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How often do you hear about the Laundry industry making national news for human rights and politics?

Well, that’s exactly what happened when two young entrepreneurs took laundry to the streets and started offering free mobile clothes washing services to the homeless population in Brisbane.

Business owners take note – this story highlights how vital the Laundry industry is to society, the true value of clean clothes, and the monumental power of good PR.

Laundry for the Homeless

Best mates and Brisbane locals Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, both 21, launched their mobile laundry service in September 2014.

The boys took an old van nicknamed Sudsy, gutted it, and modified it with a generator, water tanks and two large washers and dryers. These machines were simple and light-duty – imagine what they could have done with Girbau washers! They started driving the van around the city offering free laundry to Brisbane’s homeless, and their venture was off and running!

Why, you ask?
“We wanted to improve the hygiene standards of the homeless,” said Marchesi.

They started this business out of the goodness of their hearts, and out of a dedication to providing the true value that clean clothes can offer. On the back of those things, their business has exploded.

What started as a crazy idea is now a full-blown charity. Orange Sky Laundry now operates in 36 locations and washes 350 loads per week. Over 270 volunteers have joined up, and now Nic and Lucas have been named Young Australians of the Year.

How Did this Laundry Company Grow So Quickly?

The most basic reason Orange Sky Laundry exploded was that people understood their vision and supported it.

But the real reason for their growth was that Nic and Lucas were very good at telling their story and connecting with the public. They leveraged Social Media to share exactly what they were doing and why it was important.

Clean clothes – and appearance in general – are so important in today’s society. In fact, if you don’t look (or smell) right, you may even be completely avoided and ignored.

“Nic, I haven’t been able to have a conversation with anyone for over three days.”  That is a direct quote from one of the homeless men Orange Sky helped out. A simple load of washing can be the difference between success and, essentially, exile.

Goodwill and providing a much-needed service were at the core of Orange Sky’s business. The public connected with this on a deep level, hence rapid growth.

What Can You Take Away From This?

The Orange Sky scenario is unique, but elements of their success can be applied to any laundry business.

A focus on customer service and an end goal of helping people are massive for any business. If you put forward an attitude of goodwill and helpfulness, people will connect with that, and want to support your business.
Great laundry equipment can be a big part of this service. Even more – having the right equipment for what you do. For commercial, coin and industrial uses, owners can look to Girbau Washers and Maytag equipment for the ultimate in efficiency and reliability.

Using Social Media to market yourself can also be a game changer. Nic and Lucas have proven that laundry can be interesting on Facebook & Instagram. And if you are not the type to post frequent updates, advertising your business or specials on Social Media is wide open for Laundry businesses.

Lastly, good PR is a massive boon to you as a business owner. Look for news opportunities, look for ways to lift your community, and look for ways to contribute or get involved in current affairs.

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