First of all, let’s define success.
I think success is all about lifestyle. There are those that make lots of money, but they are stuck with the golden handcuffs of working for someone else. You and I work for ourselves. We don’t answer to anybody or anyone. We can take off anytime we want without asking a soul.
It’s been 36 years since I’ve asked for vacation time. I can’t fathom asking my boss for time off. I was thinking about that this morning while I was driving to Starbucks to write this article.
I’m coming from three months of snow-birding in Sarasota, FL. I just left my daughter’s home in Charlotte, NC where I spend the last 10 days hanging with 2 year-old granddaughter.
This is all possible because of this great business that you and I are in. If you’re doing this dry cleaning business thing right, you don’t have to be in your plant every day all day. You can visit instead.
My most successful members including David Whitehurst of Champion Cleaners in Birmingham, AL, work from an office in their home. When David became a member (client) of mine in 2007, he had his office in his plant. He told me that his days were spent putting out one fire after another and he was very frustrated.
I told him about Peter Drucker’s book, “The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide To Getting The Right Things Done.” I live by and remember only one thing in that book: “Eight hours of interrupted time and equal to one hour of uninterrupted time.”
If you’re in your plant you WILL be interrupted all day long and you will ONLY get one hour of real work done that day. When you go on vacation, things seem to run smoothly without you, don’t they? So, make believe you’re on vacation all time—that’s what I do.
How do you do that?
First of all, get your office out of your plant into your home. It’s tough to do it cold turkey, so start by getting to your plant by noon each day. Get someone else to turn on the boiler if you do. Stay at home at start working ON your business and not IN your business. That four hours you spend at home will yield 32 hours of interrupted time. It would normally take you four days to accomplish that. You will NEVER get a lifestyle if you have to be (or think you have to be) in your plant 24/7. It will never happen.
The next skill you’ve got to master is delegation. Your job is not to spot, press, work the front counter (only a little bit if you enjoy it and only after all the marketing work is done), or fix your machines. If you’re doing all or some of this, you won’t have any kind of lifestyle at all. You’ll be a slave to your business.
You should not be doing $10/hour work. You should be doing $50/hour work and up. If you can hire someone to get something done in your dry cleaning business, that’s what you should do. You’re doing your dry cleaner no good working 60-80 hours per week. You become very inefficient after about 50 hours.
Imagine getting up, getting some coffee and walking to your home office. No traffic. No employees. No interruptions (unless you’ve got some kids). Just you and your computer. Imagine all the work you can get done. Imagine visiting your plant (or plants) and your drop stores. Imagine everything running smoothly without you having to be in your plant.
This can be your reality. This can be normal for you. And once you get there, you’ll never want to go back, I promise.
So what do you do with these newfound uninterrupted hours of your day?
You work on getting MORE CUSTOMERS!
Your primary job is as your dry cleaner’s CMO, which is its Chief Marketing Officer.
You’re job is to figure out how to get and keep customers for your counter and your routes.
That’s where the money (and lifestyle) is!
And that’s where I come in. I can show you how to get counter and route customers.
Gone are the days where you put up a plant and drop stores and the customers come strolling in. Some show up, but not like in the old days. There is way too much competition from all the discounters, franchises and every Tom, Dick and Harry thinking that the dry cleaning business is easy. It’s not easy.
I’ve started 33 businesses. It’s just as difficult as the other 32 I started. Business is business is business.
Your focus should be on marketing. You should be spending 80% of your time on marketing your dry cleaners. That’s what is going to make the difference in your business and your lifestyle.
My book can get you started: DryCleaningBook.com
I sincerely hope that you take this advice seriously. This is not a joke. These simple ideas can get you the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. They’ve done it for me, for David Whitehurst and many more of my members.
Go to it!
Call 888-661-1992 to set up a FREE 30-minute consult with me about your routes and/or your counter business or anything you’d like to talk about in your dry cleaning business.