Liz & Steve Carlin
San Diego, CA
Springboard recently caught up with one of their top operators to ask a few questions about how they got into the residential pickup and delivery business and their experience so far. Here’s how it “unfolded.”
SB: When and why did you start your pickup/delivery service?
SC/LC: Steve and I had been in the laundromat business for about 2 years when we purchased a location that had a dry cleaning drop-off with a small fluff and fold business. We grew the fluff and fold business about 200% and wanted to be able to offer our services to a wider audience. In the age of “at your door services/deliveries”, we knew laundry pickup and delivery service had great potential. Initially, we didn’t really know how to market the business and find new clients. Steve stopped by the Springboard booth at the Clean Show, and it made sense. They were exactly what we needed.
SB: What was the biggest obstacle to overcome to start?
SC/LC: Deciding on our service territory. We knew we wanted to offer service to all of San Diego County but we were not sure if it was too much to take on immediately. We decided to bite the bullet and just get started. It was a serious hustle when we first got started. Steve was the driver and we had one fulltime employee. Some days he felt like he was in 4 corners of the earth in a single day (our territory is 50 square miles!). But we had faith that it would slowly fill in. It has. We have two vans now and 11 employees. The other constant obstacle is finding good people who are hard workers and care about our business.
SB: Why did you choose Springboard as your pickup/delivery software?
SC/LC: We loved that John MacKrell had been in the business so he understood the pain points and was able to provide more than just software. Springboard provides guidance on every aspect of the business.
SB: How did Springboard help you build your business?
SC/LC: I think the biggest value add is their expertise in Google AdWords advertising. So far it has been the bulk of our customer acquisition. We have over 300 customer sign ups in 8 months.
SB: What is your secret to being successful in the pickup/delivery business?
Being scalable. You start with no customers and we had limited resources. You have to be able to handle the growth in sales. Timing is important; when to purchase the next van, upgrade equipment, hire new staff. Keeping a pulse on the growth is a challenge but very important.
SB: What do you do for fun outside of your business
SC/LC: We have 3 kids. So right now our life is them (family outings to the beach/zoo/park, music/swim classes and playing) and growing this business.
SB: What would be your advice for anyone looking to get into the laundry pickup and delivery business?
SC/LC: As with anything in life, make sure you choose your partners and vendors carefully. Springboard has been great helping us with issues launching our business and has also been a great resource as we scale.
The Springboard Team