February '23

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4 8 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 "I think one of the greatest benefits is the technical services team evaluating and testing all equipment options so that when you make a purchase, you know that it's been fully vetted by corporate — a bene- fit smaller, independent shops don't have," Garret says. "Plus, in my opinion, your relationship with that equipment vendor is a step above, too." Initially, FASTSIGNS Arvada did not even have an ink jet printer on-site. Relying on cut vinyl and a primitive thermal printer, the company focused on quick turnaround projects like ban- ners, magnets, yard signs, and post and panel wood signs. As customer needs and requests expanded, however, so did staff, equipment, and office space. In 2015, FASTSIGNS Arvada upgraded to a 4,600 square-foot workplace within the same shopping complex. e Giffords agreed a larger layout provided much- needed space and created efficiencies to better accommodate staff, production, and, ultimately, customers. "As we've grown, we've been fortunate to have a solid team with tenure right along- side us — and because of that, we've been able to delegate to and grow their skill sets," Garret says. e co-owners also continue to heav- ily invest in new equipment as a way to diversify their business portfolio. "We not only control the entire process, but also can generate everything in house. We can easily develop samples and review differ- ent options with clients," Kim explains. "Likewise, if someone needs to ascertain something by a certain date, we're not worried about a third party impacting production." Relationship ROI FASTSIGNS Arvada is able to best serve its expanding customer base because of its sound investment in employee devel- opment and equipment. As a result, the owners noted the business can pivot on a dime, and therefore is able to pursue niche opportunities within more complex cus- tomer structures like academic and ath- letic organizations. While the Giffords say a combination of web presence, SEO optimization, Pay- Per-Click, and social media all influence decision makers within education and athletics, they believe word-of-mouth referrals continue to be the single most impactful form of self promotion. Garret affirms that one positive touchpoint with the school PTA, for example, can easily morph into introductions with the prin- cipal, athletic director or coaches. He says scrim vinyl banners for gym- nasium walls, baseball dugouts or fences remain popular requests among the school community. Upon meeting with custom- ers, however, signage and graphics shops can promote upgraded retractable ban- ners for general assembly areas or tent, awning, and billboard materials, which he says have evolved significantly past tra- ditional canvas finishes. "People today, they want it all and they want it now: quality, cost, and speed," Garret says. "Back in 2002, banners that took 20-30 minutes in output can now be printed in minutes thanks to finishing equipment technology. To be able to pro- duce 10-30 banners in hours as opposed to weeks is a huge benefit to our customers." While banners once constituted a far greater percentage of the Giffords' prod- uct mic, Garret affirms they still serve a

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