Sign & Digital Graphics

September '18

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64 • September 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS • Appropriate pricing: How do you make money without pricing yourself out of the market or offering "low-ball" market killers? Bidding a typical com- mercial barrier project at one third of the going rate not only leaves money on the table but also weakens the industry as a whole. Low-balling may help you win a few jobs, but will never support the costs of running a brick and mortar shop that includes overhead, employee costs, certificate renewals, taxes, a fleet of trucks, equipment and maintenance— not to mention the trash bill, phone bill, certifications and so much more. Wake up, smell the coffee and do the math! • Shop Selection: Selecting the right space for your wraps business is criti- cal. One fundamental question will be, "can you keep your shop dust free?" Is it even possible for your shop to be truly clean? Example: I have heard of situa- tions where the entrepreneur rented a space and only after moving in, realized that the building next door was home to a part-time carpentry studio. Don't let this be you, and do your due diligence ahead of signing anything. • Versatile Equipment: As more people enter commercial or specialty wraps, overall profit margins will ulti- mately go down as competition increases. This is why it is so important for existing and new business owners to find ways to augment their businesses and find versatile uses for their equipment. If you run a print shop that specializes in point of purchase ( P.O.P.) banners and flat-surface applications, vehicle wraps could be a value-added component to your business. You likely already have the output capabilities. Likewise, color- change specialists also should add digital print capabilities, as the future of color change is being diluted. Make sure you have the right printer and equipment for the job. When it comes to wraps, our prints must stand the test of time (remember, you are the warrantor). Lucky for you, printing equipment has never been as affordable as it is now. • Pay Attention to the Details: In today's digital world, with all the gates in production, mistakes made early on will raise their ugly heads down the road and cost you in ways you can't imagine. Do it right the first time and force your- self to become detail-oriented. Double, triple and even quadruple-check your- self. That "t" that didn't get crossed in design and which nobody caught until it screams out on the side of a vehicle wrap will cost you dearly—in materials, ink, labor, extra time and in the form of a disappointed client. Your gut never lies. If something doesn't feel right—investigate immediately. • Communication, Communication and Communication: Whether enter- ing the market as a color-change special- ist, commercial digital application entre- preneur (or both), you'll need to have a certain level of skill and confidence in conveying information to the client— whether it's about materials, color, war- ranties or the lack thereof. Remember, you are the most knowledgeable party in the conversation. Being an effective com- municator will demonstrate you know your stuff. This includes being a good listener, too. Good communication leads to using less labor and material, fewer mistakes and positive employees working toward a finish. The outcome is a hap- pier, more profitable workplace, paving the way for employee loyalty. Be a good listener and back it up with a standard- ized contract. You will thank yourself, I promise. Having watched the wraps industry from its infancy, the only constant I see is change. Learn from those who came before you and then be bold. Be smart and creative. The next wave of wraps advancement is upon us and I look for- ward to seeing how you contribute, inno- vate and change the industry—and take it to the next level. SDG Color change specialists also should add digital print capa- bilities, as the future of color change is being diluted.

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