"We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

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"We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby gripper » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:08 pm

Hi,
I wish to inquire of experienced framers views of a marketing idea.
I am relatively new to framing and work from home. Although I know I can build a website, use social media, develop SEO etc, that can also be a full time job in itself. Because of my circumstances it has occurred to me whereupon I would propose to adopt a method of marketing a carpet fitter I know uses, by providing a home selection service.

I don't have a retail premises so it makes it difficult for potential customers to visit my home to discuss their framing requirements, view mouldings etc. The carpet fitter I know has for years, taken books of carpet/flooring samples to peoples homes to allow the customer to select their carpet in their own home, around their own furnishings and quote accordingly. Either immediately or if the books are left, once they have selected. This is obviously heavy and uses more fuel to try to succeed in getting the sale.

My proposal was to offer customers the same type of "We come to you" facility which would benefit the customer by offering the same service and assist the business in direct customer contact rather than relying on the internet to spread the word.

My first thoughts are the additional time and expense of fuel to operate such a service. It wouldn't cost the same overheads as the carpet fitter because I could do carry it out from a car boot as opposed to buying a van and carrying heavy books, ie a few boards with moulding chevrons, a mountcard selection and a laptop.

Your views would be much appreciated.... Many thanks in advance
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby Jamesnkr » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:41 pm

There have been examples on here of framers who have worked like that.

The only thing you need to consider is how much you want to earn per hour, and whether your proposed business will allow you to do that. In central London it would not work - parking and travel would kill it unless you could carry it all in a suitcase and use public transport. In a rural environment you'd spend your life driving - and don't forget the second trip to collect the samples and the third trip to deliver. In a market town where traffic was generally quiet and your customers not far away then it would be more practical.

A carpet fitter probably has a minimum order of £500. Yours will be £40.
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby pramsay13 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:57 pm

I also work from home and when I took over the business from a retiring framer I continued visiting customers for a while.
He did it as his framing workshop was in his attic so he didn't want people wandering through his house.
As I used my garage as a workshop I started inviting people to come and see me and most took me up on this as people quite like seeing equipment and getting a bit of an insight into the process.
Although I still offer it as a service if anyone asks I encourage them to visit so they can see a bigger range of samples and my work environment.
If they still want me to visit then I will do.
I used to take a range of samples in a modified wallpaper pasting table. You'll see photos of it someone on the forum.
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby Abacus » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:02 pm

Insurance would be very expensive, you would need commercial traveller (to collect and deliver) plus goods in transit insurance.
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby gripper » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:09 pm

Thank you guys.
It is what I thought. Fortunately I do live in a market town outside Bristol so It could work.
I am also conscious of the minimum order mentioned against the value of the time put in and the travel.
I think some programming and discipline would need to be implemented to minimise waste and make it cost effective, such as visiting and delivery times to allow time for work and assembly.
If it is considered a practical proposal and there is a return on the investment to aid the growth of the business, then it is worth considering
Thanks again
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby Not your average framer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:44 pm

I think that it is much better that your customers come to your premises. All the time that you are away from your premises, it is not possible for you to be doing and productive work and also if you are expecting a delivery, then you are not there to receive your delivery.

The other thing is there are never enough hours in a day and being somewhere else other than in your workshop is making matters worse.
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby Jamesnkr » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:00 am

Abacus wrote:Insurance would be very expensive, you would need commercial traveller (to collect and deliver) plus goods in transit insurance.


*Very* expensive? Probably not and you'll only find out if you ask your insurance company. You wouldn't necessarily need commercial traveller insurance anyway, depends on your insurance company. You're not going door to door, you're going to appointments - and that does make a difference.

And I don't see the point in goods in transit insurance. It seems very unlikely that - as a start up - anybody is going to give you anything that's worth much; most framing is likely to be photographs and sports shirts rather than fine art. So it's not worth insuring. If it does get damaged it's going to be the frame that is damaged, which you can fix for under a tenner. The odds of damage to the art are so slim as not to be worth worrying about and even then the damage is unlikely to be more than a few tenners.
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby Steve N » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:19 am

I don't think it's a good idea, you will have to build into your prices the time you are there in their home, which will be longer than if they came to you, you would have to have a minimum charge, otherwise you could going to see a 10x8 photo to be framed :head: you give them a price, "ho I think about it and give you a ring" so you end up going back to fetch the 10x8 , go back to the workshop, frame it, then deliver it, could be 6 car journeys. Even if you get the go ahead on your first visit, it's still going to be 4 car trips.

Better option would be as another forum member does, have market stall, frame some pictures up to sale, use old calenders, books etc, have them on the stall to attract customers, and have you moulding/mountcard samples, along with some signs up regarding custom framing,. Just do one or two markets a week, then the rest of the time you can be framing.
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Re: "We Come To You" Framing Selection Service

Postby Jamesnkr » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:53 am

It works if you are otherwise sitting at home watching the lawn grow as it's the difference between earning money and not. And whilst a High Street presence requires you to earn £50 per hour to cover the rent, you might well be ecstatically happy with £15 per hour - once you've averaged out workshop and driving time - rather than sitting there twiddling your thumbs. The business is growing, it's time well spent and invested.

You could charge £20 for a visit, full credit given against an order of £80 or more and £10 credit against an order of £40 or more.
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