1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

P.P.F., Eh?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by printmaker, May 7, 2003.

  1. printmaker

    printmaker CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I'll try to post this query without ruffling too many feathers. I'll preface the question with my usual verbose background narrative [​IMG] :

    Some years back, when I owned a (lovely!!!) fine art gallery & frame shop, I joined the PPFA - it seemed like the "right" thing to do at the time :( .

    At the end of the initial membership duration, I looked back at all the benefits I enjoyed thereof: here is the exhaustive list:
    1) I got a really neat sticker for my front window proclaiming my membership status.
    2) Hmmm... sorry... that was it :rolleyes: .

    In short, perhaps because the organization was fairly new at the time, perhaps because in our neck of the Canadian woods the PPFA hadn't established their presence... I honestly feel the relatively few dollars I spent on membership would have been far better off having been donated to one of the charities with which we were/are involved [​IMG] .

    Back at the ranch, I still do (a lot!) of framing. I read the trade publications. I attend framing seminars etc. The question is:

    Assuming one is not looking for a hand-holding experience, or seeking the camaraderie of club membership, are there any real, tangible benefits to the experienced framer in (re)joining said organization :confused: ?

    Thank you!!!

    - printmaker -
     
    Sponsor Wanted
  2. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Some of the benefits that I've heard people talk about in the past have been the insurance packages and the credit card processing. I looked into the former and discovered that, like the health insurance industry as a whole, the PFA program is in turmoil.

    Some will say that Hitchhiker - the Online Exchange - is one of the main benefits. Indeed, while there is some overlap with users of The Grumble, there are some knowledgeable and helpful framers who ONLY use HH.

    For me personally, the biggest single benefit is an active chapter. I love the programs, the interaction with other framers and the social activities. The Wisconsin chapter, like so many others, suffered a serious dip in membership a few years ago, but now appears to be rebounding. It takes a lot of work, but it's not impossible to develop a strong chapter where there is none currently, and there are people who have done that and will help others do it.
     
  3. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    By the way, I forgot to mention that I was a PPFA member for many years, dropped out for about 8 years and rejoined about 18 months ago. I've discovered I like interacting with other framers, whether it's here on The Grumble or at the Omni Bar in Atlanta or at PPFA chapter functions.

    The PPFA is like a church or a community. The key to an enjoyable and fulfilling experience is to get involved - quickly and completely.
     
  4. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hi Printmaker-Maybe as a starting point, why don't you list ten things (or less) that you think a trade association should provide?

    Believe it or not, there are people that would really enjoy some constructive criticism from PPFA. And who knows, they just might be scheduling some Long Range Planning soon. And your ideas,as well as any others, just might warrant some discussion.

    But, the first step to improvement might come from you.

    And be assured it probably won't get much better without you, eh?
     
  5. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Printmaker,

    There are more things coming on the Horizon, for members of PPFA. As Ron said, Building the Chapters back up is a primary task at this point. PMAI/PPFA is giving Chapters a lot of help to build membership and offer educational opportunities as well as fellowship and other things previously mentioned. Right now Chapter Leaders and our Current President are pushing for wider recognition of PPFA, CPF, MCPF etc to the public.

    I believe that once PPFA National understands that a Trade Organization needs to promote awareness of the Trade to those NOT in the trade and specifically the Public in general. Then a successful organization it will be.
     
  6. printmaker

    printmaker CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    "... For me personally, the biggest single benefit is an active chapter. I love the programs, the interaction with other framers and the social activities ... The PPFA is like a church or a community. The key to an enjoyable and fulfilling experience is to get involved - quickly and completely..." Ron.

    Thank you, Ron, for your input.

    I'm oftentimes working in my studio 7 days a week. When I do get out, my time with family and friends is far too precious (for me) to get involved with an outside community (let alone getting involved "completely")...

    I'm sure it can be a very "enjoyable and fulfilling experience" for those seeking or in need of same. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I was looking for something a bit more practical and tangible.

    Again, Ron, my sincere thanks.

    - printmaker - [​IMG]

    --------------------


    "...why don't you list ten things (or less) that you think a trade association should provide?...
    But, the first step to improvement might come from you..." Bob.

    Thank you, Bob.

    However, I am not looking to either disparage or improve the PPFA.

    Aside from the fact that there are far wiser people than me to give direction to this, or any other organization, at the risk of sounding overly cynical, the PPFA has been around long enough to stand (or fall) on its own merits (or lack thereof); I am simply looking to find these merits (if any) to decide if, at this point in time, it is worth while to, once again, seek membership. Besides, any organization that needs a "list" from me is in deep moose doo-doo!

    I'm like that rare customer who comes into a shop and actually wants to be sold. Right now, however, I'm just not seeing anything to buy (that I don't already have)!?!

