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Kgirl Kgirl

Donco

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Everything posted by Donco

  1. Understood Garrett. Regardless of who the money goes to, the fact that money is flowing through the economy is important. People have stopped spending money and are holding on to it. It is an economic paralysis that will only prevent the economy from recovering and cause stagnation. The Government is offering incentives to get people to spend money again and start the economy moving again. Instead of the trickle down theory, I prefer that Gov’t Stimulus money start at the bottom and work its way to the top.
  2. Yes, they typically come in 3 waves. The Housing market was the first wave and now the Commercial Real Estate market will be next. The last wave will be Credit Card default which is looming and will have a major impact on the banking industry. I’m no economic expert and I hope that I am wrong on what will happen next. I’m glad to hear the “Cash 4 Clunkers” program is doing so well. Hopefully we can endure these tough times and make it through to a better future.
  3. Same here in OC. Our office is in a business park area and businesses are closing all around. An artifical grass business just opened right next to us. Seems that people would rather have fake lawns than a high water bill. A lot of the work we do is at Gas Stations and I have several quotes I submitted to Dealers who can't get money from the bank. We've hit the streets too and found bsuinesses that REALLY NEED their signs repaired. Give them a good quote for the work, and they don't have the money to do it. Here's an example of a sign that needs repair and the owner didnt want to.
  4. Donco

    Donco & Sons, Inc.

    Photos of our work.
  5. Donco

    Games 4 LESS

    From the album: Donco & Sons, Inc.

  6. Donco

    Games 4 Less

    From the album: Donco & Sons, Inc.

