It is important to me that Crown Cleaners provides great customer service, and I believe the path to customer satisfaction really begins with finding (and keeping) quality employees. Unfortunately, dry cleaning is an industry that often has high employee turnover, but I do what I can to attract ideal employees. For example, starting pay at Crown Cleaners is well above minimum wage and more than our competitors offer. I provide good benefits, including life insurance at no cost to employees, six paid holidays each year, three annual “family days” (days when Crown closes – such as Good Friday – so employees can be with their loved ones), and a pension plan that matches employee investments dollar for dollar. I also try to create a pleasant work environment, and the company buys lunch for all employees every month.

I do these things because I care about my employees and my customers, and I hope they feel the same.

Unfortunately, all of the above doesn’t safeguard a small business owner from staffing concerns. My “right hand woman” unexpectedly left Crown for a slightly better paying job in another industry in August. I’d come to rely on her and had spent quite a bit of time and energy molding her for a career position, so it felt like a kick in the gut. It had me wondering if I’d made a mistake investing so much in her. I sought advice from a trusted consultant in the industry, who reassured me: quality employees are important for great customer service. From this experience, I’ve become a bit wiser about what makes a good employee and when development is appropriate. I’m happy to say I’ve found a great replacement for that particular position.

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