Did I miss the memo?

KL Smith

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Posts
277
Location
Jordan Village, ON, Canada
Sorry about flogging a dead horse, but I am curious if it is just me or ...

This time last year we had about 25 to 30 "for Christmas" orders of needlepoints, portraits, etc. To date, Nov 29th, we are sitting with 1 Christmas order. Yikkes! This seems to be in line with every other business in our small town, no matter what their specialty is.

Did someone cancel Christmas and we just didn't get the memo?
 
The memos go out tomorrow. Not like I needed one.

I feel your pain. :( :eek:
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Same here...lots of work orders, but none that I know of are specifically Christmas orders.

The way regular business is going, people better come in soon if they want it for Christmas!

Dave Makielski
 
I wouldn't say I am not busy, but the Xmas rush is still to arrive.

I dont think they would cancell Xmas, (after all when will the public servants go on holidays) maybe just postpone it! :D
 
I'm in a mall. I would have expected people to come in, even to browse, the day after Thanksgiving. We had, maybe, 8 people come in. It was wild; no big sales, no custom jobs. The last few days since have been bare.
I did manage to have a piece magically "disappear" last week. So much for that Christmas spirit.
 
I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone.
 
Last week and this week traditionally have been sorta slow over the past eight years. Mallshopping? Internet shopping? weather? Dunno. But then middle of this week on, things pick up. Our phone calls have increased dramatically--"where ya located?" what are your hours?, etc--and they traditionally end up with people coming in. I also think it's a geography sorta thing--size of town, where you are, etc etc.

I can only say that starting with this week, historically things start picking up. We'll see
 
I'm having a sloooooooow 4th quarter this year. That's after the first three quarters being record breakers. :confused:
October was on a par with last year, November is way below last year, December
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Yet I passed last year's totals in August
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Guess you never know what tomarrow will be like
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The last day of the month has finished here already and it was a cracker! We took more orders than we can make normally and we are already having trouble getting everything done on time... It is shaping up to be a good Christmas shopping season as spending trends are following a very similar line to the past (instore at least, others here are not going so hot). Just having a coffee break now, long night ahead!
 
We're off to our usual "Christmas". . . like a turd of hurddles....

We historically (last 27 Christmas')don't really have an explosive December... We enjoy a smooth solid year by and much.

Although, the last two-three years there have been about 30-40 orders on the board pretty straight through till the last week... and that is with 12-16 hours days...

This year should be enjoyable, with 2-1/2 of us instead of just me....[and this year, I get to be the cripple].

But a little more seasonal "interesting" stuff would be nice.
 
When I first started in framing (about 20 years ago), we would have between 75-100 pieces waiting to frame consistantly until about the week before Christmas. Even five years ago, I'd have 3 or 4 people in to help me out with the rush. This year I've got some work to do (corporate stuff), but Christmas is non-existant so far. Today I had two people in the store.

I think the Grinch stole Christmas this year.

It's hard to figure the reasons. There are so many. Being in the North East US... Let's see,
Top Ten reasons Christmas Business stinks:
10. The economy sucks, regardless of the spin you hear.
9. The skyrocketing cost of heating oil/gas.
8. The war in Iraq.
7. People are making $10 an hour for jobs that used to pay them $25 an hour.
6. People are broke from spending $60 a week to run their cars.
5. People are broke because nobody's buying anything from them either.
4. Everybody spent their Christmas money already on an IPod.
3. Everybody spent their Christmas money already on booze to dull the pain.
2. Everybody spent their Christmas money already on Health Insurance and Prescription medication.
1. People are saving their pennies for the important things in life. Like duct tape.

Oh well, look at the bright side. As the economy spirals down and the middle class becomes extinct, we can look forward to more poor people. Crime, crowded prisons and unhealthy living conditions should bring Dickens to mind for people. That'll be nice and Christmasey.
 
Bah Hum Bug! I had "thanksgiving" orders this year - something new
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I guess the kiddies were coming home from college and they just "had to have" it for them then! Slow on the Christmas orders - a few but not huge. November is ending up behind last years, but October was up 22%, hoping for a good December to bring our overall year above last year and keep the move to the new location an overall positive.

Interesting part, is that in the last 3 months, most orders are all new customers and not just my loyal locals. I'm not complaining, things just keep forging ahead, just slower than I want!

