Alex Smereczniak, founder of 2ULaundry discussed his journey from an entrepreneur in college to the founding of 2ULaundry. Alex discussed 2ULaundry’s strategy, fundraising history and operating philosophy.
[01:22] Alex discussed his journey from an entrepreneur in college to a brief stop at a Big 4 firm before starting 2ULaundry.
[03:58] Alex took a deeper dive into the rationale and how he got involved as an entrepreneur in college. The experience gave him valuable business experience and laid the seed for launching 2ULaundry.
[06:55] 2ULaundry’s business model and target customers are discussed. Their bread-and-butter customers are the dual income household (~$150 K in household income. Both parents are working). They have 2 or 3 kids and laundry is last thing they want to do after they get home from work.
[11:09] Alex explained the strategy behind LaundryLab (its retail laundromat franchise business line) and how he found out franchising is a good way to expand the business. (Like any entrepreneur or business building, you think it is going to work one way but you have to pivot and course correct.) This is one of the key inflection points.
[15:32] The competitive dynamics of the industry is discussed. Alex believed 2ULaundry’s primary competition is the washer/dryer right down the hallway (i.e DIY).
[16:46] Alex shared 2ULaundry’s customer acquisition strategy: word-of-mouth referral, influencer marketing, SEO and awareness through the delivery/pickup vans.
[18:22] Geographical expansion plan of 2ULaundry was discussed.
[19:36] Alex discussed his fund raising experience. (bootstrap, seed rounds and VC rounds); Couple key insights are i) build a good business, fundraising will become easier ii) get as much feedback as possible
[21:52] Alex shared his philosophy on how to handle difficult investor questions.
[23:20] Alex took a deeper dive into his earlier fundraising experience where he spent a fair amount of time trying to reach out bigger VC firms. He quickly found out that he can raise a significant amount from smart seed investors who can also be advisors/advocates for his business.
[25:47] Alex discussed how he uses BHAG and various metrics to track the progress of the business.
[28:04] Alex took a deeper dive into the metrics: (stores open, licenses sold, defects per millions)
[30:44] The importance of quality to retention was discussed.
[32:05] Alex shared with the audience one of his favorite books.
[33:56] The challenges of the current business environment were discussed. Cost of construction has gone up quickly. Alex and 2ULaundry tried to be more efficient (and pass on the savings) to the franchisees and customers.
Book mentioned on the show
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
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