Mastering the craft October 2018 Volume 60 Number 1 www.natclo.com Sneak Peek Wetcleaning denim 6 8 Pricing for profitability 30 Dan Eisen says that customers with designer denims want a soft feel which can be obtained with wetcleaning. Prices need to be adjusted as business conditions change and that requires analysis and planning, says Deborah Rechnitz. Cleaning house National Clothesline Your shirts should come out of the wash ready to press. If not, try some of the fixes recommended by Don Desrosiers. 20The dirt on shirts The drycleaning industry needs a change of mindset to match the changing times with a refocus on marketing. That was the message of Kyle Nesbit, speaking at the California Cleaners Association’s Fabricare 2018 in Long Beach in August. Nesbit knows about change. He is the vice president for devel- opment for EDIT TX, the Texas company responsible for the tran- sition of MW Cleaners into Tide Cleaners. “We are not in the drycleaning business. We are in the marketing of drycleaning,” Nesbit said. “You can’t be flying by the seat of our pants in the back of the plant and not focusing on the front of the business.” Revenues have been declining for the drycleaning industry in the U.S., he pointed out, falling at about .5 percent a year and de- clining from $11 billion down to $9 billion since 2011. Nesbit said he expects that rate to increase. In response to that decline, drycleaners need to aggressively market themselves to new cus- tomers and existing customers alike, he said. Nesbit leaves no stone un- turned when it comes to market- ing, appealing to both current and potential customers and using every form of media available in this digital age. A starting point, he said, is to develop a marketing calendar. First, he said, list every service that you provide — comforters, drapes, gowns, leathers and suedes. Then make a list of major holidays that might be special to customers — Halloween, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Valen- tine’s Day, etc. A glance at most calendars will reveal that every month offers one or more holi- days. Next, he said, try to match your services with those holidays and promote those services with spe- cials based on those holidays. He discourages including common services in this list — no discounts on staples like dress shirts or reg- ular drycleaning. The idea is to get regular customers to use more of your services. “It costs five to 25 times more to acquire a customer than to sell something new to an existing cus- Maggie Fox at first wanted to sell the business her late husand had started, but instead opted for revitalizing it. Continued on page 14 Lisa Porter from The Laundry Station, Jacksonville, FL, was among students attending the recent Introduction to Drycleaning and Advanced Drycleaning courses at the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute. The South Eastern Fabricare Association provided a scholarship that enabled her attendance. A new SEFA program will be bringing in- structors directly to the plant — no need to travel. Kyle Nesbit described marketing methods that help revenues keep growing despite an overall decline for the industry dur- ing CCA’s Long Beach convention. New mindset for changing times Opportunities to master the skills of profes- sional garment care abound and seem to be ex- panding. Traditionally, novice drycleaners have attended courses sponsored by trade associations. The grandaddy of them all is the school maintained by the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute in Lau- rel, MD, which dates back to 1927. This summer DLI graduated its 373rd class from the school with students coming from all around the United States and several foreign countries. The National Cleaners Association also offers classes at its New York headquarters and both DLI and NCA along with state and local associa- tions provide localized, in-field instruction. Now a new program by the South Eastern Fab- ricare Association will bring instructors right to the plant — no need to take time off and travel. SEFA’s latest program offers scholarships for in- plant education, a program is designed to assist members in bringing educators into their plant for personalized training. This addition to the SEFAeducational program provides scholarships for up to $300 a day or $600 per event to help SEFA members defray the cost of in-plant training.   The scholarships can be used to bring in any of the approved educators listed on the SEFA’s website. The initial list of participating trainers includes:  Jane Zellers, Jim Groshans, Wash Re- spess, Don Desrosiers, and James Peuster.  SEFA hopes to add to the list of participating educators in the future. “This is a great initiative,” said Rhonda Eysel, SEFA’s education chairperson. “We are really ex- cited about it. We recognize the challenges of sending people out for training, and also under- stand the benefits of having someone come into your own plant and train on your own equipment. This is really an incredible opportunity for all of us.” SEFA has provided $10,000 to fund the pro- gram for its first year. After that, the board will revaluate to determine its success and member benefit before committing to continuing the schol- arship program. “It’s exciting to be part of this new program,” said Jane Zellers, “I am really looking forward to working with SEFA members.  I think this is an outstanding opportunity and I think SEFA has taken another tremendous step in their commit- ment to their members.”