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Dear colleague:

You are a doer. A maker. A creator of beautiful things. At Tru Vue® we share your desire to creatively problem solve. If there was ever a time we wanted to show you that Tru Vue supports framers, this is it.

In that spirit, we have begun to put together an essential resource for suggestions, ideas and inspiration to help your framing business succeed, no matter what comes your way. We will continue to add tips, links and encouragement here on this page and we hope you will reach out to let us know what’s working and what your needs are: framers@tru-vue.com or call 1-800-282-8788.

Adapt to the situation

Because you are a problem solver, you should keep in mind that there are a number of steps you can take and initiatives you can try that will go a long way to staying positively connected with your customers, and even generating business. Click on any topic to explore the details.

Evaluate your operation

By getting creative with how you do business, you can keep providing your services even when your customers can’t come in the store or your store can’t be open. While this list is not comprehensive, it will hopefully spark additional ideas.

Reassess your website

  • What features and functionality can you add that will better serve your customers remotely? For example, a step-by-step guide for gathering key order information, such as measurements, hanging location, framing needs, etc.
  • How might you facilitate online ordering? This might include adding quality images of your stock and a checkout process. LifeSaver, the business software for framers, offers many features that streamline this process.
  • Spark interest with inspirational thought-starters for framing projects.
  • Make sure your site is “responsive” so it works as well on mobile as it does on a desktop computer. There are numerous website builders that do this automatically.
  • If you already have online ordering, consider emailing customers who might have abandoned a shopping cart and offer incentive for following through. This is also a feature of numerous e-commerce services.
  • Moz, the SEO software company, is offering free access to more than a dozen of its Moz Academy SEO courses through May 31.
  • If you don’t already have an e-commerce presence, Shopify, the e-commerce platform, is offering an extended 90-day trial for new customers. They offer helpful resources for getting up and running in no time.

Stay engaged with online video chat

  • Consider how you can use services like Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, Lifesaver, or even Apple Facetime to replace a face-to-face consultation. Make sure your internet connection is strong and the lighting is optimal.
  • You may want to break down the process into key steps and practice to make the experience as smooth as possible before offering it to your customers.
  • You can also try offering special live activities for kids or workshops on framing, decorating and hanging art for adults.

By appointment only hours

  • We understand not all businesses can be open at this time. Depending on the current interaction guidelines for businesses in your area, you might also consider how you can continue to offer in-person, minimal contact consultations.
  • Again, carefully consider how you can prepare for the appointment, information you can gather in advance, and ways to streamline the consultation process.

Curbside drop-off and free shipping

  • This service might include installing a large, protected drop box for the secure transfer of project materials to make it as convenient as possible.
  • You could also include a notification system (which could be as simple as a doorbell or text) for prompt retrieval of the materials.
  • Especially in the current circumstances, customers will truly appreciate free shipping or delivery, depending on the current guidelines for businesses in your area.

Understand the supply chain

  • It will be more important than ever to be aware of what stock you have on hand.
  • You should check in with key reps from your various suppliers to understand how they are dealing with orders. Keep in mind that guidelines for conducting business vary from state to state and community to community, so please be patient as things return to normal.
  • If you have a need that a distributor can’t meet, Tru Vue will do whatever we can to help you. Please email us at framers@tru-vue.com or call 1-800-282-8788

Business support tools

  • If you haven’t taken the time to explore all the features of LifeSaver, the point-of-sale software for picture framers, now is the time. They offer a range of support services.
  • SixFifty, the legal software, released free legal tools to help businesses manage employment issues. The firm is also hosting free webinars to guide businesses on how to use the tools.
  • LinkedIn has made 16 LinkedIn Learning courses available for free, including tips on how to stay productive and build relationships when you’re not face-to-face.
  • Igloo Software, a digital workplace solutions provider, is offering its Business Continuity Bundle for free through July 6.
  • Zoho Remotely has opened up its complete suite of web and mobile apps for free to small-business owners through July 1, to help remote teams communicate, collaborate, and be productive.
  • Software giant Atlassian, which offers productivity and collaboration tools, is offering its cloud products for free to small businesses with teams of up to 10 people.

Stay connected

Communication with your customers is more important than ever in a situation like this. It will help maintain your community connection and create opportunity.

Prioritize your social media efforts

  • Offer positive and inspirational posts on Instagram and Facebook. This could include suggesting people finally get around to framing that family heirloom, or freshening up their walls rather than staring at them. These suggestions can be a welcome motivator for your customers.
  • You can also consider the positive trends that arise from unique cultural conversations as material you can share, joining in the conversation in a contextual and valuable way.
  • Showcase new business features (e.g., curb-side drop off) in your posts.
  • Balance business messaging with feel-good posts that are more likely to be shareable. Consider content you think might most resonate with the local community.
  • Be sure you are using hashtags in their proper context, and, as always, be sensitive to how your posts might be construed. Consider running the content by one or two others to get perspective.
  • You can also research and share examples of people supporting others and efforts to help small businesses.
  • To help you get the most out of your social media efforts, Hootsuite, the social media management platform, is offering free access to its professional plan through July 1.

Rethink email

  • If you have an emailing list, it’s a great time to consider sending messages that would be welcomed by your customers. This could be as simple as offering encouragement as a member of the community, or repurposing inspiration for framing projects mentioned earlier.

Seek out ways to contribute

  • Are there ways you and your staff can help the community? This might simply mean delivering food and supplies with company vehicles, or donating services and goods. Check local news websites for opportunities. Such efforts go a long way in establishing goodwill with your community.
  • Tru Vue wants to share and inspire positive “Stories of Community Service” that are happening around you. Show us what you’re doing for your neighbors, customers, and loved ones as we all work together. Tag your service-related social media photos with #TruVueSupports so we can share your stories and inspire others to get through this together!

We Want To Hear From You!

We hope you find this information useful. Remember that, no matter what, we are all in this together. Share your own experiences and tips on social media with the hashtag #TruVueSupports.
Feel free to reach out directly with questions by emailing us at framers@tru-vue.com or calling 1-800-282-8788.