A Touch of Business

How to Start a Picture Framing Business: Essential Tips

Main Sections In This Post Steps To Starting A Picture Framing Business Points to Consider Resources Knowledge Is Power Featured Video


Are you considering starting a picture framing business? This overview will provide you with a helpful starting point.

You’ll find numerous examples to inspire your creativity and a preview of what you can expect while establishing your business. We’ll also discuss important factors that you should consider.

Additionally, we’ll provide valuable resources and information to assist you during the startup phase and as your business grows. There’s a lot to cover, so feel free to bookmark this page for future reference.

If you find this post useful, please share it with others!

Let’s get started with the steps.

Steps to Starting a Picture Framing Business

1. gaining an overview of what you’re getting into.

In this section, we’ll provide helpful insights and guidance to assist you in making decisions for your picture framing business.

One crucial element for success in the framing industry is you. Your personal feelings and aspirations towards owning and running a business are significant.

Taking the time to delve into this section will enable you to make informed decisions and set a solid foundation for starting your picture framing business.

a.) Is Starting a Business the Right Step for You?

Passion plays a crucial role in the success of a picture framing business. When you have a strong passion for your business, it becomes your driving force. When challenges arise, you’ll actively seek solutions. On the other hand, if you lack passion, problems may make you want to give up.

Imagine a scenario where you win a lottery. You generously help friends, family, and charities. You travel the world, buy your dream house, and even have a vacation home for relaxing weekends. You own all the cars and gadgets you’ve ever wanted, with unlimited resources at your disposal.

Despite all this, ask yourself an important question:

Would you still start a picture framing business?

If you answer yes, it means you genuinely have a passion for picture framing and are on the right track.

But if your answer is no, it raises another question: What would you rather do instead? Maybe it’s time to consider pursuing that path instead of starting a picture framing business.

For More, See How Passion Affects Your Business

The Reasons for Starting a Business

Starting a business may seem amazing – being your own boss, making important decisions, earning a good income, and living your dream. However, it’s important to be aware that success doesn’t come easy, and there can be challenges along the way.

Before diving into business ownership, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s the right fit for you and that you have the right reasons for starting.

I recommend checking out my article below, which will provide you with valuable insights and key points to consider. It will help you make an informed decision before taking the next steps.

  See Considerations Before You Start Your Business to identify key points for a new business owner.

b.) A Quick Overview of Owning a Picture Framing Business

Picture Framing Business Overview

Running a picture framing business involves various responsibilities and tasks. It’s important to have a general understanding of what to expect in this line of work.

As a picture framing business owner, you will be responsible for several key aspects.

These include managing inventory and supplies, interacting with customers, providing design consultations, framing artwork and photographs, ensuring quality craftsmanship, and handling financial aspects such as pricing and invoicing.

On an average day, you can expect a mix of activities. You may start by organizing the shop and preparing framing materials.

Interacting with customers is a significant part of the job, as you’ll assist them in selecting frames and discussing design options.

Framing artwork and photographs will require attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Additionally, you’ll handle administrative tasks such as managing orders, tracking inventory, and attending to customer inquiries.

Flexibility and adaptability are essential, as no two days may be exactly the same.

Overall, running a picture-framing business requires a combination of artistic skills, customer service, and efficient management to create beautifully framed pieces while satisfying customer needs.

Key Points To Succeed in Picture Framing Business

To succeed in a picture framing business, there are key points to remember.

First, it’s crucial to understand what customers expect. They desire high-quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and personalized service. Meeting these expectations will help build a loyal customer base.

Effective marketing of your business is also essential to attract customers and create awareness. Utilize strategies like establishing an online presence, engaging on social media, and implementing local advertising to reach your target audience.

Moreover, effective budgeting is vital for the sustainability of your business. Keep track of expenses, set pricing that covers costs and generates profit, and regularly review and adjust your budget to maintain financial stability.

By focusing on customer expectations, implementing effective marketing strategies, and budgeting wisely, you can increase your chances of success and keep your picture framing business open for years.

Challenges of Running a Picture Framing Business

Running a picture framing business comes with its own challenges that must be addressed for long-term success.

One of the key challenges is finding enough customers to generate sufficient revenue. It’s essential to attract a steady flow of customers who will provide the necessary income to cover expenses and ensure a profitable operation. This can be achieved through effective marketing strategies and a strong community reputation.

Keeping customers happy is equally important. Providing excellent customer service, delivering high-quality framing, and meeting their expectations is crucial to maintain customer satisfaction and building a loyal customer base.

Another challenge is ensuring sufficient financial resources to keep the business running, especially during slower periods. Having a solid financial plan, including budgeting and managing cash flow, is vital. This helps in sustaining the business and overcoming financial difficulties that may arise.

By actively addressing these challenges, such as acquiring customers, prioritizing customer satisfaction, and maintaining sound financial management, you can enhance the chances of running a successful picture framing business in the long run.

Picture Framing Business Models

There are various types of picture framing business setups, each with its own unique business model. Here are a few common setups and their corresponding business models:

  • Brick-and-Mortar Retail Store: This setup involves having a physical storefront where customers can visit to select and purchase frames. The business model revolves around offering a wide range of frame options, providing personalized customer service, and generating revenue through direct sales.
  • Online Store: In this setup, the business operates primarily through an e-commerce website. Customers can browse and purchase frames online, and the business model focuses on creating a user-friendly online platform, effective product showcasing, and generating revenue through online sales and shipping.
  • Mobile Framing Service: This setup involves offering framing services on-the-go, where the business owner visits customers’ locations to provide framing solutions. The business model relies on convenience, flexibility, and personalized service, often charging for services based on selected frames and additional customizations.
  • Custom Framing Studio: This type of setup specializes in custom framing, catering to specific customer requests and unique framing needs. The business model emphasizes craftsmanship, expertise in custom designs, and generating revenue through premium pricing for high-quality, tailored framing solutions.
  • Combination Store: Some businesses may combine picture framing with other related services, such as art supplies, gallery space, or photography studios. The business model focuses on diversifying revenue streams, providing a one-stop-shop experience for customers, and capitalizing on complementary services to increase sales.

It’s important to note that the specific business model and setup may vary based on the individual business owner’s preferences, target market, and local market conditions.

c.) Pros and Cons

Using simple words and language:

Pros of Running a Picture Framing Business:

  • Creativity: It allows you to express your creativity and artistic skills through framing and displaying artwork.
  • Personalization: You have the opportunity to work closely with customers, understanding their preferences and providing personalized framing solutions.
  • Diverse Customer Base: People from various backgrounds, including art enthusiasts, photographers, and homeowners, can become potential customers.
  • Repeat Business: Customers often require framing services for multiple pieces, leading to potential repeat business and long-term relationships.
  • Niche Market: Picture framing is a specialized service which can create a unique market position and less competition compared to broader industries.

Cons of Running a Picture Framing Business:

  • Seasonal Fluctuations: Demand for framing services may vary throughout the year, resulting in slower periods and inconsistent revenue.
  • High Overhead Costs: Initial investment in framing equipment, inventory, and a physical store can be substantial.
  • Fragile Artwork: Handling delicate and valuable artwork requires careful attention and precautions to prevent damage.
  • Evolving Trends: Keeping up with changing customer preferences, design trends, and new framing techniques may require continuous learning and adaptation.
  • Competition: Depending on the location, competition from other framing businesses or alternative framing options, such as DIY framing kits, can pose challenges.

2. Research

Picture framing business research.

Before diving into a picture framing business, conducting thorough research to make informed decisions is crucial.

Gathering quality information is vital as it provides valuable insights into whether this business suits you. One of the best ways to obtain reliable information is by connecting with industry professionals already in the field.

These experienced individuals can offer priceless advice and share their knowledge based on years of experience. Spending time with them presents a valuable opportunity to gain insights and learn from their expertise.

I have written an article to help you connect with the right people and approach them effectively. It provides ideas on finding the appropriate individuals to talk to and offers guidance on engaging with them.

Before embarking on your business journey, I recommend reading the article below. It will give you a strong understanding of what you can expect and help you make well-informed decisions.

See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start  for all the details.

Target Audience

Understanding your target market is crucial for a picture framing business. It involves identifying the specific group of people likely to be interested in your framing services.

Here are some potential customers who might be interested in what you offer:

  • Art enthusiasts and collectors
  • Photographers and photography studios
  • Interior designers and decorators
  • Homeowners looking to decorate their living spaces
  • Small businesses and offices in need of customized framing

By understanding your customers, you can improve your advertising and sales strategies to effectively reach and engage with them.

To learn more about understanding your target market and how it can benefit your picture framing business, check out my article How To Understand Your Target Market.

3. Looking at Financials:

Understanding the financial aspects of starting and running a picture framing business is essential. Let’s break down the key points:

Startup Costs:

  • Accurately estimating startup costs is crucial for a smooth launch. Underestimating can lead to financial issues, while overestimating may make it challenging to secure funding.
  • Make a comprehensive list of everything you need and gather pricing information. Update the list as new considerations arise during the planning phase.
  • Factors influencing costs include the size of your operation, hiring employees versus doing the work yourself, and the location you choose.
  • The decision to purchase new or used equipment also impacts startup costs.

For more detailed information, refer to my article on  Estimating Startup Costs.

Sales and Profit:

  • Your sales depend on the popularity of your products and services.
  • Effective marketing is crucial for generating awareness among the right audience.
  • Profit per sale and a sufficient number of sales are necessary to cover expenses, generate profit, and support your livelihood.

For More, See Estimating Profitability and Revenue

In summary, achieve sales that generate enough profit to surpass monthly expenses and provide for your living costs.

The lists provided can serve as a starting point for your research and provide ideas and insights into what to expect regarding costs, revenues, and profits.

Sample Lists

Startup Cost:

  • Deposit for Shop Lease: $4,000
  • Outfitting the Shop and Decor: $10,000
  • Equipment Purchase (includes mat cutter, glass cutter, frame joiner, work tables, etc.): $15,000
  • Initial Stock (frames, mat boards, glass, etc.): $10,000
  • Legal Business Registration and Necessary Permits: $500
  • One-Year Business Insurance: $1,500
  • Marketing Strategy Development and Website Creation: $3,000
  • Business Computer and Point-of-Sale System: $2,000
  • Miscellaneous Initial Costs: $1,000

Total Investment for Business Setup: $47,000

Monthly Operating Costs for the Picture Framing Business:

  • Shop Lease: $2,000
  • Utilities (Electricity, Water, Internet): $300
  • Regular Stock Replenishment: $2,000
  • Salaries for Two Part-Time Employees: $3,500
  • Monthly Business Insurance Cost: $125 (total yearly cost divided by 12)
  • Regular Marketing and Advertising Expenses: $500
  • Ongoing Website Maintenance and Online Ad Expenses: $200
  •  Miscellaneous Supplies: $300
  • Routine Equipment Maintenance: $100
  • Accounting Services: $200

Total Monthly Operating Costs: $9,225

Projected Revenue and Profit for the Picture Framing Business:

Let’s now assume that your business sells frames at an average price of $100, and you manage to sell an average of 5 frames per day:

  • Daily Revenue: $100 x 5 = $500
  • Monthly Revenue (assuming 26 business days in a month): $500 x 26 = $13,000 Annual Revenue: $13,000 x 12 = $156,000

And now the profit:

  • Monthly Expenses: $9,225
  • Annual Expenses: $9,225 x 12 = $110,700

This results in the following annual profit before considering taxes and the repayment of any setup costs:

  • Annual Profit = Annual Revenue – Annual Expenses = $156,000 – $110,700 = $45,300

These figures are illustrative and should be adjusted to reflect your business’s costs and revenue.

They also do not consider the impact of any business loans, investor repayments, or the potentially variable volume of business, especially during the first year.

A comprehensive analysis and consultation with a business advisor are highly recommended before starting your business.

4. Choosing The Right Business Location

Choosing the right location for your picture framing business is crucial for its success. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Avoid areas with no demand for your services as it can lead to failure even before you start.
  • Opening in an area with intense competition can make it difficult to make sales.
  • Ideally, you want a location with both demand for your services and a manageable level of competition.
  • Affordability is important too. Operating in a highly populated area may provide more exposure, but consider if the extra expenses align with profitability.
  • Conversely, a cheap location may seem tempting, but ensure it has enough demand to support your business.

Choosing the right location plays a vital role in your business’s success. Carefully research and evaluate potential locations to ensure you make the best choice for your picture framing business.

For more about business locations, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.

5. Choose a Business Name

When selecting a name for your picture framing business, aim for something catchy and appropriate. Consider these guidelines:

  • Choose a name that is easy to pronounce and remember.
  • Take your time to select a name that aligns with your company’s identity and that you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.
  • Ensure the availability of a matching domain name for your online presence.
  • Verify that another business does not already register the name you desire.

Business name ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Artful Frames
  • Picture Perfect Framing
  • Creative Edge Frames
  • FrameCrafters
  • Masterpiece Framing
  • Precision Frames
  • Elegant Encasements
  • Frame Haven
  • Signature Frames
  • FrameWorks Studio
  • Artisan Frames
  • Frame Expressions
  • Crafty Framers
  • Framing Solutions
  • Custom Frame Studio
  • Fine Art Framers
  • Frame Me Beautiful
  • The Framing Co.
  • Frame & Display

Remember, the purpose of this list is to inspire your own original ideas. Ensure your chosen name is not in use by another business and is available for registration.

For this important step, see How to Choose a Business Name.

6. Register Your Company

Registering your business is crucial because it provides legal recognition and legitimacy to your operations.

It establishes your business as a separate entity, distinct from your personal affairs, which can help protect your personal assets in case of any liabilities or legal issues.

Registering also allows you to access certain benefits and resources, such as business loans, grants, and insurance coverage, which can support the growth and stability of your business.

Additionally, being a registered business enhances your credibility and professionalism, instilling trust and confidence in potential customers.

When considering registering a picture framing business, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.

First, determine the most suitable legal structure for your business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

Each structure has its own implications in terms of liability, taxation, and management.

Next, research and comply with the specific registration requirements in your jurisdiction, which may include obtaining a business license or permits from local authorities.

Consider consulting with a legal professional or business advisor to ensure you understand and meet all the necessary obligations.

Permits and licenses to consider for a picture framing business may vary depending on your location and the specific services you offer.

Here is a list of potential permits and licenses:

  • Business license: A general license required to operate a business in your jurisdiction.
  • Trade license: Some areas may have specialized licenses for businesses operating in the trade industry, including picture framing.
  • Zoning permit: Ensure your business location is properly zoned for commercial activity.
  • Sales tax permit: If you sell products, you may need to collect and remit sales tax to the relevant authorities.
  • Fire and safety permits: If your business involves hazardous materials or fire risks, you may need permits related to safety regulations.
  • Environmental permits: If your activities involve waste disposal or handling certain materials, environmental permits may be necessary.
  • Signage permit: If you plan to display signage for your business, you may need a permit to comply with local regulations.

It’s important to note that the specific permits and licenses required can vary widely, so it’s essential to research and consult with local authorities or professionals to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

See, How to Register your Business  for more.

7. Create Your Corporate Identity

A business logo is a design that represents your picture framing business.

It’s important because you want to make a good first impression!

You want a consistent and professional design that impresses both new and existing customers.

A business logo includes different elements such as your logo , business cards , website , stationary, business sign , promotional items, etc.

See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages for more.

8. Writing a Business Plan

A business plan is an important document for your picture framing business. It’s used to secure funding and attract investors. It’s also like a roadmap that guides you from the beginning stages to running your business successfully.

Creating a business plan takes time and effort because you’re envisioning what your business will be like when it’s up and running. It requires careful consideration of all the details.

But all the hard work is worth it because once it’s done, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you need to start and operate your business effectively.

When it comes to creating your business plan, you have a few options. You can write it yourself, hire a professional, use a template, or use business plan software.

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to be actively involved in the process, especially if you hire a professional. This ensures that your business plan is unique and effectively conveys the nature of your picture framing business.

Remember, your business plan can be modified and optimized as you gain experience. It’s a good idea to review it periodically and make necessary adjustments or changes to align with your business’s growth and evolving operations.

SAMPLE Business Plan for a Picture Framing Business

Executive Summary:

Framed Moments is a picture framing business to be located in a high traffic urban area, aiming to serve local photographers, art enthusiasts, decorators, and the general public. Our core offering is a range of unique, high-quality picture frames. We also provide mat cutting, glass cutting, and frame assembly services. With a focus on customer service, craftsmanship, and quick turnaround, we aim to make custom framing easy, accessible, and affordable.

Company Description:

Framed Moments is a startup focusing on providing quality picture framing services to our clients. With an in-shop location and an online ordering platform, we aim to offer our services to a wide range of customers locally and nationally.

Market Analysis:

Our primary target market is professional and amateur photographers, art collectors, and general consumers looking to enhance their home or office décor. We also aim to partner with local artists, galleries, and art supply stores. According to IBISWorld, the custom framing stores industry in the U.S. is worth $1 billion as of 2023, and we aim to capture a share of this market.

Organization and Management:

The business will be owned and managed by [Owner’s Name], who has extensive experience in the art and framing industry. We’ll start with a small team, including two part-time framers. As the business grows, we’ll scale up by hiring additional staff and expanding our services.

Our primary service is custom framing, which includes consultation, design, assembly, and installation. We also offer related products and services such as mat and glass cutting, mounting, and selling a range of ready-made frames.

Marketing and Sales Strategy:

Our marketing strategy includes online and offline methods. We’ll have a strong social media presence, regularly updated, showcasing our products and services. We’ll also partner with local businesses, attend industry events, and run local ads. Our sales strategy is based on providing excellent customer service, competitive pricing, and quick turnaround times.

Funding Request:

We’re seeking an investment of $60,000 to cover startup costs, which include shop lease, equipment purchase, initial inventory, business registration, and marketing. The funds will also cover operating expenses for the first few months.

Financial Projections:

We project an annual revenue of $156,000 in the first year, based on selling an average of 5 frames per day at an average price of $100. With monthly expenses averaging $9,225, we project an annual profit of $45,300. We anticipate growth in revenue as our business gains more customers and as we scale our operations.

Exit Strategy:

Should it be necessary to exit the business, the plan would be to sell the business as a going concern. Assets, including inventory, equipment, and the customer database, would be attractive to another business in the same or a similar industry.

10. Conclusion:

Framed Moments aims to become a leader in the local picture framing industry. With a focus on quality, affordability, and customer service, we aim to meet the needs of photographers, artists, and general consumers. We believe we can establish a profitable and sustainable business with the right funding.

Please note this is a very simplified business plan and would need more detail, especially in sections like market analysis, financial projections, and marketing and sales strategy.

When creating your business plan, consider seeking the advice of a business advisor or consultant. For information on creating your business plan, see,  How to Write a Business Plan.

9. Banking Considerations

When starting a it’s important to choose a local bank that specializes in serving business owners.

Having a dedicated business account allows you to keep your business expenses separate from your personal spending. This separation makes it easier to track your expenses, and it provides proof in case you face a tax audit.

It’s also beneficial to establish a professional relationship with your banker. They can offer assistance and advice if you need funding for your business, and they can help speed up loan processes.

Additionally, it’s worth considering applying for a merchant account so that you can accept credit and debit card payments from your customers. Having a positive relationship with your banker can help simplify the application process for a merchant account.

By choosing a bank that understands the needs of small businesses like yours and building a strong relationship with your banker, you can ensure that your financial transactions run smoothly and efficiently.

For more, see, How to Open a Business Bank Account. You may also want to look at, What Is a Merchant Account and How to Get One.

10. Getting the Funds for Your Operation

To start and operate your business, obtaining the necessary funds is crucial. There are various funding options available to you.

  • Traditional lenders: Banks and credit unions offer business loans that can provide the initial capital you need. These loans typically require a solid credit history and collateral.
  • Private loans: You can explore loans from individuals or private lending institutions. They may offer more flexible terms and requirements.
  • Investors: Consider seeking investment from individuals or venture capitalists who are interested in supporting small businesses. In exchange, they may expect a share of ownership or a return on their investment.
  • Selling assets: If you have any valuable assets, such as equipment or property, you can sell them to generate funds for your business.
  • Collateral: Offering collateral, such as personal or business assets, can help secure a loan or attract investors.

When meeting with a loan officer, consider the following:

  • Clearly communicate your business plan and how the funds will be utilized.
  • Be prepared to discuss your experience and expertise in the picture framing industry.
  • Provide financial projections and demonstrate the potential profitability of your business.

Sample list of documents needed to apply for a business loan for a NEW picture framing business:

  • Business plan outlining your vision, market analysis, and financial projections.
  • Personal and business tax returns for the past few years.
  • Financial statements, including balance sheets and income statements.
  • Proof of collateral, such as property deeds or equipment documentation.
  • Personal and business bank statements.
  • Identification documents, such as driver’s license or passport.

Remember, it’s important to thoroughly research your funding options, compare terms and interest rates, and seek professional advice to make informed decisions about financing your business.

See, Getting a Small Business Loan for more.

11. Software Setup

Software Considerations for a Picture Framing Business

When it comes to software for your picture framing business, it’s important to make informed decisions. Here are some key considerations:

  • Research: Take the time to research different software options. It’s easier to implement a program from scratch rather than switching to a new system after your data is already in another program. Look for software that meets your specific business needs and goals.
  • Demo and Reviews: See if the software provider offers a demo version for you to try. This allows you to get a hands-on experience and see if it suits your requirements. Additionally, look for reviews and forums online to see what other users have experienced with the software. Their insights can help you make an informed decision.
  • Financial Software: Consider software solutions for tracking expenses and preparing financial documents for tax filing. Consulting with your bookkeeper or accountant can provide valuable guidance in choosing the right accounting software for your business.

List of software used for a Picture Framing Business:

  • Picture framing design software: Helps you create custom framing designs and visualize the end result.
  • Point of Sale (POS) software: Manages sales transactions, inventory tracking, and customer information.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Helps you track customer interactions, manage appointments, and maintain a database of customer information.
  • Accounting software: Streamlines financial management, including invoicing, expense tracking, and generating financial reports.
  • Project management software: Assists in organizing and tracking various framing projects, including deadlines, materials, and progress.
  • Inventory management software: Helps you keep track of framing materials, stock levels, and reordering needs.
  • Online gallery and e-commerce software: Enables you to showcase your framed artwork online, manage orders, and process payments.

Remember to evaluate the features, ease of use, and compatibility of each software option to ensure it aligns with your specific business requirements.

Check out Google’s latest search results for software packages for a picture framing business.

12. Get The Right Business Insurance

Insurance Considerations for a Picture Framing Business

When seeking insurance for your picture framing business, it’s important to address specific concerns to ensure proper coverage.

Here are some key considerations:

  • General Liability Insurance: Consider getting general liability insurance to protect your business against accidents, injuries, or property damage that may occur on your premises. This coverage can protect customers, employees, yourself, and anyone on your business premises.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, can provide coverage in case of claims or lawsuits related to professional negligence or mistakes in your picture framing services. This coverage can be important for protecting your business from legal and financial consequences.
  • Home-Based Business Insurance: If you operate or manage your picture framing business from your home, it’s crucial to inform your home insurance agent. Operating a business from your home may affect your existing home insurance policy, and it’s important to ensure you have appropriate coverage for your business activities.
  • Inventory and Property Coverage: Consider insurance coverage for your inventory, equipment, and business property. This can protect against theft, damage, or loss of materials, tools, and other valuable assets related to your picture framing business.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: Business interruption insurance provides coverage for income loss and necessary expenses if your business operations are disrupted due to covered events like fire, natural disasters, or other unforeseen circumstances. It can help you recover financially during periods of business interruption.
  • Workman’s Compensation Insurance: If you have employees, consider obtaining workers’ compensation insurance to provide coverage for work-related injuries or illnesses. It helps protect both your employees and your business by providing medical benefits and wage replacement in case of work-related accidents or illnesses.

When seeking insurance coverage, it’s advisable to consult with a competent insurance broker who specializes in small businesses.

They can guide you through the process, assess your specific needs, and ensure you have sufficient coverage tailored to your business requirements.

For more, see What to Know About Business Insurance . You can also browse the latest Google search results for picture framing business insurance .

13. Select Suppliers

Establishing a good relationship with your suppliers is vital for the success of your business.

Finding reliable and trustworthy suppliers is a key factor in ensuring smooth operations and profitability.

Here are some reasons why a strong supplier relationship matters:

Competitive Prices: Working closely with dependable suppliers allows you to negotiate competitive prices.

This enables you to offer cost-effective framing solutions to your customers while maintaining a healthy profit margin.

Stock Availability: Reliable suppliers ensure that you always have an adequate supply of framing materials.

This helps prevent delays in fulfilling customer orders and keeps your business running smoothly.

Mutual Benefits: It’s important to treat your suppliers with respect and ensure that both parties benefit financially.

Building a mutually beneficial partnership fosters a positive working relationship and can lead to preferential treatment, better communication, and potential discounts.

To select the right suppliers for your picture framing business:

Research: Look for suppliers who specialize in providing quality framing materials. Consider their reputation, reliability, and ability to meet your specific requirements.

Pricing and Terms: Compare pricing structures, discounts, and payment terms offered by different suppliers. Evaluate how their pricing aligns with your budget and business needs.

Quality and Consistency: Assess the quality of the materials supplied by potential vendors. Consistency in material quality is crucial for maintaining the standard of your framed products.

Communication and Responsiveness: Gauge their responsiveness and willingness to address your inquiries or concerns promptly.

Effective communication is essential for a successful supplier relationship.

Remember, building a strong relationship with your suppliers takes time and effort.

Regularly review your supplier performance and maintain open lines of communication to address any issues or opportunities for improvement.

For More See, How To Choose a Supplier.

14. Physical Setup

Picture Framing Business Layout:

Creating a well-designed physical setup for your picture framing business is important. It should provide a comfortable and functional space for your customers and employees.

