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Great Article by Jay Goltz

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by hangupsgallery, May 1, 2008.

  1. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Sponsor Wanted
  2. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Great? Funny, I read it and thought "what an interesting way to warp the data to say what you want it to say." Seems to be some pretty strong rose colored filtering on those glasses.
  3. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Seems better than the doom & gloom constantly presented here on the G.

    His final statement... "The success of this industry is going to be about what you do. Those who are here are already ahead of the game. For every one of you here, there are 10 people in this industry hiding in their frame shops waiting for the next recession."

    I think his point is get out there and make it happen
    ...nothing rose colored about that.
  4. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I admire Jay greatly and respect his ability and he may be correct

    I am not so sure that I buy into the assumptions, however

    I must provide a caveat. For the past 5 yrs, as a Board member of PPFA, I spent a fair amount of energy and effort on Market Research. Can't remember if I ever saw any data indicating BB's had half the market. Last data I saw was about 36%; but what was significant is that for the first time that market share exceeded we independents

    Jay makes an incredible leap of faith suggesting average tickets between us, followed up by a pretty interesting comment of how we share this same client, further clouding the numbers. Again, he may be correct

    But, may I offer my own "rose colored glasses"?

    Exactly what is it that they do to take half the market that we shouldn't be doing?

    Mrs Brown goes to them for the poster frame, but comes to us for the christening gown? Why don't we get after that poster biz, too? Why do we automtically abdicate such a huge (over 50% according to Jay) share?

    Here is what we do know with a fair amount of certainty

    They do, on average, between 3 and 3.5 more dollar volume than we

    We have a Market share of about 33%; according to Jay, they over 50%. In fairness, if it is actually 50% then I suspect that ours has shrunken some, too

    So, you want some "rose colored glasses"?

    Look at all that Market Share that is there for the taking
  5. Mecianne

    Mecianne SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well, my disagreement lies with the "stomach spending $3000". Does that mean anything like "pull it outta my butt?"

    As for affording to go to the show, that could mean not making a rent payment for some folks. Most people live paycheck to paycheck. I call it customer to customer.

    Okay...and maybe one more disagreement. I don't think that the thinning out of indy shops is because they aren't all good framers. Maybe some for that reason, but probably many more because framing isn't the most lucrative career.

    I don't consider myself a glass half empty person, mind you. I just wanna know who's been drinking my beer.
  6. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ok, there are many ways to take an optimistic, proactive view and approach to our industry and our own businesses. I think there is plenty of business out there as Bob points out from one possible perspective.

    I think Jay's "it's up to you" sentiment is probably accurate.

    I think Jay making things up that have no basis in data is misleading and just plain silly.

    I would paraphrase the article thusly:

    "Based on my years of experience, intuition, and other peoples optimism, it's good to be in custom framing right now. If you work hard at your business you can succeed."

    Welll, Duh
  7. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I don't think he was implying that you "pull it outta" anything. That would be anatomically impossible. (and painful) What he is saying is that opening and running a business requires some investment in the proper equipment and training to maintain your relevance in todays market. Do you need to go to a show every year? Probably not. Every two or three years works for me. Some need it more often, some not at all.

    He also pointed out that we have made a tremendous shift from a cottage industry, from accidental framers, to a professional retail industry. There are still those, however, who see this as their dream career. In comparison to other industries, with very little investment and zero knowhow, can hang up a shingle and WALLA "now I are one." (accually, all you need to do is clear out a spot in the basement and you're in business.) Just look at the posts on this Forum and the questions asked by future wannabees. Hey, 25 years ago, I was an "accidental framer", but times have changed.

    Please don't take this as a slam on home based folks, but there is a reason that they have chosen that business model. Low risk, low investment, low overhead, freedom of schedule, learn as you go ......, Hmmm, sounding better all the time.
  8. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The problem Steve, is that Goltz pulled those numbers out of his a**. None of those figures had any factual basis.

    To throw that many numbers around so wrecklessly is irresponsible journalism and a disservice to PFM's readership.
  9. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Boy, alot of things being "pulled out" of tight places on this thread. Couldn't argue the numbers one way or the other, nor could anyone else. I was thinking more in terms of the general point of his article. Just a good food for thought article. Wouldn't hang my entire business plan on it.
  10. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No, it would be reckless only if he presented his numbers as factual, which he did not. The man stated his opinion, nothing more, nothing less. I may question his opinion, but I have a great deal of respect for it.

