Nancy Wagner reports:
"A dry cleaning drop-off business offers a convenience to local residents and busy professionals without burdening you with the cleaning process itself. The key to developing a successful business means you must find ways to let people know you offer drop-off services and point out how you save them time and effort. Creating a business plan helps you arrive at those answers, while also giving you a guide on how to manage your business once you open the doors...Look at the market to determine the potential business opportunity. Your market should either work or live within a few miles of your store, or your location should be near a major traffic area that people must use to commute. Determine what type of people you’ll attract to your business...Even though you won’t provide dry cleaning itself, businesses that handle cleaning are your competitors. Laundry facilities with drop-off services are also competing with you. Find out how many customers these businesses attract on a daily and weekly basis, what they charge, their opening hours and their marketing tactics. This information will help you find a competitive niche that makes your drop-off business the obvious choice to your target market...Create a relationship with a local dry cleaning facility so you can set your own prices. You’ll need a [storefront] with easy parking or a drive-up window. The inside of the store needs a large hanging area or a [conveyor] belt to hold all of the clothes that are returned clean. The space should include room to check and re-bag items returned from the cleaners. You’ll need to create a tagging system so you can match up the customer’s half of the ticket with the clean clothing. You’ll also need a cash register and a credit card system if you plan to accept payment other than cash...Explain how you plan to operate on a day-to-day basis, and include your hours of service, making them convenient for busy professionals...If you plan to hire employees, discuss the qualifications you’ll need. Explain your own background as the owner, and detail any past experience you have in opening a personal service or working with a dry cleaning company...Attracting customers requires a mix of online and offline marketing, including setting up a website and social media pages so you can let people know you provide drop-off service. The business will need signage both on the front of the store and on sandwich boards placed on the sidewalk to make people aware of your services. Include a plan for advertising in local print publications, and plan on running promotions...to drum up interest."
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