Category Archives: Uncategorized

A free webinar: wide-format, signage, textiles, and apparel.

The thumbnail version:

  • A webinar by Ultraflex on new trends and new products.
  • Suitable for both textile and sign shops.

The full version:

Ultraflex is offering this seminar on new technologies and trends of interest to both the textile and sign industries. Webinars such as this one are well worth registering for. Not only do they cost nothing but time, but if the content doesn’t live up to the billing you can just bail out.

Technological developments come quickly nowadays and these webinars are a great way to stay on the cutting edge. So register for this one by clicking here. It’s at 1.00 pm ET on 17th May. And do so because your competitors will probably be attending too.

FASTSIGNS recognized as recession-proof.

The thumbnail version:

  • Franchise Business Review identifies FASTSIGNS as recession-proof
  • Does this extend to all sign industry shops?

The full version:

This might be good news for your independent, non-franchise sign shop too. FASTSIGNS franchise sign shops have been designated recession-proof by Franchise Business Review. FASTSIGNS responded with this: “This award is a recognition of FASTSIGNS providing our franchisees the tools and systems to run a successful small business even during turbulent times, while also delivering a service that almost every business or organization will need even during times of crisis.”

When you think about it, the part about “delivering a service that almost every business or organization will need even during times of crisis” is really the critical point here, not so much the bit about “tools and systems” from the franchiser.

So, you should find it encouraging that a research firm has found that sign shops are recession-proof. Now it’s up to you to build your business model accordingly.

Why not take your signs online?

The thumbnail version:

  • The pandemic forced a permanent revision of business models.
  • Should your business model now extend your reach and include an online service?

The full version:

If your shop offered signs online you could include all the techniques and substrates you offer. Maybe you could expand your offering to suit far off customers with products that have no local appeal. This would be possible because your business activity wouldn’t be confined to your local area—you could extend your market to include at least all of North America.

Has this been done? Of course it has, by many of your competitors. The trick though is to do it better than anyone else. Better quality and better service, including next day shipping.

If you want a good example of what I’m talking about, check out www.squaresigns.com in California.

Have you bought cyber insurance for your e-business yet?

The thumbnail version:

  • Cybercrime is affecting all sizes of businesses
  • You should consider cyber insurance coverage

The full version:

Protect your e-commerce site against this character

I receive a weekly newsletter from the host of one of my websites. Recently every addition has had something about cyber crime. Clearly it’s on the rise and small businesses are targets as much as any other business.

As I mentioned in a post about the same topic some time ago, cyber insurance is something I wish I’d had about 16 years ago when my e-commerce site was hacked. It took two months of downtime and $8,000 to restore the two hundred or so vandalized files.

According to the broker who told me about cyber insurance, it’s  relatively inexpensive and easily added to a regular business policy.

So, as I wrote before, given the extent of cybercrime nowadays, if you’re doing business online, cyber insurance is something you should call your broker about today. If you’re already covered, it wouldn’t hurt to revisit the policy to make sure that the coverage is adequate—it could save you a lot of frustration, lost business, and money.

Roland VersaWorks 6.13.1 update

The thumbnail version:

  • As we have said before, regular visits to Roland’s website is a good idea.
  • Go there now for a detailed update on VersaWorks 6.13.1

The full version:

Staying up to date on technological advances is a must for any shop serious about maintaining an edge on the competition. If you have Roland equipment then a regular visit to their website is time well spent.

The latest reason to visit Roland’s site is to read about five features included in the upgrade of VersaWorks to version 6.13.1. Read about:

  1. Printer search
  2. Perforated sheet cutting for VG3
  3. ZIP compressed file compatibility
  4. Variation printing
  5. Nearest colour finder

A progressive shop can’t exist in a technical vacuum.

2022 Print & Sign Franchise Review Webinar

The thumbnail version:

  • The franchises are a gauge on how the industry is doing
  • All commercial printers should attend

The full version:

This webinar is on April 20th at 1.00 pm ET. Why should you not miss it? Just read the description . . .

“Allegra. AlphaGraphics. FASTSIGNS. Minuteman. Sir Speedy. Signs By Tomorrow. Signarama. SpeedPro. Every year, Printing News and Wide Format & Signage conduct their annual Print and Sign Franchise Review. How and what the franchises are doing can be a useful barometer for understanding how the industry at large is doing. Are they growing and expanding their centers? Is revenue increasing? How are they growing? What products and services are they expanding into? What challenges are they facing and how are they confronting them?

