Is LUCK necessary to make a Business Successful?

What does it take for a business to be a success? (or survive?)

Gary Player, the famous golfer, is also famous for saying something like “being successful requires a measure of luck”, and “the more I practice the luckier I seem to get!”

While this comment was specifically made about Gary Player’s golf career, I was wondering if it applies to every aspect of a successful business as well.

Life has taught me that a LOT of success in business comes from doing the same repetitive, ‘boring” things over and over and over and over and over and over again. This is because it is the “boring”, “repetitive” actions that are needed to keep a business functioning. Things like accounting, marketing, selling and doing the work!

A great man named Dennis Kaplan once said that every person who is successful has to do the work (similar to what Gary Player says as this becomes practice which can lead to ‘luck’), work hard, focus and also needs an element of LUCK.

It is the LUCK part that intrigues me most. In the context of a sport, luck can easily be attributed to hours of practice and training, as this practice and training hones the muscles, hones one’s reflexes and makes one better at the action that is being repeated.

There is also a level of mental focus that is required. If one looks at the top sports people, it is often their mental attitude – and fortitude – that separates number 1 from number 100. This is one reason the field of Sports Psychology dos so well.

So how do these factors apply to business?

Is it LUCK that a particular client finds a specific supplier? If we focus on marketing efforts, then LUCK could possibly be one’s ability to get into the prospect’s line of sight, or keep one’s business front of mind. But is this really luck? If it is luck it could be interpreted that the business with the biggest budget will ALWAYS win as they have the ability to keep one front of mind. BUT is this true for all businesses?

Could it be LUCK that a specific prospect finds your business, contacts your business and then decides to go ahead with your business to do the job? This one is specifically questionable when one does not necessarily have much influence over the decision process.

For an example lets look at a business like SignForce.

We can market all we can, as we have control over this.

Once we have marketed we have no control over the prospect clicking on, calling or emailing SignForce. This step I would put down to luck.

Once the prospect DOES contact SignForce we then have some control over the next step which is seeing the client (if necessary), advising the prospective client and quoting the prospect.

The next step is once again out of SignForce’s hands, as this step depends on the client’s budget, the competitive quotes the prospect received (we always assume every prospect gets the standard three quotes which is considered good governance) and what quality the prospect is prepared to settle for, assuming that (as is standard) all three competing companies have quoted on the SAME sign(s). The last one is a little challenging as history has shown that there are MANY ways to quote on the same signs, but they all have different pro’s and con’s, many of which the prospect would have no clue about, simply because they would need to be sign specialists to know about all sign materials and their pro’s and con’s.

If the prospect does decide to work with SignForce all steps going forward ARE in the hands of SignForce so this is where practice (and hence no longer luck) comes in, as the more we do the work to the client’s approval – this involves quality, life span, delivery as per agreed deadline and many other factors – the more likely SignForce is to get additional work from the client.

Of course one issue with the signage business is that unless the client is expanding, the repeat cycle of business is between five and seven years. This means a sign business needs to continuously market in order to fill the five to seven years, and then some.

At SignForce we know we don’t know it all. We do practice a lot, and we tend to get better the more we practice, which is one reason people could explain why SignForce has been in business under the same management for over 20 years.

If you are in the market for signs – anything that makes you and your business visible – SignForce has been around assisting businesses to be visible for over 20 years, andd we will gladly assist your business as well.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call SignForce on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp SignForce on +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about how SignForce can help make your business visible by visiting our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

The importance of WHITE SPACE for Signage

Wayfinding sign, wayfinding signs, directory sign, directory signs, modular sign systems,

Way Finding

Howimportantis WHITE SPACEfor Signs?

To make this a little easier to read: How important is WHOTE SPACE for signs?

What is  WHITE SPACE? And why is it important when designing LEGIBLE signs?

It is said that music is less about the notes and more about the space between the notes as this is where the sound we hear resides.

The same thing about white space can be said with regards to legible signage.

Signs are simple. Good signs that are legible and do their intended WORK WELL may be a little less simple.

Good signage needs to deliver on the signs intended purpose. A signs purpose can vary from getting feet into a store to informing people of positions or offers to directing people to a specific location or in a specific direction.

One common factor in all signs if they are to WORK is that they NEED to be EASILY LEGIBLE.

The more ‘visual noise, the less the sign is EASILY LEGIBLE, and in some circumstances, the sign is not legible at all. Visual noise is the equivalent of NOOPENSPACE (or NO OPEN SPACE) around the intended message.

Visual noise can make text or the pictures bleed into each other, making a sign difficult or even impossible to read. Just like a paragraph that is too long (like this one?) a sign that is difficult to read will most likely not achieve its objective.

If you are in the market for SIGNS that WORK at fair prices (read that as not the cheapest, but good value with guaranteed work), then SignForce is here to assist you.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call SignForce on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp SignForce on +27 (0)82 558 6413.

Find out more about SignForce by visiting our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

Why sign when you can use social media

ign

3D Sign

Fabrication Process of 3D sign

In the modern world of instant gratification and digital everything, 3D signs stand out  as they always have.

Traditionally 3D signs were recessed, but with modern materials and new techniques we were and are able to manufacture 3D signs that stand proud.

Then electronic signs come into play. Electronic signs can create the IMPRESSION that they are 3D, however, when viewed form the side, the signs are still FLAT.

One advantage of fabricated 3D signs is that they can be seen from ANY angle – and the 3D is enhanced from the side.

The letter pictured above is an example of a fabricated acrylic sign with opal returns (depth) where the face of the letter will be RED and the sides will be WHITE.

These signs are ALL HAND MADE by skilled artisans.

If you are in the market for 3D signs contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call SignForce on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

For more information on SignForce visit the SignForce website at http://www.signforce.co.za

 

Surviving a Black Swan Event

SignForce 'invisible' sign

Partially Invisible Sign

How does your business survive and thrive a Black Swan Event?

Ever heard of a Black Swan?

Ever seen a black Swan?

Do you understand the concepr of a Black Swan Event?

For more on Bl;ack Swan Theory visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

In short, bl;ack swans do exist, but are more rare than white swans, and their arrival always seems to be a surprise. It is not a planned event.

Covid arriving in 2020 is one such event almost EVERY business in the world has had to deal with. For some it was a death knell, for others a Godsend.

From my research there doesn’t seem to be a common thread that has made one business succeed and another fail during these interesting times, in that some businesses do the same thing yet some have gone up while others have gone down.

Traditionally times like this call for a boost in one’s marketing. The greater one’s visibility in these times, the higher the likelihood of success and thriving. The more markets one can reach, the greater the chances of surviving and thriving. And from SignForce’s experience, the more one can collaborate, the higher the chances of success.

SignForce has always worked with our competitors in order for us all to do better. SignForce’s philosophy is that a cent earned from someone else’s work is a good cent. The theory behind this is that if you are a doctor, you almost always have to be at work to earn a good living. In industry, this is not necessarily the case. One can earn while being remote. This has been emphasized and highlighted in the modern work from home environment where unless one HAS to be face to face with your client’s, one can provide services from a distance.

At SignForce we believe in upliftment. Yes, we strive to be a profitable and sustainable business, so we believe in making sure the TEAM is always taken care of. Sure there are differences in take home pay but before anyone makes a profit the TEAM must be taken care of. SignForce operate on the premise that if you are hungry you will not give of your best, so we provide food. We have to cook it, but the food is there, and all our cooking skills are tested, and hopefully improving.

SignForce also believe in keeping the team happy. Yes, there are disagreements and people are not always happy, but we strive to make sure people are happy as much as possible. This leads to a work environment where people can strive, thrive and improve themselves – both financially and from a skills perspective. We believe in up-skilling, because we are never sure when a crucial cog in our tightly run machine will break down, be removed or stop performing. As such we believe EVERY PERSON should be able to do EVERY JOB.

This is not always easy, and often people resist being trained because it is beyond their comfort level, but we continue with training ALL THE TIME, as an insurance policy in order to maintain sustainability.

