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If you could start over what would you buy and why

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by EddieHollywood, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    This ? is for all you guys or girls that have been in the sign business for some time now.

    With everything you know if you had to start over from scratch what would you buy into and why.

    Would you buy a sign printer, sand blaster, lazor cutter, smaller sticker printer, Get into led signs, or what?.
    Or would get into another business now days.

    What makes the most money for the least investment if you had to buy into one system?

    In your opinion what will still be around the longest and not pushed out by new things coming out.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Custom_Grafx

    Custom_Grafx Very Active Member

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    Before answering, a couple of questions for you.

    What is your current skill set?

    Do you want to/not want to add to this skill set?

    Are you already in the industry or thinking about entering?

    I ask the above questions because the answers you get to yours will vary greatly depending on the answers you give.
     
  3. houseofgrafix

    houseofgrafix none

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    cw
    instead of a sp300v a vp540

    not a cheap POS ebay heat press
     
  4. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    2 words. Silver Eagles. LOTS of em.
     
  5. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    I am a professional photographer making a living for over 10 years now shooting photos.
    Very good at photoshop and designing things and understand grafx programs.
    I have a Canon 44 inch printer love it

    Looking to get into making signs as a add on to photography.
    I love designing things.
    Willing to learn more for sure.
    I am 49 years old i also did video production for ten years before moving into photography.
    Would like to work out of our house we have a bottom story that has parking for up to 12 cars on a main road. The main room is 16x35 with smaller side rooms and restroom.
    But right now i have a 2050 sf store front for another year we are working out of.

    Looking at up to a 30k investment for everything to get started that i woild like to get payed off fast.
    My wife would be a good outdoor sales person and indoor helper we both work togather on everything she is a great people person i am more of the guy that gets it all done.

    Thanks

     
  6. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Stock in apple
     
  7. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

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    Something other than my daige laminator. Love my mimaki.
     
  8. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    Silver Eagles you talking coins?
     
  9. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    Mar 6, 2011
    Maybe that would be a better investment.

     
  10. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Penn
    Gold and lots of it!
     
  11. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    May get better responses by asking what people WOULD NOT buy again if they started over.

    Bad Purchases:
    Speed Press Kit (in the dustbin)
    Excel 5000 Photo Plate Epoxy kit (now in 2nd life as decal doming UV open)
    Mug Wraps & Oven - wasn't alot of money, but mugs have not been a big seller. We use mugs as gifts/givaways now. Buy $1000 worth of stuff? We'll suprise you with your art on a mug for free.


    Best Buy Ever:
    Big Squeegee - pound for pound the most productive money we ever spent.

    Other good purchases:
    Mutoh 1604 - Been a workhourse
    Graphtec Plotter - Wish it was bigger
    Ricoh GX7000 Sublimation printer - Wish I could dump sawgrass ink & use bulk system
    PhoenixPhire 16x20 Auto Clamshell heat press - Great Craigslist buy
    Juki sewing machine

    On the fence...
    Universal 50w Laser Engraver. We use it alot, but it does not attract big high margin jobs like the Mutoh does. 5 years ago we were 90% laser stuff, and 10% signs & misc. Now it is the other way around. I would make more money selling the laser and buying something else that makes a more profitable product.

    Things i want that we can't buy yet:
    CNC router
    Panel Saw
    Metal Shear
    Paint Booth
    Graphics Screen Press (like a Cameo/Saturn) <---waiting to pounce on a closeout sale
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  12. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    Funny i have mug wraps and a oven also have a 16x20 heat press a Ricoh GX7000 and lots of supplys including vapor Ts and metal i make prints on.

    So printing signs is working out best now days.
    Is that a lot of banners or what kind of signs
    Thanks

     
  13. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    Do you think a home sign business with a 54 inch sign printer can make a profet of 80 to 100K A YEAR easy?
     
  14. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    banners and signs is the lions share lately...

    What kind of signs... anything you can stick a print to.
    Sometimes mags, coro, aluminum, steel... MDO, A-Frames... all the regular stuff.

    We also do trophies & awards, so after banners and signs we do those the most. I do want to expand that side of the business, because it is less custom work. That business can move online easily.
     
  15. EddieHollywood

    EddieHollywood Member

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    looks like i have a lot of the stuff for trophies & awards except for a etching system but with dyesub are you doing all color designs for the trophies & awards ?

    I have not thought that much about offering the trophies & awards that is a good thing to think about we could do very easy.

    I got all the dyesub stuff for selling photos we shoot on many items the metal and wood and extra fun stuff.
    I also have a ACS 24 inch cutter for making vinyl Ts or letters and the rhinestone system i have not done much with.

    I do need to get a mounting system for my large prints for sure.
    Would love to have a large format dyesub printer and one of the large heat presses for making over all Ts and other large items but i just do not think i would sell enoff of it to cover the cost of it all VS getting into selling signs.
     
  16. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Without even getting out of bed.
     
  17. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    no.. you definitely have to get out of bed.

    I think he can do $80-100k in gross sales pretty easy, but more work to make that the profit number.

    It is a bad thing to be a home based business but base your sales goals and profit decision by using bad numbers when calculating profitablity.

    Even though he is working out of his house, and working by himself, the business needs to pay it's overhead (rent, electric, phone, insurance, gas, vehicle expenses) and his labor costs. If he makes $100k in net business profit (after taxes) after all that then I think he will have to do at least $300k in gross sales. Gross a grand a day.. without getting out of bed?? Please show me how! If he does not do this then he will find it difficult to grow when he exceeds his work capacity. He will not be able to afford to rent a place to expand, or hire an employee

    Be careful with your business plan calculations.

    We sublimate some plates, usually black text on gold dynasub. I am going to buy a laser printer and use subtoner.com toner for just doing black plates. lots cheaper than the gx7000 sawgrass ink... and no clogs! We also engrave plates with the laser... just depends on what the job calls for. Last week I did a 800+ piece medal job and we printed the 2" inserts on 3165 Oracal, Laminated and contour cut them. For short run medals we would have used a dynasub 2" disk.


    DO not get me wrong... Awards is an inventory intensive business. There are thousands of parts/figures/bases/components for hundreds of different sports. Large trophy dealers get bulk pricing and discounted shipping. You have to make smart purchasing decisions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  18. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    yeah but just for coffee and then back to bed with all the hotties from the easy money. That's my business plan and I'm sticking with it.
     
  19. bayshorecreations

    bayshorecreations Very Active Member

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    A degree in something other than graphic arts
     
  20. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Degree?

    Here's your stinkin degree.
     

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