Wellesbourne¹s award winning photographic studio Avon Studios has been voted one of the four canniest High Street photo processing labs nationwide and is in the running for a £10,000 prize to help develop the business further.
The lab and studio, run by Andrew Sheppard, has already won £1,000 worth of goods and services in the first leg of a national business makeover competition run by Fujifilm Image Service.
The four 2004 quarterly winners will soon be battling it out for the grand prize of £10,000 and Andrew is keeping his fingers crossed that his business will be selected.
More than 200 photolabs nationwide were invited to highlight priorities for key areas of their business from customer service to staff training, to the appearance of their shop.
Andrew believes one of his business¹s biggest challenges is competing with large chains and two years ago invested £85,000 in a digital lab to improve his service. He alsorecognises the need to diversify to tackle a changing market and is already planning to take on the mobile phone stores by stocking camera-phones.
He spent his initial prize on software which enables the lab to text customers when their films are ready a particularly effective tool because the majority of Avon¹s photo processing clients are aged between 16 and 25.
If Avon Studios is selected for the £10,000 prize Andrew plans to invest some of the money in a daylight projection system for the shop window.
“We have invested a great deal in the business over the past few years and an injection of an additional £10,000 will be invaluable in helping us realise some of the plans we have for the lab¹s future,” he said.