CHICAGO — When asked in this first quarter 2020 American Drycleaner Your Views survey to tell us: “Do you know your drycleaning operation’s value?” Here is what respondents reveal:
Thirty-three percent say, “I have a fairly good idea but haven’t sat with my accountant and gone over it,” while 20% admit they have “no idea,” of the worth of their business, another 15% know exactly what their business is worth in the market today.
Still another 27% of respondents say they, “don’t really have a firm idea, only guessing at this point,” and 5% aren’t thinking about it at all. (See graphic.)
The survey then asks: “Is your business comfortably profitable?” Here is what respondents relate:
• “It is, however you can never stop trying to improve it or rest on your laurels.”
• “Yearly it is going down since four or five years ago, and I think that is the general trend.”
• “On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say about a 6 or 7.”
• “Just comfortable.”
• “No. This is my number one business focus.”
• “Yes.” (Many answered like this, but some said “No,” or “Not really.”)
• “It is finally generating a profit, but not enough for me to live off of. I’m using profit to pay down debt at this point.”
• “Yes, we can improve some operational effectiveness and make things more robust.”
The survey also asks: “Where does your largest chunk of revenue come from?” Respondents by far indicate that “Walk-In/Drop-Off” generates the largest chunk of revenue, at 71%. “Routes” generated eight percent and “Wholesale” just two percent, while a “Balanced Mix” of everything garnered 19%.
The survey then asks respondents to finish this sentence: “If you were going to sell your drycleaning business tomorrow would you be….”
“Happy with the price you’ll offer the market, and expect to get it,” says 15%.
“Comfortable with the price, hoping to get it,” answers 46% of respondents.
“Know it’s a reach, and probably full of negotiations,” notes another 24%.
“Have to take a pass now, wait until the value rises,” says 15%.
Lastly the survey poses this: “Does your drycleaning operation’s bottom line give you peace of mind?”
• “Yes. Always a positive cash flow with cushion.”
• “Labor is my biggest expense and I still can’t get good employees; that doesn’t give me peace of mind.”
• “No, there’s a lot of uncertainty between economy, big players in the game, and casual business attire.”
• “Yes, have delegated many of the management roles to my employees and they have maintained our customer base with many weekly clients.”
• “No; I worry about it virtually every day.”
• “Yes, we maintain a steady 30% profit margin.”
The Your Views survey offers a current snapshot of the trade audience’s views. Qualified subscribers to American Drycleaner e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in the unscientific poll.