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Growing your Business

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Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
During a brainstorming session on how to grow our business further, we examined some of the things that got us as far as we've come. A great trip down memory lane. My question is What is the single biggest contributor to making your business a success, and what would be the next thing you would do if you had that proverbial, magic wand?
 
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Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
The single biggest step in growing my business was when I took off my apron and handed my hammer and nail set to my new "framer." This was in the days before v-nailers. The art of delegation (multiplying your outputs) is a learned experience.

When I started my business, there was a "relationship" between my customers and me. I waited on them, usually did most of the framing work, and was there when they picked up the work. They trusted me and I honored their trust.

As I grew the business, I needed to convey that sense of trust through my new employees, and as I opened additional locations, needed to project that sense of trust to all of my stores. We call this the "Artrageous! experience" and our goal is to have a customer's experience at any of our stores have a commonality (sp?).

If I could have a magic wand, it would allow me to clone the best employees I have. When I asked Jay Cogan (who has more stores than me)what he did to find/train enough emplyees to keep up with his growth, he explained that he was in a state of constant training and had an employee whose job it was to only teach.

We are now in a similar situation. I do not think the labor pool in San Diego has enough trained, quality designers and framers that would meet our standards, so we are trying to find the right kind of person and we spend much time educating and training.

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Rob Markoff, CPF
San Diego, CA
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
My biggest single contributor to making my business a success is...ME! If my customers didn't like me, or my work, or the people I have hired, I'm sure I couldn't have survived. As far as future business plans, I hope to somehow make my business even more profitable over the next couple of years. Although my husband doesn't agree, I want to sell my business and retire. He seems to think I will be able to keep the business and cut back on my hours. I think if you own a business, you have to put in the time. I think 50 is a fair retirement age for some one who has been working since age 15.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Pam-I agree that you are the single biggest reason for your success, but the question is how to grow your business. Outside of cloning yourself (don't you wish we all could), what other avenue would you explore to grow your business further to your retirement goal?
 

Le

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I changed my mind. I stopped thinking I was doing people a favor, finding them a cheap way to frame their work. I wasn't doing them a favor and they didn't apprecaite it.
If I had a magic wand I'll change my mind again.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
The single most important thing I have done to "Grow" my business was to reduce my business. At one point I had twelve employees and a huge cash flow. I was not enjoying myself, wasn't making much money in my pocket and I never had time to do what I love, working with my hands.
I got rid of that store, laid off all my employees, opened in a out of the way location and hired one new helper.
I now enjoy going to work in the morning. I make five times the money in my pocket. I have a much nicer clientele and I get to work with my hands. My business is now a roaring success thanks to NOT growing.
My good friend and mentor Len Aaron once told me years ago " There are two ways to make money, Be really big or be really small, God help you if you get caught in the middle" He was right, I got caught in the middle and it was a nightmare. I'm really small now and I couldn't be happier.
My advise to all you folks with the small shops, stay that way, get rid of the ideas about becoming a big shot. You will be a lot happier.
John
 
B

B Carter

Guest
John-Your advice to a lot of people in our trade is both sound and experienced. A lot of people have no business growing beyond their immediate capabilities. Not every framer is an entrepreneur. But for all those aspiring to grow, I was hoping to see some vision and wisdom on growing. A lot of people are proffering their take on how to run a business(from Larson and suppliers down to the smallest of the small). I was hoping to discuss some issues that have taken someone's business to the next level and beyond.
 

lise

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
We've done a few things over the years to take our business to the next level. As we have grown, so have our steps. We started by getting the proper equipment so we did not have to sub out. The next was buying a computer and delegating the things we hate to do or can't. The third was going through a name change and corporate identity re-structuring to more closely reflect our target market's expectations of us. We then developed a website and positioned ourselves as leading edge. We spent money on unique marketing tools that have worked fabulously for us. We did all of this with our company's profits.
We decided to make the leap recently and was able to secure a huge line of credit at prime to open another location.
All of these things brought our company step by step to the next level and with a manageable debt load.

