The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 19 Issue 5
Thursday March 1, 2018

In this issue:

Product Showcases

EstiMate Sign Pricing Software: Sign Estimating & Business Management Made Easy
Get the tools you need to determine what you need to make in order to cover your costs and achieve your profit goals, then making sure every single job is priced to meet your target - all the while giving you professional printed, faxed or emailed estimates that you can have in your customer's hand literally minutes after getting the job specs. Click for more info.
Read on...

Premium Clipart Library - 500,000 Artworks / $49 for a Year
Introducing VectorState, an online library of exceptional quality royalty-free vector art, created by top artists around the world. A one-year membership for just $49 - click above to take advantage.
Read on...

Graphic Tracer Professional - Convert bitmaps into Vector Graphics in Minutes!
With Sensedge(tm) auto-tracing, quickly fix most common shapes, arcs, curves and lines using 'smart' clean-up tools. Automatically identify and replace text in graphics with the correct font. Able to identify over 100,000 fonts.
Read on... Subscribers: Free Pass to ISA Sign Expo
Get a free pass to the trade show floor where nearly 600 exhibitors will be on hand displaying their products and services that can help you become more profitable and efficient, and gain an edge in the marketplace.
Read on...

Why Commit To A Modular Sign System?
By choosing a preferred sign system and using it regularly, you become even more expert at designing and manufacturing signs. You and/or your shop will work more efficiently, lower your labor costs, make effective use of inventory, and begin to recognize potential applications for a variety of different jobs. You'll even save time and increase your chances for additional sales.
Read on...

SIGNLAB V10 - Exceptional design and production software. Exceptional prices. CADlink Technology Corp.
Industry-leading sign making, large format display software. Dozens of new, time-saving, easy to use features from V9.1 and even more from older versions. Call now for your upgrade price: 1-800-545-9581
Read on...

Advertise a product showcase, like above, monthly for $100 or an entire year for just $1000. Get with the program and see what you have been missing!
Call or email for more details: 407-656-5892 or

Sign Industry News

Sign Industry Press Releases
What the heck is happening in our industry? Find out more here...
Go Now --->

Your co-workers or friends may find this newsletter useful too...
Please forward this e-Newsletter along to them, or point them to subscribe at: This link. :)

Time for an Overhead Audit

    "Overhead will eat you alive if not constantly viewed as a parasite to be exterminated. Never mind the bleating of those you employ. Hold out until mutiny is imminent before employing even a single additional member of staff. More startups are wrecked by overstaffing than by any other cause, bar failure to monitor cash flow."
      --- Felix Dennis

We all have it and we can't eliminate it, but we can take steps to reduce it. What is it? It's overhead. Most business leaders are over overhead. They scratch, claw, bleed, and struggle to bring in a great flow of cash only to watch the majority of it go toward running the darn business. The more that is brought in, the more that goes out. Keeping profits in the business coffers is difficult when overhead is way over our heads.

Reducing overhead is a great challenge because we must balance growth with the need to hire more people, buy more equipment, and pay for more space in order to meet the demands of greater growth, and the vicious cycle continues until a successful balance is reached where the overhead is generating more in returns than what is spent to get those returns.

    "Decreased business base increases overhead. So does increased business base."
      --- Norman Ralph Augustine

The balance is achievable and many successful sign companies are currently experiencing the nirvana of business balance. Here are three keys you can use to reach this balance. Like many ideas used for success in business, these three keys will be reminders for many, and sometimes that is all we need.

    "I like to talk to people. I've got one assistant, one Blackberry. That's my overhead. I don't text that much or email. I like to sit down face-to-face and have a conversation with you. I'm old-fashioned."
      --- Mark Wahlberg

First, when the luxury of time falls into your lap, take a quick inventory of all of your overhead expenses. Include everything from the electric bill and garbage collection to sales commissions and magazine subscriptions. Don't leave anything out. Put it all in a spreadsheet if that is your thing or simply make a list on a legal pad.

    "Comedy is great because there's no overhead."
      --- Ron White

Next, scrutinize every expenditure as if your life or the life of a loved one depended on having the money for a lifesaving operation. Don't consider this penny-pinching, but a one-time analysis of what is going out of your business. Slice into each category and determine if every dollar going out is really necessary. For example, can the shop dumpster be shared with another tenant in the building? What are the fees that you don't understand on the electric bill? Why can't every sales person or manager be on the same cell phone plan? Share this headache and ask these kinds of questions of your direct reports.

    "It's time to stop obsessing about overhead and start focusing on progress."
      --- Dan Pallotta

In addition, examine salaries, cost for insurance, fuel for cars and trucks, credit cards and petty cash receipts, and stationary. By asking others in your business some of these questions, you are putting others on notice that the belt is tightening. You may be pleasantly surprised how much information and overhead saving tips that are offered by your staff.

Finally, take drastic steps to reorganize your overhead costs. If you find something too far out of whack, eliminate it. If it appears that in three to six months you have to have it, put it back as an operating expense. The point is that the further down the road we go with justifying business expenses, the more they grow. Without taking the time for an audit, our overhead will overrun our business.

Feature Articles

Why Color Targets Matter
By Ray Weiss

Your color management strategy...without a target, you are shooting in the dark.
Read the article...

Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the article archive:
View the archive now

Advertiser - 2018 ISA Sign Expo
Do More. Sell More...We Dare You!

At ISA International Sign Expo 2018 is where attendees get down to business and is the perfect time and place to make investments in your company.

Network with more than 20,000 sign, graphics, print and visual communications professionals while you explore the tradeshow showcasing the hottest products from 600+ vendors. Learning opportunities abound at the show, with expert-led sign industry specific educational programs focusing on topics such as graphic design, sign code legislation, business management, sales and marketing, technology and more.

ISA Sign Expo offer serious solutions, real results, and opportunities for attendees to make powerful connections.

Register today at ISA Sign Expo 2018 takes place at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida with education and networking March 21-24, 2018 and tradeshow March 22-24, 2018.

Register Today at

Funny Signs

At a auto repair shop in Milwaukee:

    "Try us once and you'll never go anywhere again"

In front of a junkyard in North Carolina:

    "Drive Reckless! It helps business!"

On a billboard ad for a safe company:

    "If your stuff is stolen, it's not our vault"

We need those funny signs you have seen in your travels, come on, we know they are out there. Send them to us at:

Making Possible

These great companies below enable to serve you!

CADlink Technology:
Clarke Systems:
Estimate Software:
International Sign Association (ISA):
Matrix Payment Systems:
American RENOLIT Corp:
Supply 55:

We want your feedback! Let us know what we can do to serve you better. Send your comments to us at: or give us a call at 407-656-5892

- Have a great weekend,

Sean Scott

If your company would like to sponsor this newsletter, please contact me at:
or call 407-656-5892

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