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FramerSelect - The Real Scoop

Jay Goltz

Grumbler in Training
I’ve noticed the comments on FramerSelect and would like to share some insight. The idea of framers advertising together and trading referrals dates back to an article in which I was interviewed for Art Business News, October 1984. I only know this because I recently came across the article. It wasn’t until about three years ago that I finally figured out a way of making this work through the use of a new business tool called the Internet. It took me two more years to decide whether I was up to the challenge of putting this together, signing people up, and running it. All the while, I was fine-tuning my own advertising for not only Artists’ Frame Service, but also my other ventures—a garden store and a home store, using magazine advertising. It wasn’t until last year that I felt I had all of the pieces to the puzzle. Here are the pieces:

1. Branding. I CUSTOM frame about 1,000 pictures a week. Not hotels, not wholesale, not low-end. Custom Picture Framing. Just like you do. If any of you doubt that, come to my showroom on a Saturday afternoon and talk to one of my 10 Sales Consultants. Or any of my suppliers. Or anyone who has come to my business. Part of the reason I have grown to this size is because I understand and use branding. Just like Coca Cola, BMW, Disney, Nike… Branding is shaping the way people think about your business. That is what FramerSelect helps the independent framer do. Differentiation. Professionalism. Stability. We do that through the advertising, brochure, window sticker, and everything else people see with the FramerSelect logo on it.

2. Targeted marketing. Only 5-10% of the population custom frame pictures. I learned a long time ago that if you try to advertise to everybody, you are going to be ineffective. While I am happy to frame anything for anybody, I have found to make advertising cost effective you have to attract better customers. Customers that come to you because they want better quality framing. Not a bargain. Not the cheapest thing you’ve got. These better customers are reading upscale, home-related magazines. That’s why all of the home related product companies advertise in them. FramerSelect has a beautiful ad going into the better home magazines that your potential customers are reading.

3. The Internet. This is not e-commerce business. We are not trying to sell product over the Internet. We are giving away information, which the Internet has proven tremendous success at. We are teaching people about framing and sending customers to their local FramerSelect member. Studies show that the Internet influences 12% of purchases. That’s a lot of people.

4. Business expertise. I’ve given a lot of business classes over the years to people in the industry. I have also given numerous classes and speeches to all sorts of industries about many aspects of growing your business. As many of you know, I wrote, “The Street-Smart Entrepreneur” and have sold over 20,000 copies of it. I have seen first hand that most small business owners could use assistance and education on how to grow their business. I have grown my business from just myself to over 100 employees. I am by no means the smartest business guy on earth, but I do know how to make a small business less small. Numerous people have told me that their incomes have gone up dramatically since implementing enlightened business strategies I laid out in my seminars. FramerSelect harnesses advice from myself as well as other leaders in the industry.

I debuted the FramerSelect concept in Atlanta last year and got a very favorable response. I hired Jeff Grabowski, who formerly ran over 100 Warner Bros. Galleries, to run FramerSelect in January. For all practical purposes, FramerSelect is only four months old. I officially launched the advertising and website on April 1st. We are about to announce a strategic alliance with some major art providers which will give consumers more reasons to visit the web site and many reasons which require a framer. Today, we have over 100 members and are signing on new frame shops weekly. I am proud to say that I have the most successful framers in America signed up on the program. I can only tell you, the more successful, the quicker they signed up. Why? Because this makes sense. Good business sense. The power of advertising, branding, business information, referrals and the use of the Internet - all for $120 a month. People pay 10 times that price to be part of franchise. The benefits of joining FramerSelect begin the day you open your start-up kit, put the FramerSelect sticker on your window and place the brochures out on your counter.


You also have no idea how stubborn I am.

I have launched five successful businesses in my time and have had to “weather the storm” before. I have gotten used to the fact that between starting and turning the corner can take 1-3 years. At the rate I’m going, we’ll have critical mass by the end of the year – less than one year from launch date and faster than any other business I’ve started.

I never had the intention of signing up all of the framers in America. I’m only looking for 4% to 5%. From my experience, 65% of framers have no intention of growing their business, have no idea of how to grow their business, or think they can grow their business without spending any money. The other 30% will think about joining FramerSelect—for the rest of their lives. That’s o.k. I’m counting on the 5% of framers that are not content with “standing on the side lines.” People like Bob Carter, John Raines, Marc Bluestone, Marc Lizer, Rob Markoff, Lyn Holt, Sandy Mizerak, Derek & Christine Vandeberg, Rick Bergeron, Nina Bataller, David Conner, Tom McKeon…you probably recognize some of these names.

