For his part, Omura says that "if the small stores are smart - and they are - they will focus on the more affluent customer, deliver greater personalized customer service and focus more heavily on commercial accounts and professional photographers."
He also recommends identifying likely target markets and cold calling them. "To start, at least a half-day a week. Saying you don't have time is an excuse (for fear of being rejected 98 out of 100 times). Make time by hiring the right people and developing the current staff. Outsource anything you can now and when business builds sufficiently, hire specialists - especially graphic artists."
Ten Years Gone What does the future hold? Omura predicts the market structure will stay fairly unchanged. "The Wal-Marts will have the lion's share of the mass market and the smaller stores will have found the price insensitive to smaller market niches. Smaller stores will continue to offer the premium quality print plus service bureau type services as digital lab equipment evolves to provide greater flexibility in the products that can be created from them."
He sees self-service kiosks popping up in all manners of retail locations, including gas stations and convenience stores. "The market will be highly fragmented with numerous creative offerings," Omura concludes.