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Category Archives: Coaching

Mustang Sign Group Achieves G7 Master Certification

Mustang Sign Group, a Sign Biz Member located in Kennewick, WA, has earned the G7 Master Qualification Seal demonstrating that the company uses the most modern technology, techniques, proofing, press controls and standards required to produce a close visual match from proof to print.

What is G7 Master Certification? Calibration of equipment and proofing systems is the instrumental piece to this system. The ‘G’ stands for the new calibrating Gray values and the ‘7’ is for the seven core colors in the ISO printing spectrum. (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Red, Green and Blue).  A Mustang Sign Group client can be confident that their new marketing campaign’s vibrant colors seen at multiple locations will look visually similar. And that means Mustang Sign Group can deliver any company’s images and brand consistent with the output from any other G7 Certified printer around the globe.

This certification is one of four that can be awarded by Idealliance®, a not-for-profit industry group dedicated to guiding print production best practices, specifications, and standards, worldwide. Mustang Sign Group joins a select group of print service providers who have successfully completed training, examination and qualification process of their print production processes, validating their capabilities to the highest level of global industry standards and specifications.

“Quality and reproducibility are important to our customers,” says Lauran Wang, Owner of Mustang Sign Group, “Our commitment to the G7 method is just one example of how we’re maximizing our performance, to the benefit of our customers. We look forward to the benefits that standardization brings to both our clients and organization.”

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G7 guarantees consistent and repeatable colors and images from proof to press, press to press and even facility to facility. Another Member of the Sign Biz Network, Linda Levitan, Co-Owner of SIgn-Age in Tampa, FL, presented a seminar at this years Sign Biz International Convention in Las Vegas. She detailed many of the benefits gained when her company became G7 Master Certified.

“We applaud Mustang Sign Group for utilizing the G7 Master Program to assure consistency and quality in their proofing, brand color management and print processes,” commented Steve Bonoff for Idealliance. “G7 Master Qualification demonstrates a level of control and expertise that places Mustang Sign Group at the top of their field. We applaud their leadership, commitment and support of the G7 Master Qualification Program.”

Teresa M. Young, President and CEO of Sign Biz, Inc., adds, “Lauran Wang has a remarkable ability to set a goal and execute on a plan to get there. Her vision has made Mustang Sign Group a renowned print service provider in just a few short years.”

About the Sign Biz Network

The Sign Biz Network was established by Sign Biz, Inc., a business development company specializing in the sign industry.  The Sign Biz corporation exists to provide independently-owned digital sign & graphics businesses with operational support and specialty services. Members of the Sign Biz Network span the globe, across 43 states and six countries, serving both national accounts and local businesses with cutting edge sign products and services.

About Mustang Signs

Mustang Sign Group is a design studio specializing in unique sign and print solutions for small businesses. Our team is made up of problem solvers and strategic thinkers dedicated to the success of both our clients and our agency. We are accessible, personable, honest and ready to help you build a visual foundation for your brand. We are here for one reason – to devote our time, talent, and energy to clients that understand the value of well-designed communications and the impact that is has on their bottom line. We become an extension of their team and bring projects from concept to completion, on budget and on time!

About Idealliance

Idealliance® – Where media creators and technology communities collaborate to craft best practices, advance standards, and certify people, processes, and systems to achieve the highest performance in creation, production and delivery of graphic communications.

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Onboarding in a Sign Shop

Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders.

Thus states the official definition developed by HR gurus, and published by Wikipedia.  Most people think of onboarding as a one day or one week event, that commences with the new hire’s first day on the job.  But step back a moment, and note that there is great cost to bringing on a new employee, and you have to get it right. So attracting the right hire is actually step one. And that begins with your company’s image, brand, and promise to clients.

So what do employees want? A new survey of more than 600 employees, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found 72% of employees rank “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels” to be the most important factor in job satisfaction.

The other factors in the top 5 are trust between employees and senior management (64%); benefits (63%), compensation/pay (61%); and job security (59%). As for the actual work itself? It ranked No. 11.

unengaged-employees2Knowing that your company culture and respectful treatment from management are top priorities, we can begin. Fact: 46% of people will fail within the first 18 months of a new job mainly because of poor culture fit.  Before you let that little voice in the back of your head argue that you don’t want to coddle employees or treat them with kid gloves, remember this: When you give good treatment, you are actually keeping your costs down.

