SEATTLE — America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) recently hosted its first Live Accelerator meeting in 2022 to provide a forum for its members to interact, compare notes and share ideas.
Held in Seattle in early May, the event’s theme was “Diversification?” ABC put together the Accelerator meetings to give its affiliates, partners and guests an opportunity to share their experiences dealing with the challenges created by the pandemic.
ABC’s stated goal for the event was to share ideas and experiences about how to continue to move away from simply reacting to events. In this, the group looked for ways to support a shift that focuses more on strategizing while developing and implementing programs that will help dry cleaners accelerate their business models towards growth and success.
“The question wasn’t if you should diversify,” ABC Executive Director Chris White says, “but to what degree diversification best fits the owner’s goals, the market needs and the ability to build successful new businesses or service offerings that will provide sustainability in the mid and long term.”
To make the most of this in-person opportunity, the organization offered affiliates a real-life example of a business that has thrived from adding additional business channels. Attendees toured Helena’s Cleaner’s new state-of-the-art facility designed by ABC’s Chris White and Ed D’Elicio. The company welcomed its fellow affiliates and provided a glimpse of the new space designed to maximize the business services they offer.
“We were honored to have ABC and affiliates tour our new facility,” says Helena’s Cleaners Managing Partner Will Waterstraat. “The insight and knowledge provided were invaluable. Chris’s guidance throughout the process was second to none.”
During the meeting, ABC affiliates Mary Mills of Sir Galloway Cleaners, Robert Strong of Country Club Cleaners, and Dianne Lee of The Press DC also offered their insights on diversification. They also shared how they were able to expand their business plans to offer different services and achieve success during the pandemic.
“It’s easy to talk in hypotheticals, but the power comes from learning directly from your peers to understand their analysis, development and implementation and execution of their ideas,” White says. “These affiliates shared real-world challenges and successes to aid their fellow affiliates in making smart business choices.”
The next Live Accelerator meeting, which will follow the theme “Community,” will be held at Puritan Cleaners in Richmond, Virginia, on Sept. 21-23.