Most cleaners spend the majority of their time focused on operations. Yet as entrepreneurs, you instinctively know that customer acquisition is almost as important as providing a great service. The traditional strategies to acquire new customers — running print ads, dropping off garment bags, and new-residence brochures — can be labor intensive, expensive and ineffective.
Partnerships with local businesses and organizations, on the other hand, can become a consistent source of business and a generally a better use of time. Regardless of the size or type of market they operate in, cleaners can take advantage of partnerships to reach new users, increase brand recognition, and gain exposure new business opportunities.
Types of Partnerships
The best partnerships usually focus on two offerings: commercial services and distribution partners. Commercial services typically feature bulk orders with regular schedules. Distribution partners offer cleaning services to groups of employees, users, or members.
Here are 12 examples of partnerships that can help your business succeed:
In-home care providers, assisted living communities or nursing homes can offer their clients laundry services without creating additional work for their staff. An in-home care provider can schedule garment pickup and delivery for the days they spend with their patient.
At your doorstep dry cleaning and garment care can be a great service for someone who doesn’t have time to stop in a physical dry cleaner. For building’s without in-room washing machines, wash & fold can be a lucrative service.
Theaters must clean their entire production’s wardrobe between shows before they can be worn again.
Hotels and Resorts
Hotel guests typically are not familiar with the city they are staying in, let alone which dry cleaner to trust their items with. While this may not be a strong source of return customers, you can capture a consistent stream of one-time customers.
Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and many other types of businesses require their employees to wear uniforms. Whether the business handles uniform cleaning or requires their staff to clean their own garments, day-to-day wear requires frequent cleaning. Pro Tip: You can generate a unique promotion or offer for a business to entice their employees to work with you.
We have seen two strong approaches for targeting college students: (1) Partner with the school or university to offer your laundry service as part of their tuition or housing costs. (2) Offer parents who want to help their students while in school the ability to subscribe their children to a laundry service.
Fraternities and Sororities
Greek organizations host large groupings of students with a portion of their members living in a single location. Laundry services can be wrapped into the annual dues.
Homeowner Associations/ Gated Communities
These organizations can provide a good source of long-term users and new homeowners may not be familiar with the area. Partnering with the association can yield more customers then a new-residence brochures because you are not sharing the packet with other businesses.
Health Spas/ Fitness Centers/ Yoga Studio
Wash and fold can be a valuable service for businesses who do not have in-store cleaning facilities. Ropes, gym towels, yoga mats or rugs can easily be outsourced to a cleaning professional.
Many public and private schools require children to wear a uniform. Laundry services can save parent’s of at least one of their responsibilities.
Sleep Away Camps
When your kids have been away at camp, running, playing and getting dirty, the last thing a parent wants to deal with is a week’s worth of dirty clothes. Starchup customers have seen success partnering with summer camps to deliver clean laundry home.
Identify business professionals who typically dress up for work or encounter busy seasons requiring long workdays — accountants during tax season for instance. A good corporate partnership can yield both wash & fold and dry cleaning business.