If you’ve ever considered owning your own laundromat, Eco Laundry Room offers some innovative trends to pay attention to.
With seven locations in the Melbourne area, and more new locations currently in the works, Eco Laundry Room is revolutionising the way laundry is done.
Gone are the days of the dark, dingy laundromat with that questionable smell lingering in the air. Eco Laundry Room spins together a sanitised, eco-friendly, tech-savvy experience that cuts laundry time down to mere minutes.
Co-founders and owners Ilch and Dijana began their journey towards entrepreneurship five years ago compelled by a desire to take the road less travelled and embark on a new business adventure.
However, with professional backgrounds in optics and engineering, respectively, Ilch says, “It took a while to leave what we knew and were comfortable in … but as with any business, you want to make sure you’re 110% behind it.”
As they began exploring the laundromat industry, one of the first aspects they noticed was the predominance of current and old technology that wasn’t user-friendly. So, they set out to research the most advanced technology available to change the way laundry was being done.
What they found were professional washers and dryers powered by Tesla Professional, and they began laying the groundwork to be the first and only laundromat in Australia to offer this innovative technology and design.
One year after opening their first store, they were nominated for the “New Retailer of the Year” award, and they won. Ilch says, “That was the start of a journey of us saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got something here. What do we do with it?’”
From that point on, there’s been no turning back. They have since added more people to their team with the introduction of a business development manager in order to continue scaling their flourishing business.
Ilch states, “A lot of work goes into finding the right locations and developing stores. You need the right people around you throughout the entire process.”
When asked how they go about finding the right people to work with, Ilch states somewhat cheekily, “You want someone to be smarter than you!”
He continues, “Surround yourself with those that have experience and can offer advice as far as ‘this is what worked for me in the past; this is what didn’t work for me.’ They have something to bring to the table and will add value to your team and your brand.”
Ilch remembers meeting with a marketing consultant right after they won “New Retailer of the Year” and being told, “If you want to take it to another level, you need to relook at your logo, change your colours; you need to develop the ambience in the store.”
So, instead of being satisfied with what they had—award and all—they took the advice and improved the lighting, colours, and decor in their store.
In addition to the look and feel of the Eco Laundry Room experience, every location is designed to love our planet. For example, 95% of the Tesla Professional machines are recyclable and impeccably energy efficient.
Plus, they use recycled timber to enhance the look and feel of the surroundings, and they offer low-allergy, natural laundry powder available for purchase in each store.
Ilch expresses a true love of being an entrepreneur stating, “It’s new. It’s fresh. It’s different, and I like pushing boundaries, especially with technology. It’s like a puzzle that I can set right in front of me, and I need to find the right pieces and people to make it work.”
When asked about initial challenges he faced, Ilch shares, “Technology to start with … we did a lot of testing on what worked and what didn’t.” Then, after opening their first store, they didn’t consider expanding until the technology was well established and working smoothly.
Today, Ilch explains that one of their biggest challenges is convincing people to convert to using a laundromat.
He explains, “Most people in Australia have a washer and dryer at home. But do you really want to spend your valuable time off doing the laundry ALL day? Where instead, at our laundromat you can get it all done within an hour and be on your way.”
Ilch states, “People might say, ‘It’s just a laundromat; there’s not much to it.’ But it’s what you do outside of your store and the people you bring into your store. It’s all about connecting with the community … that’s what we’re looking for.”