Go Back to Basics to Battle Tough Economy

Robert J. Renteria |

Over the past few months, I’ve been away promoting my new book, From the Barrio to the Board Room. During this time, the country has gone through a presidential election, tough economic times and a wide variety of what I call “perceived obstacles.” We must make the decision to adapt, come together, and draw from our roots to break through the barriers that prevent us from achieving economic power.The laundry industry may not be a recession-proof business, but it is, in my opinion, recession-resistant. Let’s take a look at how we can get back in the driver’s seat.During my absence, I worked with a local company to provide laundry owners both nationally and abroad with another tool to keep them in the game. It’s no secret that the cost of utilities and new products is going up. In trying to give both coin laundry owners and on-premise laundries (OPLs) an alternative to cutting costs, I’ve decided to move with the times and added used and refurbished washers and dryers to my arsenal of tools.Those of you looking to open your first coin laundry or expand with a new store should consider used equipment like this, because it can potentially cut the initial purchasing cost by as much as 50%.The new laundry market is still a wonderful opportunity given the right location, but with economic conditions what they are, not everyone can afford to be in that game anymore. This goes along with my previous recommendation that prospective coin laundry owners and those looking to expand purchase an existing laundry rather than build a new store from scratch.Now, more than ever, we must dedicate ourselves to paying more attention to our businesses. It’s all about getting back to the beginning and rebuilding your client base. Explore all of the options that you can so that you can provide as many additional services as possible and run your laundry as a profit center. You can’t be an absentee owner and expect the money to be there.The good news is that there are several old-school laundry owners who still refuse to get with the times, so those of you who are willing to step it up will be on the receiving end of the profits. Make sure to visit every coin laundry in your area and know exactly what you’re up against. This is your wake-up call, so step up to the plate and hit that ball all the way to the bank! 

About the author

Robert J. Renteria


Robert J. Renteria is a national consultant based in Chicago. He has more than 23 years of industry experience, having helped develop more than 750 coin laundries nationally and abroad. The author of three books, he was named the 2010 Chicago Latino Professional of the Year and is the sole recipient of the 2011 International Outstanding Humanitarian Award. In 2013, he received two Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards for his work in civil rights advocacy and educational reform. He can be reached at 312-933-5619 or [email protected].


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