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Calling all entrepreneurs!!!

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Framing Goddess, Nov 7, 2000.

  1. Framing Goddess

    Framing Goddess SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Okay, it is the Goddess here again!
    I have a friend who has been framing for eons and just recently bought an existing shop. Now she would like to expand again and she says that it just isn't her style to start a shop from the ground up. Of course, the Goddess started her own business many moons ago and as nightmarish as it got at times, I would still recommend it to someone like her. But why?
    So I am asking for input from all of you fine
    Framing Folk who are entrepreneurs.
    What were the advantages and disadvantages of starting your own? Would you do it again? Would you ever consider buying an existing business?
    You all are The Best for even reading this!
    -The Framing Goddess
     
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  2. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Goddess-Too may variables to be answered here, but if she would like to email me directly, I'll try to help. My only caution to anyone is to know what you want,and have some plan on how to get there. Without that minimum, I wouldn't step off the curb. I've opened 7 of these babies, closed two and sold one, so I've got a little experience
     
  3. silent pic

    silent pic Guest

    i have started 3 shops from the ground up. in my home town in new york at 19,8 years later in santa barbara california and another 8 years later in las vegas. all successful,still all existing in there same locations!
    i think you need to be a certain type of person to work in retail to start.whether you buy a shop or start from nothing. if you think retail is for you then you consider the pros and cons of starting one yourself, buying an existing one, or getting into a chain.
    i had a chance to buy and bid on a 30 yr old frame shop in ca.
    i decided to do my own thing. for one it was less $ to start my own. but buying an existing shop has advantages, you have an existing client list,$ coming in, hopefullly a good reputation. years later the guy who did buy that frame shop told me i did the right thing by starting on my own . he was my major competitor. besides the big boys.
    it is a long haul to start with nothing. i am experiencing this once again here in las vegas. my toughest nut to crack yet because of the size of the town.
    it has been very rewarding to see my efforts take off. i do not think i would ever buy an existing business but for some they might need the guidence. i would never ever buy into a francise. have seen too many people sign there lives away and get ripped off after alot of hard work.
    my email address is silentpictures@earthlink.net if you want to futher this conversation.
    good luck....beth
     
  4. cfkane

    cfkane True Grumbler

    I am currently starting my own shop, and can't imagine doing it any other way. There is a pride in having something that is completely your own, without having to purge the ghosts of a previous owner; you never know who he catered to or how, how his disposition differs from yours, his history with his clients, those personal achievements or tragedies they may have shared. It's alot of baggage I wouldn't want to inherit, choosing to carve my own niche and create my own histories, thank you.

    Good luck to your friend. Always room for another Clevelander. Does she like Elvis, too?

    ------------------
    "What's so funny about peace, love, and undersatnding?"
     
  5. Don

    Don Grumbler

    if I had it to do over, my first coniderations on buying a business would be what kind of clientele does the business have? Is it one that I want to cater to? Do I have something to offer them? I feel that buying omeone elses equipment and stock is too much hassle. If the price is good and the clientele is great then go for it. Otherwise, find an area that has a need and can provide your type of costumer and start your own.

    ------------------
     
  6. gemsmom

    gemsmom SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My plans are to retire in three years to pursue other interests. I would like to sell my (sucessful) shops, but you guys are not giving me too much encouragment here. I hate to think that I will have toiled twenty years to make my business what it is, only to have to continue to work or close it, because it would be more gratifying, or cheaper, for someone to go ground up. It makes more sense to me to pay off a note and have a good income, than start from scratch, pay off a note, and have little or no income.
     
  7. Framing Goddess

    Framing Goddess SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good point!
    I think some of us are talented at pioneering and some of us are good at maintaining. ("are you an Aries or a Taurus...?)
    I think both are important. Didn't mean to discourage anyone--- just wanted to compare and contrast everyone else's views with mine!
    If all goes well, my business will be for sale some day also.
     
