National Clothesline
Making the best of the new normal
Number one question I get asked is what should we be doing now to prepare for the “new
If I had the answer to this million-dollar question, I would have a million dollars!
The truth of the matter is that we really don’t know the exact answer, but if history serves,
we can be prepared to move
forward no matter what that looks
One concern is that many will not
be returning back to work soon:
some because it is ordered and
others due to choice.
Los Angeles extended its stay-at-
home order three months. Kansas
City invoked a 10-10-10 rule that
many are scratching their heads at.
Georgia opened back up.
No matter where you are, the key is to go where the customers are and find creative ways to
service them. Those without routes are way behind things now. You need to get focused on
starting a route.
Another concern is the continual social distancing and safety precautions that all businesses
are having to adapt to. It’s like our counter will need to look like a buffet line with plexiglass
shields all around and sanitizer options everywhere.
While the great mask/
gloves debate is going on, we all need to at least acknowledge what consumers see and fear.
From route driving to store options, be cognizant of the world around us. Just don’t be too
Face-to-face sales versus virtual selling also needs to be looked at. Many say that selling is
dead, but that is far from the truth. In-person selling will always produce better results and has
always withstood the test of time. Be patient during this pandemic, but it will return sooner
rather than later.
Routes in general are no longer just a choice. Many have delayed year after year only to
watch their competition take away from their stores.
Many blamed 2008 while others simply lean on the excuse that drycleaning is diminishing.
That’s the easy excuse to make.
Also, residential route development is a must now. Your drivers must do more than just drive.
Hiring maintainers can only go so far.
The bottom line is that BC on our calendars has a second meaning — Before COVID. The most
successful cleaners from now on will not hold on to the past but prepare for the future.
One thing I repeat from the lessons learned from 2008: those who cut back never fully
recovered. Those who moved forward grew. It’s about as easy as that.
Doing nothing is easier, but a faster way to ensure that success is not around the corner.

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