Moving to a new state, and weighing my options.


New Member
Hey everyone,

Well I get straight to it. I'm the manager of my family sign business (mostly traffic signs), and my wife and I just decided we want to move to Georgia. My family situation is weird, but pretty much when I tell them that I'm leaving I will likely be disowned so it's kind of an all-in decision. Making signs is all I know, I worked for my dad during high school summer breaks and once I turned 18 I immediately started full time and now I'm 33 and still here. I don't regret it, I actually like what I do but the down side is that my work experience doesn't really transfer over to anything, so getting a job that pays anywhere near what I get paid now will be pretty much impossible.

With that said, when I move I will be debt free and will have enough for a down payment on a house and some extra money to live off for a while. But I'm wondering if I should immediately start a sign business or get a normal job and do signs on the side and slowly build my customer base. I feel that if i immediately start my business I will need to go into too much debt to start up and I will burn through cash for at least the first 6 months because I am starting with zero customers.

What do you guys think is the best thing to do? Has anyone been in a similar situation before? Any help is appreciated.


Merchant Member
Wow, sounds like you are in for an adventure my man! I would work for someone first and get to know your surroundings, then maybe even partner up with another shop.


Active Member
I would recommend renting for a year or so to feel out where you are going You may find a shop that is for sale in a nearby area or figure out there are better opportunities in a different region. Stay nimble until you figure it all out.


You're in for culture shock from Peoples Republic of California to the heart of the south. A thought might be to expand your search to include traffic control/traffic management companies. Seems like you might have transferable skills.


Not A New Member
Sounds like an exciting life change! Be sure to let your family down easy. I can relate...I'm a 2nd generation sign business manager too. Perhaps give them plenty of time to digest the news and extra time to plan how they'll run the place without you.

As for Georgia, I'd live off that "extra money" for awhile and feel things out. Check out other sign companies that are around. If you feel restless, maybe get some other job to bring in a few more dollars and keep busy for awhile. I wouldn't jump into opening a new sign business right away.


New Member

You are me 25 years ago. I left a family business in NY, moved to GA, went through all the stuff you are thinking about.
If I can be of help, text me at 678-472-8395. I'll call you when I'm free and offer a few perspectives to consider.
BTW, GA is a really awesome place to live.


New Member
Find a job first! Unless you have a lot of money saved. I moved across country last year from Colorado to Virginia and it took me months to find a shop hiring what I needed to live on with my family and I still had to rent in the country because housing in the city was ridiculous.


New Member
Might be hard to get a loan without a job/income lined up. Even with a healthy down payment the bank/lender will likely need proof of income or some sort of proof that your income will not be affected by the move. A workaround can be a second home/vacation home in the new location and you get that loan in place prior to selling your old home.

I basically did a similar thing 4 years ago. Took me until this year to get my business paying my bills and was living off savings.