    "...And be assured it probably won't get much better without you, eh? ..." Bob.

    I hope this not to be true, Bob - otherwise, it is looking, very much, as if it probably will not get much better! ;)

    Thanks for taking the time to respond, Bob.

    - printmaker -
     
  7. Art On Canvas

    Art On Canvas CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Hey Printmaker:

    We have a great PPFA chapter in St. Louis. Just this weekend, they hosted a Sunday Seminar with Kaye Evans as the guest speaker/educator. She did a fantastic job teaching color theory in the morning, and needle art mounting in the afternoon.

    Thanks to the PPFA Chapter we have an annual table-top show here in St. Louis like a mini Atlanta, with good attendence by vendors. A couple of times a year educational speakers come to host dinner or lunch seminars like this past Sunday. Also the CPF exam was held here this year courtesy of the PPFA. You get a newsletter and magazine each month. You can also enter a framing competition if you wish. It's fun.

    The national PPFA management is all new, and they are trying hard to deliver. The annual dues have been decreased as well.

    Give them a shot, maybe get involved, and I bet that you like the activity and the PPFA. If it was not enjoyable, nobody would belong. The local chapter is staffed by volunteers. They do a great job, and I find that it's fun to belong to a national trade organization. If you don't like it you can quietly drop out next year...
     
  8. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Printmaker, when it comes to giving direction to the industry's trade association, there's nobody wiser than framing practitioners. That would be you and me, and others like us. All the "far wiser people" seem to be working for themselves, and not for our dues.

    Many framers join PPFA thinking they're paying for some mysterious, heretofore-unrecognized products or services that every framer can't live without, which have been produced in Framing Heaven. And once they realize that PPFA has no magic, they just go away, disappointed.

    I think trade associations make a mistake in fostering the idea that membership is going to result in wonderful things falling from the sky. And a lot of them do that, not just PPFA.

    Here's the naked truth about PPFA: What you see is what you get. The association progresses only to the extent that members "associate". That is, put forth some of their own time and resources for the betterment of the association's members. The dues hardly pay for the newsletter, you know.

    My personal view about our trade association is admittedly radical: I think membership dues should be increased enough to provide revenue for significant benefits, such as an ongoing, professionally administered, consumer-awareness campaign. Maybe dues of $2,000 per year would do it. (If that seems like a lot, how much do you spend for Yellow Pages advertising, and what can you prove you get from that investment?)

    Also, I think members should be required to commit something toward progress the association, other than money; volunteer to mentor, or to serve on a committee, for example.

    It is true that "My PPFA" would weed out casual members unwilling to associate. But don't misunderstand -- that isn't discriminatory or exclusionary. Membership would still be open to anyone in the framing business who is willing to invest the money AND the effort.

    What we'd have is a small, dynamic association of members who associate; who would actually work to make it better for their fellow members.

    Wouldn't that be better than having a horde of disappointed former members?
     
  9. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's what I am talking about! But $2,000.00 jeez Jim we ain't all rich Masters like youse guys.

    When the public hears that PPFA means Professional Picture Framers Association and not Planned Parenthood Foundation of America and a Framer with a CPF, doesn't do accounting and taxes it becomes more of a benefit to be a member of the Association.

    Wouldn't you want to be a member if there was a national campaign that touted "For Picture Framing Done Right, Visit Your Local Professional Picture Framers Association Member Shop" or some such rot.

    In Louisville there are a butt load of Framers only seven are PPFA members who do you think that type of ad campaign would benefit?
     
  10. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have been pondering a response to this question and here it is (see disclaimer at bottom of the answer, "Take what you...")

    The biggest benefit to PPFA (to my way of thinking) is the sticker. It shows the customer that you belong to the international picture framers' association. Chances are that if your customer is serious about his/her profession, he/she (I'm just gonna make it 'he' from here on in...) belongs to his professional association. American Medical Association, Bar Association, etc. He may not be a big participant in his association, but he understands professional associations. And he may be suprised to find that picture framers have an association, too. He may not notice if you DON'T have the sticker, but he will notice that you DO.

    If you are not a 'joiner' (and this coming from the biggest joiner there is!) and meetings aren't for you, you may not be interested in participating in your chapter or starting one(along with 9 like-minded framers)and you don't use the insurance/credit card stuff, then there are only 3 other benefits I see: 1) the Online Exhcange, referred to casually as the Hitchikers. You can share frustrations, get good advice and search archives for answers to questions. Granted, The Grumble does the same thing, but the more strings in one's bow the better the hunting, so to speak. 2) Discounts... members get discounts on professional framing books and classes (even if you don't go to trade shows, tele-ed classes are available as well) And 3) if you are of a competitive spirit, even without a close-by chapter, you can participate in framing competitions through the Mailbox Chapter. Imagine the bragging rights for winning a national framing competition!

