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Picture Framing Business Idea

Today’s economy is challenging more and more people, including retirees, to look for ways to create or supplement their income. Starting your own picture framing business might be an option worth considering.

In some ways, in spite of the financial situation right now, picture framing is an indispensable need. As has been said, “Everyone has something that they want framed.” Since every wall represents a potential sale, and the average three-bedroom home comes with at least 40 interior walls, there is a lot of potential space out there to decorate.

As home sales eventually start to climb again, even more new homeowners will be looking for new, suitable frames for their cherished pictures, tapestries, and awards.

The picture frame business, as a hobby, offers low stress and reasonable hours, and represents a minimal investment. As a full-fledged business, of course, more hours and commitment are necessary. However, the bottom line is that you can do as little or as much as you are so inclined, based on your income needs.

A picture framing business is also a great add-on to an already established photography, flower store, or gift shop small business. The profit margins in a picture framing business can be impressive considering the limited and relatively inexpensive amount of equipment and supplies needed.

Picture Framing Business Overview

Depending on your own level of skill and craftsmanship, you will not only be providing frames for awards, certificates, posters, prints, and photographs, but you will also be offering your professional opinion to customers who are trusting you with their prized possessions. Building lovely natural wood frames or repairing old vintage ones can be both creative and rewarding.

If you are able to build connections with art schools or galleries, you may even be able to expand your services by focusing on these larger volume clients. Your most profitable customers will probably be businesses and high end upscale work for wealthier patrons. Artists, photographers, and regular customers will also want your framing skills.

Unlike some businesses, the start-up costs for a picture framing business are pretty reasonable, especially if you purchase used equipment to begin with and expand as your work load grows. A large, sturdy table or solid work bench will be necessary to spread out your work. Mounting boards, frame, matte, and glass cutters, clamps, glue, miter boxes, hand staplers, and sanders are all portable tools that can be stored when not in use.

While you could spend $15,000 – $20,000 to get set up, it is certainly possible to launch with an investment of $500 – $1000 in equipment. This would be a bare-bones operation so be reasonable and plan accordingly.

Skills Needed

While the picture framing business does not require difficult skills, it is probably a good idea to sign up for a training course at a local college or art supply shop. You can read a book, but nothing beats learning the techniques in a hands-on class. You might also be able to volunteer at a local frame store to learn the tricks of the trade. Keep in mind, however, that if they know you’re opening your own picture framing business, they may not want to teach you anything!

If you want to attract high end customers, you need to focus on quality, beauty, preservation, and professionalism. Archival framing has value in the market today.

Being skilled at picture framing is a great strength, but without customers, you’ll be hanging your own pictures and not much else. Start with friends and family. Word of mouth from satisfied customers is the best advertising. But don’t stop there. You will want to include both online and print ads to make your presence known.

Pass out your business card to anyone who will take one. Most importantly, focus on building strong relationships with artists, photographers, galleries, and art supply stores who could become regular customers and strong sources of referrals. With some determination and commitment to improvement, your hobby could become a profitable as well as creative outlet. Getting paid to do what you enjoy sounds like the best of both worlds – start a picture framing business today!

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