Episode 4 of 5, From IPI Members Retreat, Henderson, NV DIMAcast by mmcsx


									   Episode 4 of 5, From IPI Members Retreat, Henderson, NV

                DIMAcast #267 August 1, 2011
        Tom Skaggs                     Alan Logue
Blosser's Camera & Portrait          Hutt Street Photo
     Warsaw, Indiana            Adelaide, South Australia
     www.Blossers.com          www.HuttStreetPhotos.com.au

Bill McCurry:       Out at the IPI Member Retreat in Henderson, Nevada ran into

my old friend Tom Skaggs, good morning Tom.

Tom Skaggs:         Good morning.

Bill McCurry:       Tell everybody in the DIMAcast world where you’re from.

Tom Skaggs:         I’m from Blosser’s Camera and Portrait Studio in Warsaw,


Bill McCurry:       And tell us

about your store.

Tom Skaggs:         I have a

little camera store, got a

studio and recently got into

more school photography and that sort of thing to be able to find other things to

sell and do, besides what we used to of course.

Bill McCurry:       How many IPI shows have you attended?

Tom Skaggs:          I’ve been a member – I didn’t think about this, I’ve been a

member probably for 10 - 12 years, so a lot of them. I actually have not missed one

since I’ve been a member, I’ve been really fortunate that my schedules let me be

able to be at every one of them. And used too, we had two a year, now it’s down to

one main one.

Bill McCurry:       So Tom, what’s one of your take home ideas from the IPI

Member Retreat?

Tom Skaggs:           Cathi Nelson, that personal photo organizing was a fascinating

topic to listen too, mostly because her approach to a problem that we’ve had,

we’ve had a lot of customers that have an overwhelming amount of images, they’re

not bringing things in to get a book made or something else done, or they’re

reluctantly bringing some slides or something and instead of that just being a

frustrating problem, she’s learned, a way to monetize that problem, by actually

helping that customer in a way, truthfully I never thought of. I’m old school

enough to think that customer has got to take the time and trouble to bring their

problems to me to solve. I never really thought about, you know what? I can go to

you and help solve your problems and you’ll pay me to do it. That just never

crossed my mind, and I am fascinated at the concept of I can do something like

that, in a way that will

actually make some money

and really help the customer.

I just really truthfully blown

away by that today.

Bill McCurry:       And our

loyal DIMAcast listeners will

know we just did a DIMAcast with Cathi Nelson, if they missed that show, go back

and pick up what she… 

Tom Skaggs:          Yes and if you did miss that show, definitely go back and listen

to it. There’s a lot to learn there.

Bill McCurry:        So for Blosser’s you’re going to bring that concept to your


Tom Skaggs:           I’m not exactly sure, how much of that I’m going to be able to

incorporate. It’s really a new way of thinking and I’m definitely excited about the

concept of someone being a personal photo organizer and then using my store

services. Offering them that discount for scanning services – printing service,

album making that sort of thing, that’s the first things definitely easy. However,

now I think I feel a little more comfortable with customers that you have pretty

good relationships with, and the

conversation could definitely

lead to actually being able to go

and start being able to help

them, go to their house and

actually help them do this. I’m

going to give it some serious thought, see if it’s something that we can add as a

staff person, or certainly work on a way to encourage some personal photo

organizer to just utilize the store. The first part that definitely helps me gets me the

most excited is that, you know, the cliché of out of the box thinking is sometimes

overused. Just the concept of taking something that’s been frustrating and difficult

and monetize it. That’s opened my mind to a new way of thinking on maybe as a –

there’s a neat way to solve that problem that I wasn’t thinking of.

Bill McCurry:        Tom, you’ve been to a lot of IPI Member Retreats, what are

you thinking it’s really going to improve your business?

Tom Skaggs:         Most of us are, if you will, in some ways smaller businesses

than we used to be. We don’t have the extra people around. It’s really hard to get a

lot of projects done, even sometimes the small project. So one of the things we

learned when we did the marketing program, the first time, was we thought we put

this stuff out there and that everyone would just grab it, use it and it would go nuts.

But we found out that the effort involved in implementing it, was more difficult

than what we anticipated, so we thought, we got to make it even easier, we got to

really make it turnkey and so what we’ve got is a few we’re calling them

developmental labs. Brent likes to

call them business jars, or jars.

