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EP 54 An Interview with Steven Ste. Marie

        Today we talk with  Steven Ste. Marie an owner from Milwaulkee about how he got into the Coin Laundry Industry and how he supported the local community with a mural on the side of his building.

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Celebration of Bay View Mural
Bay View Mural Milwaulkee

Here’s some of Steven’s Background.

     Years ago after Steven Ste Marie finished college he was hired by a multinational Textile Rental Company that specialized in work uniforms, dust control and other similar products.

    That experience led him to be the Plant Manager for a Dry Cleaning Plant that processed garments for 45 Drop Stores in the Metro Milwaukee area.

     In  2009, with Real Estate “on sale” in many areas of the United States, Steven bought a commercial building on the South Side of Milwaukee and  moved into the Coin Laundry Industry.

     The building now contains the Bay View Maytag Laundromat and 3 other businesses.

     And we must not forget the 8 years Steven spent as an engineering in the US Navy.

     Locally Steven was a member of the Board of Directors for the Kinnickinnic Ave Business Improvement District from 2009 to 2013.

 

Bay View Maytag Laundromat
Steven Ste Marie

 

https://www.facebook.com/Bay-View-Maytag-Laundromat-299682636711364/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevestemarie/

 Thanks for listening
                 Ken

Ken Barrett at Eastman Worlds of Work 2017
Oxford AL

            Are you headed to the Clean Show in Las Vegas June 5-8? If you are I’ll see you there.

       If you have a chance please LIKE our Facebook page. I post tips and videos that don’t make the main blogs. Also I will be LIVE at the CLEAN Show in June. 

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Episode 53 – Clean Show 2017- Training Seminars

 Clean Show 2017- Training Seminars


 

Clean Show 2017 – Training Seminars

            Below are the seminars available at this years Clean Show  in Las Vegas June 5-8,2017

                 They are put on by various Industries involved in the Clean Show but I don’t think they check your membership card at the door so why not branch out a bit and see what the other industries are doing.[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]

 Check here for the most up to date list Clean show Seminars

Monday, June 5

  • 8-9:30 a.m. — The Human Mousetrap: Planning for Safe Entry into Confined Spaces, sponsored by the Association for Linen Management (ALM).

If a contractor enters a permit-required confined space at your workplace, who is responsible for their safety and compliance with OSHA’s standards? Does your rescue plan involve offsite rescue services? Have you ever considered reclassifying a permit-required confined space to a non-permit space? This session by Barry Spurlock, Esq., CSP, Eastern Kentucky University, will address your legal responsibilities as well as give your company guidance on protecting your employees.

  • 8:30-9:30 a.m. — Customer Contracts: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, sponsored by the Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA).

Join TRSA General Counsel Steve Fellman in an interactive discussion on how to design customer contracts to maximize profitability. Learn about new contract clauses relating to digital billing technology and examine how textile services companies deal with issues relating to inducing breach of contract.

  • 8:30-9:45 a.m. — Business as Unusual, sponsored by the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI).

The drycleaning business today is so much more than “suit and tie.” Your customers are changing and their expectations are changing. If you’re not changing, your business is not growing. Hear how some industry professionals meet the demands of current and future customers.

  • 8:45-10 a.m. — Great by Design: What Laundromats Can Learn from Latest Retail Trends, sponsored by the Coin Laundry Association (CLA).

Today’s Laundromats strive to portray a modern and professional look to consumers. Much may be learned from the most popular trends being seen in other retail and service environments. Hear experts discuss how laundries may leverage the best design trends in retail environments.

  • 2-3 p.m. — All Things Facebook: How to Grow Your Laundromat Sales, sponsored by CLA.

Social media has become a valuable tool for promoting one’s Laundromat to new customers. This session will focus specifically on the features and services available through Facebook that will help you grow sales in your laundry.

  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. — TRSA Clean Green and Hygienically Clean Certification Programs, sponsored by TRSA.

