Four Research Findings Sure to Benefit You and Your Laundry Business

With an advanced degree in clinical psychology and being a member of the American Psychological Association, I am a regular reader of a number of technical journals in the field.

Not surprisingly, many of the research findings I come across have direct applicability to the world of business – especially the vended laundry business. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting and instructive for me to share the results of a few of the more practically useful research studies with you. The idea being that the findings can be useful and applied to running your vended laundry business, and hopefully make your working life more productive, satisfying and profitable.

Here we go…

What’s the best time for you to think creatively, either when designing a marketing program or performing some other creative endeavor?

Psychologists are turning up all kinds of evidence that one’s intellectual performance fluctuates in predictable patterns throughout the course of a day. So, the time at which you do things matters.

We fall into five different categories. These are called chronotypes and are defined by the window of time we individually feel most alert and energetic. Your chronotype is not a personality trait but rather a biological characteristic specific to you, similar to food preferences.

The five categories are strong morning types, moderate morning types, strong evening types, moderate evening types and those who are simply neutral. You are better off tackling mental chores such as creative work at a time consistent with your chronotype.

For example, on the whole, young children are more often morning types, but by their teens and early 20s a majority have shifted to favoring evenings or being neutral. In older age, we slide back toward favoring the morning hours.

As a result, it’s critical for you to determine what time of the day your specific brain functions the absolute best and to schedule your creative work for only that time period. Not doing so can produce less than your best marketing programs, loyalty programs and employee management methods, which ultimately can impact the overall financial performance of your laundry business.

People often underestimate or are unaware of the important biological component of their chronotype. Pay attention to it, because it’s useless to work against your specific physiology.

Psychologists’ research shows how smartphones are impacting our health and well-being – and points the way toward taking back control of our lives.

Apple introduced the smartphone in 2007. Since then, the world has never been the same. Wireless phones have found their way into millions of pockets, including yours. Having the entire store of human knowledge at our fingertips is pretty useful; however, there are trade-offs for that convenience.

Recent research has found a positive link between anxiety and smartphone usage. In fact, they seem to go hand in hand. In one study exploring this idea, researchers took away phones from individuals for an hour and tested their levels of anxiety at various intervals.

The results were indeed interesting. “Light users” of smartphones did not show any increasing anxiety as they sat idly without their phones. “Moderate users” began showing signs of increased anxiety after about a half hour, and that level of anxiety remained relatively stable throughout the duration of the experiment. However, “heavy users” showed increased anxiety after just 10 phone-free minutes, and their anxiety levels continued to climb for the remaining time they were being tested.

The important takeaway point here is that, if you or your attendants are heavy users of smartphones (not uncommon from my experience) and you or your attendants are working with relatively high levels of anxiety, then it will have a dramatic effect on how they (or you) interact with customers. It is well documented that anxiety sufferers have difficulty relating to others (such as laundry customers) in a calm manner, and this can absolutely impact your business. I think you get the point.

The reason for smartphone addiction is labeled the “FOMO” phenomenon, which stands for the “fear of missing out.” We have, it seems, created a system where we feel compelled to “check in” with our phones all of the time.

Perhaps try to limit your (and your attendants’) usage of cell phones while on the job. Constant contact with the digital world, as we are learning, can be harmful to your business.

Research shows the best way for you to spend your money.

Money can make you happier, we are learning – if you use it to pay for more free time, rather than spending it on material goods.

That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers asked nearly 4,500 participants how much money they spend each month paying people to do the tasks that they (the participants) disliked. The also asked them to rate their life satisfaction.

Those who spent more money on time-saving expenses had far greater life satisfaction, even after factoring in their income levels. In other words, rather than buying that expensive new you-name-it, perhaps you will be happier using those funds paying someone to do your landscaping. Try it and see how you feel.

Of course, the same can be said for your laundry customers (and potential customers), who may prefer to patronize your wash-dry-fold service, rather than doing their laundry on their own. In this case, perhaps you can leverage the findings of that research to help build your full-service laundry business.

Research findings indicate a great way to give your brain a positive boost.

Want to put yourself in a good mood when you’re not? Among a stack of studies on the subject, one seems to stand out. It focuses on how taking a walk significantly improves mood even when we are not expecting any effect from doing so.

Researchers conducted three experiments on hundreds of people to find out if they experienced a positive mood boost while walking, without them knowing that walking could be the reason.

They discovered that just 12 minutes of walking resulted in an increase in joviality, vigor, attentiveness and self-confidence, versus spending the same time just sitting. The importance here is to underscore a basic point: some of the best brain tools available to us don’t require money, special training, expensive equipment or seeing a doctor. They just require being in motion.

So, the next time events in your laundry get “tense” for you, just hit the bricks for 12 minutes. Doing so will likely avoid potentially regrettable interactions with staff and customers. You also might consider asking an attendant to “take a hike” occasionally, depending on the situation.

If you utilize all of these findings, you most likely will become more consistently creative, spend less time and money using your smartphone, grow your wash-dry-fold business, and feel calmer most of the time.

Not a bad way to live.