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Survey: Sizable Majority of Laundries Actively Seek Out New Business

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — While the U.S. economy has shown signs of recovery, positioning a laundry as a valuable service to end-users or clients remains critically important. With that in mind, AmericanLaundryNews.com asked its Wire e-mail subscribers this month if they were actively seeking new business or were satisfied with standing pat.

A sizable majority of respondents — 78.6% — to the unscientific survey say they are seeking business. Among them, 50% say acquiring new business is vital to growing their operation, and 28.6% say they’re looking because they have additional processing capacity available. No one tied seeking business to a desire to eliminate competitors.

Approximately 14% who acknowledged not seeking business said it was because they were positioned to serve only their institution’s needs. Another 7.1% didn’t identify why they’re not seeking new business.

No one tied their position to having just the right amount of business, not being capable of taking on more work, or because upper management doesn’t favor prospecting.

Respondents say their institutions or businesses use a variety of methods to seek out new business, including direct sales, cold calling, participating in RFP process, trade shows, print/web advertising, corporate contracts, going door to door, and word of mouth.

Determining what customers want would seem to be a common-sense aspect of garnering new business, and 57.1% of respondents say they seek the opinions of their end-users or clients regularly. Nearly 29% say they occasionally seek their opinions. Equal shares of 7.1% either rarely seek or never seek such input.

If a laundry isn’t ready to attract new business now, it’s due to any number of reasons, including the need for more staff (41.7%); new or additional equipment (25%); better-trained employees (16.7%); better distribution/transportation capabilities (16.7%); “other,” including the addition of specific types of second-shift personnel and better maintenance (16.7%); or larger or renovated production space (8.3%), survey results show.

Roughly 42% of respondents say they’re ready for new business now.

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take a brief industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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