If one goes in search of a definitive answer to the question of what type of business concept with great market potential and small initial investments is currently worth investing in in the Republic of Croatia, few people would be able to give you the real answer, and the real answer is as bland as laundry. No, really.
As Jasmina Trstenjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of March, 2019, the current estimates are that the number of overnight stays realised by foreign tourists, especially in private accommodation, will increase in Croatia this sumemr season, and such commercial facilities will have virtually no real outlet to deal with proper cleaning, washing, drying and the general supply of products for accommodation units like hotels do, which is an increasing problem with each passing season.
Along with the strengthening of the position of Croatia as an attractive tourist destination far from Europe’s shores all the way over on distant markets such as China and Korea, it’s expected that this guest profile will visit more than one destination within the country. As the trend of short overnight stays of course goes hand in hand with doing a lot of laundry, this is a big challenge for renters along the coast and beyond.
In Croatia, numerous hospitality and accommodation facilities rely heavily on laundry services to enable them to operate smoothly throughout the season. Although such facilities, which until rather recently only appeared in American films, are becoming more and more of a common sight here in Croatia. Regardless of the fact that they’re making more ”regular appearences”, there still aren’t enough of them currently in operation.
Mario Martinek, the owner of the Bijeli svijet (White world) company that has been doing business successfully on both the domestic and European markets for many years now, says that a significant number of Croatian workers are working abroad now, and lack of service staff is one of the main obstacles to overcome:
“Because of this, there’s often a lack of people to do the basic activities such as the frequent washing and drying of bedding,” says Bijeli svijet’s owner. In the last four years in Croatia, Martinek’s company has worked to open more than 80 such facilities, through which more than 200 people were employed.
“In addition to hotels and campsites, there are many families looking for an independent source of income, and we’re particularly proud of that,” he added, noting that no special technical skills or previous entrepreneurial experience are needed to run a laundry service.
They offer their clients free education, assistance with self-employment, and a step by step guide through the entire whole process: from collecting grants to starting work and opening and working in their own facilities. On the other hand, hotels, camps, restaurants and other larger facilities, by incorporating professional equipment, manage to realise significant savings on energy, such as on electricity and water. Savings on electricity consumption are 25 percent, and on water, a significant 44 percent per year.
According to the Bijeli svijet’s data, in 90 percent of cases, laundry facilities are profitable business-wise all year long, and the process from idea to realisation takes a mere two months on average.
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