Spring Time - Create your TTD list
Spring is Here and Now is the time to create your Things-To-Do (TTD) List.
Spring really is here (and the glaciers have receded for another year)
Now is the ideal time to really inspect your Laundromat and see how the store has faired through the winter. Now is the time to be totally objective and now is the time to really take a hard look at your Laundromat and see what needs to be cleaned-up and updated. As store owners, we can become complacent about the appearance of our Laundromats. As long as all of the machines are operating, we feel pretty good. But Now is the time to take a critical look and make your "wish list for your Laundromat". The definition of my "Wish List" is if I had an unlimited budget, what would I improve in my store? What would I do Cosmetically that would help the appearance of the Laundromat? Would I change anything with my current laundry Equipment? And would I make any changes or improvements with the Maintenance or Infrastructure of my Laundromat (plumbing, electrical, ceiling, building etc...)
Make the List
Just sit in your Laundromat for an hour and make your list. Jot down everything that comes to mind. Jot down small ideas like cleaning lint from the cart wheels to huge items like re-siding the front of the building. It doesn't not matter how silly or on how large an undertaking; make the list. I find that if I sit down as a customer and just look around, that my critical eye starts to find things that need to be cleaned or updated. I always have a big equipment project or 2 bouncing around in my head; write them down too. If you have cerebral constipation, call your local distributor and ask them to stop by for a visit (and a cup of coffee). Ask your local distributor what they would do to spruce up the Laundromat. Distributors are people who visit Laundromats all the time. The distributors get to see the good the bad and the ugly in Laundromats. Contact them to see what other Laundromat owners are doing with their stores. Ask them what they would do if this was their store and see if their ideas have merit.
What to do with the List
Once I have created my list I transfer everything to an Excel spreadsheet; but you can do just the same exercise with index cards. I write down each idea and then add a column for the type of work (equipment, cosmetic, or infrastructure). I then add a price factor to the task (with 1 being the lowest cost and 5 being the highest cost). I also add a "customer benefit factor" to the task (again with 1 being the highers customer bennefit and 5 being the lowest). For instance painting the inside of the Laundromat would cost about $1200 and would have a medium cost factor, (maybe a 3), but it would have a high customer benefit factor. A store that looks bright, clean and freshly painted would have a high customer benefit factor, (probable a 1). Likewise replacing the bank of washer is very expensive and would disrupt your Laundromat for a week so this would be very expensive, but again there would be a huge customer benefit if you added more big machines.
Sorting Biggest Benefit & Least Expensive
Add the Customer Benefit Factor to the Expense Factor and you now have the combination factor. (See the sample chart for other ideas.) Now you can rate all of your projects as to which project will have the highest customer benefit with the least amount of cost. Now you have a priority TTD list. Knock off the top of the list and show your customers the greatest improvements with the least amount of money. On the other hand, tasks that do not have a high customer benefit and that are expensive projects, go to the bottom of the list. If I start at the top of the list and work my way down I am spending the dollars that will give my customers the highest benefit with the least amount of expense to me. This is one way to analytically determine what tasks to be performed first.
In reality this system will work only so far. If you follow this year after year you would have the freshest painted Laundromat but with not enough hot water. Obviously the list is a starting point. For my Laundromat, I use the above list, but I also add one of the expensive items too. I change something every year and every other year I perform a major investment in the Laundromat. This it great for customer moral, because any work you perform helps the moral of your Laundromat. Any time you improve your Laundromat you are "giving back" to your customers and it makes them feel appreciated. For instance, I am looking to paint the interior my stores and freshen up the appearance. In another one of my stores I just received a new 10 year lease and I will be performing a major investment in equipment and new drainage system. This store has been on deferred upgrades because I could not get the Landlord to extend my lease. This year all those dollars saved will be going into a major renovation and improvement of this store.
Call to Action
Spring time is a time of re-birth. The grass is turning greener and soon summer will be here. Now is the time to make your projects list for your Laundromats and to make your Laundromats the best that they can be. (Remember if you don't run the very Best Laundromat in your market, someone else will build a store and do it better. The best defense is a strong (best you can be) Laundromat.
New Articles Section ON HK Resource page
It is HK's goal is to have a timely, informative, and educational content on our website at www.HKLaundry.com HK has just released the soft openning of our new "Resource Section" on our Website. The "Resouce Section" includes:
The Resource Section will be an active and dynamic section of the website where we will continue to update and post "How To..." Videos and Videos on all aspects of the Laundromat operations. Please visit the new Resource Section at http://www.hklaundry.com/resources.php and let me know what you think.
HK Parts Specials:
Overlay for Huebsch Stack Dryers
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HK Special Pricing $ 16.09
Rollers for Huebsch / Speed Queen Dryers
List Price $ 30.89
HK Special Pricing $ 16.98
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