Outsourcing Your Way To Freedom // Jeremy Siegers - Sharp Mill Graphics

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Michael and Bryant discuss outsourcing as a way to improve your business AND your lifestyle. The guys interview Jeremy Siegers of Sharp Mill Graphics on how he's transformed his shop to fit his lifestyle.

Bryant Gillespie: All right, guys.

Welcome to the next edition of
the better sign shop podcast

we're down a team member today.

Sign shop Yoda is, I don't
know, galaxy far, far.

Something like that.

I don't like that either.

We're missing Peter today.

So it's just Mike, the sign burrito
king of California, Riley and myself.

we do have a special guest joining us
today a little later in the episode.

So I'm excited for that.

but to kick things off, Mike,
what's new with you, man.

Michael Riley: Oh, not too much.

been a busy week for me.

No progress on the house this week.

My, catalytic converters
were stolen off of my truck.

So it's been in the garage,
so I haven't been able to

Bryant Gillespie: are


Michael Riley: anything.

Oh, that's serious.


It's awesome.


Meth heads are a problem in Oregon.

Everything you hear on the news is true.

Bryant Gillespie: Like just in your
driveway, somebody came and in the middle

of the night, stole your catalytic.

Michael Riley: no.

So it's been like a hundred degrees
here for the last couple weeks.

It's been like an insane heat wave.

And, I, for this remodeling project
for our house, I just bought like a

18 year old beater Nissan frontier
that I could use just as a work truck.

And, it overheated in this a hundred
degree, whether I was hauling

top soil in it, it overheated
and left me alongside the road.

I just had my wife come pick me
up and I left it there thinking,

okay, it'll cool down overnight.

I'll come get it in the morning.

we live out in the country,
so I figured it'd be safe.

next morning, somebody actually,
they stole my catalytic converters.

They cut my fuel line and siphoned
all the fuel outta my gas tank.

They damaged my fuel pump in the press.

it's four grand worth
of damage to this truck.

It's hardly worth $4,000

Bryant Gillespie: Oh, my gosh,

Michael Riley: and it's been at the

Bryant Gillespie: your gas as well.

Michael Riley: Oh yeah, dude, straight up.

just drained.

it was a full tank of gas too.

And it's like bone dry now.

but yeah, no, they did.

They did $4,000 of damage to this truck.

And I don't even think the
truck's worth that much.

And so right now I'm just waiting
on the insurance company to pay me.

I haven't had a vehicle in a week and
a half, so no work on the house, which

is fine, cuz it really sucks during
landscaping at a hundred degrees.

So I'm not, I guess I'm not
complaining that much, but so

that's, what's going on in my life.

How about

Bryant Gillespie: man that's some
redneck West Virginia shit right there.

Michael Riley: Oh, it's rampant out here
in Oregon, like every night on the news.

There's some new article about
catalytic converter thefts and like

the new cottage industry, like anybody
who has a welder around here now is

like making rebar cages to, to weld
over people's catalytic converters.

So people don't steal.

'em like, it's like becoming
a hot industry in Portland

Bryant Gillespie: us crazy with

Michael Riley: yeah.


Bryant Gillespie: next
business idea right there.

Michael Riley: I know, I, I had.

Bryant Gillespie: cages.

Michael Riley: Yeah, it's nuts.

I had to call and file a police
report for the insurance claim on it.

And the Sheriff's deputy that I talked
to he's you're like the fifth one

today that I've had to do this for.

He's it's pretty much, all I do is
just gotta let converter reports, man.

It's just what you signed up
for in the police academy.

I'm sure.


It's awesome.


How's how's your week been?

Bryant Gillespie: Well, I think the
last episode I mentioned the previous

week, the babysitter was sick.

the babysitter is on vacation this week.

So, another lovely week of having all
the kids at home, driving my wife crazy.

other than that, we're getting ready
to travel out of town over the weekend.

So we're looking forward to that.

We're headed, to Pittsburgh
to visit my wife's.


Michael Riley: Pittsburgh's
an awesome city.

Bryant Gillespie: yeah.

I used to live up there for a time.

but yeah, looking forward to that.

Michael Riley: you gotta go to Mente
brothers and get a big, pastrami sandwich.

Bryant Gillespie: A big sandwich.


I gotta make sure I keep
with the dad bod here.

Michael Riley: Yeah.

Gotta work.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah,
I do like per manes.

there's a lot of great
breweries up there too.

So I might try to take in some of that.

Michael Riley: Nice.

We'll have a safe trip.

Bryant Gillespie: As safe as you can
be in a car with a bunch of females,

Michael Riley: saw the video
that you posted on Facebook.

Bryant Gillespie: but

Michael Riley: yeah, I think
that's gonna be our next cease

desist letter will be somebody
filing a sexist claim against you.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah, I did look
at the analytics on Spotify and

it's 95% of listeners are mail.

Hopefully we can change
that in the future.

But yeah, that is what it is.

It was also kinda strange that.

it shows what music they listened
to and it was like post Malone.

And then the rest of it was
superstar country singers.

Michael Riley: the post
Malone doesn't make sense.

That's an odd fit with

Bryant Gillespie: weird.

I don't, I've not been in a shop.

obviously, I haven't been in very many
shops here as of late, but, I've not

been in a shop where they're blasting
post Malone while they make signs, but

Michael Riley: Nah, that's weird.

What kind of music you like?

Garth Brooks and post Malone.


Bryant Gillespie: yeah.

So let's get into the
topic today outsourcing.

what did we title this one,
outsourcing your way to freedom?

that one's, that's a
really ambitious title.

I like

Michael Riley: I like that though.

Yeah, it's got a ring to it.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah.

That's gonna sell some
tickets, sell some seats.

today we wanna talk about
outsourcing as a tool to improve

your business, and whatever improving
your business means for you.

Mike, where do we wanna
start on outsourcing today?

Michael Riley: I love outsourcing.

I think that it is, the easiest way to
grow your business with the least amount

of resistance and, money out of pocket.

it's a great way for any small shop to,

greatly expand their product
offering without having to take

on a huge amount of overhead or.

New employees or, new skill sets that
you just don't have, or that don't

in your aren't in your wheelhouse.

I'm amazed.

I talk to so many shops left and right
now, and I'm amazed at how many more

shops are moving in this direction
and they're starting to focus on

what they're really good at in house.

and only doing that.

And they're, the trimming back and
it seems like that's the trend right

now is to become as lean as you can
in how focus on your core strengths

and then outsource everything else.

when I sold my shop going on 10 years
ago now, There were some really good

vendors out there for certain things.

But, it seems like

now, The marketplace for outsource
services in this industry is huge.

and I think you can run an entire
sign shop without ever, getting

outta your pajamas anymore.

If you align yourself
with the right vendors.

it's pretty amazing.

I'm sure there are still some pretty,
pretty gnarly vendors out there

that aren't that great, but it seems
Anything you need in this industry.

Now there's somebody out there
that's an expert in it that can

wholesale it to you for, pennies on
the dollar compared to what it would

cost you to manufacture it in house.

So leveraging those vendors and
manufacturers, and, or would be a great

way to, really expand into new markets
offer services or just, make your

operation leaner and get, get rid of some
stuff that you do in house currently.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah, I would love
to run a side shop from my pajamas.

That would be the dream.

yeah, if you're like Peter, I
think he came in to, I don't know

if it was one of the podcasts,
but he had the Hawaiian shirt on.

