Logan owns and operates LadyBug Cleaners, which has 8 locations around Indiana.
We recently spoke to Logan to find out the secrets behind building a successful company, and how he continues to stay ahead of the competition. He also talked about his experience with CleanCloud so far, and what impact it has had on the business.
My father started the company in 2002, with his first coin-operated laundromat. We had other businesses too but after a couple of years in this industry, we realized that laundromats could be extremely profitable if run correctly and smartly, so we focussed more on them.
In 2010, Ladybug purchased our fifth laundromat that had a dry-cleaning shop attached, this started the dry-cleaning side of our business.
As we were making money and things were going well, we decided to branch out and started operating a dry-cleaning plant. Luckily, we had knowledgeable staff who were able to help us understand how it worked operationally and get it up and running.
We then realized that we needed more clientele for cleaning, we therefore made all our laundry sites into drop sites as well. This worked well for us as it meant that the laundromats were self-sustaining of themselves and the dry-cleaning aspect of the business allowed for additional costs, for example, our staff’s salary.
Over the past few years, as fashion trends changed, we saw more traditional Dry Cleaners go out of business in smaller towns. So we found more drop sites, areas for pickups and laundromats to operate.
Which takes us to where we are now, with 8 locations over Indiana.
In the short of it, that is where the business is why we are where now. Especially in the service industry, you have to have a passion for making money and always think of the best ways of doing this.
The first thing is understanding that Laundromats don’t run themselves, not a case of the owner just coming to collect their quarters from the machines every Friday. Laundromats that operated this way just became worn down and put people off going there.
From running our stores on a daily basis, the main things that I know to be very important to be successful are:
Having clean stores is so important because it directly affects the customer experience, and the reality is you are coming to clean your clothes, so you want the place you’re cleaning in to be clean right?
We clean our stores several times a day, every day!
When people walk in our laundromats, they stop for a good 30 seconds and look around because they are impressed with what they see. It’s clean and the equipment is good.
Do your repairs in-house
You have to be able to manage your own equipment and do repairs yourself. Doing it this way is extremely profitable.
An initial investment in new equipment saves on utility and saves on repairs. Taking on old equipment and trying to refurbish them only delays the inevitable need to purchase new ones. Using the same branded machines means that our customers don’t have to get their head around how more than one machine works- we keep it consistent.
Technology is advancing so quickly, so make sure it invest in robust and cost-effective options that will last for the long term. It’s not always about just getting the latest ‘High-tech’ solutions as they go out of date within a year.
This is something I believe is very important. I make sure that I am looking after my staff because firstly this has a direct response on the level of customer service that is provided.
If my staff are well respected and being paid properly, they will work better and it also increases the likelihood that customers will return.
One of the most important things is that a customer will walk into any of our stores and know right away it is a Ladybug Cleaners. They can tell from the branding, equipment, and uniforms that it is the same place.
It also means our employees can go into any store to fill a shift and immediately know how to work there as they all operate the same way.
Each store is individually managed and I act as COO for them to report in to.
A successful business has a number of driving factors, but when you are running a business you need to have a passion for success and money, particularly in the service industry.
We had been using CompassMax, but when we were told they would no longer be supporting our system it was time to look elsewhere.
Ultimately we had the ability to purchase any software on the market but spending too much can really cut into revenues and also makes the company vulnerable, if there was another downturn in the economy.
Some companies we spoke to were looking to charge $15k+ just for implementation! Your pricing structure was perfect for what we needed, in fact, we were worried it was too good to be true. Using CleanCloud would still allow us to operate within our margins.
When looking at CleanCloud, aside from costs, the key driving factors were:
Even our older employees, who are not familiar with technology, could operate it smoothly from the beginning.
The first thing I noticed is that the number of calls I get from employees asking questions about the software quickly went down. From a few calls every week, it might be a call once every 2-3 weeks, which showed our employees had picked up the software quite quickly.
It has also really directly impacted our management. For both me and my Plant Manager we receive a lot fewer calls from the store managers.
Before, if there was a logistical error it would take 5 calls ringing around for our managers to try and find out what happened. Now, as everything is easy to track through CleanCloud, they can problem-solve on their own with one phone call to the right person to take care of.
It makes all our lives so much easier, and our managers really appreciate being able to solve problems themselves now.
Other impacts are things such as lower operating costs through using less paper and we can also choose our own paper so save costs there.
We’ve also seen our inventory move quicker thanks to email notifications. Older customers tend not to use email, but where we have seen an impact is one some of our big commercial accounts where they have no deadline on picking stuff up.
Now with automatic email notifications, we see them picking up their items much quicker.
In my time working with you guys, I’ve found there is not a problem you can’t solve.
It may not have thousands of features, but it can’t be beat as the system is cost-effective and robust, which means we can do everything we need within the program.
I refuse to recommend another POS to anybody. I can do everything I need right now, and you still look at ways to make it faster, simpler and more efficient. The fact the developers continue to work on that is top-notch.