I’ve always wanted to start a business; I just never thought I would start one right out of business school. I thought I would put together a few more years of work and give the entrepreneurial life a shot afterwards. So when I got out of school and the frantic search for a job was leading nowhere, I decided, “What the heck, let’s just do it.”
I decided to go after a business that I thought was underserviced, established, and required no industry specific skills to get started. Dry cleaning is an industry that most people ignore because it hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years and it unlikely won’t over the next thirty. What has changed is the way people live their lives. Now people spend a lot more of their time on the internet and they have a lot less time to dedicate to chores.
Therefore, people don’t want to get off work and visit the dry cleaner’s that closed 10 minutes early making their visit a total waste of time. On top of that they assumed that parking illegally for only a few minutes wouldn’t be a problem, luckily the parking officer was just around the corner with a $60 ticket while their back was turned (I know this happens because it happened to me). So why not have it delivered to a highly populated location where people are always too busy to pick up their dry cleaning: condominiums.
This is exactly what Jeeves Valet does. We provide the ultimate in dry cleaning convenience with high quality service that everyday professionals need. At the time of this writing our service operates out of two downtown Toronto condominiums, The Element and The Icon. Our customers sign up through our website (www.jeevesvalet.com) and receive a convertible garment bag which they then fill with their dirty garments, deposit into our onsite drop boxes and pick up a couple of days later at their own 24 hour concierge. How convenient is that!
This may sound easy to start, but let me tell you it has been anything but easy! Throughout this series I intend to share the incredible entrepreneurial journey that my business partner and I have had (and continue to have) with Jeeves Valet. I hope, by undertaking this project that you can learn and avoid some of the many mistakes that my business partner and I made and hopefully provide some business advice for all of you risk takers out there looking to start or expand your own business. Each video will have a blog post accompanying it to give further insight and to address any points I feel that I missed.
I would love to hear your comments and constructive criticisms and your stories as well.
A special thanks to Milan for not only asking the questions and having an incredible interest in our business, but for coming up with the idea to put this blog together in the first place.
Co-founder and President of Jeeves Valet