------------------
Lisa Kozokowsky C.G.A.H.
Frameswest Inc.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Bob, I didn't mean to offend. I took my business up several levels. I started with a little two room shop that rented for $125.00 per month. Total space was 220 square ft. My next stop was 1200 sq. ft. in a prime location. Sheer volume forced me out of that and into a 4000 sq. ft. I was now in the middle and that's where I sat, I could not get it to the next step. My volume was fantastic but My margins where not enough to push me up. I had a large payroll and all that went with it. I was in total catch 22. I had to discount to get the volume to cover the expenses, including my salary. That stradegy worked great but all I was doing was holding my own, I could not build my cash base for expansion. The money was going out as fast as it came in. After ten years of this I had to ask myself the question, why do I want to expand? I discovered that is not the way I wan't to live.
There are a few small "chains" around San Diego and it's the same story with them. All they are really doing is trading dollars and hanging on for dear life. I had a friend that worked for one of them, late paychecks, paychecks the bank would not honor, etc.
I think people who want to risk going thru all that had better know what they are doing.
I had a rough idea but I just could not pull it off or maybe I was just sick of it.
The store I have now is actually more square ft, the difference is my rent is half what it was and my payroll is one employee besides myself. I now have plenty of money for expansion but I'm not going to do it, I'm buying stock in other companies instead.
Now that I think about it, maybe I have taken it to the next level.
John
I tried to use Spell check but it would not work, I'm the worlds worst speller, I NEED spell check. I tried it again ( edited message) it still won't work.
John

[This message has been edited by JRB (edited February 11, 2001).]
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
John-No offense taken. In fact, I agree with you and your position. You know when enough is enough for your skill, capabilities and ambition. There is nothing wrong with that. My only question is why did your margin suffer due to volume? It doesn't necessarily have to follow that direction. Respectfully, I'll bet Jay, Rob and myself would disagree.But you do point out the slippery slope of discounting to buy volume.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Bob, Don't get me completely wrong, my business in those days was not a failure. I just had to darn many expenses that came due and payable every month. My problem was I would run specials etc. every month just so I could make those payments on time. I made enough money to buy my house, I owned a Erikson 27 sailboat, three cars and a house full of teenagers and their friends.
I just got sick of living like that. The kids grew up and moved on. I sold the boat,I sold the cars and kept the house.
You are 100% correct, discounting is a VERY slippery slope. Once you start it, it's almost impossible to go back. The customers start waiting for the sales they know your going to have. To make your expenses, you have to comply. The only way out of that sewer is to do what I did. Get rid of as many expenses as you can so you can control your business again.
A large cash flow is nice, the bankers love it. However, if at the end of the year comes around and you haven't made a real profit and you just own a bunch of stuff and a nice looking store / stores run by your huge staff, it's time to re-think what you are doing.
The one thing I always accomplished on time and NEVER late was my payroll. I never once asked my employees to wait for their checks, and the bank ALWAYS honored them. How many of these mini chains can say that? I did make a lot of other people wait from time to time though, just like the mini chains.
Now my bills get paid on time and I always have a healthy balance when I'm thru paying them. It's a good feeling.
I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is, "Be careful what you wish for"
John
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Bob, both of my stores were re-located two years ago. CVS forced one move, a dying location was forced the other. Both new locations have turned out to be better than the old. I have changed the selection of frames to include more upper-end mouldings and almost no Decor-type stuff. Selling more expensive mouldings has really made a difference in the bottom line. I'm not interested in a bigger or a third location. What I am interested in is getting the most profit out of the business I already have. What I am doing is finding ways to increase sales and cut expenses. I keep my staff to a minimum, and hire mostly part-timers. Stock mouldings are limited to what turns over quickly. Mats are ordered as we need them. I limit the number of companies I deal with. etc. etc. If I had a magic wand, I can think of a couple local framers I'd like to see disappear.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Bob, I think what you are trying to do is bust thru that ceiling that seperates a medium size business and a large business.
I could not do it, at least from the position I was in 6 years ago.
Jumping to a large size business takes a large amount of capital. More importantly though it takes the right people and organisation to pull it off. I was with Aaron Brothers when they made the jump. It was not easy and took years to sort it out.
Just the logistics of switching from a few stores to many stores is not an easy thing.
You reach a point where opening one or two more stores is not practical in a given market. You have to open quite a few stores in many markets to pull it off. Then your back to the personel problems and distribution and advertising. You can't just jump to a new city and open only one store. If you have to send trucks and puchase advertising. To spend that kind of money you need to open three to five stores at once.
Also, what is the optimum size for a store?
What kind of rent are you going to pay? Are you going to wharehouse centraly or are your stores going to be serviced by outside vendors? Are you going to hire and train your managers in the new market or promote from within and re locate your personel?
Where are you going to get the capital? Are you going to go public? Can your business stand the scrutiny that would entail?
If you can't do the above, maybe you should consider what Pamela has done and what I have done.
Just opening a few more stores in the same market is not a practical growth answer, all you are doing is competing with yourself and increasing your liability.
John
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Wow, John, I get it that your not much on growth. So be it. My question maybe needs to pared down to the smallest common denominator. What do the rest of you felt took you from, say, $200k/yr to $300 or $400k/yr? What single best contributor to that increase was something you could identify. Rob said his growth exploded when he hung up his apron to devote full energy to growing his business. This is the sort of response I was hopeful of getting. Any others wish to share?
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Bob,