Independent, quantitative, third-party certifications build customer confidence and offer your company a competitive advantage, TRSA says. Nearly 60 companies (163 facilities) have earned TRSA’s Clean Green designation and more than 115 facilities have earned TRSA’s Hygienically Clean designation, making them the fastest growing, most recognized international certification programs for textile services operators, the association adds. Learn how your company can meet these rigorous standards and quantifiable measurements, including inspections and testing.

Tuesday, June 6

  • 8-9 a.m. — Family Business Dynamics, sponsored by TRSA.

This session focuses on family human resource and governance process innovation in multi-generational family companies. Learn the generation-influenced frameworks that multi-generation family enterprise leaders are using to help facilitate communication among and education of current and future generation members to better prepare family members who have the requisite ability and willingness to contribute meaningfully to the sustainability (and legacy) of their family and business(es).

  • 8-9:30 a.m. — How is Your Linen Handled? Lessons from ALM’s Research Project, sponsored by ALM.

Healthcare textiles from quality laundry providers are typically hygienically clean and safe for use. Is the hygienic integrity maintained during transportation, storage and distribution? ALM has completed a research study to evaluate those concerns and will present its results publicly for the first time during this session.

  • 8:30-9:45 a.m. — Drycleaners & Laundromat Owners: Partnering for Future Profits, co-sponsored by CLA and DLI.

Drycleaners and laundry owners are using each other’s expertise to increase their market share. Learn from industry members how they have made this partnership work for them.

  • 9-10 a.m. — Laundry Marketing Secrets Revealed, sponsored by TRSA.

If you want to grow your business in the digital age, you need to learn successful strategies that help you do so. Discover the top tips and tricks to succeed in B2B social and digital advertising. You’ll also hear how to incorporate conversion rate optimization to maximize your sales through new customer acquisition.

  • 2-3 p.m. — TextileEd “TED” Talks, sponsored by ALM.

“Riveting Thoughts by Remarkable People” are the cornerstone of the popular Ted Talks. ALM’s version brings together some of the remarkable people who have riveting thoughts about the laundry and linen industry, offering quick segments of valuable education.

  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. — Oops: Now What?, sponsored by DLI.

There are nearly as many home stain removal tips as there are homes. DLI puts some of these home remedies to the test to see which actually work and which ones fail.

Wednesday, June 7

  • 8-9 a.m. — Doing Well by Doing Good: How Laundromat Owners are Giving Back, sponsored by CLA.

The best Laundromats serve as critical community centers where important resources may be shared with local residents. Hear stories of how Laundromat owners are giving back to their neighborhoods and transforming their stores into community centers.

  • 8-9 a.m. — Five Considerations for Improving Employee Retention, sponsored by TRSA.

In an increasingly competitive business world, top talent is in high demand. If you aren’t making your top workers happy, another company may easily recruit them. This session will offer you five key considerations for retaining your top employees that go beyond a good pay package.

  • 8-9:30 a.m. — Healthcare Contingency Risks & Plan, sponsored by ALM.

Healthcare facilities have a responsibility to ensure care is provided even when critical products such as linen are unavailable. Hear lessons learned by one health system when developing its contingency plan and learn about the process it followed in assessing the options, selecting a direction, and managing results.

  • 8:30-9:45 a.m. — The Five Essential Steps to Growing Revenue in a Tough Market, sponsored by DLI.

Discover how to unlock the secrets of successful sales promotion and marketing management with ideas you can implement right away.

  • 9-10 a.m. — Maximizing Labor Efficiency in Your Wash-Dry-Fold Operation, sponsored by CLA.

For most operators, getting more productivity from your front-line workforce is a major challenge. This special presentation will focus on getting the most from those payroll dollars by incorporating the most efficient practices into your wash-dry-fold production.

  • 9-10 a.m. — Tips and Lessons Learned for Entering the Commercial Laundry Industry, sponsored by TRSA.

