Business profile for Oct. 11

Name: Cindi Crabtree
Name of Business/Address: The Laundry, 555 Ledford St., in Craig, 824-WASH (9274).

What prompted you to open your business in Craig? After I was laid off from Cyprus/Empire in 1995, I decided to start my own business. I could have worked at Twentymile mine, but the job would have meant a long drive and time away from my family, which I didn't want to do.

How did you get into your line of work? I wanted to find a niche in Craig that would allow me to be involved in the community.

What is your philosophy of being a good businesswoman? I think honesty, fairness and the ability to reach out to your customers are the most important aspects of being a good owner. We greet eveyone who walks through the doors and make sure to thank them before they leave.

How do you define the role of your business in the community? The Laundry helps a lot of Craig residents who have physical limitations or just don't have the time to do laundry. For people who do their own laundry here, it's a nice place to catch up with friends or just relax and watch some television.

What is the best part of your job? The best part is at the end of the day knowing I've treated people like I want to be treated and have given my customers the best possible service.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Time is my struggle. I'm always learning how to balance family, friends and work.

What advice would you give someone considering opening his or her own business? Once you've decided what kind of business you want to open, study the market. Ken Farmer at the Small Business Administration gave me wonderful advice. Before I opened my business, I spent three months studying 38 laundries in three different states. I took pictures and talked to business owners about what worked for them. Then I came back and designed my business.

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