Let me see if I can answer that question in one word, Ummm Yes, well kinda! That is if you care who you do business with. If you really don't care and you don't want to have a relationship with who you do business with, then I guess what I am writing really wouldn't pertain to you. On the other hand, if you do care well then read on my friend and enlighten yourself in some folksy wisdom from the farm. Well maybe not the farm and wisdom might be a little strong for what I am blogging about. Lets just say some common sense answers to some common sense questions. Now back to our question, Does it matter where you take your dry cleaning? Well that would depend on many things for example, do you care about the environment. Do you care if you are participating in sucking the life out of this planet. Do you care what you breath in when your wearing your clothes and if your cleaners are venting toxic chemicals into the air that will cause us to grow a second head or at least give us real bad acne. If the environment does matter to you I guess a real simple question to your dry cleaner would be "are you environmentally friendly?" Well, not all dry cleaners are environmentally friendly many use harsh chemicals such as Perc which is short for perchloroethylene. Perc has been used for years in the dry cleaning industry however has been classified as a known carcinogen. Although an ideal solvent, long exposure could ruin your day to say the least. So ask your dry cleaner, "are you environmentally friendly?" If all of a sudden he doesn't recall English very well or darts off in the back because he left an iron on a shirt, I would be very suspicious of what he is using as a solvent.
Well, now that we have established that our dry cleaner is a pollutant, spreading hazardous chemicals to kill the birds in the air and the fish in the water. Or our dry cleaner is a Steward of the planet. We can now move on and ask another logical question pertaining to our dry cleaner.
Is our dry cleaner someone who cares about the community? Are they just sucking all the funds from us just so they can add to their collection of golden back scratches? Is your neighborhood dry cleaner a Mr Burns type character with a side kick named Smithers plotting ways to part you with your hard earned cash? Although this might not be on the top of the list for our green friends, this is an important question to ask non the less. How do you know if the people you do business with truly care about the community, or is it only about the money? I know evil capitalists, how dare they make a profit. Well, making a profit is not a bad thing, much like how you live you life, it matters what you do with what you have that counts. But really, how do you know what businesses do with the profits they make or their community involvement. In reality, it isn't any of your business. However if you really want to know if those we do business with volunteer at their local church or bake cup cakes for the PTA. I will tell you how you can do a little detective work to find out. No you will not have to sift through trash or camp out in a tree outside their bedroom window. It's a little easier than acting like an Italian Paparazzi riding an undersized scooter. You could just simply ask them couldn't you?? How about that for some detective work. Ask and you shall find out. Now I am a business owner and if someone asked me if I was involved in the community my answer would be well of course I am. I helped build the local baseball field, donate 23 hours a day at the homeless shelter and save babies from burning buildings in my spare time. Well, I really wouldn't say that, but you get my drift. Some people just may stretch the truth a little bit about what they do in their community. If your asking doesn't work, then how do you find out just how involved a business is in the community. For starters, you can google their business name to see what comes up. Now if you do google, you should not only use the business name, but also the name of the owner if at all possible. This will help weed out all the others sites that pop up unrelated to what you are looking for. I found when I google my name, I'm a doctor, a saint and fashion designer in New York. Non of which I do and not very helpful to those checking on me. However, if I search my name and company, that really narrows down what I am looking for.
Another way to see if the company you do business with is community minded, is by checking local chamber of commerce directories and other business groups in the area. Usually companies that retain membership in such organizations are very active in their community. These organizations will also have the latest news on their members such as if they were entrepreneur of the year and so on (hint, hint). The last thing I would check is their mission statement and company values. This information will give you a lot of insight as to the type of company you are doing business with. If the company doesn't have this information, then I would question if they have a well thought out plan for their business? Will they be in business a few years from now? There is nothing worse then going to pick up your dry cleaning, findng the building vacant and your items gone.
This is my first blog and I am writing it because much like you, I care about who I'm doing business with. As an owner of a company, I value my customer as a person not a sale. We all matter in the communities we live and work. As a whole, if we all continue to take without giving back, we might wake up to find that everything is gone. Its not about what we collect in this lifetime, but about how much we give back. Do you want leave this planet with all your possessions in your casket or buried with you in your vault. Or do you want to leave a legacy of what you have done to help others in the community you live and work. Me, I would rather die penny less and naked knowing that I gave it all and have nothing left to give but a used up lifeless corps.
So, does it matter where you take your Dry Cleaning? I guess it only matters to you.
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