Consider factors such as the layout of workstations, display areas for frames, storage for materials, and a designated area for customer consultations.

Organizing your space efficiently can help streamline operations and enhance the overall customer experience.

Signage for Picture Framing Business:

Installing signage is crucial for attracting customers to your picture framing business. Place a prominent business sign at your headquarters to make your presence known.

Additionally, ensure that all required signs, such as directional signs, parking signs, and entrance/exit signs, are properly displayed throughout your premises.

Clear and visible signage helps customers navigate your establishment and creates a professional and inviting atmosphere.

Office Setup for Picture Framing Business:

Your office is where you manage and organize various aspects of your picture framing business.

A well-equipped and organized office can greatly enhance productivity.

Ensure you have the necessary furniture, such as desks, chairs, and storage units, to create a functional workspace.

Arrange your office in a way that promotes efficiency and accessibility to important documents, supplies, and equipment.

Having a tidy and well-equipped office can help you stay focused and manage your business effectively.

See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office, for tips and ideas to make your office work for you. Also, have a look at our article About Company Signs.

15. Creating a Website

Having a website for your picture framing business offers several benefits.

First, it allows you to establish an online presence and reach a wider audience. Potential customers can easily find information about your services, pricing, and contact details.

Second, a website provides a platform to showcase your portfolio and display examples of your framing work, building credibility and attracting customers.

Additionally, a website enables customers to conveniently request quotes or place orders online. It also allows for better customer engagement through features like testimonials and contact forms.

Overall, a well-designed website can enhance your visibility, credibility, and customer convenience.

For more, see How to Build a Website for Your Business .

16. Create an External Support Team

A support team of external professionals is a group of experts you can rely on for guidance and services for your picture framing business.

It’s important to note that these professionals are not your employees but are hired based on specific needs, such as on a per-use, contract, or hourly basis.

You don’t need to assemble this team before starting your business. Building professional relationships and finding dependable individuals takes time, but it’s an ongoing process worth investing in.

A strong support team can assist you when you require their expertise.

Your team may include professionals such as an accountant, a lawyer, a financial advisor, a marketing specialist, technical advisors, or consultants.

Collaborating with these professionals can provide valuable insights, specialized knowledge, and support to help your business thrive.

For more, see, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business.

17. Hiring Employees

Operating a picture framing business independently, without hiring employees, can be a feasible option in the early stages. It helps control costs since payroll expenses can be significant, especially when starting out.

However, as your business grows, managing and operating it alone may become overwhelming. Hiring employees becomes essential, as it can greatly enhance productivity when you hire the right individuals.

The following are job positions or outsourced services you may want to consider as your picture framing business grows and becomes successful:

  • Framing Technicians : Skilled professionals who specialize in the art of framing and can handle framing orders and custom projects.
  • Sales Representatives : Individuals responsible for engaging with customers, providing product recommendations, and handling sales transactions.
  • Customer Service Representatives : Professionals who ensure a positive customer experience, answer inquiries, handle complaints, and assist with order tracking.
  • Administrative Staff : Personnel to manage administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments, managing paperwork, and handling general office duties.
  • Marketing Specialists : Experts who can develop and execute marketing strategies, manage social media accounts, create promotional materials, and attract new customers.
  • Delivery Personnel : Individuals or outsourced services responsible for delivering finished framing orders to customers or shipping them securely.
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping Services : Outsourced professionals or dedicated staff member to handle financial tasks, including bookkeeping, payroll, and tax obligations.
  • IT Support : Either an in-house IT specialist or outsourced services to provide technical assistance, maintain computer systems, and ensure smooth operation of software and hardware.

Remember, the specific job positions or outsourced services you require may vary based on the size and specific needs of your picture framing business.

It’s important to assess your growing demands and consider hiring individuals or outsourcing services that align with your business goals and provide support for sustained success.

For more, see, How and When to Hire a New Employee.

Points To Consider

Getting customers through the door.

A picture framing business relies on customers to thrive and be successful. Attracting customers can be challenging, especially when your business is new and unfamiliar to people.

However, as time goes on and you gain more experience, it becomes easier to attract customers, provided they like the products and services you offer.

In the meantime, I recommend reading the following article that provides ideas and strategies to bring customers to your new picture framing business. It can help you develop effective marketing techniques and generate interest in your services.

See our article How To Get Customers Through the Door ; you’ll find a few ideas you can use.

Marketing Ideas

Promoting your picture framing business is something you should continually work on.

The more effort you put into effective marketing strategies, the more income you can generate.

You don’t necessarily need to hire a marketing agency to promote your business. Instead, think of it as creating awareness about your services and finding opportunities to do so whenever they arise.

See our marketing section for articles that will provide ideas to bring awareness to your picture framing business.

Focusing on your skill set is crucial when considering running a picture framing business. Evaluate if you possess the necessary skills to effectively manage the operations.

If you lack a key skill, remember that you can either learn it or hire someone who has that expertise.

Essential skills for a picture framing business owner may include:

  • Framing Techniques : Proficiency in the art of framing and understanding different framing methods and materials.
  • Creativity and Design Sense : The ability to create aesthetically pleasing and visually appealing frame designs.
  • Attention to Detail : Being meticulous and having a keen eye for precision in measurements, alignment, and finishing touches.
  • Customer Service : Excellent interpersonal skills to provide a positive and personalized experience for customers.
  • Time Management : Efficiently managing multiple framing projects and meeting deadlines.
  • Problem-Solving : The capability to identify and resolve framing challenges, such as fitting irregularly shaped items or addressing customer requests.
  • Business Management : Basic knowledge of business operations, including inventory management, pricing, and financial management.
  • Communication : Effective communication skills to understand customer requirements and convey framing options and recommendations.
  • Sales and Marketing : The ability to promote your services, attract customers, and convert inquiries into sales.
  • Adaptability : Being open to learning and adapting to new framing techniques, industry trends, and customer preferences.

Remember, while possessing these skills can contribute to your success as a picture framing business owner, continuous learning and improvement are key to staying competitive in the industry.

Hours of Operation:

The hours of operation for a picture framing business can vary depending on various factors such as customer demand, location, and business preferences. Here are some common hours of operation to consider:

  • Weekday Hours : Typically, operating from Monday to Friday is essential to cater to customers during regular business hours. Consider starting early in the morning (e.g., 9:00 AM) and closing in the late afternoon or early evening (e.g., 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM).
  • Extended Evening Hours : Offering extended hours on certain weekdays (e.g., Thursdays) can accommodate customers who work during the day and need framing services after regular working hours. Consider staying open until 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM on those days.
  • Saturday Hours : Many customers prefer visiting picture framing businesses on weekends when they have more free time. Opening on Saturdays from around 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM can cater to their needs.
  • Sunday Hours : While not essential for all businesses, opening on Sundays can be beneficial in high-traffic areas or during peak seasons. Consider opening for a few hours in the afternoon (e.g., 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM) to capture Sunday shoppers.
  • Appointment-only Hours : Offering appointment-only hours during weekdays or weekends can provide a more personalized experience for customers who prefer dedicated attention and consultation.
  • This allows you to manage your time effectively while accommodating individual schedules.

It’s important to assess the local market and customer preferences to determine the most suitable hours of operation for your specific picture framing business.

Consider conducting market research or consulting with industry professionals to optimize your business hours and ensure you provide convenient and accessible service to your target audience.

A List of Equipment You May Need for a Picture Framing Business:

  • Mat Cutter: This is used to cut mat boards to the correct size and to create window openings of the right dimensions.
  • Glass Cutter: This tool is essential for cutting glass that will cover and protect the artwork in the frame.
  • Frame Joiner or V-nailer: This is used to join the corners of the frame together.
  • Miter Saw: A miter saw is used for cutting frame mouldings to the correct length and at the right angle.
  • Work Table: A large, sturdy table is essential for laying out and assembling frames.
  • Frame Clamp or Frame Press: This holds the frame in place while it’s being joined together.
  • Measuring Tools: Tape measures, rulers, and angle finders will be required to make precise measurements.
  • Mounting Equipment: This might include a mounting press or materials for hinging or corner pockets.
  • Dust Removal Tools: Compressed air or anti-static brushes are used to remove dust from the glass and mat before the frame is sealed.
  • Fitting Tools: Screwdrivers, point drivers, staple guns, etc., for securing the artwork, mats, and backing material in the frame.
  • Frame Finishing Tools: For example, burnishing bones, fillet cutters or frame touch-up markers.
  • Matboard and Foamboard Cutter: For cutting backing materials to size.
  • Shrink Wrapping Equipment: Useful if you plan to sell prints or photos that need to be shrink-wrapped.
  • Computer and Software: For keeping track of orders, inventory, and accounting.
  • Printer: For printing labels, receipts, and other paperwork.

Remember that this list is a general one, and the actual equipment you’ll need may vary based on the specifics of your business and the services you plan to offer.

Picture Framing Buyer’s Guides

Taking the time to study buyer’s guides for purchasing picture framing products can be highly beneficial. It allows you to make informed decisions that save both time and money while also improving your understanding of the industry.

See the latest search results for picture framing buyer’s guides.

In this section, you will find valuable resources for your picture framing business that can be utilized while it is operational.

These resources will enhance your understanding of the industry and offer practical tips to improve various aspects of your business.

Industry Trends and Statistics

Looking at industry trends and statistics for a picture framing business offers valuable benefits. It helps you stay informed about the latest market developments, understand customer preferences, and make informed decisions to adapt and grow your business effectively.

See the latest search results for trends and statistics related to a picture framing business.

Picture Framing Associations

Trade associations provide valuable advantages for businesses, including keeping you updated on industry news and offering networking opportunities.

These benefits become even more evident when associations arrange events, creating platforms for knowledge exchange and professional connections.

See the search results for picture framing associations.

Top Picture Framing Business

Examining established picture framing businesses can be a valuable source of inspiration.

It allows you to identify gaps in the industry that you can address with innovative ideas, or recognize areas of improvement in your own business that may have been overlooked.

See the latest search results for the top picture framing businesses.

The Future of the Picture Framing Industry

Researching the future of the picture framing industry and provides significant benefits for someone starting a business.

It allows you to anticipate emerging trends, adapt to changing customer demands, and make informed decisions to position your business for long-term success.

See the search results for the future of the picture framing industry.

Researching industry prices and offers valuable benefits when starting your own picture framing business.

It helps you understand pricing trends, set competitive rates, and ensure your pricing strategy aligns with market standards, maximizing your profitability and attracting customers.

See the latest picture framing prices.

Picture Framing Businesses for Sale

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying an existing picture framing business that is already in operation.

The benefits of purchasing an established picture framing business compared to starting from scratch include:

  • Immediate Revenue : You start earning income from the day you take over the business.
  • Skipping the Startup Phase : You bypass the challenges and uncertainties of starting a business from scratch.
  • Proven Business Model : You already know that the business is successful and has a working model.
  • Understanding Financials : You have access to the existing revenue, profit, and expense records.
  • Existing Customer Base : You inherit a customer base, which can provide a steady stream of business.
  • Established Reputation : The business has already built a reputation, which can give you a head start.

However, there are also disadvantages to consider:

  • Higher Cost : The purchase price is usually higher due to the goodwill associated with an established customer base.
  • Potential Customer Loss : If you want to make significant changes to the business, it may lead to customer attrition.
  • Inherited Reputation : When you buy a business, you also acquire its reputation, both positive and negative aspects.

It’s essential to weigh these pros and cons carefully when deciding whether to buy an existing picture framing business or start from scratch.

Conduct thorough due diligence and consider factors such as the financials, customer base, and potential for growth to make an informed decision.

See picture framing – businesses for sale to browse the latest listings.

Picture Framing Franchise Opportunities

Considering a picture framing franchise has advantages and disadvantages, but it’s worth exploring before starting a business from scratch.

  • Proven Business Model : You can follow the established plan provided by the franchise’s corporate office.
  • Reputation and Marketing : You benefit from the existing reputation and marketing efforts of the franchise.
  • In-depth Knowledge : You gain comprehensive knowledge about the business before getting started.
  • Corporate Support : You receive support and guidance from the franchise’s corporate office.
  • Higher Costs : Purchasing a franchise can be expensive, including initial fees and ongoing royalties.
  • Limited Autonomy : Major changes or decisions require approval from the corporate office.
  • Restricted Offerings : You must stick to the approved products and services determined by the franchise.
  • Operational Constraints : Your business operations must align with the terms and conditions outlined in the franchise agreement.
  • Ongoing Fees : Franchisees are typically required to pay ongoing fees to the corporate office.

Before deciding on a picture framing franchise, carefully consider these pros and cons.

Evaluate the financial implications, assess the level of control and flexibility you desire, and ensure that the franchise aligns with your goals and vision for your business.

See picture framing franchise opportunities to browse the latest listings.

Knowledge Is Power if You Use It!

There is a wealth of information available online about the picture framing industry.

Explore the provided links in the following sections to access valuable resources that can assist you during research, startup, and ongoing operations of your business.

Empower yourself with the information needed to make informed decisions and drive your picture framing business towards success.

A Day in the Life

“A Day in the Life of a picture framing business owner” provides valuable tips and insights from industry professionals.

Get an overview of what to expect in the daily operations of running a picture framing business, aiding in better preparation and understanding of the role.

See the search results for a day in the life of picture framing business owners.

Picture Framing Business Owners Interviews

Interviews with business owners in the picture framing industry provide essential information and valuable insights.

Investing time in this section allows you to gain diverse perspectives, understand the industry from different angles, and gather insights that help you anticipate what to expect.

See the search results for interviews of picture framing business owners.


Publications are a valuable resource to stay informed about the latest information in the picture framing business.

They provide a great way to keep up-to-date with industry trends, techniques, and news, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions.

See the search results for publications related to a picture framing business.

Visiting picture framing forums provides an opportunity to engage in discussions on relevant topics.

Actively participating in these forums helps you establish connections and build relationships with fellow industry professionals, fostering a sense of community and exchanging valuable insights.

See the latest search results for the top picture framing forums.

Courses related to the picture framing business offer a valuable opportunity to learn and enhance your skillset while staying updated with industry trends.

Course provide a great platform for continuous learning and professional development, ensuring you stay current and excel in your field.

See the latest courses related to running a picture framing business.

Picture Framing Blogs

Subscribing to picture framing blogs offers a valuable way to gain ideas and stay updated in the industry.

Subscribing to multiple blogs and curating the collection based on relevance and value, you can access a stream of valuable information to enhance your knowledge and keep up with industry trends.

Look at the latest search results for picture framing blogs  to follow.

Books are a helpful resource for starting a picture framing business, providing valuable information and insights that can guide you in your entrepreneurial journey.

The latest books about starting a picture framing business are listed on Amazon

Staying updated with the picture framing industry is made easy through news outlets.

By setting up alerts, you can receive timely notifications whenever new developments in the industry are covered by the media.

See what’s in the news related to a picture framing business?

Videos about the picture framing industry provide valuable tips and insights.

Exploring related videos recommended by YouTube can uncover additional topics and perspectives that you may not have considered, broadening your knowledge and understanding.

See the links to YouTube Videos Below.

  • Videos related to starting a picture framing can be found here.

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Picture Framing Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Art & Craft Industry

Do you want to start a picture framing company and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample picture framing business plan template & feasibility report.

If you are a photographer or artist and you have a penchant for business, then you may want to think of opening your own picture framing store. The market for picture framing has continued to soar from generation to generation hence making the business viable and profitable.

Picture framing can’t go out of fashion because people would always appreciate good photographs and artworks in good frames.

Depending on the scale you want to start, the startup capital for this type of business can be considered to range from small to moderate. As a matter of fact, it is advisable to run a photo studio alongside your picture framing store if indeed you want to maximize profits in this business.

A Sample Picture Framing Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

The picture framing business is part of the picture framing stores industry and operators in this industry primarily provide custom framing services for pictures and other items. Industry establishments may also retail ready-made frames and other craft supplies. This industry does not include broad-line crafting stores that also offer framing services.

The Picture Framing Stores industry is a thriving sector of the economy of the united states and the industry generates over billion annually from more than 8,263 picture framing stores in the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of well over 14,657 people.

Experts project the industry to decline at a -2.7 percent annual rate. Please note that no player in this industry can boast of having the lion share of this industry; this industry has no major players with a market share of greater than 5 percent.

A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that over the past five years, the industry has contracted due to heightened competition from online retailers, toy and hobby stores and big-box retailers. External operators offer a wider variety of services and competitively priced products as well as added convenience.

Moving forward, the Picture Framing  industry will continue its structural descent as external competition mounts and consumer preferences change.

However, improving economic conditions, particularly in the form of rising disposable income and consumer expenditure, will slow the pace of the industry’s decline. Furthermore, demand for artwork is expected to rise, contributing to sales of custom frames during the period. As a result, over the five years to 2023, industry revenue is forecast to decrease at a slower rate.

Starting a picture framing business is indeed a profitable business and it is open for any artist or photographer with an entrepreneurial mindset to come in and establish his or her business. With the right location and network, you will just be fine with this business.

2. Executive Summary

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is a standard picture framing store that will be located in one of the busiest roads in Chicago – Illinois. We have been able to lease a facility that is big enough to fit into the kind of picture framing store that we intend launching and the facility is located in a corner piece directly opposite the largest residential estate in Chicago – Illinois.

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. will be involved in providing custom photo and artworks framing services and sell ready-made frames and other craft supplies to a variety of customers. We will also partner with leading photographers and artists in and around the United States of America.

We are aware that there are several picture framing stores and art galleries all around Chicago – Illinois, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to offer much more than our competitors will be offering.

Much more than producing and retailing various types of picture frames, our customer care will be second to none in the whole of Chicago – Illinois. We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business which is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied when they visit our store and gallery.

We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers no matter how large they may grow to. We will ensure that we get our customers involved when making some business decisions that directly affect them.

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is a private – registered business that is owned by Daniel Howard and his immediate family members. Daniel Howard is an artist and photographer per excellence, he has a BA. in Fine Arts, with over 15 years’ experience in the picture framing industry, working for some of the leading brands in the United States.

3. Our Products and Services

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is in the picture framing industry to make profits and we will ensure we produce various types of unique picture and artwork frames from our studio. Our product and service offerings are listed below;

  • Providing custom photo framing
  • Selling ready-made frames
  • Selling other craft supplies
  • Photography and other media services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to become a household name in Illinois by running a one stop picture framing store and art gallery.
  • Our mission is to establish a picture framing store and art gallery that will make available a wide range of unique picture frames at affordable prices.

Our Business Structure

Our intention going into the picture framing business is to build a standard picture framing store and art gallery in Chicago, Illinois.

Although our business might not be as big as multimillion-dollar institutions, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s International, but will ensure that we put the right structures in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.

We will ensure that we hire people that are talented, qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior artists and management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Picture framing Store and Gallery Manager
  • Craft and Fine Artists
  • Human Resources and Amin Manager

Merchandize Manager

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Customer Services Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

Admin and HR Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office activities.

Gallery Manager:

  • Managing projects from initial idea to final completion
  • Liaising with clients to understand business and project needs
  • Assessing client briefs and assigning designers to a project
  • Proofing and reviewing designs and checking documents before they are sent off
  • Assisting on the creative production side when needed and meeting with team members for feedback
  • Creating and implementing monthly deadlines, project goals, expectations and workflows to ensure a smooth production process with on-time delivery
  • Foster a collaborative, iterative creative environment while inspiring safety and confidence amongst team members
  • Provide feedback, coaching, and recognition at regular intervals
  • Support learning and growth, helping team members expand current roles
  • Partner with CEO and Key Stakeholders to achieve production schedule
  • Employ judgement and strategy; creating assignments that compliment team member strengths and satisfy business needs
  • Model straightforward, transparent, inclusive communication
  • Assist in the identification and recruitment of talent

Craft and Fine Artists:

  • Responsible for providing custom photo framing, ready-made frames and other craft supplies
  • Create sketches, templates, or models to guide their work
  • Select which materials to use on the basis of color, texture, strength, and other qualities
  • Process materials, often by shaping, joining, or cutting
  • Use visual elements, such as composition, color, space, and perspective, to produce desired artistic effects on photo frames
  • Display their work at auctions, galleries, museums and online marketplaces.
  • Manage vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
  • Help to ensure consistent quality of photo frames in our art gallery
  • Responsible for the purchase of photo framing materials and related products for the organizations
  • Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
  • Source for avenues for the organization to exhibit our artworks and generate sales
  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Identify, prioritize, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Document all customer contact and information
  • Represent the company in strategic meetings
  • Help increase sales and growth for the company


  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Client Service Executive

  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to customers when they make enquiries (answer customer queries regarding the store and the merchandise)
  • Find out the customer’s needs, recommend, select and help locate the right merchandise, describe a product’s features and benefits.
  • Make suggestions and encourage purchase of products
  • Provide information about warranties, manufacturing specifications, care and maintenance of merchandise and delivery options
  • Bag or package purchases and gift wrap merchandise

6. SWOT Analysis

Our intention of starting just one outlet of our picture framing store in Chicago – Illinois is to test run the business for a period of 2 to 5 years to know if we will invest more money, expand the business and then open other outlets in key regions within the United States of America.

We are quite aware that there are several picture framing stores and art galleries all over Chicago and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.

We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in new business to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.

This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc.;

Our location, the business model we will be operating on (physical and online picture framing store), varieties of payment options, wide range of uniquely designed picture frames and related products and our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc.

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new picture framing store and art gallery – business and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with multi-million dollar art galleries who are into picture framing and who are already determining the market direction for the industry in the United States.

  • Opportunities:

Factors such as improved household expenditure from wealthy consumers will lead to renewed demand. The fact that art dealers reduced minimum price guarantees, inventory and advertising to remain stable and positive economic factors will encourage spending on picture framings and art.

The fact that we are going to be operating our picture framing store in one of the busiest streets in Chicago – Illinois provides us with unlimited opportunities to sell our picture frames to a large number of people.

The Picture Framing Stores industry is expected to continue its downward trajectory due to changing consumer tastes and mounting external competition hence posing a threat to our business. So also, just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn.

It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing/spending power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new picture framing stores in same location where ours is located.


  • Market Trends

Despite a highly competitive environment, the picture framing stores industry has achieved modest growth over the last five years. As a result, the industry has developed special exhibitions and interactive educational displays to attract new customers and retain existing patrons. Picture framing stores have continued to reposition themselves as social institutions, widening their appeal to new clientele.

Projections show that the demand for artwork is anticipated to grow, driven by the popularity of contemporary art and the increasing number of museums seeking high-priced purchases to entice visitors. Individuals and institutions seeking to frame artwork are projected to generate a large portion of sales for industry operators.

In this era when the online community is growing rapidly, you would do your business a whole lot of favor if you create your own online presence. You may want to leverage on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and others to publicize your picture framing store.

You can as well go ahead to open an online picture framing store where people can order picture frames and related merchandize from your store. You must ensure that your delivery system (shipping) is efficient if you intend to do well with your online section.

8. Our Target Market

There are loads of people who can’t do without having framed pictures and even framed artworks in their houses or offices. This goes to show that if a picture framing store cum gallery is well positioned, they will continue to sell their picture frames to a wide range of clients on a regular basis.

In view of that, we have positioned our picture framing store to service residents of Chicago, Illinois and the entire United States via our online store. We have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us.

We are in business to retail a wide range of picture frames to the following groups of people;

  • Photographers and photo studios
  • Artists and art galleries
  • Interior Decorators
  • Home Remodelers
  • Event Planners
  • Churches and other religious centers
  • Funeral Homes

Our competitive advantage

A close study of the picture framing industry reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the stiff competition and we are prepared to compete favorably with other leading picture framing stores in and around Chicago – Illinois.

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is launching a standard picture framing store and art gallery that will indeed become the preferred choice for art lovers in and around Chicago – Illinois. Our picture framing store and art gallery is located in a corner piece property on a busy road directly opposite one of the largest residential estates in Chicago – Illinois.

One thing is certain, we will ensure that we have a wide range of unique picture frames available in our store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit our picture framing store and not make a purchase. Our excellent customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility will serve as a competitive advantage for us.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry, meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives. We will also give good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.


  • Sources of Income

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is in business to produce, and retail a wide range of photo frames to the residents of Chicago – Illinois other cities in the United States via our online store. We are in the picture framing store industry to maximize profits and we are going to ensure that we achieve or business goals and objectives.

We will generate income by retailing the following products;

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain when it comes to picture framing, if your store has talented craft and fine artists and is well stocked with unique photo frames and centrally positioned, you will always attract customers.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Chicago – Illinois and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base.

We have been able to examine the picture framing store industry and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections for Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and other factors as it relates to picture framing store and gallery startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $300,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $480,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $580,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor producing same style of photo frames as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Before choosing a location for Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc., we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us be able to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice in Chicago – Illinois. We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the number of customers we want to attract per time.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in Chicago. In summary, Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;

  • Introduce our picture framing store and art gallery by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to organizations, photographers, artists, religious centers, interior decorators, home remodelers, households and key stake holders in Chicago – Illinois
  • Ensure that we have a wide range of photo frames in our art gallery at all times.
  • Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to our picture framing store and art gallery
  • Position our signage/flexi banners at strategic places around Chicago
  • Create a loyalty plan that will enable us reward our regular customers
  • Engage on roadshows within our neighborhood to create awareness for our picture framing store and art gallery.

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Despite the fact that our picture framing store and art gallery is well located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business.

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. has a long – term plan of opening outlets in various locations all around Illinois which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Chicago before venturing out. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on community based newspapers, radio and TV stations.
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from our loyal customers
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and other platforms to promote our business.
  • Ensure that our we position our banners and billboards in strategic positions all around Chicago – Illinois
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
  • Advertise Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
  • Brand all our official cars and vans and ensure that all our staff members and management staff wear our branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Pricing, uniqueness and quality are some of the key factors that gives leverage to picture framing stores, it is normal for art lovers to go to picture framing stores where they can get unique photo frames and related merchandize at cheaper price.

