A thread on Frameforum ( www.frameforum.net ), an excellent resource for those interested in the process of framebuilding, recently discussed how to market for the small framebuilder. The original poster was curious how to sell his prospective frames in his area. What I found curious was the response from some of the pros...that few frames are actually sold in the area they are built.
This is not a revelation to me, as it has been a common thread throughout my business career...let me explain.
I work out of a small town, population of 28,000, not really close to any "hot bed" of cycling activity. No Sedona, Moab, or Whistler here. The closest large City, Cleveland, is better known for it's rusting steel industry than for custom bicycle fabrication. So, looking for potential customers, it is a given that I have to look beyond my geographic boarders. The internet has definately been the tool of choice.
Looking over my past months receipts, I was surprised, however, to see how much global business I do. In fact, I've sold more overseas products in the last month than domestic. The countries shipped to include; Norway, Japan, Germany, Scotland, UK, and Austrailia. No wonder the chic at the Post office smiles whenever I show up :^)
Certainly, I'd love more local business, but am just fine with sending the love across the world. I'll consider it my little part for global harmony ;^) .
So, if you happen to be traipsing across the US and want to stop in for a green tea and some social chatter, please do. I'll keep the comfy chair cleaned off for ya.