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American Changer CC-302 Coin Counter Install

 

           As part of the conversion of the Large Capacity washers and dryers at Washin Anniston to Quarters, Dollar Coins, and Tokens  I needed to have an efficient way to to separate them to be put them back in the changer.

American Changer CC-302 Coin Counter

                I talked to American Changer and they explained how their counters  are built for years of use. American Changer is the Parent Company of Hoffman Mint, the token manufacturer and they use the same coin counter in their factory to count the orders before shipment.  So they probably put more through in a month than most Laundromats will in years.

CC 302 Coin Counter

           I ordered one and had a look at ow they sort and count and, as t would be stationary in the store, decided the best way to install it for ease of use.

       Have a look at the video where I explain how I mounted the coin counter and some things to look at when you install yours.

Shelf for CC-302 Coin Sorter

 

The Links I mentioned are:

American Changer: http://www.americanchanger.com/

American Changer CC-302  http://www.americanchanger.com/Products/product.asp?ProdID=61

Hoffman Mint  http://www.hoffmanmint.com/

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Ken

 

Don’t miss the chance to join the Members Section of LaundromatHowTo.com where we have open discussions about all aspects of the Coin Laundry business.
Just click on the picture below and I’ll see you there.

 

Episode 35 – Laundromat Refunds

Laundromat Refunds

          Attended Laundromats don’t have a problem offering refunds or redoing a load but in an unattended Laundromat a system needs to be set up for customer concerns.

          In all of my stores I have a mail slot that drops into a secure area. I leave refund slips in a basket by the mail slot that the customer can fill out their Name, Address, Phone, Concern and amount requested. If there are no slips they can use any piece of paper. I have even gotten them written on parts of laundry soap boxes.

          I keep the refund boxes secure as they have the contact information of the customer on them that I don’t want to leave it out, as well as I want to make sure I get the slips and I send the refunds.

          When I pick up the refunds I scan the slips in and save them to a DropBox account where my accountant has someone record the information on a tracking sheet, fill out the checks and address the envelopes. All I need to do is to stop by and sign the checks and put them in the mail. It saves me a bunch of time and the refunds are getting sent out quicker.

             The scanner I use is a portable, rechargeable model. It will store 450 pages internally or you can save straight to a thumb drive.

Here is the link for the scanner I use.

If you have any comments please post them below.

 

Ken 

How To Build A Laundromat

How To Build A Laundromat         

  You have arrived at this site at a unique time. A Laundromat is about to be built and you have the opportunity to join the construction as it happens.

All of the information will be available and your questions will be answered as we go.

            When I first started in the Coin Laundry Industry I asked questions from some other owners, read all of the material I could find but there was still a lot of things that I had to learn as I went along. Some were expensive and not in the original budget because I Just Didn’t Know.

       It’s time to change that. I am about to start construction on a new Laundromat and I want you to see behind the scenes as it’s done.

       Watch the video below and then click on the link to join the exclusive group behind the scenes.

Join Me Here Before Time Runs Out…

—>  CLICK HERE <—

I’ll see you on the inside.

Ken

Book Arch

          I know this has nothing to do with Laundromats but it was a fun project for my daughters room.

            A few years ago we saw something similar in a store and she loved it and wanted one in her room. Sure, a simple task.

 

             Well it took me a couple of years for a few reasons.
   1- How to make it stable without damaging the books
    2- As a book lover, I prefer to hold and read a book over an electronic book any day. I have read hundreds of books in my life, so far, and I don’t plan on stopping, I had to get past the idea that I would destroy the book in the process.
    3- How to make it work and be stable.

           These are all things a teenager never thinks about but I did lay awake at night thinking about it.

                 Finally I came across a store that was literally giving the books away as they were closing down. So I loaded the car and took them home. This pile was actually stored under her bed for awhile and was really bugging her. I added more books that were left in a rental house and finally made the move.

