Business Profiles

by Gooder Equipment

last updated 16/09/2021

Big Dollars From Semi-Passive Business

by Gooder Equipment

last updated 16/09/2021

Laundromat owner finds success and family time with Gooder Equipment

Koke Leng is so pleased with his business that he's helping other family members set up their own laundromats

At the age of almost 50, after years of standing for 10 to 12 hours a day, Koke Leng’s feet were sending him painful messages. The Pukekohe restaurant owner and his wife, Sokha, were also starved of quality time with their two children, Peter and Lana.

‘We’d arrive home when the kids were asleep, and then only see them for a few minutes in the morning before school,’ recalls Koke. ‘We were desperate to get out, but hadn’t a clue how. All we knew was, we wanted proper family time – and not to be on our feet.

‘The birth of a new business idea was sown when I came across an article about a New York family who had run a successful laundromat for 60 years and were now passing it on to their kids.’

Semi-passive retirement income

Koke was soon on the hunt for laundry machine suppliers. His first  – and only – call was to Gooder Equipment. ‘I told them we had no experience in laundry, and they said, “Not a problem. We can suggest locations, help find suitable premises with convenient parking, handle council consents, design the laundromat layout and then recommend, supply, install and support the most profitable mix of leading brand washers and dryers. Oh yes – and we can also help with finance.”

‘The icing on the cake was when company owner Simon Gooder and his commercial sales specialist, John Fredrickson, told us that we could manage one or more laundromats from home with our feet up! It would be possible to enjoy semi-passive retirement income and have real memory-making time with our kids.’

The other thing Koke and Sokha learned was the growth and on-going potential for laundromats. ‘Simon explained that there’s a real boom for laundromats in higher socio-economic areas, where time-poor residents don’t want to waste valuable hours over a weekend doing the week’s washing and drying when they can get it all done in an hour or so. That’s why it’s so necessary for laundromats to be light, bright, inviting, and give customers a sense of security. Regulars often tell us how much they appreciate the electricity savings and not having to deal with mildew caused by their dryer.’

The long road to laundry

Koke has earned the right to put his feet up more than most. As a child he and his family escaped civil war in Cambodia in 1979 and spent four years in Thai refugee camps before accompanying his aunt and uncle to America while his parents came to New Zealand. After graduating, he ended up working at Microsoft until, in 1999, he visited his parents and reconnected with Sokha, the ‘girl next door’ in Cambodia. After a long distance romance, the couple married here in 2003.

‘I worked in computers until my parents encouraged us into the restaurant business,’ he says. ‘We started the Noodle House in Pukekohe, then sold that and bought a café in Albany. But the laundromat offered a better life. Selling several investment properties gave us finance to open our first Smart Wash 24/7 self-service laundromat at Takapuna in November 2017 followed by Smart Wash Wairau Valley in January 2019.

‘It’s gone so well that, again with Gooder Equipment, I’m now helping set up a laundromat for my younger sister Muy and my brother’s wife, Monica. And when my older sister Janet and her husband retire to Auckland from their Dunedin restaurant next year, I’ll be helping them into their own laundromat, too. This really is a great business.’

So how does it work?

Over 40 years, Stephan Gooder and son Simon have built Gooder Equipment into New Zealand’s leading commercial laundry specialists. The company supplies, installs and supports leading American and European brands such as Maytag, Primus, Huebsch, SeaLion, Lapauw, GMP, Pony and Seitz, ‘So we always have the right combination of options for each location,’ says Simon.

‘We offer a turn-key laundromat business. Unlike a franchise, you operate under your own brand and we don’t provide must-follow operational and other systems – or charge ongoing fees. But we do provide help with site selection, full training and highly flexible in-house financing with no penalty for early repayment. There’s parts and service support nationwide, and self-service payment systems that include EFTPOS and the proprietary Gooder Card that can also be used for specials, promotions and other customer incentives.

‘All our washers and dryers incorporate advanced technology that constantly transmits operational status, earnings and any issues to an owner’s phone. It will also advise of any problem, which means that, as Koke has found, you can run your business from your lounge.

‘Some of our customers have opened laundromats on-site as business add-ons or a way to get a return on extra space, but most either employ staff for passive income, or manage remotely and only get involved with occasional cleaning and customer contact. The machines do the rest and, as an essential service, they can be earning 24/7 – even during a Level 4 lockdown.

‘Gooder Equipment’s experience, product range and support services allow you to invest with confidence in a booming industry. Investment starts from $100,000, with a typical fit-out including 10 washers and 16 dryers.

‘Opportunities don’t come better than Gooder Equipment, so contact us now.’   

See this advertorial on page 21 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 3

Contact details for Gooder Equipment

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