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Business to complement restoration

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Old 06-01-2004, 10:53 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Business to complement restoration

If you wanted to open a storefront, I personally doubt photo restoration alone would be enough to pay the rent. I wonder if anyone has any ideas (or even better, experience) for other business items that might go well with photo restoration?
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Old 06-03-2004, 01:08 AM's Avatar is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: southern california
Posts: 157
Business ides

Epson has a new printer set up coming out called "fotozoomer" (I think)
what it is, a large format printer (9600) a scanner and a computer program and a little machine thingy where the customer does it all themselves, sort of like a kodak machine in the drug store
I had the opportunity to test print on it for about 6 weeks, they supplied all the paper and ink, what fun
you touch the screen and just make your choices, you can take images off a disk or direct from your camera card or scan them
it will even let you make some editing, color and effects that are built in
I found it to be fault free and magnificent, it uses (or least what they supplied) a glossy archival paper and ink but you can use other papers
well the best part is the pricing, they have al broken down to what it actually cost you and what a fair mark up would be in actual 2 steps, seems to me to be very cost effective, I was printing say 24 x 38 for an actual cost of $6 and the mark up of $18
So there are several ways to purchase the set up, you could just get the printer (but then you would have to get rips and they are $$$) or the printer and the stand or add the scanner, add the machine thingy, what is the best is the total set up because withing the program it automatically upsizes so if you put in a 300dpi 8x10 you get out a perfect 24x34 or whatever size or if you scan a great pic even a 4x6 it enlarges to the max absolutely perfect, it was truly amazing
the school where this was, once the word got out, they did enough printing to almost pay (roughly $10,000.00 whole set up) for the entire printer while being tested, everyone wanted a print of something
add this to your photo restoration business and you will be in the money
I did about 65 large prints in a few weeks, not one single bad one in the group
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:38 PM
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Chip Hildreth Chip Hildreth is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Posts: 131
Lessons learned so far...

My partner and I own a storefront business in Hillsborough, NC, a small historic town in the Research Triangle Park region. We offer what we loosely categorize as 'creative services'. Our primary focus is Graphic Design, Photography and Printing for small businesses, non-profits, artists and individuals.
When we started, we sub-leased part of our space to a mini-lab that happened to have a first class retoucher on staff. We agreed that they would get all the restoration business that came in, regardless of who drew the customer. We got the art reproduction work... they moved out after a year when their lab and primary location was forced to relocate right before christmas and they lost big. We now do restoration and I have come to really enjoy the work.
We get restoration jobs from walk-in customers and as collateral work from other customers. We haven't yet advertised it as a service beyond putting it on our window sign and in our phonebook ad. Income-wise, restoration only accounts for a few hundred dollars per month on average but we have spikes that push that over $1500 some months.
Our bread and butter income is:
-- logo, and ad design (creating a 'look', producing promotional materials)
-- short run 'boutique' printing (custom greeting cards, invitations, business cards, post cards, etc.)
-- poster design and printing
-- advertising and product photography (mostly jewelry and special furniture)
-- fine art reproduction (photography, color correction and printing the editions)
-- Large exhibit design and production of big prints for museums, trade shows and promotional exhibits (designing, printing, laminating, mounting and installing)
All of the above often include photoshop work and frequently involve retouching.

We plan to advertise restoration to see how much more work we can get. The work and the money is good and it fits our scheduling well. Restoration customers seem to be a patient group and are very appreciative when they recieve the finished print.

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