If you’re looking for a sign, this is it. – Unknown
And if you’re living or working in the Inland Empire, there’s a pretty good chance that sign came from our friends over at Signarama Ontario. With stores all across the United States, Signarama is a full-service sign shop with a reputation for expert sign design, manufacturing, and installations services.
For this month’s Client Spotlight, we sat down with David Lamb, franchise owner of Signarama Ontario. Read on for the full story of how he started his successful business and has managed to stay competitive in light of ever-changing industry changes!
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Always one to seek growth and opportunity, it’s no surprise that a young David Lamb was drawn to the idea of opening his own business. Following a career in the moving and storage industry, Lamb spent his summer of 2010 exploring franchise opportunities. Then, when his father approached him to consider going in on a Signarama franchise, Lamb couldn’t resist the idea of building a “family business” together.
Not only that, but both Lamb and his father were always interested in signs and marketing. Additionally, vehicle wraps were extremely popular at the time–a lucrative opportunity for the duo. Essentially, all signs pointed to Signarama.
At the outset, Lamb began working in sales full time. Then, as year over year his father’s retirement percentage increased, Lamb began to take on more managerial responsibilities. Today, Lamb works as the full-time operator of the franchise – and both he and his father couldn’t be happier!
Finding Your Niche
Initially, vehicle wraps were a quick and easy customer draw for Lamb. This provided just enough momentum for the Lamb’s to “get their foot in the door” before the market became overly saturated.
Nevertheless, as it became increasingly difficult to stay competitive in the vehicle wrap space without compromising on quality, Lamb knew it was time to branch out. Admittedly, Signarama still receives many orders for truck graphics for logistics companies. However, they have since changed their primary focus from the vehicle-side of things to their current niche: building and warehouse signage.
In an industry that is constantly changing and highly competitive, Lamb has learned a thing or two about how to stay on top over the years. Here are a few lessons that have helped Lamb on his own business journey:
1. Focus on quality over quantity.
Lamb’s business is centered around a focus on quality products made from good materials. The last thing he wants is to receive a call from a customer who is unhappy after 6 months. Because he refuses to compromise on quality, he admits that they usually aren’t the cheapest option.
However, he explains that he would rather put out a good product that will encourage referrals and repeat orders than cut corners to make a one-time sale at a lower price.
2. Invest in yourself.
Lamb shares that some of the biggest game-changers for his business have been investments in equipment like their own router, boom lift, and 3D printer. The thing is, many of his competitors must rent equipment or even outsource a large percentage of their jobs when they don’t have their own equipment on-site.
What sets Signarama Ontario apart is their ability to do more work in-house. The result? They are no longer at the mercy of a rental timeframe or partner’s work. Additionally, they can stand behind every piece of work they put out, knowing it meets their quality standards.
3. Keep growing.
Last but not least, Lamb understands the importance of staying on top of industry trends and knowledge. For example, making a shift in their foam sign production to more high-density urethane (HDU) products for increased durability. Also, keeping an eye on competitors and learning from their automation and other process improvements.
He shares that with technology changing so fast, continuous growth is imperative for business success.
After previously processing payroll with a major company from their franchise group, Lamb shares that he switched to SDP to be more local and get more personalized service. Throughout the past seven years, he happily notes how easy it is to process payroll. (Even with certified payroll for prevailing wage jobs!) Additionally, Lamb loves that if he ever does have a question, SDP’s Customer Service team is always friendly and happy to help.
Even more importantly, Southland Data Processing has helped Signarama Ontario with their reporting and recordkeeping. For example, working with SDP has made Lamb more aware of the HR rules that apply to his business. He says,
Because of SDP, we now know what to do. And if we do ever have questions, we have that relationship where we can ask our questions and get answers.
With the help of Southland Data Processing’s HR resources, employee portal, and in-house Director of Compliance, Lamb knows he can rest easy knowing everything is in order.
Do You Need a Sign?
Well this is it. Whether you need safety signs, window displays, lawn signs, or even a fancy neon display, our friends at Signarama Ontario are here to help.
And just like SDP is more than a payroll company, Signarama is also more than a signage company. Check out their full line of products online here! No matter what your next project is, Lamb’s team can help make your dreams a reality.
SDP Client Spotlights: Celebrating Our Clients
Every month, we highlight one of our amazing clients with the SDP Client Spotlight. Here at Southland Data Processing, we’re in the people business and strive to always put our clients first. So if you or your organization is interested in becoming our next Client Spotlight, please contact us at [email protected] and we’d love to hear your story!
Photo by Signarama Ontario