    So, there are benefits. The question is, do you want to use them to your advantage?
     
  11. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm with Jim on the dues. They are too low. I don't know of a single other Professional Trade Assn that charges as little as $95/yr.The next cheapest (for us, anyway) is $250 and I think that is a steal.

    If they charged double the present, would we lose 50% of membership. I doubt it. But if we could double the funds (easier than doubling the membership)could those additional revenues be put to use to increase the value of membership? I suspect yes.

    This like so many other things in life evolves back to we get what we pay for
     
  12. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    As far as I’m aware I’m the only member of the PPFA in the South of Ireland……………I think there are a few members in the North of Ireland.

    I got quite frustrated with framing late last year and took a break from it………….I have being talked into getting my business back up and running by some of my customers…………..the break from the business cleared my head and recharged my framing batteries.

    I too thought I was of my trolley (a bit soft in the head) for spending my money on being a member of the PPFA…………..and all I got was a sticker for my shop window…………I have no shop window my framing workshop is located in a small business unit beside my house……………it’s ok….. lot’s of people run small and quite large business from home or business units beside there houses in Ireland…… the guy across the road is the local undertaker!!!………… he really is………..sorry I digress…………..one of the big surprises I have had since I restarted the business last month is that people like the idea of me being a member of the PPFA……….other than telling people I have never promoted the fact that I’m a member of the PPFA, they had just picked up on this themselves from my conversations with them………..I suspect that none of them know anything about the PPFA………..I think they like the word professional.

    Ellen is right being a member of the PPFA is a bit like BLM (below line marketing) there is no real visible benefit of being a member, if you are not or as in my case cannot take part in the activities of the local chapters………..there remains a big Below Line benefit of being a member, take the benefit or leave it no one is twisting your arm.

    I originally joined because I wanted to be a member and I guess I’m going to remain a member.

    Dermot
    OnTheEdge Picture Framing
    Ashford, Co. Wicklow
    Ireland

    PS
    As a BTW some of my recent framing has being shipped to Hollywood in the USA………..not Hollywood Co. Wicklow…………the main request from the customer was that my framing was up to a professional and international standard…………..the framing was for some sort of film (movie) award………some producer was getting presented with some framed pieces relating to a film that was made in Ireland………I know that once I mentioned to the customer that I was a member of the PPFA any resistance to giving me the work vanished.
     
  13. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Dermot, if you could sign up Jean and the kids, you'd be about half-way toward starting a local PPFA chapter. You could even be the chapter president. Or, at least, vice-president. You could organize chapter trips to Spain or Atlanta or Appleton.

    Think about it. I think it's a good idea.
     
  14. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

     
  15. Framerguy

    Framerguy PFG, Picture Framing God

    Bob,

    I remember when the PPFA dues were almost double what they are today and there were so many complaints about them being too high! I think that the purpose of having dues for a professional organization is misdirected sometimes. And the usage of the dues monies can be productive but not evident to the casual member of that organization.

    I know that the NAPP organization charges $99 per year for an individual membership and up to $419 per year for International Corporate membership for those who use PhotoShop as a business tool. For the $99 membership you get a subscription to PhotoShop Users magazine and substantial discounts for software, training aids, and educational materials. The president of NAPP, Scott Kelby, has a group of videos on using PhotoShop that is available to members for a reasonable fee and they are chocked full of useful easy to understand tips and tricks and procedure for photo retouching and enhancement that even I can follow and understand. It is a new organization, started in April, 1998, and already has members in 170 countries throughout the world.

    The point, if any, is that wise and frugal uses of the membership dues with an organizational structure that is well thought out and implemented can lead to a beneficial and successful organization. Without dedicated people at the helm and a solid structure to work with along with funding sufficient to move ahead with new technology and training, any organization will suffer and become bogged down in its efforts to satisfy the majority of its members.

    We are into the second year of the PMA/PPFA organization and alot has to be accomplished in order to extinguish the old embers of the defunct PPFA organization and rebuild its membership. I do have some reservations about the PMA dedicating enough of its time and resources to promoting the PMA/PPFA but the transition is only in its infancy. With more people like Bill Parker steering the boat we may see some new and constructive changes take place in the future.

    I hope to see a more efficient organization in years to come and I definitely don't feel that negative comments about "how it is now" will help the cause. I intend to re-join the PMA/PPFA when I relocate and will do what needs to be done by a member to promote the organization and participate in its activities. My initial feelings about the merger have changed and I want to see more in the way of regular communications with its members, hopefully our own publication sometime in the future, where ideas like we hash over on the Grumble can be provided to all the members. There is so much to be learned about professional framing and business operation and we don't have much right now (with the exception of the HH and the Grumble) to convey or question the aspects of our industry with feedback from others.

