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Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Robert J. Renteria |

CHICAGO — During the past several years, our industry, like other industries, has been affected by financial problems. However, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.
It looks like we have broken through the stagnant times. More operators are upgrading. Investors are back in play, looking for business opportunities.
During the recession, the world changed right before our eyes. Many of us have lost a great deal. But since the worst is over, it’s time to make another run at the top of the mountain and turn our self-service laundry business into the financial success we deserve.
It won’t be easy. Many adjustments have to be made. To all of you who dare to dream and dare to be great, move forward!
One adjustment involves store upgrades. During tough times, operators had to delay upgrades. Making upgrades is a must if you want to build up your business. Deciding whether to go with new or used/refurbished washers and dryers is a key decision.
Sure, brand-new machines are great if it was a time when getting money was easier and people were spending more. Adapting to the new business climate means you can spend less and make more. That’s smart business. So is looking at ways to cut costs on whatever you intend to purchase this year.GET OUT THERE
I have touched many times on the importance of becoming more of a social butterfly. While that has always been a factor in becoming successful, “getting out there” is more important today than ever. Simply, it will separate the winners from the losers. Get used to it.
The good news is that there is a lot of business out there, but you have to go after it, promoting your store and yourself in the process. People buy from people.
If a family will spend $500 a year doing laundry, why not aggressively go after their business? Why not take a chance and follow my advice? That family may spend even more at your store. It’s time to bring home the bacon!
Make it your goal to meet as many people as possible. It’s great if you have access to a large group of people, such as those who might attend a community function. If you do this, some of their dollars are bound to come back to you. Selling your service is not as hard as you might think.
 

About the author

Robert J. Renteria

Consultant

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 robert@fromthebarrio.com.

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