  7. Nothing beats meeting a person face to face and introducing yourself and a quick description of what your company can provide them as a customer. following up with them in a week or two really helps. We seem to generate some business that way, and it isn't always with the person you first meet. Somethimes they pass are company info on to someone else who needs our services.
  8. Who makes the "Buffalo Wild Wing" signs? Thanks in advance.
  9. Would you mind sharing more info on your company: 1. Requirements to qualify and work for you 2. Payment terms 3. Current Clients or Projects woking on
  10. I was wondering if Sign Contractors in other states are required to carry Workers Comp Insurance. Is so, how much do you pay a year? Our company operates in the state of California where we are required to carry Workers Comp Insurance. Our yearly policy costs $60K. We ultimately pass this cost on to our customers in our hourly rates. Our $150 an hour rate is considered high by some and we probably don’t get as much work because of it. We implemented a Safety Program back in 2004 to train and protect our employees, and we have seen great results from it. Over the past 4 years we’ve had a total of 6 recordable incidents ranging from minor cuts that required stitches to a broken finger. Luckily we’ve never had a major incident where someone was seriously injured. (Knock on wood) The medical cost for those 6 claims is about 1/10th what we have paid to the Insurance carrier in premiums. Unfortunately we did have one case back in 2003 that we felt was fraudulent (Shoulder injury) and took several years to resolve and cost over $150K. We’ve had the same Insurance carrier (State Fund) for years, and they are not very proactive. I’ve had to make several phone calls and emails to adjustors to close out claims that have been resolved for over 2 years. Every year we request quotes from different insurance carriers, but none have a better price. Lately, we’ve noticed new sign companies working in our area, and we’ve had one try to take business away from us. I just saw one at lunch replacing some lamps. Their truck didn’t have any company info on it, and I wanted to go talk with them and see if they had a Contractors license or Insurance. Here’s a paragraph from our local newspaper on a Roofing Contractor who just got indicted for Workers Comp fraud. Michael Vincent Petronella, 50, and his wife, Devon Lynn Kile, 42, were charged with 106 felony counts, including grand theft, lying on their tax returns and insurance fraud. Prosecutors said the goods – seized this week from a Laguna Hills villa, a Costa Mesa office and other properties – were purchased with ill-gotten gains from a $38 million workers' compensation insurance fraud scheme, the largest fraud scheme of its kind in California history.
  11. I know this may sound strange, but I think it would better to have a list of companies who do pay on time. It would be hard for West Coast Sign Guy to keep track or validate everyone’s claim that some didn’t pay on time. Also the other party involved, non-payer, doesn’t get an opportunity to respond to the allegation. Who’s to say someone rightfully didn’t get paid based on not performing the work, or getting the required paperwork and signatures.
  12. Thanks for the info. My contact at ICON says they are handling the East Coast, and another company is handling the West Coast..
  13. Anyone know who is handling the Jiffy Lube sign project? I heard they are installing new signs at over 2000 locations nationwide.
  14. Welcome. We've instlled a lot of their LED lights at gas stations. Formerly known as TIR.
  15. There have been several of these websites popping up recently. I signed up for free at signsearch, and a week later a salesperson called me to offer us a deal to have our company listed in the top 5 search results. He did a demo where he searched using our area code and we were on the 7th page. Even though all the other companies before us were miles away from the zip code. He then changed our “settings” or something and then we were listed 4th on the first page. It would only cost $279 a year to get the 4th listing, and they promise over 100 hits a month. Makes no sense at all since the search is by area code. They are basically selling space on their webpage.
  16. "If we will stick together and all stand by this standard we will all be better off" I totally agree! I have to assume that the large sign companies are generting interest off the money they owe to other companies.
  17. Via ISA email received 2/13/09 On January 22nd, the City of Los Angeles proposed one of the most restrictive sign codes for a major metropolitan area ever witnessed by the industry. This proposed sign code severely restricts sign sizes and height limits, bans new “digital” signs and eliminates the distinction between on-premise and off-premise signs. According to the California Sign Association, no input was sought from the sign industry or end users when the Los Angeles City Planning Department drafted the proposed ordinance - a very undemocratic and biased process. The proposed code will allow just 80 square feet (currently 400 sq. ft.) and a maximum height of 20 feet (currently 42 feet max.) for double-faced pole signs. Other types of signs have been similarly reduced in allowable sizes and heights. None of these size and height restrictions are based on scientific evidence or studies. The proposed changes also fail to take into account basic driver needs and factors such as legibility, conspicuity, setback and traffic speed/lanes. In fact, while the city claims that traffic safety is a justification for the new sign code, mandating smaller and shorter signs makes it more difficult for passing motorists to read signs, which will endanger drivers. The proposed code also aims to ban all roof signs, wall signs higher than 35 feet, and all new “digital” signs – including the on-premise electronic message centers (EMCs) used by thousands of local businesses. Furthermore, the proposed code seeks to eliminate the longstanding, historical distinction between on-premise and off-premise signs. These types of signs have traditionally been treated differently under the law and in sign codes for many valid and important reasons. If this distinction is eliminated, the ability of a business to site or erect an on-premise sign could be restricted by the presence of an existing off-premise sign. This proposed sign code is an undisguised attack on the on-premise sign industry and the businesses that depend on them for their livelihood. Thousands of small businesses will be adversely affected if this sign code is passed. With our economy in a state of crisis, now is definitely NOT the time for the second largest city in the United States to take away the ability of local retailers and national franchises to effectively and inexpensively identify their business and advertise their goods and services!
  18. This is the Catch 22 of getting new business. You and the large Nat'l sign company dont have a relationship and are looking at each other thinking are they going to perform for us? The Large Nat'l compnay knows they have the upper hand because they hold the money and decides who gets the work. Most large Nat'l sign companies have been burned by a few sign installers in their time and dont trust new companies right away. So you have to build a good relationship with the large Nat'l company, and make sure you understand all the Terms and Conditions to work for them prior to starting work. Follow up with the contact person you are working for and ask questions. "So I'll get paid 45 days from my invoice date or 45 days after your campany gets paid?" " Who is in charge of your payables dept and can I have their direct phone #?" I would continue to ask for a 50% deposit, or at least get a Purchase/Work Order sent to you. Also, make sure you CYA by taking all the precautions to protect your company such as pre-liem notices so you can take legal action on the property for non-payment. After you completed a few jobs and they've paid you on time, you can decide on the best way to move forward.
  19. Receiving payment for work completed seems to be a current topic, and there appears to be several differing views. There’s a big difference in agreeing to work for a company that you know ahead of time is going to take 120 days to pay you, and a company who intentionally or deceptively doesn’t pay per the agreed terms of the contract. I thought 30 to 60 days was standard payment terms. I don’t know of many companies who agree to wait 4 months to get paid. Others refer to it as lending YOUR money to another company for 4 months. I would bill an additional cost just for waiting that long. Anyone who owns and operates a company has payables that their company is RESPONSIBLE to pay. One of these payables is PAYROLL that by federal law has to be paid on a regular schedule. We don’t wait to pay our employees once our client pays us. We pay our employees EVER WEEK. Contracts are a simple process: Company A agrees to perform work at an agreed rate. Company B agrees to pay the agreed rate at a specified time once the work is completed. Once Company A performs their part of the contract, then Company B is obligated to perform their part of the contract and pay for work received. If both or one party does not perform, then the contract is not completed.
  20. We are located in Southern California, and the past 3 months have had steady work. Now that the New Year has started, things have slowed, but projects are starting up and we've been submitting bids on them. Most large companies have put a hold on all large capital projects and are waiting to see how the economy evolves. The Bank transitions are going to be where a lot of work will come from this year. I hear there are several large sign manufacturers and PM companies involved, and they have already started allocating work to companies. The other business possibility for sign contractors is de-branding all the stores that will be closing. Not the preferred type of work, but still pays. Everyone seems to be concerned about the economy and spending money. The best way to get work is to show your customer the value you or your product brings them and that they will be satisfied when the job is completed. It all goes back to customer service. Make the customer happy, and they will be willing to pay for your services.
  21. About 75% of our work is for Gas Stations, and the major oil companies have approved vendors that manufacturer signs per their specs. This is typical for most Nat’l accounts in order for the corporate office to maintain control over consistency and quality of the signs. You'll hear that one sign company manufacturers for this brand or company.
  22. I posted this topic to make others aware that we have noticed recently that large sign manufacturers that we work with on nat’l acct's have not been paying on time. In light of Image Point, I thought I would share our experiences with receiving payments late and see if other sign installers are experiencing the same thing. I did not start this topic so people could criticize business policies or procedures. We've developed good relationships with several manufacturers and did about $500K worth of installs for them last year. We would like to continue doing work for them, but not if they can not meet the terms of their contract and pay on time. I thought this forum was a way for Sign Contractors to communicate and look out for each other.
  23. I was talking to a friend who works in another industry, and he is also having a hard time collecting payment from customers. I believe the economy is affecting a lot of small businesses who survive on a monthly cash flow. We are finding ourselves in a tough position of landing new work and also protecting our company by ensuring our clients can pay on time. That being said, I would always protect yourself or company and require a 50% deposit with a signed contract or PO. A deposit isn't always possible when working on a National account or vendor who keeps promising you more work in the future. I know the Project manager I am working with on a nat’l acct would pay us if they could, but it seems their Corp office is holding back payment. They have more work coming up that we want and the PM wants us to do for them, but not if we have to keep sending emails or making phone calls for payment. The first thing that crosses my mind when we don’t receive payment is did we do a good job and complete the work 100%. And my first phone call to inquire about payment always starts by me asking “is everything ok with the job?” The hard part is sending out the email telling a person/company you like working with that you will not do anymore work for them because of their late payments.
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