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only gone n got me a proper shop!!

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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:51 pm

only gone n got me a proper shop!!

Wasn't planning on saying anything properly official until the paper has been scribbled over but, well, I'm just a lot excited..... I've just agreed to take on a shop lease :-)

Nice busy road frontage with dedicated parking, lots of window space and upstairs office / storage space too. Was a case of "I'm only on this earth once (unless buddah is right) so what have I got to lose"??

work will need to change drastically, changes have been afoot for a while now, have gradually been investing in new stock & equipment to allow me to produce up to A1 prints, posters and photo's on the designjet, canvasses, pop up banners etc. stuff which was previously too costly to be competetive with in the past.

I can finally set up the A3 Ricoh sub printer which has been in it's wrapping since I bought it - finally allowing me to use the rather large stock of mugs I seem to have built up!

I can use the business card cutter too, now I won't have to dig it out from under the bench every time i need it!!

With the extra work and window display space, I will hopefully be far more productive than here, which in truth, I outgrew about 3 years ago, I also believe it has held me back too, I let losing the first unit I went after get to me I think, not making the same mistake again! It will also enable me to get help in when required and not be falling over each other!!

Now all I need to do is get in there asap and kit the place out as best I can, as of May 1st I'll be paying rent so the quicker I'm in and running, the better!

I'll post more details once the scribble is completed but I'm really chuffed - gooing from virtually no overheads to around £6-700pcm is causing major butterflies though!

just need to try and get some display samples from those lovely suppliers now! - you know, clip frames, 24" aqueous media samples, roll ups etc.... cough ahem, wink wink!
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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:00 pm

Well done Hugh, and congratulations! I love working in my new unit, it is so much easier to be productive when you can actually move!

Good luck.
Lorraine :lol1:
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:03 pm

thanks Lorraine!
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John Thomson

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:13 pm

Best of luck Hugh........I am sure it will be a success.

John
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Harry Cleary

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:25 pm

Best of luck Hugh!
I can do you a deal on a shop sign if you want? :wink:
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:29 pm

excellent Harry,
I want built letters, Illuminated halo effect with revolving dancing girls on the top, all in highlt polished chrome, red, blue and green.

there's a bloke on ebay can do it for about 80 nicker, can you beat that? there's three vans, two coaches and an armchair to do too - if you give me a good price!
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Martin Pearson

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:33 pm

Bit of a turn round from a couple of months or so ago Hugh, best of luck with it all. I'm definitely not a work from home person & admire those that do.
Worked from home for a while after I lost the unit I had & could never seem to get anything done. If I lost the unit I now have don't know what I would do as I now live in a tiny little flat that doesn't even have the room to store everything never mind use it lol.

Get some business cards printed & distributed as soon as possible, banner up or something on the windows to say what your doing once you open.
Scary but exciting times ahead :lol1: :lol1:
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Phill Fenton

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:49 pm

I hope this turns out to be a big success for you Hugh. :D

I'm wondering what made you decide to go for a shop unit as opposed to a small industrial unit? (Not saying it's the wrong choice - just wondering what influenced your decision).

As you probably know, I've always favoured a small industrial unit over a shop, but I guess it all depends on the type of work you're expecting to take on. I think a shop gives you a higher profile and is more likely to attract passing trade - whereas an industrial unit would generaly give you more space for your monthly rent. Horses for courses as they say.

Good luck - onwards and upwards :thumbsup:
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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:58 pm

Congratulations!
Very proud of you.
Now you need Molly to be the official "shop dog" since you finally have room for her.
Love....Jill
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:00 pm

thanks Martin!

thanks Phill, I want exposure, most of the units are just too remote or hidden, no point round my town as there are now 3 other 'proper' signmakers on the main estates already, this will hopefully build on the small run printing, tee-shirt runs etc, I've also plans for using parts of the building to rent out hourly too... lots of things which will no doubt be shared in due course :-)
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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Good stuff, Hugh! Wish you all the best with the move. I once heard an adage about a fish only being able to grow in comparison to the size of it's pool - something like that - don't recall exactly (lol :D ), so hopefully the extra space and exposure will do you good. Power to your elbow!
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Chris Wool

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:16 pm

a freind said to me when i moved from home "the premises will pay for them selfs with extra footfall" like i had, you already have a customer base it will just get bigger.

all the best
Last edited by Chris Wool on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Glenn Sharp

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:17 pm

Great news Hugh....all the best

I'm sure you'll make it work
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Alan Drury

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:56 pm

Good luck Hugh, I've often been tempted with premises but never really had the nerve although I do like it in my shed:) but best of luck and I hope you give us a progress check as time goes by.
Alan D
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Steve Morgan

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:34 pm

Excellent news Hugh, I hope it goes well, I'm sure the additon of the passing trade wil be a significant boost to your sales.
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Chris Sharps

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:29 pm

Congratulations Hugh

I'm glad things seem to be on the up compared as Martin said with
a little while ago.

