Growing Pains: Building Your Impressions with Lessons Learned-Part Four

You need to have what it takes to do what it takes.

-Scott Franko

Learning never ends. Growing pains don’t either. The latter breeds the former. I’ve had my share of both over the years. As I look back over my quarter century with my sign business, a number of these experiences stand out. Here’s one of them:

Almost Late for Easter

Once upon a time we had to have a sign installed inside a mall in time for Easter. So instead of installing it the week before, two of our installers set out to do the job on that Good Friday. The jobsite was in another city. Twenty-four hours later they returned-with the signs.

They rattled off all the reasons why the signs could not be installed as I listened with a look of disbelief on my face. A few clarifying questions later and it was clear that these guys just didn’t have what it takes to do what it takes. So I asked for the truck keys and drove off by myself.

I don’t know what they were thinking or said to themselves as they watched me drive away, but do remember the looks on their faces when they returned to work on Monday and found their truck with no signs in the back of it. One of them offered to quit on the spot. The other demanded that I pay him including the overtime for his failed attempt. I paid him. His employment didn’t last long after that.


The sign business is like the wedding cake business. The sign can’t be late, especially if timed with a grand opening. As we know, some customers wait to the last minute to even consider their sign or, sometimes, a project just goes right up to the last seconds before an installation deadline. When you’re up against the clock, you do what it takes, and hope your team does, too.

Scott Franko is a solutions provider for business, brand and image through his firm, Franko Design Concepts and Consulting. He formerly owned and operated a multi-division sign, graphics and custom fabrication business. You can locate and contact him online at

To read Part One of Scott’s “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.

To read Part Two of Scott’s “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.

To read Part Three of Scott’s “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.

tony kindelspire oct21

Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is the former digital content editor of Sign & Digital Graphics & WRAPS magazines.

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