Originally posted – Mar 10, 2014
I do a great business in drop-off laundry. The problem I’m having is that my attendants are overusing the liquid fabric softener in an effort to make the clothes smell good. I even gave them measuring cups, but that haven’t seemed to help much. How can I control the usage?
Over-pouring liquid fabric softener is a common problem. Fabric softeners were designed to relax the fibers of the garments and make them feel softer. However, the manufacturers began adding perfumes to their products in an effort to attract more consumers. Now, many users are confused between wanting the garments to be soft and wanting them to smell good – and, therefore, many people are overusing these products.
My suggestion would be to eliminate liquid softener and go with dryer sheets. You’ll still get a good scent on the clothes, and the sheets will make it much easier to control your employees’ usage.
My store is three years old and approximately 4,000 square feet. It’s in pristine condition, has great parking and a lot of large machines. However, a new laundry opened up about a mile and a half from me and is taking away some of my business.
I was thinking of dropping my vend prices, giving away a free wash for every five paid washes, or perhaps going to free dry and raising the vend prices on my washers. What do you think?
Honestly, I don’t think any of those ideas are very smart. What’s to keep your competitor from duplicating whatever promotion or giveaway you implement – and, if that happens, you will lose whatever advantage you may have gained; at that point, all you’ve done is create a headache for yourself and a loss of revenue for your business.
In fact, the only time I would recommend extreme promotions is if you’re trying to attract customers away from surrounding apartment buildings. Today’s route operators have become very aggressive with their pricing and with the types of equipment they are putting into the buildings.
But, for you, my advice would be to keep your store clean, well maintained, bright and friendly. Remember, if you gain a customer because of a giveaway or a promotion, that customer generally will eventually go back to where he or she came from, if everything else is equal.