Here's to kicking off the end November with a burst into December
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I, too, had been concerned about few Christmas orders . . . until yesterday. People were coming out of the woodwork--four waiting in line at one time. Luckily, I am in an antique mall, and they could shop around until their time came. :eek:

Maybe it is just late shopping this year. It would be nice if they did not wait until the last minute.
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What is strange was 10 days ago I was swamped people in line waiting... Today almost all orders done I could clean the boatd today if I wanted to and I might. Monday ZERO, Tuesday ZERO this is bad because it compresses everything in to a smaller time frame when it does start. I think the hard Big Deptartment stores and BB stores promotions over the weekend wore out many shoppers and or got them to buy their gifts there. This will be an interesting season.

framer
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Two weeks ago it was really busy. Last week was a joke. This week: Busy again!

One thing I've noticed is that web activity has hit records this week (~300 unique visitors per day). A lot of people are searching for framing - especially Jersey Framing. (unfortunately most are not local, so I have been referring them to other grumbler and PPFA member shops) The website is usually like this a few days before a rush/busy period, so we're ready for a busy weekend. Yesterday, 3 or 4 people came in with the web coupon and printed driving directions.

This is only our 4th Christmas in operation, but one thing seems certain: You can't predict the buying patterns.

The local Michaels stores already stopped taking Christmas orders last week, so they must be doing something right.
 
The first part of the memo came Aug. 28th and the last part came here on Nov. 28th.

All fall has been like a rumage sale, they all seem to come at once with a lull in between.

Make hay while the sun shines.
 
I think it's going to be a Wall Mart Christmas this year. Unless your giving it away, I don't think most folks are going to spend like they have in the past.

John
 
Michael's stopped the orders 'cause they ship everything out to have it done somewhere maybe to the North Pole?
 
Well I think they usually take Christmas orders until 12/9
 
If Michael's really has stopped orders, that should be good news for independent framers. There should be a spillover effect from that, which will hopefully fill any order gaps you might have to this point.
 
Hey Jacob-Thanks for that uplifting Daily Affirmation
Great way to welcome a new day

Perhaps you might highlight some of the things that you planned for 2005 to ensure a successful season and why they didn't work?

We always want to blame those forces outside our control for our state, but what may have we done to counter some of those forces?

There will be many success stories this Christmas Season. What do you think makes them successful while too many of us seem to be languishing?

After all, they face the same Top Ten list as Jacob

The days of simply opening the door on time to get business have been over for a awhile
 
Interesting thread!

Jacob, I have many days where I feel the same way. It's gotten harder and harder to just maintain lately. Luckily, we all must be be good at striving and thriving (not just surviving) or we wouldn't be in this biz, RIGHT???? Give yourself a good talkin' to and get on it.

Tighter times tend to weed out the weakest of us, and YOU ain't one of them and neither am I. This is when we get to exercise our most creative business muscles and do what we need to do. (after we look into our crystal balls, consult the tea leaves and do the Hungry Framer Chant and Dance)

Let us know what works. With your 20 years of experience, you've got to have a few tricks up your sleeve. End of Motivational Speech.

edie the timetomakethedonuts goddess
 
As Bob mentions, the forces outside our control can be blamed, but do you also blame them when things are going well? Adapt to the market, it changes continuously, the reaction you have to those forces beyond your control are precisely what makes business fun isn't it?
 
don't know where Jacob lives but in my part of the world, and the news I listened to this PM told me that economy ws up over 4% despite Katrina, consumer confidence is up, my gas dropped nearly $.75 from a coupla months ago, my customes bought the iPod then came here and spent a coupla hundred more and everybody's making more or keeping more money in their pockets than they have lately. O and the housing market hasn't cooled either.

Hey Jacob: maybe you better move if you're neighborhood's that "down" And I DID love your Christmas post. Still want you to sent pix on here
 
Boy am I glad I read this because I was geting ready to ask the same questions...is EVERYBODY's business going as slowly as mine is. Being that this is my first year "on my own", I was starting to feel a bit insecure and unsure, but now I see it is not only me, but I wish it wasn't the case for many of us. I hear them say the economy is good and thriving, but I don't believe them...like was mentioned earlier with gas prices, job lay-offs over the last several years, high heating bill expected this winter, I just have to remember that FRAMING IS A LUXUARY, plane and simple. It doesn't put food in your stomach or heat your home (unless you burn the frame and mat boards ;) ...) But if they want it done, I just know that I will be here when they are ready...holiday or no holiday.
 
