It is not the strongest or the most intelligent that will survive, but those who can best respond to change.
— Charles Darwin
Is your dry-cleaning business thriving?
If not, it could be that you’re failing to adapt to the rapid changes now happening in the marketplace. And that could cost you your business.
Statistics from Business Employment Dynamics show that about 80% of small businesses with employees survive their first year, and that 60% of small businesses with employees survive their second year in business.
These statistics provide a fairly optimistic outlook for small businesses in the short term. But don’t be fooled by them. Surviving long-term as a small business is harder than you think.
In fact, only 50% of small business survive into their fifth year, and only 33% of small businesses make it to their tenth year, says Business Employment Dynamics.
Adapting to Technology Changes
The key to surviving long term as a small business is to adapt to the changes that occur in the marketplace from year to year. That includes technology changes that can disrupt an industry.
For dry cleaners that means plugging into the mobile revolution now happening in the marketplace. To do that, though, you need to develop and deploy a coherent, effective business strategy that does three things:
- Embraces digital marketing
- Optimizes for mobile technology
- Employs innovative e-commerce tools
Let’s take a closer look at these strategies to see how they can help you survive long-term at your dry-cleaning business.
Strategy #1: Embrace digital marketing
A study done by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting finds that today’s businesses face a digital imperative: They must either adopt new technologies effectively or face competitive obsolescence.
Digital marketing isn’t new. But it is a strategy dry cleaners need to adopt if they want to survive long-term. Digital marketing offers significant advantages over traditional marketing, including:
- Greater awareness
- Increased engagement
- Reduced costs
- Better brand development
- Real-time results
More importantly, digital marketing lets you hone your marketing strategy to zero in on your ideal customer or customers. That’s a big advantage when it comes to reaching consumers.
Strategy #2: Optimize for mobile technology
Mobile commerce is exploding. According to a Pew Research Center study done in 2016, roughly eight-in-ten Americans are online shoppers. Meanwhile, 51% have of American shoppers have bought something using a cellphone, and 15% have made purchases by following a link from social media sites.
Mobile is revolutionizing consumer behavior—from how consumers judge products and services to the way they pay for the things they buy. And dry cleaners need to keep up.
Below are several tactics you can use to capitalize on the power of mobile technology:
- Optimize your website for mobility
- Incorporate responsive design in your website
- Capitalize on the explosion in app usage by consumers
- Learn how to deal with negative online reviews
- Create an engaging social presence
Also, you want to complete business listings on sites like Google, Bing, Yelp, YP.com, and Superpages. And hedge your bets by using Yahoo! Bing ads to catch customers that don’t search on Google.
Strategy #3: Employ innovative e-commerce tools
E-commerce isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s here to stay, and you can use its tools to engage customers like never before. For example, dry cleaners need to accept digital and credit card payments. Otherwise, they’d lose out on a lot of business.
Fortunately, today’s POS software solutions let your business process credit card payments seamlessly while still protecting a customer’s sensitive data. But that’s not all.
POS software solutions can also help you tap the power of E-commerce marketing. You can use these solutions to create special coupons for your services and deliver them right to your customers’ smartphones. You can even choose to send coupons to specific customers or everyone.
POS solutions can even let you bring your dry-cleaning business to customers by providing access to your services using their smartphones and a mobile app. Customers can view open and past orders, get push notifications on order status, and pay orders directly using the mobile app.
These are just a few of the ways you can use today’s innovative E-commerce tools to create loyal customers and boost business.
The Last Word
It’s a fast-changing world out there where only the fittest survive. If you don’t want to become a business casualty in 2018, you must adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace.
Using the right digital/mobile strategies can boost your chances of surviving both short-term and long-term. They can help you engage customers like never before, driving up sales, cutting costs, and boosting revenues.
More importantly, these strategies can help you turn average buyers into loyal customers that do business with you for years to come.