    In the subject of his commentary, there are no proven-factual numbers to quote. I admire his willingness to stand up and give an informed opinion -- which his certainly is -- knowing some people in the industry would reject it and call it reckless, irresponsible, and a disservice.

    We may be fortunate that those people respond only with personal attacks and do not try to justify opinions of their own.
  11. Tim Hayes.

    Tim Hayes. SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "These companies may have compensated me in the past, or may in the future: 3M,ASAPTapes,AttachEZ,Bainbridge,Bienfang,Crescent ,Decor,DigitalCustom,Gemini,Fletcher-Terry,Kinetronics,Larson-Juhl,PFM,PicturePerfect,Pilm,Showcase,Tru-Vue,Valiani,WallBuddies, and others." Jim Miller

    Jim, as always you have once again demonstrated your personal consistently high level of integrity here.

    I personally think such info is unnecessary but what do I know. Next thing you know, some around here will be asking for full disclosure including tax returns, retinal scans and fingerprints.

  12. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'll back up my views, but Jim, I would hardly call what he wrote an informed opinion.

    In fact, in criticisng the article, I even ignored the fact half of the space was used, as usual, to pimp for advertisers.

    Goltz even went so far as to essentially call framers gutless if they don't go out and buy more equipment, or more moulding, etc. And he advised them that THEIR SUCCESS WOULD DEPEND ON IT.

    "Your success is going to depend on whether you have the stomach to go out and buy a $3,000 machine you should have bought three years ago or put another 30 moldings into your mix or look for new matboards and fabrics and fillets. That’s what’s going to determine your success."​

    You call this responsible? You call this serving the readership? This isn't reckless?

    How about this. He quotes an unnamed "recent survey."

    "First, I want to mention the recent survey that found that big boxes now have half the market in custom picture framing."​

    What survey? At the very least, it's shoddy journalism.

    Then, and this is really mind-blowing, he questions the validity of the study. That's right! He actually attempts to discredit the one piece of information in the article that supposedly had some basis of fact behind it.

    "Those numbers might be right, but I think they’re easy to misinterpret." ​

    He then spins them to fit his needs.

    Now Jim, you tell me why this is good, responsible journalism, that's providing a valuable service to the good people who read his column and may act based what they read.
  13. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Question for Bob,
    Wasn't the data that BB's finally had 50% of the market presented in Atlanta at the morning meeting where you and Dennis Comforto (I think that was his name) taked about the state of the industry?
    That is my memory of it, and I remember repeating that to a couple of our fellow Grumblers later that day. Perhaps I misunderstood.
  14. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Another thread taking place on the G asks the question, "What's wrong with our trade magazines?" Several have suggested that they would like to see more business oriented articles. So here we have a well respected, leader in our industry, offering a point of view for our consideration. Instead of soaking it in and gleaning any benefits and application for our own businesses, he is being taken to task for some illustrative numbers he uses to make a much broader point.

    Let's not squelch the dialoge. The whole point of the thread was to point out the article, good, bad or indifferent.

    Wow, it's graduation day here on the G!
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  15. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Try as I may, I can't seem to figure out what the controversy is about. Of coarse I only see 1/2 of the current discussion.

    Even as I'm not assaulted with the story it is more of the same vague jibber jabber we have come to expect in trade magazines.
  16. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hi Wally-I would never think my memory was that good, but, what I do remember is that, for the first time since we have been tracking, the Big Five had a "larger" share than we independents. I would have to go back and look it up for exact numbers but memory suggests that we indies were about 34-35% and the Big Five were about 36%

    Perhaps there are some major players not included in the Big Five that might swell that number, but I do not know that

    Wouldn't it be a hoot if that statement got to Jay and he quoted it based on my attribution

    I am not passing judgement on Jay's accuracy (primarily because he may be correct) but do agree with his message 100%. Jay is exercising a quality I wish I were better at; that being, making a soft point instead of my typical between the eyeballs approach

    We have a Carter tradition that basically suggests that we don't let the message get blurred by a few unknowns
  17. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Reckon he hit a nerve with someone with this line?

    "the people waiting for the recession or complaining about big boxes are going to slowly become the victims"
  18. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John, my dislike of BBs has nothing to do with anything. In fact, the only beef I have with BBs is when they run sales that are not really sales.
  19. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Paul, I'm not here to defend Jay Goltz's opinion. Actually, my interpretation of the current state of the industry differs from his -- but so does my business experience.