On April 20 at 1 pm EST, WhatTheyThink Managing Editor Richard Romano and Senior Editor Cary Sherburne will share the results of the annual franchise survey, talk about how the franchises rebounded from the Year of COVID, and discuss the franchises’ plans to expand in 2022 and beyond.

Who should attend?

  • Commercial printers looking to see how these businesses are addressing challenges in the market
  • Sign and display graphics producers looking to know what new products and services are being added and implemented
  • Distributors/brokers looking for partnership opportunities

What you’ll learn:

  • The current state of the print and sign franchises—number of centers, revenue, top performing centers, etc.
  • The new products, services, and other opportunities the franchise are adding or considering.
  • The top challenges the franchises are facing, and how they are addressing them.

The overall outlook for 2022 and beyond.”

Go here to register.

Colour management through profiling

The thumbnail version:

  • Colour management is key to consistency across equipment and materials

The full version:

To take a cue from a recent Sign Media article, if you had a client that had to have various different POP signage produced for a campaign on different equipment and different substrates, could you ensure colour consistency?

Obviously for such a campaign colour consistency from substrate to substrate is essential. And for colour consistency, colour management is key. And that you achieve by ICC (International Colour Consortium) profiling every machine and every substrate you use. And the time to ICC profile materials is as soon as they come through the door and go into inventory.

This is how you’d ensure colour consistency in the type of campaign print job described above.

The best substrates for signs

The thumbnail version:

  • Substrates and what the best sign companies advise

The full version:

It’s interesting to take special note of signs of all types and notice how often customers seem to have been given bad advice or no advice at all by the printer. The elements of a bad sign that are most easily spotted are colour schemes, text size, font type, size, shape, and placement. But what about substrates?

Whereas the usual bad sign indicators listed above are immediately apparent, a poor substrate choice may not become apparent for some time, depending upon exposure to the elements and other ageing conditions.

So, how much of your shop’s customer-advice practice focuses on the substrate? How much time do you spend discussing the substrate aspects with a sign customer? Do your customers understand the pros and cons of acrylic versus aluminum composite material versus aluminum versus PVC versus corrugated plastic?

Deteriorating signs suggest that not all sign customers are getting the best advice.

 

Colour measurement webinar

Thumbnail version:

  • A free webinar and Q&A on colour measurement

The full version:

On next Thursday, 31st March 2022, Barbieri Electronic is offering a free webinar on accurate colour measurement on digitally printed materials. The speaker will be Viktor Lazzeri.

As Barbieri point out:  “Accurate colour measurement is the foundation to achieve the highest colour quality in digital printing. Materials like textiles, paper and paper-like, ceramics, glass or vinyl all have different characteristics which affect colour measurement results.”

This sounds like a webinar every sign shop owner should attend. Register here by clicking here. 

 

COVID and your mental health

The thumbnail version:

  • There’s more to COVID than the obvious symptoms
  • The impact on mental health is becoming more obvious

The full version:

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about the impact of COVID on mental health as the pandemic dragged on. Well, it’s now a year later and in spite of the optimistic view of governments, it is still dragging on (there is now a concern about a possible “spring spike” in Canada).

So, it’s worth repeating  the message of a year ago . . .

“The impact of stress can creep up on one, particularly over a period of continual stress as has been endured by many business owners and managers over the past year. In my chapter, Healthcare Professional, in Characters Who Can Make or Break Your Small Business, I wrote, “Even among small business owners who handle stress quite well, there are those—particularly men—who are foolishly macho about their health and seek help from a healthcare professional long after they should have, if they seek it all. Don’t be one of those people.””

It’s as valid today as when I wrote it four years ago. Don’t be one of those people.

Taking time out for training

The thumbnail version:

  • An emphasis on staff training has always been a good business strategy
  • Deliberate, planned, and scheduled sessions ensure that it happens

The full version:

I recently read an article written for the textile industry about staff issues, including training. One line in particular caught my attention as applicable to any kind of shop, sign shops included. The writer quoted a shop owner: “On Fridays, we don’t do any production; we do continuous training.”

Now, admittedly, most small shops can’t afford to shut down production for a day every week, but the concept of routinely setting aside some time for training makes sense. And it could be more than that too. It could be a time for also sharing the latest information coming out of equipment manufacturers about the equipment in your shop. It could be about new materials, and anything else that could make the shop more productive and a more interesting place to work.

I see plenty of upside and no downside in this idea. Think about what it could do for your shop at a cost of only, say, an hour a week.

