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Need Help Owner/Installer

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by severe, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. severe

    severe New Member

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    So...what do you do?
    I'm a graphic designer of 30+ years & large format printer of 20+ years in a very limited market.
    I work for a guy that is trying hard to get into vehicle wraps and wants to do all the installations himself in an area ripe for someone that can actually deliver a quality product.
    We have done several wraps, but the end results are sub-par in my professional opinion.
    If it was my business, no way I could approve them.
    So...what do you do?

    Sorry if a bit vague...just trying to cover my tracks.
     
  2. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    has he had any formal training on installation or been taught? Maybe run the angle of " hey, this class is offered- and I bet we can save time and rework by taking it".
     
  3. severe

    severe New Member

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    A 2-day basic/intermediate class and YouTube is the extent of his training.
     
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Wraps are one of those things really need hands on (preferable not just hands on the customer's rides) and lots of it.

    YouTube can be hit or miss (well honestly, so can a formal education, odds are YouTube has the potential of being more hit or miss). Especially if one doesn't have enough of a background to vet what they are watching/listening to. Don't get me wrong, I use YouTube all the time for help out here or there. It's great, but need to make sure you can vet what is being watched.

    If he is really "working hard" to enter into that market, should be able to take honest criticism over it. If not, customers will eventually help him along.
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    When he does these sub-par wraps, does anyone point out his mistakes or shortcomings ?? Ustomers or employees, alike.
    If no one is telling him different, how will he learn ??
    What's your level of expertise from which to pull ??
     
  6. rockz12

    rockz12 Specializing in the strange and unusual

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    When the student is wiser and sees more than the master it is time to open your own sign shop.
     
  7. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    You should feel as if you can chat with your boss about concerns you have with the end product. I'd be worried if an employee wasn't secure enough in knowing he/she could have a friendly conversation about an issue they see with their superior.

    I don't think any of the people I work with have an issue bringing up quality concerns with me and I praise them when they do. They are not afraid to say "Hey, this part looks like ****". Sometimes it's nit picking on a sign 30 ft in the air and I tell them don't worry about it. Sometimes they REALLY see something wrong and I appreciate it. I don't want them to be afraid to speak up... my goal is to have a great finished sign and my feelings won't be hurt if you tell me how I ****ed up somewhere or how something can be better... I like that kind of criticism.
     
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  8. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Not true at all. There's more to running a business than being able to physically do the work. Is the CEO of Caterpillar a machinist? Highly doubtful.
     
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  9. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    It's going to take him some time and practice to learn but it will come with time. You should be able to help him a long if you are able to point out the shortcomings, we all start somewhere. If the customers know what they are getting and are not complaining, I don't see a problem.
     
  10. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    We are just starting to do partial wraps for advertising and there is a definite learning curve. We started by wrapping an employee's car... and did a few partial wraps... and redid them as necessary till they got to the point of being sellable. Using the correct materials makes all the difference, expect to throw away a few thousand dollars worth of materials. Keep at it.
     
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  11. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    I no longer install wraps. In my market, I can find young guys that are mind-blowingly good and extremely fast (using cold pre-stretching techniques and knifeless tape). An average car or small truck can be wrapped from head to toe for $500 - $800 plus cost of materials. I do the design and I let these nimble speed freaks do the prep and installation (it's a cultural thing, and these guys have a machismo ethic about the whole affair). The average price for a completed wrap has dropped from around $3000 - $5000 to $2500 - $3000. This is a young person's game.

    The good thing is these guys are not designers, nor do they want to be. They are perfectly happy being supplied with "ready-to-install" 3M IJ180cv3 with 8518 laminate (what I use). After paying for the vinyl and the install wizards, I am usually left with well over $1000 in my pocket plus whatever I charge them for design (usually around $500.00). The total bill to the client for an average full car or small truck wrap is usually under $3000.

    I'm not the only one to figure this out, and a couple of hipster screen print shops in my area have entered the fray. The profits are excellent, the cost to the client is the about same; it boils down to the graphic design. I'm known for business-building graphics that are clear, legible and professional. I'm not the guy for flames, armour plate, and lightning bolts.
     
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  12. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    IMG_0001 (1).jpg
     
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  13. XtremeXccessories

    XtremeXccessories Member

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    But if the owner is physically doing the work then it should be done properly or hire someone who can. If the CEO of Caterpillar hops in an excavator s/he better have some training and know what s/he's doing.
     
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  14. rockz12

    rockz12 Specializing in the strange and unusual

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    Do not listen to this.
     
  15. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Why? What he said is not false in anyway.
     
  16. rockz12

    rockz12 Specializing in the strange and unusual

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    If you are producing poor quality work and the customer does not complain its not ok. More than likely they are not coming back.
     
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  17. rockz12

    rockz12 Specializing in the strange and unusual

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    The statement is not false. I did not say "running a business is easy". I suggested if you know an inferior product is being pushed out in a limited lucrative market, perhaps with 20 years of large format experience under your belt. It may be time to consider doing it YOUR way. The idea that fat cats are the ONLY ones who can run a business makes me laugh. Anyone I have met, respected and learned from in the industry are the ones in the fox hole and in the grind of running their own business. This includes myself.
     
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  18. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    An owner may not necessarily have to know how to physically do the work they are selling customers, but if they possess even the slightest instinct of self-preservation, they'll make sure they at least teach themselves to be able to see the difference between doing things the right way and shoving inferior, poor quality work out the door.

    When that phone rings with a disgruntled client, or bad review gets posted, or revenues keep dropping, it sure won't be the underlings who will be accountable for the losses.
     
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  19. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Yet the most successful (in metrics of size and revenue) businesses, the "owners" get the F out of the way and focus on growing, managing, and running the business.

    I started my business because I thought I could do it better or different, and that was 10 years ago... Do I actually produce much any more, not really. Do I miss it? All the time, but the business needs me out of production and selling/managing its growth. Can you just run out and start a business, yes but if you're not prepared you will just be another failure statistic.

    To the OP, I applaud your Boss for learning the trade but and some point you should show him what he could accomplish if he hires experience and focuses on getting more business.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
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  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    ^^ This for sure. ^^

    You people who think ya gotta get your fingernails dirty are staying well within the box. You are not willing to go outside your comfort zone. Sure, a business..... any business, when small should have the owner almost in the trenches with the rest of ya. One you're raking in the money, you're wise to get outta the way and make sure everyone is doing it right. You don't hafta be an expert at what you sell, but ya need to know business and what it takes.

    45 years ago, in my area, one of the most successful sign shops around was run by one of the best artists and hand-letterers I ever knew or saw. He wasn't real good at pictorials, but lettering was 110% in his blood. Guess what, once he was successful, he had so many people in that shop, he never had time to do any hand-lettering, as he was running the show. He had a studio up on the second floor, but I don't think he painted fruit on a table or ships at sea..... he counted his money up there.
     
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