Originally posted by Jacob:
... Let's see,
Top Ten reasons Christmas Business stinks:
10. The economy sucks, regardless of the spin you hear.
9. The skyrocketing cost of heating oil/gas.
8. The war in Iraq.
7. People are making $10 an hour for jobs that used to pay them $25 an hour.
6. People are broke from spending $60 a week to run their cars.
5. People are broke because nobody's buying anything from them either.
4. Everybody spent their Christmas money already on an IPod.
3. Everybody spent their Christmas money already on booze to dull the pain.
2. Everybody spent their Christmas money already on Health Insurance and Prescription medication.
1. People are saving their pennies for the important things in life. Like duct tape.

Oh well, look at the bright side. As the economy spirals down and the middle class becomes extinct, we can look forward to more poor people. Crime, crowded prisons and unhealthy living conditions...
These reasons are both true and false.

They are true because American consumers are being bombarded with exactly those thoughts every day, and the majority of consumers believe them in the absence of other input. Hence, the doom & gloom is self-fulfilling prophecy, and it is continuing to take a serious toll on consumer confidence.

It is false because our economy actually is strong, our workers are working, our incomes are growing, our cost of living and inflation are not skyrocketing, the stock market is doing well, and money is flowing at a record pace thoroughout major sectors of our economy.

I'm old. But in all my years I have never before seen so much careless, one-sided, destructive media emphasis given to the bad news, and so little mention of the good news -- of which there is plenty. I believe the bad-news media coverage is intended to stimulate viewership/readership, and to inspire political upheaval. The fact that it fuels consumer discontent is, to media folks, a secondary concern.

American consumers are working, earning, and spending in record numbers. So why aren't our shops jammed with orders?

1. Consumer confidence is very low, as Jacob so eloquently points out. Consumers have the money but when they decide to cut back, "discretionary spending" for products/services like ours is what suffers first, last, and most.

2. Our industry is changing and the custom framing segment of it is shrinking. We have competition from big, professional businesses unlike our own. Consumers are buying more foreign-made "wall decor" than custom framing; internet sales of framed art continue to grow; and the craft stores are doing much better than we are. We are not losing business to our traditional custom-framing competitors, we are losing it to whole new classes of competitors.

3. Too many small shop framers are dazed and confused; seemingly unable to adapt to the changing market. We all need to read & heed Carter, Bluestone, Goltz, et al.
 
Jim, your first point is [I believe] incorrect, we have one of the few discretionary products that can be enjoyed for the longer term, what else can customers have custom made so cheaply? In a market with low consumer confidence Framers should be growing stronger as people spend less time out they will in turn want their homes to be nicer, get the message to them in the right fashion and they will do the rest.
 
Talking to some other business people and they say this town is quite too. I know that one other framer is quiet. Don't know about the other 597!
I guess I am lucky as I can fit no more work in for Christmas and have nearly three weeks filled in January.
I sent out a newsletter a couple of weeks ago and that brought in a barrage of work...about four weeks worth! YES!!!
 
Almost lost a $2k order today because I had a tree - a CHRISTMAS tree - up, decorations, and had Christmas carols playing, but she stopped at mere complaining. Got plenty of compliments from others though.
 
Jacob.. I loved your post. David Letterman should have such a good Top Ten writer.

Thanks for the laugh.
 
johnny - please - tell us more about this customer who was ready to walk because you had a Christmas tree???? Was she from another planet where stores do not display such items at this time of the year???

I hvae lots of non-Christian customers and no one has ever been offended by holiday items of any sort (althought I must admit I have given up on holiday decorations in the last decade or so - I just hang up the cards folks send and try to remember to take them down by Spring!) (I do not bother with decorations because I am usually too busy to do it or too depressed - pick a year!).

Tell us the "rest of the story" please, johnny!!!
 
Guys, as to my post, economy is sometimes a local thing. That's why I prefaced it saying I live in the NE US. If you don't think the economy is sluggish, you need to take a drive around here. Maybe your area is booming, but here frame shops are closing or they are laying off their employees. Am I adapting? Sure. I'm remodeling, changing advertising, tightening my belt etc. Staying fresh is always good. If it were just me, I'd say I was doing something wrong, but sometimes you can only wring so much water from a stone.