Has COVID made your cash flow sick?

The thumbnail version:

  • COVID has put some businesses under cash flow stress
  • How much of your customer base has been affected?
  • Bad debts can do serious harm to your business

The full version:

Cash flow was one of the first business casualties early in the pandemic. Governments offset the problem somewhat for small businesses but obviously couldn’t keep up that level of spending as the pandemic dragged on. And the longer the pandemic dragged on the greater the strain on cash flow. And therein lies the problem for every shop—under-strain customers helping themselves to longer credit terms and some not paying at all.

Receivables has always been a difficult aspect of business to manage. COVID has made it more so. Depending upon how you have been managing your receivables during the pandemic, now may be the time to transition to a cash-only or at least a mostly-cash policy. What you have in your favour is that so many cash transactions are conducted online nowadays—it’s becoming a common practice, its a mindset change.

Whenever the topic of receivables comes up, I think of the conversation I had many years ago in pre-e-commerce days with a shop owner who built his business on a cash-only basis; no credit, no receivables. Of course this disqualified him with some customers who absolutely needed credit (in itself a red flag) but his argument was that building a bigger business with a big receivables list is kidding yourself. He argued that he didn’t need the unnecessary stress and risk. No credit. No receivables. No bad debt. Less stress.

It may not be an easy transition, but surely it’s worth considering?

 

Generosity as a marketing strategy

The thumbnail version:

  • It’s a topic worth a revisit
  • Generosity generates business

The full version:

 

About a year ago an article about how some shops were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and and how they were planning for the post-COVID world, mentioned something in passing that prompted me to ask a question then, and it’s worth asking again: “Do you use generosity as a marketing strategy. And if not, why not?”

The owner of the sign company featured in the article mentioned that every year they give away thousands in donated and discounted signs. This struck me as incredibly generous but then I realized that it is also a clever marketing strategy. Generosity generates positive impressions, and positive impressions generate business.

So, to repeat, do you use generosity as a marketing strategy and, if not, why not?

Roland’s advice for cleaning your DTG printer

The thumbnail version:

  • Stuff you need to know if you have or are thinking of buying the Roland BT-12
  • Cleaning DTG printers is essential
  • White ink and fiber build-up are particular issues

The full version:

Roland’s BT-12 direct-to-garment printer.

The Roland BT-12 DTG printer is CMYK only and therefore easier to maintain. But it must be maintained. For instance, white inks require daily cleaning because the titanium dioxide can settle and plug up the print heads. Fiber builds up as well and needs to be cleaned away.

The machine has a sensor that will alert you when a routine cleaning is needed and can apparently trigger at any point between about 50 prints to 200 prints. And trying to trick the machine into thinking that you’ve cleaned it without actually having done so, does not work. It will not budge until cleaned.

With the BT-12 it is important to follow the machine’s prompts and not take any shortcuts. Follow the cleaning menu. If you need the details about the recommended cleaning materials, check out the Roland DGA site.

And finally, if the machine has been idle for three months or longer you need to use cleaning cartridges, one for each ink slot.

ISA International Sign Expo 2022

The thumbnail version:

  • ISA International Sign Expo 2022 is going ahead
  • It promises “sparks of brilliance” to transform your business

The full version:

One of the industry shows resuming in 2022 is the ISA International Sign Expo. It will be at the Georgia Aquarium and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. The location is being promoted for its additional attractions such as the Centennial Olympic Park where the 1996 Summer Games were held and the College Football hall of Fame.

As for the business side of things, there will be 95,000 square feet of of interactive exhibits and education sessions.  The education sessions are being promoted as “being designed to provide solutions and spark of brilliance for the next big idea that will transform your business.”

COVID concerns aside for the moment, but keeping in mind that the pandemic isn’t over and you need to exercise caution, you may want to consider attending. Shows of this nature are an important resource if you’re serious about staying up to date technically and gaining an edge on the competition.

You can register here.

Have you considered joint ventures?

The thumbnail version:

  • What you cannot accomplish alone you may accomplish in a joint venture.

The full version:

A recent article about two sign companies who pooled their resources to undertake a contract gave rise to an interesting possibility for smaller sign shops. Smaller shops, by virtue of limited expertise or resources, are at a disadvantage when opportunities arise to undertake bigger and more lucrative jobs.

If your shop has ever had to turn down an opportunity for lack of some of the expertise or resources the job required, could it have been different if you’d considered a joint venture with another shop?