If you are looking to thrive in these interesting times, maybe some of the idea’s mentioned above will be of assistance. We hope so, and when you are expanding, allow SignForce to assist you with making your brand VISIBLE.

For an obligation free quote contact SignForce not on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or email info@signforce.co.za

Do FIRST IMPRESSIONS count?

Cut out, illuminated reception sign

Illuminated reception sign on a corporate blue backing with halo illumination and a cut out RECEPTION sign

How many chances do you get to create a first impression

Picture these two scenario’s.

Scenario 1.

You are introduced to a person who is wearing shorts and a t-shirt and looks like a billboard for a tatoo parlor. You cannot see a single square millimeter of uninked skin. The person is introduced as a marketing genius who runs a multi million marketing organization. Before they open their mouth, what is your FIRST IMPRESSION? Is this the same impression you would have if the person looked differently?

Scenario 2.

You are introduced to a person who is dressed in formal business attire. They look well groomed. They stand proud. They are introduced the same way as the person in scenario 1 above.

From your FIRST IMPRESSION which person do you think you are more likely to listen to? Which person would you think is more likely to impress you? Which person will you JUDGE more, no matter how inaccurately or unfairly?

This may seem like a loaded question – because it is. That said, it is also a true ‘experiment’ I was a party to.

An individual who I had great respect for introduced the above two people to a group that I was a member of. They were both introduced as marketing experts. They both gave a five minute talk about FIRST IMPRESSIONS and marketing. They were then taken out the room and the audience were asked to vote on which person made the most sense.

Any guess as to who was seen as the expert? I will tell you. It was the individual dressed in formal business attire.

Once the votes were counted we were re-introduced to both parties again. This time THEY did the introductions. The tatoo’d individual was in fact a marketing expert and business person who ran a multi national business.

The second individual was in fact a homeless person who was ‘coached’ on what to say but had no clue whatsoever on how to market anything – not even themselves, as one has to assume if they could market themselves they would not necessarily have been homeless.

The difficulty changing the perceptions of the group after their FIRST IMPRESSIONS was palpable. People believed that the two individuals were lying the second time around. People has already made up THEIR MINDS and this is what they were going to BELIEVE – REGARDLESS OF THE FACTS.

Why am I mentioning all this when it comes to SIGNAGE? Can there be any relevance?

To me the common ground is glaringly obvious.

If your SIGNAGE is damaged, non-existent, dirty or simply OLD FASHIONED (and you are in a ‘modern’ business), your sign may well be creating an incorrect, inappropriate and misleading FIRST IMPRESSION.

Imagine you are a seller of LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY and your sign is old fashioned bulbs on an old, rusted frame (picture a long closed, old style movie house) how could your sign possibly convey the message of modern technology? And once that FIRST IMPRESSIOIN is made, what would it take to ALTER your prospective client’s first impression?

A business that understands FIRST IMPRESSIONS is BOLTGAS INDUSTRIAL MINING SUPPLIES. This well run and managed mining supply business is in the process of creating VERY IMPRESSIVE first impressions. From the moment one enters the premises you get the impression of a well run business. The modern reception area is warm and inviting with the wall signage and blue desk cover with illuminated signage making one feel at home – and this is only the reception area, where the signage and blue tinting on the windows create a feeling of warmth and professionalism.

Reception signage and window tinting by #SignForce can change any old area to an inviting, professional space that is welcoming to all that enter, especially unknowing prospective clients.

For reception signage and window tinting contact #SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or +27(0)82 558 6413 or email us on info@signforce.co.za

For further information on SignForce visit our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

Signage – not a business of life and death – UNTIL IT IS!

Ripped Banner

Banner sign

Signage – not a business of life and death – UNTIL IT IS!

The image above is of a banner sign that has weathered to the point where it is disintegrating leaving the ‘bar’ exposed.

One advantage of being in the signage business is that unlike doctors, we don’t have to be on call 24 hours a day as we are NOT in the business of LIFE AND DEATH.

