Branching out into the consumer market

MJDallas

New Member
WOW! What color laser did you use to get the red and blue???


(before anyone says anything... Yes. It is a joke).


Really looks good though!
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
I had a good experience with custom items for a while, and then just like that...NOTHING - it went out of style and everyone had them (painted, stenciled wood signs). As long as I could make several at a time, it was worth it. If I only had 1-2 orders a week, it became of time sucker away from my higher profit jobs. And you never want to put the side gig infront of the main business.

If you can squeeze this in, do it during off hours or it's supplementing during slow times, then go for it. Just remember that people are like sheep and when the next new thing comes out, you could be orderless overnight. Very nice work, good luck to you!
 

basicman

New Member
I had a good experience with custom items for a while, and then just like that...NOTHING - it went out of style and everyone had them (painted, stenciled wood signs). As long as I could make several at a time, it was worth it. If I only had 1-2 orders a week, it became of time sucker away from my higher profit jobs. And you never want to put the side gig infront of the main business.

If you can squeeze this in, do it during off hours or it's supplementing during slow times, then go for it. Just remember that people are like sheep and when the next new thing comes out, you could be orderless overnight. Very nice work, good luck to you!
Good remark, it is definitely like this.
 

Bobby H

Arial Sucks.
Generally, I don't like doing projects for individuals that are for their own personal use. Working with businesses is easier and more profitable. Individuals wanting personal projects done very often don't value the time and effort it takes to produce the work. They may want to see lots of revisions, thinking all we do is rattle some gibberish into the keyboard for a few seconds and "poof" the computer spits out a finished design -just like in the movies and TV shows. And they want the work priced dirt cheap like some mass-produced item they could buy at Walmart or online. Individuals are more prone to change the scope of the project and do other disruptive things. Businesses that have a history of ordering sign projects have a better idea of how the design-bid-build process works in real life. We'll take on some projects for individuals if what they're ordering is very standard. If they're wanting something that takes more time and creative resources, such as a vehicle wrap for their personal car, we usually pass on that.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
Generally, I don't like doing projects for individuals that are for their own personal use. Working with businesses is easier and more profitable. Individuals wanting personal projects done very often don't value the time and effort it takes to produce the work. They may want to see lots of revisions, thinking all we do is rattle some gibberish into the keyboard for a few seconds and "poof" the computer spits out a finished design -just like in the movies and TV shows. And they want the work priced dirt cheap like some mass-produced item they could buy at Walmart or online. Individuals are more prone to change the scope of the project and do other disruptive things. Businesses that have a history of ordering sign projects have a better idea of how the design-bid-build process works in real life. We'll take on some projects for individuals if what they're ordering is very standard. If they're wanting something that takes more time and creative resources, such as a vehicle wrap for their personal car, we usually pass on that.
I 100% agree on your post. Last week I turned down a personal scooter wrap and some motorcycle decals, also a corvette wrap removal for a guy who didn't plan to rewrap. I suggested he buy a heat gun and hire a teenager lol
 

basicman

New Member
True, and they can dislike it lots of times, or ask for one thing, and at the end they change their mind and you have to start gain.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
I had a bad experience Monday. Back in December a guy came in looking for 2 - 3" decals. At that time, I didn't have my printer working yet so I said no because I didn't know when I would be able to do it - and I really don't want to mess with this. He came back a week later and told me he can't find anyone to do it and he would be willing to wait.

Well, I never entered it into my system I just wrote it on some paper because I figured I would just charge him a few bucks cash. The paper ended up stapled to another job, which I spent more time looking for Tuesday than I should have. He called me Monday to "cancel his order, he found a reputable company to work with" - I was nice an apologized although at the time I didn't realize I had stapled the sheet to another, and I just explained with the new equipment and material shortages, etc. it's been very hectic and it somehow got overlooked.

But what I was really thinking was - what a dickhead, you wait 3 months to call to see if your order is ready? And what an idiot I am - this is precisely what happens when you don't follow your rules. ENTER EVERY JOB AND CHARGE THE MINIMUM OR TELL THEM NO.
 