      One of the labs we’ve got is about custom framing, I don’t do custom

framing, I really don’t know that much about it, I do know I have people coming in

my store asking about it, because there’s fewer custom frame shops in my town

than there used to be. I’m open to that and as I know that you used to have I’m sure

you still do, your little No Lists, and if you keep saying no to something, well

maybe you should start saying yes to it and what’s nice about these jars of business

labs, is if you will, IPI has done the homework on what’s involved, what’s the

material, who do you contact, they’ve made it as easy, if you will as pie or as can

be, so that you know what to do. A lot of times in our business, you know, there

isn’t the instruction booklet, but this time there is and we’re utilizing people that

have been in the business, put things together to make it to where at whatever level

you want to start, it’s as easy as can be. So I’m – I myself personally am seriously

considering adding custom framing, because I know what to do with it, I don’t

have the time to try to implement something that won’t work, I don’t have the time

to try to learn how to implement something that I don’t know what to do with, so

this takes a lot of the risk out of it and it makes it as easy as it can for me to go

ahead and implement it, and add that service to my store and in low course the

whole point of adding that will be, there should be some profit there. I don’t want

to waste my time unless I can earn some money doing it and the way they’ve

offered this custom framing particular jar I thinks’ going to work excellent.

Bill McCurry:       Okay I’m thinking you’re going to go into glass cutting, you’re

going to go into frame cutting; you got different worker’s comp issue . . . .

Tom Skaggs:         Yes, there can

be a whole lot involved. What do

I know about custom framing? I

don’t want to do it, I mean

because you’re right, there’s a lot

of work there, there’s cutting

corners and all this sort of
                                   The IPI Member Retreat featured numerous active
thing, I guess cutting frame       demonstrations of various developmental Labs by IPI.
                                   These concepts were laid out in blueprint format so IPI
                                   members could predetermine the value to their business,
corners would be the way to        the steps they needed to do in house or outlab and a
                                   blueprint for simple cost effective implementation.

say it, but what IPI’s put together

is a program to where you’re able

to offer the service and someone

else does all that work and then

after someone else does all that

work, they send you that finished

product and you’re still making a great margin. It simply couldn’t be easier.

Bill McCurry:       So you’re thinking of installing a frame shop in the back of

your store?

Tom Skaggs:         Well I won’t have to put it in the back of my store, because if

you will, the friendly UPS man will make me a frame shop without my customers

really knowing how we do what we do. I believe we’re going to have to have a

little panel of frames – of corners and a few things like that, the implementation of

course will involve software and the ordering system and all, from what I

understand, I’m want to be able to show my customer a wider range of product –

from – with including their photo, with the frame corners and the frame matte’s,

they’re going to see what they want – be able to pick out what they want, as

beautiful as they want it to be, as many mattes or whatever’s involved, they’re

going to order it, we’re going to order it for them, and they’re going to think that

we’re in the back working, you know, diligently cutting, putting things together,

but the whole orders going to happen at the click, of a mouse and that products

going to come in, we’re going to slip a photo into it and finish it and we’re going to

have a terrific, beautiful custom frame that I did very little work on and yet make

some money on.

      I heard some of the IPI members talking about a frame shop in a box, is that

what you’re talking about?

Tom Skaggs:         Yeah, you know that’s a great way to phrase it, because from

what I understand the level is, you’re able to have nothing except, my

understanding is the camera that photographs the artwork or photo, the computer

screen has the moldings and the mattes, the different levels, you’re able to pick all

that stuff with the customer, they’re going to see their finished product if you will,

on that computer screen, you’re able to – at the click of a mouse order all of it,

someone else, somewhere else can build it all for you and at the same token I

understand you’re able to do more with that, if you want to have your own frame

shop out of the box, and do more things yourself, you’re able to do that. I’m

looking very forward to the frame shop in a box.

Bill McCurry:        So you want to be able to offer it to your customers without

incurring a capitol cost of all the equipment…

Tom Skaggs:          Absolutely.

Bill McCurry:        - or the worker’s comp issues or any of that.

Tom Skaggs:          Yes, absolutely and fortunately the margins are still so good,

that I’ll be able to do that.