The type of additional products you mention may well be better suited to a retail rather than an industrial unit. I assume you will have help so that there will be someone manning the shop during normal hours. People don't seem to mind if an industrial unit is shut when you are out but they take
a different view with a shop!

All the best with it

Chris
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Jason Davies

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Well done HUgh, best of luck.

jason
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Neil Davey

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:09 pm

Congratulations Hugh, if anyone can make it work, you can.
I'm sure you'll get it set up really well now you've room to work in.
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John Harding

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:23 pm

Yah nice one Hugh :2thumbs:
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:34 pm

thanks guys,

very very nervous now I've handed over the cash and got the keys in my hand, I do think it's a little on the small size (rooms wise) for a few of my bigger jobs but I can't base everything on one particular job, I'll find a way!

just need to decide what to do with exterior signage and what to call it, whether to stick with Dragon Signs or add to it, more to think about now than when I was deliberating over it!!

re being away from the shop, I plan on later hours, probably 10am - 6pm, 7pm on a thursday maybe, just to give people a later option, suits some people! this means I can do surveys very early, or if need be, I think my Mum is gonna come in to help out a bit so that may help. ultimately I'm going to sub out what I can on the fitting side of things, leaves me free to continue production in the shop,

the main entrance is on the right of the photo, the van is acros the three spaces which can fit a lwb vivaro size van backed in, the end rooms are around 10x9, middle about 10x10 but with stair up to the 1st floor, room to left of middle window is around 12x12, kitchen area & storage to the right and another kitechen / loft area to the far right! there's quite a lot of room but admittedly, it's going to take some thinking to get the most from it, right entrance will just be a reception and display room I think, then printers and computers out the back, storage or maybe even hire out some space upstairs on an hourly basis - I've a few idea's for that!

anyways, head buzzing and still got a shed load of orrible weeding to do! back soon!
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Phill Fenton

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:02 pm

So I guess you sealed the deal with a funny handshake then :wink:
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NeilRoss

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:12 pm

Phill Fenton wrote:So I guess you sealed the deal with a funny handshake then :wink:

Why not, Phill - as long as he's got a square deal ....
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Stuart Davies

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:14 pm

good move Hugh.good luck.
Stu
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Warren Beard

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:42 pm

Awesome news mate, you wont regret it and will probably need to hire somebody within the next year or two as you will never see your bed :wink:

Good luck and enjoy every day.
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:48 pm

Of course Phill,

he is a mason himself and asked if I knkew anything about them, my reply of "only what I remember of Monty Python as a kid, funny handshakes etc." seemed to tickle him no end!
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:59 pm

Warren Beard wrote:Awesome news mate, you wont regret it and will probably need to hire somebody within the next year or two as you will never see your bed :wink:

Good luck and enjoy every day.


thanks Warren,
thankfully there are restricted hours on this place, 7am-9pm on the lease agreement I've seen but I've been told the new one is gonna be 7am to 7pm, suits me and forces better structure! looking forward to it but lots to do before I get in there!
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David Hammond

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:01 pm

Looks brilliant Hugh.

I'm sure you already have, but ask your local councils rates dept about small business taste relief.

I pay £0 for my rates!
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Hugh Potter

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:10 pm

David Hammond wrote:Looks brilliant Hugh.

I'm sure you already have, but ask your local councils rates dept about small business taste relief.

I pay £0 for my rates!


no rates swung it to be honest, otherwise I was gonna take the more practical, cheaper barn conversion option which had no frontage, no roadside advertising possibilities etc!
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Martin Pearson

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:35 pm

Get the form for the rates filled out & returned as soon as possible Hugh, the Council will charge you rates until you apply for the small business reduction.
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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:34 pm

Mate what a touch, good luck Mate I'm sure your be fine and let me know when your having your open day drinks and I will pop down , Rich
:)
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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:36 pm

ive been waiting on you getting your own place since you started....and you have well done and I wish you all the best with your new venture, i know you will do well hugh :wink:

nik
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John O'Sullivan

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Post Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:07 am

Best of luck with your new place. :thumbup2: :)
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Chris Windebank

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Post Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:19 am

well done dude
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Harry Cleary

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Post Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:15 am

Hugh Potter wrote:
I want exposure, :-)


Just responding to one of your briefs here Hugh (or the lack of them! :o )

What about this idea for banners down the front of the building?
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Hugh Potter

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Post Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:45 am

thanks everyone, yes Rich, will proba have a little official opening thing in May, will be an open invite to y'all!