So maybe you wanna run your shopping,
your pajamas or your Hawaiian shirt

or from the beach or whatever,
that was the promise that we sold.

in a former life, right.

Was, Hey, do work from the beach
manager shop from wherever you're at.

so I, I definitely feel like that is
more accessible and easier to do today.

Why do you think that is become a trend?

Michael Riley: I, I think technology's
gotten to a point where the.

the project management and the
communication is pretty streamlined

with, as good as technology is now
and systems for managing, orders

like that and remote customers.

and I don't know.

I wanna say that maybe COVID has had
something to do with it, although

that's totally anecdotal and I
don't know for sure, but I think.

COVID has really proven to a lot of
people that you can work remotely.

you can do a lot of things
that you don't have to be in

your physical building to do.

so I, I think that's opened a lot of
people's eyes to the reality that, Hey, we

can run a sustainable profitable business.

By just outsourcing things,
most things, everything.

but I'm not sure I'm not, I'm
assuming it's just a combination

of a lot of things, technology's
getting better and better.

Equipment's getting better and people's
eyes are open to, or maybe their minds

are open to other ways of doing things.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah.


I think COVID definitely has accelerated
that, I obviously there were some,

there were quite a few shops that closed
during COVID or went out of business and.

I think you've seen some consolidation.

after that, of course we talked to
a couple shops that have actually

grown through COVID, which was,
yeah, a nice thing to hear on

one of those calls the other day.

But, definitely, I think
technology is kind of the leader

of that and, being able to.

Coordinate with your entire team
via zoom or text or email or slack,

definitely facilitates, working remotely.

and I think working remotely also
goes hand in hand outsourcing.

but yeah, shops have been
outsourcing larger projects.

For ages.

in our old shop.

We didn't do any electrical stuff
or the few projects that we did,

we would outsource to, one of
the other local electrical sign

companies that specialized in that.

did you guys do a lot of
outsourcing back in the day or no?

Michael Riley: Yeah.

Not as much as I, I would've liked to.

I think looking back I
should have outsourced more.

my, my shop was almost the outsource.

Outsourcer the wholesaler.

I did a lot of wholesale work and actually
Jeremy, our guest coming on here in

a little bit was one of my customers.

I used to do, a decent amount
of wide format printing for him.

so my business model was almost to be,
the wide format vendor to, to the sign

industry where people could outsource.

And we did a fair amount
of business in that.

And that's just the natural direction
that my business took, especially

after the economic kind of crash
of 2008 and 2009, in my market,

it became much harder to sell.

Expensive signs, electrical
signs and, hand carve signs,

gold leave, things like that.

Even that's what I, that's what
I got into the industry to do.

we definitely had to pivot pretty hard
when the economy crashed and wide format.

Really took over and, I had all
this equipment sitting around.

I'm like, I'd like to keep this
running, even if it's for, a

little less money per square foot.

So we carved out a pretty good
niche in doing a lot of wholesale,

like rap printing and decals and.

whatever kept the printers running and
it was profitable and it was good for us.

If I could go back in time.

I'd probably have one, one printer in a
house for quick turn jobs and that's it.

it's, there's so many good wholesale
vendors out there now for anything that

I think you'd almost be crazy to try
and get into that side of the industry

when you can outsource it for way less
than you can produce it and house.

so yeah, the economy was
weird, around that time for us.

And I always struggled to
find really great vendors.

I had a few in my back pocket
that I leaned on a lot, but,

like I said, like there compared
to what's who's out there now.

what's about available now.

Like it wasn't that great.

10, 15 years ago.

Or I would've outsourced more.

I I think I could have built a pretty
solid business with, like I said, in

my pajamas without any employees or
equipment at all, if there were the

vendors that are available today,

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah,
that's an interesting point.

as Mike, the most of the industry
is probably smaller shops.

obviously we've got like a, quite
a big mixture of different shops

within our mastermind group and
the Facebook group that we run.

But, most of the shops that are probably
listening to this are probably smaller.

maybe they're solo guys or
they're got 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 people.

what would you recommend
for them moving forward?

Speaking from past experience.

I, and I think you guys
took this path as well.

in the old shop, we would
just buy a piece of equipment.

If we wanted to start offering,
flatbed printing, we would go

out and buy the flatbed printer.

and some of that was, tax
driven at the end of the year.

A profit that you could either
spend or, pay a lot of taxes on it.

So it was kind of, Hey, let's,
let's continue to fuel the business

here, but, some of those purchases
know, we didn't really have the

business to justify a a hundred
thousand dollars printer at the time.

we made it work, but, definitely
wasn't a great decision.

at the time, looking back.

Michael Riley: Yeah, that, that was
definitely my experience too, is like

you end up with equipment because you
just don't have a good source for that.

that's how I ended up
with a C E T flatbed too.

and that's why I'm now
bald cuz of that printer.

I'm amazed.

You still have hair after running one?

Bryant Gillespie: I think I got like
the fourth or fifth model after you to

Michael Riley: that's better
than the first one off the line.

Like I got holy crap.


That's a big reason that I ended up with,
a decent amount of equipment was just

because I've got customers begging me
for this product, whatever it may be.

And I there's just, there's no good.

There's no good sources for it.

Especially like when you get into flatbed
printing and you wanna move beyond just

like foam core and corrugated plastic,
and you wanna start doing some of the

cool stuff with it, like printing on
fabric or, like I, I had a customer, he

was a, He had a dry cleaning business.

He had seven or eight locations
and they did home delivery and

home pickup, and they wanted some
really cool, like in-store displays.

And instead of just making it like
a retractable banner stand, we

actually ran a bunch of six panel
hollow cord doors through our

flatbed with their graphics on it.

And we put door handles in the
whole nine yards and that was

their, like their standup display
in their lobby of all their.

They're, they're dry cleaning
stores advertising their

home pickup and delivery.

Cause like they, you just had, they give
you this bag and you're hanging on your

Bryant Gillespie: gotcha.

Yeah, that's pretty neat.

Michael Riley: so it was like, it was
a really, it was a really cool way to

do something tactile and dimensional
as a retail P O P type display.

You can, there's no way you
can outsource that back then.

I guess it's debatable if you could even
outsource it today, just given shipping on

a, a bunch of doors, but stuff like that,
it just, it made it really difficult to.

To outsource and to be able to
offer those kinds of things.

And, if you want to set yourself apart
from your competition and be the go-to

place for customers, when they've got
some wild, crazy, hair, brain idea,

you gotta have the equipment to do it.

Bryant Gillespie: is that a

good strategy or do you
want to be that shop?

I think we all do, and like being
like years removed from the shop

now, I still feel that itch.

I want to go back and make
something or start a shop.

Michael Riley: That's a good question.

is that why is that ? Is
that a good business model?

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah.

It, I always enjoyed those projects,
but if I just, obviously I don't have

the numbers in front of me, but if
I go back and I like, think through

those crazy off the wall projects that
we did like that printing corn hole

boards, like actual Birch plywood,
running it through the flatbed.

Those are no doubt, really cool projects,
but I don't think we ever made any money.

So I don't, yeah, we probably
lost money on all those jobs.

Michael Riley: yeah.

Bryant Gillespie: I guess
that brings satisfaction, but

obviously we're in
business to, to make money.

Michael Riley: right, Not stir our egos.

it's a tough call.

If that equipment is critical to the
operation, or if it's just something

that you want to have to, to be
able to use it when the need arises.

I would say you're probably on the
right path that just buying it cuz you

want it cuz you think you need it cuz
you think you're gonna get these cool

orders is definitely not the approach to
take, even though we've all done that.

and again for me, 10, 15 years ago, I
probably wouldn't have gone down that

path if there were better vendors that
I could align myself with, but it's easy

to fall into the trap of thinking, okay,
I'm paying somebody, like I'm paying like

signs 365, I don't know, 80 cents a square
foot for corrugated plastic yard signs or

whatever they charge you per square foot.

I don't even know what it is anymore.

oh man.

If I had a flatbed printer, it's cheap.

it's dirt cheap, right?

it's easy to say, if I had a
flatbed printer, I could do

that for 20 cents a square foot.

Like it's three times cheaper.

that's so much more profit margin, but
really the difference between 20 cents

a square and 80 cents is not that much.

It's not gonna make it or break it.

And that flatbeds gonna cost you a
fortune and overhead to keep there,

to save that little bit of money.

So I think most shops, if they would
really were to sit down and do the math.

of what it would cost truly cost
to manufacture something in house

with overhead and staffing and
maintenance and the whole nine yards.

It financially, it makes a whole
lot more sense to outsource most

things, unless you're so big.

And your volume is so massive where
then those pennies really count.

But for the average shop,
like pennies don't matter.

Like they really don't and getting
caught up in the pennies is dangerous.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah, and I think
it's easy to underestimate like

the service and time involved.

I'm sure like printers and equipment
have gotten better over the years,

obviously, but still even if you spend,
you look at a purchase of a big piece

of equipment, like a router table or a
flatbed cutter flatbed printer easily

like a hundred grand for something.

You look at that as okay, it's a
hundred grand and then we're good.

you, what you don't see is the, like the
maintenance costs, the time that you're

gonna spend on servicing that piece of
equipment when it goes down the headaches.

, so I think we're telling a
long-winded story to say, if you're

out there now and you're looking.

Hey, should I buy a router or should
I buy a brand new flatbed printer?

The first question you have to answer
is gonna be, do I have the volume

now to make all the payments on
that and, make sure I'm covering not

just the loan payments, but also the
ongoing expenses associated with that.

and does that make sense?


Michael Riley: Yeah, the maintenance thing
is definitely something that I think a lot

of people fail to take into consideration.

I'll use my C E T flatbed as an example,
things you don't really think about a

lot, but if you get one head strike on
that and you damage ahead, like it's not

a, it not a $400 Epson print head that
you see in like a ma mock or something.

mine had eight spectra
heads at 2,500 bucks a pop.

And if you scratch the nozzle plate
on two of those, not only are you

down for a week, you're also out
quite a bit of money to replace those.

that's stuff that you just

Bryant Gillespie: factor in.

Michael Riley: you just don't really, you
can't really, it's hard to factor that

stuff in because it's such an unknown,
but that's why I say you really need

to have the volume to justify those.

and it's not like a machine that
you just buy and put in place.

And then you forget about, especially
when you're moving up into larger

equipment like that, it's a, it's
an ongoing, constant maintenance.

Requirement and maintenance
on those things.

The bigger the machine is the
more expensive they are to

maintain and keep running.

Bryant Gillespie: Absolutely.

So look at the advice here
is outsource all your stuff.

Hey, whatever piece of equipment that
you're trying to buy, find a vendor

for that, keep them as busy as possible
until you have the work to justify

that printer that router don't buy.

Just because you want it, or it's the end
of the year and your accountant says, Hey,

we need to spend money to save on taxes.

Michael Riley: And I think there's
like keeping up with the Jones kind

of thing in the industry as well,
where oh man, like the sign shop

down the street, they just bought.

They just bought a new flatbed.

So like I'm not gonna be competitive with
them unless I also have a flatbed as well.

It's easy to fall into that trap too,
where you've gotta keep up with your

competition or you feel like you're
gonna lose customers with them.

Cuz they've got all the fancy
toys and equipment and that's

not how it really works.

And you shouldn't ever buy
a piece of equipment because

your competitor did, you know

Bryant Gillespie: or just
because you want the toys.


Like I've mentioned, that was
like a big thing for us was

like, oh yeah, we could do that.

We could do that.

Yeah, of course we, no,
we got that in house.

We could do that.

And I feel like we talk to a lot of
shops where the strategy for a lot of

them is, Hey, we're a OneStop shop.

and yeah, I think.

there's multiple ways to success.


Like some shops have
success with that model.

but it is stressful.

It's a lot of headaches for the
owner doing so many different things.

You really split your focus and it
becomes hard to be great at all of them.

so not knocking you, if
you are a one stop shop.

That's okay.

but there's different ways to
have a successful sign shop.

And I think that kind of leads
us into what we're gonna chat

with our guest Jeremy about is
what's the ideal shop for you?

I think I could say this and
it'd be true for you too.

Mike, when I say it is like,
when we were coming up, it

was like, Hey, we gotta grow.

I wanna have the biggest shop possible
because that's how I'm gonna make

the most money or have the best exit
or, whatever the ideal was at that

time, it was like bigger is better.

and I feel like that shifted some.

Michael Riley: that kind of goes
back into what I think it was on

our very first podcast episode.

We talked about, this.

The business mentality of grow or die
is kind beaten into all of our heads.

and this sort of goes hand in hand
with that where you feel like if you're

not constantly moving forward and
growing and expanding your business,

then you're doing something wrong.

If your sales aren't always going up by
20% every year, you're doing something

wrong and that's not necessarily the case.

And that's a really bad, rut to fall into.

it will compel you to buy equipment
that you don't need bring on services

and staff in house that you don't
need in, in pursuit of this growth

goal, which, growth isn't bad.

But like we talked about in that
first episode, you gotta manage it

aggressively and outsourcing as much
as possible is one way to really.

Control that growth and keep it on track
and keep it from just, spiraling outta

control, where you're buying tons and tons
of equipment that you don't necessarily

need, or that you'd be better off
letting somebody else buy in wholesale to

Bryant Gillespie: So my next question
for you is what can't you outsource

or what should you be outsourcing?

what's our saying in
the group that we have.

J F I just.

Michael Riley: JFI just fucking fiber.

It I love fiber.

It has its place.

No, I think that question is going to
depend on the individual shop owner and

what, what their core product offering is.

they produce in house and you know what
all the ancillary things are that their

customers are asking them for, that they
maybe don't do in house, but things that

are really commoditized in our industry
now wide format printing in general,

I think falls under that.

To me, I can't imagine trying to,
have a big roster of, roll to roll

equipment in house, trying to print
wraps and decals and things like that.

Print quality's important, but honestly,
like I guarantee you, there's a

wholesaler out there that can print
better than anything you can print

in house more accurately faster,
and, just as cheap for square foot.

It's just one of those things
that lets somebody else do it.

They, somebody who does it all day,
every day is gonna do it better, faster.

There's no reason to try and print

Bryant Gillespie: Do you have
any recommended vendors on that?

Aside from the obvious like signs 365.

Michael Riley: Science 365 was like
the only one back in the day that I

used, there were a few like smaller
shops here and there, but, I, I

don't know how science 365 is doing.

I haven't used them in years.

but that I used to love those guys.

They had a great online
portal for ordering.

It was really easy.

their product offering
is pretty cut and dry.

