Whether you are currently a drycleaner / launderer or looking to become one, this information can help you.
How to get ahead in the drycleaning and laundry business.
Who should you target?
There are a couple of main industries to consider. 1) Commercial or 2) Household.
Should you target large industrial customers like hotels or should you target households is an important question.
Here are some things to consider: Commercial: You may end up with 1 or 2 gigantic customers that contribute a majority of your profit. That can be bad. If you lose 1 customer you
could lose 50% of your earnings. Kind of the old "all your eggs in one basket" senario. So, if you do go the commercial route, make sure you have a balance of
household customers as well.
Household:Households account for about 70% of total revenue for a cleaner. They can be more work because instead of 1 large customer, you (hopefully)
have 100's of individual customers.
Police/Fire:More of a household account than a commercial account, many cleaners contract with their local police and fire departments for cleaning
the officers clothes. Usually, the individual officer brings their clothes into the cleaner and the cleaner bills the police/fire department for the cost.
NOTE: Make sure your POS system can handle that type of billing.
Is drycleaning a good business to get into?
The market size of drycleaners is expected to increase by over 1% in 2022 so there is some growth to be profited from. During the pandemic of 2020,2021 many cleaners
went out of business because people were not going into work so they were, in turn, not getting clothes drycleaned or laundered. That is a HUGE opportunity fo
those that survived the pandemic busineswise and those wanting to get into it. There will be lots of "gapes" in service when things get back to normal.
Currently, the estimated market size for the dry cleaning and laundry service industry is approximately worth $60.88 billion, and it is expected to grow at about 3.4%
thru 2027. We think its going to be higher because they haven't accounted for the surge that is coming if things get back to normal.
A drycleaning plant can be one of the least expensive business opportunites to get into. A startup cost of around $150k can usually get a plant started.
Here are some startup expenses to consider:
Machinery - Boilers, Pressers, etc.
Point of Sale System.
Building - Purchase or Lease.
How to make a profit.
Well, this is an easy one. Make more money than you spend right? Not quite that easy though is it. You can guess how much money you might make based on the prices you charge. But,
how much your expenses are is going to be hard.
Some Important Things To Remember:
Cheap prices are soon forgotten after bad service.
Service, Service, Service - Did we mention how important service is?
Make the customer happy - to a point. Use your POS system to track the customers habits (good and bad).
Shirts are one of the cheapest things to get dry cleaned and usually are the highest volume thing in your store.
The type of material that the shirt is made from is a big part of how much it costs to dry clean it.
It also depends on the size of the shirt and if it is a pullover shirt or a button-down shirt.
Make sure to set your pricing to reflect how difficult (time consuming) a garment is to clean.
Get historical data from your POS system to see where you are making (or losing) money. If you have a few years worth of data in your Dryclean Point of Sale system you
could probably estimate workloads, profits, etc. from its vast knowledge.
Use the POWER of the POS.
Your POS computer probably has a treasure load of knowledge in it - USE IT!!! Sure, your POS does the checkin, checkout, daily stuff but most POS systems
are keeping valuable information about customers and sales without you even knowing it.
Send out FREE email postcards to customers. Most POS system can do this. It's free advertising.
Use the Customer Relationship Manager to see how many times cusotmers are abusing their FREE priveldges
Text the customer when their order is ready to pickup so they pick them up (and pay) for them faster.
Do an inventory (even if it's a fake one). Employes won't steal if they think you're checking.
Use employee reports to make sure employees aren't giving away the store.
Use the Timeclock feature of your POS system to make payroll easier.
Send FREE email postcards to customers on their birthday.
See who isn't coming back to the store and send them a discount email postcard.
Find your Top customers and send them a Thank You email postcard.
Calculate employee needs by looking at the workload for each day.
Garments on your rails are NOT money in your till. Use your POS to call them.
The POS can tell you whats not finished, whats finished, etc. Use it to your advantage.
The growth rate of the dry cleaning industry is expected to be about 3.4% a year from now until 2028..
During the pandemic of 2020,2021 many cleaners went out of business because people were not going into work so they were, in turn, not getting clothes drycleaned or laundered.
That is a HUGE opportunity for those that survived the pandemic business-wise and those wanting to get into it. There will be lots of "gapes" in service when things get back to normal.
CleanShow 2022, 2024, 2026 etc. - Drycleaner Convention, held semi-annually
Southwest Drycleaners Association - sda-dryclean.com