    If we are perceiving the organization as a $99 sticker to place in our store window, then maybe we need to take a closer look at what is available out there to the members. And if there are things that we want to have in our organization, we should make those wishes known to those who can do something about providing those benefits. It is quite true that the group is only as good as the individuals in that group make it. If you want to sit back and be spoon fed all the goodies without doing anything to change what you don't like, then maybe your should join AARP or AAA. ;)

    Framerguy
     
  16. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Funny you'd mention that.

    I've been getting solicitation letters from AARP since I was about 12. Now, 40 years later, I'm considering joining. But first I want to know what's in it for me. Motel discounts? Free popcorn at the movies? A price break at the pharmacy?

    So I can certainly understand those who are searching for tangible bottom-line benefits to PPFA membership. But, for me, the most significant benefits are intangible.
     
  17. Framerguy

    Framerguy PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well, you're not gonna get an AARP sticker for your store window!

    I can almost guarantee THAT!

    FGII
     
  18. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hi Ron

    I take the trips anyway we were in Spain last month……………..next trip we have planned is flying USA on the 4th of July Albany NY for a few days then Cape Cod and then a day or two in Boston,……….. never let it be said that the US won’t get a few tourists this year [​IMG] ……………..sorry I won’t make it to Appleton this coming trip, I did not have control of the travel arrangements for this trip :rolleyes: ………….who knows what later in the year might bring..... [​IMG]

    Take care

    Dermot
     
  19. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Most professional Framers would spend $2,000 a year if you could guarantee them $10,000 additional Profit but I don't know about just increase in business, unless it was really guaranteed.

    The dues we pay are not the only monies that PMAI uses for PPFA. PMAI/PPFA are still getting to know one another and are getting the feel for what PPFA needs to get and keep members and they are trying hard to do just that.

    In the old PPFA with the dues we were paying do you think that the PPFA national headquarters would offer to cover the cost of a CPF exam and a recertification class at EACH of the Chapters?

    I'm not trying to argue the point of $95 or $2000 for dues. The simple fact of the matter is this:


    95$ for a Sticker for my window that 95% or better of my customers have no idea what it means or what the little CPF pin or the CPF Certificate Framed on my wall means is what a Trade Association should fix period, It might cost more, fine, More cutomers More Money, More Happy me.
     
  20. JudyN

    JudyN MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I don't care who joins PPFA that is an individual decision and certianly not required. Our store has been with PPFA for years. I have been in every officer position in our local chapter.
    One time someone wanted to know "why" they should join the National PPFA when after all we had a local chapter and they could attend all the educational events they wanted at "our" chapter meetings....

    My reply was .." WE ( our chapter ) would not exist if it was not for the national PPFA." The person "got it" then.
     
  21. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Printmaker--
    (TANGIBLE)
    the answer is "yes". The first thing I did after joining PPFA was to get a price quote on my business insurance through the PPFA. My savings would have paid for the membership a couple of times over.

    If you take any of the PPFA classes, you'll get a discount. The discount on about 3 classes will pay your dues.

    I think you've gathered by now that we all think the INTANGIBLE benefits far outweigh the tangible ones, but if that doesn't interest you, stop reading right now.

    THE MAIN REASON FOR JOINING PPFA. It's our PROFESSIONAL organization, and it's the only one our industry has. I think our industry as a whole appears as less than professional to the average consumer. We don't command the respect form the average consumer because we don't appear to be professions. If we want to do something about that, we only have one choice: to separate the Professionals from the non-professionals and try to educate the public of the difference. That can only go so far if we try to accomplish that on an individual basis. Once the general public views custom framing as a valid and worthy purchase and not strictly a luxery item, then EVERYONE will benefit. The fact that less than 10% of the population will ever purchase custom framing should be a fact that is disturbing to us, especially when you consider that the public at large will justify spending thousands more than necessary on a vehicle. There are different ideas being worked on as we speak, but PPFA needs all the members we can get, and that sticker wil be worthless unless you do your part by educating your customers.

    I cold go on, but the soap box needs a break.
    (Better get off of it before I offend someone...oh well, probably too late...)

    $90.00, people! LESS THAN ONE CUSTOM FRAMING TICKET!!! And some of you people think OUR customers are tight! Dinner and movie will cost you as much as supporting YOUR professional organization for a year.
     
  22. printmaker

    printmaker CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Time for me to pipe in, once more, seeing as I started this whole mess.

    As Ellen (at Howards) reiterated,
    "The biggest benefit to PPFA (to my way of thinking) is the sticker. It shows the customer that you belong to the international picture framers' association."

