"Every community is an association of some kind and every community is established with a view to some good; for everyone always acts in order to obtain that which they think good."
Every so often a new successful business or entrepreneur makes headlines. They broke through barriers to make it to the top of their game. When interviewed, the person or people responsible will give credit to their internal staff, their newly created software, or even the way the planets were aligned.
Many however neglect to give credit to the community that they belong and the industry that has given them the very steps that they've used to get to the top.
"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off."
--- Franklin D. Roosevelt
As an industry of many diverse businesses, the sign industry is unique in that while there is a real presence of competitive determination, there is at the same time a spirit of cooperation. We've seen it while exhibiting at sign shows and while observing the exchange of ideas on our popular message boards. There is a sense throughout the sign community that help is there for the asking.
"A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship."
--- John D. Rockefeller
Taking advantage of the opportunities given by the various sign associations such as shows, lectures and parties is a great way to make business contacts and solidify deals. You really can't expand your business without reaching out to your prospects. But, these are also good occasions to make lifelong friends.
One way to begin a friendship is by offering to mentor a new business startup. The time invested pays lifelong benefits for the mentor and his or her business.
"Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman."
--- George Soros
In order to become a mentor or play an essential role within the sign community, it pays to be real. In this sense, the definition of real is one who is kind, considerate, genuine and a person of integrity. This means doing simple things like returning phone calls within a 24 hour period. It also means keeping your word above all else, treating other sign companies like you would a customer, and holding employees and team members accountable for doing the same.
"Some of the best business and nonprofit CEOs I've worked with over a sixty-five-year consulting career were not stereotypical leaders. They were all over the map in terms of their personalities, attitudes, values, strengths, and weaknesses."
--- Peter Drucker
The first step in becoming a player in the community and not just a part of it is to accept that other leaders will do things differently. We're talking about being sensitive to diversity; not in the worldly, political, hug-a-Martian sense, but in the sense that the sign community has room for all types of businesses. Technology creates even more differences, so be prepared to deal with it.
Secondly, know that you must participate and be willing to give before you can receive. Be proactive in sharing your knowledge and other resources with other businesses. You're not "giving away the farm" by doing this, but investing in the future of your business and your industry.
"It's fascinating as we continue to innovate and lead the way in both the application space and the database space. In the very beginning, people said you couldn't make relational databases fast enough to be commercially viable. I thought we could, and we were the first to do it. But we took tremendous abuse until IBM said, 'Oh yeah, this stuff is good.'"
--- Larry Ellison
Finally, show appreciation to those who succeed. Send a notice of congratulations to a company you know who was awarded a contract for a project or whose final work is outstanding. You are not showing weakness, but rejoicing with a member of the family. A community works that way!
By Jennifer LeClaire
CNC routers are getting higher-tech at lower-costs. Find out what bells and whistles the latest models have to offer.
Read the article...
Dynamic Digital Signage - The New Age of Advertising
By Yvonne Li & Greg Gilbert, ADurance Inc.
Dynamic Digital Signage has emerged as the “Next Killer Application” for the new generation of sign technology in the advertising industry. A digital signage system, which is usually composed of a server or PC, a monitor or TV and software, is capable of delivering full-screen, full-color content to multiple locations. Cost of implementation has been reduced significantly over the past two years, making it possible for Digital Signage to be in the mainstream marketplace. This is evidenced by the extensive usage of digital signage at airports, museums and shopping centers. The growth rate is projected to increase significantly in the next few years as the technology matures.
Read the article...
Training Your Signshop To Use New Equipment & Software
By Rich Adams and Rick Scrimger, GIA
To produce eye-catching, quality prints and signs, printing machines and software require skilled operators. One way operators acquire their skill is through training. Delve inside to catch the scoop on the different options available to take advantage of all the features of your equipment and software.
Read the article...
Looking for an article or trying to find an old one? Check out the SignIndustry.com article archive:
View the archive now
Are you getting the most out of Flexi? Need better control of your color management? Want to catch up on the new tools in version 7.6 that speed up design and printing? Ready to use Flexi to outperform your competition?
Take a day with Mark Rugen and the GIA for an intermediate to advanced level RIP training seminar designed to transform attendees into Flexi power users.
Registration is available online at www.graphintel.com/flexi and toll-free at 888.439.4403. The $249 cost includes lunch, GIA's Flexi manual, and an extensive toolkit packed with reference materials. Mention this ad (online use coupon code "signindustry") and save 10% off any number of attendees.