Ed Hamilton: Lava Locker
Last month, Ed Hamilton launched Lavalocker, a new dry-cleaning and laundry concept aimed at making life simpler in Barcelona.
This is not the first time you have appeared in this section of Metropolitan, correct? No, about two years ago I was interviewed for Green Bean business coaching, a coaching practice I set up here in 2010 to help entrepreneurs and small business owners.
So, how do you go from business coach to laundry and dry cleaning? It is simple really. Entrepreneurship is all about seeing an opportunity and filling it with a better solution. Anyone who has lived in Barcelona knows that doing dry-cleaning or laundry is a chore that can sometimes be frustrating. Often the cleaners are closed or you find yourself working to the cleaners' needs, not vice versa. Therefore I saw an opportunity to offer a more customer-centric solution while using the technology available in the laundry and dry-cleaning sector.
So you wouldn't call yourselves a traditional dry cleaning or laundry business? No, because we focus equally on our three service offerings: 1) a simple, convenient and quick service; 2) quality dry cleaning and laundry; and 3) top-notch customer service and availability. Our innovative locker solution and free home/office pick-ups arranged via your mobile offer you that level of service, while our dry-cleaning partner with over 30 years experience, who is one of the best in the business, makes sure the finished product is excellent.
And how do you offer top-notch customer service? Well, we are available seven days a week and we always work with our clients to solve their needs as we are interested in building trusting relationships. Also, we have set our prices to be affordable and each month we negotiate a great low-price special that we pass through to those who are signed-up to our service. Individually, you would never get these special prices but as we negotiate offering large, one-time volumes, the customer, us and the cleaner wins.
I hear your service isn't for everyone. You don't accept cash, is that correct? Yes, our typical clients would be those people who feel comfortable with the internet and mobiles. We aren't looking to be a traditional cleaner but offer a more fluid service and to do that we need to use our software technology. Cash is too slow and takes away from the convenient, contact-free service we are looking to provide our clients.
So what is the hardest part about starting up a new business in Barcelona? In this case, changing people's habits. We often like to stay in the comfort zone, to do what we have done before, so we are asking people to try something different and that always take time.
Great, how can people find out more about the service and see where the lockers are located? All you need can be found at www.lavalocker.es and on our Lavalocker Facebook page. If you sign up, then we will also keep you posted on the monthly specials and the new locations we add. I thank you in advance for taking the time to sign up—trying to improve on a traditional service takes time and depends on the customer reaction, so all your support and encouragement is greatly received.