Adding drop-off dry-cleaning to your existing laundromat can be an alluring prospect for business owners but adding it to your menu of services doesn’t guarantee incremental profits or success.
Still, with this major decision on the table, Wash IQ is here to help by offering the following points to ensure you have put in due diligence before adding a service that could lead to loss instead of profits. (Keep in mind, these points are under the assumption you’ll be outsourcing the work due to physical constraints.) There are a handful of things that you ought to consider before taking the plunge and spending your business’s money on setting up dry-cleaning for your customers. Start by asking yourself these questions:
Is your self-service laundromat in a dry-cleaning area?
This is pretty much asking whether or not you are going to be able to pull in a customer base that makes adding the service worth the effort. Though it might not seem like it at first, this is likely the most difficult question you are going to have to figure out. This is because the answer will require you take a look at the socioeconomic details of your laundromat’s surrounding area.
You see, if your laundromat is very popular, that might mean that the area is too blue collar to have a customer base that needs dry cleaning – since it’s a service most often used by a white-collar class. However, just because your self-service laundry is getting good business doesn’t mean that there’s not a market for dry cleaning in the neighborhood, and you should take into consideration nearby apartment complexes and office buildings as well as look into census data for the zip code. There might actually be a hidden neighborhood of wealth near you.
Do you have or know of a reliable wholesale dry-cleaner?
If you have determined that your area is ripe for offering dry cleaning, you will then have to find someone to actually do the work for you. Preferably, the business you contract will be nearby and offer wholesale prices. Nonetheless, you can’t make the decision on price alone as the dry cleaner’s reliability is paramount in making sure your business doesn’t suffer. If the dry cleaner loses or damages garments, your customers won’t care that the service was outsourced – they’ll be looking to you to provide a solution (or compensation).
Does your laundry have enough space to hang all the dry-cleaning business you expect?
This is probably the least cumbersome thing you need to think about, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Can your property support multiple hanger racks filled with clothes? Would you be willing to remove a coin-operated machine or two to make the space if needed?
Don’t forget that you’ll need a few employees.
One thing people seem to miscalculate when adding dry cleaning service is that they’ll need multiple employees to handle accepting and returning customers’ clothes. Sure, most laundry owners know they’ll need staff, but they end up budgeting for only one employee. Unless your self-service location is open only seven or eight hours a day, you’ll need more than one employee to handle the hours. Hiring (at least) three employees allows for allows for shift changes, some scheduling flexibility and days off.
Want to learn more about commercial laundry machines or starting your own laundry business? Our professionals at Wash IQ are ready and glad to help. To get a FREE laundry analysis call us at (844) 4WASHIQ