How To Increase Sales During Slow Times

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With the holiday shopping season long over, you might find that February is a slower time for your shop. But, just because you’re seeing fewer customers or slower days doesn’t mean you need to suffer. Switch things up while you have the time, and you might find that you can turn a slow season into a spectacular one.

Celebrate a Holiday

February is the perfect time to promote picture framing. Between Valentine’s Day and Family Day, there are many reasons for your customers to celebrate and then to commemorate their loved ones with gifts of framing. Use window displays, social media, and email to suggest framing for these holidays that centre around sentiment. As a framer, you specialize in preserving their best memories.

Increase The Average Ticket

If traffic is slower, you need to be able to increase the value of every sale. While upselling can be tricky – you don’t want to seem disingenuous – you can make simple suggestions to increase the price of every ticket. Conservation matboard instead of white core is an easy way to do this. So is showing the differences between regular glass and anti-reflective. You don’t always have to aim for the most expensive materials. A 5-10% increase on every order is achievable for you, not likely to scare customers away, and adds up over time.

Prepare For Busier Times

If you find yourself with spare time, make it work for you. An hour or two without a customer doesn’t need to be wasted time. Instead, use your downtime to clean, reorganize, and update. Make sure your pricing is up to date, and contact your suppliers for any new samples. You can even use the time to research and learn new tricks!

Some days are busier than others, but that doesn’t mean your entire business needs to stop on those slow days. Find ways to generate more business, and work on those things you’ve been putting off. You’re bound to see the results as shoppers start heading back to stores.

What’s Your Story?

Page2Image1Gone are the days when you could simply rent a retail space, open the door, and expect to bring in customers. Instead, you have to strategically compete with any number of brick-and-mortar and online retailers vying for the same framing business. Every day, you have to stand out, so that customers see you amidst your competitors. There are many little ways that you can achieve this, just by personalizing your business. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your company is, telling your story is an effective way to emphasize what sets your business apart and is a valuable tool to help get customers through the door.

Who Are You?

You know who you are, but do your customers? Let them in. You can be as detailed as you like, but you want to focus on why you chose the picture framing industry and what it means to you. This can include your education, your motivation, and why you are the right choice to preserve your customers’ art and memories. You can add personal touches wherever you see fit. It’s about being personable so your customers can relate and connect with the people behind the business.

What Do You Do?

Do you have a specialty? Talk about it! You want your story to touch on the things that you’re an expert at. Being a picture framer requires more than the job title suggests. Make sure your biography and your story reflect this. List what you and your business specialize in and why it’s important to the core of your business and to your customers’ needs. Do you have a design background and want to help people beautify their space? Do you want to help preserve treasured family keepsakes? Are you interested in fashion and cutting edge techniques? Expanding on any of these suggestions tells a different story and caters to a different clientele, so use your story to appeal to the kind of customer that you want to work with and who would be intrigued by you.

What To Avoid

There are many stories that are simple and true but aren’t necessary to include in your business’ story. You maybe be family run or local, but so are many of your direct competitors. What makes your business stand out? If you want to emphazise that you’re family owned, tell your customers about your family. Why did they get started in the industry? Was the business passed down through a generation or more? Make it interesting and personal, otherwise it’s not a significant enough detail to include.

Share your story wherever you think it’s applicable. It can be a strong marketing tool in many ways. An “About Us” page on your website, in your logo or branding, or as a tagline can get your story out there. It helps to add a face to your company name, and give your customers a way to relate to you.

2019 Colour Trends: Coral

Colour forecasts are an exciting part of the year for framers, interior designers, and artists. Fashion houses, design studios, and colour experts predict and display the colours that they see being popular for the next calendar year. While 2018 was dominated by sultry purples and stormy greys, 2019 looks to be taking a lighter approach with an invigorating, cheerful coral. While such a bright colour can seem intimidating or limiting at first glance, it is a versatile and lighthearted shade that can be used to create fabulous and intriguing framed art.

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You can never go wrong with a white matboard. It allows the vibrancy of the coral to take centre stage. Selecting the right white matboard will depend on whether the coral in your image pulls more pink or orange, the white of the image substrate, and the subject matter. Go for a bright white for a sparkling, modern finish, a natural rag white for a subdued approach, or a magnolia shade for a lighter, airier feel.

Natural Wood Tones
Wood moulding and natural finishes aren’t going out of style any time soon. They are a perennial staple with good reason. Think of how often you see bright colours against wood tones in nature. Stained, wood grain finishes act as a perfect neutral to ground an image and help to highlight more vivid colours. A wood grain moulding is informal and relaxed, and helps to play to the floral elements of coral shades.

BlueCoralandBlueRoom
Is anything more suited to coral than a watery, rich blue? Blue is one of the most interesting colours to pair with coral because it works as a complimentary colour and creates simultaneous contrast. Both the blue and the coral will appear brighter simply by being next to each other. The effect works with a variety of blues. Lighter turquoise shades give a refreshing, tropical feel, while a navy blue is rich and sophisticated.

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Grey
Grey is a modern framing favourite. It has the ability to appear neutral and to work as a thoughtful. interesting design choice. It can add a much needed cool tone to balance the piece. Grey moulding acts as a subtle, unobtrusive addition to a coral print on a coral wall. Aim for a very neutral undertone in you grey so as not to pull too much focus.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with this fun, joyous colour. It is full of wonder and vitality and can be a perfect compliment to a wide range of framing styles. Embrace the irreverent nature of a coral shade and enjoy working it into your framing as a small pop of colour or a statement focal point throughout 2019.

Customizing a Raw Wood Frame

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Customizing wood moulding is easier than you may think. In order to achieve the perfect coral shade, we broke out the painting supplies. Here’s how you can achieve this simple, fun, one-of-a-kind frame.

What We Used:

  • Joined raw wood frame
  • High grade sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Spray paint and primer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Kraft paper

Step 1: Selecting Your Supplies
It’s easiest to start with a raw wood moulding, like the LV77RAW. This 1.25” wide, flat profile is easy to prep and finish.

Step 2: Preparing to Paint
FC’s raw wood mouldings are soft to the touch, so they can be used without finishing, however painting will cause the grain to rise. So, we began by giving the joined frame a gentle sanding with a high-grit sandpaper, and wiping away the excess dust with a tack cloth. Remove as much dust as possible to prevent flaws in the finish.

Step 3: Priming the Surface
It is important to ensure that the surface will accept the paint. Some paints are available in a combination paint and primer option, but for this project we used a separate Montana brand spray primer. In a well-ventilated area, we applied several thin, even coats, ensuring that the frame was touch-dry before sanding and wiping with the tack cloth between applications.untitled

Step 4: Painting the Frame
Once primed and sanded, we waited 24 hours for the primer coat to cure before demarking it with painter’s tape and kraft paper to achieve the two-toned effect. First, the bottom was painted with Montana Gold spray paint in “Shrimp”, sanding and wiping between several thin coats. We then allowed the paint to cure before using the same method to mask the painted portion and to spray the top portion of the frame with Montana Gold spray paint in “Shrimp Pastel”.

Pro Tips:

  • Spray paint can be difficult to control. Try using a spray- grip accessory for even pressure and make sure to coat with a gentle back-and-forth motion at a distance of 8 inches for optimal results.
  • Once cured, the painted frame can be used as is, or an additional protective clear coat can be applied.