September 5, 2012
Signworld promotes a highly controversial business opportunity, claiming “Signworld has been a part of the industry’s profit and fun since 1988. With over 24 years in the business, Signworld has established itself as the leader in the no-royalties and no-rules sign business concept.”
“Signworld ruined my life both financially and mentally.
Do not believe what Ken [Kindt]or Jack [Werner] tell you.
“They only tell you the good in order to get your money.
“Failure rate is not 5% like they tell you, but more like 40%. Since we started our business in 2009, there have been over 22 signworld owners that have gone out of business.
“It’s been a very tough, long road. I would NEVER do this over again if given the chance.
“It’s made me sick.”
Phil McNally wrote:
“ I was an owner for over 6 years unsuccessfully.
“I worked very hard to make my business work, asked for help directly from Ken Kindt and those underneath and was continually blown off and shoved to the side.
The fact of the matter is this – he just does not care once he has your money.”
Signworld VP Jack Werner defends the Signworld opportunity here: SIGNWORLD: VP Jack Werner Fires Back at Critics.
And now Signworld defender Paul has shares his assessment of the Signworld opportunity and what it takes to be successful.
Are you familiar with the Signworld opportunity? Please share a comment below.
In response to Signworld critics on UnhappyFranchisee.com, Paul writes:
Wow, the vitriol is amazing.
Look, SignWorld just gets you started.
You can choose to be on your own or you can utilize the many forums SW has set up. Even after 8 years I still call up my fellow SW colleagues, OFTEN, for advice. The talent and experience out there is amazing.
SW is not a franchise. No royalties and rules AND no advertising. They don’t funnel business our way but that’s stated up front. Do Ken and Jack overstate? Yes. I used to work at Hewlett-Packard and we had some pretty good spin masters there too. I don’t think K and J are at all forthright about the turnover but I wonder if SW turnover is any less or more than other small biz TO.
I actually acquired an existing SW company 8.5 yrs ago and chose to ante up $35K to stay with the org. I visited 6 SW shops and asked them tough questions. I knew what I was getting into. There was no way I was going to do this without a great support network. And it is a great support network. It took me maybe a year to B/E consistently. The keys to success became obvious to me quickly. You need to be strong as the #1 guy/gal AND you need a strong #2 … a spouse or other relative. All my opinion. My wife is an awesome biz dev person.
We were growing very nicely until the Great Recession. This year we’re up 40% over our million dollar revenue year last year. Like any business you have to know that the hell you’re doing. You have to know how to hire. Have the cajones to fire. Have project management skills. Technical skills. I see a lot of newbies avoid what I call the ‘hard’ sign part of the business (wall signs of all types) and focusing on inkjet printing because of the margins and ease of sale. I also see new entrants by the boatload getting into that business.
With the new printers from, for example, HP (latex, UV cure) all you need is a living room and some media and you’re in business. Again, like any new business you need working capital to survive and thrive. You need to be crazy resourceful. Take calculated risks. None of this is for the faint of heart.
The bantering on this website is silly. If those who failed thought this would be a cakewalk then shame on them for being naive. Everyone stretches the truth. EVERY good businessperson knows that. So let’s not get all pollyanna about J and K’s selling style and put on our big girl pants and learn what you need to learn to succeed gang.
Don’t call me for advise about getting into the sign business or about what SW is like because I have a business to run. I’m not in business to help you start yours. I don’t get paid for it so I don’t do it. I will help my fellow SWOs because they help me. Yes, I’m a hard ass. A successful one. I figured out how to play the game. I don’t design signs, I don’t sell anymore, I don’t fab. I ‘ve hired great people. I fired the crappy ones. I do great things for my customers and we get more than our fair share of leads from Google because we’re *@&#$% brilliant.
Now I’m getting ridiculous.
Look folks, if you want a sure thing then go work for the Federal government. If you think staying with your corporate employer is going to be fun and secure then stay there and waste your life away worrying about the next round of layoffs. When you’re 55 and laid off or 60 or 65 and too poor to really retire or too dumb to realize that real retirement means doing nothing all day everyday and wasting your mind doing Sudoku or playing golf all day you’ll no one to blame but yourself because you didn’t take the risk.
I can’t believe I wasted this much time writing all this out but someone had to take this POV.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE SIGNWORLD BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY? PLEASE SHARE YOUR OPINION OR INSIGHT BELOW.