We know we don’t have the capacity to compete with bigger and well-established picture framing stores, but we will ensure that the prices of all the products that are available in our store are competitive with what is obtainable amongst picture framing stores within our level.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payment for the purchase of our photo frames and framing services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by leasing or purchasing a property, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.

In view of that, here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • The cost for hiring Business Consultant (business plan inclusive) – $2,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $45,600.
  • The cost for facility remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $10,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $30,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory (stocking with a wide variety of picture frames, and other related merchandize) – $30,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – $5,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
  • The cost of launching a website – $600
  • Miscellaneous – $2,000

We would need an estimate of one hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars ($195,000) to successfully set up our picture framing store and art gallery in Chicago – Illinois.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc.

Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is a private business that is owned and financed by Daniel Howard and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $95,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $15,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. is to ensure that we continue to make available a wide range of unique photo frames and related merchandize, deliver quality services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers and also the required trainings that will help them deliver excellent services at all times.

From our findings, another factor that kills new businesses is financial leakage. In order to plug financial leakages, the management of Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. adopt the use of payment machine and accounting software to run the business.

We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better and the types of photo frames they want to see in our store.

We will not waste time in adopting new technology, best practices and diversifying our services. Classic Corner® Picture Framing Store, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of.

Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of facility and remodeling the picture framing store and gallery: In Progress
  • Conducting feasibility studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank : In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Packaging and Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Establishing business relationship with artists, photographers and vendors – suppliers of picture frames and other merchandise: In Progress.

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How to Start a Picture Framing Business

Everyone that buys a painting or has a nice photograph or a portrait made of their family may also need to have that work framed. Framing requires a specialized skill set that includes having craft-person talents, the ability to do simple carpentry, to know how to safely run a table saw, and have a good eye for pleasing aesthetic designs. You will need to understand color combinations and how to make a painting or a photo nicely framed to fit in well with the intended surroundings.

Learn how to start your own Picture Framing Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Picture Framing Business Image

Start a picture framing business by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Picture Framing Business
  • Form your Picture Framing Business into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Picture Framing Business for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Picture Framing Business
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Picture Framing Business
  • Get Picture Framing Business Insurance
  • Define your Picture Framing Business Brand
  • Create your Picture Framing Business Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your picture framing business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Picture Framing Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your picture framing business?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening a picture framing business.

It is important to have a very visible retail location and not be in a low-traffic area. This means you need to have a retail store on a street with high-traffic volume or in a place where there is significant foot traffic. This is expensive; however, without this ability for your store to be seen, your business will probably suffer.

Because your store needs to be very visible and easily accessible, the rent will be very high. Allocate a budget of $1 to $3 per square foot for each month’s rent. Typically a framing store is at least 2,000 square feet. This means monthly rent will be $2,000 to $9,000. In expensive areas, expect to pay twice this amount for your rent.

You need to have supplies as well. Because you can get supplies as needed about $10,000 is average amount needed for those things you want to put on display. Shelves will be needed to display smaller items for sale; however, most of the displayed items will be on the walls or shown on movable panels. Allocate about $25,000 for the fixtures and equipment needed to set up a basic framing store.

It is possible to start in this business with about $50,000 in many cities in America.

What are the ongoing expenses for a picture framing business?

Your ongoing expenses will be rent and utilities as well as the cost for any marketing campaigns. Typical marketing campaigns are the home delivery of flyers that have a discount offer. These flyers are distributed door-to-door by hand to save on postage costs. They are put on the doors or under the doors in the areas with the finest houses in the town. It would be reasonable to budget $500 per month for this effort to get started, which includes the cost of printing the flyers and having them delivered to the houses by hand.

Who is the target market?

The best customers are the ones who come back repeatedly and those that refer their friends to your shop. They may be collectors with a big house or they may be interior designers with a huge list of clientele that need framed artwork. It is also possible to serve local galleries and museums for the art pieces that they need framed or reframed.

How does a picture framing business make money?

Like any retail shop, the minimum markup is between 30% to 40% over the wholesale costs of the materials and the labor used to make the custom framing. For specialized work, using rare and exotic woods, it is possible to charge a lot more. Many framing shops work on a one-time double cost, which means that the price of the custom work is twice the cost of the labor and materials.

The price you can charge depends on the clientele you serve. For those collectors with expensive paintings, they are quite comfortable paying many hundreds of dollars to frame a painting that cost them thousands of dollars.

The cost to the customer is at least 30% to 40% markup from your wholesale cost for the materials and the labor used to complete the framing job. Many framing shops work on the basis of using 100% markup over costs. It all depends on the clientele.

How much profit can a picture framing business make?

A typical retail store will have gross revenues of about $200,000 or more per year and the profits are around 15% for the owner, after paying all the expenses.

How can you make your business more profitable?

You can sell art and framed photographs as well as the framing services. Have artists do custom work on commission, hang artwork on the walls that are for sale on a consignment basis (you only pay for it, if it sells), and have the artists make in-store appearances to generate higher sales volumes. Work with interior designers and other local art galleries to expand your good reputation. Sell your products at wholesale for others to re-sell at retail. Market your products on the Internet.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your picture framing business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a picture framing business business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits .

Certificate of Occupancy

Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

  • If you plan to lease a location:
  • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
  • Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a picture framing business.
  • After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
  • If you plan to purchase or build a location:
  • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
  • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for you business’ location to ensure your picture framing business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your Picture Framing Business will cost. FInd out what types of insurance your Picture Framing Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Picture Framing Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a picture framing business

Opening one store in one market and gaining a good reputation allows you to open another store in a market far enough away not to compete with yourself, but to repeat your success in a new area. It is a terrific idea to open a framing shop in an area with lots of new, expensive, custom house construction that is ongoing in order to serve the rich people who are moving into the new area.

How to keep customers coming back

The best way to attract customers and retain them is to always do a good job, treat every customer with politeness, and give them expert advice. You can put a sticker on the back of any artwork you frame and hopefully the persons buying the artwork will see this on the back and ask you to do more work for them, when they have similar needs in the future. Advertise in the yellow pages and in online directories also.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com

Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

Is this Business Right For You?

People drawn to this business have a keen aesthetic eye for the details that make a framed item attractive. They also like to interface with the public and encourage their customers’ personal style and expression in how a customer wants something framed. A custom framing shop is all about serving others to help them make their decorative ideas come true.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a picture framing business?

You will need to maintain a clean and attractive retail environment in order to attract customers. It should be well-lit and catch the eye when someone passes by the store. There is a huge amount of customer service in this business because the choices are based on the aesthetic tastes of the customers.

Your main job will be to guide your customers in their selections, which should be fun, yet requires considerable patience. You will spend most of the day working with potential customers to help them select how they want items to be framed. There are many choices and sometimes this feels overwhelming to the customers. It is your job to assure them that they are making good decorative choices.

Part of the time you will create the physical frames themselves, which is a skill set like a handy person in that you will need to be able to cut the wooden molding to the correct lengths and at the correct angles. Then, you sand the cut edges and put the pieces together with a nail gun. You will use wax of the correct color to fill the nail holes so they are not easily seen. The next step is to use a razor cutter table device to make the matting the correct size and then put it all together under glass or plexi-glass with the item displayed in a perfect manner. To finish the piece you will add a paper backing to the frame and brackets with a hanging wire in the correct position, so that the piece will hang properly.

This may sound easy to do from this simple description, but it does take a bit of practice to get good at doing this work.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful picture framing business?

You will need to have a love of the artwork or the photos you are framing and want to make them all to look the best you can make them look, with your framing efforts enhancing them.

What is the growth potential for a picture framing business?

As word gets out and your customer base expands, significant growth becomes possible within a single location. Employees can be added and your shop can be expanded. Online sales can also be a great way to generate additional income. There are franchises available so this business can go national. There are already some very successful national chains.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

How and when to build a team

You will need to start with at least one retail store clerk and one framing expert to do the back office shop work of framing, while the retail store is open. You can add more framers when there is sufficient demand for the framing work.

This is a small retail operation and the staffing is usually modest, except when there is a need to produce more framing orders that may suddenly come in. Creating this demand depends on your success in marketing your products to others and the number of daily visitors to your shop. You will build up a team faster if you also capture the attention and gain business from the local art galleries, museums, and clients of interior designers.

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

  • American Picture Framing Academy
  • Professional Picture Framer Association
  • A discussion forum for professional framers
  • Framing franchise opportunities

Real World Examples

  • Independent picture framing company
  • Picture frame shop
  • Framing shop

Further Reading

  • 5 reasons to start a picture framing business
  • Instructional video on starting a picture framing business

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

Our work is reader-supported, meaning that we may earn a commission from the products and services mentioned.

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How To Start A Picture Framing Business

  • Last Updated: May 10, 2024
  • By: Greg Bouhl

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photo framing business plan

If you’ve got a knack for craftsmanship and an eye for detail, starting a picture framing business might be right up your alley.

This kind of business offers the opportunity to work creatively and interact with various artists and photographers. Whether you plan to set up a small home-based business or a larger store, this guide will provide you with an overview of the business, steps to get started, and answers to common questions.

Business Overview

At its core, a picture framing business is about preserving and enhancing art, photos, memorabilia, and various other keepsakes. You’re providing a service that’s both functional and artistic. Your target customers could range from individual art collectors to corporate clients who want to decorate their office spaces. Revenue streams might include custom framing, ready-made frames, and even frame repairs or restorations.

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Industry Summary

The custom picture framing industry plays an important role in preserving cherished photos, artwork, memorabilia, and other prized possessions. According to market research, the retail custom framing market generates around $2 billion in annual revenue.

While dominated by small independent shops, the industry remains highly fragmented, with close to an estimated 5,000 picture framing businesses operating nationwide. The typical shop offers customized framing services, working with clients to select moulding, matting, and glass options to create one-of-a-kind framed pieces.

In recent years, the industry has faced competition from mass-produced ready-made frames sold at big box craft and home furnishing retailers. However, custom framing maintains consumer appeal for those seeking superior design and craftsmanship.

Trends shaping today’s custom framing industry include an emphasis on the design consultation experience, growth of computerized mat cutting systems, and shops expanding into related services like printing and photo restoration.

For entrepreneurs with artistic talent and customer service skills, a custom framing shop can provide a rewarding small business opportunity. Careful positioning as a skilled design expert helps independent framers compete with large retailers on quality, not price.

Target Market

The target customer values quality, design aesthetic, and preserving meaningful items. Business comes from both individual retail clients and professional/trade accounts.

  • Homeowners: Homeowners making decor upgrades or moving into a new home are a major customer group, as they often get artwork, photos, diplomas, etc., custom framed to adorn their walls.
  • Art collectors: Serious art collectors invest in professional-grade custom framing to preserve and present fine art pieces. This includes painters and photographers framing their own work.
  • Memorabilia owners: People with memorabilia like sports jerseys, concert posters, antiques, etc., commonly frame these items to preserve and display them.
  • Photography enthusiasts: Photography buffs who want high-quality framing for their best prints and contest submissions.
  • Gift givers: Those giving framed photos or artwork as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays purchase custom framing.
  • Designers/decorators: Interior designers source custom framing for clients to achieve specific decorative visions.
  • Crafters and hobbyists: Crafters who make original artwork, shadowboxes, needlepoints, etc., to frame and sell.

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Checklist To Start A Picture Framing Business

Starting a picture framing business can be an exciting venture for art and design enthusiasts. Yet, like any business, it comes with its fair share of challenges. This is where our checklist comes into play. From conducting thorough market research to business registration, securing funding, and more, our checklist aims to empower you with the knowledge and confidence you need to kickstart your business journey.

Step 1: Assess the Market

You wouldn’t want to dive headfirst into a pool without checking the depth, right? That’s basically what you’re doing if you skip market research. Knowing your market’s pulse helps you answer crucial questions. Is there an unmet demand for picture framing in your area? What’s the competition like? The info you gather helps you make informed decisions. You’ll know where to set up shop, how to price your services, and even how to market your business to attract customers.

Some low-cost ways to evaluate the market before committing to a framing shop include:

  • Surveys: Leverage social media or online survey platforms to create surveys asking people what they look for in framing services. You could also include questions about how often they buy frames, how much they’re willing to spend, etc.
  • Competitive analysis : Keep your friends close and your competitors closer. Check out other framing businesses in your desired area. What are they doing right? Where are they falling short? This can give you a good sense of what’s working and what gaps in the market you could fill.
  • Local business directories : Websites like Yelp or Google My Business can give you an idea of the existing framing businesses in your area, along with customer reviews. Use this to gauge demand and see what people value in a framing service.
  • Interviews : Get personal and talk to potential customers, maybe at local art shows or community events. This qualitative research can offer insights you won’t get from simple surveys.
  • Social media monitoring : Use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to observe what people are saying about existing framing services or art exhibits. Are they complaining about prices, lack of options, or poor service? These are all gaps you could fill.
  • Potential partners: Reach out to local interior designers to discuss volume and types of custom framing projects they source annually.

Step 2: Write a Business Plan

It may sound like paperwork, but a business plan is actually the flesh and bones of your business idea. A business plan is not only a document that lenders expect to see if you are looking for funding, but the process also helps crystallize your vision and gives you a clear direction as you start your business.

While all of the sections are needed, there are a few that I recommend focusing on if funding is needed. These would include:

  • Market analysis : After all the legwork you did researching the market, here’s where you lay out the data. Show that there’s a gap in the market that your picture framing business can fill. Why will you succeed where others haven’t? Maybe you’re sourcing unique, sustainable materials or offering a faster turnaround.
  • Financial projections : Numbers talk, especially to lenders. Project your income and cash flow for the next three years. This should be as specific as possible.
  • Marketing strategy : How will you attract and retain customers? Will you offer loyalty programs, seasonal discounts, or partnerships with local artists? Lenders want to see that you’ve got a game plan to bring in business.
  • Management team : Lenders are interested in who’s running the business. Outline the experience, skills, and qualifications of your team. Show that the people behind the business have the knowledge and expertise to make it successful. For a picture framing business, this might include experience in the art industry, business management, or retail.
  • Loan request and use of funds : Clearly specify how much money you’re asking for and how exactly you plan to use it. Whether it’s for procuring materials, leasing a location, or marketing, itemize these costs.

Related:   How to write a business plan

Step 3: Secure Funding

Getting your hands on the cash to start your business is where the rubber meets the road. You’ve done your homework, you’ve got a plan, and now it’s time to fuel your venture. The process can be tough, especially for a niche business like picture framing, but let’s break it down.

The first pocket you’ll likely reach into is your own. The major upside? No loan payments to worry about. You’re not adding another bill to your monthly outflow, giving you a bit more breathing room to get your business off the ground.

But, if you need more than what is in your pocket, you will have to look for additional funding sources. A few of the more common ones for this type of small business include:

Friends and family : Your circle might be more willing to take a chance on you than traditional financial institutions. However, don’t let the familiarity trick you into informal arrangements. Always put terms in writing. Contracts preserve relationships, trust me.

Bank loans : Most lenders will want you to have skin in the game, typically requiring you to invest about 15%-25% of your personal funds. They’ll scrutinize your credit score and need collateral. If they feel the loan is too risky, they might still back you but under the umbrella of an SBA loan guarantee, making the deal a bit less risky for them.

Microloans : If your startup costs are on the lower side or if traditional lenders aren’t biting, consider a microloan. These are smaller loans often accompanied by business training — a nice twofer. Just know that the interest rates might be a bit steeper than traditional loans.

Angel investors : These are typically local folks who have a soft spot for the kind of business you’re running and the extra cash to back it. But keep in mind that angels usually want to see businesses with strong growth prospects. Picture framing is a specialized industry, so it might be a harder sell compared to something like tech. Investors, even angel ones, usually want to back businesses they think will scale quickly and offer hefty returns.

Related:  Finding the money to start a business

Step 4: Select your Location

Your first task is to identify a suitable location for your business. Careful thought and consideration should be given when looking for a location so that you reach your intended market. For example, if your shop specializes in museum-quality framing, you probably work with museums and art dealers and don’t need a storefront to attract customers. A 2nd-floor location should be suitable, and you will save considerably on rent.

For others, an ideal location could be in shopping centers, arts districts, or near home decor stores where potential customers are likely to frequent. Consider factors such as foot traffic, parking availability, and proximity to complementary businesses.

Another option is to operate out of your home, workshop, or garage, at least initially, in order to keep costs down and build clientele. It is a very viable option as costs are much lower. Working out of the home presents some limitations as the business is less visible. 

Regardless of where you choose to set up shop, ensure that the place you’re considering meets all local building codes and zoning regulations. You don’t want any nasty surprises after doing so much work to get the doors open.

Step 5: Register the Business

So, you’ve got your idea, your plan, and maybe even some startup capital. Now you’ve got to make it official. I’m talking paperwork, forms, and, yes, more planning. But this time, it’s to get your picture framing business legally off the ground. Note that each state has its own set of rules and fees, so it’s important to check local regulations.

Business structure: First things first, you’ll need to decide what type of business structure best suits your picture framing company. Here are the four main types:

  • Sole proprietorship : This is the most straightforward and cost-effective option, especially if you’re planning to run a small operation. It’s just you running the show. The downside? Your personal assets aren’t separate from your business ones, so if things go south, you’re personally on the hook.
  • Partnership : If you’re teaming up with someone, a partnership could be a good fit. It allows for shared responsibility, but like a sole proprietorship, it doesn’t offer personal asset protection.
  • Corporation : This is a more complex structure. It provides protection for your personal assets and allows you to sell shares to raise investment capital. However, it’s also costly to set up and has more administrative requirements.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) : This structure offers a mix of the simplicity of a sole proprietorship or partnership with the liability protection of a corporation.

LLCs are often favored in the framing business because they offer a good balance between liability protection and operational simplicity.

Related: Comparison of business structures

Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.

Some popular LLC formation services include:

IncFile  - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

ZenBusiness  - Best for beginners. $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Northwest  - Best privacy protection. $39 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Business name registration: After registering the business structure, you may need to register your business name. This process will vary depending on what business structure you pick. Sole proprietors and partnerships will often be required to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA), while corporations and LLCs register with the state during the formation process.

Related:  Tips for naming a picture frame shop

During this time, it’s also a good idea to check if the name you want is available as a web domain, even if you’re not ready to set up a website yet.

Related: Finding a domain name for your business

Obtain business licenses and permits: Depending on your location, there will likely be a variety of general licenses or permits needed before opening. This could include a business license, seller’s permit, and Employer Identification Number (EIN). Related: What licenses do picture framing businesses need ?

Step 6: Source Materials & Equipment

You’ve got your funding secured and your business registered, and now it’s time to start ordering materials and equipment.

Start with an inventory list that breaks down every material and piece of equipment you’ll need to operate. From framing materials like wood, metal, and glass, to specialized tools and machinery for cutting and assembling frames—you need to know it all. Research suppliers that specialize in the materials you’ll need.

Most inventory suppliers will not provide pricing or set up accounts until your business is registered and a location exists. Once you have these in place, you can negotiate terms with suppliers. These terms can include pricing, minimum order quantities, and delivery schedules.

Step 7: Hire Staff

Many framing shops start as sole operations, but if hiring employees is in your plan, you need to be aware of and cover the legal bases.

The requirements differ in each state, but in summary, before hiring employees, you will likely need to obtin an EIN, set up tax withholding records, verify employment eligibility, register with your state’s labor department, and get workers’ compensation insurance.

Related:  Guide to hiring your first employee

Step 8: Create a Marketing Plan

You could be the Michelangelo of frame-making, but without solid marketing, they won’t sell themselves. Getting the word out about your business is how you turn your skills into sales.

The advertising strategy will depend on the customer you are trying to reach and the type of framing shop you have, i.e., storefront vs. non-storefront, mass-market vs. custom.

Creating a website is a common way to market a picture framing business. Building a website is easy these days with drag and drop templates offered by Shopify , Wix, or Squarespace , to name a few.  A website can also be set up for online sales, potentially expanding your marketing reach outside of your local area. Once the website is up, if you have a physical storefront, claiming your business on relevant online business directories is important. For example, setting up a Google Business Profile can help your business appear in local search results and Google Maps. Other online directories relevant to the art and framing industry can also be beneficial. Then, leverage platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your work. These visual platforms can make your craftsmanship come alive to potential customers.

In addition to online channels, you may consider diving into the local scene as well. Sponsor an art event, host a frame-making workshop, or collaborate with local artists. Being active in your community builds brand awareness and creates a local customer base that no amount of online marketing can replicate. Also, networking with related businesses like interior designers and home stagers can be a powerful way to get in front of customers as well.

Related:  Low-cost ideas to market a new business

Step 9: Prepare to Open!

Alright, you’re almost at the finish line. Every business is going to have different needs, but there are still some loose ends to tie up before you can throw open the doors. A few of these may include

Business insurance: Don’t overlook this. Accidents happen, and an insurance policy could be the thing that saves your business. Look for insurance that covers property damage, general liability, and if you’re hiring, workers’ compensation.

We recommend getting at least three insurance quotes, including local insurance agents and online providers like Coverwallet or Hiscox to get the best coverage and price.

Bookkeeping : Get this in place ASAP. You need to keep track of money coming in and out. Whether you use software like Wave Accounting (FREE) or Quickbooks , hire an accountant, or do it the old-fashioned way using pen and paper, make sure you have a system.

Contracts : Contracts with suppliers, landlords, and even employment contracts need to be ironed out. For example, you might need a consignment agreement if you’re partnering with artists to sell their work alongside your framing services.

RocketLawyer and Law Depot have free and inexpensive templates that may be helpful.

Bank account : Open a separate account solely for business expenses. Mixing personal and business funds is a big no-no.

Management software : For this business, point-of-sale systems like FrameReady , Framiac , and Square . These tools can help streamline your operations, from inventory management to sales processing could be incredibly helpful for tracking sales, inventory, and customer data.

Setting pricing : This is crucial. You need to know the cost of materials, labor, and overhead to set a profitable yet competitive price.

Grand opening : Plan a grand opening event to attract potential customers. This could involve special promotions, local press coverage, or collaborations with nearby businesses.

Greg's Business Tip

Common Questions When Starting a Picture Framing Business

How much does it cost to start a picture framing business.

Starting a picture frame shop has low startup costs, low risk, and it’s easy to get started quickly. Many frame shops start because the owners were making frames as a hobby and had already purchased many of the tools, lowering their initial expenses. While you may already have many of these tools, they may not be up to the volume of work, so don’t be afraid to invest in better tools, especially if they are being used every day.

On average, to get started, you’re looking at an initial investment ranging from $20,000 to $50,000, depending on various factors like location, equipment, and scale of operation. Here’s a breakdown to give you an idea of where your money might go.

Location deposits: Depending on your area, you could be looking at a range from $1,500 to $5,000 per initial deposit. Some landlords may also require a security deposit as well.

Utilities : Initial setup for water, electricity, and internet could run you around $500. Equipment and Supplies

Framing tools : Framing equipment like mat cutters, tables, tools, etc. ranges from $5,000-$20,000 for quality commercial grade.

Furniture and fixtures : Counters, shelves, and storage could set you back about $3,000.

Business registration : Filing fees for your business structure—be it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC—can range from $50 to $800.

Licensing : Expect to spend around $200 to $400 on various local and state licenses. Initial Stock

Materials : Stocking up on frames, glass, and mats could cost you upwards of $5,000.

Initial marketing : Your launch campaign, which might include flyers, online ads, and possibly a launch event, could cost around $2,000.

Business insurance : For the initial year, you’re probably looking at a premium of around $600 to $1,200.

POS system : A point-of-sale system tailored for a picture framing business might cost you $1,000 to $2,000 upfront.

How profitable is a picture framing business?

Determining the profit potential for a picture framing business isn’t a one-size-fits-all equation, but there are some industry standards that can give you a ballpark figure.

According to industry data, a solo picture framing shop owner can generate around $200,000 in annual revenue on average, assuming they complete 10-15 custom framing jobs per week at an average price of $150-300 each. Cost of goods sold ranges from 40-60% for materials, so at 50% COGS, the gross margin is $100,000.

Estimating expenses like rent ($24,000 annually), payroll, licensing and insurance ($3,000), advertising ($4,800), equipment financing, and other supplies ($10,000), the total operating overhead is approximately $41,800 per year.

This translates to a pre-tax net profit of $58,200 annually for a solo framing shop owner working full-time hours with steady client traffic.

Please note that these are hypothetical calculations and actual profits can vary based on a range of factors. It’s also important to remember that these figures don’t take into account any taxes or unexpected expenses that might arise.

What skills are helpful for running a picture framing business?

Running a successful picture framing business requires a mix of technical, artistic, and business skills. Here are some key skills that can be helpful:

Framing skills : The most basic skill needed is the ability to frame pictures well. This involves understanding different types of frames, mat cutting, glass cutting, and how to assemble and secure everything together.

Artistic sense : Having a good eye for design is crucial in this business. You’ll need to advise customers on the best frames and mats to complement their artwork or photos.

Customer service : Customer service skills can’t be overlooked. You’re not just framing art; you’re helping people preserve memories or investments. Listening to your customers, understanding their needs, and guiding them in making choices can go a long way in building repeat business and garnering positive reviews.

Business skills : Project management skills will help you juggle multiple orders, keep track of inventory, and ensure that deadlines are met. Basic accounting and bookkeeping skills are also important, especially if you’re starting small without a dedicated financial team. You’ll be handling invoices, tracking expenses, and managing cash flow.

Technical knowledge : Understanding the tools and materials used in picture framing is important. This includes knowing how to handle different types of art and photos, as well as understanding how to use framing tools and equipment safely and effectively.

