February '23

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4 6 G R A P H I C S P R O • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M T E A M S P O R T S H O W - T O / T U T O R I A L S tanding out in a crowded market is no small task — even for a business with a popular franchise name hanging above the door. At FASTSIGNS in Arvada, Colorado, owners Garret and Kim Gifford highlight familiar factors like scrupulous quality, con- sistency, and service as key to their business success, but stress that teamwork really does make the dream work. "e best attribute about our store is the people working alongside us," says Kim. "It's taken us 20 years to assemble our talented dream team. Respectful, conscientious, and attentive to customer needs, they are the backbone of our business." Tucked into a tidy suburban shopping cen- ter just outside Denver, FASTSIGNS Arvada prides itself on being a one-stop-shop for customers seeking modern and creative graphic solutions, from custom artwork to full-scale brand development. e diverse product mix, combined with a twin focus on employee development and client satis- faction, is a winning strategy. e Giffords point to a healthy business model projected to quadruple in annual revenue compared to first-year sales, and a loyal customer base who values personalization over price point. "What I've enjoyed — and where our business continues to grow — is initially talking to clients about basic signage and graphic requests such as banners or build- ing, wayfinding and ADA compliance suite signs, then the conversations turning to [more comprehensive] branding, marketing and communication efforts like custom logo development, target messaging, or window film graphics," says Garret. "e ability to walk through that process with customers and grow alongside them long-term is very satisfying." is approach allows the Giffords to suc- ceed in what, for many, can be tough mar- ket segments to crack. Education and team sports are hot targets in the custom signs and graphics industry. With impressive power-of-choice, however, low cost often rules as king. e Giffords serve various competitive industries, each with unique priorities and design preferences, including construction, manufacturing, and property management. ey say education and sports groups in par- ticular require a special mix of connections, skill and patience, but serve as sustainable revenue streams once integral relationships are firmly established. While many shops "get in at the ground level" with traditional offerings like ban- ners, apparel or promotional products, the co-owners of FASTSIGNS Arvada know that situations arise to showcase your entire suite of products and services. When those opportunities come knocking — you must answer, they say. Business building Garret graduated from Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, Illinois, after which he put his educational training to the test at two separate Fortune 500 companies. Always tempted to explore entrepreneurship, FASTSIGNS Arvada owners Garret and Kim Gifford. Teamwork THE POWER OF B Y S T E F A N I E G A L E A N O - Z A L U T K O FASTSIGNS Arvada catches sports and athletic team customers with creative, responsive, and reliable service Stefanie Galeano- Zalutko is the president/CEO of Zalutko Business Services, Inc., a marketing agency based in Central Florida. She can be reached at

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