Recently, I walked into a drycleaner. As far as I can tell, there was no line out the door - soon it would be apparent why!
"Hi, I wanted to see how much it would cost to get these trousers cleaned? And when they'd be ready?" These seemed to be reasonable questions..
"Our prices are right there." The lady at the counter seemed annoyed and pointed to a "sign" on the wall, which was little more than a photocopy with not-so-large print that I had to squint to read. (Here I should point out that I've had 20-20 vision for years and still have my private pilots license.)
"Oh," I responded. "It says something about 'starting at price" and 'average' price."
"Do you want me to give you a quote?" Apparently, I was getting even more on her nerves.
"Yes, please." At this point I'm wondering why I came here in the first place. There has to be another store somewhere around here, right?
"When would they be ready?" I asked again.
"Friday after 5 pm." It was Tuesday. "You can go next doors. There's another store."
"Thanks," I said with relief, happy to get out of there.
When I got to the 2nd store, the gentleman seemed eager to assist.. and dare I say, happy to see me? He was professional and down to business, yet I didn't feel like an inconvenience or that he'd rather get back to whatever he was doing.
What a difference? So, I did some back of the envelope math on what this cost the value of the business. Not including years of lost sales, I figured that if the lady next door cost her store one $7.09 sale a day that this was about $19,908 per year. Given that drycleaners are valued at 30% of sales, as a rule of thumb, this means that it's costing the owner $5,972.