RIPON, Wis. — Whether a seasoned veteran of the laundry industry or a newcomer, store owners continually strive to improve their Laundromats. One of the simplest ways an owner can feel empowered to make these improvements is by participating in distributor events such as open houses, sales shows and service schools.
While the format and frequency of events vary from one distributor to the next, owners should understand the benefits available so they can get the most from attending.
PRODUCT AND SALES INCENTIVES
During certain open houses or sales shows, attendees may have access to equipment discounts. Through these show specials, the distributor and manufacturer offer discounts on equipment or replacement parts. These discounts and promotions can be impactful enough that the event is a must-attend for owners looking to upgrade their equipment.
To show appreciation for attendees’ business and participation at an event, some distributors work with their manufacturers to give away prizes ranging from a free case of laundry detergent to a washer-extractor or tumble dryer.
Some of the most popular distributor events are service schools, as the knowledge an owner gains from them can result in real savings. Not every distributor provides these seminars, but if available, owners should find time in their schedules to attend.
Distributors are mindful of the varying levels of technical skills possessed by store owners. They therefore offer training that can be valuable for both new and veteran owners. For example, a new owner may attend these events just to learn the basics, such as the location of a washer-extractor’s drain valve or how often to clean a lint screen on a tumble dryer, while a seasoned owner may be looking for a specific answer to a particular issue they are experiencing or attend for an update on recommended service schedules or techniques.
Recognizing that most of his owners were knowledgeable about service items like swapping out a drain valve or changing a tumble dryer’s roller, one distributor in the Northeast offered electrical training seminars. Learning simple electrical diagnostics such as how to use a multimeter or how to read a wiring diagram and electrical schematic can empower a store owner and also help reduce repair costs and machine downtime.
NETWORKING IN DIGITAL AGE
The expanding reliance on the Internet to convey information about equipment and services has made for a far more knowledgeable customer. In response to a few simple keystrokes, the Internet delivers answers to life’s most challenging questions. What it can’t provide is face-to-face contact.
By using these events to meet suppliers and peers in person, owners have the opportunity to continue the research they’ve gathered from the Web and get validation that they’re making well-informed and thought-out decisions.
Owners shouldn’t forget about the incredible opportunity these events provide for learning from their fellow Laundromat owners. Meeting with members of the distributor and manufacturer teams can be incredibly valuable, but talking with peers about what’s successful in their markets, the struggles they face, and new marketing ideas can make these events a must-attend.
While the events will differ from one distributor to the next, if owners recognize what they stand to gain by attending before they walk in the door, they are more likely to leave with fresh insights and information, feeling well-equipped to improve their stores.