I’ve heard it said in this industry that we need to diversify. Every time our market drops or the economy falters you hear this. I’m not saying it is bad advice. However, the real profit stuff is right under our nose, and it’s called households. No doubt, the more items we can sell – of anything – will bring in more revenue. A more important fact is that not everything carries the same net profit. Let’s sell shoes, hosiery, fancy hangers, restoration, leather cleaning, purse cleaning and dog biscuits, whatever. All that is extra money, but unless you are an expert at these specialty items, they won’t sell that all that well so there is little profit.
Some People Have “Got It”!
Not everybody can be everything. As much as we all want to be a jack-of-all-trades cleaner, we simply can’t. I have known only one individual in my life that was actually professionally perfect at every single thing he did and he could do many things very, very well. My dad was a jack-of-all-trades, and pretty darn good at them all. I myself am a pretty fair jack-of-all-trades. I never met a tool, building or challenge I could not meet. The jobs were not perfect except for my real craft…drycleaning, but they were passable in my world. A friend of mine, in fact, he is a brother in spirit, Carl Farinelli of Tahlequah Oklahoma is about as close to perfect as most people I have ever met. Carl is a school professor, administrator, musician, singer and pretty good with his hands. We have traveled long and far in our years as fellow musicians. God bless you Carl and your family. Another handy fellow who lives in the same town as Carl is Cleaner & Launderer writer and drycleaning consultant Everett Childers. Everett was my pal when I gave my first ever speech many, many years ago in Arizona. Everett is quite a handyman too as well as an airplane fix-it guy and pilot. He also knows a good hound dog when he sees it.
It Takes The Proper Set Up To Do Fine Wetcleaning/Soaking
Back to households. It amazes me how few drycleaners run specials on bedspreads, blankets comforters, drapes (what few are left) and various water washable home items. Someone once said that we are in competition with the home washer. Maybe so but the average home does not have a super large front loading washing machine that will handle those nasty body stains and dog and cat accidents on household items. Only a manual front loading machine of at least 25-lbs. capacity with a large wheel can handle a big blanket and digester soaking of some of the many yellow stains found on the average blanket or bedspread.
My friend in Pasadena. California, Scott Bryan of Bryan’s Cleaners is one of the very, very few operators in America that still have a large soaking tub (several) for digesting and bleach soaking of large items. He also has a neat stainless steel table between them to facilitate dragging them onto the flat surface for some special scrubbing attention. A nearby extractor will sling out the water and into the washer it goes. That, my friends is the only proper way to handle household items with stains. God bless you Scott, you have what most cleaners in the past all had.
Some Garments Need Very Little Handling
The profit margins for household are great. Even with a discount, you can make money hand over fist. Sweaters are another great margin piece to clean. Once was a day when sweaters were so plentiful. A simple inexpensive sweater is so easy to clean and block. It is true of men’s suits. Like some trousers, they just fall on the press and the creases just pop right in. Little or no touch up. Like a laundry shirt, the less you mess with it the better. But households need special attention and care. I don’t know how it can be done without the proper equipment and know how. Promote these items and you will stay as busy as a hibernating bear.
Enjoy your holidays and New Year. Let’s reflect January 1st 2014 on how much more profitable we can be by the garment piece and how lucky we are to be still working!
I’m headin’ to the wagon’ now, these boots are killin me!