“Change is inevitable; growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwell

Happy New Year! As we enter a new year and a new decade, the Coin Laundry Association is looking forward to celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020.

Of course, we’re understandably proud of this long tenure and track record of service to the laundromat industry. However, at the same time, the association has devoted significant resources over the last couple of years to help chart a new course for the coming decade… and beyond.

All types of nonprofit organizations are facing challenges in the modern environment with new technology, changing demographics, the need for updated revenue models and more. Whether it’s a civic group, a faith-based organization or a traditional trade association like the CLA, if it’s not evolving to meet the needs of its community of interest today – it’s most certainly falling further behind and finding itself less and less relevant to its constituency.

Starting with strategic planning sessions back in 2017, the CLA has identified a myriad of ways to deliver the support, programs and products to meet the needs of today’s laundromat owner. After making major reinvestments in our technological infrastructure and reimagining our local affiliate program in 2018, this past year was full of even more change to bring the CLA forward and make what we do more valuable to the industry:

• The CLA Connect LIVE local meetings program delivered more than 50 meetings in 2019 from coast-to-coast. We hosted the most meetings for the most laundry professionals in the history of the association. The CLA is committed to bringing our community together to share best practices for success.

• The LaundryCares Foundation took a huge leap forward in its mission to connect the communities we serve with the books and literacy resources they need most. The mid-year launch of the Family Read, Play & Learn centers placed nearly 100 mini-library spaces into laundromats across the country, while our continued investments in research and evaluation proved that we can make a difference in the lives of children at the laundromat.

• The new online store at www.coinlaundry.org showed that the CLA can stock the shelves with impactful tools for new investors and veteran laundromat owners alike. We added a record number of white papers, books, surveys, videos and webinars – all focused on making store operators more successful… and at an affordable price.

• The CLA launched its all-new suite of digital marketing services through American Marketing & Publishing (AMP), giving all owners access to tools such as websites, online directory listings, reviews management and the best possible Google listings – all geared toward making sure customers find your laundromat first.

• Also new in 2019, hundreds of laundromat owners are saving money through the CLA’s Energy Program. Powered by 4Ward Energy Solutions, this program makes sure you get the right price on deregulated natural gas and electricity services in your area.

• The best demographic reports you can find anywhere are now available through the CLA’s partnership with IdealSpot. Enjoy unbeatable pricing on the most sophisticated data and mapping services ever offered within the industry. This is the information you need to select the best location for your next laundromat.

This new look to the association is focused on broadening our reach to as many laundromat owners as possible, with the best products and services available for success in this industry. Although membership has never been more valuable, the CLA wants to connect with the entire community of laundry professionals. Now, you can customize your experience with the association and focus on the resources that best fit your needs.

After such a busy launch year in 2019, there are no plans to slow down in 2020. Expect to see even more educational resources, online training, more support for the wash-dry-fold community, an even bigger year for CLA Connect LIVE, a new and improved CLA Connect Online forum and much more. Visit www.coinlaundry.org to see all that’s new.

Of course, change is not easy, but it’s often exciting – and your Board of Directors’ willingness to be forward-thinking in the CLA’s strategic planning has set a course for success. Join us as we grow this great industry by leveraging the best information, networking and shared resources for all laundromat owners. You have an unprecedented opportunity to grow a profitable laundromat business – let the CLA be your partner in that success in 2020 and beyond.

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