I have to disagree with Bob. The media doesn't tell you half of it. They will tell you exactly what it takes for them to keep their jobs. If you doubt that, take the war in Iraq. We are updated every night as to the number of American casualties. When was the last time you heard a report about the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed by the US? (more than 100,000) The media operates as a business, and they know which side their bread is buttered on. For now.

Do I know why I am either successful or not? Of course. (well mostly) I am in business because I'm a darned good framer. I'm personable, honest and I treat people fairly. I'm a fairly saavy businessman. But let's be honest. We don't live in a vacuum. Part of the reason a business fails to thrive can be layed squarely at the doorstep of the owner. But there are also factors outside of your control. You adapt if you can.

Is the economy poor because it's poor, or is the economy poor because of panic? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In my area, factories are closing, wages are down, people are losing their jobs. The malls are slow, but Walmart is booming. You do the math. We are all trying to do the best with what we have. When someone tells me that the economy is thriving it always reminds me of a line from the movie The Outlaw Josie Wales. "Senator, don't (pee) on my head and tell me it's raining".

But, on the bright side, just to keep a little perspective, money is crap. Your family, friends and loves should be the #1 priorities, and regardless of how well business is doing, it is Christmas and Hannukah time. A time for family celebration. So, have a happy one. January's soon enough for me to start all the griping again. :D
 
heat your home (unless you burn the frame . . .)
Personally, I can't recommend that. It can give you brutal hangover symptoms without even getting to enjoy the night of reckless abandon.
 
The local economy is, of course, the economy that matters to you. Still, "the economy" is the aggregate of all the local economies, and in aggregate we're doing quite well by nearly every historical measure. We see here a reflection on the local nature of the economy, with various framers having breakout years and others who are taking it in the shorts. Some of this might be attributable to the differing skills and business performance of various framers, but there's no escaping the fact that even the best framer in the wrong location isn't going to be able to do gangbuster business.

When I read something like this: "In a market with low consumer confidence Framers should be growing stronger as people spend less time out they will in turn want their homes to be nicer" I have a hard time interpreting it as anything but wishful thinking or a self-directed pep talk, as it doesn't comport with my understanding of the way things are. As has been stated before, framing is a luixury item to most people, and as such is one of the first things to get cut out of the discretionary spending pie. Once spending decisions refocus from wants to needs, the closed corner frame is out and the shoes for the children are in. I think it's that way at most households.

One more note on consumer confidence- the latest survey shows that consumer confidence is on the upswing with the lowering of gas prices and improving jobs outlook, jumping from 85.2 in October to 98.9 in November. (It was only expected to rebound to about 90.) Again, this is an average number, and may vary locally. Still, it's a hopeful sign.
 
Originally posted by TheDoctah:

When I read something like this: "In a market with low consumer confidence Framers should be growing stronger as people spend less time out they will in turn want their homes to be nicer" I have a hard time interpreting it as anything but wishful thinking or a self-directed pep talk, as it doesn't comport with my understanding of the way things are.
Doc,

This is a self directed pep talk for most framers who say this and here is why...They look at themselves and their businesses as a frame shop. Now, if they were to look at and run their business as a home decor retailer, then the statement may work better. Many in this industry just don't want to change yet they can't figure out why they don't have 30+ customers a day (or month) and blame the "economy" as the reason for a frame shop closing.

As in any industry, it is survival of the fittest and if somebody does not change with the times then they will not be the fittest.

Are people staying home more...yes. Are people putting more money into decorating their homes...yes. Do people have custom framing at the top of their list...NO. But, they are buying art for their walls, you bet they are!

The question is how do you get those people to come and buy from you instead of the furniture store or big box...that is another topic all together.
 
Originally posted by Lance E:
...In a market with low consumer confidence Framers should be growing stronger as people spend less time out they will in turn want their homes to be nicer, get the message to them in the right fashion and they will do the rest.
A few years ago I agreed with this theory, Lance. But in our market, it's different now. Consumers are not necessarily spending more time at home -- our main thoroughfares are jammed at all hours of day and night. Restaurants are full. Consumer confidence is not the only issue, and their spending restrictions are strangely selective. Hummers and Ruth's Chris $50 steak dinners are still selling.

