Is there any one man shop making around 500k$ in annual sayles

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
There is no shortage of sign companies wanting to take your place. My big client probably has 10 or more that regularly hound and cold call them for business. Some get overly aggressive and one got all the way to the president... that really pissed them off. They let me know there are scavengers in water. If your client is big enough they have a list of people that can take your place without lifting a finger.
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
From my experience, you tend to lose and gain more of the larger customers when your key contact moves up or out. It's not so much your capability, classiness or any of that. Sometimes you stay in place plus your contact brings you along to their new venture but sometimes you lose both.
 
You're over thinking the importance of signs, businesses, equipment and people.
This attached image is an indication of a sign shop (whom I'm intimately familiar with) vs another. Try to glean the importance of signs, business, equipment and people. The internet can reveal the revenue per employee and the return on workforce which might help the OP.
grabTrounced.jpg

This link describes how this shop uses BPO internally

This attached image is a good example of a BPO package used by clients looking to qualify vendors. This dates back so far as BPO may have been known as "blanket purchase order" to some.
grabBPOpkg.jpg

Further...
grabBillboard.jpg

All of the efforts to find good help and the installer can't appreciate the reason to provide an alternate contact?
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
This attached image is an indication of a sign shop (whom I'm intimately familiar with) vs another. Try to glean the importance of signs, business, equipment and people. The internet can reveal the revenue per employee and the return on workforce which might help the OP.
View attachment 155392

This link describes how this shop uses BPO internally

This attached image is a good example of a BPO package used by clients looking to qualify vendors. This dates back so far as BPO may have been known as "blanket purchase order" to some.
View attachment 155393

Further...
View attachment 155394

All of the efforts to find good help and the installer can't appreciate the reason to provide an alternate contact?
We have 4 local government contracts and in not 1 did they ever ask for contingency plans, alternate contacts, or a list of equipment/capabilities. $250k Blanket POs

We do work for a Large Auto Manufacturer and they have never asked for a contingency plan or alternate contacts. $100k+ POs

We used to do work for Union Pacific Railroad and they never once asked for Contingency Plans or Alternate contacts. $25k+ POs

The grand reality is, most of the "contracts" for signs are not that big of a process and most clients don't need contingency plans mapped out for them.
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
This attached image is an indication of a sign shop (whom I'm intimately familiar with) vs another. Try to glean the importance of signs, business, equipment and people. The internet can reveal the revenue per employee and the return on workforce which might help the OP.
View attachment 155392

This link describes how this shop uses BPO internally

This attached image is a good example of a BPO package used by clients looking to qualify vendors. This dates back so far as BPO may have been known as "blanket purchase order" to some.
View attachment 155393

Further...
View attachment 155394

All of the efforts to find good help and the installer can't appreciate the reason to provide an alternate contact?
The majority of our customers are national corps, we also have blanket POs. I've never heard anyone refer to them as BPOs. It sounds like you are regurgitating something you read or are hearing in some college class. It's not a big deal or some long drawn out process for them to issue a blanket PO, it's simply for convenience on their end. I know everyone wants to feel important but when you get down to it, you're not. You're making signs, you're not the chip maker supplying the big 3 that has the power to shut down their production lines. Even with that, the world still turns.
 

parrott

New Member
We have 4 local government contracts and in not 1 did they ever ask for contingency plans, alternate contacts, or a list of equipment/capabilities. $250k Blanket POs

We do work for a Large Auto Manufacturer and they have never asked for a contingency plan or alternate contacts. $100k+ POs

We used to do work for Union Pacific Railroad and they never once asked for Contingency Plans or Alternate contacts. $25k+ POs

The grand reality is, most of the "contracts" for signs are not that big of a process and most clients don't need contingency plans mapped out for them.
I have to agree with Christian. We do a lot of work for some large companies and government contracts and this has never come up. To me, this is something financial institutes ask when you take out a loan. So technically, we should be asking our customers for a contingency plan as they are the ones owing money. We have a 10 year contract worth a large sum and it would be good to know that if they go under that I am still getting paid but we all know that’s not gonna happen.
 

I've had dozens of times over the years when a large company contacts me and says the following - we can't get a hold of our sign company - can you do this work for us? my reply - yes, then it gets done, the person ordering doesn't even sweat. They ask 0 question other than can you get this project done and if I say no I'm sure they can find 50 other people that will say yes. no need to overthink it
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
I would like to know what kind of companies you are selling to that are requiring this information. Or give me an example of why they are asking this...are you a wholesale printer for Signs365 or something?

