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Paula Fargo

Sign Pros Need Not Be Perfect

Just make sure you nail three vital ways of doing business.



THERE’S HARDLY ANYTHING more annoying than a “know it all” who always has a better perspective than yours, a stronger track record, a more successful project, a faster piece of equipment, a professional staff, and who tries to tell you how to run your business.

Oh, wait a minute. Is that how I sound to you in these signshop advice columns? Do as I say, not as I do? Listen to me because I have all the answers?

If so, that is decidedly not the vibe I was going after.

I’m vibing on offering a different perspective that might help you make more money. (BTW, can you tell I have Millennial children who have instructed me that “vibe” is now also a verb?)

I was considering that fact this morning at my shop, thinking that I should have a better piece of equipment for a project I am bidding on, that I need to look into more effective streamlining of some of my processes, and that we really need to work on a direct mail marketing piece.

Doctor, heal thyself.

So, mea culpa, I admit that, no, I do not, in fact, know it all. Or rather, I might actually know a lot, but I certainly don’t do it all.

I’m a firm believer in “perfect is the enemy of good enough” and that it is possible to get stuck in a quagmire of indecision when struggling for perfection in all things.

So, while I loudly proclaim that I don’t do everything right, I equally vociferously shout that you have to…

Do These Things Right Every Time!

  1. Do what you say you are going to do. Promise a deadline? Meet it. Make an appointment? Show up on time. Quote a particular price? Charge it. Nothing will lose you respect and business in the sign world faster than messing with your customers’ trust.
  2. Provide a quality product. When an order goes out your door, make sure you are proud of how it looks.
  3. Show you care. Don’t make your clients feel like they are a burden on your time. Teach your team some empathy and people skills.

After binge-watching the final season of Manifest (don’t judge), I’m trying to forgive myself, like Micky does, when I don’t do everything as right as it should be — spoiler alert! I’m going to be happy if I can get these three biggies right all of the time, and work on getting as much else as right as I can make it.



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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