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Come meet me!!!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Mike Schwin, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Mike Schwin

    Mike Schwin Member

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    Dec 24, 2008
    Hi all!
    New member/former lurker here. I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Mike and I have been in the sign business since Christ was a child. Alright maybe not that long. Really I have been working in the sign industry off and on for most of my adult life. I recently was in construction management but do the the incredible implosion of the economy I was laid off just about a year ago.

    Fast forward a year to the day and here I am. I have been surviving working in other areas but for no-ware near to what I was making. One of the areas making signs and vehicle graphics. I have an ex employer/sign shop owner/ that is really more of a friend now that lets me use his equipment for free. Although I slip a little something for them in the cash drawer when I'm done.

    Now I have been entertaining the crazy notion of starting my own business. The area I am in is "light" on sign shops, meaning there aren't to many around. I have run all aspects of a sign shop in my time and most importantly its something I LOVE to to do, so why not. Any advice from other owners is always appreciated.

    So any way that's a small glimpse of me. Thanks
     
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  2. jscarl

    jscarl Very Active Member

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    Welcome from mid Michigan.
     
  3. Air Art Girl

    Air Art Girl Very Active Member

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    welcome and good luck in whatever you decide. With this economy right now you might be better off working for your friend. Go out find new jobs, help with the production/installs and see how busy you can get before jumping into your own business investment.
     
  4. johnny_loves_amy

    johnny_loves_amy Member

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    Sep 27, 2008
    Run while you still can!!!!
     
  5. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    Pleased to meet you.
    Advice? If you don't already, subscribe to SignCraft.
    http://www.signcraft.com/
    The subscription comes with a free pricing guide to make sure you are charging enough.
    If you don't already have it buy the Mike Stevens layout book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Layout-Art-Eye-Appeal/dp/091138068X
    to help your work have a professional look.
    As for equipment, I can't tell you what to buy but if you read 101 enough you will learn what others prefer.
    Sounds like your sign buddy is a good friend, will you alienate him by setting up shop?
    Love....Jill
     
  6. Mike Schwin

    Mike Schwin Member

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    Dec 24, 2008
    I do subscribe to SignCraft and as for the book I have had that in my library for years. When I was working as a production manager for one of the franchise sign shops the first thing I did when training a new hire was give them my copy of that book and told them to learn it, live it, love it.

    As for my friend/former boss he supports the idea and I couldn't ask for a better friend or mentor. I went to him for advice on the matter, and he has offered to help get it off the ground. He is even letting me use some of his less used equipment.
     
  7. BlueRidgeFabrication

    BlueRidgeFabrication Active Member

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    Sounds like you've really got what it takes...as long as you are willing to put all your time and effort into it and perhaps not get much out of it at first. I still work harder and longer than most anybody else I know, but I love what I do.

    Welcome to Signs 101!

    Jessica
     
  8. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    Good luck and welcome
     
  9. THATgirl

    THATgirl Very Active Member

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    It's always scary to venture out on your own. But you will never know unless you give it a try. Best of luck to you
     
  10. high impact

    high impact Very Active Member

    Welcome!

    It seems you may already have a huge advantage over many others. Good luck.
     
  11. maddmd

    maddmd Member

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    Welcome from NJ :Welcome:
     
  12. vinylbarry

    vinylbarry Active Member

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    Welcome From Ky
     
  13. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

    Mike, I say go for it, you have a leg up on it already with your experience & help from the friend, good luck & Happy New Year-Bill
     
  14. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

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    Sign Up Graphics

    Welcome from Skokie, IL :thumb:
     
  15. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    BC
    Welcome from BC..best wishes.
    Ken
     
  16. ColesCreations

    ColesCreations Member

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    Dec 15, 2006
    At least you should be able to pick up a cheap lease on new or slightly used equipment these days!

    I think the first things you need are at least a 160 cm solvent printer, a cutter, and a laminator with take-up rollers.

    This from someone who started a couple of years ago and took too long getting the solvent printer:)

    Don't buy a smaller printer, as you may have to pass on jobs, and price is not that much more than a narrower model. A 250-printer may be too hard to handle alone due to heavy rolls.

    Good luck, and happy new year from Norway!
     
  17. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Sun City, AZ
    Welcome !
     
  18. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Orlando
    Highimpact ......is right your set to rock n roll .... enjoy....
    you already know that the sign trade is the best industry for a skilled craftman,
    that you can enjoy many aspects with as many talents
    you seem to have several ....good luck ...and ya can always ask questions here
     
  19. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

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    Oct 10, 2005
    Lawton, OK, USA
    Welcome from OK.

    Making signs is the easy part of running a business.
     
  20. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Dec 30, 2003
    NJ
    Welcome Aboard!
     

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