Hollywood Signs speaks to uksignboards.com

Company Owner: Fran Hollywood
Company Name: ”Made in Hollywood
Dundalk Co. Louth Ireland

1. How long have you been in our trade?
3 years

2. What made you want to get involved in sign making?
We purchased a CNC hot wire machine for cutting EPS (expanded polystyrene foam). They can be used to create various items for a number of different markets. Signage is one of these, we create large scale letters, logos and 3D objects.

3. If you were able to start over, is there anything you would do differently?
Probably not. Hindsight is of limited use to anybody. I think most business people make decisions based on information, knowledge and gut feelings at a given moment. Some turn out good and others not so good but its interesting finding out.

4. If you had a choice just now, what piece of equipment would you most like to own, & why?
A 5 axis CNC routing machine would be on top of our wish list, the items they can create are remarkable but realistically another hot wire machine would be a great help at times. Some items take 40 – 50 minutes to cut so having another machine would enable us to get through more work.

5. How do you feel your business has developed, since starting?
In the beginning we had to explain, to potential customers, how versatile EPS can be. With each new unusual project our portfolio expands so customers can now see what we have created which makes it easier to sell a new idea.

6. Do you have a chosen speciality?
Everything made from EPS. I think that is specialised enough.

7. Is there a goal you aspire to?
To continue to enjoy the work and keep the customer happy, an old cliché but without them, we would be talking amongst ourselves.

8. Who is your favourite supplier & why?
Our EPS supplier, they take back the off cuts we produce which are then recycled into more EPS. This gives us more space when we get a delivery, believe it or not.

9. What is your pet HATE about the sign business?
Trade customers who are slow to pay after meeting their tight deadlines.

10. Do you find the internet helps your business?

The internet is a great tool for our business. It’s working 24/7 and it acts as a shop window but it also allows us to research new markets and source products. E-mail is equally brilliant; it allows the fast transfer of files between the customer and ourselves. The only bad points being spam and virus attacks.

11. Has registering at uksignboards.com been of benefit to your business, & if so. Why?

The learning curve is always steep, sometimes vertical, with a new business, so anything that helps has to be a benefit. We have found the forum very useful in a lot of ways e.g., answers to software related questions, sources for products and advice given to different situations to name a few. Most posts are relevant and helpful but it’s also not to serious too.

Being based in Ireland and our core business being in the construction industry, we wanted a fallback position if the “Celtic tiger” ever ran away. We saw a CNC hotwire machine at trade show in the NEC, after some research we eventually took the plunge. The Celtic tiger didn’t runaway yet but the new business has been gathering it‘s own momentum after a slow initial start up. The variation in projects and a different circle of customers is such a change from our core business; this makes the learning and earning more interesting.

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