I'm one person and most of my business is local small - midsize companies and the schools. On an almost daily basis I'm asked to recreate logos or artwork that was done at some other sign shop which leads me to believe if they were willing to switch that easily they could care less if I die tomorrow and their files are forever stuck on my cloud. Most of the larger companies I deal with provide me with the artwork as many of them have in-house graphic designers.

Everyone is replaceable and if people can fake masterpieces from Monet and VanGough they can easily recreate a truck wrap. Having to pay for the design again is just the price of doing business on that super rare occasion that one of us dies.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
I remember ONE large construction company that asked me for financials, CPS letter, all that jazz... It was for a $15k order and I told them to take a hike. No customer gets to see my books.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
I think colorcrest is pushing a different industry with a whole different level of contracts to cut. When you're ordering for POS displays for someone like walmart, or something of the sort, they are going to want your sh*t together. I'd be willing to wager the brokers running the walmart installs had a similar, but less rigorous process. But the end of the line installers/fabricators/printers (which is most of us here) will never be asked for anything even close to this.
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
I think colorcrest is pushing a different industry with a whole different level of contracts to cut. When you're ordering for POS displays for someone like walmart, or something of the sort, they are going to want your sh*t together. I'd be willing to wager the brokers running the walmart installs had a similar, but less rigorous process. But the end of the line installers/fabricators/printers (which is most of us here) will never be asked for anything even close to this.
Yes purchasing managers evaluate suppliers, even on our peon level we get site visits to evaluate what we can do. Unless I missed something, the argument was about suppliers giving their vendors information for backup suppliers or vendors requiring that you give them that info. Also that you need to continue servicing their account post mortem.
 
Unless I missed something, the argument was about suppliers giving their vendors information for backup suppliers or vendors requiring that you give them that info.
Consider a customer may need to know what company you intend to use as your fall-back production source because there are often intellectual property protections involved and other times the customer has a conflict or might be in litigation with the company you plan to use. If so, the customer will tell you if they want to pursue you as a preferred BPO vendor.
 
What does a chart of web traffic have to do with any of this?
JBurton mentioned "a whole different level."

Fortunately, the chart is coincidental. It portrays Signs.com that towers over the others. The company was formerly Ferrari Color and based in Salt Lake but who purchased Ferrari Color, which started as a modest photo lab, from Maggie Ferrari in Sacramento. A shop with beginnings probably not unlike that of Stacy K, Boudica, or others here. Point being, very small shops might become the biggest and opportunity might come knocking and possibly utter the term, BPO, as Sign.com still does at their website. (BTW, Maggie is not even retirement age yet.)

Also, in post #11 the OP mentions extraordinary investments including a new location and two (2) HP W800 machines and more, as I understand it. The OP’s duplicate machines preceded and exemplifies a point I made later in my post #39.

I will be rooting for the OP because I noticed some telltale signs and I'm sure he will find good, responsible installers.
 

10sacer

New Member
Like the title says, is there any one man shop or less than 3 employes that make around 500k$ in annual sales? We are expanding and I'm trying to figure if I will be able to make it alone with my wife (she only make design and customer relations).
I do it every year. I am a very specialized one-man shop doing nothing but high-end corporate and collegiate graphics. Most profit comes from design and install and friggin knowledge of every aspect of this crazy business. I have a zero remake rate. I only job out banners because it's just way more cost effective to let someone else do it for .99 - 1.25 per square and ship direct to customers for $10 flat rate.

Don't know who said it, but the back office part is the worst part for invoicing and accounting, but spend $800/mo. to have a team of accountants figure it out for me.

I'm not doing anything different than anyone else who prints wide or grand format. People pay me because it gets done right the first time and I don't have to ask anyone to provide answers to questions and provide valuable suggestions for how to create whatever crazy idea customers come up with.

Can everyone do this? Nope. But I hope everyone tries.
 

bigben

Member
I do it every year. I am a very specialized one-man shop doing nothing but high-end corporate and collegiate graphics. Most profit comes from design and install and friggin knowledge of every aspect of this crazy business. I have a zero remake rate. I only job out banners because it's just way more cost effective to let someone else do it for .99 - 1.25 per square and ship direct to customers for $10 flat rate.

Don't know who said it, but the back office part is the worst part for invoicing and accounting, but spend $800/mo. to have a team of accountants figure it out for me.

I'm not doing anything different than anyone else who prints wide or grand format. People pay me because it gets done right the first time and I don't have to ask anyone to provide answers to questions and provide valuable suggestions for how to create whatever crazy idea customers come up with.

Can everyone do this? Nope. But I hope everyone tries.
And by curiosity. What is your shop size and what machinery do you have?
 
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