Experiences of Growing a Laundry Business
Laundry and Dry Cleaning is a necessity for everyone worldwide. During recession, customers stop buying new clothes and spend more on upkeep of their existing wardrobe. This is an industry, which is practically recession-proof . Moreover, it is also a very profitable business. But still most drycleaners and laundry busines struggle with profitability, Why?
The major reason behind it is their unorganized process and as it comes approach which in turn leads to extremely haphazard management. Therefore, the business owners are not capable of taking strategic business oriented decisions but end up making intuitive decisions.
In this Blog, I have listed few proven practices which can help you immensely in increasing your profits and scaling your dry cleaning and laundry business. These techniques are results of my 5+ years of expertise in dry cleaning industry and managing a successful on demand Laundry startup in India,
1. Launch Customized Subscriptions
Laundry and Drycleaning are rich cash flow business and securing long term loyalty from your customers is paramount to run a successful laundry business/ startup.
Greater efficiency can easily be achieved by offering tailored services to the clients according to their specific needs.
– Study your customers
Follow their order trend and analyze how many orders do they place in a month/year, what time do they prefer to drop the garments (or home picked), what time they prefer to pick up (or home dropped), what is their convenient mode and time of payment.
Store and work with more customer inputs whether the customer is married or a bachelor; working professional or a student; lives in a joint family or a nuclear family? Study the needs of your customers and launch specific offers or packages for them that suit their trend.
Let me explain this with the help of a few practical examples:-
Suppose there is a customer, who lives in a small family. He places orders for somewhere around $200 every month and another customer who is a bachelor, who gives around 25 garments for wash and iron every month which needs to be done per peice basis.
So, your strategy of dealing with them can be completely different as you can launch with different offers for both of them to satisfy their demands. If you provide them with specific prepaid packages,with a discount upon upfront payment.ex. pre-paid package for the nuclear family as pay 10,000 in advance and get services worth 12,000 with a validity of 6 months.
Customers like the ease of payments and also like to have a special pont of contact for any of their queries. They also understand that paying upfront brings previledge and loyalty from the cleaner also.
This way, you have attained the following benefits:
Happier customer with a hefty discount.
Gained customer loyalty for the next 6 months
You get the money in advance and eliminate the case of an amount due from this customer.
Now Launch another package of just $100 per month for a single , bachelor. Someone who would be happy to pay only for a small advance upfront as they are unsure about their usage.
This way you would be able to fetch 1000 from even a bachelor customer who under normal circumstances would never place orders worth more than 500. Similarly, you can launch different packages as per the demands of the clients. So the bottom line is study your customers and be flexible while launching offers for them.
2. Be there for your customer everywhere
Your customer are now reaching and learning about you from multiple channels and places, be there for them. They can reach you
– Walk down to your store.
– Give you a call, send SMS, Email.
– Reach you on Whatsapp
– Reach you via your Facebook page,
– Book your services online via your website
– Find your Mobile Applications to get in touch with your business
.You need to empower your customers to communicate with you or place orders as per their convenience.
Connect with your customers whenever you have a new service/offer, send promotional SMS or In-app notifications to your customers and also plan them in a marketing calendar. This will also help you immensely in creating your brand.
3. Track Garments Religiously
Garment Tracking is a MUST for a successful laundry/dry cleaning business.
No brand can survive a constant breach of customer service, nor they should.
Tracking every garment of your customer and also informing them at every single point is the current best practice in retail laundry and cleaning industry. You need to systematize your processes and track your garments at every checkpoint. The best way to do this is via technology as human process, writing on notes, no constant monitoring leads to one wrong delivery or lost garment which costs you one loyal customer and definitely the compensation cost as well as bad word of mouth publicity.
4. Monitor your process by empowering your employees
Have a single a dry cleaning POS Software at your store which can give you the necessary information and include your employees in it via staff accounts.
Its easier for your employees to know about the status if every order and also enables them to take part in the overall process digitally, leading to more information and better record keeping instantly.
Use the analytics features and get more information like the cash report, order report, sales and delivery report etc. Use dashboard and interactive charts with your employees also able to understand the key metrics clearly. All this information will keep you in control of your business and your employees.
Catch any theft or piliferage instantly due to digitsed employee record keeping, also ask staff to login to their accounts and drivers to find out their expenses and performance.
5. Keep engaging your customers
Keep connecting with your customers regularly sometimes informing them of your services and sometimes reminding them of the different optiosn and prices for the day.
Make your pricelist dynamic for your customers, and run different store specific campaigns like ‘Super’ wednesday offers and promotions wher ea slow weekday can be turned into a low price day to improve collections.
Staying up to date with your customers and creating a defined and detailed marketing campaign for them with details like
– Channels to be connected upon( Whatsapp, SMS, Facebook Page)
– Different templates and offers for the channels.
– Timing of your outreach in the day
– Segment of customers found for the outreach etc.
6. Measure Your Business comprehensively
Keep measuring your business at regular intervals as there is a saying “The more you measure the more you grow”.
In this age of information, gather as much information about your customer helps you create a perfect experiece for them without fail everytime. Also, identifying new opportunities to cut costs, improve margins can only be realised after a regular through walkthorugh of business numbers.
These analytics should easily be exportable to excel to be shared among other stakeholders for brain storming and feedback collection.