Laundry is a small yet important part of peoples’ everyday lives. They want their clothes to be clean and neatly ironed every day. However, time constraint makes it difficult for them to do the laundry themselves.
This is where the laundry business comes to the fore. Laundry business has been exhibiting an upward growth trend recently. It has the potential to develop into a rapidly growing industry, but scaling it and managing on such a large becomes difficult. This is where technology can be leveraged.
Globally, according to research, the market was valued at $66.6 billion in 2017. And, the U.S.A. contributed around 26.9% of the global laundry service market share. Online technology has taken hold of the market notably in recent years. It has revolutionized the on-demand industry.
According to Zion Market Research, the online on demand laundry business was evaluated at USD 9,358 million in 2016. The market is expected to show a CAGR of around 34% between 2016-2024.
The future is as bright as sunshine but to manage an on-demand laundry business is not an easy task especially when there is cut-throat competition. You should not only have complete knowledge about the market but also an understanding of blending technology and marketing with business.
In the whole process of setting up an on demand laundry business, one might be looking for answers for the questions such as, how to operate/ market my laundry business/ laundry shop. Or even how to improve dry cleaning business. Here are a lot of ‘ How-Tos’ in this operation. But you just landed on the right page. This article is one stop solution to all your problems related to the business plan for the on demand laundry business services.
Some key areas for managing on demand laundry business
We focus on the other factors so much that we ignore the most important factor of business i.e. our customers! Customers are key elements to improve or manage a business. A thorough customer analysis will do wonders in the way you manage the on demand laundry business. It will help you understand their order trend, what time of pick up and delivery do they prefer, how many garments do they send per month etc. Consequently, this will help you in formulating better customer oriented strategies and implement marketing techniques accordingly.
Acquiring new customers is a topmost goal. But in this race, you should not forget about the existing customers. Customer retention is equally important as customer acquisition. Diverse marketing, along with marketing the service, helps in the same. The following methods can be used for diverse marketing to manage on demand laundry business or to get better insights into laundry business ideas:
Once you have done the customer analysis, you will now know the needs and preferences of the customers. And can launch customized packages for them. Acquire and retain the customers by providing them with the option for prepaid packages. Let us suppose you have two different types of customers. A father who spends 2k every month on laundry and a bachelor who on an average sends 25 clothes per month. You can launch a prepaid offer as pay 10K in advance and get services worth 12K for 6 months for the father. On the other hand for the bachelor, you can launch another package as pay 1K advance and get unlimited on demand laundry service for next 1 month, who actually would not give an order worth more than 500. This shall go a long way in achieving growth in your on demand laundry services.
Special Discounts/ Offers
Special discounts or offers help in improving customer satisfaction, attracting and retaining them. You can offer discounted prices to boost the orders on weekdays. Launch offers as pay for 5 and get 1 service free, free pickup and delivery on orders above a certain limit, etc. Such offers and discounts keep the customers interested in your on demand laundry business as they are always on a look out for what’s next
Offline marketing has been here for centuries and you can sure use it to increase the reach of your business but nowadays online advertising has overpowered the offline one, with online advertising tools like search engines, social media, email, messengers and websites, you can reach millions of users with a lot less cost than offline advertising.
Customers buy any service only when they are made aware of that service. Advertisements are a powerful tool to reach a vast number of audience and boost the sale of services. It is an effective method for brand awareness as well. Increased audience reach will automatically increase the number of leads and orders. Consequently, it will help in promotion, brand awareness, customer retention, and customer loyalty. You can hire an advertising agency to do all the work for you while you sit back and relax. Thus, spending a little money on advertising is of no harm when the returns are higher.
You can create a website tailored to your business and customer needs and promote it over the internet through the search engine, social media, advertisements, referral websites, email, and messenger approach.
You can list your business on various referral channels over the internet where your potential customers may come to look for answers about the business you are in or link with an influencer who may be writing about your industry and getting millions of visitors.
