Key Considerations for Laundry Owners in the Post-COVID-19 World
These days, I find myself spending a good chunk of my time thinking about my laundry business – not necessarily about what to do with my PPP stimulus money or how to run my operation in the middle of this crazy pandemic, but more so about what my business will look like down the road… in the new normal.
What will my customers look like? I think about my customer base and mentally draw pictures for each type of client I serve, trying to envision what their needs are going to be in the future.
For example, a light-duty medical professional such as a massage therapist is still going to need sheets. However, due to potentially stricter controls regarding how those sheets are cleaned, there may actually be new opportunities within this segment of which laundry owners can take advantage.
There could be opportunities for many of us to expand our commercial accounts businesses. We need to be asking ourselves what our businesses can do to help out with those types of laundering opportunities.
How can you position your business to be of assistance to those customers when the need arises?
For example, how are you protecting your delivery drivers? Also, have you developed a smooth, contactless transaction procedure? Nearly all of the delivery apps are coming up with technology to assist with contactless pickups and deliveries. Are you utilizing those? Have you created a contactless system for your business?
In addition, consider your residential wash-dry-fold service. Right now, many drycleaners are attempting to convert customers from in-store drop-off to home pickup and delivery, understanding that a larger percentage of consumers are going to be working from home in the future.
Is this a wash-dry-fold opportunity for you? Is it a chance to develop a home delivery business? More and more people are working from home – and they can’t be folding their underwear while they’re sitting at their desks in a Zoom meeting.
With people working from home, many are working harder and longer than ever in order to remain relevant within their workplaces, and many of these individuals are ending up with less personal time to do their own laundry. So, are there opportunities to expand your business into home pickup and delivery? I would say that right now is probably a great time to think about it and to plan how do achieve it in a contactless way.
Next, think about your finished, packaged product. For instance, we’re seeing a resurgence in the use of plastic bags, because reusable bags have become almost a no-no in the COVID-19 era. Therefore, you really need to consider how you will position your brand through your packaging going forward. Consumers will be sensitive to this aspect of your service.
So, the big questions you need to ask yourself are:
- What new wash-dry-fold and commercial accounts opportunities will arise in a post-coronavirus environment?
- By contrast, from which commercial accounts might you lose business in the future? For example, if you’ve handled a lot of catering or event linens in the past, you’re probably not going to see that business come back very soon. As a result, you might want to think about how you’re going to reposition your business, as well as considering ways in which you can be helpful to those struggling clients as they try to make a comeback. And how can you be there for them when that occurs?
- Lastly, how do you position your business’ image from a marketing standpoint? What will your packaging look like? What will your employees look like? What will your transactional model look like?
Above all, what can you do to maximize all of these factors in the new normal?