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On Starting A Laundry Delivery Platform Doing Over 18K Orders

Hasan Makansi
Founder, Simply Laundry
Simply Laundry
from Toronto
started January 2015
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Start A Laundry Delivery Business

Hi Everyone! This is Hasan Makansi, I co-founded Simply Laundry with my business partner Talal Jandali. Simply Laundry is an online delivery platform for the laundry and dry-cleaning sector. We are based out of Toronto Ontario, in Canada.

We created a simple process to get your laundry and dry clean taken care of. You go to Simply Laundry’s website or mobile app, select a service, a pick-up and drop off times, any special instructions, and voilà. Pick-ups and deliveries are free, so you only pay for cleaning with all payment transactions taking place online. It’s a no-brainer!

We also have an app for our drivers to use to figure out their tasks for the day, the route they have to take, and to update the status of the pick-up and delivery tasks. This system is linked to our backend which enables us to keep track of orders status and notify clients accordingly.

We have also created an online platform for the laundry and dry clean plants/centers that clean the items we collect. These plants usually run on very old systems or don’t have any system, to begin with. To run a more efficient operation from our end, we invested in building the technology to embed their part of the process and upgrade their operations.

We have been operational for 4 years with some really great milestones along the way. The biggest one was moving from a dining table into an office :) We’re currently outgrowing our third office space and looking to expand. Another milestone has been the amount of pick-up and delivery tasks completed so far with over 18,600 orders.


What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?

My entrepreneurial journey started when I graduated from university and joined a startup to build an online recruitment platform in the Middle East. Working in a startup makes every team member an entrepreneur as they each need to have the entrepreneurial spirit, be self-motivated, self-starter, wear multiple hats, think outside the box, pivot, learn on the go, along with every other aspect of what makes an entrepreneur.

Startups will consume most of your time, energy, and resources. You’ll need to make sure to maintain a healthy active lifestyle, which can be as simple as maintaining a daily walk, eating healthy, and connecting to your social circle.

I discovered early on that I like to start things from scratch and grow them, whether it's an idea that I turn into a business or divisions and projects that I establish and grow during my employment years.

Fast forward to today, I am on my seventh startup with some that failed of course, and some that were or are successful. I very much enjoy the journey of building something from the ground up and taking an idea, to implementation, to a growing operation.

Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?

The whole idea of Simply Laundry started because we wanted a service like this ourselves. The joke is, we wanted to outsource our laundry, and we ended up doing everyone else’s laundry!

We started with a van (vehicle) that became our first office as well, with one person driving, and the other on his laptop answering emails, taking in calls from an internet phone line we set up, going from door to door, picking-up and delivering orders. That went on for a couple of months to get the proof of concept and figure out how the business runs from the ground up. Then we moved into the dining room as we started hiring drivers, and using our apartments as overnight storage for the laundry bags.

At the early stages, we adopted existing technologies to run the business, and as we were growing; we kept on automating processes, adding, and building systems that would cater to our growing requirements until we became a fully operational business with a full team.

Every day was a challenge, and there were a lot of learnings, but we were persistent and determined to go through the journey and see the idea not only to come to life but to become a fully operational business. Running a logistics operation in Toronto requires a lot of efficiencies where every small saving, optimization, or productivity counts, whether it’s in figuring out time-slots for pick-ups and deliveries, traffic & routes for drivers, tasks per driver or per a time duration, client acquisition costs, operational processes, inventories, etc.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We have been growing at a healthy rate of YOY (year on year), and we look forward to expanding to other locations within Canada.

Technology is another playground through scaling and extending our technology and systems as a packaged solution to other logistics operations in different sectors.


Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

As a startup, everything you have is a scarce resource (budget, human capital, time, etc.) Hence, you need to utilize all these resources efficiently and maximize your return on them. You need to be quick in picking-up on the learnings, pivot, change, enhance, and move forward.

As much as every effort counts, what really matters in startups is the output as well. You do not want to put effort into something that does not push the envelope forward, or help with progress even if it’s incremental.

Also, being in a business partnership requires a certain type of discipline. The good thing about us as business partners is that our expertise doesn’t overlap much but rather complement. When you think of the business canvas, we each own different components of the business operation. That ownership and accountability of a certain component allow you to focus, accelerate work, progress, and grow. It’s very important for a startup.


What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use Google Sheets, DropBox, ZenDesk, and some backend tools that we have developed for the business. As a small team with a fast pace operation, we also go through a lot of verbal communications. We also have a dashboard set up for the operation along with a set of reports that we review daily, weekly, and monthly.

We also utilize Hootsuite to manage social media, Google Analytics, among other tools for marketing, web, and sales.


What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

There are a lot of resources out there to tap into, which may lead to an information overload, so you have to be selective and be able to filter through your knowledge acquisition process.

While I am mostly listing business related resources, I highly recommend spending time on personal development and personal care, and to look for books, podcasts, and resources that help in enriching your soul and purpose.



  • How I Built This
  • Crazy Genius

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

Startups should run on a very lean model, an efficient operation, making sure every dollar you spend counts, keep pivoting, keep moving forward, and most importantly persevere.

Startups will consume most of your time, energy, and resources. You’ll need to make sure to maintain a healthy active lifestyle, which can be as simple as maintaining a daily walk, eating healthy, and connecting to your social circle.

Keep in mind that startups have different stages, and you would need different energy, plans, and resources for every stage. What is required to take a startup from zero to one, is different from 1 to 100, and then 100 to scale.

Stay productive! I follow the “future-back” approach where I decide what I want to achieve and then work backward to figure out how I can get there. I also follow a “one-touch rule.” Anything that I work on, I try to finish it in one go, else you’ll end up with a pile of unfinished items that you can hardly find the time to get back to and finalize. Work should be structured, prioritized, and focused. It’s important to know what plans you want to work on and achieve on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Note down your to-do list every start of the day and make sure you get things done.

Where can we go to learn more?

Simply Laundry

Hasan Makansi

Talal Jandali

Hasan Makansi, Founder of Simply Laundry
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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