Spring Cleaning Brings Seasonal Service Opportunities (Conclusion)

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(Photo: ©iStockphoto/Funwithfood)

Diana Vollmer |

Ideas bloom, too, like helping customers clean warm-weather wardrobe

SAN FRANCISCO — The arrival of spring is always welcome. It brings renewed energy in nature and optimism in people.

Depending upon your geographic location, the drycleaning cycle can introduce the beginning of a seasonal uptick in business or the end of the busiest season all year. Regardless of your locale, it typically is an opportunity for a breakout in sales because customers are changing wardrobes and household décor. In this conclusion, learn about all the ways you can help your profits bloom.

Equally important to capitalizing on seasonal changes is to maximize resulting sales, which allows the entire company to get involved. Employees all know prospects for change-of-season services because everyone has coats, sweaters and jackets, so these orders need not only arrive over the counter but via route as well.

Don’t forget to involve your outside joint-venture partners in this effort. Your specialty retailers know which of their customers have cashmere coats that need your special care. Your fine linen store keeps a list of customers who have bought fine tablecloths that need professional processing.

Shoe stores can refer owners of Uggs, suedes and other materials that need salt stains removed. Home décor stores need a resource that can maintain the accent items they sell. These partners will be happy to share your professional service with their customers to help preserve their fine textile investments.

Of course, this approach is not just relevant for spring. It will work for any promotional effort you are making, and it trains your sales associates to talk to customers about all of the services that you offer.

GET FRESH

In addition to wardrobe changeover, there are many other opportunities for you to help your customers prepare for the upcoming warm weather.

Gear for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and snowmobile riding all fit into this cleaning/storing/freshening cycle and customers need to be reminded that the time is now for you to take care of these specialty clothing items.

Household linens need care now since the heavy blankets and duvets are being replaced by lighter, brighter bedding that is more appropriate to the warmer temperatures. Both heavy and light items need to be prepared for the changeover by cleaning, pressing or both.

Upcoming holidays need preparation as well. Whether Easter, Nowruz, Passover or any other of the numerous special holidays that occur during the season, spring frequently brings out fine linens, including heirlooms that need special handling and care. Be sure to remind your customers and prospects of the holiday needs well in advance because you need time to pick up, process and return these treasures so they are ready when the table is set.

As socializing moves outdoors, patio cushions need cleaning and freshening for the season. This is a process not easily done at home and most of your customers are unaware that you can provide them with this valuable service.

Tents and sleeping bags are emerging from their winter storage, usually from areas in the home that aren’t conducive to dry, fresh-smelling environments. Again, a reminder in advance will prevent that first night of camping from enveloping the sleeper with an aroma reminiscent of the basement, attic or garage.

Car mats have ground-in winter dirt and grime, including salt and other snow-melting chemicals that are difficult to remove at home. Do your customers a favor and let them know you can quickly make these mats look like new.

Doormats, too, are ready for a spring cleaning. This is a great opportunity to pick up several more pieces from every single household. These mats are easy for you to process in your large machines or on hanging racks with a hose system.

This can be a lucrative year-round business requiring little effort on the part of your route drivers. No one wants to put these dirty mats in their car and bring them to you, even if they know you provide the service. Use it as a way to expand your route business.

The same is true of area rugs throughout the home and office. This is a perfect time to send a reminder saying: “Your rug was last cleaned on [date] and it’s overdue for a cleaning. Let us pick it up and clean out the winter dirt, odors and pet hair. We’ll deliver it back to you looking and smelling fresh and clean. Pickup and delivery are complimentary.”

A little thought about the broad range of opportunities available and how to capitalize on them can make the spring season a profitable time indeed. Be sure to include it as an agenda item for your annual strategic planning retreat with your management team.

Miss Part 1? Check it out HERE.

About the author

Diana Vollmer

Methods for Management (MFM) Inc.

Managing Director

Diana Vollmer is managing director of Methods for Management (MFM) Inc., a consultancy specializing in drycleaning businesses. You may contact her at dvollmer@mfmi.com, 415-577-6544.

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