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Not Your Normal Commercial Laundry (Part 1)

Business model doesn’t include owning laundry facility

LOS ANGELES — On paper, Royal Quality Laundry, based here, seems like a “normal” commercial laundry operation.

It offers daily pickup and delivery. It works with big and small customers, including residential customers and commercial accounts, such as spas, salons, rehabilitation homes, hotels, motels, vacation rentals, gyms, schools, camps and special events, and more. 

The company also has expertise in disease control laundry and has a rush emergency laundry service for that.

But Royal Quality Laundry is missing something that most commercial laundries have: a laundry plant. The company uses a laundromat during its off hours.

“I don’t actually own a facility,” says Natalie Camacho, founder and president. “That took many overhead costs out of my model.”

BEGINNINGS, BUSINESS MODEL

Camacho didn’t set out to start a laundry company with no facility. In fact, she didn’t set out to get into the laundry business at all.

Before becoming involved in the laundry industry, she was working to obtain a career in nursing.

“It always was an industry I wanted to be in,” shares Camacho. “I was in my second year starting as a certified nurse assistant (CNA) before I had a terrible ski accident. Completely severing my ACL and damaging my knee altogether, I was not able to continue working as a CNA until I went through surgery and completely healed. That was going to take about at least six months.” 

Until she healed, Camacho found a local laundromat that needed help with fluff-and-fold. She immediately started working, and says she rapidly started to get new and happy clientele.

“One day I was working by myself when I noticed this woman was about to start washing a ton of laundry,” related Camacho. “I felt the need to tell her about my services. All went well, but the deal killer was that she didn’t know when she could pick up her clean laundry. 

“It was then that I offered to deliver it to her door. Right there is when I knew that I could offer this to others. I already restructured my little fluff-and-fold to a full-service laundry business.”

She says the owner of the laundromat was happy to see her succeeding so quickly and offered to sell the store to her. 

“I learned so much about running and potentially buying my very own laundromat,” says Camacho. “Much seemed great, but there were many disagreements about the contract, so I decided not to buy it.

“With the money that I had been saving as a down payment for the purchase of the laundromat, I went ahead and used that as capital to start up Royal Quality Laundry.”

After realizing that she wasn’t going to buy the laundromat, Camacho says she linked up with an existing business, one that fit the needs of Royal Quality Laundry the best. 

“We were able to use the laundromat during off hours and have our very own space for supplies,” she says.

The business has a daily laundry pickup and delivery route for Malibu, Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Westlake Village. A second daily pickup-and-delivery route serves greater Los Angeles, including Woodland Hills, Encino, Hollywood, West Hollywood Silverlake, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica and the surrounding areas. 

Royal Quality Laundry has pickup and delivery service available for both residential and commercial accounts.

“Residential and commercial are two different beasts,” Camacho says. “I thought it was best to keep both strong in the business. You have to figure out what terms works best for the company and the customers.”

She says that residential and commercial services are are very different because of the frequency of deliveries, the amount of laundry to be processed, payment terms, and so on. 

“Most commercial customers pay net-30, while residentials pay on delivery, which helps cash flow in between the commercial clients’ payments,” she points out.

Camacho says quality was the primary focus when starting Royal Quality Laundry and will be continued for customers to enjoy. Every customer can have custom professional laundry done so that they can focus on other tasks.

“Freeing up time is crucial to a happy life and a healthy-run business,” she points out. “Royal Quality Laundry is a service that many can benefit from by leaving this aspect to the professionals.”

Camacho says she has carefully trained her staff to follow her steps in taking care of the laundry and also connecting with customers with the most friendly and helpful attitude.

Check back Tuesday for the conclusion about how the business is recovering from wildfires and looking to the future.