    Far be it from me to disagree with a puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind (congrats on that, Ellen - on behalf of the all-too-often silent majority, thank you for your efforts in this area!!!) However, when I was a member, most of the "butcher shops" in the area were members, too. In this light, for me and my talented staff, our PPFA affiliation was not an asset. Rather, we were validating the shoddy practices and (lack of ) workmanship of these "colleagues".

    As an aside, one other perk of PPFA upon which I failed to comment was the VISA/MC rates. The problem was that better rates were available elsewhere. It was explained to me by the credit card rep (after I pressed hard for the information), that whoever negotiated the rates at that time, was not as shrewd as they ought to have been.

    I know of many professionals involved in their respective associations. Some of these organizations are quite small (as few as 100-200). However, each of these groups seem to offer benefits of substance - drastically reduced rates for health and business insurance, prescription medication, family eyeglass allowances, etc. - as well as the usual professional cameraderie, information sharing, and the many less tangible goodies as mentioned by a number of folks responding to this posting.

    I appreciate that not everybody needs each of the above-mentioned "perks". However, it seems to this simple artiste, that a trade organization should be structured in such a way that people on the periphery (like me), should be clamouring to join, rather than looking, in vain, for excuses to do so!?!

    The bottom line is that I've benefited far more from my (albeit brief thusfar) association with my fellow Grumblers, than from several years of former membership with the PPFA.

    Thank you, Grumblinos. Keep up the excellent work!!! [​IMG] :D ;) (I had to throw some graemlins in somewhere!)

    - printmaker -
     
  23. John Gornall

    John Gornall CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    What is "The Mailbox Chapter"?

    What other "Things" does the PPFA have that I don't know about?

    Then there's the issue of the new CPF certificate I ordered a while back which never came. (My CPF certificate died in a roof failure)

    There's just so little communication from the PPFA for those of us out of reach of Chapters. I have never met another member from my area - the nearest is about 4 hours drive away. The person listed as Chapter head for my area is 6 hours away by car and plane or 15 hours away by ship and car.

    [ 05-09-2003, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: John Gornall CPF ]
     
  24. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

     
  25. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim is right, and with all "service" type organizations, there will always be a volunteer cadre of about 5% that do about 95% of the work. It's true in Little League, PTA's and PPFA. It would be great to expand the 5%, but I think the more logical approach is to increase the mass so the 5% grows to more feet on the ground. Expecting more than that average is a great wish, but I suspect only a wish.

    You just seem to get a lot of arm-chair supervisors insituations like this.

    I'm just glad the 5% includes people like Jim

    [ 05-09-2003, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: Bob Carter ]
     
  26. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Once again, I wish we had a local chapter here in Colorado. From what the previous president of the local chapter said is it got very tiring only a handful of people doing all the work. I know the logical question is why don't I start one but I am not the person to do that. I have way way too many things I am struggling with right now and would be totally ineffective. I would however be glad to support it in anyway and be part of making it work. I would like to be part of the framing community here locally. I need the feedback and like a lot of others working alone makes you feel isolated.

    I have recently been tallking with other frameshop owers in the surrounding area of my store. They are all hurting and in trouble. I even suggested to them that we need to find a way to pool our resources and ideas to keep our heads above water. Maybe even start a little framing group of our own to bounce ideas off of each other. I assume that is what the local chapters would provide. Funny thing too.........three out of four of us are PPFA members.

    I would be more than happy to double my dues because I know we need the professional association it gives us. $95 is way cheap.
     
  27. McPhoto

    McPhoto MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We have been a member of PMA for several years - although it is primarily geared to the photo industry - there are a lot of us "photo guys" (and gals) that also do custom framing. We think that PMA will be able to breath new life into the PPFA.
     
  28. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Maybe it's just my low budget operation but I don't think raiseing the dues is the answer to anything,and raiseing it as high as some have suggested will only frighten off what few potenial "Cadre of Voluteers " we may cyrrebtly have.
    i fully understand that the BIGGER the budget is the more the association can offer.In Fact ,unless i am misunderstanding something that was the very concept that prompted the PMAI merger.But when PMAI took over they DROPPED the dues ,they even offered a reduced "Trial membership".I do completely agree that increased membership and participation is the keys. However I think that as someoen else has pointed out the merger is very new and GOOD things are looking like they are about to happen. And when they do I suspect that the membership will increase and as it does "THEN" is when we should consider raiseing the dues.
    In another post I said I have paid higer dues and probably will again in time.However i can't help but think Jim is overstateing his concept with $2000 dues.And when Bob (Whose business savy I admire and seek)stated : "But if we could double the funds (easier than doubling the membership)could those additional revenues be put to use to increase the value of membership? I suspect yes."
    I couldn't help but question the math logic.
    i.e.If we doubled the dues and lost half the membership isn't our operateing capital right where we we were ,only we have far less worker( Cadre of Volunteers) to get things done and therefore need an even larger PAID staff ?So shouldn't the equation be to raise the dues slightly and loose a small nuber of members and then increase the benefits which might cuase new membership and MAYBE some rejoining ?
    On the concept of $200 being what we pay for yellow page adds,Jim I happy for you to have an advertiseing budget that allows for that but I bet there are many more shops who don't come close to that amount and are looking for ways to cut the cost(Especially since they are so ineffective,but we already discussed that)
    I agree we need a bigger budget and more volunteer particpation (The Vegas business meeting showed that) .But this is a question of what comes first(Chicken or the egg,Membership or higher dues )However I think that the average member wants to see increased benefits before they pay more bucks especially 10 to 20 times more.And i think they are coming as Mr. William Parker has tried to show in his open letters to the membership that we posted hereand on HH.
    BUT for Now at $95 you can't find a better deal.
    BUDDY
     