They don't get anything super custom
and stuff, but for, corrugated

plastic, basic self-adhesive
vinyl banners and stuff like that.

Like they're great.

They generally get the product to
you in one to two days, your customer

will never know you outsourced it.

So vendors like that are fantastic.

used to outsource a lot of
channel letters to like direct

sign wholesale and Econo channel.

both of those guys are still around,
doing well, but honestly, I'm so far

removed from the actual like sales and
manufacturing side of the industry.

Now I really don't know who.

Who the good vendors are anymore,
but everybody that I talk to, that's

outsourcing, they've all got, a
list of, heavy hitters in their back

pocket that they re rely on, regularly

Bryant Gillespie: do most of your assigned
design clients, are they outsourcing

stuff like channel letters or are
they, they're manufacturing themselves.

Michael Riley: A lot of.

Most of my design clients are larger sign
shops that, that are, electrical shops.

most of them occasionally outsource work,
but more, more like as an overflow type

thing and not as like a core product
offering, if you're in the, if you're

trying to compete in the electric sign
business and you're trying to do any

sort of volume at all, you're really.

You need to build stuff in house too.

although I do have one client who
has, I think they've got 10 or 12

installers and a fleet of trucks and
everything, but they don't actually

manufacture anything in house.

They outsource it all and they're super
successful and they do really well.

and then I've got other shops that just,
outsource the random channel letter

sign here and there to keep their.

Their shop floor unclogged with
commodity where like in the electrical

sign industry, a set of channel letters
on a Raceway is pretty much the same

as is commoditized in the same way
that a banner is for a vinyl shop.

So that's something you can

Bryant Gillespie: there's a
thousand different vendors for that.

Michael Riley: And you can't
really, you can't really screw

up a channel letters either.

Like they're pretty basic and simple.

So most of them try to focus on their
core compet competencies in house,

which is, the fabrication stuff and
really doing a good job with that.

And anything that's just
cut and dry type signage.

they, they usually outsource just to, to
free up the production floor, which is

another great reason to outsource too.

Not necessarily just to.

Expand your product offering or get into
new markets, but just as overflow or,

that's the majority of my design work
is just overflow work outta people's

art departments that they're too
busy to handle certain jobs in house.

So they need to, offload some of that, not
that they're outsourcing all their design

to me, I'm just getting a portion of it
when they're too busy to do it in house.

So keeping, keeping your staff
free to focus on what they

do best is another really

Bryant Gillespie: I think
that's, a great point.

I think it's it definitely
understated as well.


How many guys did we talk to
on the mastermind calls where

like, Hey, we've got more work
than we can handle right now.

Michael Riley: Yeah.

And they're having a hard
time finding employees too.

that's obviously something that
everybody's struggling with is

finding staffing and after COVID
staffing up is becoming a really.

Really difficult challenge to overcome
for, I think everybody in this industry,

I don't think I've talked to anybody.

Who's oh yeah.

I'm having a great time hiring people.

everybody's not enjoying that process.

Like it sucks.

It's hard.

so yeah, just out a necessity because
you can't staff up or you wanna run

a lean crew in house outsourcing is a
great way to allow you to do that without

theoretically, without sacrificing quality
or having to charge your customer more.

Bryant Gillespie: So I like those
points, Mike, and I think that

kind of naturally leads us into
our conversation with our guests.

All right.

So welcome to our guest, Jeremy Seager.

Mike, since Jeremy was a former
customer of yours, why don't you

give him the, the introduction?

Give him the, the rah, bring him on

Michael Riley: Yeah.

So we got Jeremy seekers with,
sharp mill graphics with us today.


I did a little bit of wholesale
printing for Jeremy way back in the day.

Gosh, what was that like?

At least 10, 12.

Years ago, 15 years ago.

Jeremy Siegers: well
actually I got into business.

It was 2002.

So I maybe

Michael Riley: It's been a Yeah,

Jeremy Siegers: it's been a while

Michael Riley: but that was, that
was, he was a science 1 0 1 customer

I think is where he found me on there.

Jeremy Siegers: the original the original
social networking of the signage industry

[email protected]

Michael Riley: Yeah.

I was actually just on there the other
day and it's, it's pretty dead now and

it's, it's not as active as it used to
be, but still some of the old school

Jeremy Siegers: I bet.

I bet your Geno's still there.

You know

Michael Riley: he's pretty much
the only person still there.

seems like, but, yeah.


So I, I, I met Jeremy, years ago just,
doing some wholesale, like rap printing

and decals and things like that for him.

stayed in touch over the years.

Jeremy has, since.

kind of had a pretty monumental
shift in the way he operates.

He's he's gotten rid of his, his actual
brick and mortar, shop and, and his staff.

And now he, he's a one man operation
and he outsources everything,

which is why we wanted to have
him on the podcast episode today.

So welcome, Jeremy.

We're glad you were here.

Bryant Gillespie: Yes

Jeremy Siegers: I'm glad to be here guys.

Glad to be here.

Michael Riley: so I, I guess like if
you, if you would kind of just paint a,

a quick picture for, for our listeners
of sort of, you know, your, your original

entry into the industry, what you did,
and then, you know, how that's evolved

and what led you to your decision to,
you know, get rid of everybody and

everything, and sell, sell the farm
and just, just do what you're doing.

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah

Jeremy Siegers: well I got in the
business, like I said, like 2000,

2003, actually started working for
a family company, family sign shop,

right outta high school, and, uh,
started, days before digital printing.

I was running an automatic
screen printing press.

We were screen printing, big campaign
signs, four foot bite, eight foots.

And, nowadays all that stuff's, all
digital and, I love doing that sort

of stuff, and it was just even back to
high school, all my elective classes,

all art classes, it was all drawing
ceramics and all that fun stuff.


in high school, to do that sort of art
and bring that, how do you make money

doing that sort of art, like just drawing.

And I really didn't see,
sort of future in it.

But then when I got to working at the
sign shops like, whoa, I mean like,

this is, this is commercial art people.

They need this stuff, and it just
opened my eyes to another world

of art, it was commercial art.

And, so I worked there for, a while and.

Probably about six months or so.

And I'd come home from work every day, and
tell my parents, oh, I made this, we did

this, oh, we, we made it to this company.

I made contract with Coca-Cola Pepsi
and so it's fun, and after about

six months, one of their, their
kids graduate from college, came

back to work for a family business.

And they're like, well,
Jeremy, we don't need anymore.

I'm like, oh man, look what.

I was just, I was so bummed.

I was so bummed and, but I, I
loved, I loved everything about it.

it was like my art background
and, the business side of things.

And, so yeah, one day, I was, mean
the internet was just kind of starting

to, to come around at that point.

So I just happened to, I think it might
have been AOL like dialup or something.

So I was happened to be on the, went
on the internet and was just doing a

little bit of research and came across.

An open house, MCO, which was
small, grim co at the time

they were having an open house.

So me and my dad, once Saturday, we go to
a, open house of grim co here in Chicago.

And, the big players are there, the big,
suppliers, the big, manufacturers and

end up coming home with, little plotter,
software and a couple rolls of vinyl.

I just started teaching myself, started
playing around with it and, Got into

his, a little hobby, and I started then
I, started going to college and, went to

college for, computers and networking.

then, so yeah, it's this little hobby,
just go to college classes during the

day, come home, do my homework, go
work, start, learn more about Sy lab

and making a few things here and there.