Bill McCurry:        Did I understand you to say in Warsaw, Indiana because of the

economics or whatever, there’s fewer frame shops and now people are coming to


Tom Skaggs:          Yes. Over the years we’ve had the occasional person ask for

custom framing, but it’s definitely happening a lot more, I’m not really sure why,

I’m – I’m sure there’s some great margins there for us to be able to do what we

want to do.

Bill McCurry:        So you want to see Blosser’s offering more services?

Tom Skaggs:          Absolutely.

Bill McCurry:       You’re following the IPI blueprint.

Tom Skaggs:         Yes.

Bill McCurry:       So you’re okay that the IPI team put this together, you’re just

going to buy it and follow their lead?

Tom Skaggs:         Oh absolutely. We’ve got great consultants that know the

business, they’re going to know a lot more than I do and it’s, you know, let’s not

forget that there’s still that networking aspect of it, so I can talk to guys that are

still doing some custom framing and all, get some other ideas and promotions

      The whole purpose of the IPI development lab is to make it as easy as it can

be so that someone like me or anybody in IPI can go ahead and implement it

without – without it being difficult, they’ve taken the hard part away, so that I can

follow that path and do it.

Bill McCurry:       Okay so what are some of the other things that IPI is

recommending to members?

Tom Skaggs:         At the moment, besides custom framing, we’ve got a video

archiving. Sports and event photography is another jar or development lab that

we’re working on to be able to do as well.

Bill McCurry:       Tom, I noticed you were writing in a blueprint book, what is

that all about?

Tom Skaggs:        Well as you know, and I’m sure many listeners know, it’s great

to go to these retreats, seminars, PMA’s, and boy you hear some great ideas and

you really want to do them, I mean, I – I come home with the best goals of

anybody and – and yet when you get back or you’re behind because you’ve been

gone, there’s all these other challenges, and you know, you can lose that

enthusiasm pretty quickly, it seems like the world’s always against you when you

want to move forward than . What IPI’s come up with is these business blueprints

                                                     if you will, and it actually

                                                     says from idea to

                                                     implementation, if I can say

                                                     that word correctly, it’s a

                                                     brainstorming and project

                                                     management worksheet. So

                                                     the questions are already

                                                     written out, you’re just kind

                                                     of filling in the blank. So as

                                                     you’re listening to the

                                                     different seminars, and the

IPI Members received multiple business opportunity   different talks, you can fill in
Blueprints – each designed to help the member
evaluate the myriad options available for revenue
enhancement and profit generation.

the blank of what ideas and things you’re wanting to do. My goal is, when I get

back I’m going to go oh yeah, that’s – that’s who I thought this would be for, this

is what I thought I could do, this is where I thought I could do, how I could do it,

so it’s –it’s kind of a worksheet, actually we call it that, a project management

worksheet. Sounds really official doesn’t it? But I think it’s something that will

really help, I mean let’s face it; we need all the help and encouragement we can get

to keep going and doing these things.

Bill McCurry:       Now what it sounds like is a critical thinking path, for you to


Tom Skaggs:         Yeah.

Bill McCurry:       -as you’re sitting in the IPI sessions trying to listen to the

various speakers and figure out which ones you’d do to add revenue.

Tom Skaggs:         There you go. Yeah, I like that. It’s a good description.

Bill McCurry:       But how many pages is that then?

Tom Skaggs:         Well, you can have a lot of projects it’s – there’s more than one

page in here so you’re going to get a lot of ideas here, that’s the plan, to be able to

implement and, you know, the goal of course is to implement as many as you can,

but you can always go back and implement one or two, that’s the best, anything

you do to improve would be great. So whatever tools that IPI can provide to help

make that happen, I mean, because after all that’s one of the basic fundamentals

part of why IPI exists is to help the members be able to succeed and if this little

booklet will help them map out a plan, write that plan down so that after they get

back and the chaos settles a little bit, they’ve got their plan, hey we’re moving


Bill McCurry:       What’s the best idea you’ve ever gotten from an IPI Retreat?

Tom Skaggs:         I think probably off the top of my head when you say that, is

the personal coaching, the one-to-one personal coaching, where you got a customer

or someone who may or may not be a customer that comes in asks you a question,

on camera stuff, and you’re like you know, I can’t sit here for 20 minutes and tell

you how to do this with your camera, the business model doesn’t work that way

anymore, of course you don’t say that to the customer, so the personal coaching is

you’re selling a certain amount of time for whatever project they want to know, so

we encourage our customers to write down a list of questions, bring their

equipment, bring their laptop, whatever they want to know and we’re able to

charge them so much and hour, or part of an hour, to be able to solve that problem.

