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Question 2019 - how's business?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by ARFineFraming, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. ARFineFraming

    ARFineFraming Grumbler in Training


    I am wondering how your business is faring this year so far. Anyone experiencing a downturn in sales? I'm presently struggling in a big way. I've been a framer for almost 31 years, and a business owner/framer for almost 11, and it's getting scary.

    I do realize many factors go into this subject. I appreciate any response. Keep it simple.. for now!

    Many thanks,
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

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  2. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Doing just fine, thanks for asking!!

    TWO SNAPS UP.jpg
  3. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We took all of January off. But had someone watch the shop the last 2 weeks of January. Customers still left artwork for quoting while we were away and now it catch up time for us. I do think it is a little slower then usual, but then again Townsville is flooded and the supermarket shelves in Cairns are half empty due to transport not getting through. So everyone is waiting for the rains to slow here and get back to normal.
    ARFineFraming likes this.
  4. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Excellent - it has hardly slowed down since December, I'm 3 weeks out with my orders.
    alacrity8 and ARFineFraming like this.
  5. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Our January provided us with the two largest frame orders ever. One for the largest number of frames (1050) and one for the large dollar amount (I'd rather not say...!).
  6. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Our business is good right now, but I know what you're going through. These times call for the kind of analysis that makes your head hurt.

    Is your business slow, but other framers are doing O.K.? Could be your location. Could be something you're doing (or not doing). If it's your location, other, different types of businesses in your area should be suffering. Ask them.

    How's the local economy? Again, a change of location may be in order.

    Schmoozing artists and gallery owners may help.

    Try asking someone who knows you and your business well if anything sticks out to them as being off. Sometimes the solution to the most perplexing of problems is perfectly obvious to another person.
  7. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Other than carrying over 30 jobs from December and an order for 680 mats, it was quiet. In real terms, we are behind last year, which was behind 2017. Not good.
    ARFineFraming likes this.
  8. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    The wife and I were off in Florida for the month of January, got back last week and was hammered! BEST ever.
  9. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Renee, from your note, it sounds like this slow time is different than in the past. Have you had a sudden, sustained gap in orders that's different than winters past, or has it been going on for longer?
    I took a look at your website, and it's great. The only thing I can think of with that is, perhaps changing up the photos, with some images of recent, dynamic designs. Another thing you could do is to
    think of how you would engage with some cultural event happening in your community. As the longtime owner of a local business, you've likely done this many times already, but the process of
    gearing up for novelty can help to generate creative energy. When a big concert came to town a few years ago, we did a few tweaks that to this day are good for business. Another question would
    be, do other businesses in your area seem to be thus affected? If so, perhaps you can make something good happen together.
    ARFineFraming likes this.
  10. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    We continue to get hammered.
    I had to skip lunch 2 days this week.:oops:
    There are 6 of us working in 2 buildings now and we are looking at a possible 3rd building for storing finished commercial jobs waiting for pick up.

    The 300 framed mirrors with zbar and security hangers are finished, we also supplied the mirrors.
    They are being picked up in a few days.
    That's about 5 tons of mirrors and frames and I made every frame....:eek: (I let the younger guys do the fitting;))
    You can't pick that up in a van....

    Just finished some large framed photo posters for a steak restaurant in Houston that will be crated and shipped.
    Tons of framing for some hospitals.
    Going to Las Vegas next week to install at another restaurant and Vegas just got snow...:confused:

    All this along with the pile of regular retail framing and residential custom mirrors and frames.
    I'm working on a high end 5 mirror residential job now that has 3 double frames, one triple frame and one ornate black lacquer frame (gotta' pattern match on this).
    All large and one of the frames, the triple, is 87" x 67".

    The new building and remodeling is very busy in Phoenix.
    New building, new walls, more framing.
    I've seen this happen before and it happens in cycles.
    Hope everyone is doing well.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
    Dave and alacrity8 like this.
  11. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Geez I enjoy Neil's posts.
  12. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    This past January 83% more in sales comparing to last year January. Super busy.
    shayla likes this.
  13. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I wasn't lying before. Our business was good at the time. Since the middle of February, it's like everyone's left town.

    Really odd.
  14. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    It's been slow the past two weeks, but I'm behind, so it feels busy.
  15. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Same here.
  16. ckelley

    ckelley Grumbler

    Unusually quiet. We have had awful winter weather. I'm hoping things will improve as the weather
    shayla likes this.
  17. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It's been my experience that winter sales tend to be greatly influenced by the weather. For that reason, winter sales tend to stand alone, having little correlation to the rest of the year.
    shayla likes this.
  18. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Our experience is that, while Aug-Oct hold our records, Jan-Mar is consistently our best three months.

    Jan-Feb this year were spectacular. But unless March takes a sudden turn (and it could - we have a few deal make-or-breaks in the works), it will only be a decent first quarter.
  19. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    What is this thing you call "winter"?o_O
  20. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It's that time of year where the daytime highs are generally below 100°.
    neilframer likes this.
  21. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Strong first quarter so far. Fairly consistent week to week with just enough down time to catch our breath.
    46 piece job starts arriving Monday, but will count toward the 2nd quarter.
    We do both retail and corporate which play nicely off each other.
    Mike Labbe likes this.
  22. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    And, that largest dollar customer just double paid an invoice. When I told them, I got this response:

    This wasn't for the "largest ever order" received in January, but one we did in December, for "only" $47,000. My interpretation of the response was that they would have never noticed it if I hadn't told them (they are a $150MM company).
    Dave and Mike Labbe like this.
  23. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    2018 was up and the first quarter has been good so far. We were inspired to buy a new CMC as a result. The weather plays a big part in how busy it is for us.

    Hopefully good fortune continues for us and for everyone in this discussion, now that spring is here.
  24. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Spring is where?

    We only got about 2" in the last two days, but friends of ours just 20 miles away got over a foot.

    I was pruning our apple trees this afternoon and there were places I sunk in almost to my knee.:D
  25. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    You have a point. Spring is very shy this year! hah
  26. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I stretched and framed 3- 40" x 106" canvases this week and built floater frames for them.
    We also just stretched and framed one that is 84" x 84" in a floater.
    I always have to check with the moulding companies on jobs like these to see if the moulding is even available that long.o_O
    Also, 40 other pieces to go along with these canvases, many of them matted and shadow boxed in frames.
    These are all for hospitals.

    Then there is the 48" x 104" gallery wrap original canvas, not printed, of Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer that I stretched and framed this week.
    They are both smoking cigarettes in the painting....:p
    I designed and sold this job in between all of the other stuff.

    Then there is also the 4 pages of regular retail framing on the production list to do....
    We have branched out into laser cutting and engraving work and now printing....
    Are we busy?....:eek:;)

    Just saw my doctor this week and even after 50 years of framing, he says that I can keep going.....:D
    I think that I will.:cool:
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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