Published Monday 8th July 2019
For much of the last few years, British industries have been faced with an unclear future. A fractious political landscape has damaged the national economy, whilst global uncertainty has made finding new business particularly challenging. However, at a time when major industries have struggled to survive, the signage sector appears to have retained its performance.
A report commissioned by sector body ISA-UK has found that many of the signage industry’s prominent leaders remain confident about the business landscape heading forward. Still a vital contributor to many of the nation’s businesses, this report will be welcome news for those looking for cost-saving opportunities going forward.
Industry Report a Positive Sign
The ISA-UK report, based on a survey of 112 sign industry decision makers conducted by BSGA, revealed that many had seen success over the last 12 months. 58% of respondents said that business turnover had increased in the past year, whilst a further 24% said it had remained constant. 46% also claimed that they had seen business profits increase over the last twelve months, with another 26% seeing consistency in this regard. At a time in which many other industries are seeing dwindling revenues and business closures, such robust statistics paint the picture of a sector going from strength to strength.
Whilst the report primarily focuses on performance over the last few years, there are also numbers pointing to a promising future. 57% of survey responders believe that there is an abundance of work available in the sector, a point echoed in a statement by Sam Armstrong, vice-president of ISA-UK. He says that “there appears an influx in orders as well as quotations, with tenders in abundance: hopefully an indication of even more positive times ahead!”
A Diversifying Print Sector
Whilst the industry’s success can be seen as a result of its model – it is something required by businesses across all sectors – such numbers cannot be guaranteed in these turbulent times. It appears that a lot of the sector’s success over the last year has come through, amongst other things, diversification of services. According to the report, 68% of respondents stated that their list of services has increased over the last two years. General signage remains the primary source of profit for many signage businesses (76% of respondents). However, companies diversifying their print portfolio are finding new sources of revenue and helping to create a thriving industry.
Another point made in the report is the importance of creativity to the signage industry, a further example of the sector’s ability to transform to fit modern consumer demand. 79% of survey respondents stated that customers were looking for more creative input from their signage company now compared to previously. Meanwhile, 57% said that working closely with marketing agencies was a crucial part of their business.
Uncertainty Still Looms Large over Signage
Much of this report rings true with wider beliefs in the signage, graphics and print industries. However, as with many sectors, the Brexit spectre is hard to shake off. Many in the print sector expect to continue as they are during 2019 but few are confident enough to predict the vast improvements that could be assumed from this signage report. For many, the reality is that whilst Brexit continues to affect critical industries, such as the automotive sector, many print firms will remain in a period of consolidation until it can plot a clear long-term path.
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