The concept makes sense but would of course need to be thought through and executed carefully. The terms and expectations of the joint venture would have to be clearly documented and then managed in a spirit of cooperation. This would mean that the joint venture partner would have to be chosen with care.

Provided a joint venture is put together properly, with all the angles considered and covered, it could be a way to participate in opportunities that you might otherwise have considered to be out of reach.

Inspiration for small sign shops and startups

The thumbnail version:

  • An Inspiring story for small shops and potential big-city dropouts.

The full version:

The sign industry in Canada includes a large number of small shops, some filling niches in smaller communities. One such shop was featured in the February edition of Sign Media Magazine. And aside from the entertainment value of the interesting story about Blain Buchanan of Blain Buchanan Signs in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island, there’s the inspirational value.

O’Leary is up near the top end of PEI and has a population of just over 800. Buchanan has been running his sign and trophy shop there for almost 20 years.

If you have been rethinking your circumstances, or if you’ve been reevaluating what’s important to you and how you want to live the rest of your life, it may have led you to consider dropping out of the rat race. Perhaps you’ve considered using your talents to start a sign shop to serve a niche market or a small local community. if you’ve been thinking this way, you should find Buchanan’s story inspiring.

A small town existence and small sign shop ownership is not everyone’s cup of tea. But for some of us a laid-back village or small town existence free of some of the stresses of a big city existence, is very appealing.

I’ll bet that there are a lot of similar sign shops dotted around Canada and that wild horses couldn’t drag them back to a big city.

Registration for World Out of Home Organization’s congress

  • Mores shows and conferences are returning.
  • The World Out Of Home Organization’s Global Congress is scheduled for Toronto.

The full version:

Registration is open for the World Out of Home Organization’s (WOO) in-person Global Congress to be held in Toronto on May 25-27 at the Sheraton Toronto Centre Hotel.

There will be an international speaker program and an exhibition at which exhibitors will have an opportunity to meet media owners face-to-face.

Pre-dinner drinks on Wednesday, May 25 will be followed by a full-day Congress on Thursday, May 26. On the evening of the 26th there will be a dinner and awards presentations. On the 27th of May you can enjoy a further full-day Congress. On the Friday night WOO’s informal closing party will take place and will include cuisine and live performances.

You can find more information by clicking here.

Outsourcing design services (with video)

The thumbnail version:

  • Outsourcing can answer your designer issues

The full version:

Easelly is a graphic design outsourcing service that is enjoying rapid growth based on the realization that many sign shops have difficulties finding and retaining top-notch designers for any number of reasons. It’s not unusual for good designers to receive better offers to move resulting, thereby resulting in rapid staff turnover and inconsistency. Some shops are too small to keep a full time designer busy. Some shops have an ebb and flow of work thus not always needing a designer on the premises.

These and other designer issues can be solved by outsourcing the work to a service such as Easelly. Want to know more? Watch this video.

Show season to resume?

The thumbnail version:

  • Industry shows are being scheduled for the next few months
  • Will the pandemic derail plans again?

The full version:

What are the chances this will be bustling again soon?

The 2022 BC Sign and Graphics Show is scheduled for April 1st and 2nd in the Delta Hotels Burnaby Conference Centre. Attendees are being asked to wear a face mask and to be double vaccinated. There is no mention of whether these precautions are mandatory nor is there any recognition so far of the fact that medical professionals are saying that without a booster shot people are not fully vaccinated. Furthermore, there is no stipulation as to a face mask standard given that it has recently been suggested that single fabric masks are inadequate (no better than face decorations) and that 3-ply masks should be a minimum requirement.  This might all be clarified later.

If you’d like to travel further afield, the ISA International Expo has been scheduled for May 4th to 6th in the Georgia World Congress Centre in Atlanta. There is no mention of any COVID precautions on the ISA website.

If you read the promotional material for these shows you won’t find any mention of the pandemic (except the cursory stipulations for the BC show). Given the way things have unfolded in the past two years you may want to exercise some caution when considering attendance at these or any other shows. For one thing, travel and medical insurance would be a very wise move.

Supply chain disruption update

The thumbprint version:

  • World-wide supply chain disruption continues
  • End not in sight yet

The full version:

Supply chains still disrupted.

The industry is till feeling the impact of the world-wide supply chain disruption. Equipment manufacturers are still having a hard time locating parts with the result that equipment and parts remain backordered. If there is any good news it’s that the Roland turnaround times seem to be better than a year ago.

