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Are you still interested ?

By: TRistaino, 7/16/12

A new restaurant opens in your town. The interior is modern and fresh. Lighting, flooring, linen, glassware all fresh and clean and modern. The wait staff is friendly and enthusiastic. The menu is exciting. You try it out and have a great dining experience. Now fast forward 15 years to the same location. The interior is the same although the flooring is worn, linen is limp,lighting fixtures look dated.  The wait staff has changed too. Maybe they are not as attentive or well trained. There has been some turnover. The menu is not much different from other places in town. What happened? Maybe the owner lost interest or decided not to reinvest in the business. Either way the result is the same.

A big challenge to owners or managers of laundromats, commercial laundries, hotels and other businesses is to keep the business and its people fresh. Having worked hard to attain success we want to reap the rewards of our risk taking which many times means taking more out of the enterprise by way of salary,bonus, and perks while putting less back into the business. So the new employee gets little or no training on customer service or proper wash procedures.  “Replace my 15 year old washer or dryer with ones that use less water or gas?  Why bother? These are working just fine.” How about offering customers or guests a new service? “Business has been steady. I’ll hold off.” New accounting software may make the front of the house work smoother. “Software is expensive. I think I will hold off.” See where this is going?

Assuming that you have plans for your business to succeed you either by way of selling it or having a family member continue it you need to constantly reinvest in it. Reinvestment keeps the resale price high or enables your family member to run it without having to rebuild large parts of the infrastructure while paying for the business. Also it shows your cusotmers and guests that you care for them. The last thing you want people paying for your services to ask is “Are they still interested in my business ?”