Know Your Place in the Internet Space

By Jeff Gardner, CLA Member posted 27 days ago

  
Don’t Overlook Online Marketing When Promoting Your Wash-Dry-Fold Business

As someone who studied marketing in college and who has always assumed a solid grasp on the art and science of the topic, I now feel myself moving further and further away from truly understanding marketing every day.

With that being said, understanding the internet (which is clearly the marketing space with which most people are consumed these days) and how it can work for your laundry business will be a critical component to understanding and establishing your position in the marketplace for wash-dry-fold services.

We’ve all watched as Washio, Rinse, Tide Spin, 2ULaundry, and other internet-based, wash-dry-fold companies have entered the marketplace. No doubt, the one common aspect of these businesses is that they’ve all consistently established themselves by creating a huge internet presence to increase awareness of their products and services – and to promote the concept that “your time is more valuable than doing laundry.”

As an industrywide movement, this message is definitely starting to spread – to the extent that many drycleaners have taken notice and stand-alone, wash-dry-fold-only operations are now being opened outside of New York City. For years, New York was the only place you could go to find laundries that performed strictly wash-dry-fold services. Today, you can find such businesses outside of the Big Apple.

So, what should your position be within the marketplace, as you offer your wash-dry-fold services to the masses – whether you’re providing pickup and delivery or simply having laundry dropped off at your location?

The beauty of the internet is that there already is plenty of content out there from which to borrow. Use it as a guideline for your online marketing plan. Develop an Instagram page or a Pinterest page or a Facebook page – or all three. Something as simple as posting a wash-dry-fold-themed meme with messaging about your company’s service can do a lot to help promote your offerings.

Then, once you’ve got a good number of people following your business online, you might want to invest in a bit of online advertising. Above all, it’s about connecting with others so that, when people are searching for a wash-dry-fold service, you already have an established presence.

Most vended laundry owners, myself included, aren’t looking to disrupt the marketplace. We’re not the big-name internet startups. But we’re all in a position where we need to make sure that our online presence is solid, and that the content and information about our laundry services is correct and easily available on all of the popular platforms.

As people continue to look for ways to improve their lives and to make them more efficient, the full-service laundry concept is going to continue to grow. And it’s going to grow through the internet.

In fact, about 10 years ago, I did some research. We had just recently launched our web presence, and we asked every self-service and full-service customer who came into the store how they had heard of us.

A decade ago, more than half of our customers were finding us via some form of an internet search. Today, at least 90 percent of our business is coming from web-based searches. The other 10 percent of our customers are from referrals.

In addition, we’ve enjoyed a 40 percent growth rate over the last three years – with virtually no paid advertising during that time.

Of course, plenty of laundry owners out there are still utilizing paid advertising with great success. Whether or not paid advertising is right for your particular business model and marketplace is a personal decision you need to make.

However, at the bare minimum, you also need to develop a strong online presence. Customers and potential customers are searching the internet daily for wash-dry-fold services. And they’re going to continue to do so in even greater numbers. Be sure your laundry business is showing up at or near the top of those searches, or else you’re losing money and you don’t even know it.
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