Email and Messenger Marketing
This approach will be based upon your contacts, suppose you have a list of emails of potential customers or mobile numbers or Facebook contacts, with all these contact information you can reach all of them with tools like MailChimp, WhatsApp Business and ManyChat.
Social media is one platform through which you can instantly connect or reach millions of people digitally. People use social media not only for interactions but to connect with people and customers alike to grow their business and profits. You might have seen people selling their products/services on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
With Instagram taking the lead in business marketing, you sure as hell do not want to lag behind. It must be in your online laundry business services plan to use this channel. Social media marketing is the new thing that can enhance your business conversions and brand awareness. Sell your services digitally not just through a website but also through social media platforms. You can manage it on your own by just signing up on their websites or apps, or you may hire a social media marketer or outsource it to a company to do the work for you.
As I mentioned earlier, you need to have an understanding of blending technology with the business. Technology has revolutionized the way we do business these days. Conventional business models do not last long these days. But, what makes them last is their capability to blend in with technology moving at an exponential pace.
Technology has made it possible to have a wider reach in the global laundry service market. We can maintain better customer relations through tech. I will take you through two major technology collaborations that will offer great help to manage the on demand laundry business, which is:
Needless to say that app development has changed the way of doing business. We can talk all day about its invention, growth and what not. But let’s come straight to the point, how will it help you to manage an on demand laundry business?
It is easy to use and convenient for customers. Because let’s be honest, a customer would rather place an order by a few taps on the app than dialing the number and calling the business for the same.
It helps in scheduling pickup and delivery for the customers.
The customers can track their order status and the entrepreneur can keep a track of orders, laundrymen, etc.
It keeps the customers updated on when the order is ready and it’s status through prompt.
The app software for on demand laundry business keeps track of the orders and other important client information. Consequently, it helps you in analyzing data and you can have an eye on its progress.
It is cost effective because, in the long run, the returns are higher than the investments.
The holy grail technology that we swear on will manage your laundry business better is Chatbot. A chatbot is an AI-powered software that stimulates human conversation with the customers on digital platforms. The chatbot will help you in better management in the following ways:
It automatically answers customer queries and frequently asked questions.
Chatbot can chat with hundreds of users at once. it will ask them their requirement, their pickup and delivery time, etc. and assist the customers in placing an order becoming a super capable virtual assistant for your on demand laundry service in no time.
It will help you to generate leads by collecting data from the visitors and transferring it to your CRM. So that your sales team can work on the conversions.
Chatbot never sleeps. It is there 24/7 to provide customer support services and handle customers any time in your absence.
According to many businesses, their conversion rates increased by 300-400% just by implementing a chatbot and we think a chatbot will prove to be a game change for an on demand laundry business management as well.
A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. Especially when you are into the laundry business, customer services have to be the topmost priority. Manage laundry business by focusing on the following customer services:
Pickup and Delivery
Provide your consumers with suitable pickup and delivery timings, doorstep pickup and delivery facilities. You can offer them convenient options to drop and pick their laundry from the store as well. Schedule the service as per their request and date and time preferences.
Keep an eye on the competitor’s timings(a chatbot that provides analytics can manage this for you). Some extra late night hour availability can fetch you more customers and beat your competitors. you can also charge extra for late night availability services. This will help you gain college customers as well who generally don’t have much time in the day to do such chores.
Update your customers on their order status through their preferred means of communication. It could be through a call, SMS, Skype, WhatsApp or email, etc. Know what your consumers prefer.
Variety of laundry services
Offer them a range of laundry services such as wash and fold, wash and iron, dry cleaning, stain treatment, organic or synthetic detergent options and much more.
Great customer experience is the key to retain a customer. Even if a client is slightly dissatisfied with your services he might come back again just for the experience you offer. Laundry services more or less are the same in all companies. It is the experience that matters, the way you offer the services to your customers. It makes them feel that they are valued.
A welcoming vibe and conversation to help them as soon as they step in. And a big smile with thank you when they leave will surely make them happy. You can offer a comfortable sitting space while they wait for their clean laundry at your store. A cup of coffee or other drinks with some newspaper or magazine will enhance the experience too.