Media shipments currently have an ETA of February. Feel free to call any of the Stanley’s branches for updates on availability. The crew are doing what they can to keep everyone producing.

 

Promoting your sign shop

The thumbnail version:

  • Roland supports startups and small shops
  • Roland’s website is a good resource for advice

The full version:

It’s interesting to hear from Roland that many of their customers are business startups. And, as they quite correctly point out, being capable of starting a business that creates and produces great graphics is one thing, but being able to promote that business and generate sales is an entirely different thing.

To Roland’s credit, they don’t just offer advice on technical matters, they also from time to time  publish useful non-technical information to help with the business aspect of a small shop. The most recent such article on the Roland site is titled, “Advertisement and Promotional Design Advice for Business Startups” The title is a little misleading because even if you’ve been in business for some time, the advice could benefit you too.

It includes advice on all aspects of the preparation of promotional material such as: creating an eye-catching headline; copywriting; and designing.

We don’t have room here to explore the topic in depth. For the details you need to read the article on Roland’s site; it’s good stuff.

Coming up for two years into the pandemic


The thumbnail version:

  • Two years in and survival tips are the same as they were after a year
  • Diversification and an online presence are still good tips

The full version:

It’s coming up for two years and what we thought was going to be a year of surviving the pandemic has dragged on. Admittedly, some have thrived on the pandemic, but for many small shops it has been a survival game.

Just as we said almost a year ago, it’s always useful to know how colleagues and competitors in the industry cope. And also as we said a year ago, you can be sure that COVID-19 isn’t going to be the last “disaster” the industry and your shop is going to have to negotiate. Being aware of how others are coping is helpful.

Lat year Sign Media Canada interviewed sign shop owners who, among other advice, offered two useful insights. They’re worth repeating:

Geoff Orlick of Quality Designs in Campbell River: “Diversify, diversify, diversify. The sign industry is vast and fast moving. Listen to your customers’ requests for products you don’t sell, and when the same product request is made repeatedly, it’s time to broaden your production base.”

Ernest Florentino of Sign Den Graphics of Mississauga: “One great lesson I learned with this pandemic is the importance of having a strong online presence. You need to have an effective website, and you should make use of social media, particularly Instagram, to post recent jobs and highlight products you specialize in.”

Good advice from colleagues.

The five-step boost to revenues with after-sales follow-up.

The thumbnail version:

  • Follow 5 steps to boost revenue after a sale

The full version:

The BDC issues really useful material for small business owners. They are well written and brief. With very little reading you can pick up valuable ideas and tips. For instance, a recent example is a list of five after-sales steps you can take to encourage additional sales:

  1. Send a thank you note after a sale. You want to keep it brief as people tend not to read lengthy notes but, that said, you can include useful information that the customer might be able to use to better appreciate your product and to contact you when they need more. A quick thank you email can do wonders for elevating the reputation of your brand.
  2. After a week or two you might check in with the customer to make sure that the product is performing as expected. You don’t want to become a nuisance but a quick check will almost certainly be appreciated.
  3. Communication is an essential element in maintaining a relationship with a customer. Again, you don’t want to overdo it, but occasional high-value content can only strengthen the relationship and keep your name in front of the customer.
  4. Further sales will often follow from existing customers. This is why you pamper them (but again, without crossing that line to become a nuisance).
  5. Referrals from happy customers with whom you have a good relationship are an invaluable source of “free” advertising. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

These are simple and easy after-sales follow-ups to do. It should be your shop’s standard practice.

See you in 2022!

The thumbnail version:

Relax and reflect

  • 2021 is in the way out  – today is our last business day of the year.
  • Now it’s time to relax and reflect.
  • We’ll be back an raring to go on Tuesday the 4th of January 2022.

The full version:

As we said in the annual holiday hours email, 2021 has been another roller coaster ride and now we all deserve a rest to relax and reflect. Here is the rest of the message . . .

We’ll, we’re just about done with this year and looking forward to a more “normal” year in 2022. The question is, will we still recognize “normal” if we see it?  

But for now we all deserve a break. Let’s make the most of the holidays and come back refreshed in January ready to put out some great work.

We will be closing at 4.00 pm on Thursday the 23rd and reopening on Tuesday the 4th of January, 2022.  

The crew at all four Stanley’s branches wish you and yours the best of the season and a happy and prosperous 2022!

Describe your business in a sentence

The thumbnail version:

  • Can you tell a total stranger what you do in one, enticing sentence?
  • If you can’t do it right now, you need to work on it.

