Sign Shop Strategy: Outsourcing vs. In-House Production

Sign Shop Strategy: Outsourcing vs. In-House Production

Today’s post explains why certain members of the Signworld business alliance incorporate outsourcing into their business model. Read on for some sign shop strategy talk and learn when you should outsource work instead of producing it in-house.

Advantages of In-House Production

  • Face-to-face interactions. Face-to-face collaboration between staff can also inspire more engagement and creative energy, which may propel the project forward faster than outsourced work.
  • Protected intellectual property. Suppose you had a novel idea for a new sign style; a lead on a new and eco-friendly material or opportunity; or an insider technique that made your signs more valuable than the competition. Like any other business owner whose fighting tooth and nail for competitive advantage, you’d probably want to keep your trade secrets to yourself. Unlike outsourcing, in-house production basically guarantees your secrets stay safe.
  • Faster problem-solving. Technical solutions are generally found faster when work is insourced because all of your staff’s attention can be focused on a single problem. You can also ask around the Signworld business alliance whenever you’re stumped. But freelancers usually spread themselves across multiple projects on a first-come, first-served basis, or else simply prioritize their work as they please. That means your project could fall to the bottom of their queue when a roadblock is encountered.

Advantages of Outsourcing Sign Projects

  • Specialization. Outsourcing allows you to profit off of the sale of specialized projects that you would not normally be able to complete in-house. While you won’t earn the same amount as you would for an insourced job after their fees are paid, you’ll earn money that would otherwise have gone to someone else.
  • Testing the waters. Thinking about expanding into a certain niche or product line, but not sure the demand’s there? Outsourcing gives you a chance to get your feet wet, get a feel for the demand and sales process associated with this new product, and pick the brains of established specialists in that area. It’s like combining market research and affiliate sales all at once.
  • Access the global hiring pool. Outsourcing gives you access to the entire world’s skills and collective knowledge – provided you’re a strong “remote manager” who doesn’t mind working off-hours to accommodate different time zones, that is.

Signworld’s In-House Capabilities

Though in-house capabilities vary by location, our standard package of startup tools, training, and materials allows our sign shop owners to insource all of the following products:

  • Die-cut graphics;
  • Vinyl vehicle wraps and graphics;
  • Digitally printed graphics;
  • Murals;
  • Wallpapers;
  • Dynamic digital signs;
  • Flags;
  • Banners;
  • Textile and fabric prints;
  • Point-of-purchase displays;
  • Real estate signs;
  • Wayfinding signs;
  • Tradeshow setups;
  • Decals;
  • Stickers, and much more.

If you want a complete list of our startup insourcing capabilities, get in touch with a Signworld representative at 888-765-7446.

Of course, the Signworld business alliance does not impose any rules on its members. That means your in-house production capabilities are only limited by your budget and imagination. Moreover, we’re happy to introduce you to our other manufacturers and Preferred Partners who can assist you with whatever product expansion you have in mind. If you’ve got a product in mind that’s not covered in our basic package, we encourage you to bring that idea to life!

Outsourcing Options for Signworld Partners

Some of the most commonly outsourced projects include:

  • Non-signage promotional items like mugs, pens, or other branded notary and accessories;
  • Canopies and awnings;
  • Dimensional lettering;
  • Lobby signs;
  • Monument signs;
  • Neon signs;
  • Sandblasted signs;
  • Carved signs;
  • Custom ADA signs;
  • Engraved signs.

As you can see, outsourcing is a totally scalable option that can be used to generate either a tiny uptick or a massive surge of revenue.

If you have additional questions about outsourcing, we encourage you to contact a Signworld representative at 888-765-7446. For current owners, please login to the Owner’s Domain to ask any questions you may have and review past threads on outsourcing.


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