When the economy has tightened up, it’s the perfect time to be more competitive and gain more business. It’s in most people’s nature to sit and wait until the election is over before making a decision about trying to grow their businesses. This is the wrong answer!Fortunes are made when the dollar gets tight, and while your competition is asleep at the switch, you’re adding bigger machines and running promotions to gain more business. Customers who use laundries are looking even harder at their choices, and it’s the perfect opportunity to jump in and steal new customers away from the laundries who refuse to get with the program.I assisted with a promotion this past weekend where we sent out flyers surrounding the local competition, giving away two free washes, and held a raffle for $500 in free groceries. The raffle prize was donated by the grocery store next door, so it didn’t cost the coin laundry a thing, because we used the grocery store’s name on the flyer.We ran a three-day promotion, and in just that small amount of time, the store attracted 178 laundry customers who had never been to that Laundromat before — they were stolen from the competitor. Because it was their first visit, the new customers received the royal treatment, so they’ll come back when the promotion is over.It’s a dog-eat-dog world, so are you eating up the opportunity or are you being eaten? Your laundry business can grow in great proportions if you just follow the plan that I’ve given you during the past year. The roadmap I have outlined for you comes from both my national and international experience in developing more than 500 coin laundries.STAND UP AND FIGHT THE FIGHTBusiness in any economy is tough, but you must step it up more so now than ever before. Because of the economic hardships of coin laundry customers, they’ll be looking for specials and will drive past other laundries to get to yours if they’re getting a deal from time to time and being treated well. Regardless of how much money we have or don’t have, we all want to be treated right!The laundry business is thriving for many, but yes, others are taking a hit. That’s because they’re not fighting the fight and doing whatever it takes to build up new customers. Many areas are transitional, so if you’re not out there promoting and being the face of your business, how can you expect the business to grow?When new families move into an area, they don’t automatically know who you are or how great your coin laundry is. Every day is a marketing day! Until you understand this basic principle, you’re going to feel the crunch. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s better that you lick your wounds and sell your business.LOOKING FORWARDI’m going to take a short break from writing these monthly features to promote my new book, From the Barrio to the Board Room. I hope to be back next year, but in the mean time, don’t lose sight of your dreams. I wish you success and never less!