1. Provide our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans:- Precision Signs & Imaging is a VSOB (Veteran Owned Small Business) that provides graphic design services, fabrication, installation, service and removal of custom business signs of all types, including interior signs, exterior signs, illuminated and non-illuminated signs, and vehicle wraps and graphics.

  1. Provide a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans:- The owner of Precision Signs & Imaging is a veteran of the U. S. Air Force, and a veteran of the luxury hospitality industry, where he found his passion for quality and service. John holds an MBA – Finance & Marketing from the Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, and a post graduate diploma from the Advanced Management College at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. John is also a Certified Professional Project Manager.

  1. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans:- John started Precision Signs & Imaging in 2012 when he decided that in order to remain in the Minneapolis metro area (to take care of his aging Mother) that he had to take control of his own destiny by starting a business. Although having no experience in the sign industry, John had purchased thousands of signs for the new hotels, resorts and private clubs that he developed and built throughout the world. And he had a vast network with which to tap for clients.

  1. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans:- Not in any particular order, but to become a successful entrepreneur you must have #1, passion for what you do; #2, the talent, education, and experience to fulfill the duties of your profession; and #3, the financial backing and/or ability to withstand the start-up years.

  1. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans:- #1, passion; #2, ability to sell, and manage people, and network; and #3, dedication to the business, working the hours needed to make the sale and get the job done.

  1. How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans:- Between 10 and 12 hours a day.

  1. To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans:- Hiring the right team, dedication, and passion for the job.

  1. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans:- Networking is #1; memberships in local organizations like Chambers of Commerce, BNI, and social organizations like Rotary; volunteering within the community; and community involvement (city boards, commissions and taskforces, veteran groups, and non-profit boards). To date the most successful way to market a small business is through a great website that is managed to drive business by appearing on the first page of an internet search.

  1. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans:- Opening costs and expenses were self-funded and through a small SBA loan. There are no investors in the company besides the owner.

  1. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans:- Listen to what your customers and clients want, not what you want to sell them. Then deliver what they want and need in a timely manner, and within their budget, always focusing on excellence, quality and service!

  1. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans:- In that timeframe I will most likely be ready to wind-down and retire, selling the business to another like-minded entrepreneur that can carry on and maintain the great reputation that Precision Signs & Imaging has worked so very hard to achieve.

  1. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans:- I admire businesses where the ownership or senior management get involved with the local community, giving back in volunteering their time and money to make their city a better place to live, work, raise a family, and play.

  1. How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans:- Having talented, educated, and dedicated staff is paramount to an organization’s success. They have to have a passion for what they do, and a passion for quality and service.

  1. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans:- If it is considered a great idea, I stick to it until fruition or until it has been considered not to have the necessary return on investment.

  1. What motivates you?

Ans:- Meeting new and interesting people, being productive with time and finances, and maintaining a happy workforce.

  1. What are your ideals?

Ans:- Service above self, passion for what I do, and a great work ethic.

  1. How do you generate new ideas?

Ans:- Talk to industry professionals, read the latest trade industry publications, listen to clients and staff, and spend ‘downtime’ thinking of what needs to be done.

  1. How do you define success?

Ans:- Achieving goals, being happy and content, and earning enough profit to do the things I want to do (donate to non-profits and causes, active in my church and Christian faith, and other personal endeavors).

  1. How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans:- By providing excellence in product and service to every customer, every time. Which means that if something isn’t right, you make it right. I call that “standing behind all that you do.”

  1. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans:- First, being an entrepreneur is not for the ‘faint of heart’. That said, I like the freedom to do what I want to do, and when, knowing that I control my destiny, for the most part, by the time and effort I put into the company.

  1. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans:- From being awarded a large government contract, to installing a custom sign for a new entrepreneur, the most satisfying moment(s) are seeing a smile on the client’s face after the job has been completed, knowing that you have done a great job, with a satisfied client.

  1. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Ans:- Entrepreneurs are risk takers. They make decisions based on how it affects their pocketbook, and their reputation, not the company they may be working for at the time.

  1. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Ans:- We have the culture of values (Quality, Integrity, Professionalism, Responsibility, Accountability and Community Service), providing value to each customer, all the time.

  1. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Ans:- Satisfaction!