To those who have already signed up: I thank you for your foresight and am humbled by your support. I dig in every day to improve and evolve FramerSelect. I am very excited about its progress. To those of you who are waiting to see what happens, it already is—everyday. Some people sit on the sidelines because it’s a safe place to be. I didn’t grow my business by playing it safe. I’m always looking for news ways to stay ahead of the curve. FramerSelect is the culmination of everything I’ve done right for the last 23 years.

If you have any questions, I invite you to post them here on The Grumble so I can reply to all. For details on the program, visit our website and call Jeff Grabowski or myself.

- Jay Goltz
www.framerselect.com
800-444-8387
 
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framegroup

Grumbler
Well said Jay!
Initially my company joined Framer Select with just one of its stores. We subsequently added additional stores and will add 2 more next week.
Framer Select is a fabulous way of reaching the most desirable customers and an effective tool for bringing our industry to the attention of better consumers.
An unexpected benefit of joining Framer Select was the positive reaction of my staff. They appreciate that their company is progressive enough to join a nationwide referral network of better framers. Our presence among the other fine Framer Select members made them feel great!

Marc

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Marc Bluestone
FrameGroup Incorporated
marc@framegroup.net
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
A strong endorsement can be found in the company we keep. It elevates us to a higher plane than we could attain by ourselves. To have our name in the same paragraph with some of the best names in the biz is justification alone. We want to learn from the best and share with the rest.
 
C

Croatcat

Guest
So are there any guarantees? I've wasted a lot of money on useless advertising over the years.

One more question. How many hits has the web-site taken? It would be nice to be able to seperate the curious framer from the curious customer.
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I got the info packet earlier this year, filled out the questionaire, sent it in. That's as far as I've gotten. I'm still on the fence. I was wondering if Framer's Select has denied membership to anyone, or if anyone who pays the money will become a member. I am not afraid to say I am very good at what I do, and I don't want to be thrown into a mix of sub-standard, or even average, framers.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
I have a great deal of respect for Jay and his business acumen, as most people do. I am considering joining up with his Framer Select organization, that is, if I qualify.

I do have a question though. Have any of you that has joined, actually had a customer come through your door and made a purchase from you as a direct result of being a member yet?

John
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JRB:Have any of you that has joined, actually had a customer come through your door and made a purchase from you as a direct result of being a member yet?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

John (JRB),

No, but I do anticipate to receive some.

I can honestly report that my LiveStats have recorded 8 redirects to my own website from the FramerSelect.com domain, over the past 90 days. That number is bound to increase over the next few months.

John



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The Frame Workshop of Appleton, Inc.
www.theframeworkshop.com
Appleton, Wisconsin
jerserwi@aol.com
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On behalf of FramerSelect, I would like to answer some of the questions posted.

Web pages visited: 260,396 between March 26th and August 1st.
46,491 April
48,739 May
62,983 June
82,440 July

FramerSelect promotes the best frame shops in America. A trip through our web site will show that the best and most celebrated independent framers are among our members. To date, FramerSelect has denied membership for the following reasons:

1. Franchise/Chains Frame shops which belong to a chain or franchise.
2. Lack of experience Framers who do not meet our minimum requirement of framing
experience.
3. Storefront Lack of an independent storefront for their operation.
4. Business hours Not open traditional business hours in their area.
5. Wholesale Frame shops specializing in wholesale verses custom framing.
6. Customer Service Lack of good customer service communication skills.
7. Proximity A qualified frame shop that is too close to an existing member.
8. Country Not located in the USA or Canada.

There are additional criteria beyond this required for membership. You can contact us directly for details.

FramerSelect has been referring hundreds of consumers monthly from requests we receive by phone, email and reader response cards from the magazines in which we advertise. This does not include those who visit our web site and find a framer on their own. While we would love it if every referral walked into a frame shop and said, “Hi. I was referred to you by FramerSelect.” we do not expect this to be the case. Think about the last five establishments you patron; did you mention to the employee what form of advertisement brought you into their place of business that particular day?

