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Boosting Sales in Dry Cleaning

eGurueGuru subscriber Posts: 7
edited May 2007 in Marketing
I have this same post in the "Sales" category.  I am hoping to capture the responses of both audiences.
Recently I was looking to purchase a passive business and did so through a business broker.  I bought a dry cleaning business (pick up & delivery store) from a motivated seller.  The advantage the store has is that it is located in a busy area with plenty residential communities surrounding it.
The cleaners does a quick 1-2 day turn-around (going well for customers), on site seamstress that does alterations, wedding gowns, shoes/hat cleaning and repair, leather and zipper services etc.  Is has a full offering.
Part of the reason to sell by the seller was declining business trends over the years.  The cleaners is located in a kitty corner area (like most gas stations are located) and one would think it would inherently generate heavy traffic.
I have had the cleaners since September and have not seen traffic increase at all.  The same customers come and go.  I tried calling/approaching many small businesses etc for pick up and delivery services to add extra income to the business but everyone in the industry is doing the same and most places are already doing business with someone (difficult for a newcomer to break in the industry)
What are some of the ways this dry cleaning business can be given a boost?  What is the best and most economic form of advertising/PR to get the traffic needed to increase sales?  What strategies are best for this type of business?  In my opinion foot traffic is the main thing.  It is the bread and butter of a business like this and therefore it becomes crucial to capture all dry cleaning customers around your location.  Any tips/suggestions on how to capture all this market share nearby?


  • SteffanPerrySteffanPerry subscriber Posts: 0
    For this type of  business you will need highly targeted, very local advertising. For example, I live in Tampa fl. Most restaurants will do radio and local tv advertisements because people will drive 30 - 40 minutes to go to a restaurant however most people will not travel that far for dry cleaning. Your best bet would be to use a company like salesgenie.com and direct mail everyone within 5-10 miles of your business. If you live in a big city and you can not afford to mail everyone, start with the higher income ranges and work your way down overtime. My aunt owned a laundry mat/dry cleaning business here for almost 40 years now and her target market was households with income ranges of $95,000-250,000 as they will most likely have more dry cleaning needs.Good luck on your business!
  • eGurueGuru subscriber Posts: 7
    Steffan - i agree with you but finding these vendors is difficult in my city.  any recommendations where to even start? looking for the most cost effective way to go about this.  the target definitely has to be within a certain income range and certain distance of the cleaners.  where to start?
  • stillsearchingstillsearching subscriber Posts: 1
    Not sure what your hours are currently maybe you can expand those or add weekend times if that is not being done.  I was going to suggest the business idea as I have worked at places where cleaners did that and it was convenient. 
  • eGurueGuru subscriber Posts: 7
    Currently it is M-F 7am-7pm, Sat 8am - 5pm and closed Sundays.  This is the schedule for every cleaner in the 4 cities surrounding.  Do you suggest opening it up on Sunday then and cutting back hours on the slower days?  Let`s say close at 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?
  • stillsearchingstillsearching subscriber Posts: 1
    I`m not sure, but I just thought of something else.  But perhaps targeting the nicer residential areas close to you, just as you would have the businesses and offering perhaps a pick up and delivery to them, concentrate on just a specific subdivision or two so you won`t have to drive all over. 
  • eGurueGuru subscriber Posts: 7
    definitely something to consider...home deliver pick up and drop off.  the challenge with this is people being at home on a given time...
  • maxiemaxie subscriber Posts: 0
    That's great. We will surely get back to you. Thanks for information. Keep it up!!!
    deodorizing and cleaning NY
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