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Too many sign shops!!

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Creative_Lance, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Creative_Lance

    Creative_Lance Very Active Member

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    I am not exaggerating but i just realized that in my small town and specifically in 1 mile radius there are 11 sign shops that i know of!! 6 of them are just a few blocks away from my shop, they opened one after the other over the last 1-2 years. It is either they are not too smart or simply the sign business has become the easiest trade in the world all of a sudden!
    No wonder we are busy lately :smile:
     
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  2. sarge

    sarge Active Member

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    just in the last 5 months or so there has been 4 new sign businesses open up with -in a couple of miles from here .. my wife says competition is good and she enjoyes the challenge .. all four have been here and want to look around at what i have .. i say no .. they want my help .. i say no unless they pay me .. they want to know what software i use .. i say sometimes publisher (only when i get it as a file) .. one guy got pissed .. they all want to know how i get my customers .. as long as you have free enterprise there is nothing you can do, but hitch up your britches and hustle a little harder .. i enjoy going to home shows and i swear the last 8 or 9 have had these guys that you can buy a sign business like a shopsmith .. then those guys all want someone to spoon feed them ..
     
  3. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    Take a look at the New Member Welcome forum- are you sure you are not
    helping them without knowing it?:rolleyes:
     
  4. Creative_Lance

    Creative_Lance Very Active Member

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    :omg:
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    I just checked and there are 30 shops in my area that show up on Google, add the home based and those who do not show up, and there might be 45-50. Half of them are making signs as a secondary service to their main specialty. There is no way this area can support that many sign shops. Good thing I don't have to compete with them. I'm sure it's cut throat.
     
  6. ncpdfsb

    ncpdfsb Member

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    how many franchised? sign-o and such? here in ny they come and go within 12-18 months. i think its the franchise fees and lack of experience... not saying their all bad but its like walking into a fedx-kinkos.
     
  7. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    i'm amazed that our small town has 4 sign shops. i had tried being in biz here 10years ago and there was only one other shop. i failed because i was in a rock band at the time and didn't put enough effort in.
     
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    Maybe they just have a $500 plotter, and need to buy prints (from you!). Find out what they don't do that you DO... and sell it to them!

    There is alot more to having a sign shop then cutting stickers for coro. (but those guys all THINK they have a sign shop)
    Do they do pan/channel, monument, carved, post & panel, screened, neon, led, wraps, engraved, ada, wayfinding, etc...??

    Find out what they do and fill the gaps.
     
  9. Creative_Lance

    Creative_Lance Very Active Member

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    I see what you are saying but for some reason i feel funny when dealing with the competitors, i always have this feeling that they have something up their sleeves and are out to hurt my business!
    i could be wrong too.
    My sign supply delivery guy spreading the news voluntarily without asking him anything and i'm not sure if i want to deal with them and quite frankly i don't feel comfortable at all having any of them at my shop getting ideas, stealing my employees or God knows what else!
     
  10. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    I was thinking of offering my services to some local shops...

    but on another thread, it was pointed out how i could be possibly training my competition. so i haven't done it . but the only thing i really have to offer that the local shops don't is certain skills like wraps or design.. i don't do electrical or channel letters and stuff in house.
     
  11. igneous

    igneous Member

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    ^ funny you'd say that

    i sat down yesterday and wrote a long and informative blog post to submit to a local NC business networking site. before posted it i realized what a great little (but invaluable) lesson it was for any new sign maker. i quickly decided not to post it. i've definitely been more conscious of my competition ever since i saw my web-addy posted on the us cutter forum-
     
  12. Mark L

    Mark L Member

    We have 3 in the same complex thanks to our landlord. We were the first one and then he added another. The print shop decided to start doing signs also. Drive along our busy street and you see 3 sign shops with in 7 units.
    I did notice on Friday the print shop closed his doors though so we are down to 2.
    Its so fustrating we'll have a customer ask for a price on a vehicle wrap then leave our shop and walk down 4 units and ask the 2nd shop for a quote also...
     
  13. high impact

    high impact Very Active Member

    OUCH

    You have a lousy landlord AND attorney!

    That missing non-compete language should have been caught in the lease. You DID have your attorney look over your lease before you signed it I assume???
    :Oops:
     
  14. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    My little town of 3000 has six of them.
     
  15. southside signmaker

    southside signmaker New Member

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    We have many sign shops within a 5 mile radius. Within the last 6 months four of these strip mall type shops have shut their doors. Last week I changed out a sign face on one of the four, this is a tough time for many in our area...Rents are high and expenses are up, without a nitch, it can be tough to survive, especially at 20sq.foot rent and 6-7% franchise fees.
     
  16. southside signmaker

    southside signmaker New Member

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    Hey Pat,
    I thought Montgomery Al was a bit larger than 3,000 people.
     
  17. steve b

    steve b Active Member

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    Time for some of you to get in on the supply side of the trade!

    steveb
     
  18. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    I live in Wetumpka in the meteor crater. I'm 15 miles north of Montgomery. My shops in Montgomery...it's got 45 other legit shops.
     
  19. coyote

    coyote Active Member

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    We have found that our customers want to use us because they trust us and know our quality. They know they can probably get it cheaper if they go to every shop in town. They pay us because they don't have time to shop around and they can't afford to get a bad product. Glad we don't have to deal with walk ins and shoppers.
    C
     
  20. ProWraps™

    ProWraps™ Guest

    im in sacramento. we have sign shops in the HUNDREDS. and yet we are thriving. they might as well be burger joints. i dont care about the competition. why? because i provide a service that makes my customers happy and profitable. i work non stop to make sure they are getting the best that i can give. competition be damned.
     
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