National Clothesline
National Clothesline
Reduce turnover, increase profit
When facing your current dilemma in building your routes, the biggest fear is employee
You get comfortable with your current staff, complacent with lackluster results and then make
a decision to challenge your route driver to get out of his comfort zone to build your route sales
to the level you need them.
For some of you, this may sound
like a broken record from me or
others to whom you look for
assistance. However, the labor pool
doesn’t always assist you in finding
the absolute best candidate for
replacing your driver. So what do you
Most of us know that 90 to 95
percent of all personnel never reach
their true potential.
Only a select few strive to raise their own bar year after year. These individuals are worth
their weight in gold; however, many do not like having such an individual working for you since
you either can not afford them or you risk paying them more than another, long-term employee
or manager.
Route development could become one of your most expensive labor line items while bringing
the most value to the company, but are you willing to pay for it?
Don’t answer that. You may lose a truly valuable employee.
But what about that 90 to 95 percent? Who is to blame for them falling short in their skills,
talents, etc.?
Let’s take a look at some ways to uncover or unlock the potential of your current staff
members, especially route drivers.
Prior skill sets
Many times these are hard to identify and many of us tend to overlook previous work
experience. Just because they have never had sales experience, doesn’t mean that they won’t
contribute in this part of their job.
Teachers have to sell knowledge to the students and  customer service agents have to get a
discouraged consumer to buy back into the company. Take a slow, long look at their previous
jobs. They may contribute more than you think.
This one tends to be misleading and can be used against a job applicant. Just because the
person has a degree, doesn’t ensure knowledge or skills.
In fact, it shows that they can commit to finishing something. But are they hirable? More than
50 percent of college grads do not find a job in their degree. It helps for some regards, but does
not guarantee success. They also tend to want more money.
Discover why they haven’t found employment in their degree field, then determine if it will
apply. This is a biggie on your end. What education do you give your staff to ensure personal
We use DISC profiles simply to identify how an employee communicates, responds and
reacts. Behavior comes from within and your job is to determine if this person’s behavior fits in
to the job and your company.
If money was truly the main form of motivation, then would they really apply at a
drycleaners? You must find what truly motivates your staff, you and a new hire.
There are many ways to determine this and I assure you, the investment in this will pay off
tremendously and may not cost you money but will bring results.
Failure to produce a measurement and repercussion system will result in limited success.
Of all the things listed here, this is the one that owners and managers want to listen to the
Set up standards and goals and manage your staff. Then the chances of them reaching their
potential increases significantly.  
The bottom line is that you need to invest more in your staff.
Chris White of America’s Best Cleaners educated me on this concept. “Your biggest line item
of your P&L is labor. Why don’t you invest more on this?” is what he said in challenging listeners
at last year’s NEFA Fall Fest.
From hiring to evaluating to promoting to replacing, the time is now to invest in your staff,
your future depends on it.

James Peuster offers
onsite training and all
aspects of routes.
Management, marketing
and maintenance are all
key components in
developing a million-
dollar route.  You can
listen to his radio
programs on
He can be contacted at
(816) 739-2066 or
James Peuster