I want to tell you about a business that has affected me personally, at one of the crappiest times of my life. And that is Austin-based Diaper Squad.
Diaper Squad is a cloth-diapering service. Their premise is simple – every week they deliver clean diapers to you and take away your dirty ones. They provide the whole package – an unlimited number of cloth diapers, weekly delivery & pickup service, hampers, laundry bags, air fresheners, diaper covers, Snappies – the works. And all this for a very reasonable monthly price.
Diaper Squad is great – at least from my perspective as a new parent. Disposable diapers have some issues – they are expensive, they contain chemicals that may irritate sensitive skin, and they are horrible for the environment (a single diaper can take up to 500 years to fully biodegrade). They do, however, have one MAJOR thing going for them – convenience.
Compare this to cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are chemical-free, they are gentler on the skin, and they can be much cheaper in the long-run. The biggest downside – and probably the #1 reason why more people don’t use cloth diapers – is laundry. Babies poop. A lot. Imagine having to wash and dry loads and loads of poopy diapers all while feeding the baby, caring for the baby, playing with the baby, and ironically spending a lot of time trying to get the baby to poop more (you parents out there know what I’m talking about).
So if I had to sum up Diaper Squad’s value proposition to consumers, it’s this – the advantages of cloth diapers with the convenience of disposable diapers. And heck – save the environment while you’re at it!
Looking under the hood
If you dig a little deeper into how Diaper Squad operates their business, it gets even cooler. I spoke with the founder – Jorge Galindo – and asked him how running such a high-touch, low-priced service was viable. He mentioned a few things his company does to stay efficient:
- Cloth diapers are bought in bulk, significantly lowering the price-per-diaper. If the company were to expand beyond Austin or franchise, this price would drop even further.
- Instead of operating their own laundry center, maintaining equipment, paying for fixed costs, etc. – Diaper Squad leases time at local laundromats during the night for a fraction of the cost.
- Old diapers aren’t just thrown away – rather they are sold to car washes as a source of inexpensive rags. Hey – if they’re good enough for my baby’s butt, they’re good enough for my car.
What I love about Diaper Squad’s business model is that it’s a win-win-win-win situation (and any time you have 4 wins, you win again!):
- The consumer wins! They get the benefits of cloth diapers with the ease of use of disposable diapers – and all while saving money & the environment!
- The environment wins! After all, what’s the point of changing hundreds of poopy diapers if we screw up the world our babies will inherit?
- Local businesses win! Laundromats can now generate revenue 24 hours a day by selling their unused night-time capacity. Car washes get good rags for cheap prices.
- Diaper Squad wins! The small team gets to run their own business while helping parents, local businesses, and the environment all at the same time.
I do have a suggestion on how Diaper Squad can improve its marketing and word-of-mouth. I don’t think they do a good enough job playing up their “win-win-win-win” value proposition. If you go to their site (which frankly is very Web 1.0 – but I’m admittedly an Internet snob), they only make a cursory mention of the environmental benefits, and they don’t really talk about their impact on local businesses. I think more people would be drawn to their service – and be more vocal about it – if those people truly understood the team, business, and environmental impact they were supporting. If anyone from Diaper Squad is reading and wants to take me up on my Soundboarding as a Service offering (free of charge!), you can use this form to contact me.
So for all you new and expecting parents out there in Austin – definitely check out Diaper Squad! If you do, tell them
Large Marge Roshan sent you.