CHICAGO — There are a variety of ways to stimulate an industry. According to laundry owners and managers responding to American Coin-Op’s most recent Wire survey, tax cuts and limiting competition would go a long way toward improving the industry.
Forty-eight percent of survey respondents believe a straight tax cut would be the ideal stimulus package for the self-service laundry industry. Making business loans more easily obtainable (24%) and offering more tax incentives to purchase equipment (16%) were rated the next-best stimulus options.
CUT BACK ON STORES
If you could stimulate the industry through one internal change, what would it be? Forty-four percent believe the industry would benefit if there was a restriction on the number of stores in an area. Among the wide variety of answers to this question, requiring uniform pricing among operators and requiring that all stores be attended tied for the No. 2 spot at 9% each.
A MIXED BAG
Fifty-six percent of respondents say the self-service laundry business is not a recession-proof business, while 28% believe it is. Sixteen percent aren’t sure.
Despite challenging times for businesses, owners still believe laundries are a great small business (28%) and that laundries are better than most small businesses (36%). Twenty-four percent believe laundries are no better or worse than other businesses. Four percent believe laundries aren’t as good as most small businesses, and 8% wish they could leave the business immediately.
Every business has its share of frustrations, and most probably seem more troublesome during trying economic times. Forty-four percent of respondents say dealing with the government is the most frustrating aspect of the self-service laundry business. Other responses include dealing with employees (12%), dealing with competitors (12%), and dealing with utility companies (13%).
Surprisingly, no one chose “dealing with customers” as the most frustrating part of the laundry business.
While the American Coin-Op Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
Subscribers to American Coin-Op’s Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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