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Customer turned "competitor"

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by kstompaint, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. kstompaint

    kstompaint Active Member

    So, this "friend" (I've been aquainted with him for about 20 years) / customer (who owed me $92 for about 18 months) stopped by and says he's tired of the business he has and he'd like to get into something new. He asked if I needed any help. I don't need any help and we typically slow down some this time of year anyway, which is what I told him.

    He comes back a few days later and says that he wants to tell me something before I hear it somewhere else and he doesn't want me to be mad. "I bought a plotter."

    I know it's only a matter of time untill somebody walks through my door and says "...but "Bob" down the road said he'd do that for $15." There are already too many people who fit into that category around here. It's driving me insane. I'm not mad, just frustrated.

    Now this pops up...
     

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  2. Border

    Border Very Active Member

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    Let him do those low-end $15 jobs while you concentrate on bigger custom stuff that pays better and requires more expertise.
     
  3. RJ California

    RJ California Active Member

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    Nice scraggly 2x4 posts~

    As far as your "buddy" -- this will be happening more and more. You will still have a huge advantage if you've been in business for a while and have a fairly loyal customer base. Compete with value, not price.
     
  4. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Six months or less and he offers to sell you his "business"
     
  5. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    This. If he can't understand basic design and kerning (see second sign on post) you have nothing to fear.
     
  6. qmr55

    qmr55 Very Active Member

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    Ugh that font for "blue dog" is atrocious! Just take it for what it is, THAT is the guy you will be competing with....don't spend too much time being frustrated with it. He won't last it that's the type of work he's putting out.
     
  7. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    That is some GREAT K E R N I N G
     
  8. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    +1
     
  9. john1

    john1 Guest

    sweet! lol...
     
  10. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Tell him he needs to buy a wide format printer, laminator etc... Ya know, the exact stuff you want in your shop. Within a few months you will be able to buy it for pennies.

    BTW the dog(?) looks like a squid or bird droppings
     
  11. kstompaint

    kstompaint Active Member

    I already have all that stuff. But I guess I could use spares :)
     
  12. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

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    :rock-n-roll:

     
  13. John L

    John L Very Active Member

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    We install signs right next door to shops like that all the time. You've got nothing to worry about.
     
  14. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    After going to sign school then another 10 years learning the trade, buying equipment success & fails etc. along come a expensive vinyl cutters then 10 years later comes even more expensive printers.

    Of course vinyl cutters got cheaper same with printers & they both got way better & are now the main equipment with PC & software you can be anything ...NO SKILL REQUIRED also of course sign prices dropped like a rock in water during all this.

    Frustrated you bet I am ... Get over it by selling work. best I can tell ya.
     
  15. thmooch

    thmooch Active Member

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    Is that a single wide with a porch & underpining? I needa get me some signage there...
     
  16. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

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    Sorry,,, but that is one ugly sign! How many times does he need the word graphic(s)????
     
  17. Speedsterbeast

    Speedsterbeast Active Member

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    Last time I checked it was free country down there.
    I know it still is up here. In fact my grandfather spent five years overseas during World War II to ensure that I could do things like start up a business, even if the guy down the street already has one. Sorry no sympathy here.

    But yes, the kerning on that sign is disgusting.
    But I'm sure, he/she 'll be on this site and see their sign in no time.
     
  18. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Haha.
    That sign is atrocious.
    But I bet it was CHEAP.

    He bought a plotter but he can't buy years of experience.
    Pretty sure he'll have his hands too full screwing up to bother you much.
     
  19. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

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    Happened to me too. Two good friends that decided to partner and start doing signs themselves. They lasted about a year and are no longer friends with each other.
     
  20. kstompaint

    kstompaint Active Member

    I wasn't looking for sympathy. My Grandfather came back from WWII with a purple heart. That has nothing to do with the subject at hand. I wasn't pleading with the government to shut him down.

    Just the kerning?
    I really don't give a ****.

    Yea, Craig, I feel ya. I may only be 36 but I started with a paint brush too (still use it pretty regularly). I'm making a decent living and this guy is no threat to it. It's just frustrating that I've spent 10 years learning on the job and another 10 years accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and people who don't have the first clue about what they're doing swoop in and take the easy fast $.

    There are still plenty of niches where I'm the only game in town and I charge accordingly, I'll be fine. The funny thing is that he was a meticulous p.i.t.a. as a customer who would make 500 changes to a "design" that was essentially one font and one color. I'd like to be a fly on the wall when he's on the other side of it.
     
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