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Which One Makes You More Money?



Out of curiosity, I'd like to know how much of your business at your shop comes from residential, vs. commercial? Which is the "meat and potatoes" of your business, or is it an even split?

And did you gear your shop towards one or the other, or was it just "one of those things?"

And would you like to see more of one or the other, and how would you go about soliciting it?

Just curious.

I don't care what color your sofa is.
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MGF, Master Grumble Framer
-Planned it that way from the beginning
-I dont plan to spend much time soliciting corporate stuff in the near future


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Residential. I quit doing commercial stuff 2 years ago. Too much work, not enough profit to make it worth the extra time we had to put in. I am making as much money now as I ever have doing only residential and with alot less aggrevation.

Susan May

It is my "oppinion" that commercial framing is High Volume, both in the amount to be framed, and the complaints about price. Large quantity does not always mean big pay.

I have both residential, and commercial customers. The only commercial customers I have that don't question my prices, started as residential customers. (I prefer my residential customers.)



Angry Badger
I do residential, and "corporate", a nice little niche between retail and commercial. Good money, good volume, and rarely a quibble about price. They want quality and occasional quick turn-arround, but most of the communication is done by phone or memo so there is little time spent in the decision making process. You have to be selective, but if you can get a couple of steady corporate accounts it will provide a firm foundation for your business.
The commercial end will kill the creative spark, though I've seem a number of businesses do well in it, I have also seen them quit from burnout in just a few years.
Residential is great, but it also consumes the most time, and is at times fickle.
Commercial is the only kind that I turn away.

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Boy, do I agree with Wally. If they want it cheaper because they are a business, I always ask if they will do work for me cheaper because I own a business. The answer is predictable.If you pay retail rent, focus on retail trade. If you pay commercial rent, you probably won't get much retail trade.

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
I've got to jump in here too. We charge a 10% premium on all corporate work. It takes more time, requires a salesperson to go outside and the "volume" is never enough to warrant a discount. We also propose conservation grade mats and UV filtering glass on all jobs, even with poster art. Have not "lost" enough jobs to count because our "prices were too high." Wow them with good design and service and the price becomes a moot point.

Like my mentor Jay Goltz says, "I have three boys. Do you think I get a group discount when I take them to the barber?" Same for art and framing. Unless the job has a large quantity of the same moulding or other time saving incentive, just because the corporate buyer is purchasing a large volume of pieces does not mean I have to lower my price. In fact, it takes more time to coordinate and deliver a large job than a small one. And, we charge for delivery and installation.


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Like my biggest commercial customer told me one time when we were discussing pricing (and I made a sign for the back room) "PROFIT IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!"


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I love commercial and residential. Since I have a staff I can do both. Commercial rounds out the retail cycle. Glad I have both when times are slow. With my method I can hand over notes to my assistant and they will assist me with the project. We have a nice balance. I do not frame anymore. Balance is good and prepares you for growth.

I cut the mat, I pet the =^..^= cat.
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