Attention to detail : Framing is a meticulous job that requires precision and attention to detail. A small mistake can ruin an artwork or photo, so it’s important to be careful and precise in your work.

Problem-solving skills : No matter how well you plan, you’re going to hit some bumps. Being able to adapt to changing situations, troubleshoot issues, and come up with solutions on the fly can be a big advantage.

So, while you do need to know your way around a miter saw and mat cutter, running a successful picture framing business is about juggling various roles that go beyond the workshop

What is the NAICS code for a picture framing business?

The NAICS code for a picture framing business is 321999, which is classified as All Other Miscellaneous Wood Product Manufacturing.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code and how to find yours

Resources: Picture Framing Magazine Professional Picture Framers Association Fine Art Trade Guild

Greg Bouhl

With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

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Start a Picture Framing Business

Tailoring the Perfect Frame: Enliven Art Pieces, Memories and Keepsakes

person hand holding photo frame


Related business ideas, discover your perfect domain, picture framing mini business plan, expected percent margin:, earnings expectations:, actions to hit those numbers:, inventory management:, marketing and customer acquisition:, sales and customer experience:, cost control:, business operations:, not what you had in mind here are more ideas, grab your business website name, step 1: determine if the business is right for you, breakdown of startup expenses, breakdown of ongoing expenses, examples of ways to make money, step 2: name the business, step 3: obtain the necessary licenses and permits, apply for licenses and permits, understand tax requirements, maintain licenses and permits, step 4: find a location, finding a suitable location, leasing or buying a location, negotiating a lease, step 5: purchase equipment and supplies, where to purchase equipment and supplies, cost of equipment and supplies, step 6: market your business, tips for effective marketing, step 7: set prices, setting prices for your services, step 8: hire employees, finding the right employees, training employees, step 9: keep records, how to keep records, benefits of keeping records, explore more categories, take the next steps.

How to Start a Business Framing Pictures

Custom framing can be a lucrative career choice

AAGAMIA / Getty Images

  • Home Business
  • Small Business
  • Online Business
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Operations & Success

Picture framing is one of those ideas for a home business that often begins as a part-time endeavor, but picture framing can grow into a full-time, successful business with the right combination of craftsmanship, customer relations, and advertising . By working with galleries, artists, photographers, and regular folks to showcase their work, picture framers are responsible for the public presentation of art.

Picture framing requires no formal training, but beginners pursuing ideas for home businesses are encouraged to take classes at a local art supply store or community college to hone their skills, such as learning about art dimensions and matting. The average wage is approximately $30,000 a year, but many independent picture framers find that the convenience of working out of their home in their own business can offset some income limitations. For many, making a modest salary out of a beloved hobby is well worth it. 

When you launch your own business framing photos, you give yourself an artistic outlet while earning money. It's also a very niche field with few professionals; when someone discovers your talent, they will spread the word, helping you get new clients. 

You provide an essential service to clients, framing their work or family memories and showcasing them beautifully. 

If you are running the business alone, the hours can add up; framing can take some time, particularly for unusual pieces.

Tools are often so expensive that startup costs can be prohibitive. For many, they already own the tools from their hobby, so it's a natural transition.

One of the biggest issues professional framers face is that customers will dispute the cost of your service once it's finished. Before beginning work, it's important to give the customer a detailed estimate and have them sign a document agreeing to the charges. 

What You Need to Get Started

  • Tools, including a sander, matte cutter, glass cutter, tape, clamps, saws, miter boxes, picture hangers, a stapler, and glue
  • A large workbench or table to layout your work efficiently
  • Room to store framed and unframed artwork, preferably temperature and humidity controlled to avoid damaging valuable artwork or photographs while they're in your possession
  • A price list, easily understood by customers in your shop or your advertising
  • Ads in print and online
  • Strong relationships with art-supply stores, galleries, and photographers to generate business
  • Space to display examples of your work as well as samples of frames and matting, or to make your picture framing home business truly portable, a roomy vehicle to bring samples to your customers' home or business

While home-based picture framing businesses can be costly to start and require long hours, it can be a rewarding career for artistic individuals who enjoy the work. It is one of those fields where a hobby can be expanded to provide a full-time income, allowing you to be an entrepreneur while exploring your creative side. While the income is limited, the freedom it provides often gives business owners more satisfaction than a higher salary. 

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Guide to Starting a Small Business

How to start a picture framing business.

Embarking on the journey of starting a picture framing business can be both exciting and rewarding. As people seek unique ways to display their cherished memories, the demand for customized picture framing services continues to grow. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps to launch a successful picture framing business, from planning and setup to marketing and customer satisfaction. 1. Conduct Market Research: Begin by researching the local market to understand the demand for picture framing services. Identify your target audience, assess competitors, and evaluate pricing strategies. A thorough understanding of customer preferences and market trends will help you tailor your services to meet the needs of your community. 2. Develop a Business Plan: Craft a detailed business plan outlining your mission, goals, target market, and financial projections. Include information on startup costs, operating expenses, and revenue forecasts. A well-thought-out plan will not only guide your business but also attract potential investors or lenders if needed.

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About this class

This is an online course suitable for beginner level framers, but may benefit everyone in the framing business, regardless of the level of experience. The course will focus on creating a successful framing business based on tips and tricks from the globally renowned framing expert James Miller.

Video transcript

This session is about how to create a successful business plan.  We’ll talk about the purposes and value of creating a formal plan, and we’ll discuss the important issues and questions about the business to consider in the planning process. A business plan should follow a template, so we’ll describe how the information may be organized into sections. Then we’ll cover some common mistakes in business planning, and finally, we’ll provide a checklist of recommendations.


When starting a new business – any business – the first step is to develop a formal business plan. The purpose of this carefully written document is to define the business and describe how its marketing, financial and operating goals will be achieved. Think of the business plan as a road map to business success. For starting a small picture framing business, the plan may be fairly simple, but starting a larger business with greater assets and complexities would need a more comprehensive plan.  

If investment capital or borrowed money will be involved, the business plan is a valuable asset because it provides detailed answers to the questions usually asked by investors or lenders. For example, at what point in time will the business become profitable?  How much money will be needed, not only to start the business, but also to fund it until profit rises to sustain it? What is the plan to pay back borrowed money or provide a return on money invested? Detailed answers to these and other questions provide assurance that the business owner has thought through all aspects of the business. 

In studying the products, services, customer demographics, and resources needed to start the business and keep it going, important questions come up right away. The business plan answers all of them and, as preparation for the start-up progresses, more questions will come up, which were not obvious in the beginning. Creating a good business plan encourages the organizer to think through every detail of starting the business and managing its early growth.  

Budgeting is a major benefit of good business planning. Expenses seem to come from every direction in a business start-up, so be sure to keep track of every line-item expense throughout your planning process.

The business plan also explains and justifies the expectations for performance in revenue, profit, and growth. Many businesses start with a month-by-month plan for the first three years, with quarterly reviews. Then, as the business matures, the plan may be revised to map the business strategy for, say, the next five years with semi-annual performance reviews. This helps to keep the business focused on the essentials and avoids distractions. Ongoing business planning helps to define the future of the business.


Here are some primary questions to be addressed by the business plan for a framing shop, and studying these topics will surely lead to further questions.

Who will be your customers? 

This is among the most fundamental marketing questions, and the answer will affect key decisions throughout the start-up process. Identify your “target customers”, the types of customers you intend to primarily serve, because you'll be directing most of your marketing and advertising toward them. Of course, you probably will get business from other types of customers, as well, but emphasizing your specialties can help to establish identity and build the brand of the business.

How will you attract customers?  

For custom framers a couple of decades ago, the local telephone directory might have been the best advertising method, but not today. These days, social media usually brings the best results, but be sure to focus on the specific forums that attract your target customers, and try to zero-in on the interests of your local target customers. Potential framing customers respond favorably to a strong presence online, and a professionally-created and frequently-updated website may be among your most important marketing & advertising investments.

Where will the business be located? 

Will your business be home-based, or in a retail storefront, or in a commercial business campus, or in an industrial warehouse location?  Real-estate professionals often say the three factors most important for a successful business are location, location, and location. It’s true. Choosing the location most appropriate for your particular business will make it easier, less costly, and more profitable for you to operate from day one and into the future. Keep in mind that the cheapest location usually is not the best one.  Define the attributes of your perfect location in your business plan, and seek the best match.

How much space will be required?

In order to answer this question, you need to plan how many frames you intend to build per day or per month in the beginning and well into the future.  If your business will be small and home-based, you may need a space only 3 or 4 meters square for the customer showroom, plus a small production area about 5 or 6 meters square. 

If you are planning a retail storefront, or a commercial or industrial space, a lease agreement of several years may be required, so be sure to start out with enough space to accommodate your expected growth in that location. Every business is unique, but the typical area for a retail framing business may be around 1000 to 2000 square meters. More space is generally better, but only if your budget allows that expense. On the other hand, a cramped space can hinder production efficiency, profitability, and growth.

Earlier I said that your business plan would bring up questions that were not obvious in the beginning.  Here are two of them: how fast will your framing business grow, and how will growth affect your need for space? Consider these questions carefully in the selection of your business location.

What will be necessary to prepare the space?

Preparation of the business space is called build-out. In the best case scenario, this might involve only painting walls, cleaning carpet, and perhaps minor changes to the lighting.  Or, an extensive build-out could involve major renovations, such as removing or adding walls, plumbing changes, upgrading the electrical system, new ceiling, new flooring, and new lighting. 

The customer showroom will need to be presentable, because it is the face of your business and first impressions are important.  The showroom requires at least good lighting, an attractive design table, display provisions for samples of mouldings and mats, and framing-design examples.

Build-out requirements may be unknown in the early stages of business planning, but will become clearer as potential locations emerge in the plan.  The cost of build-out can be among the largest expenses of starting a framing business, so carefully consider your budget for build-out.

What tools, equipment, and fixtures will be needed to start?

A person possessing manual skills suitable for framing can build the work tables and fixtures needed for the framing shop, and at minimal expense.  A small shop may have only one worktable, perhaps 2 square meters on the top, with drawers, shelves, and bins underneath for hand tools and supplies.  A larger shop may need two or more worktables, perhaps 3 square meters on top, and they may be set up for specific tasks, such as mat-cutting, frame-joining, or fitting & finishing. 

In addition to the worktables, storage racks, bins, drawers, and shelves would be needed for the framing materials. Moulding lengths may be stored vertically or horizontally in special racks built to prevent warping or other damage.  Moulding chops may be stored under the worktables, carefully wrapped to prevent damage. Sheet goods, such as mat boards, foam boards, and glass, may come in at single sheets or cartons. These can be stored under the work tables in standard sizes, as dedicated storage racks can be built as needed for oversize sheets.  Other framing materials, such as rolls of paper, mounting supplies, hardware for fitting and hanging, and miscellaneous items may be stored under the tables or on shelves conveniently placed in the shop.

Tools and equipment for a small, fundamental framing shop would have to include at least a manual miter-box and saw, a miter-sander, a couple of miter-vices, manual mat-cutting tools, and a selection of hand tools for glass-cutting, fitting, and finishing.  As a general rule, the most fundamental tools are slower and less precise to use, so extra care and manual skills are required to produce professional results.

For a moderately-well-equipped shop, an electric miter-saw of the type used by construction contractors could cut the frame mouldings faster and more precisely than a manual miter-box, and the miter sander might still be useful. A manual or pneumatic underpinner would join the frame corners with v-nail fasteners driven from the bottom, eliminating nail holes and making stronger joints. Alternatively, a dovetail-routing machine with special inserts could serve the purpose, as well. A professional-quality, table-mounted straight-line mat cutter would enable the cutting of mat windows cleanly and precisely. A wall-mounted or free-standing glass and board cutting machine would enable glass cutting, acrylic, hard-board, foam-board, and paper board cutting precisely and conveniently.  

For the best-equipped framing shop, the tools already mentioned would be included, but perhaps in larger sizes or greater sophistication.  For example, a foot-pedal operated or pneumatic double-miter saw could replace the contractor-type single-miter saw. In addition, a large hot & cold vacuum press for wet-mounting and dry-mounting would improve the shop’s capabilities in framing paper items. If canvas artworks are to be framed often, a canvas-stretching machine may be a wise investment. Also, a computerized mat cutting machine would cut mats most precisely and quickly, especially when multiple mats are needed. Accessories for the CMC would make v-grooves, deboss, and add pen-lines on the mats. 

Some suppliers of framing materials, especially in metropolitan areas, may offer “fulfillment services” for their framing customers, such as cutting and joining frames, mat-cutting, and glass-cutting. If you are able – and willing - to purchase these services from your framing suppliers, then you can avoid the need for most framing tools. However, keep in mind that subcontracting framing work to your suppliers adds significantly to the cost, because the suppliers take profit for their labor as well as for their materials. Also, when others do the work, you have to rely on their quality control.  As a general rule, it’s better and more profitable to have the tools and equipment in your own shop to do the framing work from start to finish.

Starting out with used, professional-grade equipment may save a lot of money, perhaps half the price of new equipment, but buy wisely.  When you can find used framing equipment, make sure is in good condition, or be prepared to refurbish it.  

What other expenses will be involved with the start-up?

Non-framing equipment would include at least one computer with an up-to-date operating system and plenty of RAM and storage capacity.  Software should include a professional accounting program to keep track of financial matters, and point-of-sale software to keep customer data, order histories, to provide excellent reports about the business.  The POS system would also provide the most accurate material costs and prices, plus frequent, convenient updating.

At least one digital printer would be needed to produce work orders, invoices, and all sorts of other documentation associated with the business, and it might also serve as a scanner and FAX machine, as well.

Administrative start-up expenses would include legal registration and licensing of the business, since government tax authorities need to keep track of business activity.  Consultation with a professional accountant may be advised, in order to establish proper bookkeeping and accounting procedures for the business. Also, be prepared to pay deposits when setting up accounts for some utilities and services, such as gas & electric service, internet, telephone, refuse collection, and so on. Your start-up budget needs to include all of these and other miscellaneous expenses, which could quickly add up to a few thousand euros.


Generally, the business plan should be assembled after all of the research and study have been done. The planning is not necessarily a step-by-step process, and the final business plan document is really just a report of the planning work.

A common purpose of the business plan is to attract the attention and cooperation of investors or lenders, which may be obvious in the layout of information. However, even if you, the planner and business owner, are the only person ever to see the business plan, there is still merit to following an established, typical business plan template. Many business plan templates are available online, or you can assemble your own.  

Creating a business plan is a thoughtful process, and it may be difficult to figure out where to begin. Professional business planners are available in most markets, and consulting one of them may be worth the cost, especially if the help of an expert gets you started in the right direction, resulting in a better plan and a better business start-up.  

Here is an example to describe the various sections of a typical business plan.

Cover page – This page contains the proposed business name and contact information for the owner and preparer of the plan. If a company logo and tag line have been designed, place them here.

Table of contents – Yes, the business plan should be organized like a book.

Executive summary – This is a brief summary or synopsis of the plan, referring to some key details that it contains. If you are trying to attract an investor or lender, this section amounts to a sales pitch.  

Opportunity – Describe how this business provides an opportunity or fulfills a need in the marketplace, and the value of its products and services for customers.  This section should be about the benefits provided by the business, and not about the revenue, profit, or income potential that it may produce.

Market analysis – Here is where you analyze the market your business will serve, including market trends, demographic information, description of target customers, geographic reach, and assessment of potential competition. Plans for future growth or expansion into related markets should be included here as well. You may have demographic and marketing charts and graphs to include here.

Execution – This section describes how your business will serve the target market, including outlines for your marketing plans, advertising methods, sales plans, location, and technical details about your business. Describe the tools and equipment involved. Also describe the technologies and practices that will set your business apart from others. If the business will specialize in certain products and services, describe them in this section. You may have charts or tables showing forecasts of growth.

Company – Here you will describe the organizational structure, management, and staff of the company, including the names, education, qualifications, work history and accomplishments of the key people.

Finances – All details about the company’s financial plans should be provided here, including projected statements for profit and loss, cash flow, balance sheet, sales & profitability expectations, expenses, budgeting, and break-even forecast. Include charts and graphs of expected sales and profit performance for at least the first three years.

Appendix – This final section describes and explains the informational sources and resources used to compile the plan. Potential investors or lenders need to know that you know what you’re doing, and this section should lend credibility to the plan.


Creating a business plan is a project and, like any business project, the results indicate the quality of the business and its people.  It is essential to think through your plan, and cover everything. Here are a few of the common mistakes to avoid in the creation of your business plan:

Incomplete – The business plan should cover every aspect of the business. A complete plan includes descriptions of target customers, products and services, operations, marketing and sales, management and staff, assessment of competitors, discussion of the industry and its trends. Finally, your plan should include detailed financial projections for several years. Leaving out any of these details would result in an incomplete plan.

Too vague – Show all pertinent details in your plan.  Be specific and do not generalize. For example, in the sales forecasting show predictions for custom framing vs. ready-made sales; commercial vs. retail orders; and if multiple regions are involved, separate their numbers. 

Unrealistic or unsubstantiated assumptions – Make sure that all features of your plan are firmly grounded in factual information about the market, demographics, competition, and other pertinent factors. If the plan is based on faulty information or projections, then its credibility could be questioned.

Inadequate research – Learn as much as possible about the industry, your local market, target customers, competitors, and future trends. Thorough research is the key to creating a strong business plan, and it will show up in the Appendix.

Poorly written – The business plan represents you in the eyes of potential investors and lenders. Make sure it is written with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Make sure the layout is consistent, with proper margins and headings. The writing style should be clean and authoritative; not uncertain or overconfident. Remember that the business plan is a reflection of its writer.


Before presenting your business plan to others, review it to be sure all the important information is covered. Here’s a list of things to check:

Think through every aspect of the plan – Does your plan provide all the information necessary for an ordinary reader to understand the business you propose to start? 

Check your research – Sources of information should be checked and verified. Outdated or irrelevant research could lead to incorrect conclusions in the plan. Verify your research with multiple sources wherever possible, and make sure that all of your plan’s information is up-to-date.

Target customers – Make sure that your business targets the right customers, and that your products and services will appeal to them in numbers large enough to sustain and grow your business.

Competitors – Become very familiar with your competition, which includes not only the other framing shops in your market, but also other local businesses that might do framing as a side-line, such as interior decorating companies and craft stores.  Also research the online framing competitors. What are the trends for your future competition?

Suppliers – The framing suppliers in your market may be able to provide useful information about your local market. Get acquainted with them and discuss the selection of their product that you will want to sell.

Get feedback – Trusted friends and family, potential investors and lenders, suppliers, government agencies, and non-profit organizations (such as art museums) can provide valuable insights about your business plan.

Get help – If you lack expertise in any particular area, consult others. For example, bankers and accountants can help to define your financial plan. Advertising and marketing professionals may help with those features of your plan. And a professional business planner can help to keep you focused on the important points of your plan.

Creating a good business plan is essential for the success of every new business, so spend whatever time and energy it takes to do it right. The future of your business depends on how well you plan it.


James Miller

James Miller is not only framer but educator on a global scale. Miller specialise in preservation framing, which means that both technique and materials are in huge importance.  Also being an author of two successful books on professional framing, Miller is one of the most acknowledged framing specialist around the world. Now he has teamed up with GroGlass to provide an online course to invite framers aim for excellence. 

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How to Start a Picture Framing Business: Tips and Tricks for Success

How to Start a Picture Framing Business: Tips and Tricks for Success

Are you a creative person who loves to work with their hands? Do you enjoy making beautiful art pieces that can be displayed for all to see? If so, have you considered starting a picture framing business? It could be the perfect venture for you to showcase your talents and earn a living doing something you love.

Starting a picture framing business is not as daunting as it may seem, and with the right tools and guidance, you can be up and running in no time. The first step is to do your research and find out what kind of equipment and materials you will need to get started. You will also need to decide on the types of frames and matting options that you want to offer your customers. Don’t forget to consider your competition and try to find a niche that will set your business apart from others.

Next, you will need to create a business plan that outlines your goals, target market, and financial projections. This will help you stay organized and focused as you start your journey towards entrepreneurship. Social media and networking are great tools to help you get the word out about your new business, so start building your brand and engaging with potential customers. With hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck, you can turn your passion for picture framing into a successful and fulfilling business venture. Conducting market research

Before starting a picture framing business, it is important to conduct market research to understand your potential customers, competitors, and industry trends. This research helps you make informed decisions and create a competitive advantage for your business.

Here are some key steps to conducting market research for your picture framing business:

  • Identify your target market: Determine the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your potential customers. Consider factors such as age, income level, interests, and preferences.
  • Assess your competition: Identify your direct and indirect competitors and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Analyze their products, services, pricing strategies, marketing tactics, and customer reviews.
  • Analyze industry trends: Stay updated on the latest trends and shifts in the picture framing industry. Research topics such as popular framing styles, emerging technologies, customer preferences, and new materials.

Once you have gathered this information, you can use it to create a marketing strategy that addresses your customers’ needs and preferences, differentiates your business from competitors, and capitalizes on industry trends.

Determining Start-up Costs

Starting a picture framing business involves some costs, most of which are one-time expenses or those that need to be incurred only in the beginning of the business. Knowing how much it would cost to start this business is important in creating a realistic budget and determining whether it is feasible to pursue this entrepreneurial venture. Here are some aspects to consider when determining the start-up costs:

  • Equipment and Tools – Picture framing equipment and tools can be expensive. These commonly include a saw, chopper, miter vise, mat cutter and a set of hand tools. The cost for professional-grade tools will vary depending on their quality and brands, but could range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
  • Inventory – A picture framing business needs a variety of frames, matting, mounting materials, and other framing supplies. Getting an idea of what inventory your business will need is important in determining the starting cost. Initial inventory costs could range from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Location – Choosing a location for your business is another important consideration. Rent prices of a store space will vary depending on the location you choose, but it is important to ensure that it is in a visible and accessible area. In addition to rent, monthly utilities such as electricity, water, and internet must also be factored in.

Apart from the above mentioned, there are other start-up expenses such as insurance, legal documents, business registration, and salary. If you plan to hire employees, your salaries must also be factored in. A detailed feasibility study that includes all the aspects listed above can help you come up with a realistic estimate of the start-up cost of a picture framing business.

Determining the start-up cost of a picture framing business involves assessing various aspects and estimating the expenses that come with each. It is important to consider even the smallest expenses to create a realistic budget. While one-time expenses are often high, they can be balanced with the ongoing income of the business. A well-calculated start-up cost estimate will prepare you for a successful picture framing business.

Identifying Target Market

When starting a picture framing business, it is essential to identify your target market before making any significant decisions. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Demographics: Analyze the demographic characteristics of your desired market, including age, gender, income level, and education level. This information can help you determine what type of frames and services you should offer.
  • Geographic Location: Determine the location of your target market. Are you targeting a specific city or region? Knowing this information can help you tailor your marketing efforts and pricing strategies to appeal to your target audience.
  • Needs and Preferences: Consider the needs and preferences of your target market. Are they interested in high-end frames or more affordable options? Do they prefer a certain style or material, such as metal or wood?

Once you have a clear understanding of your target market, you can create a detailed marketing plan to reach and engage with potential customers. This can include social media outreach, networking events, targeted advertising, and more.

Here is an example of how you can identify your target market:

With a clear understanding of your target market, you can create a tailor-made strategy that will help your picture framing business thrive.

Establishing a Business Plan

Any successful business venture begins with a solid business plan. This should be the foundation of your picture framing business and guide your decisions as you move forward. Your business plan should answer the following questions:

  • What services will you offer?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What is your pricing plan?
  • What is your revenue model?
  • What is your budget for startup costs and ongoing expenses?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals for the business?

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to flesh out your plan. Here are some additional considerations:

  • Legal structure: Will you be a sole proprietor, LLC, or corporation?
  • Location: Will you have a storefront or operate your business online?
  • Equipment and supplies: What equipment and supplies will you need to start and run your business?
  • Staffing: Will you need to hire employees, or will you run the business solo?
  • Financing: Where will the funding for your startup costs come from?

Keep in mind that your business plan is not set in stone. It should be viewed as a living document that you will revise and update as your business grows and changes. It is also important to be realistic in your projections, and to revisit your plan periodically to ensure that you are staying on track.

By taking the time to create a comprehensive business plan, you will be setting yourself up for success and laying the groundwork for a thriving picture framing business.

Choosing a Location

When starting a picture framing business, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is choosing the right location. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Demographics: Look at the demographics of the area you’re considering – is there a market for picture framing? Are there enough people in the area who appreciate art and photography? This will also help you determine the type of framing you offer – high-end or affordable.
  • Foot Traffic: Consider a location with high foot traffic, such as a busy shopping mall or street, as this can help generate business organically.
  • Competition: Too much competition can make it difficult to stand out, but some amount of competition means there is a demand for the service. Look for a location where there is a balance between established businesses and potential clientele.

It’s also important to think about the cost of rent and overhead as well as accessibility for customers. A location that is hard to find or access may deter potential clients. Consider factors such as ample parking space and proximity to transportation.

Once you’ve narrowed down potential locations, create a table comparing the pros and cons of each option to help you make a well-informed decision. This will help you weigh the costs and benefits of each location, as well as their proximity to potential clientele and competition.

Licensing and permits

Starting a picture framing business requires obtaining the necessary licenses and permits as required by local and state laws. Failure to do so can result in fines and legal consequences that could put your business at risk.

Here are some of the important licenses and permits that you’ll need to start a picture framing business:

  • Business License: You will need a business license to legally operate a picture framing business. The requirements and fees for obtaining a license vary by state and locality, so it’s important to check with your local government office for the specific requirements in your area.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If you plan to sell your picture frames directly to customers, you will need a sales tax permit to collect and remit sales tax to your state. Again, the requirements for obtaining a sales tax permit vary by state and locality.
  • Zoning and Land Use Permits: Depending on your location, you may need to obtain zoning and land use permits to operate a picture framing business from your designated space.

