Sign & Digital Graphics

January '19

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80 • January 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S This month's interview is with Jim Miller of Miller Decals in Acworth, Georgia. *What career path led you to your current business? I started putting graphics on my dad's Little Debbie van and it turned into a hobby of putting pin stripes and accents on my friends' cars. This became lucra- tive business by the time I was in college working on a graphics arts degree. I recognized the need for my services and got my name out there to anyone who would listen. It has been slow and steady growth over many years that led to the successful operation Miller Decals is today. *You've been in the wraps industry a long time. What would you say is the one event or invention that changed the wrap industry the most? The Invention of Knifeless Tape was a game changer for me. I met the developers of the product in New Orleans at SGIA in October 2011. They gave me a roll of it to use while demonstrating vinyl installation for Ritrama in the booth. It was amazing. It opened up the world to striping and accenting cars without a plotter. It is now a staple in my tool belt for all installations. *How important to your business is your website, and how much time and effort do you put in to keep it up to date? In this ever-growing digital age, I feel that our website, www., that also leads to social media is the key to success in this business. We hired, 5E Web Design, a web devel- opment company in the beginning of 2011 that runs and updates our website. We try to update it often, but could always improve on the frequency. *What are some ways you use previous work in the sales process when trying to attract new business? It really comes in handy to show the before and after photos when dealing with custom car wraps. Customers really appre- ciate our history of past experiences and successful projects. *During the sales process, where do you lose the most potential customers, and how have you adjusted your process to fight that? We typically lose customers based on our pricing. We try to educate them on the, "You get what you pay for" principle. Unfortunately, some of them learn the hard way. *What are some situations in which you've turned away busi- ness because it wasn't worth the time or effort? There are many times where the painted walls or vehicles are not suitable for the graphics. We educate the customer and let them know the reasons we cannot perform the installation. *How much follow-up do you do with customers to gauge satisfaction? We pre-schedule a six-month follow-up visit for color changes. We also send out emails to customers we have not heard from in a while to touch base with them and see if it could be due to something we were not aware of previously. *What growth areas are you trying to expand your business into? Paint protection and coatings are two areas we have begun to focus our efforts. *Installing wraps can be a physically challenging job. How do you go about an installation now compared to when you started out, so you aren't taking as much of a toll physically? Race ramps, WDW lifts and rolling chairs are great tools to use to keep from bending over or laying on the floor to wrap. We also price scissor and boom lifts to install jobs where they are necessary and reduce our risk. *What is the one thing you see other wrap installers do that drives you up a wall? There are actually two things: not cleaning properly and overstretch- ing the material to make it one piece when it should be multiple pieces. *If you could travel back in time and give younger Jim a tip about running a wrap shop, what would it be? The number one thing I would tell him would be to pay your taxes properly. Also, always use sunscreen and marry a beautiful, smart accountant. Matt Dixon Managing Editor Jim Miller Matt Dixon is the managing editor of Sign & Digital Graphics magazine. He can be reached at

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