Oct 10, 2008

What I wish the industry understood about PMA and PSRO...

Each month I get the PMA magazine. You can view the current issue HERE. I read most of it every month and thoroughly enjoy the information. No, it's not all geared towards the scrapbook industry, but it has at least one article about some aspect of retailing in the scrapbook industry. For instance, this month has a fabulous article about scrapbook store failure. Lisa Fedele, who owned two stores in Canada, talks about the mistakes she made that ultimately caused the failure of her two stores. It was a very eye-opening article that every retailer should read. It's on page 34.

There are also articles about small custom frame shops and camera stores. They are facing the exact same issues as small retailers that scrapbook retailers are. This month, there is an article about very small custom framers trying to set themselves apart from their competition. Sound familiar???

Being on the advisory committee for PRSO (The Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization), I can tell you that they are doing GOOD THINGS to help retailers in this industry. They work for RETAILERS and understand that as retailers go, so goes the industry. They have some things in the pipeline I'm very excited about and that will help you be a better business owner. They are interested in your success whether you're a small home-based retailer or a bricks and mortar store.

People say, "Hey, I have no interest in going to PMA". Okay, that's not why you should join - a trade show can only do so much to help you be successful. You need information and support - especially in this economy. You don't have the time or money to fly by the seat of your pants anymore.

I will say that PMA is a GREAT show to attend if you want to think outside the box and be a forward-thinking business. In fact, I'll be leading a tour of the show next March for scrapbook business owners. They really have quite a bit to offer us. No, you won't find paper with cupcakes on it or dotted ribbon. But, you will find photo gifts, albums and digital products and services you can add to your business to increase your customer base.

My point is that I don't see any other trade association for our industry that focus' on retailers in the way that PMA/PSRO does. They are all about YOU! If you've been thinking about joining them, now is a GREAT TIME to do so. Good things are happening...

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