Have you ever thought about what it would take to enter the commercial linen and uniform rental market? There are pros, but also cons that come along with tackling a market you’re unfamiliar with. Hear from industry experts on the best place to start this type of transition, how the industry works and what competition already exists, to determine if it’s the right move for you.

  • 2-3 p.m. — OSHA Compliance: Identifying Laundry’s Most Cited Violations, sponsored by TRSA.

Edwin G. Foulke Jr. was OSHA’s top administrator from 2006 to 2008, when workplace injury, illness and fatality rates dropped to record-low levels. Now an attorney in private practice, he has helped TRSA develop consensus proposals for overcoming the most difficult obstacles the industry faces in eliminating injuries and illnesses. He’ll discuss OSHA’s top 20 most frequently cited standards and the top 25 “low-hanging” fruit violations. He will also share information on TRSA’s new Safety Certification.

  • 3:30-4:30 — WiFi in Your Laundromat: Best Practices for Security & Marketing, sponsored by CLA.

Thousands of Laundromat owners are now adding free WiFi as a prominent amenity for their customers. Learn the best way to manage, support, secure and promote this indispensable feature for maximum impact.

Thursday, June 8

  • 8:30-10 a.m. — Your First Laundromat: 10 Keys to Success, sponsored by CLA.

No one can learn everything they need to know about an investment in a self-service laundry in one seminar but this fast-paced, 90-minute session will help you identify the most important elements for success.

 

Ken

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Episode 52 – The Golden Washboard Awards with Todd Fener

The Golden Washboard Awards with Todd Fener

 

         

 

There are many Trade Shows and Open Houses around the US and other areas for Laundromat Owners but some take a different approach. Today we talk with Todd Fener of Laundry Owners Warehouse and learn about the history and the recipients of the Golden Washboard Awards.

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  • Lifetime Achievement – Paul Russo, Mr. Machine Laundromat, Oceanside, N.Y.
  • Laundroteur of the Year – Claudio & Mercedes Vilas, Project Butterfly, Pompano Beach, Fla.
  • Newest Member of the Dexter Family – Grant Einhorn, Gee Coin Laundry, Plantation, Fla.
  • Best Interior – Bill Pederson, The Laundry Warehouse, Tamarac, Fla.
  • Industry Advocate – Daryl Johnson, Giant Wash Laundry, St. Ansgar, Iowa
  • Best Store Rehab – George Youssef, Aloha Laundry, West Palm Beach, Fla. 
  • Best Find – Alberto Mosconi, All Me Laundry, Lake Worth, Fla.

 

Laundroteur of the Year

Golden Wash Board Winner – Claudio Villas

 Best Interior

Golden Washboard Winner – Bill Pederson

It’s not all business.

Lunch and Beer Tasting at the Show

          A captive audience,  but there is always that one guy that you’re wondering if he’s just really deep thinking…

Big Wash Store Picture
Coral Way Miami Store Picture
Lydia Fener , Todd Fener , Rey Morales

 

Paul’s Sock Wrapper
Paul’s “Mr Machine” Sock Wrapper

Contact:

Todd B. Fener

Laundry Owners Warehouse

3555 Powerline Road

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

954-537-1643

 todd@lowlaundry.com

WWW.LOWLAUNDRY.COM

 

 

 

Thanks for listening

Ken

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Episode 51 – Bringing Back The Human Element

Bringing Back The Human Element

          In the February 2017 Edition of American Coin-Op, Laurance Cohen wrote in his column “Goin’ With Cohen” about Ken Barrett, his background, how he got into the Coin Laundry Industry and how he runs his stores.[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] 

          This article was read as an audiobook by professional voice-over artist Chris Abernathy. Chris@AbernathyVoice.com  AbernathyVoice.com

          For the full article go to AmericanCoinOp.com

          It was a great time meeting Laurance and talking shop. Having the opportunity to show a person with his experience behind the scenes of my stores and get his feedback was invaluable.

          As I found out later he arrived in town the day before and scoped out the stores to see them as a customer would for the first time.