    That said, I'll tell you why that's good, responsible journalism from Jay Goltz: He gives us new perspectives, good ideas, and food for thought. That's my opinion, but what do I know? I'm not a professional journalist. Come to think of it, Jay Goltz probably isn't one of those, either. If only professional journalists were appreciated in our trade pubs, the content might change substantially, and not in a good way.

    Disagree with his opinion if you want. But if you want your opinion to have an audience among framers, you probably should present it. Then we can decide whose opinion makes more sense.

    Meanwhile, you are drowning the message by shooting the messenger. Again.
  20. Steph

    Steph SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Man, dontcha just luv a good cockfight on the G
  21. gemini

    gemini CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    People that don't like the message which is being delivered will always try to shoot holes thru it. Wether you disagree or not, its still a provoking message we should pay attention to.
    Generally Mr. Goltz writes very good, insightful articles. Sharing good information learned through trial and error. Hes hit home runs, and hes also struck out. I'll still pay attention to him.
  22. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    It’s not journalism, nothing in PFM, Decor or PMA magazine qualifies as journalism.

    If you want real news and reporting read the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal.

    Your being picky if your expect trade magazines articles to meet journalistic standards.

    That doesn’t mean the information doesn’t have value because it does. I read and enjoy all of them. [​IMG]

  23. rsee

    rsee CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Not even there

    Unfortunately, even the Post or the Journal have been devoid of REAL journalism lately - it's all either sensationalism, covering stories that they know will sell more papers (even though there are much more newsworthy things to cover), or pandering to big business or politicians.

    You're right, though. The important thing is to take what makes sense to you and let the rest of it go.

    Ron C.
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  24. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You're right -- there is plenty to be learned by trying to understand others opinions, wheher we agree or not. We gain new perspectives that way, or perhaps confirm our own differing views.

    When opposing opinions are discussed with mutual respect and reasoned argument, it's called a debate. Anyone can do it, and everyone involved can learn from that sort of exchange.

    Jay Goltz might be pleased to inspire a discussion about the state of the industry and the accuracy of various numbers from surveys. I doubt that he would mind if others "shoot holes through" his message, if it comes as a reasoned opinion and results in some benefit to framers.

    But that is not what's going on here. When the message is rejected simply because of the person who delivered it, there is no debate. There is no discussion of differing opinions. There is no benefit to anyone.

    It's like the difference between a discussion of different recipes, and a food fight. Unfortunately nobody's taking home a better "recipe" for business from this discussion.
  25. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The message was rejected because of the message. For you to state otherwise is unfair and inacurate.

    I went through the article and quoted line by line, what my objections were. I even gave you an opportunity to argue otherwise and you couldn't do it so you tried to make it seem like something else. You are doing exactly what you are accusing me of doing - rejecting the message because of the messenger. You villify me to deflect attention.

    I have a lot of respect for Jay Goltz, but not for this article, and not when he uses his column to shamelessly hawk product and does so while hiding behind a veil of giving advice.
  26. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Maybe you should privately email the magazine and/or Mr Goltz and share your opinion, because I don't think continuing it here will be of any positive value to the community.
  27. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ok, maybe I was too quick to be flip. but let's look at what he says.
    First he says half of the CUSTOM PICTURE FRAMING is done at BBs.

    Take Bob's numbers and say "memory suggests that we indies were about 34-35% and the Big Five were about 36%"

    As I recall, the survey was braoder than just "Custom" which probably gives Jay's number credibility.

    Then, ... Jay goes on to make assumptions about who and what people frame at BBs. Sorry, I don't buy it. BBs frame pretty much everything and why factor out the "jobs that would have never gone to a custom frame shop?" What's that? Why not? Makes no sense to me.

    Then, he says there are fewer frame shops. YEP! "We have thinned out the people who weren't framing well" huh? I don't buy it. Good or Bad framing hasn't been the factor in ANY of the frame shops I've seen close!

    He then states soem opinions that basically say the economy shouldn't factor in and "framing is back." Well, I'm not an economist, but I don't out of hand dismiss the relationship to the economy. "raming is back" - because there is some enthusiasm? huh?

    "e have shifted from a cottage industry to a professional retail industry" -- Well, I would saay we are still moving in that direction, but I sure wouldn't say we've made it? There are MANY MANY framers that are still struggling with the retail aspects of their business. What is the penetration of automation (POS et al) ? Sorry, but we're not "professional retail industry" with paper and pecil being as prevalent as it is in our industry!

    "The success ... not going to depend ... white house" I agree! Seems obvious. He then says your success depends on spending money. Huh? Your success depends on doing the right thing for your business. For many of us right now that means NOT spending money. Of course you have to be smart about it, but is implcation is silly.

