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 9 days ago
    Bryan, You've gotten very sound advice from two very experienced and knowledgeable industry veterans in Cary and Rick but you don't seem to want to hear their opinions.

    I'm not really interested in trying to convince you of anything as it would take too much time and explanation.

    However I will be the 3rd to now confirm that this is a bad idea for the same reasons that they both stated. Simply put, the pickup and delivery business isn't nearly as simple as buying a truck and hiring a manager to run it.  It's a completely different business, especially if you want to scale it to ANY level at all.
    If you want to treat it as an ancillary revenue stream you will continue to "struggle to get started".

    Would you start a brand new business that you know nothing about, hire employees and a manager that have never done it either. Go to work at your w2 job and expect it to be successful? That is what you've done.


    ------------------------------
    Dave Menz
    Follow me on YouTube @Laundromat Millionaire
    https://www.queencitylaundry.com
    https://www.happynest.com
    Cincinnati, OH
    ------------------------------

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  • 6.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hi Bryan.....one of the more alluring aspects of owning a vended laundry is being able to offer other services to your customers like drop-off-service (which is now getting more popular than ever before).

    As Dave eluded to, adding a pick-up-and-delivery component to your current WDF business is a SEPARATE BUSINESS.which must be managed properly so you don't screw it up and get bad reviews.

    You mentioned you would like to know "what's been tried before and been successful?"  There are some real challenges to building a PUD service and  I can tell you this, if  your are not available or willing to devote the time to start and operate an efficient pick-up and delivery component to your WDF profit center...don't even think about it!

    I don't mean to volunteer Menz's  time and expertise but you may want to contact one of the most successful PUD operators in the business and get some pointers.   Wishing you the best......Cary








    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

    PlanetLaundry Podcasts - Listen Now!


  • 7.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hey Bryan...let me come at this topic in a different way.  I apologize if it sounded like I was suggesting your staff was incapable of picking up and delivering laundry...I was not.   Yes, you can designate an employee to use his/her private car, put a couple magnate signs on the doors and go out into the community picking up laundry.

    Some very successful PUD operations started out that way and I have always applauded those guys for pulling it off.  However, knowing what I know about that end of the business and how it ties into your current WDF center, at this particular stage, owner input is crucial.  I don't want to discourage you from trying it.  My aim here is to help you get a grasp of the physical and logistical challenges you will be faced with...if you want to do it right.

    I do, however, get the feeling you are looking for a simple, magic bullet which will "get the ball rolling".  I wish I could use this forum to put all the pieces of this jig-saw puzzle together for you but... not enough time or space.

    I can understand your concern "I can't just buy a van, hire a driver and hope it takes off".....I agree.  You have to go out and create the demand and the business'   So, designate an employee with a car, provide the proper insurance covering the driver, the vehicle and the garments in your charge, print up a bunch of flyers and begin by papering neighborhoods outside of your immediate market to bring in business you normally would not have.

    I know it's very simple and old fashioned and it is hard work for your employee but before you design a sophisticated, first class web sight with electronic ticketing and payment systems, this strategy will help you to crawl slowly and get all the bugs out before walking and then running.

    By the way, as this is his wheelhouse, Dave Menz has far more experience and success in this area than I and he may have a different approach from mine.  Don't take it as an "either - or" situation....I suggest you look at it as just another lane  you can choose to get to where you want to go.

    Depending on your staff and store capacity you may decide to stay small or ramp up to any level you want.  Menz can be a great example of how it is done professionally.  I do suggest you go on line and check out all the PUD web sights In North Carolina just to get a sense of what's going on in your area.      Wish you good luck and stay safe......Cary



    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

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  • 8.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Thanks for your feedback and advice, it's appreciated.

    If I knew the demand for PUD in my area, knowing how to start off would be much easier. No one else in town offers PUD. Only one other mat offers WDF. It's a smaller town of about 50,000 people with smaller towns nearby.

    I have recently started PPC for WDF and business is picking up. I have only started focusing on this part of my business recently. Bringing in more WDF was easy to manage because we already have an established process (even if it's manual) and my staff has capacity to do more.

    I planned to start a PPC and Facebook marketing campaign to find my PUD customers. I was thinking of offering a free $10 to get new customers in the door. I was also thinking about cold calling businesses in the area.  My concern was around the logistics, drivers, vehicles, etc. My current employees don't feel comfortable doing the deliveries, so I'd need to hire for the job. But without knowing demand, I can't promise a new employee how many days or hours they would get. I have considered reaching out to the Uber & DoorDash type drivers, but haven't done that yet.

    So, with all my uncertainty I was asking how others got started.  I can't personally do it, and I assume others have been in the same position. I assume some have been relatively successful. I didn't have goals in mind to get as large Dave and others. But if I can grow the business to a profit of $30k per year, I'd see that as a success.

    ------------------------------
    Bryan Hennen
    Washland Laundromat
    Wilson NC
    ------------------------------

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  • 9.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Well then...here is my opportunity as a small unattended LMat owner who is retired from construction operations, and does not do WDF or PUD to provide an opinion from a less than novice position. The guys that have given you advise above are great operators and straight shooters.  Knowing them from the forum...give my approach 1 % and their approach 99%.  Here I go in blind...with one final disclaimer...

