It is not the strongest or the most intelligent that will survive, but those who can best respond to change.

               – Charles Darwin

Is your dry-cleaning business thriving?

If not, it could be that you’re failing to adapt to the rapid changes happening in the marketplace. And that could cost you your business.

Statistics from Business Employment Dynamics show that about 80% of small businesses with employees survive their first year, and that 69% of small businesses with employees survive their second year in business.

These statistics provide a fairly optimistic outlook for small businesses in the short term. But don’t be fooled by them. Surviving long-term as a small business is harder than you think.

In fact, only 54% of small businesses survive into their fifth year, and only 34% of small businesses make it to their tenth year, says Business Employment Dynamics.

Adapting to Technology Changes

The key to surviving long term as a small business is to adapt to the changes that occur in the marketplace from year to year. That includes technology changes that can disrupt an industry.

For dry cleaners that means plugging into the mobile revolution now happening in the marketplace. To do that, though, you need to develop and deploy a coherent, effective business strategy that does three things:

  • Embraces digital marketing
  • Optimizes for mobile technology
  • Employs innovative e-commerce tools

Let’s take a closer look at these strategies to see how they can help you survive long-term at your dry-cleaning business.

Strategy #1:  Embrace digital marketing

A study done by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting finds that today’s businesses face a digital imperative: They must either adopt new technologies effectively or face competitive obsolescence.

Digital marketing can include ads on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, blogs, news sites, and practically anywhere online. This is not a new concept, but it is a strategy dry cleaners need to adopt if they want to survive long-term. Digital marketing offers significant advantages over traditional marketing, including:

  • Greater awareness
  • Increased engagement
  • Reduced costs
  • Better brand development
  • Real-time results

More importantly, digital marketing lets you hone your marketing strategy to zero in on your ideal customer or customers that live near your store(s). That’s a big advantage when it comes to reaching consumers.

Digital marketing is not to replace per se your traditional marketing (flyers, banners, signs, etc.), but you can start by taking small steps in shifting your marketing strategy to include at least one online component.

Strategy #2: Optimize for mobile technology

Mobile commerce is exploding. According to a Pew Research Center study done in 2016, roughly eight-in-ten Americans are online shoppers. Meanwhile, 51% have of American shoppers have bought something using a cellphone, and 15% have made purchases by following a link from social media sites.

Mobile is revolutionizing consumer behavior—from how consumers judge products and services to the way they pay for the things they buy. Dry cleaners need to keep up.

Below are several tactics you can use to capitalize on the power of mobile technology:

  • Optimize your website for mobile phones
  • Incorporate responsive design in your website
  • Learn how to deal with negative online reviews
  • Create an engaging social presence

Also, you want to complete business listings on sites like Google My Business, Bing, Yelp,, and Superpages. And hedge your bets by using Yahoo! Bing ads to catch customers that don’t search on Google.

Strategy #3: Employ innovative e-commerce tools

E-commerce isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s here to stay, and you can use its tools to engage customers like never before. Dry cleaners need to accept digital and credit card payments, otherwise they’d lose out on a lot of business.

Fortunately, today’s software solutions let your business process credit card payments seamlessly while still protecting a customer’s sensitive data.

software solutions can also help you tap the power of E-commerce marketing. You can use these solutions to create special coupons for your services and deliver them right to your customers’ smartphones. You can even choose to send coupons to specific customers or everyone.

POS solutions can even let you bring your dry-cleaning business to customers by providing access to your services using their smartphones and a mobile app. Customers can view open and past orders, get push notifications on order status, and pay orders directly using the mobile app.

The good thing is that you don’t have to pay a fortune for computer programmers to create these systems for you. With low-cost subscription rates you can have access to these services that have already done all the heavy lifting.

These are just a few of the ways you can use today’s innovative E-commerce tools to create loyal customers and boost business.

The Last Word

It’s a fast-changing world out there where only the fittest survive. If you don’t want to become a business casualty this year, you must adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace.

Using the right digital and mobile strategies can boost your chances of surviving both short-term and long-term. They can help you engage customers like never before, driving up sales, cutting costs, and boosting revenues.

More importantly, these strategies can help you turn average buyers into loyal customers that do business with you for years to come.