               First step was to find a base that would work. I ended up cutting some pieces from an old TV mount.

 

               Next I drilled a couple of holes to connect the metal conduit through.

 

             The top arch was just a 4′ piece for conduit that I used a bender in the store to round the ends.

 

             For support I connected the upright pieces to the wall with some threaded rod and some heavy weight wall anchors.I just used the threaded part of the wall anchors and used 3″ screws into the wall studs.

               One of the hardest parts was lifting the loaded arch on to the uprights and sitting it in place. The holes in the books on this section were drilled closer to the edges so they would hang down and not hit the roof.

   The holes were drilled using a 1″ wood bit. The paperbacks were hard as they fluffed up a lot. I found by clamping the books together, drilling a few pages at a time and cleaning the bit a lot it worked OK. I did drill a small pilot hole through first so I could drill from both sides.

 

Another challenge was how to cover the connections. The uprights were filled up to the wall support and then the top arch was filled on the floor and lifted into place.

What I ended up doing was to cut some slots into some large, hardcover books and just slide them into place after everything was tight.

 

 

First I drilled the holes like normal and then used a reciprocation saw to do most of the cutting. 

 

          An oscillating saw helped finish up the corners.

 

              And there it is. It was actually in another room for a couple of months before we switched rooms. I did find that the books “settled” after a while as the fluffed up pages were compressed by the weight.

 

 

 

Not your normal project but t turned out great.

 

Ken 

Ken Barrett

P.S. This is the link to starting your online business. Click Here

Donations

Donations

          Whether you run an Unattended, Partially or Fully Attended chances are you will have some clothes left behind from your customers.

               You would be surprised the amount of items we have left in our Drop Off Service. We make sure that we always get the phone number of the customers, especially if they are dropping a comforter.

              We will start making calls about 2 weeks after they were dropped off unless we start to run out of storage space and then it is sooner. Each call is documented on the ticket with the date, initials of who called and the results. Left Message, Will Pick Up on ____, Wrong number etc.

                We keep the items for at least 30 days as that is what is printed on the tickets. After a reasonable amount of time the items are moved to the office/ storage area in the next unit. This is a separate store front and has limited access.

            Once things start to pile up I make a donation trip. Any towels get donated to the local Animal Shelter. Other items are sometimes split between other charities or Thrift Stores. I have made many donations to the Salvation Army as well.

                Recently I was talking to my accountant about it and she said I could just drop the items off at her office and she would take them to a local charity. I asked her about what they could use and it turns out it is a real, grassroots, local community charity. They have a food pantry where people can pick up limited items for free. They do have a Thrift Store where they sell some of the items to raise money for the organization but many of the items are just given to people that really need them. Also in cases where people have had fires or floods they will provide the items for free.

                 This seemed like the best place to make some donations.

         Today I had my Expedition loaded with a bunch of items from around the house. I have two teenage daughters and we recently had to empty their rooms to install new carpet so we told them nothing goes back until it gets sorted. This ended up with about 4 garbage bags worth of clothes that didn’t fit or they just weren’t going to wear. Tell me if you have seen this before….some still had the tags on them!!

                  So I showed up and told them I had some donations. They grabbed a shopping cart and I said that wouldn’t be enough so they grabbed one more. I said Still not enough. When I opened the back of the truck they were a little speechless and then I told them this was just the first load.

                       Here is a picture of the second load. This was all left at the laundry and it was spring cleaning time.

 

                 I told my attendants that if anyone came in that had left their items a few months ago to say sorry but the donations will be appreciated and give to people in need.

                 If you run an unattended laundromat you could also have a bin for “Un-Needed But Usable Clothes”. Some people may take some or all of them but 

 

 

Play Safe and Be A Good Neighbor

Ken

Episode 34 – Contractor? Let’s Ask The IRS

Contractor? Let’s Ask The IRS

Internal Revenue Service 20 point Checklist for Independent Contractor

          Mistakenly classifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in significant fines and penalties. There are 20 factors used by the IRS to determine whether you have enough control over a worker to be an employer. Though these rules are intended only as a guide-the IRS says the importance of each factor depends on the individual circumstances-they should be helpful in determining whether you wield enough control to show an employer-employee relationship.

