SAN FRANCISCO — This year is momentous, in part due to the end of one decade and the beginning of a new one.

Preparing for this significant new era can give you a handle on the near future and make your company a leader that overcomes the ever-increasing challenges that face business in general and the fabricare industry specifically.

As we know from Monday Morning Quarterback  discussions over coffee, hindsight is much clearer than foresight. So, let’s do what the Las Vegas bookies do to set their odds in the betting world: Do the homework!

Gather all available information and synthesize current and historical data in conjunction with future indicators to gain the best insight and knowledge possible.

Examine the relevant issues from all available angles to reveal the most significant factors that will impact your business and the appropriate related strategies and tactics to apply through your management.

Then prepare a formalized  winning strategy to apply to this year and beyond. What past, present and predicted trends influence the way you do business today and how your model must change in the future to keep your organization moving forward at the head of the pack?

Consider past and current projections and trends in:

1.  The Economy;

2.  Retail Consumer Sector;

3.  Commercial Sector;

4 . Fabricare Trends;

5 . Your Status.

COMMERCIAL SECTOR

The service economy is strong, growing and competitive. According to vault.com: “The fastest growing industries in the United States are:

#1 Energy

#2 Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology

#3 Engineering

#4 Information Technology

#5 Investment Management

#6 Private Equity

#7 Consulting

#8 Social Media

#9 Hedge Funds

#10 Media and Entertainment

#11 Commercial Banking

#12 Advertising

#13 Accounting

#14 Hospitality

#15 Wealth Management

#16 Insurance

#17 Real Estate

#18 Public Relations

#19 Nonprofit Sector

#20 Investment Banking.”

(https://www.vault.com/industry-rankings/fastest-growing-industries)

Obvious opportunities exist to do business with companies that provide healthcare, hospitality, delivery, facility cleaning, location security, building and grounds maintenance.

As commerce moves online, warehouse and industrial parks are fertile ground for route activity. Explore the ways that you can tap into these service providers as customers for your business.

Example: Hotel occupancy rates are up and many of them need refurbishment after a long stretch of minimizing expenses and delaying much needed maintenance and cleaning projects.

Drapes, rugs, furniture, lampshades, accent pillows and seat cushions all need refreshing in addition to the ongoing daily linens, uniforms and guest and manager garment cleaning.

Half of the “fastest growing” list are financial services related, a very active sector, and the managers and their teams must still dress to impress, even if the preferred attire has moved to casual.

Looking professional is even more challenging in casual clothing, so they need your services as much or more than ever.

FABRICARE TRENDS

The industry has had much press exposure about the shrinking number of companies reported in the drycleaning and laundry business.

A closer look shows very healthy growth among the competitors that are taking an innovative and proactive approach to expanding their businesses.

Many have acquired profitable volume by buying businesses from owners who want to get out of the business and who are tired of the required management involvement.

Consolidating two or more compatible businesses can result in much higher profit percentages due to the efficiencies and economies of scale gained with the added volume and reduced supporting expenses.

Other successes are represented by diversification of services provided and/or expansion of current services to more prospects through proactive sales and marketing.

Examples include: Electronic and toy cleaning; family laundry; accessory cleaning; expanded household cleaning; recreational vehicle, airplane and boat cleaning.

The key to this strategy is savvy sales and marketing to let them know what you can do for them.

Leapfrog common industry technological approaches to communicate with customers by implementing new ways to interact. One effective component is a creative, informative, and possibly humorous blog.

Two examples:

First, McDonald’s did both promotion and damage control for a sauce shortage and hit iTunes top-100 podcast chart. Go to this link: https://io9.gizmodo.com/mcdonalds-is-bringing-back-rick-and-mortys- belovedszec-1797372297.

Next, Keeping You Organized produced by Smead, a file-folder maker, is one of the longest running brand-podcasts since 2013, as a series of weekly interviews  with a professional organizer focused on specific projects. It informs consumers and sells their products at the same time. Go to this link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/keeping-you-organized/id698985975.

(David Yaffe-Bellany, SFChronicle.com, 8/26/19)

If you think professional photography is out of your price range for your electronic and print media, check https://unsplash.com/ for free, high-quality, high-resolution, royalty-free images that have been gifted to the site by their creators.

Success is a direct result of providing what customers want. And providing it when, where and how they want it. Make their lives easier to make your company more profitable.

YOUR STATUS

Take a clear-eyed, objective look at your company from top to bottom both past and present. Assess your current status in your market, the strengths that differentiate you from competitors, and the opportunities for growth.

Look at the outside factors that are threats to your organization, such as: Availability and increased costs of quality employees; and changing or new regulations.

Evaluate the areas for improvement that can propel you to greater success. Document what is working and the areas that are not, and what to do to improve both.

Take a scientific approach to profiling your best customers and adding more prospects like them.

Disrupt how consumers and businesses think about your business. Move them from default thinking of you as their cleaner for their “best clothes,” to an expanded role as their wardrobe, household, business, vehicle and recreation care and maintenance providers.

Help them change their current habits of usage to new patterns of behavior that make you a trusted provider of more and more services and support for them, their families, their friends, and their associates.

Being complacent about new trends and cultural changes has resulted in many operators closing their doors. Don’t be discouraged by the bad news, but rather use your vision and creativity this year to be a winning survivor instead!

To read Part 1, go HERE.