  29. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hi Buddy-My point was that I feel if we raised the dues to double the present, I doubt we would lose 50% of membership for a net increase in revenue. My wish was that we could raise dues slightly and increase membership singnificantly. But i think it would be easier to raise dues significantly and membership slightly. Either way, more revenue should offer more possibilities, I hope.

    In either case, we need more membership and we need more revenue. It's not a chicken or egg thing
     
  30. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Kathy,

    Once again, the answer is the same, Get Involved! This would be another pair of "feet" that Bob Carter is referring to, and with another person on board, then the previous President may not have "burned out". Granted, I respect your decision not to start a new Chapter or become President, but perhaps you can encourage a few others to jump in, if you confirm them that you'll be glad to sit on the board?

    I know that there is a need for a chapter in Colorado. I was there teaching again just 3 weeks ago, and there are a lot of framers interested and eager to learn more! Use Colorado Moulding as a platform to find these framers who have taken the courses there, and get that chapter back up and running. If Michigan can do it, so can Colorado! [​IMG]

    Regards,

    John

    [ 05-12-2003, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: John Ranes II, CPF, GCF ]
     
  31. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    John,
    You are right! I have lamented several times that I wish we had a local chapter. I've even had contact from PPFA people as a result of that lamenting right here on the G. I was told they were coming out to Colorado this spring to try to start up a new chapter. That is the last I have heard.

    But I will see what I can do to get the ball rolling. It is time I find something else other than my own pitiful situation to focus on. Let's just hope I can be more effective in rallying a bunch of framers than I have been in rallying a bunch of shoppers for the store...........

    I think I will self appoint myself in charge of lining up the talent. So John, you will be my first booking, we will have you talk about expanding beyond framing. Then Bob, you will be booked to talk about The "business" of framing. Then we will get Nona and her "Color Theory". And so on, and so on and so on..........that is the beauty of not having a local chapter, I can just click my heels three times and suddenly, I am in charge. :rolleyes:

    No kidding, I am making calls tomorrow.........I'm not quite sure who I am calling............but I won't let that stop me..............I'll report back, I will do progress reports, kind of like "The anatomy of a local chapter". This was "Chapter One", "The inception".
     
  32. jframe

    jframe <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Katy, you might just find that it is as easy as clicking your heels. Ask everybody in the area including the small towns, big boxes and suppliers. Have a "snoop around my shop and talk about PPFA meeting", snoop around the shop should hook them.

    If I can help, I'd be happy to.
     
  33. jframe

    jframe <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Oops, that should have been Kathy, not Katy.
     
  34. Ruth Yheulon CPF

    Ruth Yheulon CPF CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Kathy,
    All I did was open my "Who's Who" membership directory and started dialing. Almost everyone I called was glad to see that the chapter was being revived and were more than happy to help. Mind you I did not expect that kind of response. We have selected and "Acting Board" until we have an actual election in June. Board meetings can be done via conference calls so that logistics are not an issue. Our first General Meeting will be on June 9 with Vivian Kistler, we are hoping for a great turnout. The vendors have all been on board with us and have offered up some great door prizes!
    Ruth
    Great Lakes Chapter PPFA
     
  35. Bob Shirk MCPF

    Bob Shirk MCPF CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

     
  36. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    An increase in dues would enable an exponential increase in benefits. The association would then be of much greater value to the members. The "cadre of volunteers" are hard-core PPFA supporters who would most appreciate the added value of the association, when revenue is adequate to fund some really outstanding benefits for the members. I think most of them would embrace such a change, and would stick around.

    I don't think I "overstated the concept" with the $2,000 per year figure. That's $167 per month, and MANY framers pay that much for small -- completely ineffective -- Yellow Pages ads. But any significant increase could have a positive effect on the value of associating.

