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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

In the Bay Area, Even the Laundromats Embrace Technology

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on In the Bay Area, Even the Laundromats Embrace Technology

Wash ClubIt’s fairly well accepted that the Bay Area, with Silicon Valley and hordes of tech-savvy professionals, is the one of the most tech-savvy places in the country. And that means that even the small businesses- including ones that you would not normally think of as tech-friendly, have gotten into the tech game.

Wash Club*, a laundromat in the Inner Sunset area of San Francisco, is one such small business that has embraced technology both as a means to attract customers, but also to streamline their business.

Harrison Anderson, GM of Wash Club, says that after the current owners took over the business, they became one of the first laundromats to utilize card payment systems and install Wi-Fi as a way to allow customers flexibility in payment choices, as well as to be able to work remotely as their laundry was in process.

But the location, which is both an on-site DIY laundromat as well as a full DIFM (do-it-for-me) dry cleaner, has taken technology to the next level. As providing the best service is a big point of differentiation, Wash Club looked for ways it could use technology for that means. Their first step was digitizing customer preference cards that include what is being dropped off and customer preferences like “heavy starch”, using Surface Pro tablets with Windows 10 and the DocuSign app.

Also, using DocuSign and Windows 10 on the Surface has allowed the business to process customers faster, which is a benefit to both the customer and to the employees who then have time to focus in other arenas. This is used in-store as well as with the delivery vehicles, making it easy for the customer to sign right on the tablet and creating a digital record of the transaction that is easy to retrieve and refer to if needed.

Customer preferences can also now be taken remotely without the fear of losing or mismatching papers in transit.

But the tech investment for Wash Club also helps in relation to what Anderson notes as the most precious resource, “time”. The business has now digitized almost all of its records and books, which means that the management can work faster and remotely, giving them more time to spend with customers as well.  And that’s where businesses should be focused!

You can learn more about their story and watch the video here.

*Disclosure: this company has a client relationship with CarolRoth.com or its affiliated entities

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth