How does a small business account for unexpected issues

How does a small business account for unexpected issues

Free Standing Signs that work


This may seem like a simple issue, and it may even be for large corporates who never seem to care if they lose a client or more.

How does a small business recover costs after the fact?

At SignForce we firmly believe that once accepted, the quote we give is the quote the client must pay – to the point that we have only had to revise quotes on three occasions in the last 20 plus years.

This is not always practical as there are times when the game changes mid game resulting in additional costs being incurred, costs that should be carried by the client.

A recent example occurred at SignForce when a client asked SignForce to quote on an installation. SignForce quoted on two teams for 10 hours, the client accepted the quote and we got to work. The quote was based on a number of assumptions, however, once on site when the assumptions were tested, it was discovered that installing the signs would probably take longer than expected.

SignForce being the business we are we proceeded to work for 22 hours straight, increasing the number of two man teams from the two that were quoted to an eventual four by two man teams.

In this sort of situation what is the best way to ensure that the business gets FAIRLY rewarded for the additional time.

From the writers perspective there are a number of options, including:

  1. Work the time quoted on, possibly giving an extra 10%, and then leave site. While this may be financially beneficial to the business in the short term, it could also alienate and upset the client, especially if the client feels let down and does not manage to meet THEIR deadline, which they could then blame on you, the last subcontractor. Or,
  2. On the initial quote stipulate the time and number of teams that are quoted for, including an overtime rate so the client is aware of what any overtime will cost them. For this option it would then be wise at the end of the official quoted time to confirm with the client that they are happy for your team(s) to continue working at the stipulated overtime rate. It is also a good idea to ask if there is a limitation to the number of additional hours the client is prepared to pay for, so everyone is on the same page and there are no hard feelings after the work is completed. Or
  3. Complete the work as required and take the potential loss for the additional costs that the business will incur for both the overtime worked and the (potential) loss of productivity if the team(s) are not capable of working the next day. Or
  4. Complete the work as required and enter into a new negotiation with the client for the overtime worked. Or
  5. Complete the work as required, remind the client of what the original quote and leave it to the client’s discretion for them to make an additional payment to cover the increased cost.

What additional options could you add and which of the above options would you use?

The past is behind us and can only be used to learn from, so moving forward which option(s) would you recommend be used up front to ensure that the business covers any unexpected, additional costs should overtime be worked or standing time be required?

When asked what they would do, ChatGPT advises that: When a small business finds that the work quoted on turns out to be much more than anticipated, they should approach their client with an honest and transparent explanation of the situation. They should provide a detailed explanation of the additional work that needs to be done, and why it is necessary, as well as an updated quote of the total cost. The small business should also offer an explanation of how they plan to adjust the timeline to accommodate the additional work, and how they plan to address any potential delays or issues that may arise. Finally, they should remain open to discussing potential compromises or alternative solutions in order to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

Interesting input.

If you are looking for a dedicated, professional team to help you ensure you meet your installation deadline, SignForce is available.

Contact SignForce now on or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

Is Branding, Signage and Brand Image Important – or are we all just Superficial?

Vehicle Branding creates brand awareness and familiarity

Is Branding and Brand Image Important or are we all just Superficial?

A short while ago I was at a supplier collecting some paint when I looked out at the SignForce vehicle in the parking lot, the same vehicle I see EVERY DAY, the same vehicle that I drive when necessary, the same vehicle ALL our customers and prospective customers and our suppliers see, a SignForce vehicle that is on the road almost seven days a week, but which I only SAW for the first time in a long time, and realized the vehicle was EXCEPTIONALLY TIRED.

The reality is that seeing the vehicle day in and day out makes one unaware of how the vehicle looks. The slight smudge mark, the additional small scratch, the discoloring paint all seem to be the same as they were the day, week, month and year before because one gets used to seeing the same thing over and over again.

