"In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product, and profits."
--- Lee Iacocca
Starting a sign business is exciting. There are all the creative things one can do to provide for individuals, businesses, and the community. It can be a fun endeavor, but the fun must be harnessed somewhat with the responsibility of turning a profit. There has to be some money made from the creativity and output of work. I know that when I go to the local grocer, it never fails that the person at the cash register always wants money for the food I am getting before I am allowed to walk out the door. In order to do that, my business must make a profit.
The balance of giving the most value to our customers while getting the greatest profit possible has always been a unique challenge. We never want our quality of product and service to suffer for the sake of the sale. And at the same time, we don't want our competitors to persuade our customers with the lure of cheaper prices. The age-old challenge is to provide our very best, at the best possible price, while still making a profit.
"Declining productivity and quality means your unit production costs stay high but you don't have as much to sell. Your workers don't want to be paid less, so to maintain profits, you increase your prices. That's inflation."
--- W. Edwards Deming
During the industrial age, business leaders relied on the motto of, "Profit at any price," but we can't do that today. Today we must etch into our office wall, "Quality before profit." When we focus on quality products and impeccable service, the profits will come. The frustration begins when we are not patient enough to realize that though we may have competitors cutting corners and stealing our customers, quality eventually wins the profits.
"A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large."
--- Henry Ford
Keeping an eye on the bottom line is the opposite of those who win in business today. The winners keep an eye on a high level of service at every corner. From the receptionist to the sales team to the installers and to the follow-up, service should always be the focus.
"Profitability is a shallow goal if it doesn't have a real purpose, and the purpose has to be share the profits with others."
--- Howard Schultz
To continually maintain a high level of quality service requires that the right people be hired to join the team and then those team members handsomely rewarded for their efforts and contribution. It is only through giving back that the successful business leader continues to reap the profits from his or her company.
Sharing profits doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, the real joy is being creative in how you reward your team members. One business leader pays to have his manager's lawn taken care of so that the manager can have a truly relaxing weekend. Another bought an employee a race car driving experience because he knew his employee loves fast cars. When the reward is both surprising and relevant, it is profitable for all involved.
"No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist."
--- Calvin Coolidge
Digital Color Professional: A New Path to Differentiation (Case Study)
By Ray Weiss
Color certification. I'm sure you have seen and heard this term bandied about for a while now, and when SGIA decided to develop a Digital Color Professional certification program, I had a very clear vision for what the program should accomplish.
Read the article...
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Advertiser - 2018 SGIA Expo
2018 SGIA Expo
(Las Vegas, October 18-20, 2018)
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Start making plans now for the 2018 SGIA Expo (October 18-20) in Las Vegas! Come explore what's on the horizon at North America's largest printing industry trade show: 500-plus exhibitors, thousands of attendees and a complement of top-notch education led by the biggest names in graphics, garment, installation, printed electronics, signs, industrial, package and commercial printing. Don't forget the Golden Image Gallery, which displays the Product of the Year and Golden Image award submissions and specialty-specific networking events. The printing industry is changing faster than the Las Vegas Strip and the SGIA Expo has the solutions every printer need.
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A sign seen outside a barber shop (sent to us by Sal Sharpe of Galaxy Sign and Advertising Solutions):
As seen in front of a dentist office:
"Pain Free! (Any other services, we charge)"
Sign At Chilkoot Charlies bar in Anchorage, Alaska (sent in by Suzanne Lammers of Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Lincoln, Nebraska):
"We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you"
We need those funny signs you have seen in your travels, come on, we know they are out there. Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.