We share a few helpful suggestions on what it takes to start an advertising sign business.
Advertising Signs: A Stable Business Sector
Entrepreneurs are no strangers to risk. They shape their entire professional lives around the very real possibility that their next big business idea won't pan out. But the key to long-term entrepreneurial survival is to minimize your exposure to risk whenever possible, starting with the types of businesses you launch.
The advertising sign business is a stable industry with low market volatility. When one business closes, another one opens and their first stop is usually the local advertising sign provider. Other benefits of an advertising sign startup include low startup costs, minimal barriers to entry and the potential for a home-based business.
Yet despite their apparent simplicity, advertising sign startups have plenty of challenges that need to be addressed. Advertising sign entrepreneurs require at least three critical skills to be successful: (1) Creativity, (2) Technological Know-how, and (3) Good Business Sense. Startup owners lacking in any one of these areas may quickly be overwhelmed by the demands of their new business.
Budget Tips for Advertising Sign Entrepreneurs
A robust budgeting process is essential to the success of your advertising sign startup. Before you can open the doors for business, you'll need to create accurate forecasts for not only your startup expenses, but also cash reserves to carry the operation until your business begins turning a profit.
Many advertising sign startups offer several different types of signs to their customers including exterior signage, vinyl signs, magnetic signs and more. In addition to a reliable PC equipped with design software, each type of sign will require its own unique equipment (e.g. vinyl cutters, ventilation equipment, etc.) and substrates (e.g. vinyl, wood, glass).
Bootstrapping an Advertising Sign Startup
It's not uncommon for highly skilled, yet poorly capitalized sign makers to eventually express a desire to start their own sign business. When resources are limited, bootstrapping may be an effective way to get your sign company off the ground ASAP.
Personal savings, loans from family members and other informal funding sources are the backbone of a bootstrapped business model. Combined with strategies like strategic outsourcing, equipment leasing and a phased-in launch plan (i.e. initially part-time), it's possible to lay a solid foundation for a sign business without incurring excessively high loan payments or overhead costs.
We recommend networking with other small business advertising sign professionals through organizations like the U.S. Sign Council and the International Sign Association to learn how other entrepreneurs have bootstrapped their advertising sign companies.
How to Create a Winning Advertising Sign Company Business Plan
If you've done your homework, you already know that writing a business plan is the most critical thing you can do for your company.
The consequences of neglecting your advertising sign company's business plan can be severe - lenders and investors don't seriously consider funding businesses that lack a viable business plan.
Here's something else you should know: Business plans help prevent key startup mistakes. While other startup advertising sign businesses are floundering, your business will be on course for growth and profits, protected by a carefully conceived plan that reflects real world business conditions and your business's unique characteristics.
Take a Look at Competitors
Prior to launching an advertising sign business within your community, it's essential to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors near you. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of advertising sign businesses in your community.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
As part of your due diligence on opening an advertising sign business, the next step is to learn from folks who are already in business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Thankfully, an owner of a an advertising sign business in a location that is not competitive to you will be much more likely to talk with you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you go about finding an advertising sign business owner in another city who you can speak with?
Simply, try our helpful link below, type in a random city/state or zipcode, and start calling.
Acquisitions vs. Startups
Unfortunately, many inexperienced advertising sign business entrepreneurs approach ownership with the mistaken idea that a startup is their only option when they could also pursue a business acquisition.
Unless you have compelling reasons to launch a new business, buying an existing advertising sign business may be the better choice.
An acquired advertising sign business is a known quantity; a startup is less certain because its forecasts depend on estimated outcomes. The key is to locate a business-for-sale that closely matches your ownership philosophy and professional objectives.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Franchised business startups give new business owners instant access to a proven workplace routine. Solid franchise opportunities equip startup owners with training and other resources designed to streamline workflows and operations.
With many advertising sign business franchise opportunities to choose from, we recommend visiting our sign franchise directory to determine which franchisors are consistent with your vision and goals for your startup.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own an advertising sign business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to advertising sign businesses, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.