Provide self-laundry services with laundromats in your store. Many people cannot afford to have their personal machines for doing laundry or might not have one due to space in the apartment etc. Laundromats will attract such customers to your store and help your business to grow.
To manage the laundry business, you must invest yourself in equipment management. There are a number of appliances you have such as driers, washers, etc. You never know when a mechanical error or electric failure occurs and disrupts the whole business process. To deal with such uncertain circumstances always pay attention to the maintenance of the machines and have a backup in case a machine goes out of service. These are your most vital assets after all.
Utility Cost Reduction
Pay attention to your utility bills to effectively manage the offline or the on demand laundry business. Reduced utility costs will surely increase profits. Install energy efficient lighting and cost-effective machines and equipment. Also, regular maintenance, more efficient HVAC and water utilization will help you to reduce the utility cost of the business.
Through competition analysis, you can know your competitors better. What services do they offer, what technologies do they use etc. will help you identify where you lag behind. After identification, you will understand what things you need to work on and will help you out stand those competitors in the market.
A business is practically nothing without its employees. Train your employees to behave professionally in their work. Upskilled laundrymen will perform to the utmost of their potential. Make your staff understand the importance of customer service and teach them how they can deliver it to the customers. Employee stability is another factor to be taken care of. Make sure the employees are on a good payroll and pay attention to their individual needs as well. Thus, employee management is essential to manage on demand laundry business as a whole.
Quality over quantity
Do not get indulged in the quantitative data only. At the end of the day, quality is what makes your business prosper. The work should speak for itself. Focus on the quality of work. Customers are no cost or zero cost promotional tools. Quality work will keep your customers satisfied and it will earn you a lot of new customers just through the word of mouth.
Lastly, the most important element of any business process is feedback. Encourage the feedback culture in your company to be it from staff or customers. Feedback is important to know the customers and to know the areas you need to improve on. Analyze customer activities as well. If you see a customer placing fewer orders than usual or canceling the orders, take his/her feedback. You may or may not retain that customer but that feedback will help you to refine your business and thus, manage it more effectively.
CASE STUDY – CLEANY
Cleany is a laundry service company based in Luxembourg. The company aims to provide such laundry services which fit in the customer’s budget and requirements. It values the importance of time and thus, encourages the clients to save their precious time by handling the laundry chores to cleany.
One of the company’s agenda was saving their customer’s time. It wanted to provide their clients with a quick, on the go yet an innovative platform for placing orders according to their budget and preferences. It was very passionate about designing an app that could be UBER for laundry. And at the same time could help the company to grow.
In pursuit of meeting the requirement and managing the laundry business more effectively, Cleany reached out to a mobile app development company. The on-demand app developer company came out with the solution of a mobile app called ‘CLEANY’.
It was an on demand laundry service app which revolved around the convenience of the users. The app addressed laundry tasks for users in an innovative way, as the company required. Customers could now make a booking for a driver who took their clothes to be cleaned. Afterward, cleaned clothes were delivered according to their scheduled time slot. It provided one-click laundry services with an on-time delivery system. The app was built for both ios and android in Swift and Java respectively.
The business collaboration with technology in the form of a laundry mobile app proved to be a great boost to the company’s growth. The real-time tracking in the app, enabled the company and the customers to track their orders. With analytics, Cleany got better data insights into business growth and customer behaviour. The feedback through the app, enhanced customer satisfaction because they were being addressed. Meanwhile, it also helped the company because through feedback they were improving on the shortcomings of the services. The app was convenient and easy to use which helped in better customer acquisition as well as retention. Overall, the business started thriving.
To manage an on demand laundry business is sure as hell a difficult job in the present market scenario with ever changing needs of the customers. But, focusing on the 10 key areas mentioned above will make it a lot easier. It will result in effective business management. You will also see noticeable business growth with a better business management. Still got doubts? Ask below. We will be happy to assist you.