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Business Management

Sign Brokers Wanted

ST seeks to find out more about the practice of brokering signage



Smyth Marketing Resources is in the process of gathering data for ST’s annual State of the Industry (SOI) report. We send out surveys that request data. I received a call from a sign broker, who lamented that he didn’t fit into our categories. He was right. Brokers, who sell signs, but sub out all of the design and fabrication, are a mostly ignored segment of the sign industry. Consequently, they’re probably misunderstood as well. We’d like to resolve that a bit.

The primary challenge is finding out who these firms are. So, if you fit into that category, or know someone who does, please let us know. Once we get a list of names, we’d like to compile a survey and send it to them.

In my conversation with this gentleman, he outlined some benefits that brokers provide to the sign industry. First, they provide work for sign companies who don’t have to deal with the selling process. Secondly, because brokers can presumably tackle any kind of sign request, assuming their fabricator contacts collectively can make all types of signs, they upgrade the image of the sign industry as a “can-do” entity. When capabilities aren’t a limiting factor, end users will be more inclined to want creative solutions, which similarly boost the sign industry’s image.

So please contact if you’re a sign broker. I assume the subsequent survey will ask about sales volume, number of employees, number of subcontractors, end-user categories, etc. We’d like to hear some stories about the good and bad, testimonials from both end users and subcontractors about the nuances of working with a sign broker. What benefits and limitations do brokers offer?

If we get enough responses quickly enough, we’ll include it with the Electric SOI report in the July issue. If it takes longer, we’ll wait until we get enough good information to present. Pass the word!




Introducing the Sign Industry Podcast

The Sign Industry Podcast is a platform for every sign person out there — from the old-timers who bent neon and hand-lettered boats to those venturing into new technologies — we want to get their stories out for everyone to hear. Come join us and listen to stories, learn tricks or techniques, and get insights of what’s to come. We are the world’s second oldest profession. The folks who started the world’s oldest profession needed a sign.

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