For most businesses, summer can present an opportunity for ample foot traffic, new clients, and a chance to prep for the holiday shopping season by bringing in some great income. But there’s also the possibility that summer can actually hinder business, slowing things down to a slog through the hot months.
A study from Captivate Work found that productivity dips by about 20 percent in the summer months. And while this data points to white-collar workers, it does paint a picture of the business world in general, especially for small businesses like dry cleaning operations looking to stay steady.
With that in mind, it’s important to consider the ways in which you can make the most of the summer season while also preparing to head into fall and beyond on a good note.
The old motto of “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean” comes to mind. In this case, it can mean that you can make sure your employees, including summer workers, are on the up-and-up when it comes to their responsibilities and knowledge of their roles.
Everyone can benefit from taking advantage of some downtime by getting some training and educational spots in. This can help to lift performance to higher levels and boost understanding of what’s expected on a day-to-day basis, no matter the business volume. The higher level of performance, the more improvement will be seen in efficiency.
While taking care of wardrobe pieces, like blouses, slacks, and sweaters, is the bread and butter of any dry cleaning business, it’s also important to remember that some customers bring in many different textiles that need cleaning. Rugs, curtains, drapes, car mats, patio umbrellas, pet beds, slippers, and more are all examples of periodic cleaning opportunities.
For these items, it helps to keep a record of cleaning dates so you can reach out to your customers who may be taking the summer off from their everyday wardrobe cleaning. Maybe they’re traveling over the summer or just trying to stay indoors as much as possible to beat the heat. Whatever the case may be, it’s still important to get their textiles taken care of, so be sure to remind them of that.
When times are slow during the summer, it’s a good time to make some changes to your processes that you’ve been wanting to. When work kicks back up, you’ll be looking for opportunities to make changes, but won’t have the time. This temporary disruption in business is great for letting staff get familiar with new systems.
Training classes can be scheduled and staggered during business hours so the customers who do come in are taken care of. Examples of this kind of process change can be related to getting used to a new POS system, barcoding upgrades, and customer service changes.
Preparing for the Fall
As a small business that thrives on other times of the year to make up for some summertime slowdown, you understand how important it is to maximize your potential to earn during busier sales seasons, like fall and into winter. Preparing for your busier seasons, like fall, is a huge undertaking, but can help to position your business to meet your goals.
Here are some ways to do this:
Make Sure Your Insurance is Set
It’s important to take care of your dry cleaners insurance now before the foot traffic does start to kick up. Having dry cleaners insurance will help to protect your business from things like accidents, issues with machinery and processing, and claims made against your place of business. Having one less thing to worry about is helpful when keeping the operations going day-to-day.
Make sure to review your sales and expenses from the summer and the previous busy season to compare and also make plans for the next season. This can help you determine where you fell short and what you can make up moving forward. If you over-purchased certain items, you can consider lowering your inventory expenses, for example.
Keep It Clean
Cleaning may seem tedious and in the way, but summer, as mentioned above, presents the best opportunity to make sure your establishment is clean and clear. This will give your customers a reason to come back to a place that takes pride in its appearance. There is a high level of irony in-store when a business that’s sole purpose is to clean items can’t keep itself clean. Make sure to have cleaning cycles throughout the day and assign tasks to each staff member on each shift to help make a great lasting impression to your customers.
About Irving Weber Associates
At Irving Weber Associates, Inc., we understand what it takes to run a successful Dry Cleaner, Coin Operated Laundromat, Linen Supply business, Textile Restoration, or Commercial Launderer, including investing in a comprehensive Insurance Program to ensure that you are financially protected against claims. Our program, Fabricare Advantage™, offers overall business insurance coverages including General Liability, Property, Site Pollution Liability, Boiler & Machinery Equipment Breakdown, Workers’ Compensation, Business Auto, and many more. For a detailed look at how we can help you safeguard your business with a custom-tailored package, please contact our experts today at (800) 243-1811.