Amidst a career change and new business venture, Scott Abraham continuously showed determination to succeed and has therefore been named “Store Owner of the Quarter” by Huebsch®. Abraham, owner of two Huebsch-equipped Texas laundromats – Northside Coin Laundry and Saginaw Laundry Center – worked hard to understand the demographics of the community he serves and tailor his two laundromats according to their needs. With the support and guidance of his equipment manufacturer and his distributor, Ed Brown Distributors located in Dallas, Texas, along with his passion to better his laundromats and expand his business, Abraham continues to see great success.
Discovering the Laundry Business
After working for a telephone company for 24 years, Scott Abraham was surprised when his position was suddenly terminated. Searching for a new career to pursue during a time of economic turmoil, he reflected on memories of repairing telephones at one particular laundromat. He says, “I remember leaving the laundromat after I had finished repairs and thinking ‘there’s something special about that business.’” Just a few weeks later, Abraham purchased his first store – Northside Coin Laundry – and was able to shadow the previous owner for three months in an attempt to absorb every detail of the business.
“I felt very lucky because I had a great teacher who was able to explain everything about the business. Little did I know that he would be the first of many mentors along the way,” Abraham recalls.
From durable equipment with intuitive technologies to insight on store demographics and laundromat design services, Abraham’s business mentor, distributor and manufacturer all have provided the tools and skills Abraham needed to own and operate successful laundromats.
Becoming a Multi-Store Owner
Two years after purchasing his first location, Northside Coin Laundry, Abraham decided to invest in his second laundromat, Saginaw Laundry Center. Saginaw was a newly constructed stand-alone building with 4,800 square feet. This location was much different than his first store, a rental property in a strip mall with 3,750 square feet. These contrasting store layouts posed a challenge for Abraham that he was quickly able to overcome.
The brick-and-mortar stores themselves vary just as much as the customers that enter them. In the surrounding area of Northside Coin Laundry, there are many older, single-family homes that did not require washer-dryer installations when they were built. At this location, Abraham mostly serves repeat weekly customers, many of whom speak Spanish.
Huebsch has allowed Abraham to cater to many of his Spanish-speaking customers at Northside by providing machines with multilingual controls, making it simple for non-English speaking clients to use his machines.
“With their multilingual control settings, Huebsch has allowed me to not only serve my immediate customer needs but also has broadened my customer base by attracting bilingual customers,” says Abraham.
At Saginaw Laundry Center, on the other hand, there are fewer regular customers. Saginaw is located in a newer neighborhood with larger homes, most of which have in-home washers and dryers. Most of Abraham’s clients at this store are looking to use his large-capacity machines for special loads like bedding, curtains, rugs, etc. For most Saginaw customers, it’s the first time they have stepped foot in a laundromat.
“My customers at the Saginaw location appreciate the air conditioning, large televisions and helpful attendants,” he says. “It feels like a safe environment where they can do their heavy-duty loads.”
While the store demographics and buildings are very different, the science behind operating a successful laundromat is the same. Abraham needed to understand the demographics of both of his stores before implementing any business strategies, a task that he says would not have been possible without his Ed Brown distributor, Arthur Wechsler, and Huebsch regional sales manager, Joe Purbaugh.
“Joe and Arthur have been very supportive throughout the process,” Abraham notes. “They knew how to read the demographics in my area, and I relied on them for advice in the purchasing and planning process of my laundromats.”
With the help of Wechsler and Purbaugh, Abraham has been able to successfully own and operate two diverse laundromats.
Operating Two Unique Stores with the Help of Technology
While both of his stores have seen much success, since opening his Saginaw location, Abraham has been able to compare the two stores’ sales, utility costs and revenue.
At his Saginaw location, Galaxy™ Controls have allowed Abraham to program his brand new machines so that with the touch of a button, he is able to gain access to each machine’s information and monitor the store’s weekly performance.
“I know that the reason that I have seen so much success in my Saginaw location is because I can monitor each machine,” he says. “I am able to track performance from anywhere, at any point in the day, and see where I need to be with my sales.”
At his Northside location, on the other hand, because he acquired some older equipment and the technology is not as advanced, the only way to monitor performance is to collect and count coins.
Additionally, because of Abraham’s new Huebsch machines at Saginaw Laundry Center, his utility bills have been drastically lower than those at Northside Coin Laundry. Although there are more dryers at Saginaw, his utility bill is almost half the amount of Northside. Abraham found a way to increase the amount of makeup air vents behind the machines, thus allowing them to breath better and burn more efficiently. The new Galaxy 600, 100 G-Force machines at Saginaw also extract more water, helping the dryers to dry clothes much faster, getting customers in and out faster while also using less gas.
“When I realized the utility savings possibilities, I went directly to my distributor, Arthur Wechsler, to redesign my Northside location according to the factory specifications,” he says. “I knew that with newer machines and a redesigned space my gas bill would dramatically decrease and my revenue would increase.”
Delving into Renovation and Design with Huebsch
When Abraham acquired his first property, Northside Coin Laundry, he was pleased that it contained Huebsch equipment and was excited to slowly upgrade each machine and take advantage of the cutting- edge technologies available. When researching his financing options, Abraham attended one of his distributor’s open houses where he learned about Huebsch’s unmatched finance solutions designed specifically for the laundry industry.
“After talking with my distributor at the open house, I quickly saw that financing with Huebsch was the right choice for my equipment upgrade,” Abraham recalls.
A few years later, Abraham decided to continue his Northside renovations in order to decrease utility costs. He went directly to Ed Brown Distributors and Huebsch’s in-house design team to create a new streamlined design. He trusted the Huebsch in-house design team because they had helped him construct his Saginaw location from the ground up. He worked with Wechsler throughout the entire design process, from equipment mix selection to store layout. When Abraham wanted to make changes, Wechsler immediately sent the adjustments to Huebsch and provided him with quick, concise feedback.
While the renovation project at Northside Laundry Center is still in progress, Abraham looks forward to new Huebsch machines with advanced controls and lower utility costs. In order to improve his store, the team will remove a partition to add a waiting room and replace his old top-load machines with brand new Huebsch 30-pound, 60-pound and 80-pound machines. The new design will help Abraham maximize floor space, ultimately gaining more washing capacity. With the final design ready to go, Abraham awaits the contractor in order to complete phase three of renovations at Northside. With renovations coming to end, Abraham is already looking forward to future projects.
In the coming years, Abraham will continue to grow his laundry operation.
“I have my sight set on one other store in my area,” he says. “As soon as the renovations slow down at my two locations, I will invest in my third location.”
The tremendous utility savings he has seen and advanced controls he uses, as well as the consistent support he receives from his distributor and manufacturer, has made Abraham a loyal Huebsch customer. Throughout his journey, Abraham has learned to overcome life’s obstacles and has mastered the operation of a laundromat. He understands demographics and determines ways to boost revenue in any type of environment. The success that Scott Abraham has achieved in such a small span of time is remarkable, earning him the title of “Store Owner of the Quarter.”
Whether you are already a business owner, or have only dreamed about being your own boss, Huebsch can be your guide – from start to finish – for investing in laundry. To find a knowledgeable laundry expert in your area who is ready, willing and able to help maximize your return on investment, visit the Huebsch distributor locator or call 1.800.553.5120.