• Posted by jim on March 18, 2002 at 9:18 am

    After been recently made redundant,i have been made aware that there is A shortage of good well experienced allround signmakers/ designers and vinyl applicators. and if there is any they are self employed. So i have decided that freelance work is the way for me to go, basically i will going into sign companies and helping them out for a day or even a week while they are busy. so as you all out there are my customers to be, can I have your opinion.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jim on 2002-03-18 15:13 ]</font>

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jim on 2002-03-18 15:16 ]</font>

    jim replied 22 years, 4 months ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Robert Lambie

    March 18, 2002 at 10:16 am

    Hi Jim
    im only on for a sec here but will answer again later.
    In my own experience with freelance fitters is this. They normally over price the jobs.
    Before I go on. Yes I know you have petrol
    , men to pay, travel time etc. I understand your costs.
    But, when we price a job we are competing with others that have enough staff. So bringing in someone like you is great but there has to be a compromise.
    Another thing is don?t price per hour on a job. It?s no use to us. If we price the job at say 4 hours work and you take 10 hours then how can we cover that. We cant! We work different & at different speeds.
    I myself have to travel the whole country week in week out so as I can make sure our fitters don?t add a day to two to the work.
    Doesn?t seem much but take in men?s time, accommodation, and petrol etc all the same things you will be considering. When quoting us.
    You have to look at a job like us. Say it?s going to take 6 hours so price it for an 8-hour shift. Fixed price. We can?t be there with you checking its done right and your not sleeping in the van for half the day.
    Im not saying you would be honestly. But we have to consider all this when taking on someone that we don?t know. Just something to think about mate.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: robert on 2002-03-18 10:23 ]</font>

  • jim

    March 18, 2002 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks very much Rob for your opinion. It has been noted and appreciated.


    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jim on 2002-03-18 13:44 ]</font>

  • Paul Davenport

    March 18, 2002 at 3:13 pm

    look again but in a different light, we are a relatively small company, the guys on the shop floor do the fitting, me included and sometimes it makes sense to track down a good subby fitter to save the workshop being empty and non productive !!!!!
    at the moment we use MIDA sign services for any subby fitting, a company i have used and personally known for 15 years and it helps, perhaps a bit pricy but none the less useful.

    So Jim, where r u based and if your OK drop us a card in !!!

  • Mike Brown

    March 18, 2002 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Jim! ? Sorry to hear about your redundancy ? but pleased that you going to give it a go and try something for yourself.

    Personally, I would suggest that you start your own sign business, so long as your confident enough and are not going to slap yourself right on someone else?s doorstep ? you should be at least one street away!?lol

    There is little doubt that good fitters are worth good money and really good fitters are gold dust! I see little reason why you could not forge a business doing sub-contract fitting but as Rob said ? a day rate or more preferably a price for the ?job? (regardless of what that entails) is a must, else those you are working for can?t cover the cost of your work with certainty. The more you work for someone the easier this all becomes.

    I think trust is probably the single most important issue here, followed closely by the quality of your work. Your asking a sign company to trust that you will not simply get to know all their clients and then do ?the dirty? on them. Sorry, I?m not being impersonal but it?s good business to protect your assets and we have to imagine the worst possible scenarios before we consider the benefits. You might decide to jack it all in after 6months because it?s not going too well and go work for someone else with all this knowledge at your fingertips. You may prove so good that one of your best customers may make you an offer you?d be mad to refuse?and so you might have to enter into an informal but reassuring contract with those you work for? Then there?s the question of whether you will represent people in a suitable manner and, something not discussed so far, whether you have the resources to cover damages, loss or liability through your work ? which you will be liable for!? so the trust thing takes some chewing?Quality of work is a two-edged sword. Some will want high quality and some will not be willing to pay for it ? it?s a fact of business?that needs addressing too?

    So, on the one hand ? I, as well as others would love to have someone like yourself ?in the wings? but on the other hand ? wouldn?t you be better off just becoming an independent signmaker (what with the liability, time, effort, outlay etc?) When I first started I couldn?t afford any equipment for more than a year and so just bought cut vinyl in and asked others for help?

    Anyway ? just a few thoughts – here endeth’ the lesson for today?bloomin good luck to ya? and let us know what you decide?

  • Paul Davenport

    March 18, 2002 at 10:03 pm


    youre darn right, youre not saying youre a fitter but a workshopper bod !! hmmm interesting situation you have there, i once thought about it and even did it one time….freelance acrylics fabber
    only trouble was i did that much work for one company the tax man didnt like it and put his filthy stinking boot in so i ended up full time for the guy !!!

    well im gonna ring you and just find out a bit more anyways

    so speak to you soon

  • Joe McNamara

    March 19, 2002 at 7:50 am

    Good to have you aboard Jim.
    I’ll get in touch in the next couple of weeks re the wrapping training.
    Hey Rob, any chance of speaking to kpmf to see if they’ll do us a deal on wrapping film?
    It’s a bit pricey ( about £12 a metre) I think.

  • Robert Lambie

    March 19, 2002 at 10:00 am

    yeh im going to be doing that joe. already started the ball.
    i reckon the best price will be mactacs v-wrap vinyl. its already cheaper than most
    but ill waite and see.

  • jim

    March 21, 2002 at 1:11 pm

    thanks everybody for your opinion, you have given me food for thought. especially that I have already approached companies and had a mixed reception, some have definantly tryed to take the p**s. and some have said they will use me,see how it goes. keeping my ears and eyes wide open and will let you know what happens.

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jim on 2002-03-21 13:12 ]</font>

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