Your neighborhood startup
Business is all about serving a particular market. What better way to do that than to target your very own neighborhood?
By: Peter Imbong | Aug 17, 2012 00:00 am
In business, your target market is everything. You can either serve an existing market or create a product or service that will, in turn, create a new one. You may not have to look very far, however, to find a viable market.
For Red Hanger, a laundry shop located on Vito Cruz Extension in Makati City, the target market was clear from the get-go. “It was actually my brother-in-law who found this place,” says Red Hanger’s Christine Dee, referring to their 50 square meter space fronting a condominium.
“It was ideal for a laundry business because it’s within a residential area. Plus, it’s along the main road. It’s visible not only to the condominium residents but also to the people who pass by the road on their way to work or going home.”
Noting the importance of location for this type of business, Dee says: “This is the first step in making it work—people need to see where you are for your marketing efforts to bear results.”
The venture became a family event with Dee’s siblings, parents, and brother-in-law pitching in to form the company. With P1 million in starting capital, Red Hanger opened in 2005 with eight washing and drying machines, a renovated shop with a full inventory, and four laundry attendants working seven days a week.
“Our main customers are yuppies and expats who live across the street in the condominium,” says Dee. “However, since we have a pick-up and delivery service, we have been able to expand our clientele to people living in the Makati central business district. We also have several corporate accounts, and among them, schools.”
Red Hanger washes about 4,000 to 5,000 kilos of clothes a month—which translates to more than P120,000 in monthly sales with their per-kilo laundry charge of P33.
To foster repeat business from her customers, Dee strives to make her services cost-effective for them. “For example, we buy back the hangers that our customers have accumulated from doing laundry with us. We help save the environment by recycling the hangers, and it also saves our customers money because we credit it to their bill. Other than that, we have the usual free kilo of clothes on your birthday and customer-loyalty card.”