"The study of tools as well as of books should have a place in the public schools. Tools, machinery, and the implements of the farm should be made familiar to every boy, and suitable industrial education should be furnished for every girl."
--- Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893)
Every year the sign industry creates and develops new tools that advertise themselves as the latest gadget or gizmo that will save your business. It takes a great deal of research and development to bring new tools to us, but it only takes one phone call and a swipe of a credit card to own them.
Buyer beware is just as important today as it was when snake oil and colored water was the cure-all for illnesses. The only good way to be sure that you don't get suckered into a lame piece of machinery is to do your homework.
"Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents."
--- Arthur Schopenhauer
The trade shows every year offer numerous new products that will save you time, expand your business and help you increase market share. Most of the products and services presented perform pretty close to the promise and will provide many with improved productivity in their businesses. But, that doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for you.
"Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house."
--- Jean Kerr
The allure of something new can be very strong. We fight to keep our wallets hidden, but the mere thought of the newest, latest and greatest whatchit or the does-all-the-work-for-you applicator sitting in our shop can be overpowering at times. These items typically require quite an investment, so making the correct decision is important for the long run.
There are three steps you can take to be sure that you are purchasing a tool that will help to increase productivity. The first step is to conduct a needs analysis of your business. Watch carefully at every step of the process of your business from answering the phone and performing estimates to production, transportation, installation and payment collections.
"The greatest pleasure when I started making money was not buying cars or yachts but finding myself able to have as many freshly typed drafts as possible."
--- Gore Vidal
When your needs analysis is complete, the second step is to shop, but not the conventional way. One of the best ways is to talk to others in your segment of the industry. Look at their performance and learn what tools they use to perform efficiently. Visit trade shows, ask the manufacturers for on-site demonstrations, and read the literature offered. Also, check the web for comparison sites and/or the message forums on various websites for other opinions.
"My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky."
--- William Faulkner
Finally, when you think you are ready to purchase that dream tool, wait! Give yourself seven days or so for the reality of the purchase to sink in. Be open to more discussion from your peers and associates and remain flexible enough to change your mind for the sake of the business.
Owning a tool or piece of equipment that sits idle is foolish. The wise businessperson will seek out the tools that enhance their reputation and inflate their purses.
Wrapping Done Around the World
By Jennifer LeClaire
Are wrapping techniques any different in London than they are in Los Angeles? Find out from one of the United Kingdom’s top vehicle wrapping companies.
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Stadium & Arena Signage: Sporting New Signs to Level Advertising on the Playing Field
By Louis Brill
As sport fans settle in at their favorite stadiums and arenas, they are apt to notice lots of new signage around the facility, alerting them not only to the advertising for beer & BMWs, but also keeping them informed about other games in play around the country, and as well occasional sports trivia useful as party chatter.
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In front of a junkyard in North Carolina:
"Drive Reckless! It helps business!"
At a auto repair shop in Milwaukee:
"Try us once and you'll never go anywhere again"
On a billboard ad for a safe company:
"If your stuff is stolen, it's not our vault"
Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.