Summer is the busiest time in the sign industry. Customers often ask why we can get something done in 2 weeks in the winter and why in the summer it could take 2 months. Because the majority of business owners and non-profit events wait until they are close to the event date to place their orders.
Seems logical to most. Why order 2 months ahead of time when in the past they could get it in 2 weeks? Because in the summer the volume of orders will increase as much as 100% or more. The warm weather and sunshine drags us out of our hibernation and inspires us to do more, improve more and make us optimistic. It would also seem that more new businesses open during the warmer months. We will do 1/3 of our annual sales in May and June alone. That’s huge!
I had a client ask me to do a site survey in March. I quoted and gave him a time frame. It would be a time consuming project and I warned him that the longer he waited to place the order the longer it would take to get the project done. He placed the order in June. After 2 weeks he called constantly wanting to know when the job would be done. I told him in 4 more weeks. Why? While he was going about his business I was going about mine. It’s first come first served, unless they are willing to pay more than I quoted. We have to do that because we have to pay more for the subcontractors we use so we can get things done on time. Supply and demand: the demand goes up and the supply dwindles. Whoever is willing to pay more (for both the customer and for me) gets the job done faster.
Its not only that though that drives up cost during peak season (April to October). All sign shops are swamped. I get a lot of work my competitors miss out on because I’m told “you are the only shop answering the phone” or I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for a call back or a quote”. Because of the volume of quote requests and site surveys (which we don’t charge for) an enormous amount of time gets used up that must be covered. So our rates go up in peak season.
Last year I won a bid on a 12K job. The customer asked if it could be done by Xmas (we won the bid on Thanksgiving). I laughed pretty hard. The majority of the cost of the project was labor. No I couldn’t, plus we had to get 6 500lb granite posts in the ground and the ground was frozen!
So if you are thinking about getting signs made, take into consideration the time of year. Winter month are slow for us so we are willing to discount work to get it in the door and to get it out the door as fast as possible, so we can get paid as soon as possible.
So don’t be afraid to ask Dawn’s Sign Tech or your sign guy questions. Especially about time frame, season and costs and what drives them. We are here to educate you and make your business life easier, not harder. We want to save you money when we can too☺.