And next thing you know, My, my
grandfather, my mom's dad, he had a, he

owned a wrecking and excavating business.

So he had big caterpillar tractors
and, and, John Deere equipment.

And it's like, Jeremy, Hey, or
you got some, you're getting

an assign making business.

did you be interested in, letters
on my tractors, with, with

our company name, like, sure.

Grandpa, I'll give it a shot, and.

So, start load his tractors
and then, other people, Hey,

Jeremy, can you do this?

And one thing, I'm, I'm now this
little side, I've got a little side

business, I'm making a car payment, I'm

paying car insurance while I'm
going to college full time.

This is great.

And going and, just.

goes from there, then,
I'm actually disabled.

I have muscular dystrophy,
so I get around a mobility,

scooter and a power wheelchair.

And so at the time, the goal was I
was going to school for computers.

Cause it's like, all right, I'm
not gonna be able to have, a real

physical job, I'm, I'm not gonna be
able to, pick up a lot of heavy stuff.

I'm not gonna be able to
really do a physical type job.

So that's why I went
to counselor, computer.

so the end game was you want me to get
done with college, get my degree, go

get a job as a network administrator
or something like that for a company,

and then have my side business at the
same time, world, everything was, great.

so now by the time I get done with
college, I'm getting around on

mobility scooter full time, and start
going on interviews for my job and.

Every interview I would go into, every
person I interviewed with every HR

person they'd see me on my scooter.

They'd just, they'd stick
their nose up at me.

That's they did not want anything
to do with me cuz I was disabled.

They just were discriminated against me.

they didn't care.

If I was the smartest guy in the
room or smartest guy in the building,

all they saw was my disability
and it was heartbreaking, and

Bryant Gillespie: I can

Jeremy Siegers: for a good solid,
for a good solid year, I interviewed.

Trying to get a job with my degree
interview after interview at roll in

same result, same thing, everybody
just stick their nose up and all

they thought was you're gonna be
taking off of work all the time.

You're gonna be on medication.

You're gonna be a liability.

And I did this for a good solid year,
but in the meantime, on a side, I'm still

building my business, my signage and
graphics business around my disability.

It's that's still growing.

Nobody cared about my disability.

Everybody has cared.

building a relationship with
me and how good of work I did.

They didn't care, if
I was disabled or not.

So after a good solid year of
interviewing, I sat down with my

parents, like, guys, nobody's gonna
give me a shot with my degree.

Nobody I've been doing
this for a year and after.

So at that time I told him like,
I'm just gonna run with my business,

that I know I can thrive at.

That's built around me.

And that's what I.

and I've been doing this
now, what, 20 years later.

And, I'm a nationally certified
disability owned company with a

organization called disability.

N I got a state of Illinois
certification as well, and doing work

with large companies, small company,
meatless, medium size companies.

And, yeah.

So then, so that's pretty much that
in a nutshell, but then once kind of.

over the years, you hire employees,
you train 'em to get 'em to be

right where you want 'em to be.

and then, you trust them to, to do what
you need 'em to do, but then they up

and quit on you, And it's like, then
it's, you gotta start all over trying

to find someone again, And I got sick of
doing that, I wear so many hats, I got

tons, I got gray hair underneath this hat.

it just tons of gray hair, but

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah,
I've got streaks going

through here, man.

They, the hair on

Jeremy Siegers: of doing it, over
the years it's just, something had to

give, I just, I was wearing so many
hats, operating, I could still run

equipment, I get around mobility, so
I put more miles on my scooter than I,

than most people would do just walking
around and, would get to a point where.

I was wearing, I just wear wearing way
too many hats, and then I'd be going

out to supervise installs because I, the
guys that would have working for me at

the, they, if something wasn't in maybe
it's just me being, a perfectionist

where I needed to go on the big installs
because at the end of the day, owning

the company, the buck stops with me.

if something happens at that install
or something's crooked or something's

messed up, it's coming back to.

the customer St.

Jeremy, Hey, this is messed up.

Not only do I have to, pay outta my
own pocket to remake it, I also to

pay outta my pocket to reinstall it,
pay outta my pocket to, to have the

same guys go back and install it.

And what if they messed it up again?

So it just, it got to be too much,
I'd be out on installs and, my phone's

blowing up because people need quotes.

I need other stuff going on that I
needed to be back in my office to manage.

And so, I did it for years, and then
COVID hit and the whole world slowed down.

it was still busy, not with the same
sort of work, but other work, all

the social distancing signs, the D
kills and all that sort of stuff.

But all the other stuff just kind of
slowed down and it gave me a lot of

time to sit back and think about it.

you sit there and you watch the
news, you watch everything and it's.

If this is ever gonna be over, or when
this is gonna be over, what do I want

to be doing for the next 10, 20 years?

30 years, whatever, it actually
gave me time to sit back and reflect

on the last 20 years of my life
and what I want to be doing for

the next, 20, 30 years of my life.

Can I continue doing it this way?

Do I want to keep wearing all these hats?

I don't have a big shop.

I never had a big shop.

I always have built relationships


Bryant Gillespie: What did
you guys, if I cut in on you,

what did you guys look like?

prior to COVID like, what, how many
employees did you have Like yeah

What What, was the kind of general


feel for the

Jeremy Siegers: had three,
I had three employees.

I mean it nothing big, but I wore so
many hats, or I did so much and I had.

sub subcontractors that, I relied
on for, fabricating, big signage,

who also had, bucket trucks,
I'd hire them to go install.

So I didn't have to have all that,

Bryant Gillespie: of equipment
did you guys have in house

Jeremy Siegers: digital
printers plotters laminators.

Bryant Gillespie: kind
of the, the standard sign

Jeremy Siegers: yeah, So I didn't
need to invest in other stuff.

Cuz I'd had relationships
with subs that had it already.

They made the big investments in all
that, and over the years, that's what

there's been a lot more dependable,
subcontractors, wholesalers or whatever

you wanna say that's all they do.

they invest the millions of
dollars in the equipment where,

why would I, why should I do it?

I can call up, you like, for instance,
like, TJ, I think it's, GCI digital.


Excuse me.

GCI digital throughout Ohio.

he's buying equipment like every
other week, and he gets it to me.

And in a couple days, or signs 365, all
these companies, they just deal with

guys like us who have the experience
that we know what we're doing.

They don't have to deal with the end.

They just have to make it, print
it, ship it, it's just, I see their

mindset, why they're doing it.

And so why should I have had to invest
in all that equipment, all that overhead

and when it didn't make any sense,

Bryant Gillespie: If we go back to like,
what was the, the tipping point for

you We hit COVID things slowed down.

Jeremy Siegers: Yeah well, it just,
it just gave me so much time to

reflect, a year or two, however long
it was, however long I don't even,

it's, it's COVID is a blur now.

it's just, it's like a blip
where it's like it's just like

a bad dream or, just the fog.

But, I kind of decided my car,
do I want to keep doing this or.

change up, change everything up, so I
kind of just decided, as soon as I decide

I wanted to change things up, I really
kind of came up with a plan, like, all

right, well, how am I gonna do this?

who am I going to, basically
build relationships with, and what

relationships do I have in place already.

Turns out.

I had a lot of relationships
in place already.

It's just, I didn't
need all the employees.

I didn't have that money already,
but still had workman's and workman's

comp, which I didn't need anymore.

