We think of “dry” cleaning as cleaning that doesn’t use any moisture at all. After all, how can it be dry if there is liquid involved? In reality, there is a little moisture in dry cleaning and a tiny amount of water. However, items washed at home, cleaned in water, are in 100% moisture. The dry cleaning process is when items are cleaned in a liquid that is actually a dry solvent, which means that there is no moisture in it. A dry solvent removes stains like oils and grease but does not always eliminate wet stains like grass, milk, or mud.
Washing a piece of grease-stained clothing in your washer is not going to get the grease to come out. But when that same item of clothing is dry cleaned, the grease cleans right out. However, if you place an item with mud on it in your washing machine with a little detergent the mud washes right out. So, it’s called dry cleaning not because of the lack of liquid but because of the absence of moisture.
With today’s advanced methods, dry cleaners can keep your clothes looking new. With the industry’s, best dry cleaning software from Fabricare Systems, LLC, dry cleaning companies stay organized, practical, customer-oriented, and successful.
The dry cleaning business is all about being on schedule. From opening the store on time to making sure that orders are fulfilled promptly you can expect to stay busy, especially if you need to make sure the equipment is operating properly. To continue our information from “Starting a Dry Cleaning Business, Part 1,” we have listed some more items below.
You must first choose the business model you want to follow. For example, do you want to use your retail space as a drop-off and pick-up location only? Or, do you want all the washing and cleaning to be done onsite at your location? It is possible to have a number of retail locations supported by an industrial location where all the cleaning of the clothes takes place. You may also be able to start with a franchise opportunity in this industry.
The costs involved in opening a laundry and dry cleaning business begin with paying the deposit for the lease and the first month’s rent for the storefront. Also, you will need to have signage on the front of the store that makes it visible to those that drive by. If you plan to conduct the work on your site, you need to have equipment, a cash register, cleaning supplies, coat hangers, and plastic bags, as well as a mechanical clothes rack that rotates the finished clothing.
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If you are interested in starting a laundry and dry cleaning business, you want to know as much information as possible before you decide if this business matches your needs. For example, are you comfortable with handling dirty laundry? If you enjoy cleaning clothes and making them nice for others, you will do well in this business. It also helps to be good at paying attention to the details, so that you won’t lose track of the customers’ items. You will always need to make sure the results of the washing, cleaning, pressing, and folding are outstanding. Consider the following points to consider as you are doing your research:
Skills & Experience
There are a few essential skills to have if you want to build a successful laundry and dry cleaning. For example, you need to be friendly with the walk-in customers. You will also need to notice stains or damage to the clothing to point them out to your customers. As well, the work schedule and turnaround times are pretty tight, and your customers depend on their items being ready when promised.
This retail business works with repeat customers coming from the local area. Your satisfied regular customers help create a reliable customer base. You need to be aware of a customer’s possible allergic reactions to prevent them from occurring. Also, some of your customers will be concerned with the chemicals used. Others may be concerned by the environmental impact of this business. If you want to explore using more organic cleaning methods, you may want to research starting an eco-friendly laundry company.
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To continue from “A Brief History of Dry Cleaning, Part 1,” it turns out that there was no patent for dry cleaning with turpentine as the method was destroyed by a fire in 1836. As other dry cleaning agents began to be used, there was concern that they were all dangerous. For example, the most commonly used solvents in the 19th century were turpentine, benzene, kerosene, gasoline, and petrol, which were all highly flammable. The flammability of those substances led to dry cleaners searching for a safer alternative.
In the early part of the 20th century, chlorinated solvents became more popular because they were not considered flammable. Dry cleaners could now move their cleaning facilities back into cities as opposed to having to travel back and forth to a plant in an unpopulated area. The go-to solvent for dry cleaners in the 1930s was a chlorine-based solvent with the chemical name tetrachloroethylene or perchloroethylene. It could be used in relatively compact dry cleaning machines and did a better job of cleaning than any other solvents of the day. In fact, it’s still the chemical of choice for many dry cleaners today.
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Contrary to popular belief dry cleaning has been around for centuries. In ancient Rome, there were dry cleaning shops that used ammonia and lye to remove stains such as dirt and sweat from clothing. In the early 19th century brought a big revolution in dry cleaning by Jean Baptiste Jolly of France, also known as “the father of modern dry cleaning.” The story from 1825 is about an accidental turpentine spill on a dirty tablecloth, which was noticeably clean and stainless once the turpentine dried. Jolly then conducted an experiment in which he soaked the entire tablecloth in a bathtub filled with turpentine and found that it came clean once it dried. He used this method when he opened the often claimed first modern dry cleaning shop in Paris.
