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Question 2019 - how's business?

ARFineFraming

Grumbler in Training
Greetings

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,
Renée
 
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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.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Excellent - it has hardly slowed down since December, I'm 3 weeks out with my orders.
 

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.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme 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.
 

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.
 

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.
 
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tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Geez I enjoy Neil's posts.
 

Gilder

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
This past January 83% more in sales comparing to last year January. Super busy.
 

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.
 

shayla

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

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.
 

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.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
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.
What is this thing you call "winter"?o_O
 

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.
 

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

Thank you very much for letting us know, and my apologies for the further confusion. That invoice paid twice was from the month I was out of the office, and I must have missed that had been submitted. We had also switched AP systems during that time, so I imagine that is how it slipped through our usual safeguard which catches duplicate invoices.
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).
 

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.
 

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
 

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:
 
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