Aside from the licenses and permits previously mentioned, you should also consider the following before starting a picture framing business to ensure that it complies with local regulations:

  • Building Code Compliance
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations
  • Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulations (if applicable)

To ensure that you cover all the necessary licensing and permit requirements, it’s advisable to speak with a business attorney or local government officials who can advise you based on your location and specific business type.

Sources and Resources

Small Business Administration (SBA). (2019). Obtaining Business Licenses and Permits. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits#section-header-2

U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (n.d.). Business License and Permit Requirements. https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/business-license-permit-requirements

Summary Table: Licensing and Permits

Selecting suppliers

One of the most crucial steps in starting a picture framing business is selecting reliable and trustworthy suppliers for your materials. Your suppliers can make or break your business, so it is imperative to do your research and choose those who offer high-quality products, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service. Here are some tips to help you select the right suppliers for your picture framing business:

  • Research potential suppliers: You can start by looking online or asking for recommendations from other business owners. Consider the reputation, experience, and product range of each supplier before making a decision.
  • Quality of materials: The quality of the materials you frame with, such as mat boards, glass, and frames, can greatly impact the end result. Look for suppliers who offer high-quality materials that are durable, attractive, and readily available in various sizes and colors.
  • Pricing: Compare pricing among different suppliers to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money. Avoid suppliers that offer prices that are too good to be true, as they may be compromising on quality.

Once you have selected your suppliers, establish a good working relationship with them. This involves clear communication, timely delivery, and prompt payment. Always maintain a cordial relationship with your suppliers, as they may offer you valuable advice and insights on how to improve your business.

Supplier Comparison Table

Keep in mind that this is just a sample table and you should conduct your own research to find the best suppliers for your business needs. Remember that a good supplier can help your business grow and succeed, so invest your time and resources in finding the right ones.

Purchasing Equipment and Supplies

Starting a picture framing business requires a certain set of equipment and supplies for a smooth operation. Before you set up your shop, you need to consider the following:

  • Frame moulding cutter: A high-quality frame moulding cutter is a necessary investment. The cutter will allow you to cut the moulding in a variety of lengths and finishes. Choose a cutter that is user-friendly and will give you the best results.
  • Mat cutter: A mat cutter is essential for cutting mat board materials. There are manual and computerized mat cutters available on the market, and you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
  • Glass cutter and glass: You will need a glass cutter to cut and shape the glass for your frames. Choose a high-quality glass that is clear and easy to clean.
  • Backing materials: You will need to get a variety of backing materials, including foam board, acid-free boards, and other backing materials. These materials provide support for your artwork and prevent it from sagging inside the frame.
  • Hanging hardware: You will need to purchase hanging hardware for your frames. Choose hardware that is strong and suitable for the type of frame you’re using. A wire, D-ring, or sawtooth hanger is often used to hang the frame.
  • Sanding and finishing supplies: Once you’ve assembled your frames and cut the mat board, you will need to sand and finish the frames to give them a professional look. You will need sandpaper, glue, sealant, and a variety of finishes, including stains, varnishes, and paints.
  • Other supplies: Other supplies you may need include specialized mounting tapes, heat guns, picture framer’s points, and a dust cover.

Machinery and Tool Suppliers

Sourcing your framing equipment and supplies from reputable dealers is the key to ensuring quality products. Here are some reliable suppliers:

  • FrameCo: They offer a range of framing tools and equipment, including mat cutters and frame moulding cutters. Visit their website to learn more.
  • Fletcher-Terry: They are one of the leaders in providing high-quality framing tools and equipment. They offer a range of manual and computerized mat cutters, glass cutters, and a variety of hardware. Visit their website for more details.
  • Nielsen Bainbridge: They’re one of the leading suppliers of framing equipment, tools, and supplies. Their product range includes mat cutters, glass-cutting tools, hardware, and much more. Visit their website to learn more.

Suppliers of Matboard and Glass Materials

There are several suppliers of matboard and glass materials to choose from. Consider the following when selecting your supplier:

Ensure that you do due diligence when selecting your suppliers. It’s important to choose suppliers who offer high-quality materials at a reasonable price. This will ensure that your finished products are of the highest quality and will keep your customers coming back for more.

Setting up the Workshop

Starting a picture framing business requires careful planning and preparation. One of the essential components of your business is a functional and well-equipped workshop. Here are some important things to consider when setting up your workshop:

  • Location – Your workshop should be located in an area that is easily accessible to your customers, suppliers, and employees. You should also consider factors such as rent, utilities, and taxes when choosing a location.
  • Space – Your workshop should have enough space to accommodate all the necessary equipment and materials. You will need space for framing tables, cutting machines, storage areas, and shipping supplies.
  • Lighting – Proper lighting is important for a picture framing workshop. You should have bright, even lighting that allows you to see the details of the artwork and materials you are working with.

In addition to these factors, you should also consider investing in quality equipment and tools that will help you produce high-quality frames. Here is a list of the essential equipment and tools you will need:

When purchasing equipment and tools, it is important to do your research and invest in quality products that will last. You should also consider the cost and maintenance requirements of each item.

Overall, setting up a workshop for your picture framing business requires careful planning and investment. By creating a functional and well-equipped workspace, you can produce high-quality frames that satisfy your customers and help your business thrive.

Establishing pricing and marketing strategies

Starting a picture framing business can be a lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning and strategy to ensure success. One of the most important aspects of starting a framing business is establishing pricing and marketing strategies that will help your business grow and remain profitable over the long term. Below, we will explore ten key tips for establishing pricing and marketing strategies for your picture framing business.

Pricing Strategies

  • Research your competition: Look at the prices charged by other framing businesses in your area to make sure your prices are competitive and attractive to customers.
  • Determine your costs: Calculate the costs of materials, labor, and other expenses to determine how much you need to charge for each framing job to make a profit.
  • Bundling: Consider bundling services with your primary product to offer more value and increase your margins.
  • Sales and discounts: Offer sales and discounts on your services to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
  • Membership programs: Entice customers to become loyal members by offering special pricing and promotions.
  • Seasonal pricing: Consider seasonal pricing adjustments to take advantage of peak framing times.
  • Value-based pricing: Charge based on the value that customers perceive your services to provide.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing is a critical part of establishing a successful picture framing business. Utilize the following strategies to attract customers and grow your business:

  • Create a website and social media accounts: Have a professional website and social media presence to showcase your services and work.
  • Networking and referral programs: Build relationships with other businesses in your area and establish a referral program to attract new customers.
  • Offer excellent customer service: Provide top-notch customer service to earn positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Participate in community events: Participate in community events to generate awareness and build relationships.
  • Direct mail and email campaigns: Use direct mail and email campaigns to target potential customers.

Final Thoughts

By following the pricing and marketing strategies outlined above, your picture framing business can thrive and grow. Remember to always put your customers first and constantly look for ways to improve your services and reach new audiences. With hard work and dedication, your framing business can become a staple in your community and a profitable venture for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a Picture Framing Business

1. what qualifications do i need to start a picture framing business.

There are no specific educational qualifications required to start a picture framing business. However, you will need to have good practical skills and knowledge of different framing techniques. You can gain this knowledge through training programs or apprenticeships.

2. How much does it cost to start a picture framing business?

The cost of starting a picture framing business can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of your business. You will need to factor in costs such as equipment, materials, rent, licenses, insurance, and marketing expenses.

3. Where can I find picture framing supplies?

You can find picture framing supplies from wholesalers or retailers who specialize in framing materials. You can also purchase supplies online. Research different suppliers to ensure you are getting the best quality products at the best prices.

4. Do I need a storefront to start a picture framing business?

No, you don’t need a storefront to start a picture framing business. You can start your business from home or operate out of a mobile unit. However, having a physical storefront can provide greater visibility and a more professional image.

5. How can I market my picture framing business?

There are many ways to market your picture framing business, including social media, print advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, and local community events. Develop a marketing plan that targets your ideal customer base and be consistent with your messaging.

6. What types of frames should I offer?

Offer a variety of frames that range in style, size, and price point. Customers will appreciate having a range of options to choose from that fit their specific needs and preferences.

7. How can I differentiate my picture framing business from competitors?

Differentiate your business by offering exceptional customer service, unique framing options, and personalized consultations. Invest in high-quality materials and workmanship to ensure your frames stand out from competitors.

Thanks for Reading and Best of Luck!

Starting a picture framing business can be a rewarding and enjoyable venture. Remember to stay focused, seek out opportunities for growth and innovation, and above all, provide exceptional customer service. Thanks for reading, and please check back for more updates and insights on how to succeed in the framing business.

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What do you need to know about starting a business?

  • Start up business ideas
  • Set up a business
  • Skills and wellbeing
  • Business planning
  • Financing a business
  • Tax and National Insurance
  • Business law
  • Sales and marketing
  • Business premises
  • Business IT
  • Grow your business
  • Types of business
  • Testing business ideas
  • Product development
  • Is running a business really for you?
  • Start up stories
  • Registering as a sole trader
  • Setting up a limited company
  • Business names
  • Buy a franchise
  • Buying a business
  • Starting an online business
  • Setting up a social enterprise
  • Small business support

Protect your wellbeing from the pressures of starting and running a business and develop key business skills.

  • Dealing with stress
  • Manage your time
  • Self-confidence
  • Write a business plan
  • Business strategy
  • Start up costs
  • Start up funding
  • Setting prices
  • How to work out tax and NI
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Licences and registration
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Insurance for business
  • Workplace health, safety and environmental rules
  • Looking after your customers

Promote your business

  • Your marketing strategy
  • Sales techniques
  • Research your market
  • Creating and optimising a website
  • Commercial premises
  • Premises security
  • People management
  • Recruitment, contracts, discipline and grievance
  • Employment rights
  • Hiring employees
  • Buying IT for your new business
  • Basic IT security
  • Preparing for business growth
  • How to scale up your business
  • Funding business growth
  • Start exporting
  • Personal development

How to start up a picture framing business

Man in jumper holding small framed picture in picture framing shop

You'll need practical skills to set up as a picture framer and you might also have a specialist picture framing qualification. You'll find all you need to start up and run your own picture framing business in our practical guide.

Research your target market

Customer profile, why your business, building up the business, price your services, buy an existing business.

When you plan your picture framing business it's important to think about how much demand there is likely to be for your products and services, and make an assessment of the level of existing competition. Doing some market research will help you with this.

Estimating demand

You need to consider whether there will be enough demand for a picture framing business in your area. Be aware that demand for picture framing is likely to be affected by economic conditions - spending on non-essentials such as art will always decrease when money is short. However, there is generally fairly steady demand for hand made, good quality frames, and an even larger market for cheap, standard sized frames for photographs, prints and so on. Competition at the cheaper end of the market is likely to be very strong, however, with ready made frames commonly available from photo shops, gift shops, homeware shops and stationers as well as online.

Potential customers include members of the public, businesses and organisations. Members of the public might include art collectors looking for a high quality framing service, those wishing to have their own artwork framed, or others simply looking for cheap ready-made frames for their photographs. Trade customers could include professional photographers, artists, art galleries, museums, hotels, restaurants, pubs and organisations such as schools, colleges and hospitals.

Think about the demand for picture framing in your area - this will be influenced by the size and nature of the local population and the state of the local economy. The range of picture frames you intend to offer - from cheap ready-made frames to more expensive bespoke frames - will have a bearing on the type of customers you attract. You could offer a wide range to suit all tastes and budgets, but it might be better to try to match the range of frames and services you offer to the needs and wants of local customers.

If you offer a high quality framing service or restoration and repair work, you may be able to attract customers from further afield. Advertising in art and craft magazines and sending details of your services to art galleries will help to get your business known to a wider audience. However, getting work from further afield will depend on building up a good reputation, which may take time.

Local businesses that might be interested in your services include professional photographers, artists, art galleries and museums. From time to time you might also get work from restaurants, hotels, pubs, schools and colleges. A quick check through the local telephone directory might give you an idea of the number of such businesses in your area.

You may decide that you will need to travel to make sufficient sales. For example, perhaps you could have a stall at a Sunday market in a neighbouring town, or visit craft fairs around the country. You may decide to sell ready-made frames online from your website - this could help you to reach a wider market.

Establishing the level of competition

Having thought about who your potential customers will be, you need to find out how well they are already served.

How many other businesses in your area offer picture framing? A look on Yell.com (try classification 'picture framers and frame makers') and other similar directories will help you to establish this. Try other online searches for your area too.

Bear in mind that people can buy ready made picture frames from lots of different sources including gift shops, photographic developers, DIY stores, stationery suppliers, art and craft shops, department stores and so on.

Don't be too discouraged if there are lots of outlets selling frames - you may be able to make trade sales to some of these other businesses. For example, gift shops, art galleries or tourist outlets might all be interested in stocking your frames - either for sale as they are, or complete with prints or photographs of the local area.

When looking at your competitors' advertisements and websites make a note of:

  • the range of picture frames and framing services they offer
  • if they offer any other services (for example repairs, restoration work and so on)
  • any special features advertised, for example 'all work guaranteed', '25 years experience' and so on
  • whether they belong to the Fine Art Trade Guild Commended/Certified Framer (GCF) scheme
  • the prices they charge

Be aware that picture frames - including standard-sized ready-made frames and made-to-measure frames in a large range of different styles and materials - are widely available online at very competitive prices. These types of frame are typically aimed at customers who want to mount a print, photo or poster rather than an expensive one-off piece of art, but it's nevertheless a strong source of competition for 'bread and butter' framing work.

The results of your research will help you to focus your picture framing business on any gaps in the market that you think are worth filling. You'll also have a better idea of how much local people are likely to be prepared to pay for your services. Remember that you may also face competition from people who frame pictures as a hobby, but undertake a small amount of work for others on a casual basis. They may accept framing work for cash, but are unlikely to advertise anywhere.

Research current trends, plus legal and tax issues

  • Sector trends for picture framers
  • Legal issues for picture framers
  • VAT rules for picture framers

You might sell your picture frames to members of the public or to trade customers such as local art galleries - or to both.

Members of the public

To sell direct to the public you could open your own shop, offer a framing service from home, have a market stall, attend craft fairs and exhibitions, or you could try mail order and online sales. Think carefully about the range of customers you will target - consider your location, the people who live there and your own skills, experience and interests.

You may deal with various types of customer depending on the range of frames and services you offer. If you concentrate on making cheaper, basic frames in standard sizes, you are likely to attract a wide range of customers who will probably be locally based. You might extend your potential customer base if you offer unusual frames, for example ceramic photo frames, or driftwood mirror frames. Expensive framing services will mainly be used by more affluent people, but you may be able to attract such customers from a wider area, especially if you attend art and craft fairs or advertise online. Don't forget that if you are located near an art college, art students are likely to want to frame their exam projects - if they plan to do this themselves you may be able to supply them with framing materials.

If you're prepared to be flexible and accommodate unusual requests then you may get work from various other people who want to frame something special. Examples could include anglers who want to preserve and display a prize-winning fish, collectors who have obtained something particularly rare and/or valuable such as a signed football shirt, and other owners of things like medals or memorabilia.

Trade customers

Trade customers could include local art galleries, gift or craft shops, professional photographers and artists, photographic shops (especially those offering print services), department stores, museums or tourist attractions selling local artwork. You can try approaching these outlets directly - show them a selection of your work and ask if they are interested in buying anything, or whether they would be willing to stock ready made frames on a commission basis. Attending an art exhibition or craft fair is sometimes a good way to meet potential trade customers from a wide area.

You will need to make sure that enough customers will choose to buy your picture frames or use your picture framing service. There are a number of things to consider when trying to attract customers.

A gap in the market

Your market research might have indicated that there is a gap in the market that your products can fill. For example, perhaps no one in your area offers high quality, made to measure frames. Maybe existing picture framers cater well for the top end of the market, but less well for those looking for cheaper frames or a while-you-wait service. Alternatively, you may have identified a demand for a cleaning or restoration service.

The right range

You must be able to make and supply the kind of picture frames that your customers want to buy. It is vital that the frames you make are of a high quality both in terms of workmanship and the materials used. This applies to ready made standard sized frames as well as more expensive made to measure items.

The right price

Artwork is a luxury item and many customers will be more concerned about finding the right frame than paying the lowest price. This is particularly true of the market for made to measure, quality frames. However, depending on the type of business you decide to operate, many of your sales are likely to be of cheaper ready made, standard size frames to local shops or art galleries, for which the price is more important. For these items it's important to set your prices broadly in line with those of your competitors.

The right image

Providing a helpful, knowledgeable and personal service will go a long way to encouraging people to choose your picture framing service. Having an in-depth knowledge of frame design and manufacturing techniques will enable you to provide useful advice to potential customers - particularly important if you are approached to restore an old frame. You will generally find that customers welcome your input when choosing a frame so it helps to have a general knowledge of framing matters. For example, an oil painting on canvas does not need to be framed under glass and mounts are not usually used when framing an oil painting. A modern painting will generally look better in a modern frame while a more traditional style is likely to benefit from a more traditional frame. Always aim to be friendly, polite and helpful - remember that word of mouth recommendation is by far the best form of advertising.

Think about how your business will start out and what your medium-term plans are for the business. You might be intending to start right away from a retail premises, or you may want to get going in a small way - perhaps only on a part time basis - with the aim of expanding gradually.

Starting from home

Many picture framers start out making frames as a hobby, perhaps to display their own artwork or photographs. Some go on to make frames for friends and family and maybe accept a few additional jobs on a casual basis. Changing an interest in picture framing from a hobby to a business is a big step, but is easier than starting up a business from scratch, with little knowledge or experience.

To begin with, you could make frames in your spare time - evenings and weekends. This will enable you to start building up a customer base and help you test the level of demand. When the volume of work increases, you might consider investing in better tools and equipment. Working from home saves any outlay on business premises. A room can be set aside as a workshop, or you could convert a garage or large shed. As well as a working area, you'll need some space to store materials such as mouldings, board, glass and so on. Because you won't be very visible, you'll need to think carefully about how you'll attract customers - you could consider advertising online as well as contacting organisations like galleries that might put work your way.

Tools of the trade

The tools required for picture framing need not be expensive. Frames can be made with just a few basic tools - a mitre saw, a board cutting knife, a basic frame clamp and some hand tools. Getting good results with more basic equipment can be time consuming, so for larger scale production you'll need more sophisticated equipment. Professional mitre machines (guillotines), measuring devices, more sophisticated clamps and frame joining machines allow frames to be made quickly and to a very high quality.

Retail outlets

As your business builds up, you may need to move to a larger workshop. Having premises with a shop front where you can display examples of framed artwork will greatly increase the volume of trade you can expect the business to generate. Offering ready made frames in a variety of styles and sizes, or a while-you-wait framing service will also attract passers-by. At this stage you may need to think about taking on staff - you'll need someone to serve customers when you're busy in the workshop. If you are unable to have your own retail outlet, you could try approaching local art galleries or gift shops to see if they would be willing to display some of your frames.

Restoration work and repairs

While basic ready made frames are available from many outlets, restoration and repair services for old frames are less widely offered. Old works of art or mirrors may benefit from having their frames cleaned or restored and you may find that you can make extra money by offering these services to your customers. Bear in mind that restoration work is a very specialised skill and attempting to restore frames without the necessary expertise could lead to costly mistakes.

How will you decide on your prices?

Getting the price right is very important. You must make sure that the selling price of a frame is enough to cover the cost of the raw materials, your operating costs and your own drawings. When setting your prices take into account:

  • the quantity of materials used and their cost
  • the time taken to make the frame
  • an element to cover profit

Bear in mind that the lower end of the picture frame market is very competitive and you will have to take into account the prices charged for similar frames elsewhere. Your potential customers will be able to buy ready made frames at reasonable prices from a variety of sources, so you may have to set your prices in line with those of your immediate competitors - as well as what the local market will bear. This may prompt you to target the more affluent customer, who is likely to be prepared to pay premium prices for a top quality framing service.

Don't forget that if you plan to sell to trade customers like art galleries as well as to members of the public then your trade customers will probably expect a discount.

Other services

Also consider how you will cost any other services you provide - for example cleaning and restoration work. Decide how often you will review your prices and whether you will offer discounts or special offers.

Special offers and discounts

You may decide to offer a discount on large orders. How much discount will depend on your pricing policy and the level of local competition. You might be prepared to offer customers a discount if they commission you to frame several items at a time.

Many businesses give discounts to employees, regular customers, family and friends. Check out the opposition for ideas and keep a close eye on any special offers you do make to be sure that they are working for you. After all, these kinds of promotions might encourage extra business, but they will also affect the amount of profit you make.

It is important to advertise your picture framing business effectively, to let your potential customers know who you are, where you are and what you can do for them. Many customers will only require framing services on occasion and so may not have the name of a picture framer to hand. The first place that many are likely to look is online.

Advertising online

More and more people search for things like picture framing services online - so a website is probably essential. You could also benefit from a listing in an online directory - such as that maintained by the Fine Art Trade Guild.

You could consider taking an advert on Yell.com . Bear in mind that many of your competitors will have done the same and some firms spend a lot of money on large, eye-catching display advertisements. Try to include in your advertisements all the main points about your business and the range of frames and framing services you offer. Be sure to emphasise any things that distinguish your business from its competitors for example, '25 years experience', 'family run firm', 'while-you-wait' service and so on. Members of the Fine Art Trade Guild benefit from discounted advertising on Yell.com .

Think about adding your professional profile to LinkedIn so that potential customers are aware of your picture framing expertise and qualifications. You could use other social media to market your business and stay in touch with regular customers too.

Other ways of advertising

Think about other ways of promoting your business. You could, for example, distribute paper flyers or businesses cards to art galleries, photographers or gift shops and ask if they would pass some on to their customers. You could try contacting local art classes, photography clubs, schools, colleges and WI groups to let them know about the framing services you offer. Perhaps you could offer an introductory discount to members of these groups or even consider giving a talk or demonstration.

Your local newspapers may run a regular 'contact the experts' advertising feature. Finally, remember that a business vehicle can be an effective means of advertising if you have it sign-written and keep it clean and presentable.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth recommendations are very valuable to your business. If you do a good job, local galleries, artists and gift shops will hear about it and might recommend your services to other customers. People may trust you with old and valuable works of art so they will want to be sure that you are a careful worker and do a good job - a recommendation from a friend will help to persuade them. Membership of a trade association or the Guild Commended/Certified Framer scheme will reassure them, too. You will have to earn your reputation through good, reliable workmanship - but a friendly and polite manner can pay big dividends from the outset. Make sure that any people you employ are good ambassadors for your business too.

You might decide to buy an existing farm supply business rather than start your own venture from scratch. Buying a going concern can mean that the products, customers, regular sales, staff, premises and equipment are already in place.

But  buying a business  can be a hazardous, expensive process unless you have the right skills and experience on your team, including legal and financial know-how. Establish the genuine trading and financial position, so that the price you pay for the business is not too high.

Other matters to consider include:

  • if you are paying for goodwill, to what extent does this depend on the skills and personality of the seller. Are you sure that your framing skills and expertise matches that of the previous owner - if not your 'existing' customers are likely to melt away

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How Much Does it Cost to Start a Picture Framing Business

In this article, we'll delve into the world of picture framing and explore the various business and startup costs involved in launching this type of venture.

Picture Framing Startup Expenses

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Detailed startup costs for a picture framing business:.

Initiating a picture framing business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $20000 for launching such an business. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your picture framing business.

Disclaimer: The startup costs outlined in this blog article are based on general estimates and may vary depending on your specific location, business model, and other factors. It is important to conduct thorough research and consult with professionals before making any financial decisions. The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or legal advice. The author and publisher of this article are not liable for any damages or losses resulting from the use of this information.

Factors Contributing to Picture Framing Startup Costs:

There are several factors that contribute to the startup costs of a picture framing business:

  • Location: The cost of rent or lease for a physical storefront can vary depending on the location and size of the space.
  • Equipment: Picture framing requires specialized equipment such as a mat cutter, glass cutter, and framing saw. These tools can be expensive to purchase or lease.
  • Inventory: A picture framing business will need to purchase a variety of framing materials such as frames, mats, glass, and backing boards. The cost of inventory will depend on the size of the business and the types of materials used.
  • Marketing: Starting a new business requires marketing efforts to attract customers. This can include creating a website, business cards, flyers, and other promotional materials.
  • Labor: Hiring employees to assist with framing and customer service can add to the startup costs of a picture framing business.
  • Licenses and permits: Depending on the location and type of business, licenses and permits may be required to operate legally.

Seven Methods to Reduce Your Picture Framing Startup Costs:

Starting a picture framing business can be an exciting venture, but it can also come with a hefty price tag. However, there are several methods you can use to reduce your startup costs and get your business up and running without breaking the bank. Here are seven ways to save money when starting your picture framing business:

  • Start small: Begin with a small inventory of framing materials and gradually expand as your business grows.
  • Bargain hunt: Shop around for the best deals on equipment and supplies. Look for sales, discounts, and clearance items.
  • Buy used equipment: Consider purchasing used equipment to save money. Check online marketplaces, auctions, and classified ads for deals.
  • Partner with other businesses: Collaborate with other local businesses to share costs on marketing and advertising efforts.
  • Outsource work: Consider outsourcing some of your work to freelancers or other businesses to save on labor costs.
  • Utilize social media: Use social media platforms to promote your business and connect with potential customers for free.
  • Offer discounts: Offer discounts or promotions to attract new customers and build a loyal customer base.

How to Improve Your Picture Framing Profit Margins?

