When I was new in the business, nearly 40 years ago, I remember an old-timer showing me how they had packaged a sweater in a plastic bag and a ribbon and bow.  This pre-dated sweater bags.  I remember that she professed that “presentation is everything.”  I shared this with my Dad, who did not agree.  He thought merely doing a good job was, well, job one.  I agree with both, and not in a way that conflicts, but in a way that one compliments and supports the other. 

 

Suppose that you did something that enhanced the presentation, but also induced a better quality job?  That’s the way I feel about clipping the cuffs together.  When your inspector does this, they are forced to have the cuffs in hand at which time they can inspect them for press quality and observe the condition/presence of between 2 and 6 buttons.  The half cent or so that you spend on a cuff clip is very affordable insurance to ascertain that your inspector sees one of these key defects before your customer does.  But is there something new, something different that will make your product stand out?  When I was a shirt wholesaler, I individually bagged shirts.  I was actually the first person to use an auto-bagger in this industry, back when they were only used by the manufacturing industry.  This made me stand out in the industry and it enhanced my quality because there was no way for shirts to get stuffed and wrinkled in a bag or for an employee to put too many shirts in one bag.  This, too, was cheap insurance.

 

I found a couple of products that really enhance your product and make you stand out in a crowd.  We all know that when you are in the business of cleaning and pressing garments, you need to spit-polish those (seemingly) simple tasks, so that you are clearly perceived as unique and an obviously better choice for your customers over your competitor.  This can be something as basic as an attractive store front and easy convenient parking – or a drive-thru.  And you will always be challenged; where do we go from here?  How do we improve yet again.

 

You are probably familiar with those self-adhesive plastic things that go on the back of polo shirts to make the collar lay flat.  I’ve been familiar with them for years, but never had the opportunity to experience them from the customer’s viewpoint.  I left some garments with a client for cleaning while I was working.  When I got my clothes back, I must say that I was very impressed with the presentation!  I claim to be a “professional customer”.  I have learned a great deal about how to deal with customers by always remembering that I am one, and remaining keenly aware of how I wish to be treated, rather than reminding myself “how things are in this business.”  These simple and easy-to-use items, really enhance what you’re presenting to your customers.  Consider the with and without pictures:

 

 

Two points of fact:  This isn’t the typical shirt that is laundered and obviously not pressed on your shirt unit.  But a lot of people send them in and, in my opinion, you’d get a lot more of them if you returned them looking like this!  Remember that your customers, well, at least, your best customers, take pride in their appearance and they will spend a lot of money with you if you know this and make this easier for them.

 

So while I mention “pride in appearance”, I want to share the best presentation enhancement that I’ve ever seen, and it won’t cost you a penny.  It’s an upsell and will be the easiest upsell ever to anyone with “pride in appearance”.  Consider the Million-Dollar collar.

 

 

This high-profit upsell will impress anyone that cares about how they look. 

 

Remember that the public largely considers all drycleaners to be alike.  We all know how untrue that is, but it doesn’t matter.  Until something goes wrong, the consumer patronizes his usual cleaner, for the most part.  Always strive to set yourself apart.  Justify your higher price.  Customers will start to understand when they can see the difference between you and your competitor.