What John (JRB) is saying is that not all of us WANT to be at $400K or $500K or whatever that "next level" is defined as.......some framers are quite happy at $250K and make a living at it. He's also stating that certain difficulties confront expansion at different levels.

Your very first posting that started this thread was significant in it's simplicity.....what single "element" made you successful, whatever you perceive that to be?

I believe that deligation might be a common denominator for many of us who have succeeded at different levels of volume, regardless of our identities. The ability to "let go" and let others charge forth is important to the growth of any business.

Regards,

John

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The Frame Workshop of Appleton, Inc.
www.theframeworkshop.com
Appleton, Wisconsin
jerserwi@aol.com
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accent

True Grumbler
John, My definition of success is still enjoying coming to work after 30 plus years of framing and still finding it a challenge.
I agree with JRB in that we have instead of expanding our business, we have invested in stocks and real estate. Our business has reached a plateau and we try to maintain that. But there are still a lot of other pursuits in life that are very rewarding and framing is just one of them.
Happy framing.

Accent

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Don

Grumbler
Growth does not always equate to success. AND what exactly is the definition of GROWTH. The original question had to do with success not growth. About 6 years ago I had one of those Big Box stores move in 1/4 mile away. Two more blocks down the road exists a deep discount framer. These two stores were a big factor in my success. I had to make some decisions. I was forced to push my business into a much higher-end clientelle. (Well--- as high-end as this town can go) Have I grown since then? I do 1/3 fewer pictures in a week. I have the same # of employees (approximately). My Gross Sales are up. Profit is up considerably. And my Take home has all but doubled. Whether my business has grown depends on your point of view but I can say this, I am definately doing better and would say this has been a success. If I were to narrow it down to one thing that has made me succeed in the last 5 or 6 years has been my attitude of "I'm going to see how much this area can afford." If I had that magic Wand I would way it over the vast expanses of humanity and give them a stronger value of art and the display thereof.

As for the DELEGATION issue, that one has been hard for me and I'm working hard on it.

[This message has been edited by Don (edited February 13, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Don (edited February 13, 2001).]
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I don't understand the negative bent to most responses. If you asked 100 business people what has contributed to their growth, I'd bet you'd get 100 responses on how or what. I doubt if you would get any that would decry growth as some alien concept destroying the very fabric of our souls. May I ask a simple question? If you don't want to grow your business, fine. Please start another thread to that effect. But for anyone else that has an idea to share for growing your business, please respond.
 