    Maybe, as you said, the "average member" expects "...increased benefits before they pay more bucks...". OK, what added benefits would attract more average framers? And how would those added benefits be financed? The idea of getting more for less does not apply here; there's barely enough dues to pay for the newsletter now.

    The point of my "concept" is that PPFA should not be trying to attract members on the basis of low price. That's a losing strategy, which has never worked in all of PPFA's history. We (and PPFA) should be attracting our customers (members) with value and quality, not low price.

    To put it another way, is "average" the kind of framer PPFA should be trying to attract? I think PPFA should be working to attract above-average framing businesses that would recognize the value of outstanding benefits, would put them to work in their own businesses, and would also be best able to afford them.

    "Average" framers don't support PPFA, long term. They come wishful and go disappointed. The framers that faithfully support PPFA and provide the "cadre of volunteers" are above average by all measures. Not necessarily large framing businesses, but professional and profitable, looking for long term stablility & quality growth.

    At the moment, PPFA is trying to cut dues & increasing benefits; they're trying to be all things to all framers, and it must be costing PMAI a pile of cash. It can't continue this way for long. And what do you suppose will happen when the dues deal is done? All those looking for something-for-nothing will just go away. Again.

    I believe cutting the cost of PPFA membership is a mistake. Instead, PPFA should be increasing value & quality of membership -- and accordingly, price.
     
  37. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Master Jim,

    PMAI isn't going to try to support PPFA based on the $95 dues paid by the under $300,000 a year framer. Dues become more the more money you make.

    PMAI is in the Tradeshow business, after the show in Lost Wages this year it is obvious where they want to get their money.

    PMAI's challenge will be to get the Framing Vendors to their show, which, BTW, is the PPFA show. If they can accomplish this then the needed monies would be there. We pay Decor for the magazine but I'm quite sure that John Taft would say that the Subscription cost isn't what pays the bills it's Advertising, Advertising, Advertising and Bunches and Bunches of Vendors showing up for Atlanta, New York and such.

    Framers support the Vendors if the Vendors commit to the PMAI show and the membership commits to the PMAI show PPFA becomes more successful.

    Volunteer support is part of every Trade Association that I've belonged to. It takes every type of Framer to volunteer. PPFA should not be an Association "JUST" for the elite because they can spend $2000 in dues. A Trade Association is support for everyone in the Trade. That same Association should further the Quality and Ethics of its members. However, you will never weed out all the bad seeds, hopefully they will weed themselves out.

    This is almost Random thoughts at this point, I'll shut up now.
     
  38. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jerry is right, I wouldn't pay $2000 a year, either. But $95 is too low. Period. And not to seem mean-spirited, but if you can't afford more than $95 a year, then your problems are larger than a trade association.

    So, how about for starters,we assume one of the things PPFA should do is to offer educational opportunities to help all framers make more money-to become more profitable and more successful.

    Then, we are back to old chicken or egg scenario where you have to go to trade shows to take advantage of these offerings.

    Then, you have to have the money to pay for the class(es) to help you make more money to afford the membership that allows you to attend the shows that offers....

    Sometimes, it just comes down to making an investment in your own future.

    But, as I said before, if $95 is the first hurdle you have to scale...

    I know Jerry makes the shows (his wife took one of my classes); it's a start. But only a start

    I think $2000 is too high, but not $200.
     
  39. rosetl

    rosetl CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Does anyone have the actual statistics -- number of members that renewed after PMI affiliation and how many members took the trial $25 one year membership the first year? How many of those renewed last fall----at an effective 4x rate? How did the renewals overall stack up last fall? How is the new intro offer going this year? How many of the new members have a considerable portion of their income due to custom framing and how many are those that are expanding to selling framing? (one hour photos?)
     
  40. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Yeah then Bob Carter can make more money!! [​IMG]
     
  41. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Tthe original question was what "Tangible" benefits are there for PPFA members. So, for the sake of discussion, do you guys think there should be some cold, hard tangible benefits to attract new members? Should PPFA work on a more alluring hook to attact the new fishies? If so, then what would they be? I first thought maybe a deeper discount at the education venues, but my goodness, how much would they have to be discounted before people would consider that a tangible benefit? More Marketing materials? How about a video featuring one of our finest educators lecturing on their topic of expertise? Then, maybe that would be bait enough for some to want more of the PPFA classes. I'm just thinking out loud here, which usually gets me in trouble. (Shoot. I was just getting warmed up, but I'm needed upstairs...) Maybe we should ask the non members just what it is that they want. Speak up!
     
  42. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Shucks, Jerry, I'm sure almost all of the educators will tell you that this ain't a high paying gig. If it were about making money, I'd stay at work.

    And especially something as un-sexy and unexiciting as my classes; If I were paid on a commission basis, I'd be writing PPFA a check. But we do what we are asked to do in hopes that it might help someone.

