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Dale Salamacha

You’ll Need to Be More Than a Signmaker to Succeed in ’23

Good client, vendor and employee relationships are all critical.




Scan to watch the latest episode of Dale’s YouTube series, and if you like what you see, subscribe to the Media 1 Wrap This channel.

Scan to watch the latest episode of Dale’s YouTube series, and if you like what you see, subscribe to the Media 1 Wrap This channel.

THIS IS GOING TO be the Greatest Year ever! (Of course, that’s what I say every January…) Well, hopefully, this time it will be, because these past two years have been, ummm … how do I say it … not the Greatest Years Ever?

And I, for one, think it’s high time to remedy that. How do we do it as an industry? Honestly, I can’t claim to have the one, right answer, lol, but I thought I’d share some of our tricks that have helped us through the years. Actually, the “tricks” are really methods of operation, the principles and character traits that guide how we do business. Are they foolproof? Absolutely not. If so, I’d be lying under a palm tree, sipping a Corona with Snoop. However, I still have more to do before I relax like that, and reading this, I bet you do, as well. So, let’s get to it.

2023 starts our 39th year in business — and the 25th year with Rick Ream as my partner in this “epic adventure.” We call it that because it stops us from going over the edge as we convince ourselves we are just on an amazing quest for greatness. After all, our $1.7 million annual payroll isn’t that hard to cover, right? (OMG, Rick, throw me a life jacket!)

This industry is very different from others. We’re not just selling a retail product off the shelf. Everything we offer is a custom-built project. And building things involves raw materials, specialized equipment, vastly talented employees and a building big enough to make it happen. In the breakneck speed of commercial construction, the range of responsibilities is astronomical.

Myriad things can (and do) go wrong daily, and our job is to mitigate those losses, and still deliver a perfect product to our clients. But we love it! That’s why all of us (meaning you, too) stick around, striving for better processes that will drive our overall success. It’s brutal. We sacrifice and struggle routinely, but we keep coming back for more, because it’s what we love. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a badass sign you created. The pride you feel is monumental!


But, true success goes beyond making a beautiful sign. Business success also hinges upon how you treat people — clients, vendors, employees — all of them.

    Know why making signs is so satisfying? It’s because we make our clients look good. That’s why it’s easy to sell signs, because every business needs and wants them, because signs make them look successful. A sign puts their business in the spotlight … and everyone loves that!
    I think vendors like to work with happy people — who doesn’t? We have many lifelong relationships with our vendors because they know we are out here doing our best in this crazy industry. They love seeing the finished product, too, because it gives them a sense of pride as being part of that whole process, so share your projects with them. They will truly appreciate it!
    Whew, tricky one… Many employees come and go. I cannot even tell you how many we have hired over the years … well into triple digits. We have 35 people now, and a dozen of them here for a decade, even two! What’s the key? Once again, I have no crystal ball, but I will tell you that we treat our folks like “crew.” That means we are open with them, they share in our bad times as well as the good times, and they know they are a huge part of our success.

Here’s to 2023: the greatest year ever!

Dale Salamacha is the co-owner of Media 1/Wrap This (Sanford, FL). Contact Dale at



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