Jan San, aka the janitorial/ sanitation industry, has gone through many changes over the course of the last decade, and the number of distributors in the United States has steadily declined since the year 2000.This has forced distributors to think outside that proverbial …
Nine Keys To Running A Profitable Air Freshener Business
For most of us who either work in or frequent restaurants, business offices or any other commercial environment, an air freshener is one of those things that no one really thinks about (nothing like Cole Porter’s proverbial bell that now and then rings.)
The truth is that without air fresheners and odor neutralizing products, workplace environments and commercial restrooms would become noticeably smelly and unpleasant for both workers and customers, negatively affecting repeat traffic, company morale and the business owner’s all-important bottom line.
It’s no surprise then that the scent marketing and odor control industry has not only grown dramatically over the past few decades, but according to Statista, it is on a projected trajectory to reach $92 billion USD by 2024.
This growing demand has consequently created significant financial growth opportunities for existing route service operators, current air care suppliers and individual entrepreneurial minds looking for a smart, home-based business opportunity.
In fact, we recently wrote about the top ten reasons to start an air freshener business and why it’s become one of the more popular startups for women, men, retirees, part-timers and just about anyone looking increase their independence and ROI.
But starting an air freshener business is one thing; making it efficient and successful is quite another. So our sales team assembled the following key steps for anyone currently operating or contemplating operating a profitable fan air freshener business with Air-Scent®.
Before we run, though, as the phrase goes, lets walk through a few historical fan air freshener facts, some things to consider before starting a business and the importance of evaluating competition.
The Modern World and The Industrial Fan Air Freshener
An effective commercial air freshener can be any product that is designed to remove malodors and freshen or brand an interior space. They work by delivering fragrance and other odor neutralizers into the air via a variety of formats, which include: liquid wicks, liquid and solid wafer square refills, surcotta disks, flow cell and spirals patented diffusion technologies.
The modern air freshener was really born back in the mid 1940s when Bob Surloff of Surco Products Inc invented the very first fan-operated air freshener dispenser. He named his brand, Air-Scent®, and the rest is as they say, very fragrant history.
Since that time, we have become one of the most prominent manufacturers and distributors of the finest air freshener dispensers and 30 to 60 day refills in the world today. In fact, our products are supplied globally to tens of thousands of air care customers via our route service operators and distributors who have chosen to represent our products and start their own air freshener service business.
You can learn more about Air-Scent, our history and our air care products here.
Considerations Before Starting An Air Freshener Business
Like all things in life, embarking on a new air freshener business means doing it right from the beginning. In the case of fan air fresheners, this means selling a product that is so effective your customers don’t even know its there, silently doing its job.
In addition to selling the best and most efficient products on the market today, the fan air freshener business entrepreneur must also maintain a personal interaction with customers via monthly service calls to refill products and insure all is well and functional.
Professional relationships with the most knowledgeable vendor is vital at all phases in the operation of a fan air freshener business, especially in the early stages when your business will revolve largely around lavatory-based air fresheners.
Eventually, the choice to expand the production of an individual product line, such as the inclusion of scented urinal screens, trash and drain control devices and large area odor control units is likely to occur, and when this happens, it is essential that a service operator always maintains good relationships with suppliers who have the right know-how.
Evaluating the Competitive Landscape
We all have to do our homework. This means studying the air freshener business market thoroughly. It’s not likely that other local companies will help you, as the last thing on their minds would be coming to the aid of someone seeking to become competition.
But the owner of a fan air freshener business in a different city, who has no fear that you will steal their local clientele, is a horse of another color, as they say. Many can be very helpful in providing first hand advice in a way no book or article can ever be.
9 Keys To Operating A Fan Air Freshener Business
There are many things to know about operating as a distributor of our products, and the following suggestions will effectively guide the entrepreneur in the right direction for success.
1) Always Provide The Best Air Freshener Products And Systems
As an entrepreneur, set your goals high and study the success of a company such as Air Scent, who is not only a world-renowned authority in ambient scenting and fragrance diffusing systems but also a leader in odor neutralization. Always offer the best air freshener options possible.
They should be varied and versatile, with a range of products that includes: commercial air freshener and diffuser systems, commercial air freshening and air care refills, large area HVAC air freshening systems, trash room and dumpster odor control solutions and restroom odor control products, just to name a few. The idea is to cover all possible care needs to keep your customer base satisfied.
2) Present A Complete “Fragrance Offering” To Clients
No matter what kind of business or company, how big or small or whatever mood its managers are seeking to invoke, the need for air fresheners is consistent for all types of commercial environments.
Each fragrance blend is designed to create a welcoming experience, a reinforcement of a brand and the suggestion a mood that will eventually relate to the formation of pleasant memories. Options are vast, with scents ranging from warm, inviting, tropical and exotic to fresh and clean and complex and luxurious.