          If you answer “Yes” to all of the first four questions, you’re probably dealing with an independent contractor; “Yes” to any of questions 5 through 20 means your worker is probably an employee.

1. Profit or Loss. Can the worker make a profit or suffer loss as a result of the work, aside from the money earned from the project? (This should involve real economic risk-not just the risk of not getting paid.

2. Investment. Does the worker have an investment in the equipment and facilities used to do the work? (The greater the investment, the more likely independent contractor status.)

3. Works for more than one firm. Does the person work for more than one company at a time? (This tends to indicate independent contractor status, but isn’t conclusive since employees can also work for more than one employer.)

4. Services offered to the general public. Does the worker offer services to the general public.

5. Instructions. Do you have the right to give the worker instructions about when, where, and hot to work? (This shows control over the worker.)

6. Training. Do you train the worker to do the job in a particular way? (Independent contractors are already trained.)

7. Integration. Are the worker’s services so important to your business that they have become a necessary part of the business? (This may show that the worker is subject to your control.)

8. Services rendered personally. Must the worker provide the services personally, as opposed to delegating task to someone else? (This indicates that you are interested in the methods employed, and not just the results.)

9. Hiring assistants. Do you hire, supervise, and pay the worker’s assistants? (Independent contractors hire and pay their own staff.)

10. Continuing relationship. Is there an ongoing relationship between the worker and yourself? (A relationship can be considered ongoing if services are performed frequently, but irregularly.)

11. Work hours. Do you set the worker’s hours? (Independent contractors are masters of their own time.)

12. Full-time work. Must the workers spend all of his or her time on your job? (Independent contractors choose when and where they will work.)

13. Work done on premises. Must the individual work on your premises, or do you control the route or location where the work must be performed? (Answering no doesn’t by itself mean independent contractor status.)

14. Sequence. Do you have the right to determine the order in which services are performed? (This shows control over the worker.)

15. Reports. Must the worker give you reports accounting for his or her actions? (This may show lack of independence.)

16. Pay Schedules. Do you pay the worker’s business by hour, week, or month? (Independent contractors are generally paid by the job or commission, although by industry practice, some are paid by the hour.)

17. Expenses. do you pay the worker’s business or travel costs? (This tend to show control.)

18. Tools and materials. Do you provide the worker with equipment, tools, or materials? (Independent contractors generally supply the materials for the job and use their own tools and equipment.)

19. Right to fire. Can you fire the worker? (An independent contractor can’t be fired without subjecting you to the risk of breach of contract lawsuit.)

20. Worker’s right to quit. Can the worker quit at any time, without incurring liability? (An independent contractor has a legal obligation to complete the contract.)

 

Ken

Episode 33 – POS- With Brian Henderson Part 2

POS- With Brian Henderson Part 2

       This is the second part of my interview with Brian Henderson and his travels down the POS Road.

         We cover more of the details of what makes a great Laundromat Specific Point Of Sale system and how to get the right one in your store.

            When people hear the term POS a few things come to mind. In this Episode we talk about Point Of Sale Systems and the struggles to find one that will work with the Laundromat Industry.

 

          Brian Henderson has a lot of experience in this area and ventured down some roads that others don’t want to.

Here is some Background on Brian:

Brian Henderson

          Brian Henderson is the Operations Manager of Liberty Laundry, a highly successful chain of laundromats in northeast Oklahoma.  Since its founding in 2005 by Brian’s father John Henderson, Liberty Laundry has expanded to a team of 25 people, three locations, and continues to grow.  In 2006 Liberty Laundry was announced a top five runner-up inAmerican Coin-Op magazine’s “Coin-Op Beautiful Contest” as one of the nation’s most beautiful laundromats. 

