Roland’s blog

Roland’s blog

If you invest money in a piece of equipment why wouldn't you want to get everything you can out of it? Why wouldn't you explore all it's capabilities, not only for the buzz you'd get from producing something amazing that you didn't realize the machine could do, but also because doing so can give...

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A 3-goal marketing plan for a recession

A 3-goal marketing plan for a recession

We're being told that economic uncertainty or even a recession is possible in the not too distant future. This of course requires a plan for coping in the event that it happens. Canto advises that a 3-goal marketing plan is the key to surviving an economic downturn or recession: Reduce the impact....

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Do you offer better alternatives?

Do you offer better alternatives?

Customers usually favour the kind of business that offers them more than just the product they request. This applies to sign shops as much as it applies to any other type of business. Customers don't always know what they need and ask for something that might not be as effective as something the...

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Finding new customers and keeping them

Finding new customers and keeping them

if yours is like any other small (possibly one-person) sign shop, then you're always on the lookout for new customers. And not only that, once you have them, you have to figure out how to make them want to keep coming back. Angelyn Cubacub of Roland DGA recently posted an article on starting up a...

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Floor graphics are more engaging

Floor graphics are more engaging

"According to research by the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute (POPAI), 64% of shoppers stop and engage when they see floor graphics." This is from an article by Heidi Tolliver-Walker on the What They Think website. She goes on to say that not only do they notice but they stay longer in the...

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Don’t sweat the logo

Don’t sweat the logo

It's interesting how people thinking of starting a business will often start with designing a fancy logo. And the more inexperienced they are the more misguided they seem to be about logos. I guess it has something to do with being surrounded by the readily-recognized logos of big international...

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Made you look!

As we all know, the purpose of a sign or billboard is to convey a message. Usually this is done by a combination of words and images. But this is easier said than done in a world where everyone else is trying to do the same thing and it's therefore a challenge to grab a passing viewer's attention...

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Non-sales staff incentives

Non-sales staff incentives

It's common practice to pay sales staff incentives and offer them perks. if you have sales staff that are rewarded in this way, you may want to re-think your remuneration structure for your entire staff. Incentives are a good idea and often produce good results but they've also been known to cause...

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The concept of walking “through” signs

The concept of walking “through” signs

Once in a while you come across a concept that seems so obvious that you wonder why you hadn't thought of it yourself before. One such concept I read about involves the idea of making shoppers walk "through" signs rather than just walk by them. It made me realize that, probably like everyone else...

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Show what your Roland can do

Show what your Roland can do

At a show a few years ago, Roland collaborated with Adobe and Coca-Cola in an interactive project. Attendees were able to design their own Coke bottle labels which were then produced on a Roland TrueVis VG-640. At the time it was said to be a huge huge hit with thousands of attendees taking home a...

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The true cost of discounting

The true cost of discounting

This topic never gets old because I see small business owners offering discounts to generate sales that leave me wondering if they fully understand how much they're really giving away. And then I wonder if they have any idea whether any additional sales they generate by discounting, delivers...

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Constructing your website to turn visitors into customers

Constructing your website to turn visitors into customers

I've mentioned before that the BDC puts out a lot of good information and advice for businesses, particularly small businesses. An article I recently came across is about constructing your website to better turn visitors into customers. It talks of four steps: determining your current performance;...

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Partnerships

Partnerships

This is an important business-ownership issue that I've addressed before but it has the potential to kill a business, so it's worth a revisit. It goes without saying that a sign shop is not going to be successful if the necessary technical expertise is not there. But the other area of expertise...

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Stuff that makes signs better

Stuff that makes signs better

It's worth revisiting an article by Boris Kaminsky to remind ourselves about the elements that have been shown to make signs better suited to purpose. And since that purpose is to catch the attention of potential customers, it only makes sense to know which elements are the better...

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Mental exhaustion

Mental exhaustion

Small business involves making tough calls, often on your own without anyone to consult or share the burden. Sometime decisions have to be made on the fly and sometimes they carry a good deal of risk. The cumulative effect of this can lead to a state of mental exhaustion that renders...

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A better way to resolve customer disputes

A better way to resolve customer disputes

The way to resolve customer disputes in such a way as to preserve the relationship, is that when the thing is all over, invite them to call if they have any issues at all. This shows them that: (1) you care about what they have to say and their thoughts about your service and products; (2) you...

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Create your shop’s financial plan in six steps

Create your shop’s financial plan in six steps

First of all, don't confuse a financial plan with your financial statements; they're not the same thing. The former is forward-looking to what is coming while the latter is a rear-view mirror view of what's passed. The financial plan is a tool for monitoring your finances and for planning when...

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Canada’s National Sign Competition

Canada’s National Sign Competition

Okay, so this seems repetitive because it was only last month that I posted about Canada's National Sign Competition and encouraged you to enter your shop's work. But the repetition is intentional because entering a competition like this is beneficial on so many levels. Winning in one of the...

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You don’t even have to hire a spy.

You don’t even have to hire a spy.

I've addressed this topic before but since it keeps coming up, it's worth addressing again. Let's phrase it as a question . . . Why would you go public with what makes your business successful in a competitive market just so that your competitors can learn your secrets for success and then copy...

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POP future said to be bright

There's a very clear trend in the recent writing about the sign industry—all aspects are becoming more and more sophisticated in design and broader and broader in application. And POP is no exception. For instance, I see that where writers on the topic once referred to "POP signage" they now tend...

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Finding your way into wayfinding

Finding your way into wayfinding

If you're considering expanding into wayfinding signs there are a number of aspects of which you should be aware, as explained in the April edition of signmedia.ca. And if you're not considering wayfinding signs, perhaps you should. Lately I've been seeing more and more articles about wayfinding...

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Narrowing the product focus

Narrowing the product focus

Roland DGA's blog has an example this month of an article that you probably wouldn't read if you've owned your own shop for more than, say, a year. That's because the title is "How did you start your print business?" Why should you be interested in an article with that title if, as they say, been...

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One of your customers’ customer’s feedback on signs

One of your customers’ customer’s feedback on signs

I’m your customers' customer. I've addressed this before but allow me to explain something again that I’ve been telling business owners for years, particularly owners of small stores. I'm doing this because on a daily basis I see signs that do nothing to tell me why I should enter a particular...

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