We caught up with George Rafitis who owns Green Spin Laundry.
My name is George Rafitis, me and my father run Green Spin Laundry in New York. WE started the business in February 2010. My family owns the building so we had the retail space, and decided to turn it into a laundromat.
My father is retired, he was an electrician
Over the years, the business has grown to the point where we have added another location
We always struggled with the delivery business at first, we were trying different types of marketing. First thing we tried was just making flyers and sending them to customers in the local area. Bearing in mind this was 2010, social media didn’t have much precedent, maybe Facebook but it was definitely more focused on word of mouth in the area.
I guess in the last five years, we tried things such as Yelp, which worked pretty well, on the advertising side, but those results aren’t really quantifiable. So like we could assume we were getting business from it but you only really know if people told you when we started doing more SEO and Google ads- and that is where I can say things started taking off.
We had a really basic POS system to start with (legacy), it was easy to use but was very limited in the ways it could help us. So it was really just a way to print tickets for the customers- that was about it.
We met CleanCloud when we went to the cleaning show in New Orleans. We were looking for a new solution, and when we met you guys it just made sense. The price was right, it wasn’t a massive expense to commit to like a hardware or legacy system. Also we were just thinking about starting our delivery business and CleanCloud’s capabilities incorporating texting and calls. So it was really a solution that lent itself for us to build it slow enough to manage but was also scalable so we would be able to deal with a higher volume of orders- as we do now.
As the time went on and we started using CleanCLoud to it’s full capabilities, we learned how to use it combining that with google marketing. It just took off on it’s own. I’ve been using CleanCloud in our business for the pick up & delivery service the past 3 years and it’s been a huge success! Over 4,000 lbs of wash and fold per week consistently this past year. Our issue is keeping up with the demand. We are having a hard time hiring drivers to meet it.
With the geo-fencing and pickup and delivery at first we covered a ig area and a lot of spots, and now we are trying to shrink it just to keep up with demand!
So as I said we had a hardware system that we used, when we purchased that it was really really expensive. At the time it was probably the best that was out there, there weren't many things to choose from.
So when we discovered CleanCloud and a cloud-based system we were really impressed. Transitioning to CleanCLoud was actually really nice because you guys transferred my data for me, and then there was a lot of training available, and you guys were really available to answer questions.
I use your guys training platform CleanCloud University. I find the videos really good.
I have a split within my staff in terms of age, and there is definitely a slight reluctance and resistance to a digital system. But it has got so much easier because you guys are continuing to add features that make it so much easier.
In light of the past year, could you talk about your experience and things you have done to help/protect your business?
COVID definitely pushed my business. We saw a huge increase in the amount of orders we were getting. When COVID first hit we were slammed for the first few months. It was like one of the only businesses that we allowed to stay open. But then we were kicking people out because we didn’t want too many people in the store! So we were just getting like bombarded with orders. It was a balance trying to keep my staff safe and dealing with all the new processes. But in return the delivery business really went up like 100%, like we were close to 2500lb per week- and now we’re close to like 4500lb per week. So a pretty powerful yar with my business, and I would not have kept up with this kind of demand without CleanCloud.
One thing I found particularly interesting is a lot of before was rushing to get orders in before and after work. But now it is ust spread throughout the whole day because everyone is working from home.
I mean the app is great, the driver app is also great.
Yeah, I mean, revenues definitely. has definitely increased, like, you know, I had said the volume of Washington fold that we're doing has really gone up. Also, I think we, you know, we had, we had a separate us phone number just for the delivery service. Yeah. So people in the beginning got used to calling and texting us orders, but then you just end up like, you know, you get busy. And then with the app, you get really dry, it's very easy to lose an order or forget an order. So we've been really, when anyone calls or texts, we direct them to the website and tell them to sign up online. And that's really built up our database. So even even, even some of the older customers who are reluctant to it, and once we convinced them to switch over to the booking and have an account. You know, now they love it, because it's you don't have to call you don't have to worry if the guy's coming, you can track everything. So that's definitely a little bit of a growing pain for our customers too. But it's definitely something that once you adapt, it becomes really helpful.