Tatiane Lobato is a 38-year old mother of two living in São Paulo, Brazil. She is the owner and manager of Magic Clean, a laundry chain with units in the metro São Paulo cities of Osasco and Carapicuíba. Here Tatiane shares her Cashless Pioneers story with MasterCard and tells how card acceptance has helped grow her small business.
My name is Tatiane Lobato, I am 38 years old and I live in Carapicuíba, in metro São Paulo. I started my business back in 2006 after realizing my neighborhood, in the outskirts of São Paulo, had no professional laundry facilities. To put into use what I had learned from my grandmother about doing laundry, I went to the bank for a loan, rented a space, bought two used laundry machines and opened my first laundry facility.
After nearly two years, my business was only breaking even. By 2009, with two Magic Clean units up and running, I decided to start accepting debit and credit cards, driven by client demand.
In December of that year, after just one month of accepting card payments, my sales edged up 30%. Since then, my business continued to expand, and today more than half of my income comes from services paid with a debit or credit card.
Average income per customer per visit also doubled: back then, customers would bring only one item at a time, and now they bring 20 or so items of casual clothing, social attire, curtains, carpets and blankets. After I started accepting payment cards, the average ticket went up from R$20 per service to more than R$50.
Cards have proven convenient and allow my clients to pay on a monthly basis, making it easier to keep track of their expenses.
Electronic payments also give me the ability to keep tight track of cash flow, and my business is default-free. I can track cash flow online and my manager fills in when I need to anticipate any payment to suppliers.
Ever since I began accepting card payments business has been looking up. I am a proud recipient of entrepreneurial awards and I plan to open new laundry facilities in Osasco and Carapicuíba in the next six years!