Got rid of the workman's comp didn't
need all the equipment sold all my

equipment, and I basically just work
out of office now, I almost like an

internet connection, my email contacts,
basically what I'm doing now, it's just.

it's going about a different
way, it's just, it's going good.

because then there, it came
time too, like, all right.

In 20, 30 years, being here in, the
Chicagoland area, I hate winter.

I absolutely hate winter.

I want to go summer warm.

I love to go to Florida or go to,
Tennessee or something, but the

way my business was set up, having
equipment, having all this stuff.

I'd be stuck here.

I don't want to be stuck here.

I want to be have the option.

So whether it's 5, 10, 15, 20 years,
Hey maybe me and my entire family, my

sister and my brother-in-law my niece.

Maybe we're gonna maybe we'll decide
to move somewhere at where I was.

I couldn't do that.

So right now I can do that.

Alls I need is a computer and internet
connection, Where I could basically run

my business anywhere in the country,
in the world, if I wanted to, I'm not

leaving the country, but you know, not
saying I'm even gonna move at all, but

the option to do it is there now that I
never had, or even thought about, three,

four years ago before COVID, so, oh it
just opened up my mind, it just gave me

that time to think that I've never had
that time to think about before ever.

Michael Riley: how has this
move to getting rid of your

staff and your equipment?

how has it affected your, your
sales and your bottom line?

have you lost any customers or have
any customers lost faith in you?

I guess, because you're not
manufacturing anything in house

or has it really changed your.

Your your bottom line much at all.

Jeremy Siegers: no at the end of the
day, know, I'm actually kind of making

more money cuz I'm not buying materials.


Buying consumables.

I'm not pulling my hair out, looking
for stocker materials, cuz all this

supply chain issues and all that.

I don't have to worry about that anymore.

if I can't, know, I don't have to
call gr CRICO or any of the other

companies, Hey, can I get a roll?

IJ 180, can I get this?

Can I get, oh no outta stock.

I don't have to worry about that anymore.

I have to my suppliers and subconscious
worry, worry about that now.

So it's just.

I don't have to worry about that anymore.

Michael Riley: how did it
affect your bottom line sales?

Did your sales go up

Jeremy Siegers: they've gone down a little
bit, but they're starting to come back up.

I like some of the clients that, I'm.

I'm kind of picky now who I'd like
to work with, it's just, I have,

industries and clientele that, I enjoy
working with more so than others.

So I try to market towards that
sort of persona that I'm interested

in building relationships with.

And, companies are people who aren't
interested in the relationship.

I'm not interested in working with
you, I'm in it for the relationships.

at the end of the day, I like, seeing how
my clients are doing, how their family's

doing, how's their business doing.

And then I feel, they like to hear the
same thing about me, call up on the

phone or do a video call or whatever,
and, shoot the shit for a little while.

And, cuz the NA business has built
on relationships, that's your.

Your wild card when it comes down.

if somebody's nitpicking above
price, someone's gonna pick, Hey,

I got a relationship with Jeremy.

Jeremy's a great guy.

I'd rather send him the work than some,
Joe Schmo that has, a couple bucks

cheaper, who he's never gonna talk to,

Michael Riley: when you pulled the
trigger to make this pretty change

in the way you operate your business.

Did, did you make any sort of
announcement to your, your customer base?

Like, Hey, we're going to, you know,
fundamentally change the way we

operate or did you just keep going
on this business as usual with them?

And did they know.

Jeremy Siegers: No, I didn't tell anybody.

until like a project with them came up.

it's, I didn't make like
an email announcement.

Hey, I'm doing all this,
changing things up.

I just went on as business as
usual and they really didn't care.

it's just because they were in the,
they were in the relationship with me,

and as long as I was able to take care
of 'em and I had all my ducks in a

row or whatever I was gonna do to make
sure whatever they needed, got to them.

when they needed it and
they got what they needed.

They're fine with that.

it doesn't matter to them really
who actually made it, I'm still,

again, the buck still stops at me.

if I'm gonna have someone else do it, I'm
gonna make sure they're just as good as

what I was able to the, to knock out for
'em you are still using the same materials

that the quality is always gonna be there.

It's just, I'm physically
not making it anymore.

Dating really care

Michael Riley: do you ever run across
situations where that does factor

into a customer's decision making?

you isn't manufactured?

Cause I used to get I used to get
that a lot where like, I, there were

certain bids that I just couldn't win.

If we weren't gonna manufacture
a hundred percent of

Jeremy Siegers: You the project in yeah.

I haven't come across a lot of
'em, but you know, you're, you're

submitting, a bid for, a larger company.

They wanna know you,

they basically wanna know you, everything
down their size of your underwear, and

just you know, it's like, come on,
you really need to know all this.

you're gonna get, but I get
it from their point of view,

Michael Riley: I I think that's a, that's
a, that's a tricky one to overcome.

I feel like cuz I know a lot of customers,
larger customers, especially they,

it's not so much about whether you can.

Produce the, the product
and meet the deadline.

It's, it's more about, do you have
the capability to to, back it up

when, you know, when, when the shit
hits the fan and this project goes

sideways, will your vendor be, be

Jeremy Siegers: right

Michael Riley: to, to, make
sure this still goes through on

Jeremy Siegers: right That's
why, picking and choosing.

solid relationships with,
suppliers and vendors.

top of mind, all the time, I'm
not gonna go to someone just

because of the cheapest price.

I, I pick my relationships with
my suppliers and vendors just

as if I pick my clients or my
clients pick me, cuz I know if,

Bryant Gillespie: that's
a, that's a good point.

I think, you know, for all these guys
listening on the podcast, I, don't

know that we would recommend like a
total shift like that, but, you know,

outsourcing is, oftentimes a dirty
word with customers and clients like,

Hey, we're not gonna do this in house.

and, and, you know, I think that's
changing a little bit, or, or it seems

to at least anecdotally, but yeah,
I was definitely curious about that

when Mike was asking those questions

Jeremy Siegers: it's, it's different
structure, different folks.

I wouldn't recommend what
I'm doing for everybody.

some people, it just, it all depends.

What you need or want outta life?

I personally, I don't
need the big giant shop.

I don't need the millions of
dollars worth of equipment.

I don't need all the big employees, the
big overhead, the big nut to crack every

month, I'm content with what I have
and what I can grow, and then still be.

Sleep well at night, and not have to worry
about all those giant overhead bills.

I would like to travel more and
do more stuff where I don't have

to be worrying about all that.

there's nothing wrong with
all that, with all that.

that's perfectly fine,

Bryant Gillespie: me about
the transition process.

Like, Hey, today I decide.

like totally shifting my business.

how long has that taken you from
the the time that you made the

Jeremy Siegers: Well, when I first
started, kind of when I started getting

into it, the first thing was doing
was just building a new website, had a

new website built kind of, where, you
know, everything's kind of, supplier

based, where there's nothing that's.

totally custom that I guess you can say
that's in there, still do custom stuff.

I, my portfolios, we all have custom
stuff in 'em, but a lot of it just,

whatever, suppliers are providing,
so, mainly geared towards, the medium.

to, four to 500 companies where they need,
promotional products, they need, business

cars, they need flyers where they need
a lot of it, where, so not necessarily

not necessarily custom, but then, I'll
do still offer the custom, dimensional

letters, dimensional logos on the wall
or whatever that, I'll get from a, a

supplier, and other signs that you all
get from a supplier, but, kind of just

switching gears from, Hey everything's
custom, Hey, we make everything custom

in house to getting away from that, and.

