Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Survival Skills

Well I am back from the Clean Show of 2009 held in New Orleans and I wanted to share with you an article written by American Coin Op magizine about the panel discussion I was apart of to kick off the convention. See below


Profiting in Today's Economy
Paul Partyka, Editor , American Coin-Op
Published 06/18/2009 - 12:37 p.m. CT

Brian Wallace, CLA president/CEO (left) served as moderator for a panel consisting of (left to right) Paul Pettefer, Brian Brunckhorst and Keith Griffin.

Paul Partyka, Editor

NEW ORLEANS — What does it take to run a successful laundry?

A panel at a morning Clean-Show educational session discussed trends facing the industry today, and made projections on developments 5-10 years in the future. The panel first tackled a popular question: Is this a recession-proof industry?

“Yes, I would say so, compared to other businesses” said Keith Griffin, an Arkansas operator. “It’s not recession-proof; it’s more recession-resistant,” said Brian Brunckhorst, a San Francisco operator. “The demographics are key.”Paul Pettefer, a Lake Charles, La., operator, doesn’t believe it’s a recession-proof business. His business is down due to transient workers leaving the area.

The top challenges vary for the three operators. Providing the right customer service is key for Pettefer. Acquiring financing is the top challenge for Brunckhorst. Finding good employees and keeping turnover down keeps Griffin busy.

Are there down-economy opportunities? Weaker owners are leaving the business, which opens up some buying opportunities, says Brunckhorst. In down times, there are better deals to be had with contractors, distributors and landlords, says Griffin. Now’s a great time to add equipment, Pettefer believes. It’s also a time to create a great customer experience and build market share.

The panel all agreed that the future looks good. “People still need to wash clothes; operators can’t fall asleep,” Pettefer opined. “I’m very optimistic about the future,” said Brunckhorst. “The boomers are retiring; there will be downsizing. There will be more renters.” “This is a good industry,” said Griffin. There’s a trend toward multi-store owners with big stores, he adds.

To read the origional article you can go here.
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