I think we tend to underestimate the effects of market influences, such as print and broadcast media, and bigbox advertising. For example, the Bigbox three (M, HL, JA) spend millions of dollars every week telling our customers that the best frame is the cheapest one.

While most of us would disagree with that premise, we can not hope to out-spend them in order to overcome that message to consumers. One effect is that those 200 double matted, neatly framed, $75, 16x20 prints on floor-to-ceiling racks at Bed Bath & Beyond look pretty good when compared to our similar-looking custom built products for $200.

Predictions are that in the next five years about half of US frame shops will close. Newcomers will replace some who go away, but on balance our numbers are shrinking. In 1999 there were about 19,000 of us. By 2010, we will number about 6,000 to 8,000.

Despite the gloom, this cloud has a silver lining. As competitive pressures take their toll, some small shop framers will become stronger competitors and better business managers. There will always be some market for high quality custom framing, and those of us who survive will deserve our favorable position in the marketplace. Good luck and Godspeed to us all.
 
Today is the 1st day of the Christmas Season, It will be great. As I open my door today thy customers will flock in. The spooks and the sorrow shall disappear. The "change" shall be seen under my feet. This shall be the best day I've ever had.

A poet I'm not...


framer
 
Are people staying home more...yes. Are people putting more money into decorating their homes...yes. Do people have custom framing at the top of their list...NO. But, they are buying art for their walls, you bet they are!

The question is how do you get those people to come and buy from you instead of the furniture store or big box...that is another topic all together.
I think this thinking is part of our problem. It's NOT just the inexpensive wall decor, but the window furnishing, built in cabinetry, rugs, ... that we need to think about.

We have two custom drapery and one "ready-made" window treatment stores in our neighborhood that are growing and thriving. What we (framers) need to do is nationally convince "the consumer" that wall decor is as important and visually appealing as new curtains.

We have failed at this. "Art" appreciation has declined!

Instead of worrying about Big Boxes that are at least promoting wall decor, we should be worrying about why the consumer thinks curtains are more important that framed items on the wall!

If we (on a grander scale that the individual framer?) could just reinvigorate the importance of wall decor (art appreciation?) instead of curtains and entertainment centers, we would be having a different discussion.

Why is it the Worcester Home Show had EVERY type of home improvement (including window treatment et al) retailer present and not one wall decor vendor?? I don't think this is unique to Worcester, MA.

I think this is a bigger problem.
 
Hey Jacob-I sure don't have any problem with you disagreeing with me (my wife does it daily) but where the heck did the media creep into it and Iraq?

I do not suggest that local economies do suffer differently, but I'll just bet that there are successful framers in your neck of the woods that will have great seasons under the exact same market conditions as you.

I always suggest that most injuries in the marketplace are self-inflicted.

Sure, it's easier to blame someone else (anybody/everybody) when things don't go well.

But, maybe if you did a Top Ten List of things that you might do better (or at least 10 things that your customers would respond better to) I will suggest those things will make more of a difference than any of the things on your list

That guy in the mirror might be more of an obstacle than you think
 
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
Hey Jacob-I sure don't have any problem with you disagreeing with me (my wife does it daily) but where the heck did the media creep into it and Iraq?

Actually, somebody in the thread suggested the economy is great but the media is saying it is not.

It is the old "blame the media first" song.

Nut looking at this thread, one can plainly see that some parts of the economy are good, others are not, depending on the region.

Just ask a laid-off auto worker and then ask a Wall Street guy who just got his bonus and see what kind of answers you get!
 
As far as I and my little corner of the world (southeastern NC, an historically depressed area of our state) are concerned the economy is doing just fine. The US economy is perking along a 4.3% growth, way better than our socialistic “allies" in Europe, and where have some of you gotten the notion that consumer confidence is low? The consumer confidence index is at 98 which, while it isn't as high as it was pre Katrina, is pretty darn high.

Our November sales are up 33%, yes 33%, over last November, which was no slouch month either. Think of how high they could have been if I had just listened to Bob rather than my own misguided notions of micro economics. We're adding just over $40,000 of capital improvements for '05 and steaming along. BTW, we have no "plan" or projections for growth, only the relentless pursuit of finding the best deals for our customers and doing every job we get the chance at; we let growth take care of itself. We had no promotions for November, no advertising budget (mostly a waste of money, and believe me, it is a waste of money). We don't push upscale products, read museum glass, etc.;in fact, we actively discourage them. I just don't see how we do it. As for how we will do for the year, and remember, we're a mature business, we don't know, but before December we're up over 15% for the same period in '04. As for the big business competitors, we plan on eating their lunch next year.
 