Erm, Thanks for the suggestion, Harry, I'll consider it!

the funny thing about that picture is that I look and amaze myself with the amount of space there was....

looks a different place today... ok, it's messy cos I'm just about to do 40 hoodies but.... you get the picture...
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Graham Shand

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Post Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:01 am

Well done Hugh, all the best with your new shop!
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Paul.Gardner

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Post Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:09 am

Nice work Hugh, hope it will pay off well for you, good luck.
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Graeme Harrold

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Post Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:50 pm

All the best Hugh, saw the post on FB, great news. ......
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Hugh Potter

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Post Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:53 pm

thank you for the good wishes everyone, still very daunting but, I'm trying to keep a level head and work through all the requirements of setting up a shop, so many little things I've not thought about!!
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Graeme Harrold

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Post Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:28 pm

Watch out for the sparkies, they'll rob you blind :D PAT testing is not required, just your management of electrical items. However make sure your landlord has the safety inspection done on the fixed wiring, this is a requirement every 5 years.....
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Martin Cole

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:09 am

:yikes: Don't Do It Hugh :yikes:

I'm kidding of course. It is a stressful time and theres always things you never account for....but once all set up and you adjust to your new surroundings you will be just fine I'm sure.

I know its been on the cards for a while so I wish you the best of luck my friend.
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks Martin & Greame,
I'm sure all will be fine, been up this moring to open a few windows and let some air into the place, measured up so need to get a floor plan drawen and a rough idea of what I'm putting where, back up in a bit to put some 'opening soon' stuff in the windows, will soon have the village talking!
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Martin Pearson

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:25 am

A floor plan is a good idea but don't spend to much time or effort on it just now if your anything like me. I sorted it all out before I moved into my unit & then 3 months after I moved in ended up moving everything round because I found I hadn't put things in the best of places.
Once I was actually in there & working I found what I thought to be the best places for things actually wasn't. lol
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:43 am

lol, good point Martin!
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:40 pm

what a mad day!

walked the dog early (she seemed annoyed by this), bumped into a woman who turned out to be another local signmakers wife - who was also thinking about this same shop until he saw the signs taken down.

Went to the shop and measured up the rooms - they haven't increased since preliminary measurements last week, met the flat tenant and had a nice chat with her.

measured all the windows and left all upstairs open while I went home to run off a print to put in the window...

printing a pair of 590 x 1500 posters saw me run out of magenta quite soon in, I phoned a recommended ink supplier just 15 mins drive away and before long I was down there & looking at compatible ink prints on the same printer... I went with a refillable ink system for the HP which per 130ml will save in the region of £40 - bargain! easily fitted and replace 4 carts during the printing but rather pleased with the results.

went to another local place and sorted out my phone line and 20mb broadband (should be enough) for £38pcm all in, just waiting on thier eleccy prices..

back to the shop, lock all the windows up and fit the posters in the window, should grab some attention!

home, dinner, sofa, continue to die of man flu!!

a rather productive day for me!! gotta be there early tomorrow for a new door to be fitted, then a mad day catching up!

:-)
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Andrew Boyle

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:19 pm

Excellent news Hugh, I'm sure it will all work out well :D

Hadn't seen your post but now looking forward to the updates.....Cheers
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:37 pm

thank you Andrew :-)

gonna give it my best shot!
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Martin Pearson

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:15 am

Hugh Potter wrote:thank you Andrew :-)

gonna give it my best shot!


Hugh, that's all you can ever do, least you got in there before the competition did lol.
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Adrian Hewson

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:23 am

New Premises

Good luck Hugh wish you all the best soon you will be moving to bigger premises
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Cheryl Smith

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:42 am

Cor blimy Hugh...was really surprised to see it was you that started this thread!...really gone for it eh!...you sound like a whole new guy now...all positive and grabbing life by the short and curlys....good for you!...id start by painting that blue outside nice and lime green IF you ever got round to having the time!...you need a young en to do all that boring weeding while you invest your time elsewhere....
GOOD LUCK.... so happy for you....you go guy!!
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Cheryl Smith

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:03 am

Harry Cleary wrote:
Hugh Potter wrote:
I want exposure, :-)


you are never going to lose this pic Hugh eh....look how empty your shed is there.....
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Hugh Potter