Generally, signs are not so important that a missed deadline will result in people dying or something similarly negative. Signs go up, they are part of a marketing campaign, they live, and people move on.

This is GENMERALLY the case, but not necessarily the case when one is building (or working with) PYLONS, BILLBOARDS or AT HEIGHT work.

Why can PYLONS, BILLBOARDS or AT HEIGHT work be life threatening.

Lets start with Pylons and Billboards. Both HIGH, HEAVY steel structures. Lets imagine a 14 meter tall pylon. 14 meters equates to just under five stories. Now imagine if that had to fall down. It would cause some SERIOUS damage, either to property or life. It is for this reason PYLONS and BILLBOARDS can be considered matters of life and death.

AT HEIGHT work refers to signs that are HIGH. Imagine a sign that is 10 stories up, or one that is 30 stories up, or even a sign that is 2 stories up. What COULD happen if a sign – or a piece of one – at that height falls.

Signs need to be insured and maintained, and certain signs need to be replaced at regular intervals. Some are six monthly, some five to seven yearly.

The one constant is that when a sign deteriorates, it will do so slowly and then like an avalanche, once it gains sufficient momentum, it will happen VERY FAST.

It is when signs deteriorate that suddenly, signage becomes a matter of life and death.

If you have signs that are aging and in need of removal, maintenance and / or repair, SignForce can assist.

Contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or email info@signforce.co.za

Find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

 

Who Will See My Sign

Who will see your sign – and does it matter?

Every business needs a sign! Ask every business owner, or sign manufacturer, and they will ALL tell you that EVERY business needs a sign, because, as the old – make that ancient – maybe even biblical(?) saying goes – “A Business Without A Sign Is A Sign of No Business”.

But, is this saying still true today in the modern work online, work from home, during and post covid world?

Possibly, in this modern world, the question should not be Who will see my sign, but rather WHAT is the modern definition of a sign?

Traditionally ALL signs were physical visual communications that one could touch, put up and take down. Today, while this is still a LARGE part of signage, it is not necessarily ALL there is to signage, as, while we still believe that signs are essential for every business – of course we are biased, we survive off selling SIGNS – the reality is a ‘traditional’ sign may not be valid for a business which is wholly online. But because a traditional sign is not relevant, does not mean NO sign is relevant (We will get back to this later).

WHO see’s the sign will depend a lot on the placement of the sign, the location of the sign, the type of sign, what – if anything – makes the sign STAND OUT and the state of mind of the potential viewer. That is a LOT of factors, many of which the sign owner has ZERO control over.

It is for this reason that the owner of the sign, together with the sign manufacturer, should look at ALL the factors THEY CAN CONTROL.

Before we look at factors we can control, lets look at the one factor we can never have control over – the state of mind of the potential viewer!

Theory is a wonderful thing., It sometimes even accurately predicts some of the things – incidents, events – that happen IN REAL LIFE. I mention this because there is an interesting – I believe excellent – theory by one Jay Abraham – which states that the viewer will most likely NEVER see your sign, article or whatever UNTIL THEY NEED YOUR PRODUCT.

If Mr Abraham is correct, then it is definitely not worth worrying about those people you cannot attract, as they are simply not interested in what you have to offer. And, once again, if Mr Abraham is correct, then best you focus you attention and energy on the people who DO want what you have to offer.

So how do you catch the attention of those people that MAY want what you have to offer? How do you get potential prospects to SEE your sign?

The viewer will most likely only SEE your sign when it is in their line of sight. It should be obvious that if your sign is out of sight, chances are it will not get seen.

Sadly, because your sign IS in line of sight does not necessarily mean it will be SEEN. The chances are better that it will be seen, but there is no guarantee that it will be seen. Sadly, there is never a guarantee.

So if your sign is in line of sight, and the viewer has an interest in what you have to offer, what would make the viewer SEE your sign?

