Monday, June 15, 2009

To Market or Not to Market, That Is the Question

Blind guys are trying to sell curtains. Carpet guys are trying to sell valances. Budget Blinds is selling carpeting, curtains & bedding. Has anyone noticed how many Hunter Douglas dealers there are?
So what do we do to stay in business? Or can we stay in business?
I found this article in the NewYorker that is interesting reading....

We are in a very interesting time. We as individual businesses can use many different media to get the word out about our businesses. There are also many different franchises out there that we can buy to become part of a larger whole that then buys advertising, ie Budget Blinds, Hunter Douglas, Decor and You, Decorating Den, Exciting Windows, etc.

The cost of some is in the $5,000 to purchase a franchise, but many are in the $50,000 category. Buying one of these franchises gets you deeper discounts from suppliers, avails you of larger marketing bucks than most of us want to spend (think about how many Budget Blind ads you see in magazines & TV & then think about the fact that they have a $50 million marketing budget.....) and think about the name recognition and branding that Budget Blinds has that we as little Curtain Ladies do not have.

OK - why can't we have this? I'm thinking we can! Maybe we don't have millions to spend, but at the Co-Op in Denver we have pooled our resources for a store front, marketing & promotion materials, Open Houses, deeper discounts.

Let's take this a step further! How about all of us attached to a website that we then market in national magazines? Base price to get in: the cost of a website then a quarterly marketing budget in some of the good magazines. I'm thinking this could be $1,000 as initial cost or less with national exposure! Why can't we do what Budget Blinds is doing without making a couple of guys rich on their franchisees' labor?

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