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Setting Goals


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I was wonderng if any of you set goals for yourself? I started setting goals for myself, the business, and my employees 2-3 years ago and found it has made quite an impact on my business. Some are pretty simple, some more complex, but the goals set have helped achieve the ultimate goal, being more successful. I found that by having set a goal, I had to figure out a way to reach it, and that sometimes led to another goal to reach.
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This is interesting, please elaborate and give examples.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Note Number 5

10 Rules for an Easier Life

1: Never judge a day by the weather.

2: The best things in life are not things.

3: Tell the truth - there’s less to remember.

4: Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.

5: Goals are deceptive - the un-aimed arrow never misses.

6: He who dies with the most toy’s stills dies.

7: Age is relative- when you are over the hill you pick up speed.

8: There are two ways to be rich - make more or desire less.

9: Beauty is internal - looks mean nothing.

10: No rain - no rainbows.

Happy living.


B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Originally posted by Dermot_Cox_Kearns:
5: Goals are deceptive - the un-aimed arrow never misses.
This is in line with "If you don't know where you're going, you'll never know if you get there" and "Shoot for the Moon, you might hit the stars"

I've read gobs of PMA books (Positive Mental Attitude - not positional mounting adhesive! ;) )
They all say things like this, and I can spout them off with the best, but until we ACTUALLY DO them, they are like Dermot's un-aimed arrows.

It's been a long time since I've set real goals. My entire life seems to be in "reactionary" mode these days. I can only "react" to everyone's needs, as they all seem to be on an unpredictible course. I would love some examples, they seem after all, to be the best encouragement.

Please Pamela, tell us what you did, how you did it, and how it changed things. (PS sorry to hear that you've been sick. Hope you're much better now.)


Barb Pelton

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I'm a firm believer in setting goals. I've set sales goals since the first day I was in business.
(For any interested: I figured out a break even analysis, added to that what I needed to sale to take home the salary I wanted, and then divided it out by the months, weeks, days and hours that my business was open. I keep a weekly sales summary, a monthly, and annual. I've charted those over the past 7 years, and I know what times are slow, etc. I then try to meet or beat those figures as my "goal". If I have a week that's slow, I start selling harder. If I'm down midway through the month, I go outside the store to do some additional sales calls.)

I have other goals as well. I set goals like
"I will replace this piece of equipment by ?/03."
"I will sale 30 limited edition prints during the next 2 months", etc.

My first retail job was as a sales clerk in a major dept. store. I was handed sales goals for each day I worked, made out one week in advance. The first week, I missed my goal by about 40%, so I went to the manager and said "Where do you guys get these figures from anyway?" My manager walked me through the entire process of how the management of the department store actually derived those figures--down to how the weather would affect sales on certain days. I was enthralled! That was 20 years ago, and I figured that if that was part of the technique that helped this particular store gross up to 5.2 million in a single day (20 years ago-yep, 1 store,) I decided I might be able to pick up a few pointers from that outfit!

I have others, and like you, Pam, some are more complex, but the end result is what we're after.
I can just about guarantee that every successful athelete sets goals. Winning marathons doesn't just doesn't happen. (Plus, if I didn't have goals, I'd probably just grumble away the day...then a week....then... :eek: )


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Beware of mixing up goals with good management and planning.

Big difference

Why do you think all those guys who write or talk about goals are writing books and giving lectures……………..if it was truly possible to set “Goals” (in my view predict the further)…..these guys would not be writing books and giving lectures.

Barb’s story about her manager walking her through the business model is a super example of great management and planning.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
When I set a goal for myself, it means I have to sit down, take a look at where I am at, where I want to go, and figure out how I am going to get there.
Example #1: Earlier this year, I added closed-corner frames to the mix. I put a goal of two closed corner sales per month. These things are pricey, so how am I going to get them sold? First, I decided to display them promenently-right in the center of the wall, from the far left to the far right. Customers would see them and ask to be shown the samples. Next, I gave employees an incentive. Any frame with a retail of over $300.00 got them a 5% commission. By giving employees an incentive to sell the higher-end product, there has been a noticable increase in sales of high-end moulding, not just closed-corner frames. I wanted two closed corner sales per month, but we have done no less than four, and as many as ten per month, and this should go up.
Example #2: I have two stores, one which I want to sell next year. Upon looking over the figures, I thought the store needed make a better profit in order to make the store more attractive to a potential buyer. It seemed that even though we have new customers all the time, we still had about the same number of customers each month on an average. I thought it would be easier to get the customers coming in to spend more than to try to get more new customers in the door. I set a goal of trying to get $10.00 more dollars per sale. I am sure you have heard these before, but what we did was sold wider mats, sold more fabrics, got rid of the black-core mats (we sell a black undermat instead-how often have you sold a black core just so the customer will have the look of black underneath, but could have sold an extra mat?), put the fabrics in with the paper, sell UV product, sell two mats instead of one, three instead of two, add v-grooves, adding more expensive moulding and getting rid of the cheap stuff. I pay close attention to the average ticket per month, and that store has increased its average ticket by more that $20.00 on an average. One month the average ticket was +$80.00! The funny thing is, I had to convince with my manager selling better products was the way to go. She was afraid that by going after a higher-end clientele, she would lose the customers she had. She is singing a different tune now.
These are a couple of examples I can give you, and I could do more, if you want.

