LAUNDRY OF LOVE
By Asian Beacon
What is the connection by owning numerous laundry franchise outlets and to be a light to the world?
A lot apparently, and it isn’t about washing dirty linen. Just ask Jeremy Leow, the owner of seven dhobi shops located around Klang Valley, with more in the works.
Just in his early thirties Jeremy has seen his laundry business grew from just one shop to a few in just a matter of several years.
He also said that this is not his first business venture. He had tried different sorts of business ventures but none turned out well. Despite the failures, he did not give up. He said it was this process that taught him many things that he is now able to apply to his present business.
“I didn’t even dream of going into the dhobi shop business. It was an opportunity that open for me. I wasn’t sure about my future career after graduating. I was just curious with the business world, and tried different money-making ventures to earn some extra money for myself but none work out. I went through a lot of failed attempts in doing business but I learnt many important lessons from them. One thing I learned is that in business the learning process only begins when you get into it. It takes a lot of faith, to jump into it. Sometimes, an unexpected thing can happen at the very last moment, where it either make or kill you. I also learnt that just making a list and schedule to follow never really work. I had follow my heart and my ears,” Jeremy explained.
He strongly believed that God is his equation for success. He equates this phenomenal growth not only just to God’s blessing but also to God’s calling, and he has a very good reason to say so. Somehow along the way God led him to his current business partner. A senior, 10 years older than him, and very experienced with the laundry business, so when he entered the dhobi business he didn’t have to start from scratch.
“My partner, who is very experience in the business, was looking for someone he could trust to expand on his business. Someone who is religious and fear God. This is due to all the wrong business practices he witnessed out there, where partners are being very calculative, and may even end up cheating you. So, he wanted to find a partner who is God fearing. When we first met, he told me though he was not a Christian, but he likes business practices and ethics. So, he offered me to be his partner,” Jeremy explained.
So, the partnership was inked.
“The foundation for the business was already set up. I was just asked to be the partner, to share the fruit. So, I truly believed it was a divine appointment, as I did not have to struggle from scratch, as God had prepared everything,” Jeremy added.
Of course, Jeremy explained that for him taking the offer and venturing into the business was not without opposition.
“When I first started many people were quite negative. They thought I would fail as I had no experience in business. But really who starts a business with experience. It’s like marriage. You don’t start with experience. In fact, my story of how I got into the laundry business, was God sent,” Jeremy said.
He added that a lot of naysayers were giving him reasons on why he shouldn’t be in business.
“When I first went into the laundry business, I was told that the business world is very dark. In order to be very successful you have to do a lot of things that would compromise your integrity. I was told stories about all the dishonest practices that others did, as well as the bribes paid to the authorities. But I didn’t believe in all that. It’s not business that is dark but the culture of the local society which allows for these bad business practices. So, I went in, determine to stand for Kingdom values, and become the light in the marketplace. I do not want to be a part of the dark culture of business world,” Jeremy explained.
So, he did just that, and put these values into practice.
“There are a few simple business practices which I live by. One is that I do not try to cheat my customers, such as compromising the quality of my service, and exaggerating my producers. When I treated my customers in this way, they remain loyal to me for years,” he added.
He also explained another important thing is that he shows the Love of Christ to his workers.
“I have a close relationship with my staff, because I choose to get to know them. To treat them with the Love of Jesus. How I do this, is firstly, I do not take advantage of them, and try to exploit them by making them work for long hours for a meager income. I even provide ways for them to earn some extra income. This is because I honour and treat them like part of my family, while the business world out there will try to oppress and more so if they are foreigners.”
He added that worldly thinking is that employees need to be paid low, as they will always demand increment sooner or later. And when none is given, they will leave. But for Jeremy, he pays his workers fairly.