    Customer just came in, I'll post this and maybe I'll get back later.
  28. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


    I don't understand why someone who has a business that depends on framers as customers would go to such extraordinary effort to offend here.
  29. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jay Goltz said in his article:

    "...Whether we have a recession or don’t or if we are already in a recession, I believe the difference is a matter of taking care of your own business...The success of any frame shop is not going to depend on who gets into the White House. Your success is going to depend on whether you have the stomach to go out and buy a $3,000 machine you should have bought three years ago or put another 30 moldings into your mix or look for new matboards and fabrics and fillets...

    The success of this industry is going to be about what you do...For every one of you here, there are 10 people in this industry hiding in their frame shops waiting for the next recession. They couldn’t “afford” to come to the show... After being here for three days, could you afford to not be at this show? Did you not make back what you spent 10 times over by just being here? So you’re already ahead of the game because you’ll run better frame shops. You’re going to be the ones bringing in new mouldings. You’re going to be the ones succeeding in the future while the people waiting for the recession or complaining about big boxes are going to slowly become the victims.
    That’s my read on it."

    Having read Goltz's columns before, I know he would not advocate spending money without a clear gain in the investment. He's much smarter than that. He teaches classes about making wise frame shop investments and avoiding wasteful spending. He's very good at that -- maybe the best in our industry. This is the guy who says "Let's look at the numbers" when somebody asks about spending money.

    His suggestion to spend for new equipment goes along with other suggestions to improve one's business. Adding new mouldings, matboards and fillets doesn't cost have to cost anything, if it brings in new customers or otherwise helps the frame shop's growth.

    The context of the article is clear: Framers should stop "waiting for the recession", stop looking for excuses for failure, and get excited about operating successful framing businesses.

    I do not agree with his analysis of the numbers about shares of the industry, but I think he's absolutely right about fears of recession, about framers giving up, and about the future of independent frame shops. Those who continue to improve their businesses will build the future of framing. Those who look for excuses will stagnate and "slowly become the victims".

    That makes sense.
  30. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Like so many of these issues, they truly become a tempest in a teapot.

    Bottom line: The overwhelming majority of us will do things pretty much the same as always; it's just our nature

    Just like picking flyspecks out of pepper

    It is so seldom that someone actually takes a "soft" piece like Jays' and sets it as part of their practice.

    For arguments sake, let's give Jay full license and suggest that he is 100% accurate on his assumptions (and he may be). What difference will that make? If market share is 36% or over 50%, will that create any different cause of action?

    We sure like to knock 'em down, don't we?

    More bottom line: They continue to grow and expand, while we continue to shrink and complain

    Wasn't that really what he was saying? Or was that just what I got out of it?

    I remember Jay and i were visiting awhile back (we really aren't "close") but he said something that stayed with me. He mentioned we don't go to church every Sunday to learn a revelation, but to be reminded-then the rest was up to us

    Sounds familiar
  31. Dermot:

    Dermot: In Corner

    Well said........yes sounds very familiar....
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well, sure. And for some, that's a good thing; for others, it's a bad thing. But there are also framers out there who are undecided about what to do. They have some resources and only need the motivation to take action. That may be the audience Goltz was addressing.

    No, probably not, which is why most of us wouldn't argue those numbers. The numbers are not the main point, are they?

    That's the essence I got out of it, too, but you said it better than I did.
  33. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim-I sure wish I had emailed Jay privately about the 50% number; he may be correct
  34. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]

    What I thought he said was that if you should have done something three years ago, holding off any longer is not going to do you any good.
  35. HB

    HB SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Isn't it true that:

    a depression & a recession are usually caused by fear alone.

    Sure there are exceptions to the rule, like very poor weather, war or disasters causing shortages of neccessities (esp. food)

    But My experience is:

    >somebody starts talking about a slowdown
    >so a few customers stop buying what they don't really need & do some complaining
    >the retailer they usually bought these things from notices a small drop in sales so they stop buying some equipment and doing a few less ads & they do some complaining about slower sales
    >which in turn causes their suppliers to hold off on a few purchases, they start complaining a bit
    >which causes their manufacturers to stop making a few things & they start complaining
    > & they lay off a few fringe employees who really start complaining
    >pretty soon the cycle repeats only by more people & they take a little bit more drastic action, and complain more
    >eventually everyone complains alot & doesn't buy hardly anything because they can't afford it!

    Somewhere near the middle of this process someone writes an article to encourage people to buck the trend, (which, if everyone did would put a halt to the whole process because there is no REAL problem that is unsurmountable [other than fear]).