  8. lise

    lise CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    When we first started investigating the possibility of starting our own framing business, we were really naive. We wanted so bad to relocate to our nearby tourist town of Banff that we were willing to do almost anything to buy a local gallery. Thankfully, we didn't get it because business went downhill by 25% with the Asian money crisis within a year. The owners who were trying to sell went bankrupt.
    Similarly, we tried to buy a gallery and frame shop in the city, we changed our minds at the last minute because it didn't feel right, an old friend of mine bought it instead and was left with a pile of old debts ($40,000) that her lawyer didn't uncover.
    We decided to start from scratch and it has been well worth it. There are certain businesses that I would buy, but they are hard to come by. Usually the owner won't sell what is very profitable. Be sure to investigate the reasons that the business is selling. Do some undercover investigation, and have an accountant scrutinize the books. Don't trust anyone who says,"The books aren't showing a profit, but we both know there's lots of cash to be made."
    Stay well away from these types.
    Good Luck!
     
  9. gemsmom

    gemsmom SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    From what I've been hearing here, and on the Hitchikers, is many of the businesses are placed for sale when they are beginning to fail. I guess it makes sense, why hold on to the Titanic? I'm too honest to do such a thing and couldn't live with the guilty conscience if the buyers couldn't make a "go" of it.
     
  10. ArtLady

    ArtLady SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Many times when people purchase a business they are not looking to learn how the business was successful from the previous owner. They are coming in with their own ideas. After all it is now their business. Perhaps this could be also be a reason that businesses fail. There are many success stories out their where businesses were purchased with great results. You would not hear about the successes because they have no complaints and do not need help.

    ------------------
    Timberwoman
    AL
    I cut the mat, I pet the =^..^= cat.
     
  11. B Carter

    B Carter Guest

    You described what we learned as "The Bigger Fool Theory", you know you're a bigger fool than the prior owner
     
  12. sumik

    sumik CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Here's a question for you all. It was recently suggested that I buy the business where I have worked for 3 1/2 years. It's not doing so well because of poor management. However (this will really sound conceited) I have brought in more frame business than they ever had before, and I could keep all the existing customers happy as usual. Plus manage the store better than it has been. I am afraid to approach the owners about this idea for fear of being fired. Or I could go to the bank and try for a loan. Or I could just ride the horse till it dies then go from there. Any advice? P.S. Hello to certain frame suppliers who monitor this forum! Ha Ha!!!!
     
  13. lise

    lise CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Sumik, be wary of purchasing this buisiness. If the owners are not doing that well, there may be concealed payables that you may never know about. We ran into the same scenario. What was offered as an alternative to us was to purchase the assets only, (no value in a lack of retained earnings and goodwill only includes ongoing contracts or exceptional reputation) have the rights to the name, negotiate a fair lease transfer, and register a new company. That way you won't be liable for their bad business debts.
     
  14. lise

    lise CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Sumik, be wary of purchasing this buisiness. If the owners are not doing that well, there may be concealed payables that you may never know about. We ran into the same scenario. What was offered as an alternative to us was to purchase the assets only, (no value in a lack of retained earnings and goodwill only includes ongoing contracts or exceptional reputation) have the rights to the name, negotiate a fair lease transfer, and register a new company. That way you won't be liable for their bad business debts.
     
  15. sumik

    sumik CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Thanks for the advise Lise. I pretty much know what is owed on past due bills. It's not tremendous. I would certainly subtract that amount from what I think the business is worth. The owner is also the building owner, so I would still be connected for a while to them which could be uncomfortable. I would just feel like a heel starting a new shop and taking business from them. Thanks again. Susan
     
  16. JOHNG

    JOHNG Guest

    iT'S CHEAPER TO LET THE STORE GO UNDER FIND THE LANDLORD FOR THE STORE YOU ARE IN, AND THEN RELEASE THE SPACE WITH A NEW NAME AND ALL. IF I COULD DO IT ALL AGAIN THAT IS WHAT i WOULD HAVE DONE.
     
  17. sherry gray

    sherry gray Guest

    I bought an existing business 5 years ago and have never looked back. My shop was the only frame shop in the area and had a tremendously good reputation... and that is still true. I had no framing experience but "inherited" an employee with some years experience. While having no experience may seem like a detriment to some, it really was an asset because I focused on customer service and the business end of things. In less than 3 months I took the shop out of the red and have shown a steadily increasing profit since. I cannot stress enough that you need a super accountant. After I got my feet on the ground I went to framing school to give me more confidence; and have hired some incredible employees. We must also remember that a lot (may I say the majority) of talented framers are not business people; therefore it is wise to totally delve into an existing business, making sure that in the process you don't assume any debts of the previous owner. I don't have a business degree but I read and take classes as often as possible and try to increase my skills in both framing and business.
     
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