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20 years, 20 tips

Secrets to building a healthy business from Dan Antonelli, President and Creative Director, Graphic D-Signs, Inc.

By Dan Antonelli

Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

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Twenty years ago I officially registered my business, opened a business checking account, bought some paint and a plotter, and started my company. I still had a “day job” as a graphic designer, but I missed doing what I loved—which at the time was truck lettering and signs. A year or two later, I would quit my day job to work full time.

I remember how many people told me it was a huge mistake. They said this idea I had for working with small businesses on not only their signage needs, but their advertising needs, would never work. Despite being incredibly green and naive about what it takes to run a business, I guess I made it work.

It was also 20 years ago that I was first featured in this magazine, and thus began a long relationship. I remember how honored and proud I was to have made it into SignCraft. Today, we have 19 employees, and have outgrown our current space. We are in the process of building a brand new office, and I’m more energized and excited about our future than I ever was.

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Dan Antonelli owns KickCharge Creative (formerly Graphic D-Signs, Inc.) in Washington, New Jersey. His latest book, Building a Big Small Business Brand, joins his Logo Design for Small Business I and II. He can be reached at dan@kickcharge. com. Dan also offers consulting and business coaching services to sign companies. For more information, visit On Instagram: @danantonelli_kickcharge.

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