Annual convention, awards, Winter weather and a record month: January in a nutshell!

Whilst January can be a slow month in the signage industry (and for many others), catching up with Matt for his second diary entry, we’re thrilled to hear a very different story!

Whilst January can be a slow month in the signage industry (and for many others), catching up with Matt for his second diary entry, we’re thrilled to hear a very different story!

“January’s been good, a really good month actually. Since taking over the centre towards the end of last year, I’m pleased to say that January has actually been our biggest month since I took ownership, both in terms of turnover and profitability, so there’s a real buzz around the centre.

I’ve put a lot of focus into keeping on top of our cost of sales and with the ability to produce so much in house and with the amazing team around me, we’ve reached a consistently good level, allowing me to breathe easy for a little while at least! As a new business owner and financials not being my natural area of expertise, a big thank you goes to Anthony at the Franchise Support Centre for guiding me through my first few months. As a qualified accountant, Anthony has kept me sane whilst I’ve got to grips with the numbers and I’m almost at a point where I don’t feel the need to check the bank accounts every day!

We’ve had some great jobs in for January, with our only teething problem being the usual weather issues, with freezing cold temperatures. A job which we carried out for our fantastic customer Chec, who work in partnership with the NHS, included a great deal of window graphics all of which required fitting externally. Every time we prepped and cleaned the windows, the water would freeze which added a small complication! 

First week back in January and we broke some of our own wrap records (not that we’re a competitive bunch!), completing two wraps in two days on SUV’s for local company AquaSpira. January also saw us complete an office rebrand for our client Aira, who were brilliant to work with from start to finish and actually contacted us as a result of a LinkedIn post by one of the team. With a range of illuminated signage and a full rebrand required, we were allowed to run wild with design ideas! 

One of the key benefits of being part of a franchise for me, is the support, collaboration and knowledge within the Signs Express network. So, when 19 January came around, it was time to make the trip to the Coventry Building Society Arena for our annual Convention! It was a great day of networking and seeing all the latest materials and equipment from suppliers, industry talks and seminars, along with catching up with fellow franchisees and their teams. 

To top off a brilliant month, we were also thrilled to walk away from the event with the 2023 Signs Express Sustainability Award, for our ongoing commitment and contributions to creating a more sustainable business!

In terms of what February holds for us, I’m quietly confident for a positive month. I’m not expecting the numbers we achieved in January, but a positive outlook none the less, with a busy orderbook building up. February also brings the industry’s Sign and Digital UK exhibition followed by the Sign and Wrap Awards, for which we’re up for two nominations…. Fingers crossed I’ll have some positive news to share in my next entry! I’ll also be heading off to Amsterdam for the FESPA Global Print Expo to check out all of the latest updates and tech in the industry. In between all of that, there’s a lot of work to do!”

Matt Rutlidge
Matt Rutlidge