What does it take to run a profitable laundry or linen service? If you ask most laundry owners, it’s low costs and good service. Laundries are constantly looking for ways to lower the price of doing business without sacrificing quality. From using water more efficiently to choosing better but less expensive chemicals to precisely calculating the way they iron, they keep operating costs to a minimum so they can profitably charge low prices.

While costs and quality certainly play a role in profitability, they alone do not ensure that a laundry will be successful. Such businesses also have to look for opportunities to expand revenues, notably by making life more convenient for customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is by directly selling uniforms along with cleaning services.

Direct Sales through Laundry Services

Laundry services have a unique opportunity to sell uniforms and gear directly to their customers. Many of the largest users of rental laundry services are food service providers, hospitals, dealerships, country clubs, and other businesses and organizations that have uniformed staff. These companies have to maintain a large supply of clean uniforms for all their staff. Laundries meet this demand by delivering clean uniforms to their premises on a regular basis while picking dirty ones up for cleaning. When those customers decide they would like to own some of the uniforms they have been renting, laundries and linen services have an opportunity to benefit from their existing business relationship.

The Benefits of Direct Sales

Direct sales offer a host of benefits, both to your company and to your customers. These include:

  • Revenue Expansion– When you sell uniforms in addition to renting them, you can appeal to the portion of customers who would prefer to own their gear outright instead of relying on renting. And because these companies will still need to clean the uniforms they buy, you can still earn ongoing revenues from many of them. Offering direct sales thus lets you expand your earnings in both the short and long terms.
  • Range Expansion– In addition to increasing the total number of customers you’re able to do business with, direct sales lets you expand the geographical size of your market. Whereas renting uniforms requires you to be close to customers so you can drop off and pick up the gear with ease, you don’t necessarily have to be close to the businesses you sell to.
  • Customer Empowerment– Customers like to feel that they are ultimately in control, and that they have the power to change how they’re doing business at will. Offering direct sales gives your customers this empowerment. This way, if customers decide they like the uniforms you’re renting enough to invest in them for the long haul, they can get those uniforms from you directly, rather than having to seek another source.