....and I thought January was bad!

Tommy P

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Nov 16, 2003
Mid North Indiana
Only a few potential sales days left in February. If some nice orders don't come through the front door in the next few days this month will surpass the grimness of last month!! And Lord knows it's not due to lack of advertising....

How are things going this month for the rest of you?
The few reps that have been by say it's generally terrible with a few "good pockets" in the larger metro areas..

p.s. If your one of the lucky "pockets" just lie to me and say you have been visiting the food banks or something....I'm depressed enough.
We had a good first week in Feb. Then business just died. Then this week...it died again. And now the corpse is starting to rot.
My delivery guys have said no one has been ordering anything.
I have 100 handwritten postcards with $5 coupons and advertising on the flip side ready to go out tomorrow. Also just printed several hundred fliers with coupons to go to the real estate offices and misc. businesses around town. Maybe I will get at least one sale out of all that.

On the UP side (although you said you didn't wanna hear it), I just had a new customer walk in. He just bought a house, & needs me to come decide what he needs framed and which art needs to go in which room. Only thing is, he is leaving for Japan and won't be back for ten days. He left some things for me to work on (design only). I need rent money now!
February has been a strange month. But not just for framers. I was blaming it on our move, but we are more visable and easier to access now than we before. I have a friend who is an ad sales rep and she says it is a wierd month for EVERYONE and not just us - little consolation, but it does help a teeny bit.

everyone here is in the south on vacation, so there has been little traffic, but it gives me time to work on promotion programs for the rest of the year.

my penny for today - its been slow :D

It really depends on the area. My oldest store is working on a record low for a Feb. My newest location is working on a record high for a Feb, and the third highest month ever. These two locations are run with completely different philosophies. One is working, one is floundering. It has really been an eye opening and enlightening experience.
Hopefully when you get time and/or insperation you can start a thread explaining some of your "new" thoughts. I know I would love to hear them anyway.

Carry on!

Ohh yea Jan = good Feb = contemptible
Though my new store has only been open for 6 months, I have been around this business for about 17 Februarys now and this is one of the stranger ones I've seen.

For me it has been feast or famine. Several $0.00 days in a row and then out of nowhere, I get near a weeks worth of business. Now I know that is the way this business works, but I tell you the past 5 weeks (Begining the third week of January) have been different.

However, I have seen more traffic in the last 7-10 days than I saw in the first 15 of the month.

I have many freinds who work for one of the BBs and they are reporting the same thing. Wildly inconsistant. For them, that says something. They are usualy far more consistant in their sales patterns.

We have been foscussing on increasing our commercial customers in the last 2 months and that is what has been keeping us on track.

Hang in Tom. I find the trick is to work on planning your spring and summer while you can. Before you know it they will be here and you will say, "I wish I had five minutes to think."
For once I'm on the other side of things. I know you don't want to hear it but.....

My shop is about 7 months old and I have posted a few posts like this one. In those posts I was sooooo bored and nothing to do.
This month is my best by far, topping Christmas and finally paying the rent and some bills. (I still haven't pulled a dime out of here for myself but I also don't have to pay for anything out of my pocket for a change.

I have had a few big dollar sales and big projects. Only a few smaller easy jobs.

I have also had a few days strung together when no one came in for anything.

Hopefully this is the start of better days.
Last year Jan thru March were slow, this year Jan & Feb have been record months. It's as if the holiday season just kept going for another 6 or so weeks. I guess that's the nature of the business. At least I'm not depressed this year, as opposed to last year.
The first half of Feb. was so bad that I actually had time to do a lot of housekeeping tasks--inventory, paperwork, my own projects, etc. Then, the last couple of weeks has been like Christmas all over. Luckily, customers are not pushing for a completion date. Hang in there!
Within the shop we no longer have to say things like "how is the Smith order coming along?" or "hows the order with the multiple opening mat coming along?" It's just "how is THE ORDER coming along?" No need for time consuming specifics.
It's alot like last year. This month has been great but Januaury was average. Last year march was great so I hope it continues this year.

Part of my pick up has been the newsletter we sent out at the begining of the month.

Next weekend is the Homne Show. I hope we pick up new customers there. They usually average 3500 people coming through there. I am going to hand out $20. gift certificates toward $100 on framing orders over $100. And yard sticks with my name and address on them.I hope that brings them in the door. At the very least people will wonder why all those people are carring around those big sticks. Maybe get some attention anyway.

I've tryed to save to prepare for a slow summer. Last year we were really slow in June and July.
I'm trying to think ahead.

This business is hard to predict.
Just hang in there. It will pick up.
Originally posted by J Phipps TN:
I've tryed to save to prepare for a slow summer. Last year we were really slow in June and July.
I'm trying to think ahead.
I have been in business over 11 years and every June, July, and August have been slow. No amount of advertising can offset this phenomenon. Planning ahead is the best thing.
It's a strange time. Our January was terrible, but February looks much better.

Last year we had good months early, but April, May, and early June were very slow. Then everything changed in late June, and we ended up with a pretty good year.

In the past we could always count on a good response from a direct mail campaign, and some kind of response from most other advertising.

But now consistency is out the window. I'm sure it's still important to advertise, but we don't know whether the advertising will work sooner or later.

These days, it seems there are times when consumers simply aren't buying what we're selling, and no amount of advertising will inspire them.

Creative marketing is more important now than ever before.