Startup Radius interviewed The Wash House startup – a company that is mixing offline and online business, providing users with an online laundry services. Actually we could call it “Uber for laundry” because The Wash House picks up -> cleans -> delivers. Learn how they got 750 paying users in just 9 months, how big is the Laundry market, and how they started with zero knowledge and experience in this niche. Enjoy!
Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is The Wash House?
The Wash House is an Online Laundry Service currently serving customers in Pune. We are running in a hybrid model with both online and offline presence. Our end to end operations is in-house so that we can keep an watch on the quality delivered. At Wash House our priority is to maintain the same quality of Laundry delivered everytime.
Why are you building this? Was there a particular source of inspiration or money-making idea?
Laundry in India is $72 Billion market out of which only 4-5% is organised and rest lies in the hands of unorganised sector. So thats a huge amount of money to be played upon. Another factor that made us move into Laundry sector was dissatisfying quality of Laundry provided the local laundry Wallas and to consider some of the online guys as well. So there was a problem which needed to be solved with right approach and we are trying to do that.
Time for bragging! How big you are – traffic, users, anything else?
The Wash House is a 9 month old startup currently having 750+ registered paying customers and around 5 small B2B clients. We have customer return rate of approx 75%. Rest 25% are not unhappy ones but the one time users.
Who are your main competitors, and how good/bad they are?
Couple of Online Laundry services providers are our main competitors some good and some bad 🙂
Who uses The Wash House? Describe your perfect user persona (or few of them)?
For our laundry services mainly Bachelors & Working Couples, while Drycleaning services are mainly availed by people with a little higher income ranges.
Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?
We opened up our services in areas where most of the population is either bachelors/working couples so that helped us intrude better in the market. Also standing on our customer’s expectations made us retain them with us.
What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?
With zero knowledge about how laundry industry works the major challenge for us to understand how things exactly work. We worked with some of the reknown laundries to understand the processes and practices adopted by them and how we can improvise on that. Once we got a bit of understanding the next major challenge was to get laundry industry experienced people to work for us. Post overcoming the above challenges the next hurdle was to generate the initial traction to test our service quality and work on the customer feedback.
If you could give a marketing advice to other companies, what could it be based on your experience?
Online marketing specially via social media works better than offline these days and nothing can beat mouth to mouth publicity.
Which marketing channels you prefer and why?
We mainly prefer online marketing channels because they help us better target our market at pocket friendly cost. We also use mouth to mouth publicity from our customers by giving them incentives.
How are you monetized, and why you choose this monetization model?
We charge our customers for the services that they avail because that is how you make money.
What are the top 5-10 products/services you use in your company and why do you like them?
- Google Adwords – They help us reach our potential customers easily.
- Facebook (and Facebook Ads) – They again help us create brand awareness amongst a wider relevant audience and keep our customers stay connected with us.
- WhatsApp – We use this channel as a communication media between us and our customers because everyone uses WhatsApp today and it virtually cost both parties nothing.
- Hindustan Unilever laundry products – they help us keep our customers clothes fresh & stain free
- Different chemicals from a local vendor which helps us work on those hard and stubborn stains on the clothes.