Ways to Make 2016 More Profitable (Conclusion)

Diana Vollmer |

SAN FRANCISCO — Beginning a new year provides an opportunity for fresh initiatives that will impact your company’s health and profitability for years to come. It is a good time to review what has happened in the past, both good and bad, and to envision how to build on that knowledge for a continually improving future.

A common objection to doing this work—and it is definitely an exertion of extra effort—is some variation of “I am happy with the current performance” or “I am planning to sell, so there is no need to change.” If either one of these sounds familiar, just remember that if you are not selling your business, you are “buying” your company back every day and it needs to provide you an ongoing return on your substantial and ongoing investment.

Simplistically, profit can grow by increasing the revenues, decreasing the expenses as a percent of revenues, or a combination of both. If you are interested in making more profit, the following list incorporates some of the steps you can take to achieve that goal.

RAISE PRICES TO REFLECT QUALITY, COSTS

The drycleaning industry is reluctant to raise prices despite the ever escalating costs associated with producing the product and delivering it to the customer. Don’t let your fear, the hesitancy of your staff, or the comments from a very few of your thousands of customers deter you from having a profitable company.

DELEGATE

Delegate all efforts that do not require your personal involvement. This allows you to operate at your highest and best value level. It is also an excellent way to build leadership and management skills in yourself and your staff. Tracking performance on unique projects will help you identify who is capable and interested in taking a larger role in the company as it grows and prospers.

RANK TEAM BY VALUE

Rank your entire team by value contributed to the organization. Take into account productivity and attitude as well as the fit for the current role and within the team.

COUNSEL, RE-TRAIN OR ELIMINATE

Counsel, re-train or eliminate the lowest-rated associates. Skills can usually be upgraded but attitude change can be much more challenging. Objectively assess the reaction when the shortcomings are brought to their attention. If the resistance is too great or the protest too loud, it may be an indication that they are not a good fit for your vision and company.

RECRUIT FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Recruit constantly for high-performance players. There is always room for excellence in your company, and your team-ranking exercise will show you where they can be effective.

CREATE AGGRESSIVE SALES-MARKETING PLAN

Create a plan that is brand-enhancing and meaningful to your customers and prospects by focusing on their needs, wants and lifestyles. Then, budget for the plan and implement it. Constantly evaluate it for effectiveness and refine as needed.

This topic could extend to a book, but take this brief recommendation to heart since the companies that are growing their revenues are most commonly taking this approach.

REVIEW LEASE AGREEMENTS

Review your lease agreements and the associated costs of your facilities. Be sure to do the following:

  • Question CAMS
  • Appeal taxes
  • Enforce landlord responsibilities
  • Review occupancy rates for reasons that should result in rent reductions
  • Actively review ways to fully utilize the cubic space

REVIEW EQUIPMENT EFFICIENCY

Is there a positive and short-term ROI available with an upgrade?

Does your old perc machine get such low mileage that your chemical cost reduction would pay a substantial portion of a new drycleaning machine?

Would a double legger increase your PPOH and reduce your labor cost enough to pay for itself in less than two years?

Are your old shirt machines requiring so much touch-up that new equipment would save enough labor cost to make the lease payments?

IN SUMMARY

These are just a few of the things you can do now to increase your profit immediately. There are many more, but concentrating on them in the order of contribution will help organize your focus and make them manageable.

Miss Part 1? You can read it 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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