Advertising by its nature cannot be guaranteed. The difficulty of tracing customers back to the ad source is practically impossible without the use of discounting or coupons. FramerSelect does not require a long-term contract. If at any time a member feels the program is not right for them, they can discontinue membership with a thirty-day written notice.

FramerSelect is much more than just an ad program. FramerSelect offers branding, marketing, and business expertise.


FramerSelect guarantees to provide the following:

Branding

In-Store Identification.
Window signage and promotional items that identify your store as a member of a national organization dedicated to providing exceptional quality framing.

Promotional Materials.
Counter-top/mailer brochures and postcards used to attract and educate consumers on the intricacies of custom framing, options and techniques available.

National Affiliations.
The FramerSelect logo and trademarks used in conjunction with national publications, industry associations and a network of independently owned frame shops provides accreditation to all those associated with it.


Marketing

Targeted Advertising.
FramerSelect places ads in two to three key publications per month whose readership averages over $70,000 per year household income and is interested in home décor, art and framing. FramerSelect will soon announce partnerships with major art providers that will direct mail information on FramerSelect to ALL customers purchasing art (framed or unframed) from their web site or in their gallery.

Internet Presence.
With 84% of American households earning over $75K per year using the Internet to influence their purchasing decisions, FramerSelect’s web site provides the consumer with framing education and a directory of FramerSelect frame shops near them. Each FramerSelect member is provided with a web page detailing their shops business address, hours of operation and expertise. The page includes a hyperlink to their own web site and photographs of their shop or framed samples.

Customer Referrals.
FramerSelect receives daily requests for frame shop referrals via four different methods. Telephone, email and reader response cards from the magazines in which we advertise are in addition to those consumers visiting our web site and looking up their local member on their own.


Business Expertise.

Monthly Newsletter.
Jay Goltz, FramerSelect staff and other leaders in the industry provide valuable insight designed to help grow your business.

Proven Strategies and Advice.
FramerSelect implements the same business/marketing strategies that Jay Goltz used to grow his custom framing business to over $7.5 mil in sales and nearly 100 employees.

Vendor Programs.
FramerSelect connects you with the best vendors in the industry and provides added value through exclusive offerings and promotions.


The cost of membership is $120 per month. There are a variety of ways to obtain value from the program whether it is from customer referrals, brochures, branding advertisements, monthly business advice or special vendor offerings. FramerSelect drives consumer awareness of high quality custom picture framing, provides expertise from leaders in the industry to help grow your business and elevates the independent framer in an industry filled with franchises, chain stores and mediocrity.


------------------
Jeff Grabowski
FramerSelect
1871 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
800-444-8387 www.framerselect.com

[This message has been edited by Jeff Grabowski (edited August 15, 2001).]
 

Cheryl Crocker CPF GCF

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Regarding the Independent Storefront requirement, is this to mean only frameshops located in freestanding buildings will be considered?

I don't recall seeing this in the literature you all sent, but will check.

If this is the case, there is only one framer out of ALL of us in the "High Country" who will qualify. We are all located in strip malls with three of us catering to an upper-end clientele.

Please clarify.
 

Sandie

True Grumbler
Cheryl..The "independant storefront" means a business located in a retail space, not a home, garage, etc.
I have been a member of FramerSelect almost since the start. I am in a strip mall just like you.

Sandie
 

framegroup

Grumbler
I JUST SCORED WITH FRAMER SELECT!

First a disclaimer… although I am a good friend of Jay Goltz’s, the story I am about to tell is true and is not influenced by any person or persons at Framer Select.

Yesterday morning, we received a phone call from a person representing a large national company. They are opening an operation in our city and needed a company to frame art that they will provide (large advertising posters).

We provided a price quote, faxed and emailed back and forth a few times, then concluded the day by receiving a commitment for a $5000.00 order.

Additionally, they tell us that we will be asked to repeat this order twice in the next 90 days (another $10,000.00) and assuming good service we will have a chance at completing projects for this company in other cities.

How did this out-of-state company learn of us you ask?

THEY FOUND US THROUGH FRAMER SELECT!

Needless to say, I am pleased to have won these orders. I am also pleased to be able to share this story as further validation of Framer Select. Congratulations Jay!


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Marc Bluestone
FrameGroup Incorporated
marc@framegroup.net
 
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