It never fails to amaze me how someone can ask for advice and opinions as you have, Quote: "I would really appreciate some input please" and "Any recomendations would be greatly appreciated" and then get upset when they hear something other than "Yes, go for it, do it, you’ll do fine", etc. If you don’t want to hear an opinion that’s contrary to what you want to hear, then don’t ask. You should make it clear that you only want people to say "yes" and you will not appreciate anything else.
You (and some others) have missed my point entirely. The real question is not can I just hang up a shingle and call myself a sign shop, but should I. Of course anyone can do it, there’s no laws against it. Which brings up the point, why are there no laws against it? You can’t just decide tomorrow that you’re an electrician, or a pilot, or a myriad of other professions. Why? Because that would cause a hazard to public safety, so we have all kinds of rules & regulations that prevent people taking on various roles without proper qualification. So, why is this not the case with the sign industry? Well, obviously, nobody’s going to get hurt by an ugly sign. Correct? Well, not entirely. You see, as sign makers, we hold (to a certain degree) the potential for the success or failure of other people’s business efforts in our hands. That’s a considerable responsibility. I don’t see very many businesses with shoddy logos/signage, grow. And the one’s who do have quality logos/signage generally do seem to succeed. I’m not saying the sign industry should be regulated like that, but hopefully you get the point.
So again, the question really is, "Should I start a sign business?"…..because in doing so, you’re basically communicating to all potential customers that you are capable and competent of offering them the professional sign services & solutions that they are seeking in order for them to put forth a professional presentation and not look like a shmuck. If you elect to do so with little or no experience in the trade, then you are doing them a disservice, causing yourself a load of grief, and doing the industry in general more harm than good.
Put it this way: what if you took your prized car in to a body shop for that body & paint job you’ve been saving up for. You’ve left it with them and then find out from someone that they have no real experience in this type of work. They just bought some equipment, rented some space, and will learn as they go. How would you feel? I’m sure none of us would be patting them on the back saying, "I wish you all the best, you go ahead and use my ’32 Coupe as a guinea pig." No. You’d have it back in your possession real quick.
Feels kinda different when you flip it around, huh?
This tired old line of "well, we all had to start somewhere" doesn’t really hold any water, and is an attempt to strike some emotional chord of sympathy and acceptance to everything and everyone. You said: "You too started at a learning stage. Enough said!!!" Yes. Of course. Nobody was born capable of anything. We all had to learn everything we know. The fact is, I started my own business after two courses and then 5 years of experience/employment in established sign shops. I felt that I’d be lying to customers if I opened up shop without a reasonable ability to serve them.
Quote: "I am not going to defend myself against you Colin." Huh? Why on earth would you feel the need to defend yourself when I offered no attack whatsoever? I offered an honest suggestion (to your question) that you acquire some experience first. Perhaps I was looking out for your best interest?
I posted this on another thread a while back, it seems fitting again:
Once, there was a nonconforming sparrow that decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south. In a short time ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. Soon after, a cow passed by and deposited a large pile of manure right on the sparrow. The sparrow thought, "Oh this sucks, this is the end for me".
But the fresh manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm & happy and able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then a cat came by, and hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird and promptly ate him.
The moral of the story:
1. Everyone who appears to crap on you is not necessarily your enemy.
2. Everyone who gets you out of the crap is not necessarily your friend.
Again, I refer back to your original comment: "I know I am asking for trouble if I don't get some experience before buying the equipment and opening up shop". So I’m wondering what changed in 24 hours? You now seem convinced to the contrary.