As a picture framer, you want to maximize your profit margins while still providing high-quality products and services to your customers. There are several ways to achieve this goal, from sourcing materials more efficiently to streamlining your production process. Here are some tips to help you improve your picture framing profit margins:

  • Source materials in bulk: By purchasing materials in larger quantities, you can often negotiate better prices from your suppliers. This can help you reduce your costs and increase your profit margins.
  • Offer value-added services: Consider offering additional services, such as custom matting or mounting, to increase the value of your products and command higher prices.
  • Streamline your production process: Look for ways to make your production process more efficient, such as using templates to speed up cutting or investing in a computerized mat cutter.
  • Reduce waste: Minimize waste by accurately measuring and cutting materials, recycling scraps, and using leftover materials for smaller projects or samples.
  • Price your products appropriately: Make sure you are pricing your products and services appropriately to ensure you are covering your costs and making a profit.

By implementing these strategies, you can improve your picture framing profit margins and grow your business. Remember to always prioritize quality and customer satisfaction, as these factors are key to building a loyal customer base and maintaining a successful business in the long term.

More Picture Framing Business Resources:

  • How to Start a Profitable Picture Framing Business [11 Steps]

I'm Nick, co-founder of newfoundr.com, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.

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Art Sales Custom Framing Business Plan

Start your own art sales custom framing business plan

Hart Fraeme Gallery

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.


Hart Fraeme Gallery is a fine art gallery and full-service custom frame shop. The cornerstone of Hart Fraeme Gallery’s business is high-quality custom framing. The company is unique in its field in that it offers same-day and 11-day custom framing, in contrast to the industry-standard 21-day lead time. Hart Fraeme Gallery is founded on a dedication to offer the Triopolis metro area the most innovative, trend-setting designs and a finished product of impeccable quality at unmatched speeds.

The Company

Hart Fraeme Gallery is an S-Corporation that is owned and operated by Hart Fraeme, who has several years of experience operating another art gallery and custom frame shop. The knowledge, expertise, and contacts that Mr. Fraeme has accumulated during this time have led him to found Hart Fraeme Gallery.

Presently, the company does not have a retail location, although plans are in place to acquire a location in the Uptown Mall by September of 2005. This location is attractive due to the relative lack of nearby frame shops, as well as the area demographics, which mirror those of Hart Fraeme Gallery’s target customer.

Products and Services

As mentioned above, Hart Fraeme Gallery’s primary focus will be on custom framing, which is expected to generate roughly 75% of monthly income. Although the company will also offer artwork for sale, this is done mostly as a service to its customers, and will typically account for no more than 25% of monthly sales. Nevertheless, artwork is necessary as a tool to model and sell custom framing options, which are many. The business will offer a selection of nearly 500 mouldings and more than a thousand unique matboards. In addition, Hart Fraeme Gallery will offer a large variety of decorative mat cuts, design styles, and display options.

Financial Outlook

The demand for artwork and custom framing is strong: 42% of consumers report that they are likely to make an art or framing purchase in the upcoming year. Additionally, industry analyses predict a 4-6% growth in custom framing sales for 2006. Given this, Hart Fraeme Gallery is confident that it can enter and establish itself in the market successfully. Financial projections are positive, and the company expects to generate healthy sustainable income and gross margin over the next three years.

1.1 Objectives

Hart Fraeme Gallery has four major goals. The first two are related to establishing a market presence at the outset, while the third and fourth are ongoing goals.

  • Open a retail location in the Triopolis metropolitan area. Specifically, the company plans to enter into a lease agreement with the Uptown Mall, to lease a retail space of 1,500 – 2,500 square feet, with a stockroom / workshop area of at least 750 square feet.
  • Establish consumer awareness of both product and company through marketing.  This can be accomplished by advertising weekly in local newspapers, including Pioneer Press and Star Tribune for four weeks prior to and two weeks following the grand opening, and then on alternate weeks thereafter for three months, advertising more or less as results suggest.  Additionally, the company will create a website detailing products and services, which will include an online shopping cart for Web purchases.
  • Lead the industry in completion time, with an 11-day time frame for project completion on most orders and same-day framing with selected materials.  To do this, it will be necessary to purchase the requisite framing equipment, and to keep it on-site, along with a selection of stock materials for same-day projects.  It is also necessary to establish business relationships with leaders in the materials industry such as Roma Moulding and Mouldique, and to maintain weekly ordering and delivery schedules with such vendors.
  • Focus primarily on custom framing, emphasizing leading-edge and high-end design.  To do this, the company will monitor changing design and décor trends.  Particularly, staff must follow such trends; therefore, the company will subscribe to several trade magazines, such as Picture Framing Magazine , Decor , and Art Business News .

1.2 Mission

Hart Fraeme Gallery is founded on a dedication to offer the Triopolis the most innovative, trend-setting designs and a finished product of impeccable quality at unmatched speeds.

To this end, the company takes pride in three things:

  • Eye-catching, unique frame designs, stemming from a strong knowledge and continuing study of both current and traditional decorating styles and design trends.
  • The highest quality craftsmanship and an ongoing commitment to excellence.
  • Dedication to work and constant drive to exceed the industry-standard three-week time frame for product completion.

1.3 Keys to Success

Hart Fraeme Gallery has four key factors that are integral to success:

  • Quality Craftsmanship – Because picture framing is aesthetic in nature, the finished product must be of impeccable quality.
  • Innovation and Creativity – Custom framing implies uniqueness, and the customer expects a one-of-a-kind product individually tailored to his preferences.
  • Fast, Professional Service – In a business where the established lead time is three weeks, eleven days is a refreshing change of pace. Additionally, in today’s society, same-day framing is in demand.
  • Embracing Technology – The computer has become an essential time-saver for all businesses, including art and framing, and computerized equipment is fast becoming a necessity for the modern framer.

Art sales custom framing business plan, executive summary chart image

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

Hart Fraeme Gallery is a new art gallery and custom frame shop, servicing Triopolis. Hart Fraeme Gallery is unique in that it offers same-day and 11-day framing, in contrast with the industry-standard 21-day framing.

2.1 Company Ownership

Hart Fraeme Gallery is a State-based S-Corporation, owned and operated by Hart G. Fraeme. Hart is 27 years old and holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas in Pleasantville. Hart has three years experience as senior manager for Metropolitan Art and Frame, overseeing daily business operations, designing and building frames, ordering artwork and materials, establishing trade relationships, designing advertising materials, and managing human resources, including employee training, review, and recruitment. He also has experience in sales and service industries, including both retail and construction environments.

2.2 Start-up Summary

The start-up costs for this company can be broken into five major categories:

  • Framing Equipment – Much of the necessary equipment for framing (saws, mat cutter, underpinner, chopper, press)  requires supporting equipment (vacuums, air compressors, computers). Additionally, there are many hand tools required for framing that add up to a significant expense. The total cost for the equipment required by a modern frame shop is estimated in the following table.
  • Retail Equipment and Fixtures – Expenses such as cash registers, computers, bookkeeping software, desks, filing cabinets, break room furnishings, as well as other fixtures and furniture are shown below.
  • Inventory – The company must purchase a significant amount of artwork, some of which will be framed and some of which will not. Additionally, materials must be purchased for the artwork that will be framed.
  • Working Capital – Working capital will be needed for day-to-day operations, including payroll and other various expenses.
  • Other – The business will also require additional cash to cover other costs, including legal expenses, remodeling, advertising, rent, and creating a website.

Art sales custom framing business plan, company summary chart image

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Hart Fraeme Gallery will focus on two things: art and framing. Specifically, the business will design and build custom picture frames, as well as sell both framed and unframed open-, limited-edition and original art from a variety of artists and publishers.

Typically, picture frames involve several elements, such as moulding, matboard, glass, et cetera. Custom framing allows the customer to pick each element individually, to create a frame that uniquely matches their tastes. There is a great variety of materials available, both direct from the manufacturers as well as from various distributors.

Artwork comes in a variety of styles, such as landscape, abstract, and portraiture, and in a variety of mediums, on a variety of surfaces, such as oil on canvas, acrylic on Masonite, and more. Additionally, print art is created in one of many ways, including lithograph, giclée, serigraph, and others. Finally, art is available to the trade from a myriad of sources, including individual artists, local and national publishers, et cetera.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

The art and frame business continues to be both challenging and interesting. Within the larger category of wall décor, framed art has historically commanded a substantial portion of the market, with roughly 70% of wall décor items being framed pictures. Other wall décor alternatives include decorative shelving, handicrafts, mirrors, tapestries, and sconces.

Who Buys Art

In 2003, 44% of American households made some sort of art purchase. These purchases can be broken down into four categories: Unframed Art, Pre-Framed Art, Custom Framing, and Original Artwork.

Key Demographic Information for Unframed Art:

  • Consumers aged 35-54 were significantly more likely to make multiple purchases, while younger buyers, aged 18-24 were more likely to make singular purchases.
  • Older consumers, those aged 55+ typically spent 20% less than their younger counterparts.
  • Buyers in metro urban and suburban areas spent more than did those in rural areas, with a median price of $35 versus $20 for those in rural areas.
  • College graduates spent an average of $83 per piece, as compared to $31 spent by high-school incompletes.
  • Buyers in the $50,000+ income bracket spent 20% more on average.

Key Demographic Information for Pre-Framed Art:

  • Younger buyers typically purchased more pre-framed art. Of those aged 25-34, 16% bought five or more pieces of already-framed art last year, while just 4% of those 35-54 report this same purchasing level.
  • Men spend more on average than women, with 37% of women spending less than $25, versus just 21% of males.
  • Again, those living in urban and suburban areas spent more (30% more) than those in rural areas.
  • Single-person households tended to purchase 30% more pieces of pre-framed art than those in multi-person households.

Key Demographic Information for Custom Framing:

  • Higher income and higher educated households purchased more and spent more on custom framing.
  • Buyers with children living with them tended to spend more than those without. Of those with children, 20% spent $200-$300, whereas only 12% of those without children spent the same.

Key Demographic Information for Original Artwork:

  • On average, men spent more than women, with an average of $320 by men versus $250 spent by women.
  • Consumers with higher income levels tended to spend more on original artwork.

Important Considerations:

The survey from which this information is taken did not supply answers; instead, the answers were categorized after the survey had been finished. This has particular significance for both the Custom Framing and Original Artwork categories, where 19% of those asked did not remember or did not wish to say how much they had spent on custom framing and 31% did not report how much they had spent on their original artwork.

What Types of Art Do People Buy

Typically, artwork falls into one of the following categories: Abstract, Birds & Waterfowl, Camouflage, Domestic Animals, Fantasy & Humor, Floral, Landscape, Maritime, Military & Aviation, Music & Dance, Portraiture & Romance, Religious, Sports, Still Life, Western, and Wildlife. These categories continually fluctuate in popularity, according to many factors, such as season, décor trends, geography, popularity of specific artists, etc.

In the past, the Midwest has had a strong tendency towards wildlife art. Within the last few years, however, we have seen a significant shift away from this trend towards more contemporary subjects, particularly portraiture & romance, fantasy & humor, and landscape. A new style of art has also been emerging, both here and throughout the country, depicting fine wines and spirits, and has experienced substantial success, particularly with customers in higher income brackets in the 25-44 age range.

Frame design plays an important role for customers, as well. Research has shown that today’s consumers, especially those that are more affluent and better educated place a premium on high-quality, unique merchandise. Custom products are tailored to the customer, and often that individuality plays an important role in the decision to purchase that item.

Furthermore, a new reason for custom framing has recently been discovered. Advancements in conservation framing over the last ten years have left consumers with collectable artwork that shows little to no signs of age, although the antiquated frame no longer fits with their décor. With décor styles changing, past favorites such as light oak mouldings and thin mat borders are increasingly being replaced with frames that reflect today’s decorating trends.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Hart Fraeme Gallery is positioned to serve three types of customers:

  • Local Consumers – Local consumers are the standard, walk-in customer. These customers live nearby and thus share the demographics of the local area. These customers are primarily interested in decorating their home or office, and will represent a majority of Hart Fraeme Gallery’s customers, especially with respect to custom framing.
  • Internet Consumers – Internet consumers are worldwide, and include anyone with access to the Internet. These customers typically have the same motives as local consumers, but have chosen to use the Internet to make their purchase. Due to shipping constraints, this group purchases unframed art almost exclusively, and although it is possible to ship framed artwork, custom framing is impractical for this group.
  • Local Business & Organizations – These customers are typically interested in framed art to decorate a large area or production framing for a group of pieces. Although this group represents the smallest segment of Hart Fraeme Gallery’s market, these customers typically make larger purchases.

Art sales custom framing business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Because a majority of Hart Fraeme Gallery’s income is generated by custom framing, the target market segment will be the local consumer. The other segments account for only a small percentage of the custom framing done in a typical year, due to various constraints, including the difficulty in choosing custom framing via the Internet, the sheer quantity of custom framing that would need to be designed by most large organizations, as well as other issues that surround custom framing for large quantities or over long distances. Individual walk-in consumers are the only segment reasonably able to make custom framing purchases.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

In the Triopolis metro area, there are approximately 330 businesses that fall into the general category of Home Décor – Art Galleries and Picture Framers.  There are also other businesses that sell art and wall décor items, including department stores, furniture stores, etc.  But despite this abundance, there still remains a large unclaimed market share.  This is due primarily to changing décor and design trends.  Many galleries in our state were started when wildlife art was at its peak.  This specialization has left them vulnerable to changing markets, especially the current shift towards more contemporary subjects.

There is also a substantial shift away from generic one-size-fits-all products towards customized merchandise.  This is partially due to the increased popularity of television shows featuring interior design and home decorating; the recent demystification of home décor has enabled homeowners to approach a variety of home decorating tasks.  The benefits of this newfound empowerment are twofold.  First, people now feel that they can competently approach custom framing.  Second, home improvement and redecorating projects often follow one another, because the homeowner feels that they must renovate the rest of their house to match the style of the newly remodeled room.  This is good news for the art market, since many people feel that artwork and wall décor set the style for the room, and that redecorating requires new artwork.

Additionally, saturation plays a role: in greater Triopolis many of the similar businesses are clustered into Uneville and Cuidaddos proper, with the suburbs usually being home to only a few art and frame shops.  Particularly, Uptown is home to only one custom frame shop, and although larger craft stores offer custom framing, they only offer a small selection of framing options.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

The three major sources for art include art galleries, home products stores, and discount stores. To a lesser degree, people also purchase art from gift shops, art shows, directly from the artist, from custom frame shops, and from department stores. Consumers are also using the Internet as a rising source for artwork.

Not surprisingly, art galleries are the leading source for artwork, with 33% of those who bought art in 2003 having made a purchase at an art gallery. This has been the case for several years, and it is expected that art galleries will remain as one of the top three sources for artwork.

Demographic Information for Art Galleries: A higher incidence of purchases made at art galleries was positively correlated with higher education and income levels.

Demographic Information for Home Products Stores: Consumers aged younger than 35 showed notably more purchasing from home products stores, such as Pottery Barn, Linens & Things, etc. than those 35 and older.

Demographic Information for Discount Stores: Buyers 18-24 and those with income levels less than $25,000 reported the highest incidence of purchases at discount stores, such as Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Those in rural areas also had significantly higher rates of purchase than their urban and suburban counterparts (43% vs. 30%).

Demographic Information for Gift Shops: Households with income levels between $25,000-$35,000 used gift shops substantially more as a source for art than those in the other income brackets.

Demographic Information for Artists: Purchasing artwork directly from the artist was directly correlated with higher income and education levels.

Demographic Information for Art Shows: Again, a higher incidence of art show purchases coincided with higher education and income levels.

Demographic Information for Department Stores: Those in the 18-24 age range made significantly more purchases at department stores than all other age brackets.

Demographic Information for Custom Frame Shops: Households with income levels greater than $50,000 used custom frame shops as a source for art more than other income levels. Also, customers without children had a substantially higher incidence of purchase than those with children under 18 (18% vs. 9%).

Demographic Information for Furniture Stores: Furniture stores had results similar to department stores, with the most purchases being made by those aged 18-24.

Demographic Information for the Internet: Internet purchases were positively correlated with higher education levels, as well as with younger buyers.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

The primary focus for Hart Fraeme Gallery is to establish and differentiate itself in the marketplace. This can be accomplished through advertising within the community that the company will serve, and by striving to build a positive reputation, particularly with regard to fast project completion time and friendly, creative customer service.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Innovation and advancement is key to any business, including art and framing. Unfortunately, businesses in the art market have been resistant to change and modernization, including the incorporation of computers, accepting changes in décor and design, and using modern equipment to accelerate the process of construction.

The primary advantage of Hart Fraeme Gallery will be the same-day framing and short completion time. In an industry where the standard completion time is three weeks, eleven days is a refreshing change of pace for those who purchase custom framing. Additionally, same-day framing has largely been regarded as either impossible or not worth the effort, since it was assumed that same-day jobs were just impulse shoppers who were more concerned with price than quality. The reality of same-day framing has proven to be quite different; many people who want same day framing have a deadline to meet, such as a birthday, Fathers’ Day, or other event, and are simply unfamiliar with custom framing and its time constraints. Since very few, if any, custom frame shops can offer sane-day framing, it represents a significant opportunity for the business.

The second advantage is technology. The computer has become an essential business tool, accelerating bookkeeping, communication, transactions, etc. Many manufacturers of framing equipment offer computerized machinery, which not only reduces the time needed to build frames, but guarantees consistency and accuracy to a degree unachievable through manual means. This computerized equipment has become a necessity for the modern framer, although it has only recently become widely available.

Additionally, Mr. Fraeme has created a software suite customized to the field, to streamline ordering and design. With adaptation in mind, it has been created it in such a way so as to give the user the ability to make changes as the need arises and to accommodate new possibilities in framing; this feature sets Mr. Fraeme’s program apart from those currently available. Alternative software is available commercially for approximately $1,500, and although this software has not yet been marketed, the possibility remains for the future.

The third advantage is flexibility and openness to change. Given that trends change frequently, the ability to follow them is an absolute necessity in this business. In a business that sells decorative commodities, the merchandise must be stylish and attractive; however, because different people have different styles, this requires a great deal of flexibility and an open mind. Hart Fraeme Gallery is committed to flexibility.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy for Hart Fraeme Gallery hinges on three main principles:

  • Satisfied customers are the most effective form of marketing. When a customer feels they can rely on Hart Fraeme Gallery for creative design, impeccable quality, and fast, friendly service they are eager to share that confidence with friends and family. With 42% of consumers reporting that they are likely to make an art or framing purchase in the upcoming year, word of mouth is an invaluable marketing tool.
  • Because repeat customers represent a large portion of art and frame clientele, it is imperative that Hart Fraeme Gallery builds a strong customer base early on. To do this, the company plans to offer sales promotions on custom framing to encourage new customers, advertising such promotions in local newspapers.
  • Same-day framing is something that few, if any other frame shops are able to offer. Hart Fraeme Gallery intends to capitalize on this capability by promoting same-day framing in all advertisements as well as with in-store signage.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Pricing for Artwork

Art is priced by a keystone markup. The artist or publisher sets a standard retail price, which is typically twice the wholesale price. Therefore, all galleries will sell the same print at the same price. The exception is artwork that has been sold out at the publisher. Once this happens, prices are set by supply and demand, since these prints must be purchased from one of approximately 3,500 galleries nationwide participating in the listing program. The markup on these prints is not a set percentage, although it is generally between 20-35% above the wholesale cost.

Pricing For Custom Framing

The price for a typical frame is determined from six variables, as chosen by the customer. These are Moulding, Matboards, Glass, Mounting, Fitting, and Extras. Moulding, matboard, and glass prices are all determined by their material cost, whereas fitting, mounting, and extras are all priced according to labor hours. Materials undergo various markups over their wholesale cost, while labor is typically priced out at an industry-standard sixty dollars per hour. However, in order to provide pricing at the time of order, labor time is estimated, based on size and complexity of the project.

Pricing on Materials

Moulding: ‘Moulding’ refers to the wood or metal exterior of the frame. Although vendors only supply moulding in ten-foot lengths, retail customers purchase moulding by the foot. Because of this, the markup on moulding is approximately 300%. Additionally, the unused portion can be used for other projects, although it must be stored safely until it is needed, to avoid damage.

Matboards: Matboards are the colored sheets under the glass between the image and the moulding. Again, matboards are only available in 32″ x 40″ and 40″ x 60″ sizes, but are sold by the United Inch. Therefore, the markup on a matboard is variable, although pricing is generally adjusted so that the retail price of a 4″ x 6″ image is approximately 150% of the wholesale cost, and the retail price for the whole matboard is roughly 300% of the wholesale; however, due to the way matboards are cut, they leave a center fallout which can be used again. Thus, any given matboard can be used 3-4 times, although like mouldings, matboards must be stored in a certain way.

Glass: Glass, like matboard, is sold by the United Inch. Unlike matboard, glass is available in eight standard sizes. This means that there is little waste involved in glass, although glass is fragile by nature, and prone to breaking. The markup on glass is generally 100%, although some specialty glasses, which require special handling and cutting, are subject to a 200%-300% markup. Also, although glass is very fragile and a large quantity of glass must be stored, it can generally be kept in its packaging until it is needed, thus eliminating special storage needs.

Pricing on Labor

Fitting: ‘Fitting’ refers to the labor involved in cutting, joining, and assembling the frame. As mentioned above, fitting is priced at an industry-standard $60/hr. Most frames require one of three types of fitting: standard fitting, fitting with fillet, or shadowbox fitting. These three types vary in complexity and time required, and are priced accordingly. A majority of frames take 45-60 minutes to fit, although they range from as little as ten minutes to as much as two hours.

Mounting: ‘Mounting’ is the cost of labor and materials to mount the picture or item inside the frame. The mounting techniques used are specialized to the type of item being mounted, and range in time from a typical five minutes for most prints to nearly an hour for items such as jerseys. The average price range for mounting, including labor and materials, is between $15-$30.

Extras: Framing extras, such as specialty mat cuts, octagonal frames and other non-standard framing requests are priced at the usual $60/hr, plus the price of any additional materials. Many extras are fairly standard, such as nameplates and extra openings, although an important part of offering custom framing is being able to handle unique framing requests.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

It is estimated that sales of framed and unframed artwork, including special orders will account for 25%-40% of income, varying slightly by season. A very small portion, approximately 2% of these sales, will be Internet sales. The remaining 60%-75% of income is comprised of custom framing. Because roughly half of retail sales will be pre-framed artwork, the estimated replacement cost for the artwork is roughly 30% of retail price, on average. The cost of materials for framing, including the price of the materials used to frame artwork for sale in the store is predicted to be 35% of custom framing income; however, projects which require the same materials can sometimes be completed using the same piece of material, thus at times this cost may be considerably less than predicted.

Additionally, framing requires supplies and maintenance, such as foam board, blade sharpening, glue, nails, mat cutter blades, and others that represent a small but routine expense. Because these supplies are depleted at a rate proportional to the number of frame jobs completed, but are purchased in bulk (i.e. 16 nails per frame job, but bought in quantities of 1,000 nails per box) the cost for these supplies and services is tiered at an estimated rate of $150 per 25 frame jobs. If the average frame job is expected to generate roughly $250-$275 in sales, this means that framing supplies will represent an expense of $150 per $6,500 in custom framing sales, although because these materials are identical for all frame jobs, there is the possibility for some materials to be used for more than one project, which may favorably affect this cost.

Although the art and frame business is not considered to be seasonal, it does experience several high and low points, like most retail businesses. Of particular impact is the lull in June, when most children are done with school, the high point in September when children are returning to school, and the general retail peak around the holiday season. A typical year for art and framing involves strong post-holiday sales, declining slightly until June, where sales drop sharply, remaining somewhat low until September, when sales make marked improvement, improving slightly in October and then substantially in November and December.

Finally, due to the individualized service nature of custom framing, many sales are to repeat customers. Therefore, sales are expected to be markedly (approximately 30%-40%) below average during the first one to two years, until a regular customer base has been established. It has been estimated that it takes the average custom frame shop seven years to fully establish its customer base, during which time sales grow at an accelerated rate. Using advertising as a catalyst for this process, Hart Fraeme Gallery hopes to attract more customers sooner, although it will still require much patience.

Art sales custom framing business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.4 Milestones

The following table provides details for many of the important milestones. Many of these milestones hinge on the successful completion of prior milestones. The dates were chosen based on realistic delivery times and necessary construction times, and therefore must be completed within their allotted time frames to ensure the success of contingent milestones.

Art sales custom framing business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Web Plan Summary

Hart Fraeme Gallery is currently developing a website at the address http://www.HartFraemeGallery.com. This website will serve three purposes:

  • The primary function of the website will be to serve as a reference for both Hart Fraeme Gallery staff and customers. Hart Fraeme Gallery will carry the artwork of a large variety of artists and publishers, and a website will be the solution to several practical issues. First, the sheer amount of artwork available makes it impossible to stock and display everything. Second, because artwork comes from a great many sources, a website is an effective way to centralize information and make it accessible to customers.
  • The website will also be an online store, where customers can order artwork, as well as a small selection of custom framing. Although the website will generate only a small amount of income, this additional cash flow will be used to finance the website.
  • The Hart Fraeme Gallery website will have company information, including contact info and services offered.

6.1 Website Marketing Strategy

The biggest marketing opportunity that Hart Fraeme Gallery has is offered through publishers and artists. To support their dealers, many artists and publishers promote exchanging links. This not only directs customers to local dealers, but also helps improve ranking on search engines.

Hart Fraeme Gallery will also include the website address on all stationery, including letterhead, business cards, and order forms, as well as in all advertisements and on shipping containers.

6.2 Development Requirements

Hart Fraeme Gallery has already secured hosting with a local provider, Berry Bros, Inc. Berry Bros will provide the required technical services, including FTP support and security. Additionally, they will prepare a monthly statistical usage report for use in analyzing and improving web usage.

Website design and development will be handled by Andrew Johnson, an independent Web developer who specializes in dynamic multimedia databases. Early meetings with Mr. Johnson have been productive, and he is confident that the website will be finished by August of 2005.

