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Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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New Years Resolutions For Scrapbook Retailers

Strategies to make 2004 more profitable and enjoyable.

by Mike Hartnett (December, 2003)

1. Be open to new ideas, new product categories. Your current customers will eventually "scrap" the backlog of photos they still have in drawers. Then they'll be limited to photos they haven't taken yet. Be sure you have something to offer them in addition to scrapbooking.

That means investigating other areas, such as cardmaking, framing, altered art, and stamping.

2. We're hearing of people who have bought digital cameras and are keeping the photos in their computer. What a terrible idea!

Most consumers do not have top-of-the-line printers at home that will do justice to their photos. Investigate buying a couple of top-quality photo printers and computers so consumers can use their digital cameras, visit your store, and emerge with photos on paper for their scrapbooks.

3. Take a hard, objective look at your store; is it conducive to attracting newcomers? Some novices would like to do something with their photos, but will be easily discouraged if they think scrapbooking has to be time-consuming, complicated, and expensive.

Are you still offering beginner classes? Do you display lots of simple, basic scrapbook layouts where potential customers see them when they first walk in your store? Are you and your clerks patient with even the dumbest questions?

4. Plan on attending at least one major trade show a year the HIA show in Dallas in February and the ACCI show in Chicago in July are the majors. (If HIA and ACCI merge, both shows will be called CHA shows, summer and winter.) Also plan on attending any other shows Memory Expos, Great American Scrapbook Conventions, MemoryTrends, stamp shows within driving distance. There are stationery and framing shows, too.

While attending these shows, take more than just the technique workshops. Most shows offer valuable business seminars that in the long run could be far more important to your business than how to use the latest new product.

5. Spend a day visiting every possible competitor. That includes toy, variety, and stationery stores. Pay careful attention to the chains and your fellow independents.

You won't beat the chains on price. How will you make your store unique? Fill a niche?

6. Take a long hard look at your marketing plans. Are you getting the most bang for your buck? In-store and email newsletters are great for your existing customers, but what about attracting new ones?

7. Take a long hard look at your life. Are you beginning to burn out? Is it affecting your family? Perhaps you need to think about taking a workshop on time management or delegating authority. Hiring another employee may hurt your profits in the short run, but if it gives you your life back, it's worth it.

(Note: To read previous entries in this column, click on the titles in the upper right-hand corner. If you'd like to comment on any of these, ask questions or raise issues, email Mike Hartnett at mike@clnonline.com.)

xxx

 

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