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Training options for shop owners

Geet Faulkner

New Member
I will be expanding our training services and I'm looking for opinions from shop owners.

If you were going to spend money of training your current employee(s) would you prefer in-house
or send them off to a location in a "classroom atmosphere with 5-6 other students?

If cost is a consideration, in house could be at least double the price...
how would that factor into your decision?

Look forward to your replies. - Geet Faulkner


Certified Enneadecagon Designer
-- What type of training?

Looking at your site, it looks like you do a lot of paint slinging...
-- How many employees do you have?
-- How many have that skill?
-- Are you trying to get into other types of sign work?

Geet Faulkner

New Member
I understand why you asked these questions. I want to keep this post on track so here is my basic information.

I've been a sign maker for 40 years.
Our shop is my wife and I 90% non computer by choice in our market.

I have over the past 15 years been a consultant/ trainer to other shops and have brokered several sign business sell offs & acquisitions.

The training I am offering is for new hires with no skills in basic production as well as management and sales.


Very Active Signmaker
Can you be more descriptive? If I was looking at your website or something and just saw that information I'd move right along. Can you be more specific in what you offer? You're looking for feedback but I'm still not sure as to what you offer.

"Training" is so vague. I've gone to really good training classes and also been to seminars that were not what I thought they would be and got nothing from them. If I'm going to invest in "training" I'd want to know what I'm getting.


New Member
You're marketing training, but have no employees.

You're marketing management and sales, but haven't told anyone what they're buying.

You're marketing a general knowledge of the sign business, but proudly announce you don't use computers.

From the outside, it looks like you're a talented design/brush guy. You likely keep a very low overhead and have a low cost of doing business which allows you to be moderately successful. I have no doubt you have knowledge to pass on, but your business model is unique and requires a specific and special skill set.

Just based on the information provided, it seems like you'd be better off focusing on marketing towards struggling artists who could apply their skill set to offer a marketable product.

Geet Faulkner

New Member
I'm on the road for the next few days so I am limited to responses:

Let's say that your unskilled employee can get an education in what you want them to handle in YOUR shop.

Now back to my question: see above.


Premium Subscriber
So, are you talking about training newly acquired employees who have nothing to offer a sign shop..... or are you gonna teach/train people with much knowledge already, how to be better, yet ?? Seems, like you might be taking some things for granted. First, shops are hiring totally unfit people, which rarely happens..... or you wanna get to people who are already fit employees and just tweak them a little.

Not following what you're driving at ?? How 'bout, instead of starting a thread when you can't focus on it, why not wait til you get somewhere, so you can talk back & forth with more input ??


Very Active Signmaker
I'm on the road for the next few days so I am limited to responses:

Let's say that your unskilled employee can get an education in what you want them to handle in YOUR shop.

Now back to my question: see above.

He is my answer, I'd pass on this training "opportunity"...


Active Member
I have have a similar hesitation about how you can offer anything significant in our digital age if you don't run a digital shop. I can see your services being an excellent addition to a college or high school level advertising class. Maybe look at teaching a class at a tech school or something.

We do all our training in-house and on the job. The entry level position of this industry is pretty simple work. Lets say that I needed someone to do some brush work training, then maybe I'd send them off. However, that's not a service we offer and don't really plan to ever offer it. So beyond that, this is the digital age and I honestly can't see how your services would be relevant to a majority of sign or print shops.

I could see if you were going around and training in-house to shops and new owners that were just getting started. Then again, you're just setting them up for failure if you can't effectively train them on their equipment and software.

Geet Faulkner

New Member
I appreciate the replies...this is the type of input I am looking for.

The question is vague on purpose and my abilities are not the question.

I have been approached by a trade school looking to expand their offerings in the graphics world.
They would bring in qualified people for specific classes i.e. Crane operations in the sign trade.
I owned a Skyhook and did installs but that don't make me a pro!.. I get that.

I am a 40 year sign business veteran in most aspects of sign making.
After closing my commercial shop 15 years ago, I was asked to restore a failing shop and did so.
They are a well established and successful shop to this day. Since then I have contracted out to
franchises and independent sign shops as a trainer in Sales, Design, Productivity, Sign Business sell off and acquisitions.

As to the question I asked I didn't want to make it about me.
I am looking for how business owners value training and if you have a preference where that takes place.

Personally I'm tired of traveling!