FSB Wales member spotlight: Signspeed

Blogs 29 Apr 2021

We talk to the Tenby based sign makers about business succession and moving premises during a pandemic.

Signspeed is a small business that regularly punches well above its weight and has a huge future ahead.

Established 37 years ago (and still boasting one of its original staff members) the firm designs, produces and prints commercial signage for a wide range of businesses from their base in Tenby, Pembrokeshire.

After being run by the same team from inception until the original owners retired in 2020, Directors Donna and Sam stepped up from their existing roles within the business to take ownership.


It’s been very exciting and a steep learning curve. We’ve had to learn the balance between working on the business and not just working in the business – which was our previous role.


To add to this already significant transition, the business has also relocated to a new premises on Carew Airfield Business Park which has created new opportunities for the team.

That this has all happened within the last 12 months against the background of the pandemic is not lost on Donna and the team – it has been a busy year!

Donna said: “Our usual way of working has changed because customers’ needs have changed. Despite the challenges that 2020 posed, we were confident, and the opportunity was there so we took it. That’s not to say that there wasn’t some added stress and strain in the situation – even the logistics of getting together and having meetings were more difficult!”


 

Despite the challenges that 2020 posed, we were confident, and the opportunity was there so we took it. 


Donna credits support from Graham Morgan of Business Doctors with helping them through the transition and worked with him on a number of issues, as well as joining the Federation of Small Businesses at his recommendation.

Despite the tumult of 2020, the Signspeed team feel that their central business ethos hasn’t changed. “We aim to be a friendly, flexible team focusing on service for our customers and building long-term relationships.” Donna commented. “And I think that’s shown by the fact that some customers have been with us since the 80s. We work with clients from inspiration to installation and aim to be quite hands on with customers to help meet their needs. Covid has changed the fact that we can’t have people in for a cuppa in the way that we usually would, but we’re always at the end of the phone.”

Despite having closed down temporarily early in the spring of 2020, the team took advantage of flexible furlough to bring everyone back from July onwards. They have also continued to diversify their client base and have upskilled members of the team to work on vehicle signage.

Their plans in the coming years are to continue to focus on stability and continuity. They are currently recruiting for two new members of staff through the Kickstart scheme who will work with their graphic designer and workshop technician – this is important for Signspeed as they are committed to ensuring that the significant skillset within the business must be able to be developed with new generations of staff.

After a huge 2020, the team continue to be ambitious and motivated by their dedicated customer base and drive to pursue excellence. They will be a firm to watch in the coming months and years.


 

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