Why? Pay Attention: Thirty case studies taken from the 11 most-relevant research papers on the costs of employee turnover demonstrate that it costs businesses 100% – 300% of a worker’s salary to replace that worker. For businesses that experience high levels of turnover, this can add up to represent significant costs!  If, heaven forbid, you have five turnovers in one year, you just cost your business one entire team’s salaries for the year!

Now that we have your attention, let’s talk onboarding.  Fact: New employees are 69% more likely to stay more than three years if they’ve experienced a well-structured onboarding program.

new-hireYou have a workstation set up, a business card order form with title checked off, a pile of HR paperwork to be completed, and a tour of your shop and parking lot instructions. You’re ready for your new hire’s first day, right?  Um, not so fast.

That list of prep items is actually going to cover about an hour and a half.  So then what? Assign the New Employee Handbook as required reading for the rest of the day?   Lame. At least that is what your new hire may be thinking!  If you plan on maximizing the beneficial outcomes for your company as well as for this eager beaver you will see every day, you need to think in terms of a month of orientation. Yes, that is what our own schedule for new sign business owners presents, in a clearly laid out calendar covering four weeks of OTJ training.

Here are some examples for the first day:

  • Workstation prepared, phone, file drawer, clean chair, bulletin board and trash bin
  • Welcome gift – a great mug, a tape measure/ note pad / all in one, a welcome to the team signed by everyone else.
  • Scheduled meeting with all employees, to break the ice
  • Employment paperwork completed, position description reiterated, paydays, the week ahead
  • Tour of each piece of the business, how it fits together
  • Informal lunch with manager or bring in pizza for everyone and hold the informal meet and greet then.
  • Some downtime that first day
  • End of day Q&A, check in with the new hire for lingering questions, etc.

A simple plan of action for the weeks ahead will help you avoid assigning “busy work” to the new team member. We’ve all been there: Knowing that the newbie is not ready to “go it alone” we assign a safe task that will eat up some time until we can get to the next piece of training.

Many companies have a 90-day introductory period during which new employees are under assessment for their fit with the company, and their job performance. Though you likely intend to provide the feedback at the end of the 90-day period, it is wise to give 30-day and 60-day evaluations along the way. In addition, informal feedback daily is extremely important.

One of our new business owners – a first-time entrepreneur – explained the impact a new hire has on the existing team. He noted that it is not a new member of an existing team, but rather a new team that is created. Brand new. If you think of it this way, you can recognize the signs of the team being formed over that 90-day period, and you can help to guide its development.

Those reactions ranged from nervous, to insecure, to downright ill.

man-73339_640At the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition, the founders of Baudville spoke with many attendees about what it feels like to be a newbie. Those reactions ranged from nervous, to insecure, to downright ill. According to the stats, by the time your new employee has made it to the six-month mark, they have likely determined if they will stay long-term or not. So what you do beyond the 90-day mark matters.

Here’s the kicker: Retention rates for employees who are mentored are 72% higher than for those who are not mentored.

Hopefully this has given you a fresh perspective on the great onboarding process, and how this system can become a true representation of a great company culture. Spend a couple of days focusing your energy on developing a good strategy for new hires, and gain returns from this effort for years to come. sign-shop-team-members

We thank Sign Biz Members who contributed their experiences, and photo credits to Mustang Signs and SIGNWorks of Montery. We credit Roberta Chinsky Matuson for her insights published in Recognation. Roberta is known globally as The Talent Maximizer, and is the President of Matuson Consulting. www.matusonconsulting.com

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A Business Coach

Having an experienced, knowledgeable, objective and skilled consultant/coach in your corner is invaluable in running a business. They will give you thoughtful, honest advice and council and they have a vested interest in having you succeed! How valuable is it to be able to have a 5-10 minute conversation with a knowledgeable person, who understands you and your business, and what you’re trying to accomplish, and get straight, honest feedback and advice? Priceless!

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