          I hope you enjoy this audiobook of his story                                                     

           

Ken

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Episode 49 – ClogHog with Paul Del Piero

ClogHog with Paul Del Piero

 

          Recently I had to deal with another drain issue in one of my stores. As always it was a Sunday afternoon and I needed to get something done. I decided for the cost of bringing in a plumber I could get the equipment myself and be able to do my own maintenance as well.

          I picked up a power auger at a local store and got the issue dealt with. 

          Previously I had come across some information on a sewer jetter named ClogHog and decided to look into it a bit deeper. Power augers do a good job of cutting though obstructions but a jetter has the advantage of having the water right there and cleaning the pipe as it goes through.

          I decided I would put together the items I needed to deal with sewer problems and, more importantly, prevent them from happening.

          I’ve added a ClogHog to my arsenal of equipment.

          In this episode of the PodCast we talk with Paul Del Piero of ClogHog and get into the details of what they do, how they work and why you should have one as well.

 

Ken

Episode 47 – Security Systems

Security Systems- We all need them so get one that you can work with and think like a thief.

          You have a business and you have an income and there are people out there that want to take it from you. It only takes one to ruin your day.

          Having a security system is a basic need in the Laundromat business and your Insurance Company is going to want to know you have one as well.

          There are many companies out there, both national and local, so you need to find one that works well for you. 

          Personally I use SimpliSafe and I have just converted my last store to them.

         Why did I switch?

          I’m a hands on, do it myself type of person like many other Laundromat Owners so I don’t mind sticking a sensor to a wall and clicking a few buttons on my computer.

          With one of my old systems I had a problem with a water sensor. They said they would be there between 12 and 1. At 12:55 they arrived and started to work on them. It turned out both were bad so he replaced them. Then came the waiting time while there were programmed and tested and guess what?? Neither one of the new ones worked.

          So he had to order two more and schedule another time to show up. 

          I don’t know about you but I hate waiting around and then watching someone do things.

          Here’s the link http://simplisafe.com/ or you can send me an email ken@laundromathowto.com, I’ll send you a link and you get 5% off and I get a free month of monitoring. That’s how all this works.

 

Ken

 

Episode 44 – 10 Things Successful People Never Do Again

10 Things Successful People Never Do Again

Successful people never again…

1. Return to what hasn’t worked. Whether a job, or a broken relationship that was ended for a good reason, we should never go back to the same thing, expecting different results, without something being different.

2. Do anything that requires them to be someone they are not. In everything we do, we have to ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this? Am I suited for it? Does it fit me? Is it sustainable?” If the answer is no to any of these questions, you better have a very good reason to proceed.

3. Try to change another person. When you realize that you cannot force someone into doing something, you give him or her freedom and allow them to experience the consequences. In doing so, you find your own freedom as well.

4. Believe they can please everyone. Once you get that it truly is impossible to please everyone, you begin to live purposefully, trying to please the right people.

5. Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit. Once successful people know they want something that requires a painful, time-limited step, they do not mind the painful step because it gets them to a long-term benefit. Living out this principle is one of the most fundamental differences between successful and unsuccessful people, both personally and professionally.

6. Trust someone or something that appears flawless. It’s natural for us to be drawn to things and people that appear “incredible.” We love excellence and should always be looking for it. We should pursue people who are great at what they do, employees who are high performers, dates who are exceptional people, friends who have stellar character, and companies that excel. But when someone or something looks too good to be true, he, she, or it is. The world is imperfect. Period. No one and no thing is without flaw, and if they appear that way, hit pause.

7. Take their eyes off the big picture. We function better emotionally and perform better in our lives when we can see the big picture. For successful people, no one event is ever the whole story. Winners remember that – each and every day.

8. Neglect to do due diligence. No matter how good something looks on the outside, it is only by taking a deeper, diligent, and honest look that we will find out what we truly need to know: the reality that we owe ourselves.

9. Fail to ask why they are where they find themselves. One of the biggest differences between successful people and others is that in love and in life, in relationships and in business, successful people always ask themselves, what part am I playing in this situation? Said another way, they do not see themselves only as victims, even when they are.

