Tag Archives: Market Research

Moving and Grooving

24 Apr

Dearest readers, I’m very excited to say that there are just a few sleeps left until I become an official business registrant. It’s amazing to think of back to when the idea for Splendid Albums started and how it came about. This is a story I really haven’t told and there’s no better time like the present.

It was November 2009. Wedding bliss was still in the air in our house. We had been married for nearly 4 months, our thank-you cards, still in their cellophane wrapping, stared up at us from the coffee table and talks of our upcoming, much needed, vacation to Mexico were frequent. Our parents had just started asking us about our wedding album…

What to do? I knew exactly the look I wanted – an album with nice paper quality, images printed on the pages, a beautiful cover and a modern layout to enhance the pictures and tell our wedding story.

My natural course of action was to go back to our photographers and price out their albums.

Now, let me preface my strategic moves by stating I’m where I am for a reason, starting this album business. Our photogs are amazing, extremely talented people and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them and the beautiful pictures that came out of our wedding day relationship. There is also no doubt in my mind that their end product of our wedding album would have been an astonishing piece of work. That said, though, after having paid for the wedding and purchased a new condo, you can imagine cash flow was limited. Their prices were a little too high for us…

Facing this dilemma, my mother made the suggestion that I make the album myself, that there are plenty of sites where I could do it on my own for really cheap.

I started thinking, it’s not a bad idea…Never mind that I’ve always had a creative eye for design and a personal passion for photography, I have had work experience in layouts and design.

Along the way in searching for just the right website where I could do it myself, because god knows I didn’t want a cheesy looking album layout with borders and photo treatments; I found nothing that satisfied me. All that’s out there for the DIYer are cheap finishing, basic covers, and a limited number of pages as well as basic paper.

I still wanted this to look like a professional wedding album.

Three months of market research later and here we are: My idea to make my own album has turned into a full-blown business that will offer professional album layouts for both digital images as well as prints that will be scanned and put together in the album style I offer.

I saw a need and I’m filling the void.

All this to say, the last thing I want is to have the perception that I’m stealing business from photographers.

I’m positioning Splendid Albums primarily to offer a service to make design albums for the end users, and also as a referral for photographers to use when they either don’t offer albums.

That stack of pictures you have sitting in the back corner of your closet that you’ve always wanted to get into an album… we’ll take care of scanning, laying-out, and binding (through trusted suppliers) and delivery.

And of course we’ll work with a client’s digitals!

Well that’s Splendid Albums in a nutshell! The next step is to register for a business number on Monday with the wonderful Quebec government. Wish me luck!


Market Research

9 Apr

As with any business, market research is of utmost importance if you plan on surviving and growing in a competitive market. The question is how do you do it efficiently to cover all of your bases?

You need a starting point. My starting point in any search is ‘ole faithful Google. (Side note-I feel that Bing isn’t quite there and I’m much more familiar and comfortable with Google’s platform.) Make a list of related words and check them off as you go. This will help you keep track of what you’ve looked up; we all know search engines have a tendency of taking us to places we did not intend, sometimes for the better.

Next, once you’ve got your list, make sure you have a goal. “Today I want to research pricing out my product. I’ll do this by looking at a variety of sites ranging from professional photographers and album suppliers to do-it-yourself album websites.”

Bookmark along the way! You can easily get caught up in looking for what you think you should be looking for and completely miss out on some great information along the way. I like to bookmark pages I stumble upon to come back to at a later day when I’m focused on another area of my market research.

I find it’s easier to do it in spurts of under an hour, take a break for a couple of days, let the information seep in and you might even find that you come up with a new direction or idea. That’s the beauty of research! You’re supposed to explore the territory.

Accidental research has lead to a lot of really important discoveries; Post-it Notes, Gravity, Golden-doodles… Where will it lead you?

I hear the question coming: How long should my market research take me? When do I know I’m done? In truth, you’re never done. Any successful business owner/executive/marketer will tell you that the search is always on for the next idea to keep you not just in the market, but ahead of the curve or hopefully leading the game.