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A tale of change management - Signage One rebrands and switches focus to online

Far too many sign businesses have been slow to adapt to changes until it's too late. Not Goulburn, NSW, sign business Signage One, who has rebranded as Easy Print, with long-term director Craig Maddren saying he’s shifting focus from large scale signage installation to online-friendly printed signage work and boutique packaging. It's a story worth reading and applying the key take-aways.

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craig signage one
     Craig Maddren, owner Easy Print

“I feel like if I don’t go in this direction, I’m going to end up like so many comanies. Gone,” Maddren told Wide Format Online.

Well-established Signage One, in business for 25 years and based at Finlay Road, Goulburn, 90 kilometres north-east of Canberra, was rebranded to Easy Print in December 2021.

Maddren says insurance costs and staff shortages forced him to shift the focus of the business away from large-scale signage installation. 

“The costs and insurance are just prohibitive. My insurance premiums for anything over four metres above the ground are just insane. 

“And you just can’t get staff anymore. All the blokes that have those skill sets are now my age and over. The younger generation can go and work in the mines and earn ten times the money.

“I’m almost 60 now and I wanted to get out of doing all of the big stuff, hanging off the side of buildings," Maddren said. "I just don’t want to do that anymore and I wanted to change the whole business format. We find that 90% of our business comes via the internet, by email or by telephone. I look at other companies that have gone online and have absolutely smashed it. Being able to buy online and pay online at all hours of the day – I’ve decided that’s the direction we want to go and signage is not going to help us do that but printing signs will. 

“The people we deal with today don’t see signage as signage, they see it as print, so I needed to go print/signage, which is online. People can go online, pick the main frame, upload their artwork and we pack and send. It doesn’t have to be our whole business model, but it certainly needs to be a presence so that people have that option.

“This generation, under 35 today, they want to do everything electronically and they really don’t want to talk to you. They want to put their order in, pay by credit card or PayPal, and I’ve just seen this evolve more and more, especially over the last ten years.”

Maddren says the company’s HP R2000 Latex flatbed and Aristo TL1925 cutting table, installed in November 2019, will help Easy Print to expand into the boutique packaging market. 

“We'll be selling some of the other equipment and I’ve already given a few things away to local businesses. I gave away a laser and a CNC machine to two blokes I like that are just starting out.”