Trade Secrets

Each Trade Secrets e-letter features a proven tip from a sign professional that will make you money, save you time or give your work an edge. 

We e-mail a new Trade Secret to readers every few weeks, so click here to make sure you're on the list.

Meanwhile, check out the great tips you've been missing:

  • This handout ends deposit and copyright hassles March 19, 2015

    Tired of having to explain to customers that you need a deposit, it helps to know their budget and that your designs are your property? Download this handout! It covers these issues and more in a professional, easy to understand way.

  • Sell signs that advertise rather than just identify February 26, 2015
    Very often a customer sees a sign just as identification—overlooking the advertising power of a sign. Sometimes a basic sign for identification is all they need or all their budget will allow. But there are real benefits to developing the design skills that let you create signs that deliver real advertising value.
  • Develop layout skills that you can sell February 04, 2015

    Many a sign business has developed a profitable niche selling designs that are more effective and more appealing. Why? Because then you’re selling something unique that your customers may not be able to get elsewhere. Learn how to do it here.

  • Watch that punctuation! January 14, 2015

    It can happen to the best of us. We’re so concerned with layout and production, and so busy, that we don’t check the copy carefully. Even if we check the spelling, we may not give the punctuation a second thought. Unless you marry or hire an English major, you’ll need a quick way to check punctuation. Fortunately, it’s easy to do this online. 

  • Download this estimate worksheet December 17, 2014

    Like most sign shops, Larry Elliott handles a wide variety of work at his shop, which means it's easy to miss something when doing an estimate. Download the terrific estimate worksheet that he developed and stop missing out on the profits you deserve. 

  • Five ways to boost profits without raising your prices November 20, 2014

    The fastest, easiest way to increase your sign business’s profits, of course, is to simply raise your prices. But it isn’t always quite so simple. Fortunately, there are other ways to send more dollars to your bottom line without raising your prices. See what works for other successful sign shop owners.

  • This free app can help organize your workflow November 01, 2014

    Many, if not most, sign people find their way into the industry from an interest in the creative side of sign making. While that helps handle the daily demands for coming up with new ideas, it doesn't always help with the business of running a profitable business.

  • Download these work order forms November 01, 2014

    A good work order form helps you collect everything you need from the client to quote and produce the sign successfully. And if you have staff, it's even more critical that all the information gets passed along to them.

  • 9 sales secrets I learned from car dealers September 19, 2014

    Tomm Moll, Signs by Tomm, Utica, New York, has done signage for car dealers for over 30 years. In the process he's learned a lot about sales from his car dealer clients. Here are 9 great tips that will help make you more successful at sales and profitability.

  • How does your truck lettering pricing compare? September 04, 2014

    Recently we included a survey in Trade Secrets asking what you’d charge to letter a truck similar to the one Bob Stephens  designed for the Design & Price feature in the July/August issue of SignCraft. The results are in--see how your price would compare to the averages of hundreds of shop owners.

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