    Sometimes it's fun, sometimes you feel you're beating your head against a wall and sometimes you do your darndest just to keep everyone awake.

    But a money maker? Nah, not even close
     
  43. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    At the risk of looking like I am stradleing the fence ,I wish to AMEN Bob's reply to Jerry.
    There was a time when I too thought all those instructors were earning a great living traveling around the country teaching the rest of us how it is done. Then I learned what the Trade shows pay ( especially the PPFA) and how much time away from the instructors shops it required and i then wondered How in the HE ll they keep doing it.
    If you just read between the lines of the last few post you'll have to notice there isn't a lot of budget for INSTRUCTORS and the people who do instruct are among the most dedicated 'Cadre Of Voluteers"
    Even if it is on an Individual bases would you (Jerry) want to Travel all over the country and find some one else to run your shop when ever some local chapter needed a speaker? As I understand it most work for expenses and then they often spend hours if not days getting Handouts and demonstrations ready .Otherwise we won't give them a favorable exit revue and they won't be asked back.All that glitters is not GOLD nor make it either.
    I used to wish I could be an instructor and then I realized I'd have to close my shop.LOL And who wants to listen to a Framer that has to close his shop and isn't even a framer anymore ?
    While I respectfully disagree about How High and when we should raise the PPFA dues ,I deeply admire and respect the Volunteers that instruct and try to raise the profitability of guys like me so that some day I too can afford $167 per month Dues.
     
  44. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    At the risk of looking like I am stradleing the fence ,I wish to AMEN Bob's reply to Jerry.
    There was a time when I too thought all those instructors were earning a great living traveling around the country teaching the rest of us how it is done. Then I learned what the Trade shows pay ( especially the PPFA) and how much time away from the instructors shops it required and i then wondered How in the HE ll they keep doing it.
    If you just read between the lines of the last few post you'll have to notice there isn't a lot of budget for INSTRUCTORS and the people who do instruct are among the most dedicated 'Cadre Of Voluteers"
    Even if it is on an Individual bases would you (Jerry) want to Travel all over the country and find some one else to run your shop when ever some local chapter needed a speaker? As I understand it most work for expenses and then they often spend hours if not days getting Handouts and demonstrations ready .Otherwise we won't give them a favorable exit revue and they won't be asked back.All that glitters is not GOLD nor make it either.
    I used to wish I could be an instructor and then I realized I'd have to close my shop.LOL And who wants to listen to a Framer that has to close his shop and isn't even a framer anymore ?
    While I respectfully disagree about How High and when we should raise the PPFA dues ,I deeply admire and respect the Volunteers that instruct and try to raise the profitability of guys like me so that some day I too can afford $167 per month Dues and Yellow page adds that cost the same.
    Please also look back at my post. I didn't say I wouldn't agree to Higher dues ,infact i think I said I had paid more and will again.But I think some of the numbers being bantered about are aimed and a very few.Also for those who may have forgotten or aren't aware there is a accending scale of dues for those BB and others who have W2's that waren't it.
    BUDDY

    [ 05-13-2003, 12:12 AM: Message edited by: BUDDY ]
     
  45. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If there were marketing efforts going on. If there were things being done to educate the public (such as someone writing articles for major magazines, and not just ads, although ads would help). If something was being done, AND the dues could be spread out over the year, then Yes! I would be willing (and able) to cut other advertising and put $50-$100 per month into my PPFA dues.

    As it is, I need to reach customers myself. I'm getting no help from anyone, so my money has to go that direction (for now).

    Betty

    PS. When one has a desire and a gift to teach, (and something to teach, which should go without saying...) then it becomes a "calling". And as much as anyone of us would love to get paid for just teaching, a "calling" leads us to places that money won't. (Just ask any school teacher.)

    (I once made the statement that "I don't do nuttin' that I can't make a profit at", well, teaching is something else all together....)
     
  46. PurplePerson1

    PurplePerson1 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Barb Pelton said:
    Bingo! Education is what I want.
     
  47. jvandy57

    jvandy57 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I was being facetious Guys! I know you work hard for your what little money you get, although right now it's more than what I'm making. AND mind you, you get to be famous, and all the chicks dig you!
     
  48. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hate to alter the content here but I thought I couldn't let this go by. Jerry, I am just impressed you know how to spell facetious! [​IMG] (as your qualifications as a "speller" were being challenged in another thread).

    Even further off topic.................did you know that facetious is the only word in the English language that uses not only all the vowels but also in the correct order? I am a wealth of useless facts to be sure............
     
  49. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

     
  50. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No Jerry. That's sometimes y.

    (Although I've never seen "sometimes y" used in a word.

    Betty
     
Sponsor Wanted

Share This Page

Sponsor Wanted