How to Run a Successful Dry Cleaning Business: 5 Tips That Will Increase Profitability
Dry cleaners are less popular than they once were. Casual dress requirements in the office are the new norm, resulting in people washing their garments at home rather than travel out of their way to a dry cleaning service. Competition among dry cleaners has also grown—gone are the days where the only thing you had to do to be successful was be the only dry cleaner in town. Because of these hurdles, dry cleaners have had to shift their way of doing business in order to remain profitable. If you’re interested in learning how to run a successful dry cleaning business or ready to revamp your existing one, consider these 5 tips that will increase your profitability:
Advertise Promotions and Offer Loyalty Programs
Retaining customers can be challenging and competition is fierce. Having a good loyalty program, coupons, and regular promotions are key to earning repeat business. Offering regular promotions for your services, including same-day service, pre-pay discounts, and student or senior discounts will attract customers looking for a deal. You can even display promotions on your marquee or even make weave it into your business name.
Promotions are an excellent way to draw in new business; however, a loyalty program will keep them coming back. By having a loyalty program in place, you can reward customers who regularly do business with you, such as gifting them a free dry cleaning service after four visits. You can even take it a step further and allow customers to sign up for low-fee monthly memberships, through which they can enjoy more discounts and coupons that can be sent via email.
Get Creative with Service Offerings
The truth is, a lot of dry cleaners offer the same service. Even if your service is excellent, customers are likely still within a certain radius of your facility and will opt for closer-to-home options. Expanding locations would solve this issue; however, this isn’t always a viable option, especially for more independent businesses. The challenge is to give customers a reason to choose your business over other, more convenient options.
To achieve this, look for innovative ways to differentiate your business from the competition and attract new business, such as offering: wash/dry/fold, press only (for new or cleaned items), specialty cleaning, rush service, and alterations. When deciding among additional services, its important to choose things you can add without hiring more staff or breaking the bank. These additional services will bring more convenience to your business as well as increase the average ticket size, maximizing revenue.
Maintain and Update Equipment
While loyalty programs and unique service offerings are great additions, your business would be nothing without your equipment. Slow or inoperable equipment will quickly ruin your revenue stream and damage your reputation. That’s why it’s crucial to provide regular maintenance and updates to equipment in order to reduce downtime and potential delays for services. Keep track of when machine warranties run out and look for local repair resources that can help you when you need a quick fix.
In some cases, it may be a better idea to upgrade your equipment rather than fix it. With a high demand for convenience, customers don’t have patience for old, low-tech machines. If your business is in need of an upgrade, there’s nothing better to invest in than the equipment most essential to business operations.
Be Strategic with Staff
Dry cleaning businesses are often family-owned and operated with minimal employees, resulting in generally low labor costs. Nevertheless, ensuring you surround yourself with a great team is essential to your success. Make sure you hire employees that can handle the workload and who can be friendly and helpful to customers in need.
You should also be strategic with scheduling to help generate more revenue. Scheduling your best and most personable employees to work counter and pick-up service will result in a more positive customer experience and directly impact profitability.
Communicate with Customers
Communication is key. In today’s digital age, customers want communication based on their personal preferences. You can communicate with customers based on how they want to interact with their store, such as through emails, SMS text, or through your website. Having the flexibility of more than one form of communication will keep your customers happy.
Additionally, you can leverage social media to familiarize customers in your area with you and your services. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are excellent marketing tools as the majority of communication these days occurs online rather than face-to-face.
Owning and operating a dry cleaning business can be a challenge. There are many methods that can shape how to run a successful dry cleaning business, but these 5 strategies are sure to increase profitability in your business. Having a successful dry cleaning business starts with a proper point of sale. Contact our team of experts at Fabricare Systems today to learn more about our state-of-the-art dry cleaning POS software and system. With our help, you can streamline business operations for increased business and professional service.