The Online Magazine For The Sign Trade
e-NewsLetter Volume 9 Issue 4
Friday, February 15, 2008

In this issue:


Create an Imagination Station

    "I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
      --- Michael J. Fox

Our business is our business. Most of us don't want others poking their nose in the business we've nurtured from birth. It is ours and ours alone and we will run it the way we please.

Nevertheless, there may come a time when an outsider looking over our shoulder might not be a bad idea --- just to give another view of the business. This of course is a person that you trust and that you will allow to give honest, constructive feedback with the goal of helping you become more excellent in what you do.

    "Only the mediocre are always at their best."
      --- Jean Giraudoux

You see, we get so busy with our business, that we have a tendency to miss the mark we've set for ourselves. We no longer guide the business, but the business guides us. To call in an outsider --- a paid consultant, a trusted mentor, your spouse --- you are bringing in someone to look at the operation of your business with an eye for "leaks" and for providing suggestions on how to plug those leaks.

    "He writes so well he makes me feel like putting my quill back in my goose."
      --- Fred Allen

Striving for excellence is one of those elusive things that are usually better kept printed on a mission statement. It is good to show your customers, but that is about it. Unfortunately, we could all use a dose of internalizing that slogan and applying it to all aspects of our business. Doing this requires openness to criticism and a die-hard commitment to always pursuing it.

    "I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
      --- Albert Einstein

Finding the right balance between running the day-to-day operations of the business and still guiding the business through the twists and turns toward your goals requires Superman-like stamina. At the same time, you have to constantly be looking at business trends, future opportunities, possible diversification strategies, and more.

To maintain this balance while maintaining the business, carve out a little time to be a kid again. This technique is practiced by some of the most successful business people today. Set aside some time to get quiet (about an hour or so) and with pad and pen in hand, let your imagination run wild. Write down every new idea that pops in your head. The goal is to jot down as many BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) as you can.

    "I shall make electricity so cheap that only the rich can afford to burn candles."
      --- Thomas Edison

With your new BHAGs in hand, fine-tune these goals over the next week to implement in your business. Not all will immediate apply, but that is okay. The point of the exercise is to get you to harness that creative side again and to get you off of the old standard business rut.

    "Make no little plans: they have no magic to stir men's blood . . . . Make big plans; aim high in hope and work."
      --- Daniel Burnham

Advertiser - ISA International Sign Expo 2008
ISA International Sign Expo 2008
March 26-29, 2008 - Orlando, FL

Register now for ISA International Sign Expo 2008. March 26-29, 2008 * Orlando, Florida.

Produced by the International Sign Association, this is the largest sign show in the world and the industry's signature event. It's where you'll find the latest sign products, services and technologies, and where you'll learn from the experts in hands-on, in-depth educational sessions in ISA's Discovery Seminar Series.

Visit for more information.

Feature Articles

Surviving and Profiting from the Economy, Intentionally
By Mark E Battersby

Regardless of whether an inevitable slow period results from the economy, from competition or from other sources outside the control of the business owner or manager, it is never too late to employ slow period survival strategies in your sign business.
Read the article...

Marquee Magic: Marquees Become a Window to Stage and Screen
By Louis M Brill

The marquee's original form harkens back to a message reader board with a large back lit white translucent display with changeable black plastic letters that were rearranged for each new program within the theater. Today that can all be done via LED message centers directing the public's attention to what's playing inside the theater.
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 the window of a Kentucky appliance store:

    "Don't kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work"

Inside a bowling alley in Walterboro, SC:

    "Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop."

On a butcher's window in Boston:

    "Let me meat your needs"

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:

Advertiser - UL University
UL University

UL University is pleased to offer a number of workshops ideal for sign manufacturers. These workshops include Designing for Compliance to UL 48 and the newest addition to our schedule - Advanced Signs UL 48-201. These two workshops are currently being offered in 14 locations and new dates and locations are added daily.

UL University will conduct over 150 public workshops on 50 different subjects in various cities around the United States alone. For a complete list of workshops, visit

If you register for any UL University workshop before March 15th, use discount code SGN08 and receive 15% off the registration fee. For more information, dates and locations, please click here.

Product Showcases

Vinyl-Off: a BREAK THROUGH Product in the Removal of Vinyl and Adhesives
Designed to remove vinyl graphics from fleet trucks, glass, signage, etc. Just wipe it on, wait a few minutes, and peel off the vinyl and the adhesive in one step! It takes up to 90% less time. You'll save HOURS of labor! And it's environmentally safe and biodegradable.
Read on...

Economy Plastic Engraving Stock on Sale from CAB Plastics
24 inch by 48 inch only $14.99. Available in several colors. Click above for more details.
Read on...

OLFA Knives, Cutting Mats, Saftey Rulers, Fluorescent & Holographic Vinyls on Sale this month!
Click above for these and other featured products from JSI Sign Systems
Read on...

Read R-Mail for Late-Breaking News from Roland
R-Mail Vol. 32 features all the latest Roland products and promotions including the new 2008 XC-540, new White ECO-SOL MAX ink, the Pure Print Performance Upgrade, AJ and XJ printer rebates and more.
Read on...

FREE Trade Show Pass to the ISA International Sign Expo 2008 in Orlando, FL - March 27-29, 2008
Prepare to experience the world's largest marketplace of sign industry professionals. Network with more than 22,000 industry colleagues and visit more than 1,800 exhibit booths showcasing the latest in technology from more than 600 distinct companies. Join us in sunny Orlando, Florida!
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:
  Explan Sign Products:
  Graphtec America:
  International Sign Association (ISA):
  Roland DGA:
  Saw Trax Mfg, Inc.:
  Sheffield Plastics Inc:
  SignPro Systems:
  TLC Sign and Banner:
  United States Sign Council (USSC):
  Woodland-Sign Letters/Metal Letters:

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

- Wishing you much success,

  Sean Scott
  Managing Editor

If your company wishes to sponsor this newsletter, please contact Sean Scott at:
or call 888-350-3357 xt 201 to learn more about this and other great advertising opportunities within

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