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Written by Trine Larsen

What have we learnt during our 20 years of being in business?

Signs WA Joondalup have been in business for 20 years. We have had our ups and downs, but we are stronger than ever. Over the 20 years we have operated in the signage industry, we have learnt a lot of valuable lessons, and we thought we’d share them with our readers. 


  • Stick with one quality media supplier.

Many signage companies trawl through various suppliers to find the best deals of the moment. We take a different approach, one which has saved us many times over the years. At Signs WA Joondalup we have partnered up with 3M for our sign vinyl needs, and over the years, we have really come to appreciate the working relationship we have with them. 

We are one of the few graphics companies in Australia to qualify as 3M Select Platinum Graphics Providers. This is a highly sought-after accreditation that is quite difficult to obtain. 3M are widely recognised as a high-quality supplier of materials and products over a wide range of industries and countries. High quality signage vinyl and protective overlaminate is only of use if applied by a company that puts the time into training and helping their staff to gain accreditation, such as training and qualify as 3M advanced Accredited Graphics Applicators. Additionally, within the 3M range, we ensure the various signage components are correctly matched according to the 3M MCS (Matched Component System). 

Warranty claims are easier when you have spent the time to build a relationship with your supplier, and it eliminates the need to work out who you bought from and when you bought the product in the first place, if there’s an issue. Streamlining products also helps track and eliminate mistakes. If you only have a handful of different signage vinyls, then printing on the wrong material is easily avoided. Your staff have intimate knowledge of each product you use, thus making less mistakes. It’s the difference between having to keep track of hundreds of products vs being intimately knowledgeable of five. Additionally, if a client comes back after a few years and want something added to what they originally had made, you don’t then have to scramble to figure out what was done in the past to match the existing.

As an added bonus, sticking with one supplier helps you establish better buying power in the long run, which means better quality for the price of cheaper brands. You no longer have to trawl for the best deals of the cheapest product, when you can have quality brands for similar prices. This mindset can be transported to most types of businesses, consider what you’re buying and how to best streamline your stock for the best results. 

Perth business owners can be confident, when purchasing their signage products from Signs WA Joondalup, that they will be of optimum quality. Great value will serve them for many years to come, all backed by a very experienced signage company that has been operating for over 20 years in the Perth business marketplace.


  • Systems are vital. Systemise the routine, humanise the extraordinary.

Having a system to help organise workflow is important. With hundreds of jobs coming through our doors, it’s important to have a way to keep on top of the workload. That’s where a great system comes in, a system where each cog in the wheel can do their job without grinding to a halt whenever there’s an issue. At Signs WA Joondalup, we use an online platform to track all our jobs. Each member of our team can log in and make notes on each job as it comes to them. This means all information is logged so everyone can see it. This eliminates a lot of back and forth between sales, design and production and thus saving us a lot of time. As a bonus, we can easily grab old jobs and go through what worked and what didn’t to make sure we keep improving with future works. When it comes to the use of our system, we feel it’s important to listen to our staff. They are the ones using it on a daily basis, so they know best what works for them and what doesn’t, and every system can be improved upon with time. We strive to create a system that works for our team, as each team is different there will be different needs. The most important thing to take away from this point is to never let a system take away the human element of the work, adjust it to your needs to make working easier for your employees. Having a good signage business management system in place helps to ensure that consistency of product and service are the norm, not the exception.


  • Hire the best team. Train them well. Nurture them with great culture.

The success of any business hinges on its staff. Without great staff, you will find staying afloat as a business troublesome. But hiring the best is not enough. You need to train your staff and nurture them in a great company culture. Few highly skilled people will stick around if they are not happy with how things are run. At Signs WA Joondalup we have weekly meetings to discuss upcoming jobs, but we also spend this time to listen to each other and figure out how best to approach any problems that may occur. The happiness of our staff is as important to us as the work they do. Happy staff do better work and will stick around for the long haul. We value transparency in our company, and our approach to employee satisfaction means we work together to achieve our final goal of great customer service.


  • Be honest in all dealings.

We all value honesty, and when in business that shouldn’t be any different. Be honest with your clients. Own your mistakes, sometimes even own a mistake that isn’t yours in the interest of keeping great long-term client relationships. If you’re going to miss a deadline, be up front about it; most clients will understand that at times things don’t turn out quite as planned. Have faith in the accepting nature of you customers; If you’re honest with them, they will appreciate it.


  • Market hard.

The key to success is clients coming to your door to give you their business, but no one is going to do that if they don’t know you exist. Marketing, be it online or offline, is just as important as the work you do. Many businesses skip marketing to save time and money, but that’s a mistake. This is especially true during hard times where it’s extra tempting to cut down on marketing your business. But what you’re essentially doing, is hiding your business from potential clients who might be just what you need to make it through a harsh financial climate. Take the time to get marketing right; your business will thank you for it. Signs WA Joondalup can be your partner in helping you build your brand and ensure it is highly visibly to your target market. You can benefit from our experience of over 20 years servicing Perth Business customers, as we help enhance and accelerate your business growth.


