A month of two halves! 

“To use a sporting metaphor, February was definitely a month of two halves and whilst there were times where it didn’t go as anticipated, we regrouped stuck to the game plan and the whole team finished strongly to get us the result we wanted. 

A month of two halves!

I knew that owning a business would come with its challenges (as well as its rewards!), but when everything comes at once, it’s always a joy! In the grand scheme of things, they’re not huge issues but in the moment, a leaky roof causing production output issues, an increase in business rates and a van deciding to declare itself off the road when it’s one of your main installation vehicles, caused the odd headache! 

HOWEVER, that aside, the extra working day that a Leap Year brings certainly did us a favour in February and by the 29th we ended up £6k above our sales forecast, so it was great to see the team all come together and deliver just when we needed to!

In terms of jobs for this month we’ve been working hard in production, pushing the machines to their limits, with lots of installations to follow into March. We’re focused on promoting sustainability and putting this into practice where we can, so we were delighted to have two big sustainable jobs for clients Robertson Construction and Magnetic Activation, allowing us to work on some fantastic office signage utilising plywood and wooden panels to create some stunning branding solutions. Alongside this, we’ve produced a huge amount of sustainable construction signage using Bubbleboard (Akyprint) which is fully recyclable and made up of up-to 25% recycled material. Whilst they’re all small steps, it’s important for us to be part of a more sustainable future and play our part where we can.

Also up this month was the 2024 Sign and Digital show at the NEC in Birmingham, as always this presented a great opportunity to catch up with some friendly faces across the industry and allowed us to get a glimpse at all the latest technologies and updates from the world of signage! We were particularly intrigued by Mimaki’s newest flatbed printer designed for desktop use.

The show was followed by the 2024 Sign and Wrap Awards which we attended alongside our colleagues at the Franchise Support Centre and some fellow franchisees, so we were looking forward to catching up and celebrating the amazing talent within our industry. 

We were fortunate to be finalists in the best Architectural Film Project for our work at Preston North End and personally I was completely humbled to be a finalist in the Industry Champion category amongst some amazing individuals. Whilst we didn’t walk away winners on the night, I was hugely grateful and honoured to receive a Highly Commended award for the Industry Champion category after just a few months of business ownership. A big congratulations also to Ian Charles, owner of Signs Express (Grantham) for reaching the finalist stages of the Printed Wrap category, it was great to be able to celebrate with a few beers together! 

Onto March, which is so far consisting of a huge amount of vehicle wraps and installations along with a trip to Amsterdam with some fellow franchisees for the Global Print Expo FESPA, plus our first insight into the inaugural get together for the Signs Express Growth Club, discussing all things best practice and business expansion!” 

Matt Rutlidge
Matt Rutlidge