Lance E

Member
There are many factors to consider, I think I could safely narrow it down to staff, the ability to pick them, and the ability to "flick" them if they don't fit.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Hi Bob,
I did answer your original question in my first response to your thread. " The single most important thing I did to grow my business was reduce my business"
That means I consolidated my operation, got rid of non productive aspects of it. Many large corporations have been doing the same thing for years.
That is the main thing I've done or the single most important thing I've done. All the rest that I submitted was an attempt to qualify my statement, and why. It was not an attempt to sabotage your thread.
By consolidating I was able to raise capital to re-invest in my business and other area's
without having to borrow money to do it.
I'm not sure what your definition of "Growing a business" means. Are you talking about bigger profits, bigger stores, more stores, or all of the above?
My answer was sincere as are most of the other responses.
Thru consolidation I have bigger profits, a bigger store but not more stores.
That's two of the criteria out of three.
For my own part I think you started a great thread that should be helpful to a lot of people.
John
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Bob, Do you really think one thing can be pinpointed as a significant factor in anyones growth? I think it is a combination of factors and the passing of time which grows a company. I would love to hear it if anyone out there was an "overnight" success, but I doubt anyone is.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Guys-This thing is so far off the track. I don't understand the problem. Is it the message or the messenger? I'm starting to think the later. So I called 5 of my really good friends to see if they would share the same question I posed. As I talked to other business people that have shown great business skill, I got answers like the following:
1. My business took off when I quit paying lip service to my hiring practices.
2. We took off when we decided to move to locations that accurately pinpointed our target clientele.
3.My business grew when I realized I couldn't do it all.
4. My business expanded when I realized that price alone wasn't enough
5. My business became fun when I let my people do the jobs they were hired to do.

These are all points raised from friends, mostly outside the trade, that willingly shared these ideas. Everyone of them came up with a positive answer in about 15 seconds. Maybe the same clear, positive thinking that so easily answered my query might be responsible for their success? But not one of them had a merchandise based answer, most had to do with people. I think a lesson could easily be learned from my external survey. By the way, everyone of them is more successful than I. Maybe that's why? My take? Give me vision over blinders every time.
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Here I go again, trying to answer your question. Our most growth ever has occured in the last two years, so I would have to credit our new locations plus an upgrade in moulding for that. Which is kind of what I said before, just differently. Is that more like what you were looking for?
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
This will be my last post on the The Grumble. When it no longer is fun, it's time to move on. It's true for work, relationships, and this is no different. I think I just have the wrong perspective on business (that's what all non-employees are doing) for this forum. The sway is so foreign to me that it becomes frustrating. I take solace in the fact that there is a place for me, it's with other business people. Framers should be content with their peers. I'm not one of you. When we can't agree on such simple concepts as growing a business (lots of books have written on the subject), it's time for this old cowboy to mosey down the trail. For those that had learned something from me, it almost makes it worth it. For those of you that disagree with almost everything, it's your business.I get emails daily asking for my opinion or advice; I don't mind helping. Feel free to continue:Education is a terrible thing not to share. If I respond, it's because I think you have a clue. If I don't, well, figure it out. But, I'll bid a fond adieu with a thanks to Bill (Framer) for taking the intiative and time to provide a forum like this. Thank goodness he had the vision to grow his concept. Can you imagine if he had the same mentality as many of the members?
 

Susan May

Gone.
Bob, I understand why you feel the way you do, but please know that you will be missed! There are those of us, who truly want to hear what you have to say. (And print out all the good ideas, for use in our own stores.)

I guess the best thing I have done to help build my business was to fine a community of framers to bounce ideas off of, and learn from.
Susan May


[This message has been edited by Susan May (edited February 15, 2001).]
 

Lance E

Member
Bob, your thoughts and opinions will sadly be missed. You have offered a perspective to almost all subjects that are relevant to business, a perspective that is undoubtably from experience and wisdom. I thank you for sharing thus far and hope that you willing to have your arm twisted to continue lurking at least.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Bob, You have contributed a lot to this forum and you have raised a lot of interesting issues. Out of every thing on this forum that you have involved yourself in, from what I could tell, only a few of them have not been completly suportive of your point of view. I am going to miss your views as I'm sure a lot of other people will.
John

[This message has been edited by JRB (edited February 15, 2001).]
 

