Sign & Digital Graphics

November '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2018 • 31 RUNNING THE BUSINESS More Than Signs Growing your sign business by establishing a long-term relationship Scott Franko owns Franko Design Concepts and Consulting. He formerly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication business. You can locate and contact him online at www. FrankoDesign.com. the chance of any competitors sniffing out the fact that there is a project going on. This process also provides the platform and means to devel- opment and enhancement of the business relationship. For us, we went from being a sign provider to becoming a source for design and brand solutions, and it opened up the possibilities and range of projects to work on, thus growing the business. Today our company still primarily produces signs and printed graphics, but now also provides many other branding related products including custom canopies from a division created to focus on just those items outside of traditional signage. When put together, the ability to design, print, and fabri- cate signs and three-dimensional products becomes the formula for helping customers build their impressions and grow your business. It did not happen overnight at our business. We had to be intentional about educating our customers and tailoring our advertising to showcase our range of services and products. By providing more than just signs, we grew our business, even in the face of a challenging economy during the last decade. Here are some ideas for growing yours that are based on my experience of building impressions with more than just signs. From Sign-Guy to Designer One of my customers not only had me produce signs for the front of her frozen yogurt business, but she wanted my design input on how to arrange the space inside the store and my ideas for decor. She calls me her designer, not her sign-guy. Of course, many of my ideas became items that we could produce that included T he day a customer called to ask for a "building impres- sion" instead of just another sign was an important day in the history of my sign business. This particular new client was responding to a campaign that we launched called "More than signs, we are building impressions." The request confirmed what I believed—that we could provide more than just signs. For us, this meant that we wanted our customers to hire us for all their printed and fabricated needs related to branding. From signs to additional services and products, our goal was to establish a long-term relationship and become an ongoing source for visual brand solutions. What we learned was that many people who buy signs also want to build impressions. They just need help doing it and need to know where to go to get that help. That's the opportunity, if you take advantage of it. But it takes work. First of all, there's a process to follow. That process requires a very proactive approach, or at least it did for my company. We could not sit back and wait for customers to call us for a build- ing impression. We had to let them know that we did that sort of work. That takes time. But this sort of proactive approach is what it takes to get yourself involved and interacting with the client and their projects. The sooner you get involved, the less B Y S C O T T F R A N K O Building Your Impressions

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