Just In New Shop and Tips for Just Starting

Chris MCSW

New Member
Hey Everyone, Just starting out with a brand new company. I have been in the sign and graphics industry for about 16 years I've pretty much done everything and can do everything to run the production side of a signs shop. Starting a new venture though, just started as the first employee at a brand new sign company. We've already got our equipment in and I am already very familiar with it. Mainly what I am looking at is getting a good base of things, like how to decorate showrooms to storage racks and how to get a bare shop looking like an awesome sign shop. Any photos of showrooms and tips and stuff we might need to make our brand pop is welcome.
 

James Burke

Being a grandpa is more fun than working
Hey Everyone, Just starting out with a brand new company. I have been in the sign and graphics industry for about 16 years I've pretty much done everything and can do everything to run the production side of a signs shop. Starting a new venture though, just started as the first employee at a brand new sign company. We've already got our equipment in and I am already very familiar with it. Mainly what I am looking at is getting a good base of things, like how to decorate showrooms to storage racks and how to get a bare shop looking like an awesome sign shop. Any photos of showrooms and tips and stuff we might need to make our brand pop is welcome.

You're asking a question that borders on "the secret sauce" for many companies. You may have realized...the market is crowded and it's all about the secret sauce. You may get some takers, but then again, maybe not...at least not so obviously.

There is a lot of good information online if you know how to look for it. Start out by doing a SWOT comparison of yourself and what others in your area are offering. When the COVID plague is over, get out and do some "boots on the ground" work to see what you're actually up against because web sites can be a bit deceiving...and sometimes even terribly deceiving.

Lastly, identify and build your brand around your strengths. Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate...and do a stellar of communicating why you're different...even if you're more expensive.


JB
 
Last edited:

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Why not give us some dimensions, layout and/or some pictures of what you have to work with, in order to make some decent recommendations. What you're asking is like some schmuck coming in off the street saying, I'd like a sign for my business, what can you do ??

Ya need input, huh ?? So, give us some input............................. :welcome:
 

rjssigns

Active Member
I work from home and get a lot of repeat business. Clients tell me to my face I'm expensive but keep coming back. Why? I never lie. I don't do things out of my skillset. I stick to the quoted price even when the job goes sideways. I am always on time and do top drawer work.
There's your secret sauce.
That concludes our lesson for the day.
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
Look at what other businesses do in terms of layout. Put the profitable stuff that you want to push front and center. The lower margin stuff that you do but want to avoid put in an album so you can show it if needed but not bring attention to it.
I dont like shelves and excess tables because they catch junk. Id spend a lot of time making a scaled shop layout and rearrange it for work flow. Then stick to that, put everything where it is supposed to be and keep it clean and organized. A nice clean and organized shop makes a good impression on customers. Much more than a bunch of samples in the front office will.
 

iPrintStuff

Prints stuff
Printer -> laminator -> finishing equipment/big labels. Always handy keeping the rolls of paper close to the machines you’re putting them in too.

We have a few extra work tables near the printers that have shelves underneath for all our main stuff. Then a few “hedgehog” roll holders that can be wheeled about.

Though we don’t try to carry too much stock nowadays. Usually hold at least 2 days worth of printing full rolls of each material (unlikely but keeps us safe) and then we get next day delivery on pretty much everything anyway.

As said before, gotta keep it clean!
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Make sure the only toilet in the building is a real sh!t hole. I mean hole in the concrete floor.
Has anyone else noticed this as a trend? Typically I'll see two bathrooms in a shop, one that's decent for the customers, the other that's for the shop fellas and the sink is colored by paint and oil, toilet paper holder is also called the floor, light fixture is just a socket held up by wires, mirror is smaller than an 8.5x11... Is this a trend or do I just go to the worst shops?
But really, do something fun on your walls everywhere you can. Don't dizzy the customer with patterns and such, but find some high def pictures of paintings and print them up. If your show room is also a print room, get some nice racks for your media so you don't end up dominoing all of your materials in front of your customers.
BULLRACK.jpg
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
Make sure the only toilet in the building is a real sh!t hole. I mean hole in the concrete floor.
Has anyone else noticed this as a trend? Typically I'll see two bathrooms in a shop, one that's decent for the customers, the other that's for the shop fellas and the sink is colored by paint and oil, toilet paper holder is also called the floor, light fixture is just a socket held up by wires, mirror is smaller than an 8.5x11... Is this a trend or do I just go to the worst shops?
But really, do something fun on your walls everywhere you can. Don't dizzy the customer with patterns and such, but find some high def pictures of paintings and print them up. If your show room is also a print room, get some nice racks for your media so you don't end up dominoing all of your materials in front of your customers.
BULLRACK.jpg
Thats our shop bathroom. If the 5 people that use it cant be bothered to clean it thats their problem. I sure as heck am not going to do it for them and the one place in the shop I dont mess with. The one in the office is always clean.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
Thats our shop bathroom. If the 5 people that use it cant be bothered to clean it thats their problem. I sure as heck am not going to do it for them and the one place in the shop I dont mess with. The one in the office is always clean.
Well thank god I'm not alone! I think it stems from the mindset of spending all day supporting presentation over functionality, and when it comes down to stuff that's not 'for customers', they like to flip the paradigm to functionality over presentation, ie; sh!thole
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
Well thank god I'm not alone! I think it stems from the mindset of spending all day supporting presentation over functionality, and when it comes down to stuff that's not 'for customers', they like to flip the paradigm to functionality over presentation, ie; sh!thole
Maybe but the shop would look the same if you left it alone too. Their biggest motivation to keep it clean is hating listening to me constantly bltch and fly off the handle when its a mess.
 

bannertime

Active Member
dominoing all of your materials in front of your customers.

At least once a day there is a loud crash somewhere in the shop. You'd think we'd have solved the issue by now, but nope. We keep standing empty and partial rolls on end waiting to go to dumpster or something.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
At least once a day there is a loud crash somewhere in the shop. You'd think we'd have solved the issue by now, but nope. We keep standing empty and partial rolls on end waiting to go to dumpster or something.
Empty rolls to the dumpster? I can't seem to keep enough on hand.

Oh, best homemade (shopmade, whatever) tool that I always forget about. Get two 2x4's just about 8" long, split a core in half, then screw the two cores next to each other on the 2x4's. This will make a cradle for you to set laminate, printed media, any given roll you need to set down between operations. It keeps it in one place, distributes the pressure a little more, and keeps it off the table surface that is never actually clean with all the knicks in it. I use it to thread the rod through the print core for the laminator when I've just taken something out of the printer.
 

bannertime

Active Member
Empty rolls to the dumpster? I can't seem to keep enough on hand.

Oh, best homemade (shopmade, whatever) tool that I always forget about. Get two 2x4's just about 8" long, split a core in half, then screw the two cores next to each other on the 2x4's. This will make a cradle for you to set laminate, printed media, any given roll you need to set down between operations. It keeps it in one place, distributes the pressure a little more, and keeps it off the table surface that is never actually clean with all the knicks in it. I use it to thread the rod through the print core for the laminator when I've just taken something out of the printer.

I don't use them for shipping or really anything other than storing prints between jobs. I may try that out. Especially the big tubes that banner comes in.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
I don't use them for shipping or really anything other than storing prints between jobs. I may try that out. Especially the big tubes that banner comes in.
I wanted one of those when I had this idea, but ended up with two 3" cores. Still haven't worn them out with some rolls of banner material if that's a good indicator. Funny story, I spent a week trying to figure out how to split a core down the length, all 5' of it, straight, before it occurred to me I could leave it round...
 
Top