There are about 6,400 sign manufacturers employing more than 86,000 workers, according to 2007 U.S. Census. The industry, which also includes a number of smaller print and sign shops, is growing with shipments increasing 29 percent between 2002 and 2007, and the value increasing 32 percent during the same period. There are several considerations to evaluate as you look at a sign company owner's compensation. Sign shop owners pay varies greatly by business type and size.
Salary and Benefits
The salary of a sign company owner will vary greatly by his function in the business, the size and scope of the business and the specifics of the signs the owner's firm creates. The average salary in a store owned by a sign franchisee was $34,165 in 2007. Many of these have four or fewer employees. Due to national advertising support and the brand name, many franchisees make considerably more salary early in business since she does not have to build name reputation. Sign-a-rama, for instance, boasts average sales gross of $1.3 million in 2010 in its top 25 stores. The owner's pay will directly relate to revenue and the more services you offer, the more revenue you should generate. For instance, printing and support services owners average $68,310 yearly, some of whom do signs as part of a print shop.
The owner of a sign shop will likely work much more than 40 hours a week. She will make more money if she is willing to expand to outdoor and billboard advertising venues. This may involve surveying land, acquiring permits, soliciting sign authorization from city council meetings and meeting with business executives. Compensation may also increase with the deployment and management of an outside sales team to solicit business from businesses. This will involve the owner traveling and offering logistics support.
Experience and Education
Experience and education can certainly make a substantial difference in pay rates for these owners. A well-rounded education in business, marketing and sales as well as technical fields will all be invaluable in operating a sign business. You must understand and empathize with a business to gain its trust to contract your service. Additionally, if you have technical prowess to perform graphic design functions of your business, you will be able to expand into new markets and product types and, thus, increase revenue and owner pay.
The job outlook for members of this group is slightly below average. The public relations and advertising industry is expected to grow by 8 percent by 2018. Owners who are willing to branch into real estate may add revenue through the lease and design of outdoor billboards. Income should grow long-term as a company develops longer relationships with customers. In more challenging economic times, however, businesses may reduce advertising budgets, affecting a sign company store owner's revenue. Owners may benefit from barter since cash-conscious companies will be more willing to trade goods or services for sign business. A typical small sign shop that makes banners and point of purchase signs for retail stores can make more in a large metropolitan location and with a strong website than one with a similar shop in a location with fewer business patrons.
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