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:40 pm

Thanks Cheryl,
Guess it just came to a point when it was time to stop waiting for it to happen and to make it happen, there's not enough money round here in business to business to retail seems the obvious way to branch into, it's something that makes about 50~% of my business anyways so push what makies the money!

as for 'that' photo, yes, it will haunt me forever, it even comes up in google searches of my name now and then! the workshop hasn't looked like that for about 5yrs!
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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:42 pm

Good Job Hugh,
Glad to see to moving on up the ladder,

I notice you keep referring to there being three small rooms, why not knock through and put a head into a wall??, Simple and Cheap enough job, to create a better work space, that can easily be built up again in the future if required.
Ian
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Hugh Potter

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:16 pm

I might well look into that Ian, it was something I considered though there is a staircase slap bang in the middle! it's gonna take a little thought but I'll ask the landlord if it's feasable.
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Craig Ross

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:31 pm

Congrats Hugh! It will certainly be a little bigger than your workshop. ha!
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Hugh Potter

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:48 pm

that's the truth Craig!
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Dan Piddington

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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:37 am

Good luck Hugh, looks great, all the best.
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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:36 pm

Hugh... hows that for a positive reaction?...lol you cant fail now, and having seen the pics of your shop I would say your quids in fella..... especially being attached to the local lodge.... there's business just waiting to jump in to your hands......

Smart move fella, smart move! I'm not going to wish you good luck, you just made your own... Awesome.

BigMo
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:12 pm

Hey Mo,
thanks dude! It's all go go go now, just like going on holiday though... just when you need a bit of a quiet time, work goes nuts again!!

I'm gradually sussing out what I want to do on the printing side of things, showroom will display quite a bit of stuff so I'm gradually collating / making things for in there.

The vinyl racks are nearly finished and has space for 15 1220 logs and 45 630 logs of film, plus I have materials to make enough for about another 30 if need be,

Hopefully the broadband will be active by thursday, as soon as I can connect to the interweb I'll begin dragging stuff over.

I really do need to put some time & thought into my shop sign though, haven't even begun to think properly about it!! Still, I'm off to visit a relatively local trade sign manufacturer shortly, I will see what they can offer hopefully bring back a few samples for showroom display.

the biggest change for me is to try and offer far more 'off the shelf' signage & printing, ie.. these sizes for those prices, keep it basic, stop baffling customers and leave myselof open to being more productive than chasing 50p customers and their 'short let' bespoke shop facias!

still very nervous but it's coming along!!
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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:19 pm

Hugh Potter wrote:Hey Mo,
thanks dude! It's all go go go now, just like going on holiday though... just when you need a bit of a quiet time, work goes nuts again!!

I'm gradually sussing out what I want to do on the printing side of things, showroom will display quite a bit of stuff so I'm gradually collating / making things for in there.

The vinyl racks are nearly finished and has space for 15 1220 logs and 45 630 logs of film, plus I have materials to make enough for about another 30 if need be,

Hopefully the broadband will be active by thursday, as soon as I can connect to the interweb I'll begin dragging stuff over.

I really do need to put some time & thought into my shop sign though, haven't even begun to think properly about it!! Still, I'm off to visit a relatively local trade sign manufacturer shortly, I will see what they can offer hopefully bring back a few samples for showroom display.

the biggest change for me is to try and offer far more 'off the shelf' signage & printing, ie.. these sizes for those prices, keep it basic, stop baffling customers and leave myselof open to being more productive than chasing 50p customers and their 'short let' bespoke shop facias!

still very nervous but it's coming along!!


Give me a shout if you want something printed for the window fella

and stop worrying, wasted brain space that you can put in to making it happen, you build it and they will come......

Mo
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:36 pm

Cheers Mo, I'm hoping they will, it's a pretty good location to be fair.

re printing, I've printed off some big posters for the windows for now so should be alright, thanks for the offer though.

H
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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:48 pm

ok just watch those pigment prints in windows they tend to fade..... but with all that window space, surely you coulod have some dragons around the edges..... is beggin for ir I tell ya... beggin..... "mates rates" by the way.. need to test out molly mimaki
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Hugh Potter

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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:06 pm

lol, only temp posters to say we're opening soon mate, they'll be fine for now - I know where you are though!
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Craig Ross

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Post Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:07 pm

Sounds like you have the right idea Hugh! Getting everything in place, it will be a perfect place for passing trade it seems.

Looking forward to seeing more pictures. :-)

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