While most students might look to a part-time job to keep some cash in their pockets, John Molson School of Business student, Ali Khadjavi, started his own company.
In 2009, Khadjavi launched his company, Nettoyeurs Express, with his brother Reza, after beginning his studies at Concordia as an independent student. A natural go-getter, Khadjavi is currently working towards his Bachelor of Commerce.
Born in Tehran, Khadjavi moved to Canada when he was five-years-old. He and his brother, Reza, had an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and came up with their business idea together.
“We were looking for a traditional business with a twist and discovered that dry cleaning was an easy business to start since many dry cleaners outsourced the work,” Khadjavi said. “So that means very little start up costs and good margins.”
The brothers target their business to busy students and young professionals who need laundry services and dry cleaning, but might not have time to make the trip to the cleaners or the laundromat themselves.
Nettoyeurs Express has done away with the traditional storefront in favour of a more modern web-based model. The sophisticated website enables their clients to select from a wide range of pickup and delivery hours.
Laundry and dry cleaning is picked up from clients’ homes, workplace or hotel and can be delivered within 48 hours or less, depending on the service option selected.
Always thinking ahead, the brothers turned to additional niche markets as well.
“We also service businesses such as clinics, spas, daycares, firms and other small companies,” Khadjavi said. “We are also very popular for our office weekly pickups for large companies such as Aldo Group, Ernst & Young and for our laundry services in the McGill Dormitories.”
Bursaries, mentorship programs and business coaching through Youth Employment Services were all helpful for Khadjavi to get Nettoyeurs Express off the ground. He notes that Québec is an excellent province for young entrepreneurs to start a new business.
During their interview on CJAD’s program, Today’s Entrepreneur, the brothers advised young people looking to start a business not to underestimate the importance of a strong web presence. It is no longer an aspect of business that can be ignored and it has certainly been essential in setting Khadjavi’s business apart from the competition.
Khadjavi is also quick to point out the campaign his company holds every September on their Facebook page, “Give $20 Get $20,” which he notes is very popular amongst the student population.
There will always be competitors in the laundry business, but Khadjavi and his brother are ready for it and even welcome it.