Showcasing early entrepreneurs has a twofold purpose. One is to offer an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. The second is to provide a forum through which they can guide other aspiring business owners around avoidable obstacles and toward a path of attainable goals. Sharing insights starts with hearing their stories firsthand as through this conversation with
Vern Jones, owner
After working in corporate America for 35 years, I had an opportunity to retire. As a result, I took some time to reflect on what it was that I wanted to do. I looked into four or five franchise-type operations that I thought might interest me. A Sign-A-Rama business was one that I thought I could operate successfully in the local community. I had been travelling for so many years and didn’t want to get involved in any new business that required more travel. I also wanted to do something where I could actually see the fruits of my labor. At the same time, I wanted a business that wasn’t so highly technical and skilled that I couldn’t give younger people an opportunity to start a career and learn the industry. I wanted to be able to give opportunities to local people – those who are young and just starting out as well as those have a genuine interest in the business.
ABOUT MY BUSINESS
At Sign-A-Rama, we do all types of wide format and specialty printing for anything from a sign, banner or indoor directional signage to huge outdoor signs including in-ground monument signs, plexi-glass signs, and signs on buildings. Our specialty capabilities include taking a photograph and blowing it up to wall size. We can even print wallpaper that’s hard to find or out of print. We reproduce it as actual wallpaper ready for hanging. We do trade show graphics, sidewalk A-frames, metal and wood signage, custom lettering, and mounting.
We are on the cutting-edge of the sign industry. Our location has one of the first latex printers in the area. This is an eco-friendly printer in that it doesn’t use solvent-based inks which are harmful to the environment. Materials printed off these printers are approved for use inside K-12 schools because they are solvent-free. This truly sets us apart from our competition. We also have the capability of letting customers design and order their signs online which we can either ship or deliver directly to them.
IDEAL CLIENT PROFILE
The ideal Sign-A-Rama client is anyone looking for innovative solutions to help promote and grow their business. We cater to small businesses that don’t have or rely on large procurement sources. We fit that need for them. And, our methods of reaching these prospective clients include daily telemarketing, personal sales calls, and a concentrated direct mail effort.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, make sure you do your research on the front end. Know exactly what it is that you are going to be delivering. From a competitive standpoint, one thing that I could have done better would have been to understand the competitive nature of the business. Having a firm grounding in that respect will help you to better set pricing, target your markets and get on the fast track to success.
Editor's note: To all entrepreneurs who'd like to be featured in future TRANSPARENCY postings, please contact Jan Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.