That took a little bit of work,
but you still, I gotta build out

some more pages on the website,
to get some more traffic to it.

I don't have a lot of pages on there.

Google likes, more content.

So working with my web
developer to, to get that going,

and yes, yes.

I gotta get blog posts
going and all that stuff.

And, it's like, I'm not as busy.

It's like, I.

Busy, but I'm a different busy now,
I'm not worried about the employees.

I'm not worried about making stuff.

I'm not worried about all that, but
I'm more focused on the marketing side.

Oh wait, now we gotta do
new more website pages.

Hey, we gotta do more social media.

So now it's, now I'm wearing
more of a marketing side of

the hat, as opposed to before.

I didn't have time to do any of that

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah, that's a good.

Jeremy Siegers: rose ain't really thinking

Bryant Gillespie: what's.

we've harped on that on some of the
other episodes of the podcast of the

need to like get out of the production
mindset and, and into that business

owner, marketing sales side of it

Jeremy Siegers: Right


this is I actually, I got a perfect, line.

I spent too many years working in my
business and not enough years working

on my business, meaning the marketing
side and all that sort of stuff, And,

now I do have time to do all that

Bryant Gillespie: So your new model
is, like very dependent upon like

the different vendors that you're
working with How are you, like, what's

your model for vetting these guys?

Or, you know, how are
you finding new vendors?

Jeremy Siegers: well I'm
actually a part of, I joined, an

organization called I promote you.

They're actually one of the
largest promotional product

companies in the country.

They're a top 40, company.

And, I'm an affiliate of them,
basically they, they have their

own system in place, they have.

they got buying power, they got buying
power with all the big, suppliers

for promotional products and, and,
they do financial backing too.

Any purchase order I
have, they handle it all.

so if someone co customer comes to
me with a, a hundred thousand dollars

order, I don't have to basically
bankroll that, pay the supplier up

front and wait for, to get paid.

I promote you'll.

And then I'll get paid when they get paid.

So I don't have

to go get, line of credit.

I don't have to rack up credit card bills.

I don't have to do any of that,
which is great, because being, a

certified disability company, I do
have the opportunity to get in the

doors of a lot of large companies
with supplier diversity goals.

And they all have net 30 net 60,
some of 'em have net 90 days.

I can't bankroll, these large
purchase orders for that long.

There ain't no way.

And, I don't feel I should have
to finance 'em either, And, and

so, so yeah, that was, that was a,
kind of a, big hurdle to get over.

but I'm there, I'm doing, it's, it's a
good partnership with them, but then,

other suppliers, like on the sinus side,
being in the business so long, I've,

back to signs 1 0 1 days, Some were
in there, now these Facebook groups,

there's a couple good Facebook groups
that have, suppliers on there and,

building relationships with them too,
And, and, yeah, so it's, it's just,

you kind of, it's just the tricks at a
trade you you've been in for so long.

I kind of know, you learn, over the
years and it just it's experience.

someone's starting out in the game now.

Hey, I would've been in the, in
the, in the signage print and

promotion product business, and
I have absolutely no experience.

I would not recommend this whatsoever.

Bryant Gillespie: I think
that's important to qualify.


This is not financial advice Yeah
If you're new to the business if

you don't have an understanding of

signage, do not do this.

Jeremy Siegers: Uh, Nope And, yeah,
you would not recommend it, maybe you

have to know a lot about this industry
in order to, to do this sort of thing,

and, even, yeah, I, yeah, I don't re I
don't recommend it, go work for another

company for a while, or, you need years
of experience with, from everything

from design through production, through,
F fulfillment through installation,

through permitting, you need all that
experience that, if you don't have it,

then you're just gonna be per yourself.

you'll be ending sooner
than you get started.


Michael Riley: So now that you are on the,
kind of the tail end of this, this pretty

major transition with your business,
Jeremy, what would you do differently

with now that you have the benefit
of, you know, 20, 20 hindsight vision?

Would you undertake this process of, of,
you know, downsizing and getting rid of

your equipment and staff and everything.

Would you do anything different
in that process or did you,

were you pretty happy with

Jeremy Siegers: Yeah I'm, I'm, you know
I'm, I'm more happy with it, it's just,

with me having, muscle dystrophy as well,
I have, some health issues that a lot of

people don't have, And so it's, I'm able
to still, kind of build my own schedule.

Hey, if I can't get up at, 6:00 AM to
go to work, or if I have a doctor's

appointment or if I'm, if I'm, got.

Aches and pains where I need to,
take a break at lunchtime and go

stretch out in, my recliner for
a little while I can do that.

when I had all that other stuff going
on, I wasn't able to do that, and I'm

getting older too, it's just, the, the
older you get, everybody's got more aches

and pains, but, we might are a little bit



Mine are a little bit different than
everybody else's, but so I'm kind of,

adapting, my, my, my disability kind
of, progresses as the year years go on.

So I'm adapting my, my
actual life to my disability.

And I've been now adapting my
business life to my disability.

And, it's going, it's going well, taking
on, back to, I first, got this, I, idea,

the ultimate goal was to, Hey, I'm gonna,
get in the, the door of, these huge

corporations and, that was kind of my, my,
my big goal is actually, I'm kind of my

main focus, to do those, those, those huge
companies, but it's just, I'm learning.

this, 2000, 22 that's, it's a lot tougher
than I thought, these huge companies,

they have departments, many departments

Bryant Gillespie: a,
challenge to navigate for you


Jeremy Siegers: yeah Yeah It's just,
it's just, it's, it's it's time consuming

where it's like, can't we just, just
get, get an order going here, and then,

Bryant Gillespie: It kinda sounds
like one of the conversations we were

having, between Mike and Peter and
I about, customers versus accounts,

it seems like you've made the
shift, as a, a smaller sign shop.

A lot of the customers that you're serving
are smaller businesses too And that.

That makes it easy to
do business with them.

There's only one decision maker but
obviously, it's not a large corporation.

That's just going to continually
feed you business over and

Jeremy Siegers: right

Bryant Gillespie: So.

Jeremy Siegers: right Yeah So, but on the
flip side, it's like, so yeah, dealing

with all these different groups are pain
on the butt, but ideally once my foot's in

the door, I'm in with one group and then,
the ultimate goal is, Hey, well, that

group then refers me to another group.

And an app group refers me another group.

And actually I'm doing work with all these
different groups in the same company and

that just, they all got their own budgets.


purchasing, whoever they need.

So that's, that's the goal, and that's
what I'm working on, but I'm still not,

I'm not focusing solely on working with
the large corporations anymore, cuz

they're, it's just, their buying isn't
as, consistent as I needed to be, Hey,

Jeremy were ever thinking about, doing
a project in, in, in a third quarter of,

2023, it's like, well, what about now?

it's like, come on,

Bryant Gillespie: Yeah I think that's a
a challenge for everybody out there Yeah

Jeremy Siegers: the bills gotta get paid,
So it's like I still gotta focus on,

the small, the medium, even large size
companies that still have somewhat of.

a easier, purchasing, program, I guess
you can say where you're dealing with

only a few people and they need stuff
throughout the year, every year,

and it's easy, and those are the
ones that, keep the bills paid and,

keep the, keep the cash flow going.

And, and then working with
the, the, the huge companies.

