In today’s day and age where time is the currency being dealt in, and patience is hard to find, it’s becoming an era of instant gratification, where you want something and you want it now! This behaviour pattern has worked in the favour of the On-Demand platforms and lead to a lot of startups. People recognised the need for the urgency that is being sought and some took the initiative of doing something about it. From gourmet meals being delivered to your doorstep in less than 32 mins to your laundry and shoes picked up in their worst and delivered in a top notch condition for you to look your best. It seems like everything has been taken care of, and then suddenly someone comes up with an idea of getting you something right to your doorstep and you get baffled by how had someone not seen the need of that before.
It is the era of opportunities and everyone is grabbing one.
One such startup that saw an opportunity in the dirty laundry is Simply Laundry, which was launched in August 2014. Simply Laundry is an online dry clean and laundry delivery service operating within the downtown core of Toronto and North York, Ontario. They provide residential and commercial customers with a fast, convenient way to dry clean and launder their clothes. Simply Laundry adheres strictly to eco-friendly practices and uses only high-quality partners for dry cleaning and laundering clothes.
We asked Talal, Founder & CEO of Simply Laundry, to share his experience of building the laundry service business for Freelancers in off-peak hours vs serving the city scalably on demand. And how the mobile platform technology, developed and has helped his business grow. An alumnus of Schulich in Toronto, Talal has been taking Toronto’s laundry business to a whole new level.
Below is the conversation we had with Talal about his motivations and the factors that led him to where he is.
Q1- Tell us about Simply Laundry and what problem did you hone in to provide a solution for via your On-Demand platform?
Company name: Simply Laundry
Founder/CEO Name: Talal Jandali
On Demand Dry Clean and Laundry service is the area that we wanted to better and our top priority has been and still continues to be providing reliability to our customers. Our customers depend on us to always receive their laundry and dry cleaning needs on time especially when they have big events the next day. We always make it a point to ensure that their clothing is clean, pressed and in top notch condition, to help our clients put their best foot forward.
Q2- What is the story behind starting Simply Laundry and its journey in Toronto?
After completing my MBA from Schulich in Toronto, my advisor asked me what did I plan on doing next. I mentioned that I wanted to go back to the world of investment banking but he pushed me to aim for the fences. And that’s exactly what I did, it definitely wasn’t an easy decision but looking back, I have no regrets. Simply Laundry was born out of an observation that I made about other cities and how they provided a simpler version of a laundry service, we decided to build on it and ended up with what we have, a service that takes care of all your dry cleaning and laundry needs with ease of payment and a professional touch. We brainstormed on how we could make it better and how we would be able to disrupt the brick-and-mortar industry of dry cleaning and that’s when Simply Laundry was born.
Q3- Could you shed some light on Simply Laundry’s Business Model?
We are a logistics company that concentrates on picking up and dropping off the clothes for our customers. We outsource all the work to two huge plants that handle all our Dry Cleaning and Laundry needs. These plants provide us with discounted rates as we are one of their bigger customers that get them a good chunk of business.
Q4- What are the challenges that you’ve faced in your business so far?
Meeting supply and demand. There are days with high demand where we would need more drivers on the road and then there are days where we have plenty of drivers but not enough demand. We are now in a better position to forecast that more accurately as we have more data that has assisted us and gather a lot of learning in the process.
Q5- How did you overcome the challenges during your journey of getting Simply Laundry to where it is now?
You should always hire people around you that are smarter than you and have an ability to delegate work to others. It’s very hard to entrust someone with your own little baby(startup) but once you hire the right people, they act as an added advantage and are able to contribute with new and fresh ideas. Our employees have brought a lot to the table and that has helped us take Simply Laundry to the next levels.
Q6- What makes Simply Laundry stand out against other competitors (if any)?
Our technology, data analytics, superb customer service and our attention to detail is what helps us stand out in the crowd and get a loyal customer base. We listen to the needs of our customers and adapt quickly to provide them things that they are in need of before anyone else.
Q7- How do you see Simply Laundry evolving in coming years?
Complacency is bad for a business and Simply Laundry is nowhere near that. We are looking to expand into different markets and also provide different commodities on our platform.
Q8- A word of advice you would like to give to Startups who one day aspire to be where Simply Laundry is today?
Persistence! One venture capitalist has described to me the journey of an entrepreneur and he mentioned how along the way, you will face a huge block that will determine if you will shut down or move past it. Only real entrepreneurs are able to face this challenge and rise above it. Keep on going at it without any regrets.