And I’ll tell you what, it has been a fantastic idea, because it frees me from the

frustration of knowing I’m helping somebody and not getting paid, to now I’m

really, really glad to help them, because you want to help them…

Bill McCurry:       Yes.

Tom Skaggs:         I’m a retailer, I want to make them happy, and so now I’m able

to make them happy, help them with their problem and I’m making some money. I

mean it’s a win/win all the way around, and since we’ve implemented that, I never

had anybody have a negative response to that. They’re glad they have a solution to

be able to find out their problems, and it works great.

Bill McCurry:       May I ask what you charge?

Tom Skaggs:         I charge $60 bucks an hour, minimum of $30 for half an hour

and most of them run an hour, hour and a half. I find that after that it’s – you’ve

kind of learned all you can learn and we’ve had several repeat sessions, but I really

want them to be able to implement and think what we’ve talked about and they’ve

learned – I want that to really sink and then to be able to really utilize it and use it.

So they walk away knowing they’ve learned something, they’ve grabbed

something and then of course they’re going to come back and learn more.

Bill McCurry:              Customers paying you 60 bucks an hour to listen to you

and are you selling them something at that time?

Tom Skaggs:         You know, a lot of times that happens, I try to be real sensitive

to the fact that they’re there to learn, but invariably a lot of what they want to know

involves another product. So you’re able to help them get done what they want to

get done and learn the particular thing and then generally also offer another

product that helps them with that solution of a problem, so that’s definitely nice.

   it’s great because we obviously do this in the store, so whatever product that it

   might be, maybe it’s an extra flash or something, I just walk right out to the

   storeroom, go get it, put it in the camera and start teaching them how to use it and

   almost always they buy it. So that’s another side benefit there as well. That’s a

   great side benefit.

   Bill McCurry:          Tom Skaggs, thank you.

   Tom Skaggs:           Bill, you’re very welcome, glad to spend some time with you.

                                      Alan Logue

                         Hutt Street Photo Adelaide, SA


                                                     Bill McCurry:       Henderson,

                                                     Nevada, the M Resort and Spa, is

                                                     home of the IPI Member Retreat

                                                     for 2011 and Alan Logue,

                                                     Adelaide, Australia is home for

Alan and Catherine Logue pictured at IPI Members
Retreat, The M Resort and Spa, Henderson, NV – Alan Logue:               Good day Bill.
Catherine is former National Chair of Australia’s
Society of Training and Development and owner of It sure is.
Training For Learning Company. She gave an
energetic and active session on successfully working
with a multiple generational workforce at the IPI
Member Retreat while husband Alan was out
gathering money making ideas.                 15 
Bill McCurry:       What would provoke you to travel 18 hours in an airplane to

come to an IPI Member Retreat?

Alan Logue:         The idea of being able to swap ideas, get more ideas and I guess

share, that magic word that we talked about with photographic memories, to be

able to share ideas with other guys and girls that I have a lot of respect for.

Bill McCurry:       Now you were the second international member to join IPI?

Alan Logue:         Yeah, I was

number two, Phil Gresham was

number one and Phil convinced

me that it would be a good idea

to join, and for that I thank him

greatly. I think we’ve been in

IPI, probably three or four

years and this is the second

retreat we’ve been too.

Bill McCurry:       You

recommend it?

Alan Logue:
                                       Hutt Street Photo is built over a former alleyway
      Wholeheartedly, yes and I’ve between two buildings – it’s mini but might.

got to say I do not understand why US member of IPI do not come here. If I can

travel 18 hours and eight or nine thousand miles to get here, then I’m sure there is

some locals, guys listening who should be here as well.

Bill McCurry:      Hutt Street Photo, small, but mighty.

Alan Logue:        Yeah we’re doing some things that make a difference. We got a

Noritsu mini-lab that does probably anywhere between one and a half and two

thousand slide scans a week, because we promote it and we also do a bucket load

of old Super 8 and standard movie scans because we promote it.

Bill McCurry:      And how do you promote it?

