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Raise Prices, Cut Costs, Market and Make Money

Robert J. Renteria |

The cost of everything in life is going up, so what are you going to do about it? I’m going to give you a down-and-dirty breakdown of what you should be doing, so you can be like the many others who are enjoying some fine dining and a good bottle of Reisling, saying “I’m glad Robert showed me how to make some money!”First, you need to raise your prices and be the leader in your marketplace in customer service. Then, you’d better get with the program and make sure you are working with the energy companies out there who can save you 15% or more on utility costs. This is doable if you look in the right places.We can talk about buying new machines because of the increased efficiency, but you’re better off making sure you follow the previous two recommendations first. If you have old, inefficient machines, refurbished machines may be an option to save on cash, but you may be able to get deferred payments along with an interest-only loan to allow you time to build your customer base.Last month, I received 23 calls from self-service laundry owners across the United States asking for advice, and at the end of each conversation, it all boiled down to a lack of marketing. Again, I’ll say the same thing I have in past articles: Every day is a marketing day. You have to make a daily effort to get out there and touch new people and create new business, otherwise you need to close your doors or just sell your laundry.This is not a retail business, where you can stand around waiting for customers to magically walk through your doors. That sounds funny, but that’s how 80-90% of the industry’s storeowners manage their businesses. Think about those numbers. With that being the case, after you read this article, get out there and press palms with your fellow business owners. Work together on cross-promotions and help each other drive business.Why are you sitting at home watching TV instead of going to a local chamber social networking event with other people like you, trying to create leads for new commercial business? Instead of staying in bed and sleeping late, why don’t you go to the parks and pass out flyers and talk to families about using your laundry services? Why aren’t you chasing your business with the same passion you had when you first decided you wanted to ask your wife to get married? Remember when you weren’t going to take “no” for an answer?When it comes to marketing, there’s a saying: ABC, or Always Be Closing. This means get off the sidelines and get in the game, because you’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.It’s hard hearing the truth, but the good news is that it’s very simple to get in the game and turn your businesses into a profit center. Raise your prices today, and get with your local utility auditors and cut your utility costs. Then make sure you have a written plan to market your coin laundry. Of course, you need to keep your store clean, clean, clean, and keep all the washers and dryers in perfectly working condition. Your employees need to provide the best customer service and be the friendliest attendants in your city.I know, it’s basic, but that’s all it takes for you to start making some money! I’ll answer anyone’s questions, regardless if they currently own a laundry or not. My goal is to shake you up a little and make sure you know what you’re getting into, or wake you up in case you’ve fallen asleep and get you back in the winners’ circle. 

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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