CHICAGO — If you’re looking to build business a bit more this year, it never hurts to consider a wide range of ideas.
I’m going to suggest some low- and no-cost tips. Depending on your situation, some of them should positively impact your bottom line, while also providing a better customer experience.
- Sell nachos — Yes, I’m serious. Your cost for each plastic cup and cheese with jalapeno peppers is about 36 cents. If you sell 200 orders per week, that’s about $17,000 a year net.
- Don’t ignore the Internet — Internet terminals are making their way into laundries, with customers paying by the minute. If you’re a 24-hour operation, you can make the cash register ring even while you’re sleeping!
- Get a theme going — A theme can transform your store into a fun, exciting place for customers. Creating this type of buzz is great advertising — advertising that continues without any cost down the line.
- Tighten it up — Utilize any open space. Remember, the more places you have to put quarters, the more money you will make.
- Keep an open mind — When considering purchasing equipment, give serious consideration to refurbished and rebuilt machinery. You will be able to save about 50% on your investment.
- Get social — Create a Facebook page for your laundry. It’s time to realize that people connect and stay connected in different ways.
- The front line — Be willing to meet and greet all of your customers. If you don’t, your business will become a fish out of water.
- Sit down with the landlord — Make an effort to renegotiate your rent. Given today’s rental situation, now is the perfect time for such a meeting.
- Utility shopping — Check out the utility brokers. These firms may be able to slash your high gas and electrical bills.
- Spruce up — Make sure your laundry looks the best it can at all times, and that your washers and dryers are always operational.
- More extra-profit centers — Give some thought to adding jukeboxes, video games, over-the-counter bulk sales, commercial accounts and drycleaning (farmed out).
- One lucky customer — Create a special promotion, such as the Gold Quarter. Simply, insert a specially colored quarter into your changer, and reward the person who receives the quarter. Make it a “wow” prize.
- Make the seller work — Don’t buy a laundry from an independent broker who provides no service after the sale. You want dependable service for years to come.
- Some light reading — Go back and review some of the past columns and stories on AmericanCoinOp.com. You may have missed or forgotten a moneymaking idea.
- More marketing — Every family is worth about $700 per year to your store. Do the math. Market.
I hope 2011 is a happy and prosperous year for all of you!
Robert Renteria, along with Writers of the Round Table Inc., has created a graphic novel about Renteria’s three secrets to success. The book is available in English and Spanish (due out shortly) from SmarterComics.com.