    Again...I don't throw darts in the WDF / PUD game, so expect possible holes in the wall and a bored bulls eye.  Here I go....50,000 in the community and you want to do $100,000 in business to get $30,000 profit.  $100,000 / $1.25 per lb = 80,000 lbs of laundry per year / 52 weeks = 1,538 lbs per week / 7 = 220 lbs per day. /  50 lb average pickup = 4 to 5 pickup / drop off per day.  One employee does 40 lbs per hour average or fits in the 220 lbs in a days labor easily enough.

    In that scenario, your lead employee / manager does the PUD in their car for a reasonable profit per mile, or you buy a good used Toyota vehicle...either way, make sure the lead has a great license history and your professional team rings in on the situation (Accountant, Attorney, Insurance etc.).  Your second in charge is responsible for assistant manager duties and making sure the laundry is handled on time with good quality control.   As you move along you will work out the kinks and add employees, overnight WDF from PUD hours, etc and realize you need to treat this as a second business entirely from your WDF drop off business.

    You might realize with hard work and dedication, the sky is the limit and you shut down your self serve business in favor of your PUD operation that is doing 15 TPD anyway and go out looking for larger buildings for your operation and small army of employees (Hey Rick).  Or maybe you buy more LMats and continue building your PUD business until you start Laundromat Millionaire II (Hey Dave).

    Our family businesses have hired thousands of employees over the years and I know of only 1 of those employees (35 plus years) that could take my place....as in I would go on vacation and not expect a call because nothing would stump him...took 10 years for him to develop to that point.  I would say if you already have that employee you are ahead of the game...if not, plan on spending more of those hours at the store.

    That is my Alfred E. Nueman what me worry ? approach to your question that comes with a 20-20 guarantee (except the more hours at the store...that is a solid guarantee).


    ------------------------------
    Les Monthei
    MT VIEW LAUNDROMAT
    LAKEHEAD CA
    ------------------------------

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  • 10.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hey Bryan........I just read your last post.......Sorry, I can't help you!    Don't call Menz....he'll get mad at me!!  Wish you the best!         Cary

    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

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  • 11.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hey Dave...you and I have never met but, reading your stuff, I know you are one of those guys that has paid his dues and knows what time it is!   I apologize for dragging your name into this post and, I promise, I won't do it again........Stay safe        Cary

    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

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  • 12.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Cary,

    Strangely enough, I even told Bryan in another post on FB that if he's looking to keep it small, local and make little extra money, that's very doable for really anyone. I didn't get the idea that that was what he was thinking, but it seems he's maybe changed his ambitions. I suspect he'll still have struggles even with that but what he's talking about doing isn't hard at all.

    He's in a different realm than what we were discussing for sure.

    Honestly this is very common right now. This industry just really needs to understand the true opportunity in PU&D but most really still think it's just another revenue stream. It is not! It's another business and other than sharing resources of your mat, it's much much different!

    I think we may have met at the HappyNest/Springboard booth at Clean2019, but I'm not positive. I think John MacKrelI may have introduced us. 🤷‍♂️

    Regardless I look forward to chatting with you at an event in the future. I have the utmost respect for you and your contributions to the industry. Feel free to refer someone to me anytime you think I can help. No worries at all!

    Be well my friend 😃

    ------------------------------
    Dave Menz
    Follow me on YouTube @Laundromat Millionaire
    https://www.queencitylaundry.com
    https://www.happynest.com
    Cincinnati, OH
    ------------------------------

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  • 13.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Dave.....Thanks for the kind words......very possible we did meet in New Orleans in 2019,,,,,we'll definitely meet at Clean in Atlanta in June, 2021.  I'm hoping to be sitting in the Planet Laundry Booth for a couple hours each day.....wear your mask, Georgia is getting rough....Stay safe            Cary

    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

    PlanetLaundry Podcasts - Listen Now!


  • 14.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 6 days ago
    Hey Bryan....just a final note.   The reason I was recommending, at this stage, papering different neighborhoods and apartment complexes with flyers the old fashioned way is to maintain control and management of your routes.   It is a very effective way of creating clusters of customers withing a certain proximity of your store and other customers outside of your three-mile market.

    If you insist on advertising on the internet in the beginning you will need to design  a first class web site and you then may be getting calls from customers all over the map.  Please trust me on this..... .you don't want that right away.     Keep it simple and grow slowly.   You can pay your driver an incentive for putting out the flyers and bringing in new business.   He can build his own route and you can do the laundry.   Let me know what you think.          Regards       Cary

    ------------------------------
    Cary Lipman
    CL Consulting Services
    carylipman@gmail.com
    www.coinlaundry101.com
    ------------------------------

    PlanetLaundry Podcasts - Listen Now!


  • 15.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 6 days ago
    That's an excellent idea. While it's probably have more upfront cost, this method has all the benefits you mentioned. Thank you very much

    ------------------------------
    Bryan Hennen
    Washland Laundromat
    Wilson NC
    ------------------------------

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  • 16.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 4 days ago
    CLA will be holding a virtual program on "Starting a Pick-up & Delivery Business" on Sept. 2 from 2-3 PM. We have three panelists who are experienced in this service and they will share how they got started, the nuts and bolts of their operation, their customer base and how they grew the business. You may benefit from attending this program. More details and registration is available at:

    https://www.coinlaundry.org/claevent/starting-a-pick-up-delivery-business

    ------------------------------
    Danielle Bauer
    Director of Membership
    Coin Laundry Association
    ------------------------------

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  • 17.  RE: PUD - Getting started

    Posted 4 days ago
    This is great, thank you very much.

    Can you tell me how to get the CLA member discount?

    ------------------------------
    Bryan Hennen
    Washland Laundromat
    Wilson NC
    ------------------------------

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