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Don’t Throw Away Your Rejected Designs, Plus 5 More Tips for Sign Pros in December

“What might not be what this client wants is another’s dream.”




SYSTEMS Head in the Cloud

1 One Brain Squad member reports success refining “the use of online and cloud-based everything.” They say “it greatly enhances access to work, notes, files, etc., in so many circumstances.”

DESIGN Save Your Rejects

2 Russell Toynes, Studio Dzo, (Austin, TX) suggests that you keep track of your rejected designs. “What might not be what this client wants is another’s dream,” he says. “Scrap no ideas, designs or files. It’s all thinking and work that has already been paid for. Sell it!”

CONTACTS People Who Need People

3 “Let people know they matter,” says Cindy Gillihan, Gilly’s Super Signs (Placerville, CA). “Return phone calls or emails … so everyone is satisfied and the job is completed.” A fellow Brain Squad member chips in: “Get out and meet people; people buy from people, not emails or websites.”

PRODUCTION Flatten the Playing Field

4 One of our pioneer Brain Squad members, Geoff Orlick, Quality Designs Ltd. (Campbell River, BC, Canada) recently reached this conclusion: “If you are a shop that creates a ton of flat signs — Coroplast, ACP [Aluminum Composite Panels], etc. — buy a 4 x 8-ft. flatbed printer! You will wonder why it took this long.”

DESIGN, PART TWO “Survey says…”

5 If the client is committed to their design but you are not, tell them to print a dozen copies, advises Pat Dacy of 3V Signs & Graphics (Torrance, CA). Have them hand the design to friends and random people and ask them to identify where their eyes went first, second and third. Ask the client if they anticipated the results, he says.


PROMOTION Avoid Self-Ownership

6 Perhaps it goes without saying, but if you are a sign and/or wrap shop, make sure your fleet is wrapped identically and looking professional, gently reminds one Brain Squad member.

NO HURRY, NO PAUSE Slow and Steady Tortoise

7 Yoga practitioners are known to say, “No hurry, no pause.” The Navy SEALs have a mantra, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” And then of course, there is the slow and steady tortoise we’re all introduced to in first grade. But the lesson of all these invocations isn’t so much about winning the race. It’s that life — and business — are so much more pleasurable when you’re in the flow and enjoying the journey. “You don’t need to go through life huffing and puffing, straining and red-faced; you can get 95 percent (and maybe even more) of the results you want by calmly putting one foot in front of the other,” notes Tim Ferriss in Tools of Titans.

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