Getting customers is really quite an expensive job, marketing and advertising costs soar and there is no guarantee you will actually get a positive result. Obtaining the maximum sale from each customer is essential and the presentation you make to them can make a big difference, on whether you increase the project value or not.
The presentation of the finished project can encourage that extra spend, this can be achieved with quality albums or by adding picture framing to your portfolio of services.
Picture framing to a professional standard can be easily learnt, Duncan McDonald Managing Director of Diyframing says " We believe some sort of training is essential to learn the process of framing, before you buy the tools. There are to many companies selling inadequate tools that don't quite do the job, our philosophy is to try before you buy, so the kit you need can be tailored to your requirements". DIYframing are the only company to run co-ordinated courses at centres in Glasgow, Manchester, West Midlands and London. Basic courses start from as little as £99+Vat. They also offer small business starter kits for as little as £500, which include all the tools to get you started, larger kits or professional tools are also available depending on your starting point.
Once you have learnt the skills and bought the tools you only need a small workshop or spare room to get started. Being organised is the key, doing one process for several frames at a time, for example do all the mount cutting first, it will save time of taking the tools out and putting them away again, and the environment will be clean for that particular job.
Then its time to practise to make sure you can produce a really good job for your customers. Some of the more difficult techniques such as deep bevelled mounts or fillets and slips should be tried before you offer them.
Getting your customers to purchase the framing is the easy part if you already have the commission for the photographs, why should they go elsewhere if you are offering them the framing as a service as well. Ideally the framing will be in addition to your initial order giving you extra profits. For example wedding photographs may come at a set cost for a pre determined package, when the proofs are taken to the customers for choosing their preferred pictures, the question of framing can be raised then, it would be a good idea to have a couple of framed examples ready to show them. You could easily come away with six or seven frame orders, which would add another £300+ to your invoice. At a gross profit of 80% that is quite a good return for something they would have taken elsewhere to done.
Finally one real attention grabber is to produce a multi aperture mount with some of the left over prints of the special day or sitting. A framed size of about 600mmX 500mm with 10 unusual shots of the bride and grooms day would cost about £120 to frame in the High Street, but the material cost are only about £12-£20. If the prints are going to be discarded why waste them if it can add value to what you are offering.
To sum up, if you decide to add framing to your services make sure you learn how to do it properly or it can be a frustrating distraction. Purchase tools that will do the job well, the outlay will be quickly recuperated from the profits you make. Take time with your customers giving choice and sound advice on making the photography really stand out. With some sound foundations in place framing can substantially add value to your service and bank balance.