It seems to have passed in the blink of an eye – it feels like only yesterday that the boys from SignMedia threw open their doors to world in the expectation of a flood of customers, trampling them in a rush!
In fact, Stuart and Bruce had bravely decided to open their new business venture at the start of the recession, and customers were indeed, hard to find. Undeterred they set out to conquer the local area in a bid to become ‘The sign Guys’. Months and months were spent calling door to door in every local high street, leaflet drops, breakfast networking and evening meetings with local businesses. Eventually the wheels of industry in the local area began moving and more and more enquiries began to come in.
Large signs, small signs, single vehicles, banners for school fetes and shop fascias were their bread and butter. The boys made the most of their presence on the A30 at Ashford with their own large illuminated signage, banners, flags and slowly, but surely the business grew.
As time moved on, they were able to employ and train up 2 staff and numerous part-time contractors, their business networking began to make an impact and the type of business they worked with evolved from independent locals to larger corporates.
Soon they were counting the likes of Spelthorne Borough Council, Magic FM, American Airlines, Suzuki and Marriott Hotels amongst their clientele. With this type of business, their experience of different, more complicated types of signage grew, as well as the need to manage signage projects across the South of England. Before long they were applying vehicle graphics to large fleets across the Midlands and fixing shiny new signs 10mts up on the sides of buildings at the airport.
10 years on and Stuart and Bruce feel they are still learning every day, although secretly viewing themselves as ‘veterans’ 😊. They now employ 3 full-time staff and 3 part-time staff and operate at full capacity most months. A huge amount of their turnover is repeat business, proving their adage ‘get the price right and don’t cock the job up!’. They now have dozens of blue-chip clients that they do work for across the country and have formed partnerships with a network of other sign-companies in the West Country, the Midlands, The North and Scotland to allow them to take on Nationwide projects.
Recent big jobs include 50 vehicles re-branded for a Facilities Maintenance Company, a 20mt wide fascia for a Luxury Bathroom showroom and a 6mt tall illuminated totem for a Sikh temple. Clients include Dnata, BBC, Oris Watches, Kerry Foods, Thames Water and Lindt Chocolate.
Bruce, commenting on their success said “it’s just an industry that keeps on giving, no two days are ever the same and you never know what the next enquiry is going to bring. It’s also the kind of sales environment where you can build really nice relationships with your customers – it’s helps to be a real people person”
On maintaining their rise, Stuart said “it’s fast-moving and very demanding, but fortunately I’m one of those annoyingly organised people which allows me to stay on top of things and make sure our customer service is top-notch”