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  • Think About This!

    Movie theatres, florists, craft shops, cotton candy, art fairs, gift shops, Radio Shack, video stores. What do they have in common? They are all in direct competition with you for the expendable dollar. Now you have to put your thinking cap on. What can you do to get your fair share? I don't expect too many replies on this one.

    Ed

  • #2
    Ed, Interesting question. The beauty of Photo retouching is that it is a nitch market pretty specifically targeted at a consumer group who for the most part have expendable income and dont mind expending it as long as they get what they percieve to be their monies-worth. While all the other businesses you mentioned also have more or less" targeted " consumer bases and fit into the "nice but not essential to life as we know it" catagory, Photo restore is in a class by its self. While not essential to survival a Photo is unique in that it is probably as close to Time Travel as we will ever get. Looking at a photo transports one back to a specific era of existance and evokes memories long buried and half forgotten. Close your eyes after looking at a favorite Photo and you are suddenly back there. The smell of a hot summers day, the lazy feeling of a long fall afternoon, the crisp bite of a winter morning, the sound of voices long stilled. No television or "kinck-knack" can do that. (Although, after consumption, certain fast foods can evoke the aroma of a slaughter house on a hot day.) The folks who are now learning how to use Computers and software to restore fast fading and damaged Photos are, within the next few years, going to be sought out by a public, which as it ages, seeks to recapture times past. The toughest part of this is that one has to "pay their dues" before the fruits of their labor appear, and that requires patience and time. Just my rambling but mildly disoriented thoughts on the matter. Tom

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    • #3
      Hello Tom,

      That was quite a post you had there! It makes me wanna be a kid again!

      No argument about anything you had to say, but don't you think there might be a market for the ones who really kind of want to have Aunt Martha's picture restored, but just tend to forget about it? These are the people I was referring to. They get a few extra bucks, and they go to one of the above competitors. Marketing restorations, and linking them to the tax refunds everyone is getting might not be a bad idea. I have no idea how large the market would be for this, but it might be worth checking into. If there is a market, then you need to get your fair share of the money that might otherwise be spent at the craft store. I'm not saying that restoration is not a niche of it's own, only that the market might be expanded. Just my opinion, even though I don't have a business. Good talking with you again.

      Ed

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      • #4
        Ed, Believe it or not some of my customers fit your description to the letter. They are folks who have a shoebox full of old photos and once a year or so at reunions bring them out for the rest of the extended family to view. Unfortunately, while everyone will say" OH, You should get copies of these", this seldom happens even though the folks in question can afford to have one or two "Reworked". The most common reason for not proceeding with a restore that I hear is the belief that computer prints wont last any longer than 5 or 6 months and that the quality is very poor. This mistaken belief arises usually because the folks in question have seen prints done on typing paper from a $50 printer. I have made it a point to display Before and After prints both in my place of business and at special affairs like Town celebrations etc., and this has resulted in a very good response. The nice thing about doing this is that the photos do the talking, as it were, and I think helps to dispell the negative image computer prints have. My bride of 30 years composes and prints flyers we distribute with each order we send out and for hand outs at the afore mentioned social functions. People tend to stash flyers in the circular file unless they are unusual enough to keep their interest which is why we print an old photo on our flyers. Folks tend to keep those around and when looking at their own photos will on occasion remember us , dig out the flyer and give us a call. I guess being persistent in displaying finished work as well as some advertising and flyers is how I try to reach that group. Mostly though I think that those folks tend to act on spur of the moment impulse, so if you want to get their business you have to do something to make them keep you and your business in the front of their minds, and in the age group( under about 45 or so )that can be hard as restored photos are not as "neat" as a new stereo etc. Most of my customers are in the 50 plus range and thats why I feel that as the over 50 population continues to grow, so will the demand for photo restoration and CD based family photo archive services, etc.. Good talking with you, keep you back to the wall and your powder dry. Tom

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