Several years before Jolly’s discovery, however, a patent had been filed with the U.S. Patent Office by Thomas Jennings, a clothier and tailor in New York. He knew the difficulty of trying to clean delicate clothing once it was stained and wouldn’t hold up to traditional washing and scrubbing. In his experimenting with a number of cleaning solutions, he discovered a process he called “dry scouring,” which was simply using a chemical solvent other than water to clean delicate fabrics.
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As we stated above in “Tips to Increase the Profits of Your Dry Cleaning Store, Part 1,” there are simple ways to improve the ambiance and appearance of your dry-cleaning store. You can add professional signage that lets the customer know about your other services, such as alterations and repairs. Making easy-to-read nametags for your staff will make it easy for your customers to converse with staff and for the staff to build a relationship with the customers. Also, it’s best to ask your employees to wear business casual clothes or uniforms and to refrain from wearing shorts, jeans, sneakers, or flip-flops.
Around the holidays you can set up a nice table display that features tablecloths and cloth napkins, which shows off your household linen services. Also, when you display a route delivery order, if you offer that service, it will sell route service. In addition, you can ask your staff to prompt customers about their upcoming needs. For example, they can ask customers any of the following questions at the appropriate time of the year:
- Are your linens ready for the upcoming holidays?
- Do you need any blankets or comforters cleaned before the weather gets cooler?
- Have you gotten your fall wardrobe ready?
- Do you need us to freshen your sweaters for the cool weather?
Check out FabricareManager.com to find a number of ways we can offer you solutions to manage and build up your business. Our dry cleaner’s computer provides everything required to manage today’s dry-cleaning businesses.
You want your dry-cleaning business to perform at its optimal level, to keep increasing your bottom line and build long-time relationships with your customers. While advanced technology, including the latest dry cleaner’s computer, is a huge boon to dry cleaners, there are also additional ways to help your store grow more profitable and thrive. Some of the following suggestions sound like “common sense” items, but they are easy to forget in the hubbub of daily life in any business.
Ensure Your Interior Is Clean and Welcoming
Your dry-cleaning store should be as spotless, clean, and fresh as the finished goods you provide to your customers every day. How spotless can you make your store? Does it need a new paint job? Also, having an air-conditioned dry-cleaning store is now what customers expect. The more meticulous the visual details in your store, and the more comfortable the temperature, the more likely you are to have satisfied customers.
Think Like a Salesperson Rather than an Order Taker
Having professional displays about the other services you offer helps inform your customers about things they may need. Your store will increase business if you are selling more services than cleaning. If you repair clothing and provide alteration services, be sure everyone who steps foot inside your store can find that out.
The goal of an integrated point of sale (POS) system is to help retailers to increase profit by cutting costs. There are numerous choices of computer system solutions for the dry-cleaning business.
The staff at Fabricare Manager is committed to helping you improve efficiency, minimize waste, and reduce expenses with our POS touch-screen system. Some of the ways to consider how your business can benefit from a dry-cleaning POS computer system include:
- Tailored to the dry-cleaning industry: Choosing a system that’s tailored to your business ensures you get the specific features you need. That system should also easily integrate with other software you use to run your business.
- Serving your customers: When your customers are satisfied, they stick with you. Everyone’s in a hurry these days, so you want features that enable quick exchanges and convenient payment options.
- Expanding your business: If you intend to grow your business, you’ll want to select a POS solution that can grow with you and help you adapt to that growth.
- User Friendliness: You want an easy-to-use system so that your employees can quickly adapt to the changes.
- Ongoing Tech Support: If you do have questions and need help with a new system, make sure it comes with adequate training and available, ongoing technical support as needed.
Welcome to the Fabricare Manager blog. For more than 19 years our company has provided management technology in the form of dry cleaner’s computer software and hardware solutions for many different sizes of dry cleaners and laundries. Our systems are designed for touch screens and made to be both user-friendly and fast. Our goal is to make our clients’ businesses more effective and efficient.
Fabricare Manager’s POS touch-screen system works equally well for single dry-cleaning stores, multiple locations, and large chains. With a flexible, wide array of configurations, our system enables our clients to be customized for their unique needs. Choosing the most appropriate POS solution for your dry- cleaning store streamlines operations, eliminates mistakes, and boosts productivity and efficiency. We are committed to helping our customers cut their operating costs and increase their profitability.
We are a hands-on company that sends our technicians out to provide comprehensive training on our systems and equipment. You can always count on our tech support team for as long as necessary. We respond promptly and always take the time to answer any of your questions or concerns.
Thanks for your interest in Fabricare Manager. Our blog will keep you up to date on the latest industry trends and provide interesting, enlightening, and engaging articles.