"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary."
--- Cecil Beaton
There are those in our world who choose to be different for the sake of being different. In other words, the shock jocks, the rebellious teens, and the law breakers who act differently for the attention and shock value that it brings, they are actors on a stage seeking to grab stares toward them.
Another type of difference is adopted by entrepreneurs who have found a better way to provide a quality product or service. They embrace a path that is different than the norm and choose to not only think outside the box, but even design a different shaped box to step outside of.
"If there are things you don't like in the world you grew up in, make your own life different."
--- Dave Thomas
If you are continually doing business the way you always have because that is the way you were taught, maybe it is time for a creative checkup. Perhaps a little jolt of "being different" might be just what your business needs right now.
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."
--- Coco Chanel
One portion of your business that is usually the easiest to get creative in and therefore, to be different in, is marketing. Pick up any magazine or book on marketing and you will see several examples of "different" ways to get the message out about your business.
A good author to glean examples of being different is Seth Godin. Seth has authored several marketing books that have changed the course of business for the good for many business owners. Many of his books such as, Purple Cow, Meatball Sundae, Tribes, and All Marketers are Liars, provide usable tips and insights for being different and gaining customers.
"All I would tell people is to hold onto what was individual about themselves, not to allow their ambition for success to cause them to try to imitate the success of others. You've got to find it on your own terms."
--- Harrison Ford
If you continue doing the same ole thing that others in your industry segment are doing, then you will continue to get the same results that you've always obtained --- for a little while. Then, the wheels begin to come off.
"Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all."
--- Norman Vincent Peale
Being different doesn't mean that you have to dye your hair purple (for those of us that still have hair), or read the bathroom walls to a live radio audience in order to make your business more profitable. It does mean that there is alternative ways to do business and that now might be the time to investigate how you can do things differently.
Maybe you can set a goal this month to call on all existing customers to let them know that you will be hosting a summer cookout at your shop and they are all invited. Have them bring the kids too and invite a clown for the day. The cost is minimal, but the dividends great. It is different, perhaps unexpected, and you will get to know your customers on a deeper level.
"My earliest memory is of feeling different. My parents told me that I wasn't like other children."
--- Billy Corgan (lead vocalist - The Smashing Pumpkins)
Stretching Your Own Screens, Part III: Of Mesh and Meters
By Bill Stephens
The right mesh at the proper tension goes a long way toward insuring successful print jobs. Here's what you need to know when stretching your screens.
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Answering the Call from Sign Haters
By Andrew Bertucci
Make no mistake about it; there are some people who simply do not like signs - some, in fact, actually hate them. If you have been in the industry for even a relatively short time, we've encountered them - usually, and unfortunately, as part of a local committee to regulate signs.
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Vehicle Wrapping Contracts 101
By Jennifer LeClaire
Wrapping vehicles without a signed contract that spells out what the customer should expect - and shouldn't expect - from your sign shop is a mistake that could cost you. Find out how to avoid liabilities with a solid contract.
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In an auto repair shop:
"While you wait for the man in charge, why not talk to the woman who knows what's going on"
In a cafeteria:
"Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria. Socks can eat any place they want."
Seen on a garbage truck:
"Satisfaction guaranteed or double your trash back!"
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.