In business, as in life, bad choices haunt us all, and the fear of making a wrong decision can paralyze us into no decision. Regardless of what we do — how much we research, analyze, and prepare — some mistakes will be made. However, by taking precautions when choosing a service provider, in this case, a sign shop, disappointments can be reduced. So, how can you find the best sign shop for your needs?
Where to Start
Start by asking how long they’ve been in business. Considering 50% of new businesses fail within five years, a company who is gone doesn’t offer much in the way of warranty, follow up, or service, does it? Tenure usually translates to experience as well. Although experience doesn’t guarantee superior workmanship, it does speak for credibility. New businesses are often plagued by low credit lines, lack of inventory, and sporadic sales. Because if a sign shop has been around 10 or 20 years, they must be doing something right? Why have they survived? Does the shop have long-standing loyal followers? Does their quality of work attract new clients? If so, they’re likely to do quality work for you, too.
Are they Experienced?
How experienced are they? Not only the number of years they’ve been in business, but how long have they designed, fabricated, or installed signs? Do they sub any of this work? Are any of their departments new or inexperienced? Just because a sign shop has been in business for 20 years, doesn’t mean they have 20 years of manufacturing or installation experience.
Where’s the Proof?
Do they have work you can see and customers you can talk to? I once had a home remodeling contractor tell me he had no work in the area. Really? Wait, you work in this neck of the woods, but have no work I can see? Enough said. I know a smart sign shop would never give the contact information of a dissatisfied customer, but I’ve learned more by asking references than by asking the typical, “Did they do good work?” Here are a few ideas of what to ask a sign shop client reference.
A Few Questions for a Sign Shop Customer:
- Were they timely with communications and updates?
• Did you request any changes and, if so, how did they handle them?
• Were there any additional charges you were not initially made aware of?
• Was the installation crew professional? Were they considerate, polite, and did they maintain a safe and clean work area?
• Was the project completed on time?
Finding the Best Sign Shop
By doing a bit of research, you may save yourself time, money, and headaches. If you’d like to ask one of our loyal customers a few questions, Contact Us. We can help you find the best sign shop for your needs.