That's that's, I guess that's just
like an extra perk now where it's

like, I'm still gonna focus on it.

I'm just not gonna spend as
much time focusing on it.

Bryant Gillespie: Well, it sounds
like you got a plan for moving forward

what are you most excited about?

with this new model versus your
previous model of, Hey, I've

got overhead, I've got all this



Jeremy Siegers: well, once I
have, like a good system, once I

get the, the marketing in place.

where I can get, systems in place.

cuz for me right now, it's, it's just
about marketing, it's just about,

spreading a word, building more
relationships, where the new

relationship come, come in and and
they're, they're built on my new

kind of platform here, where I can
kind of streamline everything, And I.

The relationships in place.

I have backend financing in place.

I have everything in
place to be successful.

It's just bringing a more clientele
to keep that rolling and growing.

And, and I'm not saying I'm never gonna
hire any more people again, I'm just

gonna hire them in different roles.

I'm not gonna hire.

For production.

I'm not gonna hire them for that.

I'll be hiring them for like, being
like an account manager or, to, to

manage, or maybe sales people or
something like that, where it would

be a little bit different of a role

Bryant Gillespie: Cool.

Well, I really appreciate you, you jumping
on with this Jeremy I've always really

admired like your branding and like
the marketing that you do, I think your

site is a good example of what, shops
in the industry should be targeting.

But, I think this is a, a
great story and, I really like.

like this transformation of
like, Hey, what I had previously,

wasn't working for me.

So I changed it And now the, the
businesses built around your lifestyle

instead of like us building our
lifestyle around the business.

I, I think that's the, the big point
that, that you drove home for me today

anyway, is, if you are a shop owner
and you're stressed out, you've got.

All this overhead, you're
working too many hours.

You don't enjoy it, make a change
start building the business around your


Jeremy Siegers: cause there, there has
to be, There has to be an end game.

for everybody, where do you
see yourself in 20, 30 years?

are you gonna, you gonna sell your company
or, I or are you gonna do something else?

I do you wanna travel more?

Do you wanna spend time
with your family more?

it's just, yes, you wanna be successful,
but there's always a price on success.

there's, there's always, you're losing
something somewhere, if you want to keep

growing and growing and growing and grow.

your family's suffering, you're,
you're losing friendships.

You're not spending as much
time with your friends either.

I love doing it.

I love my buddies calling
me up on a Tuesday.

Hey Jeremy, Hey, you wanna
have a few beers tonight?


I can do that.

outta a Tuesday, it's like, cause I don't
have to worry about, being at a shower

first thing in the morning or having to
worry about, but that's, it's, it's my

personal choice where, where my mindset
is, where, Still wanna be successful,

still want to do all sorts of stuff.

It's just, is it just doing
it in a different way?

Bryant Gillespie: So

for anybody who might be interested
in, checking out the website or

learning more or getting in touch with
you, you know, how can they contact

Jeremy Siegers: yeah Well you can visit
sharp mall.com, S H a R P M I L l.com.

or you can, you can email me.

I Jeremy, J E R E M Y charnel.com.

or checking me out a LinkedIn or
I'm on all these, these Facebook

groups for sign and graphics too.

Bryant Gillespie: Well, yeah, thanks again
for coming on man Uh, really appreciate

it And uh, yeah looking forward to,
to, seeing where you go with this thing

Jeremy Siegers: Awesome, man.

All right, take care

Bryant Gillespie: we'll see you, Jeremy.


Jeremy Siegers: All right


Bryant Gillespie: so
closing this one out guys.

I really enjoyed this episode.

I think Jeremy's got a great
story so let's get into

rapid fire takeaways, Peter.

He's not here.

So, Mike, what's your
takeaway on today, man?

Michael Riley: I like that he ended on a
work life balance note, which I feel like

every one of these conversations we have
goes back to, people seeking out better

work life balance, which I'm happy to see.

I hate the.

The grind till you die mentality.

and I that's been so pervasive,
I think, in, in work culture

in general for so long.

I'm really happy to see people, trying
to change their situation and adapt, like

you said, their work life to fit their.

You know their lifestyle
versus trying to adapt their

lifestyle to fit their work life.

so for me, I think the biggest
takeaway there was, this is a great

way to achieve some of that work
life balance and de-stress your life

a little bit and, achieve some of
that, personal life outside of work.

enjoyment and balance.

I know for me, It's a huge reason why
I do what I do, where I work, from home

in my pajamas, cuz I it's, I don't,
that's the lifestyle that I want.

I want the freedom to do what
I want when I want to do it.

and anything that you can
do to work towards that goal

you're trying to achieve.

and remember that we're, no matter what
we do, whether we work for somebody

else or own a business, that it's only
a means to an end so that we have.

the lifestyle that we want.

So this seems like a great avenue
to pursue, to, to achieve that.

Bryant Gillespie: Out.

It's all about lifestyle
no, I, yeah, I agree.

I like, I was gonna say the same thing.

so I don't know that I have a great
rapid fire takeaway out of that,

like the Gary V hustle, porn stuff.

Like you gotta be grinding.

you gotta.

The 80 hours a week.

Like I've done that.

And I still do that sometimes.

when I've got, sometimes I've just gotta
crunch on a project and get it done,

but on the whole it's not sustainable.

It's not the way that I wanna work.

Michael Riley: I totally know
what you're trying to say.

I remember at my shop, like I, I
kept a blanket and pillow and I

can't tell you how many times I
slept on the floor under my desk.

Not necessarily because I had
to, but because I felt like

that was a badge of honor.

Like I'm an entrepreneur and I don't
leave my office ever look how hard I work.

And that's such an unhealthy
mentality to, to maintain.

And you will, you'll hit a wall
and flame out spectacularly.

If you, if.

Do that too long.

Yeah, you're right.

the whole hustle and grind
mentality, that's been, viral.

I don't know what the right word for it
is, but it's, there's more to life than

working and, I think a lot of people
lose sight of the fact that they start a

business and become entrepreneurs because.

Because they're trying to achieve a
better lifestyle, but then they don't.

Then they work themselves to death and
that's completely counterintuitive and

works against the whole goal that you
set out for, even if that goal is only

subconscious and you don't even realize
that's why you went into business.

That's why everybody
goes into the business.

There's no other reason to go in business
than to control your own destiny.

Bryant Gillespie: yeah.

You want a better environment?

That's exactly what I was trying to say.

I just couldn't say it.

yeah, yes.

Michael Riley: cups of
coffee have you had today?

Bryant Gillespie: I don't know,
like six, but no it's no, it's like

Michael Riley: just need an IV.

Just, just pump it, pump it
into your veins at this point.

Bryant Gillespie: so I, if you
would like to be a guest on the

show, definitely shoot us an email
at, Hey, better sign, shop.com.

Or if you just have questions or
topic suggestions, shoot us an email.

We'll probably email you back.

We're good like that.

All right, Mike.

Hopefully next week, we'll have Peter
back from the galaxy far, far away.

So maybe next week we'll
have a new nickname for you.

Michael Riley: every week,
my identity is different.

it's hard to keep up with myself here.

Bryant Gillespie: sounds stressful.

That's why you're you have no hair left?

We can't come up

Michael Riley: it's true.

Bryant Gillespie: All right, guys.


See it.

Michael Riley: goodbye, everybody.

Outsourcing Your Way To Freedom // Jeremy Siegers - Sharp Mill Graphics
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