Liberty Laundry         Lynn-Lane-1

 

       Additionally, Liberty Laundry was the first laundromat in the state of Oklahoma and one of the first in the nation to install credit card readers on every washer and dryer in its store.

          Brian Henderson came on board full time as the company’s Operations Manager in 2010 after graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in chemistry.  Brian is a self-proclaimed “laundry nerd” and says that he absolutely loves “talking shop” with other laundry owners.  He and his father John Henderson have written several articles for the CLA’s monthly trade magazinePlanet Laundry and are frequent contributors to the CLA’s online forums.

 

             Brian is a repeat guest presenter at the international laundry conference called the Clean Show, having participated in a panel discussion titled Best Practices for Wash Dry Fold and Commercial Accounts at 2013’s Clean Show in New Orleans.  Brian presented again at the 2015 Clean Show in Atlanta in a class titled Your Guide to Wash, Dry, Fold: Folding, Packaging and Presentation Techniques and spoke to a packed audience with standing-room-only in a presentation titledThe High-Tech Laundromat: Streamlining Store Operations Through Technology.

              Brian recently began a new business providing Point of Sale systems specifically tailored to the needs of fellow laundromat owners running a Wash-Dry-Fold operation and has already received a great response.  If you would like to learn more about this system then check out his new website at washdryfoldpos.com or email him at brian@washdryfoldpos.com

 

 Brian also lists some of the factors to look for in this Article in Planet Laundry.

           POS Systems: A Guide for Laundry Owners “Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Point-of-Sale System for Your Business.”

 

              For more information on the history of Liberty Laundry check out the PodCast at:

FOREFOUNDERS Ep. 14: The Bright Spot in a Dingy Industry with Brian Henderson of Liberty Laundry

Comments and questions are always welcome.

 

Ken

Episode 32- POS- With Brian Henderson Part 1

POS- With Brian Henderson Part 1

          When people hear the term POS a few things come to mind. In this Episode we talk about Point Of Sale Systems and the struggles to find one that will work with the Laundromat Industry.

          Brian Henderson has a lot of experience in this area and ventured down some roads that others don’t want to.

Here is some Background on Brian:

          Brian Henderson is the Operations Manager of Liberty Laundry, a highly successful chain of laundromats in northeast Oklahoma.  Since its founding in 2005 by Brian’s father John Henderson, Liberty Laundry has expanded to a team of 25 people, three locations, and continues to grow.  In 2006 Liberty Laundry was announced a top five runner-up in American Coin-Op magazine’s “Coin-Op Beautiful Contest” as one of the nation’s most beautiful laundromats. 

       Additionally, Liberty Laundry was the first laundromat in the state of Oklahoma and one of the first in the nation to install credit card readers on every washer and dryer in its store.

          Brian Henderson came on board full time as the company’s Operations Manager in 2010 after graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in chemistry.  Brian is a self-proclaimed “laundry nerd” and says that he absolutely loves “talking shop” with other laundry owners.  He and his father John Henderson have written several articles for the CLA’s monthly trade magazine Planet Laundry and are frequent contributors to the CLA’s online forums.

             Brian is a repeat guest presenter at the international laundry conference called the Clean Show, having participated in a panel discussion titled Best Practices for Wash Dry Fold and Commercial Accounts at 2013’s Clean Show in New Orleans.  Brian presented again at the 2015 Clean Show in Atlanta in a class titled Your Guide to Wash, Dry, Fold: Folding, Packaging and Presentation Techniques and spoke to a packed audience with standing-room-only in a presentation titled The High-Tech Laundromat: Streamlining Store Operations Through Technology.

              Brian recently began a new business providing Point of Sale systems specifically tailored to the needs of fellow laundromat owners running a Wash-Dry-Fold operation and has already received a great response.  If you would like to learn more about this system then check out his new website at washdryfoldpos.com or email him at brian@washdryfoldpos.com

 Brian also lists some of the factors to look for in this Article in Planet Laundry.

