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Hello from NJ

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by S1GNGUY, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. S1GNGUY

    S1GNGUY New Member

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    Sep 17, 2007
    This is my 10th year as a NJ shop owner. Started from nothing with no buiness experience and no sign industry experience. So, you might have guesed - I learned the hard way.

    Majority of our work is now electric signs, service and installions. As of now, there are 11 employees. Our business plan should bring us to 22-25 in the next few years.

    My biggest issues (in order of importance) are;
    Zoning
    Price (as it relates to some of the competion)
    Internal Management
    Finding good and competant employees
    Profitability

    I trust participating in this site will be enjoyable and educational. I live and breathe this industry and have experienced quite a bit. I am 33, married with one 20mo old, so personal time is becoming more valuable to me. Having grown the business to a certain level (level of chaos) I now wan't to focus on working ON the business as opposed to working in it so much, with the goal of prodcing that well oiled machine.
     
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  2. Dan Ripper

    Dan Ripper Member

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    May 10, 2006
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    Greeting from Detroit.
     
  3. maddmd

    maddmd Member

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    Mar 14, 2005
    USA
    Welcome from just a little south of you :Welcome:
     
  4. Pro Image

    Pro Image Major Contributor

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    Nov 28, 2005
    Howdee from VA...................
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Welcome from PA.........................
     
  6. Sign_Boy

    Sign_Boy Major Contributor

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    May 18, 2007
    USA
    Welcome from NJ
     
  7. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    Jersey....

    foggetta bout it!
     
  8. Velocity

    Velocity Member

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    Welcome from Florida Duuude!:Cool 2:
     
  9. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    PA welcomes you
     
  10. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Sun City, AZ
    Welcome from the great Pacific Northwest . . . !
     
  11. Git-R-Done

    Git-R-Done Member

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    Mar 31, 2005
    Valparaiso
    Welcome to the family from Illinois.
     
  12. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    Hi S1GNGUY..Welcome from BC.
    I always wonder about people who feel the need to "go big"..I mean..if you were a two person shop ( you and wife)..and you didn't have to pay all those wages, insurance, fleet costs, rent etc.. wouldn't it work out the same? Do you feel that, when the time comes, you will be able to sell your biz and recoup the effort you have put into it? I guess I'm just not that ambitious, but I think a creative business should stay that way. Yes, you need to watch the bottom line..but how much fun is it to babysit employees, or crack the whip? I'm wondering aloud now..Is it the power of controlling other people's welfare that causes someone to become an employer? Is it just about money? Success has a different view from every side of the fence. Alright, you stated you are 33 ( but did not sign your name..grr), so I can understand your need to feel like a mover and shaker. ( I'm 20 years older than that..to help give you my perspective)..so this is a sideways " Welcome"...I'd like to know WHY you feel the need to go big?
    Regards..Ken
     
  13. Welcome Sign Dude from Florida! You found the best forum on the net.
     
  14. S1GNGUY

    S1GNGUY New Member

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    Sep 17, 2007
    Thanks for the welcome everyone, names Bob BTW.

    Ken, thanks for the welcome also (sideways or straight up LOL) To answer your question, it's all about the money. We have some very real talent in our industry. Those of you that can paint by hand, or carve foam or wood, create beautiful designs either by computer or freehand amaze me. You truley are gifted. The same goes for good sheet metal workers, who create 3D structures from a drawing on a sheet of paper.

    I however do not have such talents. I got into this industry by accident, and only got into to business for the money. I know everyone is in business for the money, but the truth is some of you really love what you do every day, and would likely do it even if you made less.

    You have some very valid points. If I truely loved to make signs and had the benefit ? of my wife by my side everyday - that probably would be a great thing. I hope this does not shock anyone, and that I am not judged by this, but here it goes - I DO NOT LIKE MAKING SIGNS. There, I said it.

    I enjoy the daily aspects of business and the challenges that come with it - especially in this business. I truely love being on the street (in sales) and meeting and learning about my clients businesses, success and short comings. To me, my clients are not purchasing metal, plastic and glass. They are investing in their own image, growth and success. My job is not really to build them a sign (OK in actuality it is - but I sell the results) It is to grow their business. I truely believe that and that is how I sell.

    I guess you could say I am ambitous. My growth plans are. But the 22 to 25 person shop is simply the result of revune projections and the needed capacity that comes with it. This is were we THINK the sweet spot will be. When we were a four person shop, I was making a little money, I was also the book keeper, the sale person, the welded, painter, installer, permit processor, president...you get the idea. Not that there is anything wrong with that, like I stated above. Also I would like to add - that I did not make any more money until I hit 10 people. And your right about all the headaches that come with it.

    What we have created is great group of talent and a TEAM. From the Sales person to Designer to Fabricator to Installer - this type of work requires team work at its finest. I do know I can't make the kind of money I wan't in this business by myself. I am just not that taleneted. I feel confident I can build a profitable business and infracstructre in this business, with the end goal (some 25 years away) to sell it - let's face there is so much work out there! There are also huge challanges and hurdles, yes.
     
  15. dclet

    dclet Active Member

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    Hi Bob
    In Jersey? Where about?
     
  16. S1GNGUY

    S1GNGUY New Member

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    Sep 17, 2007
    Burlington (central)
     
  17. dclet

    dclet Active Member

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    Dec 23, 2004
    fdsfdf
    Middlesex (upper central) :)
     
  18. Sign_Boy

    Sign_Boy Major Contributor

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    May 18, 2007
    USA
    Mercer County here
     
  19. GK

    GK Very Active Member

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    Apr 30, 2007
    NYC
    Middlesex here =) greetings
     
  20. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    Welcome to the group.
     
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