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Ideas for Home Business - Picture Framing

What It Takes To Start A Picture Framing Home Business

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Overview of this Business

Picture framing is one of those ideas for a home business that often begins as a part-time endeavor, but picture framing can grow into a full-time, successful business with the right combination of craftsmanship, customer relations and advertising. By working with galleries, artists, photographers and regular folks to showcase their work, picture framers are responsible for the public presentation of art.

Picture framing requires no formal training, but beginners pursuing ideas for home business are encouraged to take classes at a local art-supply store or community college in order to hone their skills. The average wage is $27,500 a year, according to a Payscale.com survey, but many independent picture framers find that the convenience of working out of their home in their own business can offset some income limitations.

Pros of a Picture Framing Home Business

  • Picture framing is an artistic outlet.
  • Good word mouth travels fast.
  • Picture framing is one of those overlooked talents that becomes indispensable when a customer has an important work to frame.
  • This is one of those ideas for home business where a hobby can be truly turned into a work-at-home enterprise.
  • You can gain an edge by outworking and under-pricing franchised picture framing competitors.

Cons of a Picture Framing Home Business

  • The hours can add up if you're the only one performing picture framing services in your home business.
  • Starting expenses for tools, materials and advertising can run into the thousands of dollars, so it's a good idea to have a decent amount of working capital to get started in this home business.
  • Customers might dispute the cost of picture framing after the job is finished, so it's always a good idea to provide a detailed estimate up front.

What You Need to Get Started in a Picture Framing Home Business

  • Tools, including a sander, matte cutter, glass cutter, tape, clamps, saws, miter boxes, picture hangers, a stapler and glue.
  • A large work bench or table to layout your work efficiently.
  • Room to store framed and unframed artwork (preferably temperature and humidity controlled to avoid damaging valuable artwork or photographs while they're in your possession.)
  • A price list, easily understood by customers in your shop or in your advertising.
  • Ads in print and online..
  • Strong relationships with art-supply stores, galleries and photographers to generate business
  • Space to display examples of your work as well as samples of frames and matting, or to make your picture framing home business truly portable, a roomy vehicle to bring samples to your customers' home or business.

Picture Framing Home Business-- Real-Life Example

Dan Murphy of Deck the Walls in Bowling Green, Ky., offered the following advice to the Bowling Green Daily News for starting a picture-framing business: "Do very thorough research. Make a detailed five-year plan. Be optimistic but plan for small downturns. Be ready to commit to several hours a day, several days a week for a long time. Become knowledgeable in all aspects of the business (accounting, advertising, inventory control). Decide what you want to do to stand apart from the competition and build on this at all times. The hours for a picture framing business are long but the reward is great."

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for the New York Times from 1996 to 2005.
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