           POS Systems: A Guide for Laundry Owners “Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Point-of-Sale System for Your Business.”

              For more information on the history of Liberty Laundry check out the PodCast at:

FOREFOUNDERS Ep. 14: The Bright Spot in a Dingy Industry with Brian Henderson of Liberty Laundry

Comments and questions are always welcome.

 

Ken

Broken Mounting Bolt

Broken Mounting Bolt

        I am very active with the local Chamber of Commerce and attend many events. A couple of their monthly meetings are Business and Biscuits and Business After Hours.

          It does take a few meetings and conversations to get to know people and after awhile I have found that some local businesses will call me if they have issues with their commercial machines.

         In some cases it’s a simple fix like a drain valve or a water valve and I will order the part and repair it for them.

         One business I have done a few things for was a local Spa. They have an OPL (On Premise Laundry) machine. Basically it’s the same as some of my washers except it doesn’t have a coin drop.

 

         The called saying their washer was vibrating very badly and asked if I could take a look. I started it up and sure enough it was shaking like a human being (my Canadian friends will recognize the Kim Mitchell reference).

           A quick investigation found that one of the mounting bolts was broken off of the base.

           I called a service tech a couple of hours away and explained the problem to him as this was something I was not comfortable repairing. He said he would have to pass it to his installation team as they had the tools and equipment to move the washer and drill new lag bolts into the concrete.

          I sent him a few of the attached pictures so they could see what was required and let the Spa Manager know that they would be coming to repair it.

          Although in this case I couldn’t repair it for them and didn’t charge them for the visit it helps to build relationships with other local business owners.

           It also helps that they use my Laundromat whenever they have a problem with their machines.

                Another time there was an occasion where I received a call from the local Salvation Army shelter that they had problems with their washer. The water fill valve was leaking and spraying water over the machine so they only turned it on during the fill cycle.

         I picked up the valve and some new belts at a local supplier and repaired the washer the next day. There was no charge for the parts or labor on that one.

          It takes some time and effort but get to know other business owners around you so everyone has somebody to call if they have a question.

 

Play Safe

Ken

Episode 31 – Utility Deposits

Utility Deposits

          Most Laundromats use Natural Gas for dryers and water heaters. There are some that use propane and a few that use power but natural gas is the most popular.
           Gas companies tend to like working with Laundromats due to the high volume of usage and the consistent year round demand.

          The gas company is going to require a substantial deposit. For a smaller store that may be a couple of thousand dollars and go up from there.

          Most utilities including gas, power and possibly water/sewer will accept a bond in lieu of a cash deposit. Although they will usually pay interest on your deposit I prefer to choose my own investments.

          The bonds can be issued through many insurance companies and possibly even a Bail Bond type company. I went with the same company that I have my personal insurance and company car with.

          The purpose of the bond is an insurance against you not paying your bill. If you go out of business and try and stiff the utility company they will just cash in your bond.

          You will probably have to personally guarantee the bond.  The insurance company will do credit checks and possibly have other requirements when issuing the bonds. I was OK on my first couple and then I hit a certain maximum limit so I had to provide more detailed information.

          Another advantage of the bond is it becomes an expense against the income. (confirm with your CPA). The cost is very low compared to the deposit. I typically pay less than $100 a year per bond.

          Many gas companies will have a sales rep for your area. Get to know them when you setup your first store. When I converted my 3rd store from propane to natural gas they did not require a bond as I had already shown a good payment history on my other two stores. The fact that they were different LLC’s was not even a concern.

          When you are starting out in the Laundromat business there are a number of small items you can learn that can save you thousands of dollars in investment or expense. 

          Looking for more information about Laundromat Ownership?
–> Check This Out. <–

 

If you have comments please post them below.

 

Ken