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About Checkers

  • Rank
    Floor Sweeper
  • Birthday 06/18/1967

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  • Name
    Brian Born
  • Company
    Checkers Custom Signs
  • City & State
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  • Company Type
    Full Service Shop

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  • Equipment
  1. "I thought this forum was a way for Sign Contractors to communicate and look out for each other" - it's a great way for communicating and it's a great way to learn from others too. By no means am I telling anyone how to run their business. I just agreed with another comment and offered up some additional "free" advice. Like I mentioned earlier, I love what I do and I do it for money. If you don't mind working for free, that's your option. Checkers
  2. Not to sound sarcastic, but, who runs your business. Is it you or your client? I started my own business - to be the boss and make money :) The reason why I have specific policies and procedures set for the business is to insure that it makes money. And, it doesn't matter where the money comes from and long as I get paid according to my terms and conditions. There are times I'll entertain extending credit to other businesses, but, once again, they must agree to my terms and conditions and sign a contract. If they don't, I will not work for them. I would rather spend the day fishing or watching TV versus working for free. I'm not a bank. If you want credit terms, talk to a bank and see what interest rate and fees they will charge. Remember, they charge these fees to insure that they make money and so should you. Checkers
  3. AAA has the best solution, a properly documented and signed contract stating the terms and conditions, including late payment fees, interest, etc. I normally get a 50% deposit with the balance due upon receipt. However, when I choose not to, I always make sure the client signs the contract. Considering these tough times, if I was to extend credit to a client and he told me he could not pay, I would send the bill right over to my attorney to take whatever steps are deemed appropriate. Although I love what I do, I do it to make money. Checkers
  4. Intellectual property suits can sometimes be frivilous. So, I would not let that sway my decision on what products to offer or purchase - assuming it was in the best interest of the client. And no, I probably would not mention it to the client - unless it's a long term project and, because of a possible cease and desist order or a settlement from the suit, the materials would no longer be available. Checkers
  5. Going off on a tangent caused by craig's post, maybe a blacklist email subscription would be a better option to inform each other of black listed companies. I'm not an attorney, but I think it would cover our butts all the way around and keep the subscribers up to date. Checkers p.s. I don't post or participate here much because I don't manufacture electric signs in house. However, I am here to watch and learn from from what I would consider to be some very talented artists and business people.
  6. As much as I would like to see a blacklist of slow payers and/or bad accounts, its most likely illegal. From what I understand, publicly displaying blacklists of debtors was banned back in the 60's because it was considered public himiliation. Today, if you are caught sharing this information in a public forum, it can expose you to a potential lawsuit from the offender. Perhaps if we didn't post it in a forum, however, set up a spreadsheet of offenders that would be shared with members on a weekly basis. I have no idea what we would need to include though. Checkers
  7. Hiya Derf, What about cutting the signs off either just below the cabinet or at grade, swithcing them, then use a insert or some sort of pole liner to hold them together? BTW, does your code allow 2' deep for the posts on such a large sign. We have a minimum of 36" for code which probably be adequate for these signs. Checkers
  8. After 14 years of working for someone else, I struck out on my own last year. The opportunity arose when the company I worked for wasn't sure if they could make payroll. Because of this, I took the layoff and managed to get some state funded assistance with starting my business. For the last year, I've been doing some commercial sign work, but I'm mostly freelancing with other shops, doing coaching, production and wide format vinyl installs. However, I'm by no means getting rich from pursuing this type of work :) As I approach the business' 1 year anniversary, I'm working on a new plan an pursuing more commrcial and retail work. When I comes to electric signs, I know enough to be dangerous. So, I don't fabricate electric signs in house. However, I do sell them. Normally, I design a concept and rely on my vendors to quote, properly fabricate and install these types of signs. As I finish my new plan and get ready to change the direction of the business, I find myself getting excited about this work again. I'm actually looking forward to the next 20 years or learning and challenges :) Checkers
  9. There are number of reasons why I feel that this site hasn't done well yet. You've addressed the competitive nature of this part of the business, but there are some other things to consider. Fist is the site is still relatively new. The other sign related sites I frequent took 3 to 5 years to get established and active. Second is the lack of marketing. I've been in the sign business for 15 years and on the net for 10. It wasn't until just recently I discovered this site while participating in another sign forum. This site doesn't show up when I use the various search engines using typical search terms. I haven't seen any ads or read about it in any of the sign magazines I subscribe to and none of the other sign makers I associate with have ever mentioned it. Third is the lack of participants. The rules that apply to electrical signage here in the USA are a lot different than the rest of the world. So, you're limiting your participants there. And since building codes even vary from region to region within the USA, your demographic gets even smaller. So, of the 35 thousand or so sign companies in the US, I would estimat that about 20% of all US sign shops have registered with or participated in a sign related forum. I also estimate that about 25% of those shops are manufacturers and installers of electrical signage. So, if you do the math, you're trying to cater to a group of about 1,750 participants. Finally, not all of the sign sites are really that active. If you actually look the participation levels of some of the other sites, you'll see that participation by real sign companies is quite low. The rest are spammers, sales people and people just learning the trade. Checkers
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