Industry sector: Consumer services

Picture framing: Cash sales

'Cash sales' means all income that you receive when you finish framing a picture or when you sell a ready made frame to a customer. While some of your customers may pay you in cash, remember that Cash sales can also include:

  • debit and credit card payments
  • cheques
  • payments made through online services like PayPal and Nochex if you decide to sell frames and perhaps other items online

To prepare your cash flow, you need to estimate how much income you will receive over the next 12 months, including VAT. To do this you will need to work out how many pictures you are likely to frame, the price you will charge for each one and when you will receive the money. You will also need to estimate how much you will receive from any other services you decide to offer, such as restoration work on old pictures and frames or sales of ready-made, standard sized frames for photographs and so on.

There are a number of things to consider when you make your estimates:

Type of business

  • who will your customers be? Will you offer picture framing services direct to members of the public, to businesses such as art galleries, craft shops, hotels and restaurants, or to local artists and photographers
  • will you offer a quick and inexpensive service or a more upmarket, bespoke framing service
  • will you undertake restoration and repairs of old picture frames
  • where will your workshop be - you might decide to work from home
  • how will you sell your products and services - for example at craft fairs, through local retailers and art galleries, by mail order, online (perhaps through eBay) and so on
  • will you have your own retail outlet
  • will you sell ready made, standard sized picture frames and clip frames for photographs and pictures
  • will you sell prints and paintings

Your products and services

You may decide to concentrate on providing an inexpensive framing service, perhaps operating from a high street location to attract passing trade. In this case you might also sell a selection of standard sized frames, clip frames for photographs, photo albums, mirrors, and inexpensive prints. Alternatively, you might decide to offer a more upmarket, bespoke framing service. A high street location is of less importance for this type of business, as most work is likely to come via galleries, local artists, photographers and art enthusiasts rather than from passers by.

As well as picture framing, there are a number of other services that you could consider offering. For example, you might offer to undertake restoration of old frames and pictures, both for members of the public and customers such as art galleries and museums. You could also try selling framed prints or original art works, perhaps on a commission basis for a local artist.


  • what will your pricing policy be (don't forget, you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings)
  • how will you cost any other services that you decide to offer (for example frame repairs, restoration work, commission for selling artists' work)
  • how often will you review your prices
  • will you offer discounts to trade customers, special offers and so on

To help with your decisions, click on the checkpoints for guidance. Once you have worked out a Cash sales figure add it to the relevant field in your cash flow forecast.