Soap Bar Launderette
Name: Constance Bernard
Position: Co-Founder/ Marketing / IT Support / Design /Acquisitions / Managing Director
Location: Melbourne and Surf Coast, Victoria, Australia
We provide IT automation and customer service in a business model that was lacking these features. Bringing to humble coin laundry into the technology age.
What products/services do you offer?
Self-service wash and dry facilities.
Why did you start your business and how long have you been running it?
There was an entire industry ignoring its customers and not keeping up with technology. In 2013 my partner and I decided to create the first visually please, pleasantly smelling place where you could wash, dry, drink coffee and work from.
What struggles do you think most businesses face in your industry and what would you say they need to do to overcome them?
Branding and Marketing. Starting any business as a “side project” and expecting it to run itself, is a mistake most people make when starting a Laundromat Business.
Money is rarely spent on marketing and when it is, there is no effort towards retaining the customers gained.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Opening 6 stores and still giving our customers 100% attention when needed. This means we work around the clock, but we love it.
What has been your biggest ‘fail’ so far?
“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Edison
What do you love most about your business?
Our Launderettes are fresh and lively stores, that we can run from anywhere. IT is my passion and brings in new technology to make them even easy for our customers is exciting.
What do you find most challenging?
Running your own business with Children, It’s much easier to walk out of a 9-5 job and play with your kids with a clear head.
How do you promote your business (please include as many details as you can)?
Online, flyer drops, word of mouth, I look for new and exciting ways every day.
What business skills do you have?
- Graphic design,
- Customer service,
- Computer Networking,
- Microsoft Administration
- SQL Administration
- I’m great with electronics
- Web Site Design
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Running a laundromat
- Fixing washing machines
- Cleaning Laundromats
What software did you/your designer use to create your website (eg. WordPress, Wix)?
WordPress and lots of wonderful plugins
What are some of your favourite business tools and apps?
- Survey Monkey
- All the Social media editing and scheduling apps
What do you like about your website and what’s not working for you?
Page speed is an issue we’re working on and fighting spamers.
What lessons have you learnt during your time as an entrepreneur?
If you engage in something you have a passion for, you will struggle to find motivation to get through the speed humps.
What key tips for success in business would you like to share with others?
Learn as many skills as you can. Unless you fully understand the task, outsourcing can be a disaster.
What is the one thing that you want everyone to take away from this post?
Running a Laundrette business or any business of your own is hard work and a huge mental drain. It helps to have a supporting family or partner and only do it if you enjoy working in your sleep.