  • Pick a target market.

Many businesses make the fatal mistake of trying to do everything to broaden their customer base. It’s tempting to offer everything under the sun to your clients, but it’s also rife with risks. The increase to the overheads of your business will soar, that much is obvious, but it also means you become a jack of many trades, but a master at none. Hone-in on what you do best and become masters at it. Offer quality instead of quantity and you will see your business thrive in the long run. We have spent the last 20 years polishing our skills within signage, and we are proud to be amongst the best in the business. We stick to our niche, so that we can offer the highest quality signs to our customers. This has helped us create a large client base of happy customers who return again and again for their signage needs. 


  • Respect the competition, but don’t be afraid of them.

A healthy respect for the competition is important, but don’t let that turn into fear. For many, the fear of being taken out by a competitor can be motivating to work harder, but on the other side of the coin, it can be debilitating as it reminds you that your foothold in your business sector can be lost at any moment. Fear comes from an emotional place that is unable to differentiate between an actual threat and a shadow on the wall. If you give in to fear of your competitors you let them set the pace for your business, and that is something most businesses can’t survive. Not only does fear stilt you in your own development, but it can trickle down the line to affect your staff and thus halt your business from flourishing. Don’t let your fear distract you from what’s really important. By all means, keep an eye on your competitors, but remember you’re running your own show, and you need to keep focus on the things that will keep your business afloat. The only thing you need to fear in business is complacency. Focus on excellence and improvement, and soon you’ll be setting the pace for others. 


  • Don’t get stuck in the comparison game.

This point goes hand in hand with the one above. We spend a lot of time looking at our competitors and what they are doing. Be inspired by innovative ideas, but don’t get your head stuck comparing yourself to others. Each company is different, and everyone has different ideas as to what is important to them and their business. The grass is hardly ever greener on the other side, and if you spend all your time trying to emulate a business you think is successful, you will lose what is really important, your individuality. And who knows, the business you’ve put on a pedestal, may be struggling beneath the shiny exterior of their excellent marketing. The only business you can know a hundred percent is your own, so don’t get stuck on comparisons, it can only halt the growth of your business. You can’t look sideways and ahead at the same time, so we always choose to look ahead.


  • Deliver great value – but don’t aim to be the cheapest.

At Signs WA Joondalup we have never aimed at being the cheapest in signage. Instead we decided to focus on value. We create the best quality signs, using only the best materials available, and we do so at more than fair prices. We would never sacrifice the value of our product to save money. Our customers know this, they see it in the final product, and most will return to us time and time again for their signage needs, because they know we have their best interest at heart when manufacturing signs. Each client has different needs, and each sign we make is customised to those needs, giving the client the right solution for their business.

Aim for the mid to upper price range when setting your goals, if you focus on quality of material and workmanship, your company and your reputation will be better for it. Your signage and brand will look better for much longer – and that is what really great value signage should do. You will find a trend of less call backs, happier clients who will return, and an overall good feeling of knowing you did what you could to give your customers the best value for their money. 


  • Be there for clients through thick and thin.

All businesses have their ups and downs, and that will be the case for your clients as well as for yourself. At Signs WA Joondalup we feel it’s important to stand by our clients when they are struggling. We don’t just want to be front runners riding the waves. We will pick up the muck and help our local businesses through tough times, and over the years this has not gone unnoticed. When the business you helped in their time of need are back up and running, they will remember who was there for them, and they will send work your way. But don’t help because you want their work in the future; help because it’s the right thing to do.


  • If you mess it up, fix it.

Own your mistakes. We’ve already said it, but it bears saying again. If something fails on a job because of a mistake made by you. Do everything in your power to fix it as fast as you can. Don’t ever make your clients pay for your mistakes. 


  • Embrace challenges. Don’t run away from them.

During hard times it’s always easier to hide and keep your head down, but it’s during those hard times that you need to come together as a team and fight for your company and embrace the challenge head on. If you do, you will be stronger for it, not only as a company, but as a team. Running a business is a challenge in and of itself, but with the right team and the right attitude you can take on the world and be as successful as you want to be. The only thing holding you back is your inability to act.


At Signs WA Joondalup we have braced our share of challenges over the last 20 years of business, and when hard times come our way, we huddle together as a team and make a plan of how we are going to survive with minimum losses. This tactic has seen us through the darkest of times, and we believe we can fight anything coming our way, as long as we stick together and work hard.

We hope you enjoyed reading about what we have learnt from being in business for 20 years. At Signs WA Joondalup we’re a custom sign company that value transparency, and we are a tightknit team of professionals who love nothing more than manufacturing great signage. If you want to learn more about what we do, you can have a look at our flickr account to see our outstanding signage skills. And if you’re looking for signage, call our friendly sales staff today for a consultation and a quote on 9300 0254. We look forward to hearing from you.


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