Alan Logue:        We do it on radio. We don’t do it in print. We’ve tried print in

some areas, hasn’t been all that successful, but we’ve gone with radio, we’ve gone

on a radio station that’s got the demographics that actually match the users, that

used to use the old slides in the movie films and it just works. The day after the ads

start, we know its working because people are coming in with movies and slides.

Bill McCurry:      Okay we better quit right now and listen to the ad.

If you listen to the DIMAcast you’ll hear Alan’s radio spot on DVD transfer

Alan Logue:        Sounds good.

If you listen to the DIMAcast you’ll hear Alan’s effective radio spot on scanning

Bill McCurry:      So you run those two ads?

Alan Logue:        They’re the two new ones that we’re running,

Bill McCurry:      Do you notice one working better than the other?

Alan Logue:         No they work just as well. Each one works just as well and we

actually get people now coming in with bagfuls of not only slides, but movies.

They just bring the whole lot in and leave it up to us to sort it all out.

Bill McCurry:       So you’re on the air constantly with these ads?

Alan Logue:         Every week, every weekend and we do full weeks of ads when

we decide we want to do it, which is sometimes once a month, sometimes once

every two months.

Bill McCurry:       What provokes

when you do it?

Alan Logue:         Whether we

need a boost in sales or whether

we think there may be something

happening in the local area that

might happen to bring slides or

movies up. But it’s generally

because we want to promote it, we

just want more sales in at a

particular time and it’s always like

we can turn them on and off with                   www.HuttStreetPhotos.com.au

the radio ads.

Bill McCurry:      Wow, so that’s basically baby boomers right?

Alan Logue:        Yeah that’s it.

Bill McCurry:      Now on the other end of the spectrum, you got something

special for Holga Users.

Alan Logue:        Yep, well we won’t isolate just Holga’s. Holga’s and Lomo’s.

                                     We’re now going to offer a special processing

                                     service for them using a new, special aged color


                                     Bill McCurry:       And what is a new special

                                     aged color paper going to do for a Holga or

                                     Lomo user?

                                     Alan Logue:         Well the new special aged

                                     color paper is actually 20 year old Agfa paper,

                                     which has got a very high, yellow base fog, but

      Hutt Street Photos –           we figure that it will go with the style to which
 Proof That Size Doesn’t Matter
                                     some of those people want their photos and they

want a different look, so we’re going to give them a very different look and it

could even be that no one photo is ever going to be the same again.

Bill McCurry:      So it matches Holga.

Alan Logue:         That’s right, that’s right. We’ve got a whole pile of five inch

paper, which is what we’re using for it and it came about leftover from a deal that

somebody else did and we ended up with it all. And we’ve been using it for wallet

stuffers and for that it’s ideal, we’ve changed the colors of our wallet stuffers so

that it’s the base color of the paper, but we just decided – I’m going to give credit

to the guy’s from Dakis because it was one of the guys from Dakis that gave me

the idea of the special aged paper look.

Alan Logue:         I guess from our point of view it’s a matter of you just got to

promote what you’re doing, if you don’t tell people what you do, how are they

going to know that you do it?

We’re actually going to make a move into photo books and maybe we’re a late

start or a late bloomer with photo books, but we’ve just had the PMA Show in

Australia, and we’re going to go into doing our own photo books in store and we’ll

start promoting that, maybe not as much as we’re doing the slides and movies, but

we’ll work out how we do it and we’ll see how that goes, but again, like I said, if

you don’t tell people what you do, how are you going to do it?

Bill McCurry:       What’s your goal for attending the IPI Member Retreat?

Alan Logue:         More ideas to do more things in our business.

Bill McCurry:       How many ideas do want to walk away with?

Alan Logue:        Well I think I’ve gotten six in Australia, from PMA and I’m

looking for another six or ten from the IPI Show and that’ll give me enough to

keep me going for another 12 months until the next IPI Show.

Bill McCurry:      Alan Logue, thank you very much.

Alan Logue:        Thanks Bill, great to share.

     We would appreciate hearing your ideas, suggestions or comments . . .

             Brian Mundy                          Bill McCurry:
              Photomation                     McCurry Associates
           Anaheim, California               Princeton, New Jersey
         bmundy@dimacast.com              wmccurry@mccurryassoc.com
            1-800-965-6692                       (609) 688-1169


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