The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 8 Issue 24
Monday, December 17, 2007

In this issue:


You Can't Fire Me!

    "The corporation is the 'master'; the employee is the 'servant'. Because the corporation owns the means of production without which the employee could not make a living, the employee needs the corporation more than vice versa."
      --- Peter Drucker

Employment laws today have come a long way. It used to be, as a business owner, that you could fire a deadbeat for not performing and most everyone would understand. Today, even employment-at-will states are coming down hard on employers who fire an employee who is not producing.

The businessperson today has to not only contend with competition, fluctuations in the economy, and way too many government intrusions, but is now faced with proving why they want to keep good employees and get rid of the rest.

    "If your thinking is sloppy, your business will be sloppy. If you are disorganized, your business will be disorganized. If you are greedy, your employees will be greedy, giving you less and less of themselves and always asking for more."
      --- Michael Gerber

Granted, there are business owners (not in our industry!) that discriminate and fire people for the wrong reasons. Those types should not be tolerated. But when an employee is fired for a good reason, today's business owner must make sure that he or she has documented everything.

When the business leadership shows integrity and can prove why an employee should be terminated, the rest of the team recognizes this and appreciates the process. They know what is expected of them as well as the consequences for those not pulling their weight.

    "I'm going to miss Blockbuster. I'm gonna miss being CEO and all that stuff. We had an atmosphere where everybody was happy. When people make money, they're happy."
      --- Wayne Huizenga

If you have to fire someone, there are steps that you can take to minimize your exposure to legal action. The first step in protecting your business is to remember the key word, "documentation." Document every action you make regarding your employees. When in doubt, document.

Document any activity or conversation that you foresee potentially coming back to bite you. Don't be fooled into using common sense here. Look at how today's world would perceive a particular action or activity and document accordingly.

    "Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can't tell you whether someone will fit into a company's culture. When you realize you've made a mistake, you need to cut your losses and move on."
      --- Howard Schultz

Next, make sure that you have a termination policy in place. An employment termination policy outlines what the employee is entitled to when his or her employment ends. Some employee handbooks also include reasons for termination clearly spelled out so that employees will know that unacceptable activities such as alcohol and drug use in the workplace is grounds for termination.

    "Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company."
      --- Zig Ziglar

Finally, know the reasons for the termination. Before you fire someone, you should make sure you have a legitimate reason that is based on fact (and, of course, documented). If your employee handbook spells out that an employee will be fired if they miss more than two days of work without calling, make sure that you document the dates and any efforts made to contact that employee.

The key to running a good business is hiring good people. However, when it is discovered that your screening and interviewing process failed, be prepared with a plan to correct the situation.

    "I could never have imagined that firing 67 people on national television would actually make me more popular, especially with the younger generation."
      --- Donald Trump

Feature Articles

Customers for Life! - How Relationships and Communication Make Customers Stay Focused On You
By John Boe

Companies that fail to implement an effective customer service program actually do a disservice to their customers and unknowingly, leave the backdoor open to their competitors.
Read the article...

The History and Future of the U.S. Sign Industry Marketplace
By Michael Flippin

Here’s a quick perspective on the size of the U.S. sign industry and the impact of wide format inkjet printing in the sign industry today.
Read the article...

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

Funny Signs

In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency:

    "Take one of our horse-driven city tours -- we guarantee no miscarriages."

In a Tokyo shop:

    "Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run"

As seen in Maine at Hussey's General Store:

    "Guns, Wedding Gowns, and Cold Beer"

If you've read these before, sorry, but if you haven't sent in any new ones, shame on you. We know those funny signs are out there. Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to:

Product Showcases

Mercury Retractable Banner Stands by Testrite!
Made in the U.S.A. Telescopic pole system for varying heights. Easy to use Hook Loop mounting system. Free travel bag. 24''-36''-48''-60'' widths. Price- single sided 36'' about $100 wholesale depending on quantity.
Read on...

HARTCO: Quality, Service & Value without all three what are you really getting?
Our polymeric stencil is environmentally friendly since we use only water soluble adhesives in our Sandmask sandblasting products rather than solvent based adhesives. This is true in both our Regular Grip (S) and High Grip (HGS) adhesives. Don't settle for rubber stencil and all the problems; move up to the best, choose Sandmask.
Read on...

Customers want the superior strength of MAKROLON® SL Polycarbonate Sheet, from Sheffield Plastics Inc.
Wind, hail, storms, blowing debris and vandals are just a few of the reasons why your customers demand nothing less than the superior strength of MAKROLON® SL Polycarbonate Sheet in their signage. Achieve brighter whites, less yellowing and superior light transmission. Your signs will last longer and look better. Backed by a 10-year limited warranty. Nothing is tougher than MAK™. Sheffield Plastics Inc. is a Bayer MaterialScience Company. Clearly the Right Choice.
Read on...

Vista System Launches a Unique Post & Panel Sign System Suitable for Directional or Messaging Purposes
Vista System International, a world leader in Modular Curved Frame Technology (MCFT), has launched a unique Post & Panel sign system suitable for directional or messaging purposes in lobbies, show rooms, trade shows and more. Take a look at a 360° interactive view of the product here.
Read on...

Brightboard™ ­ LCD Digital Signage – New 20'' Pedestal System (P20) - Sizes 7'' to 42''
Introducing the New Brightboard P20 pedestal digital signage system. Affordable stand alone and network capable LCD Digital Signs are available in sizes from 7'' to 42''. Pedestal, Wall mount, or ceiling mount configurations are available. Adding or changing messages is fast and simple. Systems play JPEG stills or MPEG full motion video. Portable, affordable and easy to use. Everything needed for operation is included. Libraries, Colleges & Universities, Public Buildings, Restaurants, Sports Centers and more are already seeing the advantages of their Brightboard displays.
Read on...

Upgrade to FlexiSign version 8.5 for 20% off in December 2007
Click above for these and other featured products from JSI Sign Systems
Read on...

Wide Format Graphics Volume 1 represents an entirely new category and an industry first from Digital Art Solutions.
It is an extraordinary tool for the creation of custom signage including indoor and outdoor banners, posters, point of purchase, and vehicle graphics. The templates provided in this collection are the foundation for immediate success. Key categories in this collection make it painless to fulfill the needs of a typical digital print shop. Whether promoting grand openings, happy hour events, retail announcements, holiday sales, anniversaries, occasions, family reunions, fund raisers, school festivals or sports functions you will have a dynamic professional starting point.
Read on...

Advertise a product showcase for an entire year for just $1000. Get with the program and see what you've been missing!
Call or email for more details: 888-350-3357 ext. 201 or

Sign Industry News

Sign Marketplace Press Releases
See what's new and what's happening in our industry all in one place.
Go Now --->

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The Advertisers That Make Possible

Visit our friends and advertisiers that support this publication:

  Advance Corp, Braille-Tac™ Div.:
  Alcan Composites: Mesh Banners:
  CADlink Technology:
  Digital Art Solutions:
  DMS- LED Displays:
  Graphtec America:
  International Sign Association (ISA):
  Roland DGA:
  Saw Trax Mfg, Inc.:
  Sawgrass Technologies:
  Sheffield Plastics Inc:
  TLC Sign and Banner:
  United States Sign Council (USSC):
  Woodland-Sign Letters/Metal Letters:

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- Wishing you much success,

  Sean Scott
  Managing Editor

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