    Shortly thereafter, afew get their tail in a knot

    but a few learn..

    which are you?
  36. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jay Goltz and I talked on the phone a few minutes ago. He knows all about this thread, and offered a few insights...

    1. It was not a researched article, and said so at the top of the page. The comments were taken from the WCAF Breakfast Panel discussion last January. He was addressing several hundred people who were there, about the state of the industry. It was an up-beat discussion about the truth and consequences of framers' behavior in a changing market.

    2. The whole thing was off-the-cuff, including the numbers quoted, and he made no claims about their accuracy. As he recalls, the comment about half of the business going to big box stores came from a small article he found in Decor Magazine, possibly about a PPFA survey, which had to be in an issue he read before the January meeting.

    3. The comments of the article happened in January, but Jay says he wouldn't change much if he were in the same discussion today.

    For the record, I misquoted him earlier. His catch-phrase about frame shop investment is not "Let's look at the numbers" as I said, but "Let's do the math."
  37. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Jay's welcome to come watch my shop while I go out to rustle up some customers. I haven't taken an order since Saturday, and that was a $200 job. The only one of the 6 or 7 pieces the customer brought in for design, that she's actually having done at this time. It's not like I'm not doing anything, either. I have 13,000 discount coupons out there -- 3000 through direct mail and 10,000 through a local val-pak type company. Zero responses. I don't mean I was expecting 20 responses and I only got ten. I mean zero. The hole in the bagel, zero. Today's my LJ delivery day, but I didn't have anything to order.

    So while Jay's advice sounds well and good, it doesn't seem that way down here in the trenches.
  38. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree with that totally. But what really amps up that whole process is the news media. They keep telling everybody how bad it is until they believe it.

    Dennis Whatley (a motivational speaker) used to say that if you tell your kids everyday that they are stupid, guess what, they will believe you and grow up stupid.
  39. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't have any problems with the article. To me it's just plain, common sense business advice.

    What I got out of the article was, invest in new machinery and technology, go to trade shows, spruce up the design counter with new mat and frame samples, and don't let doom and gloom news get you down.

    What's wrong with that advice?
  40. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    What Bill said.

    I find the overall advice quite valid: Concede nothing to BBs and concentrate on ways to improve your business.

    I always found Jay Goltz's classes extremely useful.
  41. mrdeck

    mrdeck Grumbler

    It is a just that "off the cuff"
    His numbers are meaningless. But the reality of any business IS THE NUMBERS. Market share,and how it relates to ones business ARE THE NUMBERS. Before Michaels went private, their annual statement to the shareholders in 2000, stated THE AVERAGE VOLUME FOR CUSTOM FRAMING was $600,000.00 Now that is a real Real Number. You could still find a copy of the report online.
    I use to do $750,000.00 a year in a mall location. That is a real number.I can tell you now since Michaels, acmoore Came into my Market I do 40% less. That is a real number. I am sure that market share hasn"t gone to the strip center locations, because quite a few have closed.
    Look at how many Mall chains have closed in the past 5 years.
  42. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I believe the numbers are meaningful. Whether they are accurate or not, reasonable people would agree that the numbers are consistent enough to clearly indicate trends in our industry.

    Our industry has become more segmented than it has been in the past. Mass marketers have grown substantially, while small independent framers have diminished. The shift of consumers toward mass marketers is a fact of life in our industry. However, the shift will not totally eliminate small independents. I believe the shift may have gone nearly as fr as it will go, and these two segments of our industry may begin to stabilize.

    Another segment of the framing industry that may represent a larger threat to us all is factory-framed wall decor. Most of this now comes from overseas, literally in boatloads, produced at very low cost in big quantities. The quality of this framing category has improved significantly in recent years, and so has the marketing. Fractory-framed wall decor may be found in all sorts of retail stores, from Wal-Mart, to Bed Bath & Beyond, to the corner pharmacy.

    Small independents and retail mass marketers produce custom built frames according to customer specifications, so that work probably will always be done locally or regionally by American people running American businesses. Either way, framing equipment and consumable materials will still be used.

