GreenEarth Cleaning

Thinking outside the garment bag, what if alterations were the missing stitch in your bottomline? We consulted our longstanding Affiliate, GreenEarth Cleaners located in Castle Rock, CO about their experience adding alterations to their service portfolio. If you are considering the venture, consider insights from GreenEarth Cleaners’, Mike Poeschl.

What inspired you to offer an alteration service/ how long have you offered it?

“We used to work with an existing alterations service in the area, but they went out of business over a year ago. Since then, we have had a steady flow of customers inquiring about alterations services that we were no longer able to offer. When I came on board in August of 2023, it became clear that alterations could be a steady revenue stream for us. We had a couple of “false starts” as we tried to find a tailor that would be a good fit for us. Proximity to our store and working through the price lists were the biggest hurdles. We eventually found the right fit and were able to officially offer alterations services again starting in March!”

What has the customer response looked like?

“Customers have been thrilled to have a one-stop shop where they can have their items cleaned and altered/repaired. We are early on in the process and still working on getting the word out, but we’re averaging about 1 item dropped off per day with very minimal marketing. We recently created signs for the store to advertise the service and have designed some online advertising campaigns around prom dresses and suits since we are in prom season. We expect the business will continue to grow and bring in new customers as word gets out. For now, a large majority of the items we’ve taken in for alterations have been from existing customers.”

How does your digitized system work? How has it improved workflow and efficiency?

“Our tailor has some equipment at the store but she also does some work from her home. Since she’s not in the store on a regular basis, we created a Calendly account to relieve some of the scheduling burden from our employees. If a customer would like to meet with our tailor, they can simply visit our website, or better yet, scan a QR code in our store to see our tailor’s availability and schedule an appointment. All parties receive a notification once an appointment has been scheduled. At this point in time, a large majority of the items we’ve received have not needed an in-person meeting with the tailor, but as the business grows, I anticipate that the Calendly integration will save us lots of time and headaches.”

What insights would you offer someone curious about branching out into the alteration space?

“I’ll admit that adding alterations as a service was a bigger undertaking than I was anticipating it to be, but I expect it will be well worth the effort. Finding a tailor with the right skill set, proximity to the store, and personality was a challenge. However, once I found one, they were very helpful in determining the appropriate pricing for each type of alteration or repair. From there, getting everything setup in the POS system and training the staff was the next big challenge. Our store is just a drop store, so there is a good amount of logistics involved in getting the items back and forth between the store, the plant, and the tailor. Having a written procedure for each department to be able to reference as they get used to the new service has been very helpful. My advice to anybody starting out would just be to break it down into manageable steps and give yourself realistic expectations on your timeline for getting something rolled-out. GreenEarth Cleaning has been instrumental in integrating Calendly into our website, designing posters for our store, and creating online ad campaigns to promote the service. I recommend leaning on whatever resources you have at your disposal to help make it a success!”
As Mike Poeschl aptly puts it, venturing into the alteration space was no small feat, however, the rewards have been well worth the effort. With a steady flow of customers, streamlined scheduling through Calendly, and invaluable support from GreenEarth Cleaning team, GreenEarth Cleaners is positioned for continued success in their alteration services. For those considering a similar leap, Poeschl offers sage advice: take it one step at a time, lean on available resources, and set realistic expectations. With perseverance and strategic planning, the possibilities for growth and innovation are endless.

Author: Erin Horne
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