The memo... must be in the circular file... Where is that Grinch!?!! Where's the traffic!

I have to say, being on the peripheral of the retail gift industry through my other sales position and my husband's - we have found in the last 4 years that gift retailers (framers can be included here) have waited longer and longer to place their holiday orders because traffic into their stores has lagged behind and they are also not buying as much inventory due to the lag. Where they used to have their holiday orders placed by August, now ordering is still happening and it's Dec 1st! It is a vicious circle... and part of what Jacob says is so true as to the why's and where's. No matter what one does to promote and grow his business, if the consumer doesn't walk thru the door - we have done what we can to try to make that happen. So for Bob to ask to assess what we did and how it failed can provide some answers... but we can't always tell why something failed. We sent out 800 target marketing cards recently, and the response rate has been terrible. Years ago a response rate of 3-6% was expected as normal. We aren't even at the bottom of that. Talking to our local banker, whose bank will now be open 7 days a week (!!) -- we are all trying to "be there" for our customer. Framing isn't something that you need on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis - like food, gas and other personal services. What we provide is a luxury item, regardless of the level of framing - very little necessity of life issues here - pure pleasure. I have found that the annual base of business has leveled so it is not so much a 4th quareter business for me - and that is not a bad thing but a good thing!
 
OK, for those who make fun of our European "socialistic" allies' economy:

How do you explain the Chinese economy, which is the fastest growing in the whole world????????

Capitalism is a four letter word in China. Surely there must be some explanation to their phenomenal growth, despite their lack of our free-enterprise, Wall-Street hounded system!
 
Paulk

As for China, its pretty easy to have those kinds of increases after being down so far - isn't it? They are just rebounding!

As for the thread

Here its been absolutely dead the last week or 2 - worse than any other time of year.
 
She was, ummmm, yaknow I like to be diplomatic about these things. She would vote to remove "In God We Trust" from our money, yes, but would also have a freakish hate directed someone's way for voting the opposite. I would bet a years pay that she can't stand living in a "red state." Religion is becoming very political. I put up a tree before it was political, I will continue to do so not to make a statement, but because it's just me and I could care less about one's politics. I think she simply found some captive ears and an opportunity to make her opinions known. When she picks up I will most definitely not be saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" Then again, she's spending two thousand dollars to frame low end inkjet printouts of digital photos. God bless her.
 
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
Hey Jacob-I sure don't have any problem with you disagreeing with me (my wife does it daily) but where the heck did the media creep into it and Iraq?

I do not suggest that local economies do suffer differently, but I'll just bet that there are successful framers in your neck of the woods that will have great seasons under the exact same market conditions as you.

I always suggest that most injuries in the marketplace are self-inflicted.

Sure, it's easier to blame someone else (anybody/everybody) when things don't go well.

But, maybe if you did a Top Ten List of things that you might do better (or at least 10 things that your customers would respond better to) I will suggest those things will make more of a difference than any of the things on your list

That guy in the mirror might be more of an obstacle than you think
Bob, sorry. I mixed up yours and Jim's post. His was the media doom and gloom thing. I'm also not quite as gloomy as my post might have indicated. I'll blame that on two hours of sleep.

I do agree with what you said. I think that there is always something an individual business can do to be more successful. Within reason. Sometimes. That part I'm working my behind off on right now. (Plus after years of building it up, I'm doing pretty well for a small shop) But my list was more in reference to the topic, as to why the Christmas season is particularly slow this year. Up here in the arctic tundra I can attest that it is. And that's not just me.

I think my situation may be a little different too in that I usually have a pre-Christmas sale in October or early November to help siphon off some of the holiday rush. That way I don't get all of my customers in with the last minute folks, I can take orders later into the season, and it gives me a killer Fall as well.

Look at the guy in the mirror? I try, but he's not as good looking as I am. :D
 
Well I got a good clue to my slow down, The town to the south has had major traffic problems with some road work and the extra holiday traffic. A couple of clients said they spent 30 extra minutes getting out to see me. Location, location, location... Should taken a vacation this week.

framer
 
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