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:

  • 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.

  • It's hard to beat a sign for value August 19, 2014

    When it comes to long-lasting advertising, a well-made sign is hard to beat compared to the longevity of other types of ads. Here's how to sell that terrific value.

  • What would you charge to letter this truck? July 15, 2014

    So a local wrecking yard has purchased two new tow trucks, and they’re in the market for a new look. They’re spending money on other advertising around town, and tell you that they want their trucks to stand out. Take our survey and tell us what you'd charge.

  • Pricing the graphics on a pair of tow trucks July 03, 2014

    So a local wrecking yard has purchased two new tow trucks, and they’re in the market for a new look. What do you do, and what do you charge for it? Take a look at how four sign pros would price and design this project.

  • Give it the squint test June 06, 2014

    Here's a tool that will help you set your layouts apart from the rest and create customers who are really happy abouthte effectiveness of the signs you make for them. Squinting compromises the legibility of everything, and you see what's going to read as the dominant message. Learn how to put the squint test to work.

  • The BASIC approach to selling signs profitably May 14, 2014

    The most common cause of not pricing a job profitably is simply forgetting to charge for some portion of the job. Maybe you didn’t account for how complex the sign really was or the time it took to install it. Overlooking one thing can eat up the profit on a sign job. See how Tomm Moll uses this simple one-word reminder to avoid those painful pricing errors. 

  • This graphic is a powerful sales tool April 24, 2014
    Most clients don’t take advantage of all the advertising they can wring out of their signs, and even veteran sign pros sometimes overlook a type of sign that can really pay off for a client. Here’s a graphic you can download and use to help make sure these things don’t happen.
  • Get great fonts on-the-house April 02, 2014

    In the market for a few great typefaces for sign work--for free? Ken Tamashiro, Ken's Custom Signs, Los Alamitos, California, shares a few typefaces he's found that work great on signs, and you can get them without spending a dime.

  • Build this rack to handle rolls of material March 12, 2014

    Here’s a great way to maximize your workspace and handle roll stock faster and more efficiently. Duffy Weiss, Sign Pro, Mandan, North Dakota, built this simple rack to hold roll goods at the end of a worktable. Application tape, banner fabric, paper, magnetic material or any roll stock is there, ready for you to pull out and use. Download the drawing today!

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