For starters, the greater the contrast ON the sign – for example Black text on a YELLOW backing is more likely to be seen than a BLACK background with DARK GRAY text. The same applies to the surrounding where the sign is located. If you are the only sign for miles, chances are very high your sign will be seen. On the other hand, if you are the only non-illuminated sign among the flashing neon signs on Fremont Street in Vegas, it is almost as if you should not waste your money and time to place a sign as the flashing neon will totally overshadow your non-illuminated sign. There are many additional factors that we will look at in another blog.

For the sign to be SEEN, it also needs to stand out in whatever way possible. The greater the STAND OUT factor of your sign, the more likely it is to be seen, and it’s message – and your brand – remembered. There is however a point where the message can get lost if the sign is too ‘outstanding’.

If you want signs that are an investment – in that they get SEEN, contact SignForce. Our years of experience in Marketing and Signage mean that we are qualified and will do our best to make sure your signs get SEEN.

Contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za or find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

I need a sign and I have a DRILL

Drills and Signs

Using a Drill for a Sign

I have a drill!

But that doesn’t mean I need to, or should, use it!

Life is short. Life can be serious! Business or work is ‘serious”.

But life doesn’t always have to be serious, or at least some things can be amusing.

Life can be made funny when we try to be everything to everyone, or when we try ude the drill – because we have one!

I am all for training, and learning through trial and error, so please, go ahead and play with your drill.

That said, there are times when it is beneficial to allow what we term ‘professionals’ to do the work. What makes one a ‘professional’? Generally hours and hours and days and days leading to years and years of practice. It has been said that in order for one to be truly proficient in your work you need to put in 10,000 hours.

10,000 hours equates to just under 417 days. Broken down into eight hour days that 10,000 hours is 1,250 ‘work’ days- that equates to 62.5 months, or just over FIVE years! Five years of doing the same thing, day in and day out. It is for this reason we can watch a ‘professional’ ‘play’ with a grinder – a tool that must always be respected – as if it is nothing. It is normal for him as he works with it DAILY. And after 20 plus tears, it is second nature.

While employing the professional to do certain work may cost a bit more than doing it oneself, it certainly can make life easier, even if it is less entertaining for the onlooker.

The advantage of allowing professionals – people who do the same tasks over and over and over on a daily basis – to do the work is that, because they do the same work repetitively, they learn what is generally referred to as the ‘tricks of the trade’.

Being a ‘do it yourselfer’ is admirable and great – and I believe is important, possibly because I am one myself – and it can even save one money when done correctly, but the university of life is not free, or even cheap, so expect to make some costly mistakes along the way. These ‘mistakes’ are the best way to learn, but they are often costly.

If you would like to manufacture a sign or install a sign save yourself time and possibly even money by calling #SignForce – the professionals.

For advice on signs or to order signs contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

You can find out more about SignForce by visiting http://signforce.co.za

 

Anyone Can Make a Sign!

 

Illuminated Signs

Internally Illuminated Sign

Like us, I am sure many of our competitors have heard client’s make the comment that ANYONE CAN MAKE A SIGN. In fact SignForce have seen it more than once where what we would view as prospective clients call us in t get technical details so they can make their own signs.

While, at some level, it is true that almost anyone – literally anyone – can make a sign – yes, even the drawing your two year old draws using wax crayons can be considered a sign – in order to make a TECHNICAL signs that WORK – with work being defined as a sign that achieves it’s objective or objectives – may take a little more practice, experience and expertise.

As with all spectator sports, it always looks very easy to get it 100% right 100% of the time. That is the beauty of being a spectator. When, for example,  one faces the likes of Ivan Lendl on a tennis court – yes been there at Flushing Meadows – I can assure you the reality is WAY MORE SCARY!

Because things are not always as they seem in real life – and we certainly don’t know what we don’t know – if you are looking for a sign that makes your business STAND OUT, that will WORK and that is COMPETITIVELY PRICED, SignForce is the team to talk to.

With MANY years experience in SIGNAGE and general MARKETING, SignForce can offer you unique input on what sign should work best for your business and your environment, a skill and benefit to you that differentiates SignForce from many of our competitors.

Contact SignForce not on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za.

You can also get more information on SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za