Scotchbrite

No comment
I've forgotten about a job only to remember it at 2AM a few days later. Still got it done okay, but it definitely cost me some sleep along with added anxiety. Now I'm very careful about making a real record of it because I think about how bad it would have been if I'd never remembered it at all.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
"cancel his order, he found a reputable company to work with"
This triggers my 'well f*ck you too!' instinct, mostly because I can feel the snark coming off those words... I do strive to treat every customer like family, though this is what I had to put on my mums tumbler after forgetting about it for months...
cup vinyl.png
 

basicman

New Member
I had a bad experience Monday. Back in December a guy came in looking for 2 - 3" decals. At that time, I didn't have my printer working yet so I said no because I didn't know when I would be able to do it - and I really don't want to mess with this. He came back a week later and told me he can't find anyone to do it and he would be willing to wait.

Well, I never entered it into my system I just wrote it on some paper because I figured I would just charge him a few bucks cash. The paper ended up stapled to another job, which I spent more time looking for Tuesday than I should have. He called me Monday to "cancel his order, he found a reputable company to work with" - I was nice an apologized although at the time I didn't realize I had stapled the sheet to another, and I just explained with the new equipment and material shortages, etc. it's been very hectic and it somehow got overlooked.

But what I was really thinking was - what a dickhead, you wait 3 months to call to see if your order is ready? And what an idiot I am - this is precisely what happens when you don't follow your rules. ENTER EVERY JOB AND CHARGE THE MINIMUM OR TELL THEM NO.
Yep, that's the worst part about it. When you put your time and energy in helping someone, and then they just don't even say a simple ''thank you'' for your work. Well, I think that cases like this one happens to anyone, and we should go through them and don't think about them too much. The best thing in that day, though, was that I won this Amazon giveaway with a 100$ coupon, which actually made me feel much better and ''nullified'' the bad experience that I had with that guy.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
And you know the only reason the "reputable company" took the 2" decal on is because he went in there b*tching about me LOL.

There's another sign shop in the next town (3 miles away) and I get a lot of customers coming in complaining that they can't get ahold of her, she doesn't return calls, etc. I don't say anything bad because I know she's in the same boat as me (one person shop with a storefront). I just found out that she was so overwhelmed one day she locked the door and didn't go in for a couple months and she might be closing up shop or she already did. Nobody knows because she's never there apparently.

I had a lady come in yesterday asking me to make one shirt for her - she got pissy when I told her I have a minimum price and she would have to supply the shirt. This kind of thing happens 10 times a week. I've been considering upgrading my attached shed and moving everything there so it's not in the public view and I can lock the door and nobody knows if I'm there or not - ditch the storefront part.
 

Scotchbrite

No comment
Just to throw it out there, 4Over can do single shirts. The shirt color is limited but might help you out with those onesie, twosie orders.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
Just to throw it out there, 4Over can do single shirts. The shirt color is limited but might help you out with those onesie, twosie orders.
I just checked that out! I see they have their site up and running...MUCH better than the old one! Thanks for the info!
 

gnubler

New Member
I just found out that she was so overwhelmed one day she locked the door and didn't go in for a couple months and she might be closing up shop or she already did.

...moving everything there so it's not in the public view and I can lock the door and nobody knows if I'm there or not - ditch the storefront part.

This seems to be a common scenario for small town sign shops. I only have two competitors and they're closed to the public, leaving me to get all the riff raff. I rarely turn on my open sign anymore, I think it helps keep them away.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
This seems to be a common scenario for small town sign shops. I only have two competitors and they're closed to the public, leaving me to get all the riff raff. I rarely turn on my open sign anymore, I think it helps keep them away.
Sometimes I park down the road and walk to the shop, especially on the weekend or if I need to get some work done for a deadline. Everyone knows my van so if they don't see it they assume I'm not in. Lights off and work quiety...usually works pretty good!
 

Boudica

I'm here for educational purposes.
Sometimes I park down the road and walk to the shop, especially on the weekend or if I need to get some work done for a deadline. Everyone knows my van so if they don't see it they assume I'm not in. Lights off and work quiety...usually works pretty good!
I can just picture you parking covertly down the street, sneaking out of your van and dodging from cover to cover down the block to your shop. Then slip in through the bathroom window...
 
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