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    4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2008 8:39 AM by Bemore

    Restructing business

    Bemore Adventurer
      I own a sign business and because of declining sales, I am thinking about moving more to a Sign Broker type of business. As we move to this - projected about 120 days, we would reduce our facilities overhead by 50%, reduce staff by 1/3, offer free deliver. This would work typically like a print broker. We have several graphic designers who are willing to sub jobs, 3 sign companies who will produce the signage as well as several specialty manufacturers who we currently use, installation companies who are willing. Do you think this would be a viable solution?

      Any of your thoughts on this would be appreciated.
        • Re: Restructing business
          puzzleman Tracker
          My question has not to do with the restructuring. My question is why are sales declining? Even if you change your structure, if sales are going down, how long will this new structure last with no sales? How long will you personally last with reducing sales? I feel that in addition to the structure change, you need to attack the sales decline. This is the real problem, not the restructuring of the production end.

          As far as changing the production end, I personally like to work directly with the printer and not through a agent. The reason is that I want to be able to directly communicate my ideas to the printer and designer to reduce confusion.

          • Re: Restructing business
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Restructuring business, Good question, I like puzzleman question "why are sales declining"??

            I know the economy is going South. You know your business and your territory. How long have you been in business??

            Now is the time to start Marketing your company. Reach out to prior customers, Post signs since you are in the SIGN Business.

            Send flyers out with discount coupons, Some thing FREE. (Buy TWO, get the third FREE).

            Visit SCORE (in person or on line). SCORE is FREE and can help you develop a Marketing Plan.

            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Restructing business
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              The reason the role of "print broker" can exist is because it's not cost-effective for a large full-service printer to mess with a lot of small job clients, and therefore small job clients can't get full service printing cost effectively. The broker gives the printer one large client to deal with instead of dozens of small ones, and those small clients can get services they can't get or afford otherwise.

              Does that same dynamic apply to the sign business? In other words, is your industry's business model built around producing hundreds of the same sign for a few large clients -- or does most of the revenue come from producing single custom "one of" signs? Although I don't know your industry first hand, it seems like it might be the latter. If that's the case, I'm not sure how adding a broker to the mix provides a benefit to either the supplier or the customer -- and if there's no advantage for them, there'd be no business for you. Perhaps you can elaborate on that (I can see how it helps you, but how does it help the suppliers, designers, or customers to deal with you, rather than directly with each other?)
              • Re: Restructing business
                Bemore Adventurer
                Thank you all for your responses as they helped me get back on track and focus on what I need to be doing -- more marketing!

                We are currently doing post card mailers, email marketing, have a referral rewards program, and yes, have placed signs in front of our business!

                Thanks again,