In Richfield, Utah, Sign Central owner Austin Spencer does a little bit of everything. The business has been around since 1995, and over its 25-year history, Spencer tells GRAPHICS PRO, “It has had its ups and downs.”
After working for the shop for eight years, he purchased it in 2016. Since then, he says he’s worked hard to make it “the place to get signs in the area.”
When it comes to services, Sign Central offers the full gamut: awnings, billboards, campaign signs, electrical signs, lettering/decals, magnets, sandblasting, DTG, screen printing, heat transfer, vinyl vehicle wraps, window graphics, banners, canvas prints, as well as sign maintenance and installation.
Spencer says the shop started exploring apparel decoration in 2014 and found success. In 2017, he adopted dye-sublimation and has now begun to nail down a good customer base for custom mugs, ties, and aluminum signs.
Most recently, he started producing custom face masks amid COVID-19. “Luckily, with the dye-sub machine, we can make some pretty cool stuff so people can still feel like individuals while being socially conscious,” he adds.
As far as any new additions go, Spencer tells GRAPHICS PRO he’s entirely focused on growing his shop’s clientele.
“We already offer so many different items; we feel that we don’t need to offer anything new. We are planning on a flatbed printer at some point, but that will simply be to help us get product done faster.”
Offering so many services, the question of consistency and quality gets brought up. When asked how he maintains these important business traits, Spencer points to his employees.
“It is very difficult to find employees that can install signs, work vinyl, run printers, and care for customers. I have a great crew right now, and my manager watches over what they do to ensure that the end product is acceptable to my standard of quality.”
In total, Sign Central employs five people, three that can design, one works as a receptionist, and one person usually runs the printers. Of the four production staff, duties rotate, and each person assumes the responsibility of project installation.
Recently, The Richfield Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Sign Central as the business of the month in Richfield, Utah, and Spencer attributes this honor to one thing: quality of work.
He notes quality products like vinyl, special care to project installs, mindfulness of safety, as well as overall customer care as some of what makes up quality service.
For print shops looking to expand into new territory, Spencer leaves them with some parting advice.
“The most important thing is to make sure there is enough of a demand for what you are thinking of doing that the extra costs will be worth it. If there are already several shirt shops in town that offer great pricing, for example, that may not be worth adding.”