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Laundry Business Entrepreneurs Grow Their Empire (Part 1)

Pickup and delivery service is latest addition for Dodds, Pinkard

LOS ANGELES — Ross Dodds and Russel Pinkard are the owners of three thriving laundry businesses: Wash on Western, a full-service Laundromat they refurbished and reopened in 2017; a self-service Laundromat in West Hollywood; and a brand-new venture, Wash Club LA, offering residential and commercial laundry pickup and delivery service.

Their distributor, Western State Design, says Dodds and Pickard are savvy not only about finding the right locations and figuring out how to maximize return on investment but they understand the importance of serving customers’ needs and providing a superior laundry experience.

To achieve this, the owners have emphasized:

  • Having durable, reliable, easy-to-use, top-quality commercial laundry equipment in a variety of sizes
  • Offering a clean, safe, comfortably equipped space to do laundry, with amenities such as free Wi-Fi and TV, as well as necessities like laundry supplies for sale
  • Hiring, training and treating employees well
  • Getting to know their customers and becoming involved members of the community
  • Finding untapped consumer or commercial demand for value-added laundry services and satisfying that demand through superior service execution.

ROUGH START

Dodds and Pickard got off to a rough start in the Laundromat business. Their first offering, Hollywood’s Wash on Western, sustained devastating fire damage just after they purchased it in 2017. The blaze broke out overnight in the restaurant next door and quickly engulfed their store.

Rather than wallow in despair, Dodds and Pinkard got busy trying to regroup, all the while learning as much as they could about self-service laundry to ensure they did everything better the second time around.

They met Michael Ambrose, who works for Western State Design. Ambrose was instrumental in helping them design and equip their remodeled store. Wash on Western’s Dexter Laundry vended washers and dryers are extremely popular with their customers, particularly the large-capacity models which serve families well, the owners say.

LATEST VENTURE

Fast forward a few years later: After acquiring additional Laundromats (one of which they’ve since sold with Ambrose’s help), Dodds and Pinkard decided to branch out into a dedicated laundry pickup and delivery service business—with a plan to serve both residential and commercial customers.

To facilitate the new business, they licensed software from the New York laundry pickup and delivery service, Wash Club NYC.

Initially, they ran the new service out of one of their Laundromats, during off-hours. The business proved successful but quickly required 24-hour operation, using more and more of the store’s washers and dryers. Their average number of turns per day increased dramatically from 3-4 to over 10, and sometimes peaked as high as 15 on a given day. Needless to say, their customers were not thrilled with this arrangement, which was short-lived, fortunately.

Check back Wednesday for the conclusion!