Thinking of opening another dry cleaning location?
Or, you’ve opened a second location and things are getting crazy?
Whatever the case, don’t be discouraged.
The fact that you’re so busy is a positive sign. It means your storefronts are thriving.
But managing several locations can be overwhelming. It’s a critical challenge you’ll face when growing your business and decide to expand.
But with more than one location, you can quickly lose control of your locations and run your locations into the ground.
Below we discuss seven tips on how to manage multiple dry-cleaning locations successfully.
These tips will help you get your house in order and regain control of your business.
But first, we’ll review six challenges you’ll face as a manager of multiple locations—challenges that can make it hard to run your site’s profitability.
Challenges of Managing Multiple Location Dry Cleaner
The secret to managing multiple locations is to establish clear responsibilities, boundaries, and authority at each location. That can be hard to do if you fail to overcome the five challenges described below:
1. Failing to give employees time
With so much going on, it’s easy to fail to give employees at each location the time they really need to learn and grow as workers. Out of sight out of mind is not good for your business.
2. No spontaneous communication
Having more than one storefront means there’s less chance you’ll run into employees and have natural, unplanned communication with members of your staff.
3. Weakened logistics
Logistics can be a problem when you have more than one location—especially if the locations are widespread. What you can’t send over the Internet, you’ll have to mail, causing delays and additional effort.
4. Us-versus-them mentality
Lack of cohesiveness can pit one storefront against another storefront—especially if some team members don’t know each other well.
5. Concerns with general supervision
It can be hard with multiple locations to track everything your staff is doing. Are they arriving on time, working appropriate hours, or dressing appropriately?
Overcoming these challenges is the key to building a sound organizational structure —one where all employees thrive, everyone is accountable for this or her work, and you can measure employee performance accurately.
Managing Multiple Locations Effectively
You need to focus on three areas to manage multiple locations effectively—systems, technology, and communications. Doing that generates team cohesion and a team attitude. Both are necessary for your dry-cleaning business to thrive.
Below are seven tips on how you can create cohesion and a team attitude among staff at different locations:
1. Standardize operations
Organizing and standardizing operating systems is critical. From responding to angry customers to handling employee breaks, you want everyone to know what you expect and how they can meet them. The best way to do that is by standardizing operations.
2. Hire/promote talented managers
Good employees can be hard to find. So, when you find one, you need to do everything you can to keep them. You also want to promote them if they have the right capabilities. The know your system and can help others learn it. Hopefully, you’ll have a strong bench full of competent, trustworthy employees, and managers.
3. Establish ways of communicating
Communicating with employees is paramount. Visit each store at least once during the week. Spend enough time at each location and talk with employees. Also, make yourself available to staff by email, chat, or phone. And hold meetings every two weeks or so, and get regular reports on how each location is doing.
4. Make communications a priority
Once you’ve created standard ways of communicating, use them. Experts say you need to spend between 15 and 17 hours repeating and clarifying communications with your team. Set up group email or chat eliminates redundancy or even an internal website. Then have employees check it consistently.
5. Create camaraderie between team members
It’s not easy maintaining a cohesive brand once you start growing. But it’s important to do so or at least try. Your employees are a critical part of your brand. So, work on building camaraderie. Bring staff together regularly for meetings. Have off-site outings for fun. Pit store versus store in competitions. These things can motivate staff and create team spirit.
6. Simplify operations with technology
Use technology as much as possible to streamline and simplify processes. Enlite’s software solution integrates with standard accounting software packages and typical payment processors. It also enables you to see activities at all your stores from one computer screen. Technology can help boost productivity dramatically.
7. Hold quarterly training sessions
Have quarterly training sessions to make sure everyone is on the same page. These sessions can also eliminate the feeling by an employee that he or she is getting left behind.
Employees also can ask questions at these meetings. You can even use them to hand out awards at these meetings and thank your employees for a job well done. That can help you boost worker motivation.
Use the seven tips to create efficient business processes, motivate employees, and simplify and streamline activities, saving time and money.
Managing multiple locations can be overwhelming. That’s especially true if you’re new to managing people. But by focusing on three critical areas of your business—systems, technology, and communications—you can regain control of your locations and build a thriving business.