Common online business scams

Common online business scams

The thumbnail version: Bank of Montreal has just issued a comprehensive pamphlet on online scams. The full version: It is well worth reading the entire pamphlet because, sadly, businesses and individuals are increasingly being targeted by online scammers. Some of the scams have become so slick...

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Shows

Shows

The thumbnail version: You must attend shows if you're to remain informed and  competitive. The full version: You can keep your sign shop up to date with the latest technology and techniques, or you can let your competition leave you behind until it becomes too late, difficult, or expensive to...

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Pivoting. What is it and why would you do it?

Pivoting. What is it and why would you do it?

The thumbnail version: Sometimes the signs point to a needed strategic change. "Pivoting" is a term used to describe a strategic change. The full version: There are negative and positive signs that point to a needed change—a change of direction or strategy. Stagnation, predicted results not...

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What does your email address say about professionalism?

What does your email address say about professionalism?

The thumbnail version: Email addresses say something about the business's professionalism. The full version: I received some good advice many years ago when business went online and email became a thing. Allow me to pass it on. The advice assumes that you have a website in your business’s name—a...

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Editing and quality control

Editing and quality control

The thumbnail version: Obviously quality control is important. Sometimes it can slip. The full version: Every sign shop you ask will always tell you that they have a vigorous quality control process. Well how is it then that from time to time people send me images of signs with obvious errors? How...

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Protecting your passwords from Google’s servers

Protecting your passwords from Google’s servers

The thumbnail version: Google's Enhanced Spellcheck could pose a security problem. You could be sending everything you type, including passwords, to Google's servers. The full version: RGCS is reporting in their latest newsletter that if you're using Google's Enhanced Spellcheck, it could be...

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Winter and shipping issues

Winter and shipping issues

The thumbnail version: Winter in Canada presents shipping problems. The full version: Winter in Canada can mean shipping problems. If you're a sign shop receiving vinyl and ink deliveries for your Roland, you should know that these items are okay to ship even when it gets really, really cold. But...

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Vinyl cutting for heat applications to garments

The thumbnail version: It's becoming popular as an additional income stream among sign printers with Roland plotter/cutters. The full version: Roland is promoting the concept of using your plotter-cutter to produce vinyl shapes for heat-pressing onto garments. This is just a further indication of...

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Choosing or changing your business name

Choosing or changing your business name

The thumbnail version: It's the same principle as designing an effective sign. Doing it right can set you on your way to success. The full version: I've written about the importance of thoughtful sign design if the sign is to be effective. Choosing a name for a new business, or changing the name...

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Strike a deal to outsource your marketing

Strike a deal to outsource your marketing

The thumbnail version: You can probably benefit from better marketing of your shop. You can also probably find a creative way to pay for it out of the additional business gained. The full version: Nowadays we have a torrent of advertising and promotional material coming at us all the time in every...

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Do you need to conduct a SWOT analysis?

Do you need to conduct a SWOT analysis?

The thumbnail version: SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. What will a SWOT analysis do for you? The full version: A SWOT analysis will provide as clear a picture as you can get of where you stand in your market, what growth opportunities may exist, and what...

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Is poor taste poor business?

Is poor taste poor business?

Thumbnail version: Occasionally one sees controversial signs or billboards that reflect poor taste. Does poor taste on a sign or billboard reflect badly on the printer? Does a printer take a risk being associated with controversial jobs? The full version: Every now and then a billboard or sign...

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The sign industry and direct-to-garment printing

The sign industry and direct-to-garment printing

The thumbnail version: Garment printing has been trending in the sign industry for some time now. Proof lies in articles now appearing in sign industry media. Time to think differently. The full version: The interest in direct-to-garment printing is accelerating. You can tell by the attention the...

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BOCSI awards 2022 results

The thumbnail version: A Best of Canada's Sign Industry award puts a shop on the map. 2022's winners should serve as inspiration. The full version: The Best of Canada's Sign Industry awards winners have been announced. You can see the full details in the November edition of Sign Media Canada. The...

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Your Roland is the vehicle, creativity is the fuel

Your Roland is the vehicle, creativity is the fuel

The thumbnail version: You have the income-producing equipment. So fuel it with creativity to produce the income. The full version: You have a Roland printer-cutter and you know that you can produce great signs with it. Now what? Do you wait for customers to beat a path to your door? To bring...

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How does your sign shop promote itself?

The thumbnail version: You have to promote the fact that you exist. Why not promote your shop the way you promote your customers—with signs? The full version: In rural Nova Scotia, as you approach villages and smaller towns in particular, it's common to come across a large collection of business...

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Vinyl

Vinyl

The thumbnail version: Adhesive vinyls vary greatly in quality and application. The right vinyl for the right application is important. The full version: Vinyl has been in the technical news lately because the particular vinyls printers have been accustomed to using for specific types of jobs have...

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Trade show displays (yours and your customers’)

Trade show displays (yours and your customers’)

The thumbnail version: In-person trade shows are back. Eye-catching booth displays are make a difference. The full version: Trade shows provide a great opportunity to get a business noticed, be it yours or that of your customer for whom you're designing and producing booth display material. To...

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Considering doing vehicle wraps?

Considering doing vehicle wraps?

The thumbnail version: You may be thinking of adding vehicle wraps to your operation. Here is some information to save you research time. The full version: There is yet another tell-all (or at least almost all) in Sign Media magazine about vehicle wraps by a shop that has been doing it since 1996....

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Insights from a competitor

Insights from a competitor

The thumbnail version: If a competitor wants to tell all about their business secrets, why not listen? The full version: I'm not a great fan of bragging about trade secrets and proprietary business methods to trade magazines for one's competitors to read. But hey, if one of your competitors wants...

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Build an email list

Build an email list

The thumbnail version: Email is an effective marketing tool. There are regulations that have to be met. The full version: Of the many ways to communicate with customers and potential customers, email takes some beating. The question though is one of how to build an email list, particularly in...

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Promote your graphics shop

Promote your graphics shop

The thumbnail version: To grow a shop it has to be promoted. There are ways to get around your reluctance to market and sell. The full version: There are two options for a sign shop to generate business—be reactive or be proactive. The former option doesn't actually generate business, it involves...

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Attention-grabbing signs

The thumbnail version: It's important to consider the purpose of a sign and to then design it accordingly. In almost every case "simplicity" is going to be the key. The full version: Commercial signs have been around for a long time so by now everyone should have figured out what constitutes a...

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Stay up to date on new technology

Stay up to date on new technology

The thumbnail version: You should be on top of technological advances in the industry. There's more than one way to do it. The full version: It's obviously important to be aware of advances in technology because to fail to do so is to concede an advantage to your competition. Admittedly, when...

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Long hours in the shop can be counter-productive and unhealthy

Long hours in the shop can be counter-productive and unhealthy

The thumbnail version: More time does not necessarily mean more output. Shortened work periods encourage intensity and greater productivity. Long hours can be unhealthy. The full version: If, like many small business owners, you are in the habit of putting in long hours at work, you're probably...

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