During interactions with framers in the past several years, speaker, trade writer and tri-location frameshop owner Ken Baur has noticed a growing need in the picture-framing industry.
“The amount of questions and uncertainty expressed by shop owners around the country is very high right now,” Baur says. “The economy is the major aspect, but framers also realize that the industry is evolving very rapidly into something different.”
Baur says he’s faced and overcome his fair share of challenges since he entered the framing industry 18 years ago as a custom framer at a Ben Franklin store and then later branched out on his own to found Framing Concepts Gallery in 2001. Now that he’s got a strong footing in running three locations of the business in northwest Indiana, Baur is working to help custom picture framers compete in a changing market through a full-service firm he recently launched—KB Consulting.
“KB Consulting is a new company dedicated to working with custom picture framing businesses to help them compete in this changing market,” Baur says. “KB Consulting concentrates on helping frame shops develop inexpensive, client-based programs that increase repeat business and referrals for new business.”
KB Consulting offers a full range of services, including marketing, designs for gallery layouts, pricing strategies for increasing profit, programs for improving customer service and advice on expanding framing services such as delivery, installation, off-site sales and corporate sales programs.
The company specializes in e-mail marketing programs that tie directly to company websites. These programs are based on promoting relationships with clients while offering incentives for referrals and repeat business, Baur says.
KB Consulting also will soon have the capability of providing websites specifically designed for custom framers that can easily be updated to reflect gallery activity.
“These sites also will offer versatile e-mail programs designed to bring activity to the sites,” Baur says. “The result is an increased ability to market directly to clients without the cost of direct mail.”
KB Consulting will offer full support and guidance for developing these Web sites into interactive marketing tools that build client relationships.
As far as Baur’s experience in this area, Framing Concepts Gallery recently won the Best Web Site Award category in DECOR’s 2009 Top Art & Framing Retailers Awards competition for the company’s exceptional online presence and ability to connect with customers digitally.
A portion of all KB Consulting proceeds will be donated to American Forests, a non-profit organization that works to protect, restore and enhance the natural capital of trees and forests.
For more information on KB Consulting, visit www.framingbusinessconsulting.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.