Business Franchise Australia

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Freedom to do what I want

Starting a business can be a daunting prospect, presenting visions of long hours, low returns and rolling headaches. Not with Speed Queen. The turn-key laundromat model sets up prospective owners to reduce risk and keep life simple, offering the ability to generate a steady income with minimal time in the building.

Kate Thurecht and her husband Norman had spent decades dreaming of an additional income stream and when they found the Speed Queen model, they knew they were on to a winner.

“We actually looked at a business about 20 years ago and were very keen and then we went to put in an offer and it had already sold, just hours prior. We kind of thought it wasn’t meant to be and life got busy: we had kids, we were both working full-time jobs in different careers,” Kate says, but they never gave up on the idea.

“Last year we started looking at laundromats that were for sale. We liked the idea that they were Covid-proof, recession-proof and … everybody needs to wash their clothes.”

What they didn’t like were the potential headaches that could come with coin-operated laundromats and inheriting older machines, so they decided to establish a business from scratch.

That was when “the planets aligned”, Kate says, and she found a Speed Queen distributor to work with. 

“It’s a global brand with a very long track record. The reliability of the machines was a big thing for us. They’re all commercial machines and the contracts Speed Queen have are with nursing homes, hospitals, the defence force, and we knew those industries absolutely have to have a reliable product.”

With cashless payments and remote operation, the machines ticked all the boxes. And the advice they received around sites, locations, demographics and other business fundamentals was invaluable, Kate says.

“We felt informed and supported around things that you’d never even think about … through every step of the process.”

From business planners to electricians, plumbers and carpenters, the couple felt they were in the care of the most experienced team possible.

“Their knowledge and their expertise – it’s like they’re in partnership with you. I can talk to them about the figures and they’re just as excited about it as we are.

“Without them it would have taken months, if not years, to get to the point we’re at now. It would have been very stressful and we would have had all sorts of headaches and nightmares.”

The Queensland couple have opened two laundromats this year and are currently scouting for a third site. Kate loves that she can easily keep an eye on her operations from afar.

“I can look at my phone right now and see how many machines are going in each site. I can see how long they’ve got left on each cycle,” she says.

“Sometimes someone will phone up and say ‘it’s taken my money but the machine didn’t start’. So I can remotely start the machines, I can clear any errors on the machine. There’s no way we would have signed without this technology and without the trusted name of Speed Queen.”

Kate admits she’s on a bit of a deep dive into the laundromat business now, reading forums online, listening to podcasts and never driving past a laundromat without going in and taking notes. 

Once they’re out of the intense business-building phase, the technology of Speed Queen machines will provide twin benefits of a stable income stream and the freedom to be anywhere.

“I’ll have the flexibility to be anywhere and to be able to travel. The freedom to do what I want. Anything that happens I can fix remotely or work on remotely. So as long as I’ve got a Wifi connection or a Sim card, I can be anywhere.”

  • Speed Queen is the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of commercial laundry equipment. With a global pedigree of more than 100 years, it has served Australia for more than 50.
  • Technology innovations of cashless payment and remote operation make life simple for owners.
  • Speed Queen will assist with a business from inception, including scouting for sites and ensuring all the fundamentals are right – location, parking, demographics – through to financing, laundromat design, promotions and ongoing maintenance.
  • With no ongoing franchise fees, low rents and zero staff, laundromat owners typically enjoy a 20-30% return on investment, with a deposit usually in the region of $75,000-$100,000.

 

For more information go to sqcommercial.com.au/turn-key-business