It’s Not Just Us
Part 1 of our ‘Industry Pain’ Series
When I speak to groups of framers this year, we have talked about the changes that need to occur in our industry. Much of this discussion centers around making the selling process much more attractive and far less painless to prospective clients. In the framing industry, research has revealed that there are several “barriers” to attracting business. Here is what we know:
- Custom framing is perceived as a time-consuming sales process
- Prices are unknown and considered elusive
- Choices are overwhelming
- There is pressure to make a “perfect” choice since it is a sizable investment that will hang on their walls for a long time
Although we as framers have been aware of these perceptions for a long time, we have done very little to remove these barriers. The result is that our product is only desirable to about 8% of all consumers! That means that millions of people are negatively affected by the industries “model” for doing business. Yet it seems that very little is being done by independent custom framers to change their model for doing business so that the perception changes and the door is opened to more potential clients.
The challenges that face our industry are greater than recovering from the recession. Our challenges involve creating a better business model that removes the barriers to doing more business. The good news is that we are not alone in this challenge. Almost every industry today is facing the issues associated with rapidly changing demands on how they do business. For example, look at how technology has changed the model of business for photographers. Look at how libraries no longer serve the needs of readers or even people who want to rent movies. Technology has changed how almost everything is made available to us. Those changes have happened quickly and the recession has blurred the reality.
The model for how businesses conduct business has changed for almost every industry. Those who accept this and are willing to change the ways things have always been done will create a new model that attracts new customers. Our industry must reinvent how it speaks to clients. It must remove the barriers we all know exist. This should be our focus above all other things- how do we make our product more attractive to more people?