    However, factory-framed wall decor removes production from this country. Consumers are recognizing the value of this category of framing, and as consumers shift toward factory-framed wall decor, American production suffers proportionally. That is, the people and machines producing that kind of framing will not be here, but overseas. That trend will harm the American custom framing industry more than anything else that is going on.
  43. Doug Gemmell

    Doug Gemmell SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I hope you're having a profitable weekend Paul but if things don't pick up by Monday, just go out and spend $3K for a piece of equipment and business will boom (but not necessarily yours).
  44. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Unfortunately Doug, my only order this week has been a $65 re-hinging job. I've had no customers today. 3 pickups, a couple of browsers, that's it. I've been using some slack time to work on new displays for the store (2 went up yesterday), and when I finish with this fabric mat I'm working on now, I think I'll put a "gone fishing" sign on the door and leave an hour early.
  45. Doug Gemmell

    Doug Gemmell SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Enjoy the slack time while you can Paul. Things always pick up, as you know.
  46. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think I'm going to institute "summer hours" -- instead of being open 10-5 on Saturday, I'm going to try 10-3:30. I rarely get a customer after 3:30 on Saturday, and the day itself is rarely a big shopping day.
  47. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Because my PFM never ever arrives on time, I just read the article online. I was at the breakfast and don't really remember these comments or any challenge to the statistical study. We have heard this message before by the same author as recently as last month. I have no argument with the message. "Get out and do it, Just do it" and so on, which mght be motivational with more substance behind it. I find that many trade magazine business articles say the same thing and are preaching to the choir in the same way month after month.

    Perhaps some new blood is in order. I mean, how many times can these industry experts say the same thing and make it sound fresh and exciting? Is there a reason we don't see more business articles with fresh suggestions and useable ideas from other successful framing professionals?

    Off the cuff is, frankly, an insult to me. I pay for this magazine, and I expect a bit more serious research behind articles written by our industry experts.

    I am not meaning to continue an argument here, but I will stress that I used to look forward to articles in our trade magazines. Now, except for technical demonstrations, its the same old, same old, month after month. Where is the meat? Why such lightweight fare? Give me some concrete ideas! Give the person struggling with a one person operation some method to implement new marketing strategies,a way to find time to get out from under, give those of us with larger businesses something new to latch on to, give us concrete examples, please.

    The last article I remember that was chock full of suggestions was by Vivian Kistler before Christmas. And where is Mr. Bluestone? He is a powerhouse of ideas.

    I spent at least 20K at the last show and business is down, BTW. Nice flashy equipment though! Sorry to be so sarcastic, but honestly, bring on the motivation. Please.
  48. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Jim, you could not be more correct here. We have huge threats from overseas, from the internet, and from the BBs. There is no way to sugar coat this. Times have changed and we on this forum need to put our heads together to actually share our best ideas in the battle to fight back. I saw it first hand in the attitude of some wealthy people on our Italy tour. Cheap prices and ultra convenience trump all. Period. At least for them. And they are a HUGE group.
  49. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I disagree, Paul. Legitimate businesses don't change their hours except in extreme emergencies. I am not saying this is not hard for you. It is. But I would use the time at work to develop the web site, start a blog site--this increases your web rankings--the one I use is free, take photos and develop your Photoshop skills, write some press releases and send them out. Work on marketing while the store is dead, use your credit on nbcreate if you have any, but don't go home. I see this as a slippery slope that is the beginning of the end for a new business.

    This is written by one who is lying in bed coughing, but the store is covered.
  50. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    Kirstie, I have time to get alot of that done on Saturday before 3:30 pm. I've been tracking this now for more than a year. I used to keep detailed tally sheets, broken down by day and then by hour of the day. When someone came in, I would record the time that person came in. If a sale occurred, I would note that as well. I used several months of that data to cut my Saturday hours back from 6 to 5 pm. That was more than a year ago. Over the past several months, I've noticed that I almost never get anyone on Saturday after 3:30 pm. That's not just my store -- the entire street is a desolate wasteland after 3 pm on Saturday. Every parking space is empty. Tumbleweeds are rolling down the street. The only people out and about are 14-year old skateboarders.

    I've been here for customers, but they haven't. So really, why should I offer a convenience that isn't valued? It costs me money to stay open, and it costs me in terms of lifestyle. I don't have people to "cover the shop" for me. It's me. I'm here 6 days a week, all friggin' day long. But if customers consistently do not come in after a certain time period, why should I be here? As far as I know, nobody here keeps their shop open from 11 pm to 2 am. I really don't see it as any different.

    If my shop was located in SF, I'd probably be open til 7 or 8 pm at least 2 nights a week. Shopping habits are different there than they are here in Stepford. You have to mold your shop hours to the shopping habits of customers.

    If someone is unable to get to my store during the 6 days a week I am normally open, they are welcome to make an appointment for me to come to their home or office with my samples.
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