Frame Harbor

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Bob,

Please forgive my interjection in here. I happen to fully agree with you.
I feel vindicated for you have a perceived and accepted authority in this forum and, unlike others, you can say the truth and have framers cogitate and ruminate on your words and sad conclusion.

Too bad you did not vent your frustration under a newbe name. That would have thought you, and everybody else for that matter, an even deeper lesson about many grumblers business shallowness, self infatuation and self-sufficiency. Try it next time and you’ll see your experience being questioned, diminished and generically dismissed with a large majority. You may find yourself being viciously attacked and called names without any kind lady protesting for that matter, quite the contrary. I’ve been there, I’ve done it. You’d give yourself a wonderful perspective and an anthological future article in PFM if you ever tried those shoes on.
If you ever consider to question grumblers basic business reflexes, I can offer to you a couple of indeed very alarming patterns.

Cornel Rosca,
 

Susan May

Gone.
FrameHarbor, have you ever heard anyone say that you're not supposed to tease a mad dog? Well, you are attacking those of us who really care about the Grumble. I feel offended that you think that we all would be as rude as you are being.

I will leave you with an old saying... "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

A very saddened Sue
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
I can't understand how a great thread like this one started can deteriorate so badly, so fast. What a shame.
John.
 

Le

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Bob, Thank you for the time and energy you have extended in this direction.
 
C

Charles Lowry

Guest
Wow. I'm a newbie, and just finished reading this thread. My wife and I own a small 1200 sq ft shop and only do about 80 jobs a month, average. We wanted to increase our cash flow, as I have just retired, so I went to work with her. I'm learning to frame, and we've never been happier.
By my joining her, we figured we could increase our volume, and we added a modest price increase as well. We operate in a small southern town of about 10,000. 60~75% of our customers are repeats. Thanks to Janet's quality of work.
To me, a poor old country boy, 'growing' a business is making more money, however you dress the term up and send it to town. As I said, we're trying, somewhat successfully, to grow our business by adding another framer, me. We have nearly doubled our output and are waiting for the Jan/Feb slump to be over to see if we'll see growth. I am confident.
Mr Carter expressed interest in his opening question in both growing a business and making it a success. Way down on our level, I think we have taken a step toward growth. We don't WANT the headaches incumbent with a $300,000 business. As to my definition of a success, I agree with someone else in this thread who said that a business is successful when you are happy. I am very happy. We both enjoy our work, the funny things we see every day, our customers coming back again and again. It's very gratifying to know that our work, modest as it is, pleases people to the extent they want to spend more money with us. Success is when, after a long day on our feet, we can come home knowing that we turned out the best work we are capable of, made our customers happy, enjoyed ourselves and made enough money to pay our bills.
I guess I'm overly simplistic, but it makes my life easy. I really have enjoyed reading all the threads for the last two days. You guys are all very knowledgeable and I hope to glean much help from all of you. Thanks to all of you for spending your time to help each other, and most of all, to help very small businesses like ours.

------------------
Charles Lowry
 
K

KeepFraming

Guest
There are two conflicts. One is basic semantics, one person interpration is not the same as anothers. The second is values.
When you want a direct answer you ask a direct question, however, much of the percieved meaning of the word success is totally subjective.

The question needs to be refined to produce the answers you are looking for.
When I talk about values, and these are so important, one needs to realize how big of a part they play in the competivness of a business among other things.
There are many reasons people are in business. Money is only one.
---------------------------------------------
One thing that can kill a business is an bad management. Poor implementation of products/ideas/markting too is a killer. Poor interpersonal skills can kill the bud that could have been a rose. Bad timing, taking too long to make a descion, decieding not to decied, and taking on more than you can handle those would knock down the business too. Not realizing the importance of outsourcing or delegation, or what may be called "restrictive access"...not knowing how to properly use these tools will prevent growth.

