Networking with Fellow Professionals !!!
I attended the New England Coin Laundry Association's annual meeting at Paparazzi an Italian restaurant in Burlington, MA. I was suddenly reminded of the tremendous amount of talent and expertise of the laundry industry all in one place and at one time. There were probable 60-70 people in attendance and many who were long time and multi store owners. There were also distributors and salesman from all of the major laundry companies covering all of the New England states. This was a room filled with a tremendous amount of talent and experience in the coin (or vended) laundry industry. This room was filled with industry leaders, authors and contributors who help support the Laundry industry. This was a common meeting ground where distributors who are strong rivals' meet and shook hands and for the evening came together to have dinner. This is where rival store owners came to celebrate the local coin affiliate rather than fight over customers.
Why did I drive all the way up to Burlington Mass to have a Veal Parmigiana dinner? My excuse was that I was with my sister and we both own a Laundromat in Southbridge, Mass. But in reality the real reason was to be with fellow Laundromat owners. Why would I spend most of 1 whole day to eat food with strangers? I love talking and learning about Laundromats. Maybe it's in my blood, maybe it is an acquired taste, but for whatever reason I am always trying to run smarter not faster. My quest is always how can I run my Laundromats better and more efficiently?
Within this small ballroom there were centuries of experience available and just waiting to be asked questions. There were generations of experiences on how to do this or what to do about this problem. This was like walking in to the libraries of Alexandria and having all of this knowledge available for just the asking.
My standard question to anyone in the room was where they from are and what is their biggest problem or challenge? If I asked a fellow distributor the answer, they usually said I was their biggest problem. If it was a Laundromat owner it was likely Laundromat competition, water rates, employee problems, or the need to get more business, or how do I market my Laundromat and may other problems. But this was the room that for one evening was filled with the biggest and brightest Laundromat operators and distributors in all of New England. If these people didn't have answer, then the problem was probable not a real problem.
When people ask me why they should spend $200 a year to join the CLA all I have to do is say come with me on a cold November night to a Restaurant called Paparazzi in Burlington, Mass and we will see some of the best oracles in all of new England.
Fun Stuff in Laundromats...
Top 5 Reasons to Join the CLA !!!
Below is my Top 5 reasons to join the CLA:
- Probable the most compelling reason to join the CLA is to get a Free Website for your Laundromat. The CLA can quickly & easily create a website for your Laundromat in just minutes. All you have to do is complete a form and within a couple of weeks your Laundromat has a website. (How cool is that?) 77% of people search the Internet for phone numbers, hours or operation and where to wash their clothes. Consumers will research the possibilities and the options before committing their business. Apartment dwellers are our base customers and they are a transient population. A Free website pays for your annual membership.
- State & National Lobbying - The State & National government are trying to balance their budgets and are finding creative ways to gain more revenues. One of the items floated about is to charge Sales Tax on washer & dryer usage. How awkward would it be for you to have to collect and pay sales taxes on revenues you received? Sales Taxation departments will go on witch hunts to make sure that every tax dollar is received. You can go to jail to not paying sales tax. How do you prove your Laundromat revenue? It is a cash business. This is the thing that keeps me awake at night and I sure am glad that someone is looking after my back.
- DIY Direct Mailing Campaign - This is a ready-to-go direct mail campaign to help promote your Laundromat and get you new customers. The CLA has templates, demographics and mailing lists to make this a one stop solution.
- On-going Educational Seminars and Webinars for Laundromat owners - Where else can you find out about how to set up your Free Website? Where else can you find out how to get a FREE phone number? Or email address? How do you learn to market your Laundromat in the new "social" environment? The CLA will show you how.
- Information. Where can you get training for your attendants (in English or Spanish)? Where can you find out how to reduce your sewer costs by 10%? Demographics for your next Laundromat. All of this information is available at a reduced cost or for Free as a member of the CLA. Profit for the decades of good information and hard work from past & present CLA members & contributors. The CLA provides good timely information, so you don't have to re-invent the wheel.
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