10. Forget that their inner life determines their outer success. The good life sometimes has little to do with outside circumstances. We are happy and fulfilled mostly by who we are on the inside. Research validates that. And our internal lives largely contribute to producing many of our external circumstances.

And, the converse is true: people who are still trying to find success in various areas of life can almost always point to one or more of these patterns as a reason they are repeating the same mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes…even the most successful people out there. But, what achievers do better than others is recognize the patterns that are causing those mistakes and never repeat them again. In short, they learn from pain—their own and the pain of others.

A good thing to remember is this: pain is unavoidable, but repeating the same pain twice, when we could choose to learn and do something different, is certainly avoidable. I like to say, “we don’t need new ways to fail….the old ones are working just fine!” Our task, in business and in life, is to observe what they are, and never go back to doing them again.

If you have any comments, please post them below.

 

Ken

Episode 43 – Is Your Business Prepared For A Disaster?

 Is Your Business Prepared For A Disaster?

 

 

Last year I attended  four classes to prepare my business for a disaster. The class is being presented by the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, Calhoun County EMA and the Cleburne and Calhoun chapter of the American Red Cross.
 

          You do not need to be a member of the Chamber Of Commerce to attend this course.

Here are some stats from the Red Cross:

40% of small businesses FAIL following a disaster

94% of small business owners believe a disaster could seriously disrupt their business within the next 2 years.

33% of businesses have NO Business Continuity Plan
 

          Being a small business owner, a former maintenance technician and volunteer firefighter I have had experience with disasters from different angles.
 

          As a firefighter we were continuously training to respond to disasters, touring large factories in our area to understand the concern areas and have a better understanding of the layout of the buildings. There were also a number of farms and fertilizer plants in the area that had their own issues. In some cases the best response to a fire is to let it burn. Seems strange but in the case of a fertilizer building fire the damage done by adding water far outweighs the fire damage to the building. This was all part of the emergency / disaster plan of the facility.  We were present at fires, car accidents, medical emergencies, and a host of other issues.

 

          My job as a maintenance technician required hours of preventive maintenance to avoid equipment failure. In the case of a failure the ability, knowledge, parts and equipment needed to get the facility running again were key to the successful operation of the plant. Many large businesses would never consider running without a trained maintenance staff to respond to equipment “disasters” but have little to no plan in place for an “external / natural” disaster.
 

          As many of my fellow small business owners know you were many hats during the day, Manager, Purchasing Agent, Marketing Department, Sales Person, Accountant, and Floor Sweeper. Adding Disaster Coordinator to the hat rack is about as exciting as an IRS audit.
 

          You may have a “plan” in mind to handle a situation as it comes up but does your staff or family have any idea if you are not available?
 

          Over the past few weeks in the area of Alabama that I live we had a couple of winter weather situations. I was coordinating my store operation by phone and text with my employees but we did have water pipes burst at two of my locations on different days. In one location I flooded my main store and storage room. The casualty at the end of the day was a couple of small items and the power supply for my printer. Fortunately when the pipe burst my employees were at the store.

 

          In the other location the neighboring store owner, who let me know about the leak as it came under the wall, had to call 911 to get someone from the Water Department to come and turn off the water. I had a cleaner at the store but they were unaware of the outside valve location and did not have access to the inside valve.
 

          The class being offered by the EMA is free. The meetings are 2 hours each, one per month for 4 months. Plus some additional time to do the Homework to get your plan together.

     Check with your EMA or local Chamber of Commerce about a class near you, or work with them to set one up.

 

Here are the links I mentioned in the video:
Red Cross ReadyRating.org
Tammy Bain- Calhoun County EMA- 256-435-0540.
TBain@CalhounCountyEMA.org

The Anniston Star Article can be found HERE

If you have any comments please post them below.

P.S Are you a business and need to improve your online presence? Maybe I can help START HERE

 

Ken