Established in 2000, Elaine's homebased Mahwah, New Jersey, business keeps her busy six days a week, picking up and delivering clothes and marketing her service to new customers. Wednesdays and Saturdays are reserved for marketing, which involves leaving empty bags and literature on the porches of potential customers along with a note explaining she'll return on Saturday to pick up either dirty clothes or the unused bags.
On these marketing days, the Mullers are discovering that other people share their desire to have someone else take care of the dry cleaning for them. Elaine stops at 100 to 150 houses a day to pick up, deliver or look for bags, and she is considering adding a second van and more routes. "I'm finding out from all my customers that it's a much-needed service," she says. "They're just grateful to have the service available to them with people they can rely on."