Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '18

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69 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 rolling and see where the customer base leads the growth, then build from there." One way to start small is to outsource one or two of the steps of the process. "A good tip is to outsource the printing at the beginning," Pate says. "This way, instead of diving into the printing process yourself, see if it's something that can sus- tain itself first." Staff Training For the steps they do in-house, wrap shops will need to make sure their staff gets the proper training and certification. They can access resources through film companies like 3M, Avery Dennison and ORAFOL, or sign up for classes and training seminars offered by film and printer manu- facturers and institutes, such as the Wrap Institute. For instance, Pate was part of the Avery Dennison Business Boot Camp launched in mid-May that explains how to run a wrap shop, including staffing, workflow, production, printing, installa- tion and marketing. "It's all about doing your homework," Pate says. "It's extremely important to take workshops and watch videos to get the skills you need and to avoid mistakes." There are other forms of training, such as installation training on the correct films to use and preferred techniques for vari- ous surfaces and contours, Sumner says. Installers need to know where the film will be stretched and how to accommodate door handles and other obstructions and any areas where it cannot stick to surfaces, plus how to keep logos straight, he says. "You need to panel it and line it up like a puzzle," Steve Carney says. "There are different techniques and levels of training needed for each style of the wrap." Other Business Advice Once the shop space is set up and equip- ment and training are in place, wrap busi- nesses should understand how much to charge for the work they do, Sumner says. They need to be aware of the time and materials involved in a job and any associ- ated costs, so that a profit can be made, he says. They also need to understand their overhead and build it into their pricing, so that if they start in a garage or small space, they do not under charge as they grow and need to move to a larger, more costly space. Sumner also recommends not keep- ing too much stock on hand, especially of film. Keeping stock low reduces the overhead, allowing for better cash flow, as does collecting a deposit, he says. To do this, he is able to work with distributors to receive the needed film in a day or two of an order, he says. Another decision wrap shops need to make is choosing between buying or leasing their shop space and equipment. Leasing equipment allows for frequent updates, but wrap shops that take good care of their equipment can save over the long term, Sumner says. Antares, Inc. Engraving Cutters, Vinyl Blades & Router Tools for all your Sign Making needs 418-4 Caredean Dr., Horsham, PA USA 1.800.355.5250

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