Let’s face it. Operating a retail franchise these days is no cake walk. Just ask anyone that owns a McDonald’s, a Burger King, or a Hilton Hotel. These franchises don’t run themselves. Owners must put in long hours and a lot of hard work to keep them going.
But retail franchises are profitable under the right circumstances. Many have built-in opportunities for growth if you invest in multiple storefronts. So, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for the right opportunity, you could do worse than investing in a dry-cleaning franchise—much worse.
Investing in Franchise Makes Sense
Investing in dry-cleaning franchises makes sense. They offer you a combination of advantages that starting from scratch doesn’t provide in this $11+ million industry:
Here are some reasons why investing in a dry-cleaning franchise makes sense:
Market will always be there
While clothing has become easier to care for, many clothes still need to be dry-cleaned. U.S. News & World Report lists dry-cleaned clothes as a $6 billion to $7 billion industry.
Reasonable franchise fees
Franchise fees for dry-cleaners are much less than those for other franchises, like McDonald’s, Burger King, or Hilton Hotel. Dry-cleaning fees range from $15,000 to $25,000, with total investment about $70,000 to $80,000.
No experience needed
Good franchises provided extensive support to new owners from day one. If you have the right attitude and are dedicated, you can become profitable relatively quickly.
Benefits of a large company
Franchises get the benefits of a large company and cleaning laundry at a centralized facility at their disposal. Small dry-cleaning business, on the other hand, can run into snags when buying equipment, dealing with government regulations, and so on.
Proven franchise system
Franchise owners can follow the franchisor’s guidelines and be successful quickly by taking advantage of its accounting, training, and marketing support. When it comes to marketing, for example, the Tide Dry-cleaning franchises can leverage the company’s brand name recognition.
Additional advantages of investing in a dry-cleaning franchise are built-in repeat business, less employee turnover, does well in down markets, and limited inventory. Also, there are no perishable items as in other industries, like food and beverage.
Need to Overcome Three Barriers
Despite the advantages that investing in a dry-cleaning franchise brings, you still must overcome three barriers to create a profitable dry-cleaning business—reaching a younger audience, increasing your service’s convenience, and creating a rich customer service experience.
Appealing to a younger audience
Appealing to today’s young people is a challenge. No doubt about it. Previously, you could use print media to reach potential customers. That won’t work any longer. Today, you need to use the latest online strategies and tools.
Effective ways you can appeal to the young include employing social media, optimizing for mobility, utilizing app-based marketing, targeting different demographics, executing an influencer strategy, and using outbound marketing. You also have to make it easy for today’s customers to connect with you online.
Increasing convenience of services
Increasing the convenience of your services is a must. Today’s young generation have less time than generations in the past as well as less disposable income. Many have taken second jobs to make ends meet. Anything that you can do to make things easier for them is a positive.
For example, adding a POS computer system to your dry-cleaners allows you to add pickup and delivery service. Customers no longer need to stop by your storefront. Other ways to boost convenience includes adding a drive-through or car hop service, 24-hour drop boxes, same day service, and adding ancillary services like rug cleaning and cleaning of shoes and boots.
Enhancing customer service experience
Today’s customers are more demanding than ever. If you don’t provide them with exceptional customer service, they’ll bolt. Some ways to do that include utilizing technologies for customer service, connecting with your customers across multiple channels, aligning your services with your marketing programs, creating staff roles and responsibilities for customer service, and boosting customer experience with garment management.
Overcoming these three barriers can increase profitability whether you buy a franchise or start from scratch. Investing in a franchise, however, provides a combination of advantages that going it alone can’t match.
Plus, it gives you a chance to work with a proven system and provides built-in opportunities for growth by investing in multiple franchises. For the right entrepreneur, investing in a franchise is just what the doctor ordered.