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Many Signshops Still Don’t Have a Website or Social Media, but Why?

We take a stab at a reader question inspired by findings from our Big Survey.

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Noticing in the [2023 Big Survey page 24] that several shops still don’t have websites and even more don’t use social media. I am curious as to why. What’s keeping signshops from building and maintaining their business websites? Do they not see a need? If not, why? What about social media? Do they not see it as valuable or relevant to their business?

As a reminder, 10% of sign companies responding to our recent Big Survey reported not having their own working website and 19% have no presence on any social media. We can make a couple of educated guesses as to why. First, bear in mind that 11% reported having only one employee, and 28%, two to four employees. That’s nearly 40% with four or fewer employees doing — everything! Perhaps for many of them, the other demands of the business leave no time or occupy much higher priorities than a website or social media. In addition, a combined 58% stated the contribution of trackable job referrals from social media are either nonexistent or insignificant (1 to 10%), so maybe some shops are under the impression that it’s not worth the effort. But we also saw other comments that directly stated many shops feel they simply don’t need either a website or social media; they have all the business they can handle from other sources, such as reputation or word of mouth. Right, wrong or indifferent, that seems to be the position of a significant number of signshops.

How can I find good employees in this job market? It seems to be very hard to get quality employees. Do you have a ‘Now Hiring’ section?

We’ve combined two questions here, and it’s no surprise several forms of it are being asked again this month, as they are most months. The question usually includes wording like “quality employees,” implying the potential new hires would already have training, experience, certifications, etc. … in other words, “How can I find the former employees of other sign companies?” While we don’t include space in the magazine for ‘Now Hiring’ ads, we do offer free posts on signsofthetimes.com/classifieds in a ‘Help Wanted’ section for companies looking to hire — and also a ‘Seeking Work’ section for those much-sought-after experienced employees looking to post their availability.

Are there any instances where non-compliant ADA signs have been found by inspectors and consequences followed?

Actually, the most stunning example that I remember, because of the expense of the project, was quite a few years ago in California. It had to do with braille dot and cell spacing. … A multistory state building was completed on a main street in Sacramento, the state capital, and unfortunately for the sign company, it was across the street from the State Architect’s office. When the building was finished, one of the state architects strolled across the street to check it out, and he had a measurement tool for braille. You guessed it! The designer had used print braille spacing — not legal in California. About $100,000 of signs came down! …

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our thanks to 2023 Women in Signs award winner Sharon Toji, H. Toji and Co., Lakewood, CA, for this anecdote. For more details on this, visit signsofthetimes.com/052307.

Want to see your questions featured in this department? Send your emails to: ask@signsofthetimes.com

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