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    • andrewm1981
    • By andrewm1981 29th Sep 16, 11:52 AM
    • 110Posts
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    andrewm1981
    The best way to advertise my small Surrey painting company, hotels and restaurants?
    • #1
    • 29th Sep 16, 11:52 AM
    The best way to advertise my small Surrey painting company, hotels and restaurants? 29th Sep 16 at 11:52 AM
    Hi, I'm looking for a little advice,


    I opened a small painting business recently. The basic idea is that I bought some hand painted oil paintings of varying designs (london landscapes/kids styles) to resell, plus also I love local views and photography. So I took some photos of local views around where I live (Surrey), commissioned them to be painted, and have started selling them at local markets.

    They sell for around £35 for the london/kids ones (20x24 inch) and £50-60 for the surrey ones, same size. I don't make much profit on them, but if I sell 5 or 6 at a market then it's worth it. I can them imported from China/India, which is why I can get them at good prices to then sell at good prices.

    I was thinking that selling them to local restaurants or hotels may be a good idea, as customers may appreciate having local views in local premises. My question is that would the best way be make contact with them;

    1) Walk into each one with a sample. (Probably the worst idea, time consuming,right person is probably absent/busy etc). free to do.

    2) Phone each one. might be a little random and intrusive. also free to do.

    3) Google all local restaurants/hotels, and construct a generic email to all of them, including some pictures and descriptions in the email. This is my favourite, its free, but not guaranteed to get their attention. It may end up in Junk?

    4) Google all local restaurants, and do a mail shot It would be guaranteed to be opened and looked at, but would cost £1 each (postage/envelope etc) so could cost £200-300 potentially. not a huge issue, but worth considering.

    5) Hand deliver a leaflet to every hotel/restaurant. quite time-consuming, and would cost £50 for leaflets. Tough to make them look professional too. Plus they may end up in the bin straight away with the pizza leaflets.

    The website is [Removed] FYI (which still needs some work, the photos aren't very vibrant!)

    Any thoughts? My favourite is the email shot. plus maybe a letter to the big hotels/bars (not everyone).

    Thanks!
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam2; 29-09-2016 at 9:49 PM.
Page 1
    • beansOnToast
    • By beansOnToast 29th Sep 16, 1:23 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    beansOnToast
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 16, 1:23 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 16, 1:23 PM
    My suggestion would be to have a way for people to order their paintings from your website. Having to look in the FAQs page to find out how to order will put some people off. I expect to be able to see a buy or order button next to each painting. Even if you do this for a small subsection of the paintings you have in stock I think you'll find your website will actually help you close the sales.

    Having this in place before you do a email shot / mail shot is essential otherwise you're losing out on potential business. Getting people to visit your site is hard enough, so making the buying process as simple as possible is essential.

    Look at solutions like Shopify, Shoprocket or other ecommerce solutions that cost about £10 - 20 a month to add this functionality to your website.

    Good luck.
    • rhysadams
    • By rhysadams 29th Sep 16, 3:02 PM
    • 141 Posts
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    rhysadams
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 16, 3:02 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 16, 3:02 PM
    I second BeansOnToast, get yourself a website, professional photos done and some leaflets.
    • andrewm1981
    • By andrewm1981 1st Oct 16, 8:21 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    andrewm1981
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:21 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:21 PM
    Thanks for your suggestions.

    I've spent some time tweaking the website so the pictures are more vibrant, and represent the pictures better.

    To be honest, I'm a little nervous having a "buy it now" option for the paintings, as everyone is slightly different, and so people may see one on the site, buy it, pay for it, then the other one I have that's similar may be sufficiently different enough for the customer to not be happy, and return it. It's different than selling pretty much everything else as everyone is unique!

    I'm going to do a mailshot, and some leaflets as you say.