Fragrance offerings are always customized for full effectiveness and our perfuming masters at Air-Scent provide ambient marketing systems that have been more than seven decades in the making and are perfect for increasing consumer traffic and that all important bottom line for retail settings, hospitality and hotel environments, financial institutions, restaurants, gyms, spas and fitness brands and many more.
Some fragrance examples include: Black Bamboo, Alma Flower and Honey, Lemongrass Sage, Eucalyptus Mint, Restful Lavender and Fresh Breeze, just to mention a few.
3) Always Store One Month Extra Service Supplies
Understanding the concept of supply and demand lies at the heart of every commercial enterprise. Without a crystal ball, this must boil down to highly educated guesses as to which products will do better than others.
Successful companies must never view the world as a predictable place. The idea of forecasting sales can and often does result in either too little or too much inventory.
To counteract the growing need to face demand uncertainty, our teams at Air-Scent recommend storing one month of air freshener supplies more than are expected to sell. In this manner, products can always be on hand and seamlessly provided, should the need arise. Unexpected factors, such as poor weather conditions, can easily delay shipments.
4) Maintain A Sales Person To Build The Business Quickly
As Jerry Maguire, actor Tom Cruise made a stunning statement when he said: “The key to business is personal relationships.” He was right. Air freshener business managers must establish meaningful relationships with their representatives so that they can learn first hand about customer interaction.
It’s important that this shared experience be in the form of honest and helpful conversations and not sales pitches. This is how a business staff member will learn by example how to build sales relationships. It takes time and patience to nurture these interactions.
A good rule of thumb is: first the relationship and then sales will follow naturally.
5) Invest In A Professional Carry-All Service Case
Being professional involves looking professional just as much as any other factor. In the same manner as that old axiom about appearances being deceiving, they can be telling in positive ways as well.
No matter how well dressed an air freshener salesperson may be, nothing can be more standoffish to a potential customer than a service case containing company products that looks as if it spent the night out in the rain.
It is also very uncool to carry product refills around in a back pocket or purse. Invest in a carry all that is both stylish but neutral in color and design.
6) Offer Customers Something of Value and Additional Services
Customers like to feel they are getting as much for their money as possible and one way to accommodate this is to offer something they can use for free. It could be an intangible like free advice, a fresh perspective, links to blogs they might enjoy or even something as mundane as a pen or a pad or a calendar.
You should also offer related services and products, which aren’t free but that doesn’t mean they aren’t convenient and useful. Some ideas could include the kinds of items that Air Scent provides such as: urinal screens, hand soaps, drain maintenance, dumpster odor control treatments and air freshening product solutions.
7) Map Out Tight Routes To Economize Time
A successful air freshener business always depends on a plan to save time and avoid excess travel. For any company whose success is contingent on a delivery service, there are unique challenges that come with spending significant time traveling on the road. This is especially true for delivery drivers, couriers and messengers. One solution to reduce travel time is to map out tight routes that will lump locations together to prevent excess travel.
There are basically three important considerations. The first concerns vehicle maintenance, as driving in stop-and-go traffic for long periods of time exacerbates normal wear-and-tear and erodes brakes.
Organization is another critical factor, but even more so when an enterprise is based on the delivery of products and services. Establishing a paper trail of items received, sent out and received by customers can help to avoid losing profits by false claims and mishandled products.
Invest in a route planner, which is much more efficient than a GPS and in the long run, will ease the problems associated with getting lost and excess travel time.
8) Utilize GPS Apps Like WAZE to Optimize Travel Times
Dealing with traffic is an every day problem that can easily transform into an urban nightmare as millions of drivers try to outsmart congested routes and traffic jams. This is especially true for businesses that depend on road travel for their survival. Finding the best route is almost like hunting for treasure, and sometimes it’s just as complicated (or at least it has been, up until now).
Meet WAZE, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, whose creators understand that traffic is so much more than just red lines on a map. WAZE map editors may be insomniacs who have found their true calling, as they are awake 24/7, and working constantly to both improve and update their maps.
This app permits drivers to share real time traffic and road info, which saves everyone time and gas money on their daily commuting. WAZE map editors are considered the first to reflect community road changes, incessantly improving routing for all drivers on the roads.
9) Use An Effective Billing and Routing System
Collecting money from customers should be the most rewarding and easiest part of your business operations, but an ineffective billing system can cause many headaches to the hard working entrepreneur attempting to maintain a fan air freshener business.
There are many web-based, open source applications available for invoicing and billing that can be integrated to suit each company’s specific needs. Open source means that the software has a source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. Computer programmers can manipulate that code to alter how a specific program or application works.
Some of the many options available include: EZ Bill ASO, the Rev X Revenue Management Program, Blue Logix, Rev.io, Fusebill Subscription Billing. Investigate further to find the billing solution that best suits your company’s particular needs.
A successful air freshener business must always stand behind its products and services and reflect the importance of this industry in both domestic and global commerce. A strong work ethic and desire to always do more than expected (and more than the competition) for each client is certain to reap the rewards of a successful air freshener service business.
Final thoughts on aroma: The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. ~ Patrick Suskind
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