Basic website maintenance, including updates and data entry will be handled by Hart Fraeme Gallery staff. Mr. Johnson has proposed creating a simple tool that will greatly speed data entry by allowing Hart Fraeme Gallery staff to add, remove, and edit database material, rather than relying on Mr. Johnson for any changes. Site content, such as images and text will be maintained by Mr. Fraeme, who is proficient with several computer languages, including HTML and ASP.

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

At present, Hart Fraeme Gallery’s sole employee is its founder, Hart Fraeme. Mr. Fraeme will be responsible for the entirety of tasks associated with operating an art and framing business, including assisting customers, designing and building frames, ordering, and human resources. By January 2006, Hart Fraeme Gallery plans to appoint an assistant manager, who will act as a key holder and peer supervisor.

7.1 Personnel Plan

Given the small business nature of Hart Fraeme Gallery, this personnel plan is intended serve as a guide to staffing, although staffing decisions must ultimately be based on business need. 

Hart Fraeme Gallery’s personnel plan can be summarized as follows:

  • Mr. Fraeme will serve as manager, and will oversee daily operations as well as fill in to meet work needs.
  • One assistant manager who will act as both key holder and peer supervisor, although the assistant manager will perform many of the same duties as a sales and design associate.
  • One full-time sales and design associate who will be primarily responsible for assisting customers with questions and purchases, including custom frame design.

In the first year, Hart Fraeme Gallery assumes that it will initially employ two sales and design associates, one of whom will be appointed as an assistant manager by January of 2006. During the 2006-2007 holiday season, it is expected that an additional sales and design associate will be hired to help with the increase in business, with continuing employment to be determined by staffing demands.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

Hart Fraeme Gallery will secure a short-term loan to purchase essential equipment and inventory. By opening for business at the start of the industry’s busy season, the company expects to operate for several months with a positive cash influx. This will make it possible for Hart Fraeme Gallery to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the year.

The company also expects to be able to increase consumer awareness and its customer base to maintain a healthy level of growth over the next several years. This will be made possible through advertising, as well as through word-of-mouth recommendations by exceeding industry standards and customer expectations for order completion time.

Finally, Hart Fraeme Gallery will minimize costs by using its small business, personal nature to build and maintain an enthusiastic, dependable, and flexible workforce.

8.1 Projections

8.2 start-up funding.

At this time, Mr. Fraeme has purchased and framed several pieces of artwork, and will provide many of the necessary tools and peripherial equipment for framing, as well as a vehicle to transport equipment and materials. He will also be providing office and break room furnishings, including a computer, tables, desks, chairs, filing cabinets and a refrigerator. In addition to these assets Mr. Fraeme will invest personal savings.

The computerized mat cutter, which represents roughly two-thirds of equipment costs, will be paid for in installments over a period of 48 months via a lease-to-own program, available through the manufacturer.

The initial inventory and materials will be purchased on Net-30 terms, with a possible financing option.

Financing will need to be secured for these and remaining expenses.

8.3 Important Assumptions

Hart Fraeme Gallery makes several important financial assumptions in this plan, as defined below:

  • Assume access to capital and financing to support our financial plan.
  • Assume financial progress based on realistic sales to minimum sales against highest expenses.
  • Assume a steady economy, without major recession that would greatly hinder our target market’s access to their personal luxury finds.

8.4 Break-even Analysis

For the purposes of a break-even analysis, Hart Fraeme Gallery assumes per month fixed operating costs as shown below. This includes payroll, rent, utilities, and other costs associated with operating an art gallery and custom frame shop. The analysis shows that $30,553 in sales is required to break even, which is roughly 11% below estimated monthly sales for the first year.

In terms of units sold, the business must achieve sales of roughly 3-4 frame orders and 1-3 pieces of artwork on an average day. Because these numbers are approximately 15%-30% below industry norms, Hart Fraeme Gallery is confident that it can maintain its break-even figures.

Art sales custom framing business plan, financial plan chart image

8.5 Projected Profit and Loss

Hart Fraeme Gallery makes several important assumptions in calculating profit and loss:

  • Sales are estimated at minimum to average values, while expenses are estimated at above average to maximum values. 
  • Materials expenses will not increase drastically over the next several years, but will grow at a rate that matches increasing consumption.
  • Rent expenses will also grow at a slow, predictable rate.
  • Staffing and payroll expansions will be powered by increased sales.

Art sales custom framing business plan, financial plan chart image

8.6 Projected Cash Flow

The cash flow estimations for Hart Fraeme Gallery hinge on the assumption that the influx of cash from September till February will be strong enough to maintain a positive balance for the remainder of the year. This is especially crucial in the first year, since Hart Fraeme Gallery will not be able to rely on profits from the previous.

Hart Fraeme Gallery is able to employ an effective system to help with cash-flow management. Given the nature of custom framing and the broad scope of materials available, it is most practical to purchase materials for framing after an order has been placed. Combined with the current system for payment on custom framing orders, (50% due on order, with the remainder due upon receipt) this system is advantageous for cash-flow management.

Art sales custom framing business plan, financial plan chart image

8.7 Projected Balance Sheet

The figures in the Projected Balance Sheet are promising, indicating a slow but steady increase in net worth. Hart Fraeme Gallery does not foresee any difficulty in meeting its financial obligations, provided that revenue predictions are met.

8.8 Business Ratios

Over the next several years Hart Fraeme Gallery is poised to meet or exceed many of the industry-standard ratios. Nevertheless, there are some discrepancies in the ratio comparison; however, many of these can be explained by the fact that Hart Fraeme Gallery does business in two separate but related industries: art and framing. Because much of the business Hart Fraeme Gallery does will be custom framing, the ratios used for the industry standard are for picture framing, using the Standard Industrial Classification code 7699.1809. In some cases, the ratios for artwork sales are much different. The following ratios are particularly worth noting:

  • Sales Growth – Because Hart Fraeme Gallery will be a new business, the ratio for sales growth is expected to be somewhat inflated for the first few years that the company is in business.
  • Assets – In general, the ratios for Hart Fraeme Gallery’s assets are between the industry standard ratios for the two industries.
  • Gross Margin – Due to the difference in wholesale ratios between artwork and framing materials, the ratio for Hart Fraeme Gallery is again higher than the ratio for artwork sales but lower than the ratio for picture framing.
  • Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses – Again, Hart Fraeme Gallery’s ratio is higher than for artwork sales but lower than picture framing.
  • Returns on Net Worth, Assets, and Equity – Many of these figures seem heavily exaggerated due to the fact that Hart Fraeme Gallery is a new company and thus has marked initial growth for net worth, assets, and equity.

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photo framing business plan

  • Business Plans Handbook
  • Business Plans - Volume 02
  • Photo Framing Business Plan

Photo Framing



17351 Sunset Blvd. #404 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 (310)573-9898

October 1992

This business plan for a mulitmedia application for photo displays outlines how extensive market research and an advanced product launch can create a profitable place in the booming photograph frame industry. The plan features discussions of the company's two products and its marketing strategy. This business plan has not been disguised, but the product names have been changed.


The products, initial market penetration, advanced marketing, additional markets, sales plan and commissions, the industry, market size and longevity, protection of products, manufacturing, competition, key personnel, standard personnel, location of facility, quality control, additional products, break even analysis, use of funds, economic forecast, contingencies, alternative deal, assumptions.

Talking Photo Technology is focused on the manufacturing and marketing of patentable products that integrate multiple pictures with sound or speech at an affordable price. The simplicity of the technology, though designed for the consumer market, can easily be adapted for business applications. The first two products are "PortraiTalk" and "SoundPhoto."

The photo-frame business has doubled every year for the last ten years. We have advanced the current stage of high-tech "talking picture frames" to the next level with our unique multi-photo talking concept. "PortraiTalk" is a wall-mounted eight-picture photo display. Each of the standard size, 3.5" × 5" pictures, is set within a light-illuminating frame. A different 20-second recorded message, synchronized to the lighted plexiglass shell, plays back when that photo frame is illuminated. Each picture can be recorded or rerecorded independently from the others. "PortraiTalk" has a high perceived value so it can easily be sold at the full price of $79.95 or a discounted price of $69.95.

"SoundPhoto," the desktop version, displays photos in a continuous loop. As each picture is displayed within the window, a 20-second synchronized message plays back the message attached to that 3.5" × 5" photo. This smaller version, holding the same number of portrait photos as the wall unit, is ideally suited for an office or coffee table. "SoundPhoto" can be sold at the full price of $49.95 or a discounted price of $39.95.

The company has dramatically broadened the photo frame market by combining multiple pictures with recorded messages. This combination has merged the simplicity of individual photos and the sound recording of a VCR into a visually appealing product. Offering two different but similar products to retailers at two different price points greatly enhances the company's chances of success. Both of these low-tech tape products have distinct advantages over the high-tech digital products in cost, recording longevity, twin channels or simulated stereo, and the adaptability to other markets.

The estimated number of projected sales during the first five full years, through all channels of distribution, could reach two million for the desktop unit and one million for the wall unit. The estimated cost of manufacturing and assembly, in minimum production, is $9.00 for "SoundPhoto" and $15.00 for "PortraiTalk."

Larry Koenig, the CEO and inventor, has over 12 years in cataloging and selling cutting-edge consumer products. Ken Tarlow, the prototype designer and engineer, has over 20 years in product development. Jules Sacks, Bill Adelman and Sam Friedman, the marketing and sales team, have 60 years in the combined fields.

The company is seeking investment capital of $600,000 for tooling and molding, marketing, operations, preliminary orders for 25% of the company's stock. This should return $5.9 million after an IPO at the end of the third full year, representing a 9.8% return on investment, based upon a 10 to 1 ratio.

Larry Koenig, CEO and creator of the products in Talking Photo Technology, has over 12 years of experience in selecting, marketing, and selling high and low tech products. His knowledge in marketing and promotion came as the founder and president of The Price of His Toys, a nationally known catalog company and retail operation. His use of creative promotions and public relations made his company appear like a giant in the industry to its competitors, suppliers and customers.

Mr. Koenig has been involved with marketing and cataloging since the late 1970s. During this period he occasionally developed and successfully sold original products through his catalog and retail operation. As president of this 30-person company, Mr. Koenig has had to wear many hats from CEO, CFO, and computer programmer to catalog designer and writer.

During and before this period, Mr. Koenig had successfullyowned and operated a series of small professional pharmacies in the Southern California area.

Kenneth Tarlow, the prototype designer, has over 20 years experience in the field. He was founder and president of T-2 Design, where for eight years he worked with hundreds of inventors by guiding them through the various stages of product development.

Prior to T-2 Design, Mr. Tarlow was President of Olympic Group, Inc., a full service and product development company. He was responsible for the aesthetic and engineering design of over 15 consumer products, some of which are still on the market today. Mr. Tarlow was directly or indirectly responsible for the design, production and marketing of over 200 successful products. These products resulted in $400 million in retail sales.

Jules Sacks, VP for Sales and Marketing, is thoroughly experienced in sales, marketing and product development. He has recruited, trained and managed a large sales force for several successful companies. Mr. Sacks has developed excellent national contacts among power retailers, discount chains, mass merchandisers, department stores, membership clubs, and home shopping networks. He achieved a marked degree of success as Executive Vice President at Datawave where he increased their business by 230% and reduced their expenses by 30% over a three year span. Before that, he had worked for Sanyo Fisher (USA) for five years, with his last year as a National Sales Manager, Special Markets. He has always managed to increase sales and reduce overhead in the five major companies he has worked for since 1980.

Bill Adelman, National Sales Manager, has spent the last 13 years working as regional manager for Jack Carter Associates, where he has been exposed to all types of consumer electronic and personal care products from manufacturers like Sharp, Nintendo, Maxell, Harmon Kardon, Bell Atlantic, Mitsubishi and Betty Crocker. In many instances, he has managed to increase sales volumes within his territories by improving merchandising concepts and acquiring new accounts. Mr. Adelman has developed a personal relationship with many large and small accounts in California and across the country. He has never worked less than five years with any company since 1970, and has always improved their financial and customer relations positions.

Sam Friedman, computer coordinator, has an extensive background in sales, marketing and computer integration. He was president of Datacon Computer System, a three million dollar marketing and graphic company. He has a degree in advanced programming and systems design, and has worked for a variety of major companies from Coca-Cola Bottling Company and TRW Information Systems Group to Universal Studio/MCA and Ralphs Markets. Mr. Friedman has set up direct sales systems and has worked with a number of sales representatives from various fields.

Rob Frankel, president of Frankel & Anderson, is an experienced marketing/advertising person with a broad range of capabilities. He has worked with a variety of startup companies ranging from computer software to catalogs. He understands their needs and budgets by focusing on strategic planning. Mr. Frankel has run his company since 1986. He has started in the advertising field as an entry level writer and worked his way up to a creative director. He has held that position in several top level firms.

Additional management professionals, ranging from regional managers to financial experts, can be hired from the vast pool of talented people available due to the recession.

The prototypes stages have evolved from an initial book version to the free standing unit, using eight wallet pictures, to the final version wall unit. The evolution was necessary to determine how the public perceived the product and to finalize the mechanical system. Prototyping is the only effective way to prove the product would work cost effectively. The mechanics and the lighting system work the same in the prototype and the final version of "PortraiTalk."

"PortraiTalk" uses standard size 3.5" × 5" photos that are set within their own light-illuminating frame. Starting with the first of six vertical pictures and ending with two horizontal pictures, the frames light up sequentially. This illumination is synchronized to a 20-second message that can be recorded and/or rerecorded independently from the other pictures, so a total story can be told. The controls are set on the right hand side for easy access while the unit hangs on the wall. The frames are illuminated by separate back lights, which can be clear or in color. The customer can determine this by inserting the desired colored filters.

"SoundPhoto," is the lower priced, desktop version. Eight 3.5" × 5" vertical pictures are set in a continuous loop inside of a cube, measuring 6" × 6" × 7.5". As each photo is displayed in the framed window, a 20-second synchronized message plays back the recorded information attached to that individual picture. The desktop version has a different design, but still takes advantage of the mechanical principle used in the wall unit.

The 20-second record/playback message was chosen based upon testing with shorter and longer play time. A 30-second message is approximately 100 words based upon a prewritten script. A 20-second message equals 60 to 65 words or four to five independent sentences. This will depend on the clarity of thoughts and the speed of speech.

Kodak recently did a test and selected a 30-second record/playback for their single photo based upon a test market survey of over 1,000 people. The company feels that viewers' attention spans are very short. While 30 seconds might work for a single photo it would be too long for multiple pictures. This was further proven after demonstrating multiple photos with either seven or 30 second recording. Four sentences (60 words) was the maximum amount of time that people would stay focused on a picture. The company's initial prototype was seven seconds, which was too short. The second prototype had used 30 seconds (100 words) per photo, and appeared to lose the focus of the audience after two photos.

The company's patentable concept allows for easy recording and rerecording of any of the individual time slots. The tape and pictures can be easily removed and replaced by a new combination. Additionally, as both units use mechanical synchronization, the assembly can be readjusted for a longer or shorter record/playback time for the next generation. This can be done by having an inset gear assembly designed to change speeds. An eight-photo display was chosen for each unit based upon the ratio of perceived value to size and cost.

The twin channel recording capability of the products allows for the overlay of music on one channel while speech can be recorded on another. This concert-hall effect, which is not available with digital technology in this price range, adds to the enjoyment of the products.

The marketing of new products is rapidly changing. The uses of advertising and public relation's editorial copy are the recognized formulas that still work in promoting retail and catalog sales. New methods consist of infomercials, TV shopping services, multi-level marketing, interactive computer sales, and interactive TV. Most of these new ways, though sales oriented themselves, can be uses as a bridge for promoting the retail market, which accounts for 75% of total sales.

Manufacturers' representatives are the primary sales people that small- and medium-sized companies use to sell their products within the retail and catalog markets. It is important to coordinate with the representative who has major connections and who can meet with top level buyers. The company's sales team can set up a national organization.

The company feels it could have preproduction units within 60 to 90 days from initial funding. If time is available, these units can be used to solicit last minute wholesale orders from the retailers and catalogers for the Christmas season.

TV home shopping can be solicited quite late into the Christmas buying season. The two major TV home shopping companies operate under different premises. Home Shopping Network places an order and buys the product directly on a guaranteed sales basis (they can return what doesn't sell). TV shopping does not have the same time constraints that retailers or catalogers have. They usually expect a 40% discount off of the retail price, with another 10% going for commissions.

The company feels that the direct sales method will be the initial marketing direction for the first Christmas season regardless of wholesale, catalog, or TV home shopping. Direct sales establishes the correct markets, the proper pricing and the initial advertising for retail. Promotions and sales at the end of the first year for these year-round products serve as an excellent jumping-off point for the following year.

The direct marketing promotions will start 60 days before the product is received by using the pre-production models. Brochures can be printed, ads can be designed and placed in magazines, short-form infomercials (one minute spots) can be produced, and TV air time can be bought or bartered.

The brochures for each product will be produced in individual full-color one-page format. These brochures can be used as part of the direct sales campaign, informational public relation pieces, bounce back inserts for selective catalogers, and a wholesale marketing campaign.

The print advertisements consist of a variety of small placement ads inserted in newspapers and magazines. These are more effective than only a few large ones. The company hopes to place as many as possible through barter and PI (per inquiry), with the balance purchased directly.

Direct TV sales for short form (one minute spot) can be produced for under $5,000. The company intends to place as many of these spots through barter and PI as possible. Both items will be tested in different locals, time slot, and prices. A bounce back advertisement could be inserted in the orders for the version not offered in that particular ad.

Bounce back inserts is a method many catalogers use during the fulfillment process. This method of generating extra revenue can be used at the last minute as long as a deal can be structured with certain catalogers.

Life Extensions, a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) company has expressed an interest in the product and in promoting it to their 50,000 downline members.

The company's catalog knowledge and writing skills will aid us in these areas. A public relation campaign will start 30 days before receiving our first shipment and will continue through year end in hope of enticing retailers and direct sales.

Once the products have been launched and the retail and catalog sales force are in place, the next stage will be emphasized. Major resellers from department stores to catalogers will be contacted directly and through trade shows.

To ensure the success in selling to the larger companies, a number of separate deals will have to be worked out. Price and terms are their primary concerns. The negotiations will depend on how successful the products appear to be initially and their perceived value or recognition in the marketplace.

The company's projected sales are driven in the two following ways. The first is through advertising and promotion.

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

The second is based on the time of year. The following chart will illustrate the months of the year versus the percentages of sales and the reasons. The last three months of the year are approximately equal to the first nine months in sales volume. The percentages could vary depending on promotions and seasonal events.

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

Media Results

The price of a direct sales ad is related to size, media circulation, and use of four-color printing. A small ad (2" × 2" or 1/12 page for a magazine) will probably average $500, based upon a 500,000 circulation. This should return ten orders for the desktop or five orders for the wall unit in the base months of January, March or April (4%). February (the 6% month) will show a 50% increase for the same amount of advertising. These assumptions are based upon a quality ad placed in a receptive media.

Wholesale and catalog sales are more difficult to measure when matched against trade advertising. These ads usually just open doors for sales reps to close the deals. The sales of retail versus catalog have a ratio of 4 to 1. Therefore 20% of every trade advertisement will be devoted to catalog sales and 80% to retail. These trade expenses are listed as a single entry but drive the combination of both products, since many companies are active in both fields. Direct mail is the optimum method of solicitation to this industry. Every $500 spent should generate 1,000 direct mail pieces. This should produce a 0.75% return or 7.5 orders per 1,000, especially if some form of telemarketing was used as reenforcement. The average order should be ten desktop units and five wall units per order. The same seasonality that affects direct sales also affects wholesale and catalog sales.

The company will initially focus on the prestigious resellers. These resellers set a pricing standard and have customers who can afford the higher perceived value of the products. These non-discount retail stores and premium catalogs should establish and retain the full price for the first year or two. It is important to keep that level of distribution because once the discounters enter the market the price will drop. If that happens a majority of the initial resellers either cannot or will not sell the product. Additionally, the discounters do not want a product that either is not well recognized or is priced higher than they feel their customers will pay.

Catalogers may have several other requirements besides the lowest wholesale cost. They sometimes request a product placement fee and/or an exclusive. The exclusive can only be done within the first partial year, and only if a large enough order is received. A product placement fee will depend on the following:

  • Size of the order
  • Amount of the fee
  • The success of other similarly priced products
  • Time of year
  • Size of the picture
  • Location within the catalog
  • Final negotiated price
  • The number of insertions into additional issues

Locating Resellers

The simplest way to access the numerous resellers are through CD-ROM databases like Marketplace Business or American Business. Specific business types can be located with an 8-digit classification called Standard Industrial Classification, which is commonly known as the SIC code. Telemarketers can contact the best qualified companies by overlaying specific classifications over Scan/US, a database mapping program that contains multiple income levels and census statistics for the area.

Catalogers can be cross-referenced with the same systems if they maintain retail locations. Additionally, the company is more concerned with the quality of the catalogs and products in them.

The wall unit is ideally suited for commercial applications such as the following:

  • Point-of-purchase displays in retail locations
  • Promotional information pieces in hotels
  • Product promotions at trade shows
  • Sales promotions at seminars or special events

This product will probably have to be modified and reinforced to withstand the constant use for these applications.

The patentable technology can be used to reconfigure either unit for the children's market, ages four to ten. Each frame will act as a separate stage setting where characters and scenery from cut-out books can be displayed. This combination of pictures and words are set as scenes within a play. Kids can use their imagination to tell an unlimited number of stories.

The singles and related industries are also ideally suited for this product. Individuals can present themselves in pictures while voicing their description.

The premium markets range from photographic and film companies promoting photo development to pharmaceutical manufacturers demonstrating new drugs to doctors. Kodak has recently entered the consumer field and has an Imagining Division designed for developing new products. Motion picture companies are always looking for new ways to promote their latest entry. Either of the units can be customized by placing company logos in key locations on the frame.

The company will use manufacturers representatives and will hire specialized sales people called "in-house" sales reps. The "in-house" reps will be divided between "outside" and "inside" sales.

The average commission will be 15% of sales based upon paid invoices by the resellers. The commissions will range from 10% for quantity and catalog orders to 15% and 20% for small orders. The Consumer Electronic representatives usually receive 10% while the Gift representatives range from 15 to 20%. This also depends on services and trade shows where the products are displayed. The income statements use 15% as an average. Direct expenses will be reimbursed, especially for "in-house" reps. The reps must fill out their itinerary, the amount spent, the results and the reasons.

Telemarketers can be employed as either lead generators or closers. As lead generators they will receive a small portion of the sales rep commission, usually 20% of it. The sales refer to wholesale and/or direct sale retail. In response to growing direct sales or problems that arise a verifier can be used for spot verifications. The company's outside and inside sales reps and telemarketers will receive a starting salary against commissions for 60 days and then straight commissions. The management team, in addition to their salary, will receive a yearly bonus based upon gross profit, starting with the first full year.

Picture Frame Market

The photo picture frame industry is a booming industry in a niche marketplace. Major manufacturers are reporting profits in a down economy. The price, an increase in amateur photography, and an upgrade in design contributed to the photo and picture frame industry's 4.6 percent growth from 1991 to 1992, industry sources said. These factors, along with mass merchants' increasing control of overall market share, helped lift wholesale dollar volume to $730.8 million in 1992, and will assure growth of 1993 sales, vendors said.

Summary of report: Photo frame vendors have unveiled a diverse assortment of products this spring. From trendy theme offerings to the juvenile market to sophisticated woods, manufacturers have managed to present fresh collections of frames and albums for summer and fall delivery.

Talking Picture Frames

Talking picture frames have been available for several years. Almost all the focus has been on digital and solid state technology. Sharper Image sold a ten-second version in their June 1993 catalog at $39.95. The starting prices for wallet-size digital picture frames are $19.95 with a ten-second recorded message.

Hallmark Cards recently marketed a line of greeting cards at $ 14.00 that allows a person to record and playback a ten-second message with each card. Hallmark claims that the four batteries can be replaced without loss of memory. A backup system stays active for a limited period for battery replacement probably by keeping a capacitor charged. As the batteries drain from constant use, the effect of this method is extremely questionable.

Kodak is testing a true non-volatile (no loss of memory) photo card as a joint venture with Information Storage Devices (ISD). ISD sells non-volatile 14-second chip at $3.00. Their 90-second non-volatile chip is selling for $ 10.00 and they expect the introduce a 300-second non-volatile chip for $25.00 by the middle of 1995.

Several Taiwan companies have recently introduced a four-picture frame unit wholesaling from $29.00 to $32.00 FOB, with a suggested retail of $99.00. The disadvantages are that this product has no way of distinguishing which picture is talking and the volatile memory chip will eventually lose its memory. A new volatile chip was recently introduced by a Taiwan company with a 600-second recording time for $2.00. All prices are for quantity orders in the millions over several years.

Regardless of the chip used, it still has to be integrated through hardware and software with a microphone and a speaker, plus an on/off, a play/record, and a start/stop button. This integration can probably be configured for $3.00 per unit plus the initial R & D. Therefore, an eight-photo frame using eight non-volatile chips and the same set of buttons would cost $27.00 plus the costs of the individual frame holders and some form of photo recognition such as lights. This would probably drive the manufactured price above $32.00. The chips with longer recording time do not appear to have any price advantage. They also have to be integrated with a "location access" feature for the recorded messages. Volatile chips are really not suitable for this application even with battery backup, unless the company wants to explain to grandmothers, parents, and lovers why those precious voice recordings were suddenly lost after several years.

Based upon the five to one formula of retail sales to manufactured cost, the cost of using solid state non-volatile technology is still too expensive for home use. However, it would probably work in business applications such as point-of-purchase displays.