Sherry Gray

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Because I didn't have to write a business plan to acquire funding, I wrote it as a goals tool, and listed my goals by year. I update it semi-annually and keep the old copies, both to see what I have accomplished and which areas need work. I bought my shop in 1995 and didn't have a plan for the first couple of years, but now it's an invaluable tool in helping me plan for the future. I used to keep my plans in my head, but this is a much better way to track progress.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
One of the things that has helped me raise the average frame sale is the way I have my wall set up. I have already stated that the closed corner frames are dead-center. I have placed the more expensive chop frames above the closed-corner frames. The less costly frames are as low to the floor as I can get them. So, it goes something like this-top frames retail for $15.00 a foot and higher, center $30.00' and higher, bottom, $14.00' and lower, with the cheapest frames closest to the floor. We all know how the wall is set, so the mouldings at the bottom get pulled last. The exception is, we will go low if one of those frames really are best, which is rarely. The customers can't see the bottom of the wall easily, so they tend to select what they can see.
Like most framers, we sell alot of blacks. I have some reasonably priced blacks, but we like the quality of Picture Woods matte blacks, which are pricey compared to most. We pull PW first, and more often than not, that is what we will sell. When someone comes in asking for a "simple black frame", the reaction for most would be to pull the cheapest thing available off the wall. We found that the cheapest thing is not always what they want, just the simplest thing. Why not try to sell quality first? If they want cheap, you will find out soon enough. The same tatic goes for any request for a "simple" moulding. We have an excellent selection of "simple" real cherry, real walnut and real maple. We make more money on the real thing than a ramin copy, so we always go for the best first. It is easier to sell a pricier frame job when you tell someone they are getting real cherry wood, not a look-alike.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dermot, I think that in order to achieve a goal you need good management and good business strategy. I can say "I need to do an extra $5000.00 a year", but thinking it and doing something about it are two different things. If I decided I needed to do an extra $10,000.00 per year, what it comes down to is I need to make an extra $5.00 extra per each sale, knowing that I do approximately 2000 units per year. I can either try to save that $5.00 somehow in the materials, or I can try to sell better at the front counter. I find it easier to sell better. I think more money is lost at the front counter than anywhere else. But I also think alot of money is tied up in the backroom with inventory that is not turning over fast enough.
things I keep track of to help me know where I'm at and how we are doing: how many sales we do on an average each month, average ticket amount, figures from the previous two years.

Norman Davies

Grumbler in Training
Regarding goals. I started thinking about goals and planning the type of life and business I wanted about 10 years ago. Every major change I have made in my life has been a result of setting goals. I feel the most important goals that business does not attend to be writing a formal business plan with clear goals and objectives. Write the plan work the plan! It is simple and straightforward. In my years in sales and consulting I have learned that for most people goals are difficult because they involve making decisions - many people just cannot make a decision. Decision-making is a discipline and we live in a society that has a lot of problems with discipline. Goals are great - make them a part of your everyday!


Hi, Pamela,
Thanks for this thread! Great food for thought and helpful in planning! It's very intructive to hear how other framers do things! Thanks, again. I do have one question, You mentioned that you do 2000 "units" per year - do you mean that your business frames 2000 pieces each year, and if so, with how many employees do you do that business and do you find it difficult to keep a quick turnaround time?

As for the goals, we do the same thing and look at every piece of the business, from what, how and who we are selling; how to improve production; how to increase our market presence, how to buy better and how to save on expenses, what equipment to buy and when, which trade shows to go to and how to affrod it, etc. (my husband and I sit down at least quarterly to evaluate all of these things and to tweak our "goals"). It takes time, but it is worth the effort!

Thanks, again,


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yes, 2000 units would be number of items framed. It really isn't that much, approx. 39 per week, or 7 per day, which would be about right for 2 people to handle. I figure someone has to take in the seven, and someone has to produce the seven. It takes about one hour to frame a picture, start to finish on average, so when you figure in lunch, 7 hours is about right. There are three people who work the store I work- me, one part-timer, and one full-timer who "floats" my two stores, so it is like having two full-timers in the one store. One of those days "overlaps", so I only work a four day week (one of my other goals-to work less). Two of us work the counter and produce the work, one assembles frames (we do chops only,) and helps in production. We have little trouble getting the work out in two weeks, and I do inform customers that a "Pam project", like stitchery or a shadow box may take longer.
Everyone wants to see more and more people come in their door every year, and for me not a day goes by we aren't adding people to our database. It just seems that you get your business to a point, and the same amount of new people are going to find you on an average, like it plateaus at some point. Am I making sense? I probably have reached a plateau, where the new customers are there, just not in a large enough quantity for it to make a noticable difference in the number of items we frame each year. I am very comfortable with the amount of business I do, to do more would mean either more help, which is hard to come by, or more hours for me, which I am not willing to do. My goal for the last two years was to get the average ticket up (in both stores), which we did, so I didn't have to rely on more people to get the figures up. We just got the ones already coming in to spend more.


Thanks for the info, Pamela!

Trying to determine how much work each person is producing is always an interesting thing for us. Some weeks are better than others, but we do average about what you are averaging - we also try to determine efficient output by ticket amounts, too. The larger the amount, the more involved the piece, usually. I.e. adding fillets or stacked moulding, or real projects, like shadowboxes, nedlework, etc.

We are still in a growing mode and I recently hired a third full-time framer. I am not sure where we will will want to "stop" trying so hard to grow, but for right now it seems right. I love this work!

Thanks again,


P.S. Are you planning to go to Las Vegas for the National Conference & Trade Show?


Grumbler in Training
May I recommend a marvelous little book by John Haskell called Profit Rx. It's about writing a marketing plan for your business. I read it once, scratched my head and read it again. Then it changed everything about where we're going and how we're getting there.
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