The problem comes in that we assume that everyone else sees the same thing we see, except the NEW EYES do NOT see what we see. Then new eyes seeing the vehicle for the first time do not know the company, do not know the product, do not know the quality and do not know the service. All the new eyes see is a vehicle that represents the business, in whatever manner the vehicle presents itself.

They say you only get ONE CHANCE to create a FIRST IMPRESSION, and your vehicle or brand or product or yourself will be judged on that first appearance and how the new eyes perceive it or you.

Does this FIRST IMPRESSION ‘rule’ make us viewers superficial?

According to ChatGPT, the latest Guru which knows it all, “people are not necessarily superficial because they make up their minds on first impressions. In some cases, people may form an opinion quickly based on a first impression, but there are many other factors to consider before making a judgment.” The writer tends to disagree as in many cases the judgement is made on the first impression because there is never any further engagement.

This brings to mind a story of the old STAX sore in the West Rand. Many years ago STAX was about to close one store while another was being built. The store had not been very profitable and management decided it would be better for the business to close the store and start from scratch in about 18 months when the new store opened. SignForce was asked to remove the current signage and make it more presentable (the 3D letters were not illuminating, were broken and had actually become the home for some birds with their nest being built in the broken letter. The signs were given a low cost refurbishment so the store could have a closing down sale and then the signs would be taken down and repurposed.

The signs were refurbished and before the closing down sale was announced the store sales started picking up. On investigation it was found that because the location was pretty much a white elephant with very few trading tenants, and because the STAX signs were in such a state of disrepair, patrons – existing and prospective – assumed the store had closed down and moved, so they were shopping elsewhere. The store did eventually close but only when the new store was ready some 18 months later.

To me this demonstrates the importance people, prospects and patrons place on knowing that the projected impression is a positive one, that the business image is what is expected and that the image is what the business WANTS to project.

In SignForce’s case the vehicle in question was certainly NOT projecting the professional image that one would expect from a professional imaging business, so the vehicle was given a non surgical face lift – inside and out – bringing the vehicle’s branding and image in line with the professional business the vehicle represents.

In reality the refurbished vehicle does more than create a better image for new viewers, it also makes the staff more proud and more aware of the vehicle – like getting a new vehicle does – so that everyone is more aware that the vehicle needs to be treated well – definitely better than the ‘old’ vehicle was treated.

The upgrade has also been noticed by existing clients who have expressed how they feel more comfortable with the NEW vehicle being on their premises. One seldom thinks about an old vehicle possibly dripping oil on someone’s paving, but new vehicles make one more comfortable that the vehicle will be running better.

As SignForce have seen with the perception created by the ‘new’ vehicle, our branding and business image are help create the important identity for SignForce. The same applies to ANY company or organization. If your branding and identity are not reflecting the image your business WANTS to project, it could be a simple thing such as the signage – read that as branding – is tired or dirty. (On the note of dirty signs how often do businesses clean or dust their signs, even though the TOP of the sign may not regularly be viewed? It is something we at SignForce are aware of and offer a s a service if your cleaners are not happy to clean your signs. A dirty sign has a negative impact on people who see the dirt before they come into the store and leaves them subconsciously wondering what else is not being cleaned.

Business image and branding in order to create a strong brand and business image can be essential to help differentiate your company from your competitors. In fact people are known to create EMOTIONAL connections with brands – look at Apple and it’s RAVING FANS – who swear by their emotional connection with the company, partly because of it’s branding and consistent image.

Branding can help build trust and loyalty with customers, which in tern can lead to increased customer retention, higher customer satisfaction and ultimately a significantly better bottom line for the branded business.

Branding creates FRAMILIRIATY which makes people feel more comfortable and more likely to keep your business, your brands and your product front of mind.

In summary a strong brand helps create a strong business image which together with a positive experience when using your business, can also help to create a positive reputation,

If you are looking for a full service signage company to assist with you projecting the business image you desire through excellent branding contact SignForce now on or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

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