    Thank you
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 2nd Oct 16, 6:39 AM
    • 12,631 Posts
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    paddyrg
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 16, 6:39 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 16, 6:39 AM
    To be honest, I'm a little nervous having a "buy it now" option for the paintings, as everyone is slightly different, and so people may see one on the site, buy it, pay for it, then the other one I have that's similar may be sufficiently different enough for the customer to not be happy, and return it. It's different than selling pretty much everything else as everyone is unique!
    Originally posted by andrewm1981
    Won't that be a nice problem to have?! Make a feature of it, not an obstacle "Remember, you're not buying a print of this image, you're buying an original oil paint on canvas painting by an artist, so there may be minor variations - however these images are of real pictures in stock, and indicative of the remarkable quality. If you specifically want to see an individual painting up close before buying, then please drop me a mail and we'll arrange a time to meet for no extra charge"

    It becomes a part of your sales pitch and a hot lead generator. Once you're talking, you start selling, and maybe get some upsales in the process.
    • andrewm1981
    • By andrewm1981 5th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    andrewm1981
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    Thats's a good point actually. Ok, I'll give that a go I think

    I have one further quick question. My plan is to identify bars/restaurants/hotels in each local area (through google), and email each one individually with a templated email. Can I get in trouble for sending "unsolicited emails" or spam or anything? I'd only send one email to each company, but if someone really kicked off (highly unlikely I know), could i slapped with a random fine do you think!?
    (I've googled this, and got a bit lost in the legal jargon. my hunch is, technically I could, but realistically, zero chance)


    Thanks
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 5th Oct 16, 8:39 PM
    • 2,293 Posts
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    Andypandyboy
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 16, 8:39 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 16, 8:39 PM
    My idea would be to commission some of local wedding venues and team up with them to offer them for sale to newly weds. Or take stalls at local wedding fayres.
    • andrewm1981
    • By andrewm1981 5th Oct 16, 11:15 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    andrewm1981
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 16, 11:15 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 16, 11:15 PM
    Hey, that's a nice idea actually

    A bit of a risk, as I'd need to order at least 5 of each venue and I could get stuck with them, but if I approach the venue first, and semi-guarentee the sales directly perhaps then that could work out

    I'll certainly give it some thought. thanks!
    • Andypandyboy
    • By Andypandyboy 6th Oct 16, 6:21 PM
    • 2,293 Posts
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    Andypandyboy
    • #9
    • 6th Oct 16, 6:21 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Oct 16, 6:21 PM
    Hey, that's a nice idea actually

    A bit of a risk, as I'd need to order at least 5 of each venue and I could get stuck with them, but if I approach the venue first, and semi-guarentee the sales directly perhaps then that could work out

    I'll certainly give it some thought. thanks!
    Originally posted by andrewm1981
    I could imagine that parents would buy them for their sons/daughters for both wedding and anniversary gifts.

    I know that we searched for such a thing when a close friend got married at The Inn at Whitwell and eventually managed to get a photo done as a canvas, they were delighted with it.

    Focus on the more picturesque venues first!

    Save
    Save
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 7th Oct 16, 1:36 PM
    • 12,631 Posts
    • 10,734 Thanks
    paddyrg
    Thats's a good point actually. Ok, I'll give that a go I think

    I have one further quick question. My plan is to identify bars/restaurants/hotels in each local area (through google), and email each one individually with a templated email. Can I get in trouble for sending "unsolicited emails" or spam or anything? I'd only send one email to each company, but if someone really kicked off (highly unlikely I know), could i slapped with a random fine do you think!?
    (I've googled this, and got a bit lost in the legal jargon. my hunch is, technically I could, but realistically, zero chance)


    Thanks
    Originally posted by andrewm1981
    Sadly you can't get fined for spamming, but you can make people hate you or at least ignore you!

    Far better to print a personalised letter that you give to the reception to hand to management. For instance if South Lodge Hotel had a letter headed with this you may get more personal attention than a copy/paste email.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 9th Oct 16, 7:05 AM
    • 1,452 Posts
    • 1,544 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    You're charging too little for the pictures. A good size painting should easily be £100.

    Work on a brand rather than being just a wee local painter. Use Facebook buy and sell/business/community pages to spread your products, and as for local businesses try setting up brief meetings with the owners. They're often looking for ways to stand out. Also keep a close eye on any new businesses, buildings being renovated, "opening soon" signs.
    • rhysadams
    • By rhysadams 7th Nov 16, 11:59 AM
    • 141 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    rhysadams
    On the same idea as the one for wedding venues, we have local cafes here in Belper who sell artwork. They have them on display with a price tag, the cafe gets a cut and some nice pictures hanging on the walls.
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