The full version:

You have some thinking to do.

We’re talking of course of the old but still good concept of an elevator pitch. Preparing a single sentence description will force you to focus on what you really do, what your shop does that could capture the interest of a total stranger.

So, for instance, “We print signs” is lame and hardly likely to arouse any interest in anyone other than some person perhaps in desperate need of a sign at that moment. Much more captivating would be something like, “We design and print signs that help our customers stand head and shoulders above their competition.”  It’s still not the greatest elevator pitch but it’s much better than “We print signs.” You get the idea.

An important aspect of this is that in developing your elevator pitch you’ll be giving some thought to what your business is really all about. And that’s a good thing to revisit as you prepare to begin a new year.

Customer churn – troubleshooting

The thumbnail version:

  • Customer churn explained.
  • Troubleshooting customer churn.

The full version:

Customer churn refers to the loss of customers over a given period of time, and the customer churn rate is the rate of loss expressed as a percentage of all customers. It’s most commonly used with reference to online subscribers but is equally applicable in a non-digital sense.

A friendly chat with customers can reduce churn.

In the previous post we talked about letting go customers you’d rather not have. Now we’re discussing retaining customers you’d like to keep but who, for one reason or another, are showing signs of disengaging from your business. And one reason you’d like to keep them is because it’s easier to sell to people who have been customers in the past than it is to attract new customers.

The key is to be proactive and not wait until they leave but to instead look for signs that they may leave and then deal with it. Some of the signs include a long interval since the last purchase, not opening your emails, or unsubscribing from your email list. But in order to spot these signs you must constantly monitor your customer base.

You then need to troubleshoot. But you can’t troubleshoot if you don’t know what the trouble is. The best way to find out what might be going is to have a chat with the customer and address whatever issues may be bugging them.

Customer churn—it’s just another one of those business realities that you have to deal with.

Dealing with the unhappy customer (it only needs to go so far)

The thumbnail version:

  • You will inevitably have unhappy customers from time to time.
  • How you deal with them will directly affect future business.
  • But you don’t want to retain them at all costs.

The full version:

The unreasonable customer. Let them go.

They will always turn up, the unhappy customer. I’m not a believer in the old adage about the customer always being right because, not only is it untrue, but if that’s the prevailing belief, then it invites unreasonable behaviour from those occasional customers from Hell.

But assuming your shop has a reasonable customer with a reasonable product complaint, then whomever has to deal with the unhappy customer could do worse than adopt Starbucks’s LATTE approach (Listen, Acknowledge the problem, Take action, Thank them, Explain what you’ve done).

Any reasonable person should respond well to LATTE. If they don’t, they may not be reasonable, and you may not want to retain them. Life is too short to spend time battling with energy-sapping, unreasonable customers.

Optimistic for the industry in 2022?

The thumbnail version:

  • A survey of industry leaders suggests some optimism for 2022.
  • The survey  preceded the Omicron surge.

The full version:

Sign Media interviewed industry leaders about their impressions of 2021 and their forecasts for 2022. It’s the forecasts for 2022 that are the more interesting aspect of the article. The survey was of course pre-Omicron so it will be interesting to see if they do a post-Omicron follow-up.

But for now the consensus (though some were more optimistic than others) is that the supply chain problem will continue well into 2022 and will get worse before it gets better. Some felt that returning conventions and trade shows would give the industry a boost in 2022 but, as we now know, the recently-arrived Omicron variant might have different plans.

How do you see 2022 unfolding and are you adjusting your business plan optimistically or pessimistically?

Results of the annual industry salary survey

The thumbnail version:

  • The 2021 salary survey results are out.
  • Not much has changed.

The full version:

Except for a percentage shift here and there, not much seems to have changed in the industry in the past year.

Here are some results that caught my eye:

  • Most responses came from Ontario again (40 percent).
  • BC was next with 20 percent (so 60 percent of responses came from just two provinces).
  • It’s still a male-dominated industry at 75 percent male to 23 percent female.
  • 83 percent of respondents were over 40 years old. (Question: Why aren’t the younger members of the industry responding?)
  • Almost half of respondents have been in the industry for more than 20 years.
  • 44 percent of the respondents were business owners.
  • 83 percent said that COVID had an impact on their business revenue. 70 percent of those said their revenue was down.

Surveys are only as good as the degree to which the respondents are representative of the population being surveyed. Keep this in mind as you read the full survey results.