Back to basics:
1) In order to grow your business you must first consider the business that you are in, the 80-20 rule says that 80 of profit comes from 20 of your business...Find that 20% and focus. Perhaps this means expansion, or specialization. Or maybe this means moving to another location, or offering different lines of product
2) Know your limitations, know your goals, know your market, know your clients, know your business, know what your stengths and weakness are.
3) Know how you spend your time, why, and if it is worthwhile.
4) Review your progress.
5) Have a bias for action. Decied to decied. Know the time period limitations of your descions.

There is an assumption that one must want to grow to grow, this is not necessarily true.

A short list of skills that can be worked on to help foster growth:
Education in general
Human Resources and PR skills
Organizational skills
Planning skills
Implemantion skills
Descion Making skills
Creativity and Innovation skills
Delegation skills
Time Management skills
Finanacial Analysis skills
Sales and Negoatiation Skills

A skill is something that is learned. Learn how to do it all, and then when the time comes do your best at, like and is most important from your ownership perscpective. When I say know it all, I mean it because how else would you know if something is being done effectively and efficently?

Rant, Rant Rant...

[This message has been edited by KeepFraming (edited February 16, 2001).]
 

Frame Harbor

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I am not less sorry for missing Bob's opinions than you are. If he keeps his promise, that'll take away from this forum one of its best and most reliable assets.

I apologize to those of you who really don't understand my "bitterness".
But don't be distracted again. Bob said adieu to grumblers in general, not to me. Yet you notice my bitterness but not his. Losing Bob's contribution to this forum, and what had determined his giving up on grumblers, is much more important of an issue than trying to answer or ignore my bitter thoughts.

Sorry to remind you, but Bob is leaving us with this words:
"I think I just have the wrong perspective on business (that's what all non-employees are doing) for this forum. The sway is so foreign to me that it becomes frustrating. I take solace in the fact that there is a place for me, it's with other business people. Framers should be content with their peers. I'm not one of you."
Any one dare to take on Bob Carter for being bitter and fed up with you? Or maybe you think that he was encouraging?
 
K

KeepFraming

Guest
-

[This message has been edited by KeepFraming (edited February 16, 2001).]
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Frame Harbor,
Please, Give it a rest, Bob Carter quit, that's the end of it.
Try picking up the thread on how to grow a business. " What was the single important thing you've done to make your business a success"
Or, you could start a new thread about how unfair the Grumblers are to you, won't let you sell your product and all.
John
 

Frame Harbor

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
John,
I wish I could share my curly thoughts on growing my tonto business. However, being a frame maker, my experience is not quite comparable with yours. I am afraid that some may smell a scheme in here but, if you insist, here is my formula: The fall of the Berlin wall was my lucky strike and, for the second part of it, I wish gift industry buyers have framers' eye and education.
No kidding.

John, you seem to miss nothing from what was going on in Grumbler's forum and this is why I am convinced that you can do better then that when rating what I am standing for.

[This message has been edited by Frame Harbor (edited February 16, 2001).]
 

Susan May

Gone.
Frameharbor, you are WAY wrong! Your business is a lot like ours. You are in the field of creating a product to enhance the appearance of a persons living space. The difference between you and the retale framer, is we get to talk directly to the customer. You create the frame- we create the rest of the package.
If you truly think that anything you have to say about the growth of your business would be of no help to us, then you are on the wrong forum.
Susan


[This message has been edited by Susan May (edited February 16, 2001).]
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I could be wrong, but I have always thought framers were a different breed of businesspeople, if, in fact, they are businesspeople at all. Most individuals who are of a business mind go into business to make money. I truly believe people go into the framing business because a) they think it will be "fun", and b) because the start-up costs are relatively low. Bob C. is a rare find in the framing industry. He went into the framing business with the sole objective of making money. He wants the rest of us to make money. I say "Good for you, Bob"! I understand his frustration, I will miss him, and I can only hope he will change his mind someday. His input is needed to help the person who does indeed want to be a businessperson as well as a framer. Unfortunatly, he will have to also listen to those who just happen to love what they do just for the love of doing it.
 
F

framer

Guest
I think this thread has played itself out. If anyone wishes to try again please do, I think it could be of value to some.

This thread is know closed.
 
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