Goal 1: To be the only business doing signage in Monaghan Town
Goal 2: Rank number one for printing in County Monaghan
These are the goals I jotted down with only a few days left in 2023. Plan one was to purchase a printer and cutter that would allow me to offer a wider range of products to my wise customers, and I saw an opportunity as there were no other businesses doing signage in Monaghan town. Outside the town, yes, but signage in Monaghan town, none. I wanted to be offering things like pull-up banners, wall decals, window stickers, outdoor signage, etc.
It’s important to put timeframes on your goals, so I planned on having this printer for March, but having contacted a supplier during the first week of January, I was more than happy with the offer I got, and just two weeks later, I had a refurbished Epson 60600 printer and a Summa plotter in the studio. How quick was that?
The combined cost of both machines amounted to slightly over €13,000.00, with a payment of €9250 due by the month’s end. It’s time to buckle down and get to work!
December was a great month financially, and I was expecting a high drop-off for January. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a decent enough month in terms of income, but I did have to refrain from paying myself a wage as I wanted to be ready for the end-of-month expenses. The first printer payment, the rent, and the click charge for the month.
The second goal was to get designgaff.com to the top of the mountain. Rank number one for local SEO in County Monaghan. Timeframe: June 2024
Little did I know how poorly designgaff.com is ranked, and with a busy few weeks of improving my keywords, headings, meta descriptions, and all the stuff, I’m still in the wilderness.
Searching in Google’s secretive Incognito mode for printing in Monaghan doesn’t even land me in the top 100. I’m as south as Argentina; in fact, there are probably printing shops in Argentina coming up before me in local SEO.
My biggest gig of the month involved being the wedding wizard for this customer, who was gearing up for the big day. Having already designed their wedding invitation, I had a theme to work off. There were lots of stickers, free drink tokens (who’d say no to those? ), personalised posters, wedding service booklets, and a welcome sign. You know you’ve hit the creative jackpot when your biggest job involves making sure the happy couple’s big day is more memorable than a blockbuster movie premiere.
Some other notable tasks included putting the Epson 60600 to use by making a hen party sign, some football crest decals, and an Instagram selfie board.
There were wedding thank-you cards and some book cover designs thrown in there, so all in all, January brought a lot more business than I had anticipated.
Now that I have the printer for signage, I notice that I need a laminator to go with it. So, that’s the new goal, and I’m targeting April. Better build the funds up again, as I want a €3,000 safety fund. If this includes paying myself very little, so be it. I don’t mind the short-term suffering if I’m going to reap the long-term gains.
On another note, I have managed to keep on top of my bookkeeping for the month, which is easily the area I struggle with the most.
Anyway, off to a great start for the year, being the only business doing signage in Monaghan Town (inside the town anyway) brings great opportunity. Next month I turn 43, have the Game of Thrones studio tour with my wife, and plan on doing lots more printing. February, bring it on 💪🙂
Konica Minolta c1060 | Epson 60600 | Summa Plotter | Design Gaff | Printing and Signage in Monaghan Town