CASE ASSIGNMENT #2: THE FRAMEMAKERS
BA 4107 Small Business Management
23 October 2017
Robert and Teresa Norman are looking to emerge into the self-framing market by opening their own shop in their hometown of Brandon, Manitoba. Along with Robert’s father, they currently operate a family painting business. With a lack of interest and challenge, they decide it is time to move on and start a new adventure. With each an education and background in the business and design industry, they feel they are well equipped to be successful.
Growing up, Robert worked part-time as a painter with his father in a small hometown. After graduating high school, he continued his education in the US where he took a two-year course in business administration in interior design. Following his graduation from college, Robert wanted to gain experience and therefore took a job with a Zellers store in Winnipeg. Although he enjoyed the customer service atmosphere, he one day wanted to run his own business and wanted to break free from a larger company. Like Robert, Teresa grew up in a small hometown and worked for her parents part-time. They were farmers and from a young age Teresa became very independent and took on roles such as bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. Teresa had also studied in the US, attending college for interior design. After college, she advanced her photography skills and was very successful making catalogues for other companies. After some thought, they decided to return to run the family painting shop as Robert’s father was closing in on retirement.
With the Norman’s background, they have many key points that will help in their success. Both with a degree in interior design, they should know the market for home decoration and will know what is quality product and what is not. Growing up they both had families who ran their own business and would have seen the aspects that made them successful and also things that might not have worked. Robert’s course focused on business administration, which gives him an insight into what basic things need to be in place to run a business. He has worked at Zellers and the family paint shop, in customer service environments, which will evidently help in his future business. Teresa has advertising experience in her previous employment and also photography skills that can be used in the business. She also deep book keeping for her parents which will help with the accounting aspect. Having run the paint shop for some time, they both would have experience dealing with suppliers, customers, and general competition.
From his education, Robert learned that in depth investigation before committing to a business is ideal. He contacted the Professional Picture Framers Association and learned that on average people spend around $32 dollars per visit at a frame making store. He confirmed this with a franchise frame making store in Winnipeg, U-Frame-It, who were looking to open a franchise in Brandon. With another frame store already in Brandon, Robert used Winnipeg as comparison and figured a frame store could operate with an acceptable profit for a population of 25,000 people. Brandon has a population of 35,000. Teresa visited the picture-framing store and observed daily operations. She concluded that the store was busiest between 11am and 3pm and that many customers were waiting long periods of time to use workstations and for glue to dry, this is when most of the store browsing took place. Robert attended an industry supplier seminar in Minneapolis, where he made supplier and dealer contacts, as well as learning that do-it-yourself framing was growing rapidly throughout North America.