Ross Dodds, Taking Laundry Service to a Higher Level
FJ: What lead you to create your companies?
RD: I have an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to be in business for myself again after closing out my previous business of buying and selling wholesale and liquidation lots. Being here in Los Angeles, laundry seemed like a need everyone always had but more folks here use laundromats than in unit or in building facilities. To me, that started to look a little more recession-proof than other businesses. Little did I know fast forward we would be in the middle of a pandemic and we would be classified “Essential Business” and still be open and generating jobs and income!
FJ: What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
RD: I wanted to build something for myself and my family for now and for later in life.
FJ: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
RD: The best part of being an entrepreneur is choosing my path and work schedule. It can be a tremendous amount of work but I can also plan for downtime to take vacations or spread myself into another project.
FJ: What are three of your company’s goals?
RD: 1. Expansion is always at the top of my list at this point.
2. Moving all employees to a minimum of $15/hour ahead of minimum wage guidelines.
3. Continue to expand our partnership with non-profits to help homeless and under-housed individuals alike.
FJ: What challenges have you encountered?
RD: After purchasing my first laundry back in December 2014. Just 5 days later a fire next door also burned the entire laundry down. It took 2 years to rebuild and finally reopen, it was a learning experience and test of patience like no other!
FJ: What thoughts would you give to others who have similar aspirations?
RD: Planning is very important but sometimes, it just requires the jump and the risk… GO FOR IT!
FJ: What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
RD: Protecting my team. My businesses can not succeed and be successful without my employees, so I put a lot into taking care of my whole team so we can all be better.
FJ: Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?
RD: Our number 1 priority is always our customer. It’s the first thing we talk about in training and with supporting my team the way I do, we intend to support our customers. Clean, safe facility and happy friendly staff are what sets us apart.
FJ: How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
RD: We’ve tried to make ourselves a part of the community that we are in with each location. When we open a new location, we give away laundry. Best marketing dollars have always been straight to the customer that you are going to want to keep coming in the end after the grand opening. Word of mouth without power any money you can spend elsewhere.
FJ: What is unique about your business?
RD: How new, clean, bright our facilities are. Many consider laundry to be a chore, normally done in a dingy laundry room or laundromat and we are changing that image.
FJ: Who inspires you?
RD: Suze Orman! She was not successful until her late 30’s, she just hadn’t found her passion yet.
FJ: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
RD: If your business relies on employees to run, DONT BE the employee. As an entrepreneur, we tend to wear all the hats and at the beginning that includes working the frontline because many times maybe you don’t have the money for payroll but by spending that entire shift working in your business instead of out your business, you could be missing the very things that will grow the business so you can afford the full team. You can’t be so close to the business that you loose site how to run it and grow it.
Till next time!
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