What’s having the greatest impact on your business at the moment?
Having a clear direction, rather than opting for a scattergun approach. By identifying the kind of customers we like to work with, and the work that we enjoy producing, we’re able to deliver a higher level of service to those customers.
Where do you see the greatest wide-format opportunities?
We primarily work on vehicle signage. With the costs of commercial vehicles increasing, and customers looking to retain their vehicles for longer, we’re finding more customers are prepared to invest more into their vehicle branding.
What would make your day-to-day operations easier?
The workshop isn’t particularly well insulated. Given it’s winter, it would be far more comfortable if
the landlord would invest in improving the efficiency of the heating.
Your favourite bit of kit is..?
It’s got to be the HP Latex. After using solvent machines for over a decade, I didn’t fully appreciate
the benefits that Latex would bring. The fact of no outgassing sounded trivial and unimportant, but we’re
turning work around quicker and days that would have been spent waiting for prints to outgas are now
installation days. Any mishaps during production can be quickly rectified too.
What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
A solicitor once said to me, “If you’re not upsetting someone in business you’re not doing it right”. It’s true - sometimes you have to say no, refuse work, or tell a customer that their idea isn’t possible. Trying to please everyone is a fruitless task.
What are you most proud of achieving?
I’m still surprised at some of the clients and brands we’re trusted to work with. For a small family business, working from a relatively small workshop, we do punch above our weight. It’s satisfying that we’re selected over much larger companies to supply customers because of our quality and service.
What lesson does the wide-format sector need to learn?
Pricing has always been contentious, with the varying overheads for each business there’s no hard and fast rules, but in comparison to other trades and industries I think the signage industry often sells itself short, especially with the skills and knowledge required. Try opening your design programme and see how long it takes a plumber to design their own livery