The company's product line appears to be in a niche market by bridging the easy viewing of separate photos with the full viewing of multiple sound pictures on a VCR recording. This hybrid market is almost unlimited as indicated by the fact that the standard photo frame market is rapidly expanding, along with the video camera market.

Summary of report: Picture frames had double-digit growth for almost ten years, and as the economy recovers, picture frames are expected to be even stronger sellers, according to Bill Johnson of Intercraft Industries. The frame market is dominated by discount stores, which account for 24% of all sales, while drug stores account for 15%. Of frames sold, 2% are through supermarkets, with the rest sold through photography dealers, card and gift stores, variety stores, and arts and craft's shops. According to Popular Photography's "The Wolfman Report," 66% of shoppers buy more than one frame at a time and 33% of consumers buy frames as gifts. Frame suppliers say that it is essential to position the products near a main aisle in the front of the store. The move toward fashion frames is also focused.

The talking photo business is in its infancy. This was demonstrated by a recent sale on QVC of several thousand single-photo talking frames that sold at $39.95 in less than 10 minutes. As the variations increase the market will expand. Basic single photo frames start under $ 10.00 and a number of decorator frames are priced over $50.00.

The bridging of sound with photos will change the way people look at and remember those special pictures. It will also expand the concept of perceived value for a photo frame, especially one with talking multiple photos.

Retailers' Preference

Retailers prefer companies with two or more products in different price points, especially if they start under $49.95. This price point appeals to a larger customer base than those over $49.95. The $79.95 wall unit fits that slightly higher marketplace of people who prefer a product with more aesthetic value.

It is just as easy for these retailers to enter a new company in their computers with one SKU as it is with two or more SKUs. Additionally, the retailers have the benefits of stock balancing and market testing.

Retailers feel that people could easily use multiples of this product either for special events like weddings, family celebrations, or vacations. Desktop and wall units expand the consumer line dramatically. The longevity of this product should greatly exceed the norm for new products, which is usually three to five years.

Both products are made using standard tape recorders and a patentable drive and display mechanism. This low-tech method is much less expensive than the high-tech solid state format. In addition, the patent should slow or prevent other companies from entering the field from this direction.

A utility patent will be applied when all the engineering drawings are completed. A patent search has shown that no competitive product using the same or even similar technology currently exists. The patent laws provide a 12-month "window of protection" for well documented products. The final patent should protect the products since these laws have become greatly strengthened over the years. The patents will remain with Larry Koenig but will be fully assigned to the corporation. The investors can secure their investments with the rights to the patents. This will remain in effect until the investors have received a reasonable return on their investment.

Both products will probably have to be manufactured overseas to save on tooling, molding, and assembly. The company has contacted a manufacturer who lives in the U.S. but has a factory in Indonesia, where the daily labor costs are less than the hourly labor costs in the United States. China is another potential place for manufacturing. China would like to gain larger inroads in the U.S. as compared with Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Korea. Mexico is also a distinct possibility.

The advantage of manufacturing in these countries is price. The disadvantage is the lack of control, potential for mistakes, and problems with shipping.

The company would prefer to locate a manufacturer in this country if the final cost of production is within 5% of the offshore counterpart. Mr. Tarlow has used manufacturers in Utah and Arizona where the labor costs are less.

The completed engineering drawings will be sent out to bid when they are finished. Based on Mr. Tarlow's 20 years of experience, the final costs should not exceed $15.00 for the wall unit and $9.00 for the desktop version. He also believes the tooling and molding for the wall unit should not exceed $85,000 offshore or $125,000 in the United States. The desktop unit should be less than one-half of the wall unit based upon its size.

The actual tooling and molding will be probably take eight weeks, once all agreements are completed. Production will take 30 days and shipping by boat will also take 30 days.

Prior to production the preproduction units can be shipped by air for evaluation, corrections, initial sales through wholesale channels, brochure pictures, and short-form infomercial production.

For several select retailers and catalogers initial shipments can be shipped by air. Usually these companies want only a few hundred for testing. The reorders can be fulfilled from the main shipment arriving by boat.

If the product is very successful the company may experience a problem of short supply. Short supply has the following advantages:

  • The creation of an over demand
  • Elimination on overstocking
  • Elimination of stock balancing
  • Prompt payment of bills

History has shown where companies with successful products became even more successful when they kept their products scarce. The classic case is Nintendo. Successful products, where the supply eventually caught up with and passed the demand, demonstrate how these products quickly fell from desire. The best examples are The Rubik Cube, Trivial Pursuit, and the original hand-held electronic games. The theory of short supply is not the company's intention but it feels that if handled correctly it could be a decided advantage.

The competition will come from photo picture frame manufacturers who produce singular or multiple picture frames and consumer electronic manufacturers who want to enter the talking picture frame field.

The company feels that most if not all of these competitors will attack the marketplace using solid state technology. Currently, as was explained earlier, that form of technology does not appear to poise a threat until the prices drop.

Companies like Kodak would probably prefer a joint venture or licensing agreement with Talking Photo Technology rather than producing a similar product, as indicated through conversation with the division involved with photo frames.

The following is a list of potential resellers compiled from Dun & Bradstreet and Hayes Druggist Guide:

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

For clarity purposes and to remove overlapping SIC codes, certain categories have been combined. The numbers represent the number of businesses (except for drug stores) not locations. These numbers serve to illustrate the number of potential resellers.

The following is a partial list of the type of consumers who would be targeted initially:

  • Parents with children
  • Grandparents
  • Single mothers
  • Single women (21 to 39)
  • Teenage girls (13 to 18)

Based upon a demographic and statistical analysis of the U.S. supplied by Scan/US, there are 32.8 million households with children. The highest concentrations are the northeastern section of the U.S. The second heaviest concentrations are in the southeast, California and Texas, followed by the South and the Midwest. The highest income levels are in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Price is based upon three factors. The first is perceived value or what the market will bear. The second is the manufacturing cost. The last is the desired profit structure of the company balanced against what the resellers need.

The final price is usually five times the final production cost including boxing and landing charges in the U.S. There is some room since most of today's retailers work on margins of 30 to 40% for smaller and 50% for larger quantities. Catalogers usually work on 50%. Sales rep's commissions range from 10% in the consumer electronic field to 15 to 20% for the gift industry. A stocking distributor usually buys the product for 50% and an additional 10% off the retail. A master distributor's discount is negotiable but could be an extra 10 to 20% off the retail.

Each level of discount requires a larger initial and continued commitment from that particular buyer. The company feels that $79.95 for the wall unit and $49.95 for the desktop is reasonable, based upon the cost to manufacture, box, and ship. We may find by doing final test evaluations through direct sales and short-form infomercial that the market may accept a higher retail than what we indicated. The final suggested retail price will be the one determined during test with preproduction units. Test marketing and focus groups can be used but they do not always convey what people will actually spend. The wall unit could be retailed at $69.95 and the desktop at $39.95, without any significant loss in revenue.

Incentives for advertising and promotion range from a cash discount to free goods included within the order. These incentives are usually designed for the major customers and catalogers. They are based upon either larger orders or proof of performance such as print advertisements or catalog inserts. Three to five percent is acceptable but each deal may have to be negotiated separately provided the company stays within the legality of the law.

Some companies also want exclusives for a period of time. Considering the size of the order, the particular marketplace and the length of the exclusive and the starting time, this is possible.

In addition, certain retailers will only place orders on a "guaranteed sales" basis where units not sold can be returned for cash refunds. Talking Photo Technology feels that by having two products "stock balancing" will be an alternative. For the important retailers who insist on this mode, Talking Photo Technology will require a minimum test purchase with a larger non-returnable backup purchase order, if the test is successful.

The company will produce its own point-of-purchase (POP) display to aid in the selling of the products to consumers. These POP displays will be sold to the retailers and offset with free goods. The POP is a modified unit, designed for continuous AC operation.

Direct sales and short form TV infomercials will also help to drive the retail sales. Additionally, the company will investigate the use of cross promotion incentives with photo companies for film discounts, and photo developers for processing discounts.

A direct sales promotion targeted to grandparents, new parents, and newly weds can be accomplished by mail and telemarketing. The campaign can include photo discounts with the product purchase, discounts off the second units of equal or lesser value, and a joint venture promotion with a particular retail chain or group of catalogs.

The key personnel are the members of the management team. Securing additional management personnel who can help advance the company along each level should not be difficult with the current state of the economy. Many qualified people are either looking for work or working in low paying positions.

As the company advances beyond the start-up phase it will need a Chief Financial Officer. Larry Koenig has worn many hats in the past and in the initial stages is fully capable of handling or assisting in many areas for a portion of the first year or longer if necessary.

The company will contract out many of the services during the initial year or two, including direct sales, fulfillment, and telemarketing.

As the company grows and the product line increases it may be more beneficial to bring these various services within one facility. The following is a partial list of prospective employees and department types, the numbers, and the estimated monthly salaries that could be brought in at various stages:

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

The company would prefer not to store or ship the majority of the product. It would be cheaper to let the manufacturer ship FOB to our larger customers. Talking Photo Technology prefers to conserve capital by starting in smaller or shared quarters. Products would be sent directly to our contracted fulfillment center except for a smaller quantity that can be stored in a local warehouse. For the next stage of the company's growth it can relocate to a larger facility where it can do local shipping, set up an accounting department, and handle returns. Additional departments can be added with each stage of growth.

The company intends to set up a series of controls starting by using only manufacturers with proven performances. Dealing directly with the owner of the manufacturing facility and not going through an agent is a advantage. The initial preproduction run should expose most problems.

The company will institute a series of quality control check points at various stages of production, shipping, and receiving, and not depend on the manufacturers' guarantee. The cost of verification and spot checking will be more intensive in the early stages of growth. This is important because resellers will not give the company a second chance if they receive a large number of defective products.

The company will source a second manufacturer in case the first one is unable to maintain production or for reasons beyond his control he can not produce. In theory, the two products can be manufactured by two manufacturers. Once the tooling is paid for, and becomes the property of Talking Photo Technology it can be relocated to another facility. This would be difficult but not impossible.

Besides standard insurance, our intention is to bond key manufacturers against production problems, at least on the onset, if possible. The company will pay for business interruption insurance, where feasible. Key personnel will have special insurance. Product liability should not be a problem since everything is battery operated. Since we are not doing manufacturing we don't expect labor or union problems.

"PortraiTalk" and "SoundPhoto" are the first in a series of high-profile products that the company will produce. Multiple versions of the wall unit can be produced so they can be interconnected. Volatile digital technology is probably best suited for the premium, point-of-purchase and area where memory loss is not essential. The non-volatile chips should be in the usable price range in 18 to 24 months.

Price versus performance is always the key factor. Incorporating digital technology with long term memory on a magnetic media at an affordable price would be ideal. If made small enough, these pieces can be retrofitted to existing photo albums or attached to store shelves as a sales tool.

Another area of exploration is the health industry. Some elderly people take a number of different prescriptions. In cases where a patient may become confused as to which prescription they took, their next dose, and when they should get the medication refilled, a voice memory product with a possible picture of the particular medication can inform the patients on the status of their drug intake.

The multiple talking photo concept can be used with coffee mugs, daily notepads, and phone dialers.

Any product or idea that appears to have potential will be test marketed before and after prototyping. Only then will the company invest time or money into the concept. Product potential will be rated on the following 12 areas:

  • Exciting patentable feature
  • Fills a real need
  • Easily manufacturable
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Simple to operate
  • Psychologically fulfilling
  • Simple to understand
  • No new parts to reinvent
  • Center of attraction in retail environments
  • No safety problems
  • Great price to value ratio
  • Excellent gift idea

The sales of the company are driven by advertising, marketing, promotion, and time of year. Breaking even in December is not the same as breaking even in March. Additionally, direct sales produce a higher gross profit than wholesale sales. Therefore, by comparing the income statements of 1995 and 1996 of slow months versus better months, it is safe to assume that a break-even position will not occur until the last quarter of 1995. This assumes that the products were sold at the ratio of two desktop units to one wall unit and that the majority of orders would come through the wholesale route.

Based upon the estimate of the first year the company feels that 15,000 total units would be required as an initial inventory consisting of 10,000 desktop and 5,000 wall units. This initial revolving inventory should prevent any normal out-of-stock situation from occurring in the start up year, especially since merchandise could take 60 to 90 days from purchase order to actual receipt.

The company can use purchase order financing and factoring as a means of handling cash flow problems for its second Christmas.

The following is a list of how the funds will be used and allocated to reach a positive cash flow:

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

The Economy in 1993

A brief review of economic developments in 1993 provides a helpful introduction to the projections of 1994. As of late October 1993, it appeared that growth in 1993 would be somewhat less than was projected in Outlook '93, not only in the United States, but also in the rest of the industrial world generally. Following strong growth in the United States during late 1992 (some of which stemmed from reconstruction associated with hurricane damages earlier in the year) the nation's economic activity slowed considerably during the first half of 1993. The annual rate of growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) fell below 1 percent in the first quarter, partly reflecting a record decline in defense spending and disruptions caused by a severe storm along the Eastern seaboard. Growth then rose to an annual rate of approximately 2 percent in the second quarter, and was expected to average approximately 3 percent during the second half of 1993.

Economic Outlook for 1994

Commerce Department analysts developed their industry projections for 1994 against the background of expected overall growth of close to 3 percent-the Blue Chip consensus as of July 1993. In September, forecasts of real GDP growth for 1994 over 1993 remained in that range: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 2.6 percent growth for the United States; the Blue Chip consensus was shaded to 2.7 percent (the same as that of the Congressional Budget Office); and the Administration's mid-session forecast called for a 3 percent increase. As the analysis below suggests, the economy is likely to expand moderately-in the range of 2.5 to 3 percent-in 1994. On the policy side, the Budget Act of 1993 is expected to restrain growth modestly in 1994. The estimated deficit reduction is about $47 billion or 0.7 percent of projected current-dollar GDP. However, the deficit-reduction program has contributed to a decrease in long-term interest rates to their lowest levels in many years. The stimulus provided by these low rates will tend to offset the fiscal restraint. Several other factors may continue to contain growth in the United States. These include the following:

  • Further corporate restructuring, limiting growth in employment and wages (related to this are uncertainties about the costs to businesses associated with the proposed health care reform package)
  • Continued weakness in the commercial real estate market, which was heavily overbuilt during the 1980s
  • Continued cutbacks in defense purchases, possibly on an accelerated basis, and limitations on spending by governments at all levels due to budget constraints
  • Weaker-than-expected recoveries in the economies of some major U.S. trading partners, especially Japan and Western Europe

No single sector stands out as the principal engine of growth in 1994, though gross private domestic investment is projected to increase twice as fast as overall GDP (much less, however, than in 1993). In general, interest-sensitive components of spending are expected to provide much of the impetus to overall growth. Consumer purchases of durable goods, producers' durable equipment, and residential investment all are expected to show fairly good growth in 1994. State and local government expenditures, also interest-sensitive to some extent, grow much faster in 1994 after a modest gain in 1993.

Total personal consumption expenditures are projected to increase a little faster than disposable personal income. Sales of new cars and light trucks, which are reflected in both consumer durables and producers' equipment, are expected to rise approximately 6 percent in 1994. Vehicles built in North America (considered to be domestically produced) account for all of the gain. The sharp decline in the value of the dollar against the yen during 1993 increased prices of imported Japanese models relative to prices of domestic U.S. cars, while consumers began to perceive quality improvements in U.S. models. This development is expected to reduce further exports of Japanese motor vehicles to the United States in 1994.

On the investment side, another healthy gain expected for corporate profits in 1994 will help to sustain solid growth in private nonresidential fixed investment. The rate of increase in investment in producers' equipment will slow in 1994, while investment in nonresidential structures should undergo little change. Ongoing weakness in the construction of office buildings, hotels and motels, and other commercial structures should be largely offset by modest gains in construction of most other nonresidential structures. Housing is expected to post another moderate increase in 1994, primarily in the construction of single-family units and in remodeling. Growth in multi-family housing will remain modest, given the continuation of high vacancy rates in rental housing during 1993.

Exports of goods and services are expected to increase in line with overall GDP in 1994, weakening slightly from their growth in 1993. These developments stand in sharp contrast to the strong U.S. export performance from 1985 to 1992, when the dollar was declining and real exports of goods and services rose five times as fast as GDP. The dollar showed little change during 1993. Although it weakened considerably in relation to the yen, it appreciated against most European currencies.

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

The financials are structured in a calendar year format because of the influence that Christmas has upon yearly sales. The sales after the startup partial year should dramatically increase in the first full year. The second full year should increase by a minimum of three times the previous year. This is the year that the mass merchants, discounters, and large chains start to sell the product. By the end of the third year the sales should reach 15 times the original investment. The projected financials are for three years plus the initial startup year. These factors, along with the economy and technology, really prevent long range forecasts. The company also feels that the end of the third year would be an ideal time for either an IPO, investor buyout, merger, or sale to a larger company. Any of these avenues would present an exit for the investor.

Potential Problems

The company wants to get the products on the market quickly yet it is imperative that it keeps mistakes to a minimum. Though these products will sell better at Christmas they are also year-round items for weddings, special events, graduations, holiday vacations, Valentines Day, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. On some of these occasions multiples can be purchased. If the Christmas season is missed the break-even time will take longer but the company should not be seriously affected.

Copy-cat products will arrive on the scene usually 12 to 18 months after our product is launched provided it is successful. Some will even attempt to circumvent the patent laws, but most will use digital technology and some method of picture synchronization. A few may even foster a margin of success. Their major problem will be the retention of memory after the batteries wear out for the products using volatile memory or the higher cost of the products using non-volatile memory. The company intends to use solid state technology for point-of-purchase displays. This research should enable it to stay in the forefront of technology and switch over to solid state when feasible.

New Products

Traditionally, within 18 to 24 months the company should be ready to launch the next series of products and open up additional markets. These products should be more advanced versions of the original products, different but similar products for other markets (health industry), and modifications of the original for other markets (point-of-purchase display). New products should keep the company in the forefront.

The success and longevity of our current products will determine the amount of resources placed on any new products. It takes from six to twelve months to place a new product on the market. The company does not believe in the shot gun approach of new products. Marketing is too expensive; therefore an initial and a secondary evaluation must decide if a product is viable.

If the perceived value is not as apparent with the current models or the solid state technology advances faster than expected, then the company will have to incorporate digital technology into the product more rapidly than expected.

Alternative Marketing Concept

After 12 months, if the company feels is has not penetrated the market successfully using conventional methods of direct sales and wholesales then it could opt to go in the direction of multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing. It would have to bring in experienced people in that arena or merge with a current company. MLM companies require products with high appeal, easily sold on a one-to-one method, and a minimum of a 5 to 1 ratio. In addition, the company would produce a catalog of available high and low-tech products. This formula has been accomplished very successfully by a company called Quorum. Talking Photo Technology would need at least 10,000 but preferably 20,000 multi-level sales people called its downline.

The company would produce a standard size 64-page catalog with products ranging from it own line of proprietary products to other consumer electronics. It would also include the areas of computers and/or accessories, children's toys, health, beauty, kitchen, dietary and food items, plus recreational products. The catalog would have a minimum of 150 products besides its own. The only requirements are that the acquired selections must be shippable, and have a minimum of 50% margins (a $50.00 retail item would cost $25.00).

The main thrust of the catalog would be its line of proprietary products that it could produce or acquire from investors on a royalty basis. The downline people would receive a similar profit structure that would have been set up for resellers and commissioned sales people.

The cost for producing one million catalogs including product selection, copy writing, layout and design, photography, models, color separation, order form, printing, and binding is estimated at $400,000. The shipping of the catalog, based on 20,000 members with 50 catalogs per person, is approximately $0.19 each, which is paid for by the people. In addition, they would be charged a fee of $.0.75 per catalog, equating to a $350,000 net profit for your company.

The people would be allowed to buy a maximum of one of each of the products in the catalog at a 40% discount for their use. Regular orders would start with a profit structure of 20% to the seller followed by 5% for the next in line and ending at 1%. Let's take an example of a product with a wholesale of $50.00 and a retail of $c 100.00. Here is a possible way distribution could work with the individual profit margins.

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

This leaves a gross profit of 15%, or in this example $15.00. The cost of order processing and fulfillment, by an outside company, should not exceed 5% or $5.00 in this example. There will some additional operating expenses (credit card processing) and/or overhead, estimated to be 3%, leaving a 7% or $7.00 per $100.00 per order.

Assuming the average retail sale is $100.00 and the number of unit sold per product is 200, then a catalog containing 150 products should gross $3,000,000. This would produce a net profit of $210,000 for the company per season.

These estimates and catalog pricing are based upon the Quorum catalog and their items selected and initial returns. The net profit could increase by three to four times that amount for Christmas, based upon conventional catalog sales. The main income for the multi-level people and the company would come from its proprietary product line. Successful MLM companies make millions. An original product company not in the health and beauty field could do exceptionally well.

Another source of revenue is a product placement fee which Larry Koenig accomplished very successfully in his previous catalogs, The Price of His Toys. Within several years the company should be able to receive $300,000 or equivalent from product placement.

A major source ofre venue that Sharper Image had ($1,000,000 per year) was from its list name rental.

The success of any catalog requires the correct product selection, good design, selling copy and a quality customer base. The company either has or can acquire people with that expertise.

It would take a minimum of six months to set up the MLM organization provided it did not have to start from the beginning. The major expense would be the catalog that should be prepaid by the downline people.

Product ordering is a little tricky and requires a certain amount of expertise in this area. If the company is not careful a portion of its profit can be sitting in some warehouse as inventory. There are ways of disposing of extra inventory with minimum risk, especially through its downline.

Within several years the company could be generating four to five million as net profit on the catalog and outside product alone. This method has been proven successful by Quorum and they just focus on consumer electronics. A multi-style catalog should out-perform a single style, especially since half the people in MLM are women who do not buy electronics.

Desired Method

The company is seeking an investment of $600,000 and is offering 25% of its stock for this money. The investment can be made in several payments. The repayment options are explained under the EXIT section. The company plans to operate in Southern California but can be incorporated in any state. This will be done after the first round of capital is raised and all the investors are in place, thereby saving on legal fees.

Purchase Order Financing and Factoring

The following is a list of how the funds will be used and allocated to reach break even if the company uses purchase order financing (POF) and factoring:

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

The company has arranged for purchase order financing and factoring. The manufacturer should cooperate, provided money is received from the purchase orders. This method is not the first choice but can be accomplished. The company would only be willing to offer 15% of its stock based upon this proposal. The other 10% would be needed for a second round of financing in case projected results are not achieved.

The company would prefer to go public sometime after the third full year or sooner if the profits can attract a substantial IPO. this will depend on the economy, the public market, and the company's perceived potential.

The first alternative to a normal IPO would be a SCOR (Small Company Offering Registration) offering. This is a limited public offering done on at the State level for a registration fee of $2,500 in California (other states may be different). Attorneys charge $5,000 to $15,000. The company must sell its own stock initially. The state approval is somewhat difficult unless the company is profitable and has a two-year track record. The company can raise a maximum of $1,000,000 per year by selling its shares of stock at a fixed price of $5.00 per share. The company can not use any of this money to payoff investors unless the money came from a financial institution (bank) as a loan.

The company feels that the potential stock purchasers in this case would be resellers of its product line, end users, and other interested parties who feel that the company is a prudent investment. The company can solicit a market marker from a major investment house when it has a minimum number of stock holders (estimated to be 500 or more).

The SCOR idea would work exceptionally well with the MLM format described under Contingencies.

Based upon the above premise the investors could lend the money to the company through a bank secured by a CD. After two or three years the investors would receive their initial investment back, yet still retain an interest in the company.

The second alternative would entail a straight pay back over a period of years with a substantial return on investment.

The third alternative would consist of a merger or buyout with a larger company.

The rights to patents (assigned to the investors until their investment is recovered) should generate enough income on a royalty basis if they sold to another company.

The retail price for the wall unit is $79.95 with an average wholesale price of $48.00 for retailers and $40.00 for catalogers. The retail price for the desktop unit is $49.95 with an average wholesale price of $30.00 for retailers and $25.00 for catalogers. The company assumes Christmas sales will be minimal for the initial year but direct sales could sustain it until the resellers come on board.

The company did not allocate funds for use of purchase order financing (POF) in the Income Statements. Factoring is used at the end of the first full year. POF can only be used for orders over $50,000 by a qualified buyer, which has been approved by a factor. This is an alternative method.

The company assumes sales of 13,000 units for the balance of the first year in all fields. This is very conservative as the company feels that if it had at least 50 preproduction models of each unit (before the end of the third quarter) it could set up a national marketing campaign throughout the country.

The company assumes total sales of just under 100,000 units for the first full year for both models, 200,000 for the second year and 360,000 for the third year. This is very conservative based upon the average market potential of 2,000,000 sales for a five-year period for a single good product.

The company feels that "SoundPhoto" (the desktop version) will outsell "PortraiTalk" (the wall model) by a ratio of 2 to 1, provided both units are available and shown. The company also feels that the sales of both will be higher when both are shown. As the products go into wider distribution, the percentages of consumer and trade advertising dollars will rise from less than 0.5% to over 1% in sales.

An extensive patent search was performed by Macro-Search on 2/9/94 to determine the feasibility of proceeding with a patent. No conflicting patents were shown. This does not guarantee that either a similar product was in the pending stage or a patent had expired. Due to the length of the patent search, it is not included in this plan.

Units Sales 1994

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

Income 1994

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Balance Sheet 1994

Photo Framing: Talking Photo Technology

Cash Flow 1994

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Units Sales 1995

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Income 1995

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Balance Sheet 1995

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Cash Flow 1995

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Units Sales 1996

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Income 1996

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Balance Sheet 1996

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Cash Flow 1996

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Units Sales 1997

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Income 1997

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Balance Sheet 1997

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Cash Flow 1997

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