Sign & Digital Graphics

WRAPS '18

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2 0 1 8 • WRAPS • 23 Providing good customer service and interacting well with others will help es- tablish that good relationship, Jen says. "The most important thing is creating a brand for yourself and your company and getting clients rst before you open your company. Make sure you network and build some sort of clientele," Steve says. Once a client base is achieved, the prof- its will come soon enough, Pate says. "This is a fast-growing industry, so being stagnant can leave you quickly be- hind," Pate says. "In the end, it's all about being nimble and maintaining an edu- cational mindset to stay current with the latest equipment, materials and install techniques. This helps ensure quality and prots and keeps the whole process fun and interesting." Sumner estimates one to three years for protability, depending on location, the work that is brought in and existing clientele. He saw a return in his business within three years, he says. "Prot is dependent on how fast you get up and running," Sumner says. "The learning curve on printing can be a long one. … Start small and don't try to take on a eet of 100 cars on your rst day, because it's not going to work well." OTHER BUSINESS ADVICE Once the shop space is set up and equipment and training are in place, wrap businesses 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 associated costs, so that a prot 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 keeping too much stock on hand, especially of lm. Keep- ing stock low reduces the overhead, allowing for better cash ow, as does collecting a deposit, he says. To do this, he is able to work with distributors to receive the needed lm within 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. "These printers are meant to last if you take care of them," Sumner says. Also important for wrap shops, and any business in fact, is marketing. Wrapix used to purchase Google ads but now relies heavily on social media and word of mouth, Sumner says. "For us, word of mouth has been number one," Sumner says. "We build a good personal relationship with our customers. That's our best form of marketing. They refer us to their friends and contacts."

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