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How does a signmaker take a vacation?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by depps74, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. depps74

    depps74 Member

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    I've been in the buisness for many years. Getting away is always a problem. I have people to man the shop, but if a big job comes in from a whale client I either have to go back or spend most of my time on the phone.

    I don't want to decline jobs because that just lets in the competition to my territory, but
    I also want to get some much needed R and R.

    I am hoping this is a common enough problem to get some helpful solutions that have worked for some veterans of the sign industry and just solo biz owners.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Do you have someone that can talk with and make the necessary decisions when a client like that comes in? Having regular employees that run the line is different.

    If you don't have someone to handle those things, then get someone.

    If you have someone, then it's either a legitimate trust issue that they can't do their job (which case you need to get someone else) or your on the controlling side of things and unwilling to see if that person can do their job. Assuming, of course, that this person sticks within a certain written guidelines (if you don't have this, also something that I would suggest) of what decisions that they are able to make while you are gone and which decisions still need your approval. Won't totally eliminate your involvement, but done correctly, it will help lessen it to where you should be able to get away.
     
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  3. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Member

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    How long at a time are you looking to get away? If it's a week that shouldn't be a big issue with clients waiting that long. I usually take two weeks during Christmas time because it gets slower then.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Emd2kick

    Emd2kick Member

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    If it’s a large project just give them my phone number while you’re away and I’ll take care of it...jk

    In all seriousness, it’s about infastructure. You have to ask yourself what role(s) are you performing that others at your shop aren’t capable of? No one will ever love your business like you do, but if you cannot build a team and delegate you also won’t be able to continue to grow your business or take a vacation....in fact you will actually be the sole reason your business doesn’t continue to grow.

    Just remember as the owner of a business you are the most expensive pressman, driver, csr, so defining your role and others is important.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. i'm a one man shop with a few "whale" clients. i have been away two weeks this year already, Naples Florida in feb, ~ very nice and Myrtle Beach in April, super nice!

    I let my clients know months in advance and hope to hell they have their ducks in a row...

    got a last minute job from one of them two days before i left but working till 1am a few days doesnt hurt too much.

    gotta make it happen.

    thinking a week fishing in Northbay Canada in july is in order....
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Emd2kick

    Emd2kick Member

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    ddarlack what’s a whale look like for a one man shop? Just curious
     
  7. stew1tx

    stew1tx Centex Wraps and Signs

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    Haha 25000 bumper decals with short turn around is a whale of a client. I’m reading through this and thinking we are a small shop but somehow some way we have been stuck solely on the wrap side. We do some other stuff but the bulk of our work are wraps and I’m thinking I need to diversify a bunch.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. untitled

    untitled Member

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    I normally just let my main clients know that I will be away for set amount of time and they will usually place an order before I leave to have completed and they have no problem with that. Normally I take at minimum a one month vacation out of the country and usually try to get away a couple of times a year for an extended weekend or a week or so. I will set my email to auto respond that I have limited access to internet / phone and also set my voicemail that I am away. Always seems to work out as I always keep in touch with my clients and regard many of them as friends, definitely makes it easier in this type of situation as they will wait for me to return. It's not really like signs and printing and promotional stuff can't wait, well the type of stuff I do any way.
     
  9. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Sometimes you just have to step off the ledge and go. Give your key guys a rundown of the work you have, an emergency contact number and take off. Forward your phone to the office, stay off your email and enjoy yourself. The place wont burn down and customers arent going to abandon ship while youre away.
    I used to feel the same way, cant go anywhere and when i did I might as well have been working. It was a few of my good customers that encouraged me and drove home the point of needing to disconnect sometimes. They will all understand.
     
  10. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Member

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    I want to take a trip with my wife and kindergartener out of the country but never been. Don't know where we should go... thought UK would be an easy first trip but it's quite expensive.
     
  11. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Vacation - that would be so nice.
    I have to notify my customers in advance before I take a crap. Being over half a century old it can be a time consuming adventure.
    This year I finally gave in an let my clients know I have a cell phone. Now I'm really having fun.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Member

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    Try living with Chrohns.. half my life is spent taking a crap, other half feeling like I have to crap.
     
  13. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Vacation is thrown out the window when you become a sign maker.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    I see my own experiences in many of these responses- and I think WildWestDesignsWildWestDesigns hits the nail squarely on the head.
     
  15. sinclairgraphics1

    sinclairgraphics1 Sinclair Graphics & Installations

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    LOL, so true! I couldn't even take time off when both of my children were born. They came early both times so couldn't plan a round it. My wife was pissed but what am I supposed to do. I don't have anyone competent enough to handle the clients or day to day operations at my shop for more than a day. It's so amusing to me when people say they are going to start their own business and think they will have all the time in the world and be their own boss. You are never your own boss, your clients are your boss and they dictate your time if you want to keep them. Sad but true, all the years I've been in this business I've learned that keeping your clients happy is number 1, keeping your employees happy is number 2, the owner/boss, your needs are last. That's the way it is around here, maybe different for others who have figured out a way to balance it all.
     
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  16. tager_rot

    tager_rot New Member

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    I don't want to over simplify a real issue, but I always am guided by a few simple yet hard to execute principals.

    1. People First
    2. You can have control, or you can have growth. Not both...
     
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  17. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    My wife sneaks behind my back, schedules the vacation, then tells me when we're leaving. Absolute truth. She has too or I probably wouldn't go.
     
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  18. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    Even brain surgeons take vacations so just plan for it and do it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  19. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    My wife tells me when we are going and we go. I have never been gone longer than a week, since I started in 1988. I used to have employees so it wasn't a big deal, one man show now makes it harder. Going to Branson this summer and Portland OR in the fall.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    I am guilty of not taking a real vacation. Sure i take a week off, but I really would like to go to Europe for a good 3 weeks and tour around...As a 1 man shop that is near impossible..but I am 60 now so maybe in a few years I just go and what will be...will be. I am not easily replaced!!!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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