October 16, 2009
Our earlier post SIGNWORLD Complaints contained excerpts of comments (from complaint site Ripoff Report) critical of the Signworld business opportunity, its founder and president Ken Kindt and Signworld VP of Sales Jack Werner.
On the same forum, Jack Werner, a former Signworld operator, fired back at his anonymous critics. Werner defended Signworld’s claims that its business opportunity has an extremely low failure rate, stating:
I joined Signworld as an operator in 1995 after doing a lot of my own careful due diligence… I did honestly break even, cash on cash, my first month in business, and wrote my first paycheck to myself in my sixth month after letting the businesses cash reserves build up. I ran my business for 10 years before successfully selling it for many times what I paid for it and I then joined Signworld’s corporate staff because I strongly believed in the business model.
I do know of others that broke even, cash on cash, in their first month, some that broke even in their second, third, and fourth month, most broke even around their sixth or seventh month, and for some it took longer. Believe it or not, we actually did have an owner who did break even his first week in business. But that was a true testament to the hard work that owner put in securing a large order before his doors were even open. It is an owner driven business. Some people just “get it” sooner than others do.
It is impressive that Jack Werner has experience as an owner operator, and that he was willing to publicly address his critics in a professional manner. However, his claim that one owner “did break even his first week in business” is especially troublesome.
How could an owner making a $183,000 investment “break even” his first week in business? Did the owner secure this enormous order, collect the money, receive the materials and complete all of the necessary work in the first week? Jack Werner must surely know that that’s what would be necessary for the owner to recognize monies received as income.
Does that mean that this owner maintained profitability since the first week, or that he did well his first week? How many achieve profitability from Day 1?
Perhaps Mr. Werner – or someone else familiar with this claim – can provide the specifics.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE SIGNWORLD OPPORTUNITY? WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
October 16, 2009
SIGNWORLD claims it is a business opportunity, not a franchise. Others use a different term to describe SIGNWORLD: A Ripoff.
As an alleged business opportunity, Signworld makes bold claims on its website that would be illegal for a franchise, including lots of attractive earnings claims and promises of “high profit margins” and “high resale value upon retirement” for its $185,000 investment.
But comments on complaint website Rip-off Report are critical of SIGNWORLD, founder Ken Kindt and VP of Sales Jack Werner. Here are some excerpts:
December 16, 2008, dh from San Antonio, Texas wrote:
…THEY PROMOTE “No previous industry experience is necessary” because SIGWORLD is supposed to reduce the risk of failure. B.S. … It is bad enough that SIGNWORLD sell this lie by building up misleading statements on statistics (never see this in writing though) of low failure rate and cleverly hiding the awful truth of failure. I was told 5% in the 20 year history. I found out it’s closer to 40% once I got in and they had my money….
It’s a shitty competetive dog eat dog business. Your lucky if your gross profit ends up at 50% with this model…. any one can order the bread and butter business you want online for half the price you can do it for.
One more thing…. CITY REGULATIONS are getting tougher and tougher to put up signs. You basically make a sale and go back and research wether you really have a sale or not…
YOU WILL LOSE MONEY EACH MONTH FOR 2 TO 3 YEARS… it seems about 80% of new owners lose money for 2 or 3 years and they either close up or continue to work without a paycheck. This is true even though you do exactly what SIGNWORLD and Jack Werner said you should do….
MY ADVICE-Rather than wait until your broke……STAY AWAY!!!
December 31, 2008 Anonomous of Ofallon wrote:
They underestimate the capital required for start up. The performa’s they provide you with are erroneous….plan on an additional 100k over what they tell you if you want to stay in business. I asked for help trying to sell mine and JW’s comment was…”it would be against our best judgement to try and sell a failing business to a perspective client” How ironic!!
January 23, 2009 Rk of Spokane wrote:
…If you feel compelled to spend well over $250K in capital, I recommend that you convert it to dollar bills, pile it up at a camp site, light it on fire, and gather the kids around for a good old fashioned marshmallow roast rather than waste your time with Signworld.
Seriously, if you really want to get into the sign business, just visit a few sign shops and they’ll sell to you on the spot. Because the only thing that owner wants, is to get the bloody Hell out of his Signworld mistake…
October 13, 2009 signgirl of newnan wrote:
I work for a signworld company, not saying where, but have been there since the start up…
Ken Kindt sells dreams, and many people have bought it, i wish i could sit down with the man, and ask him how he sleeps at night knowing he has reemed so many people, but you know, people like him would laugh if they read this, because money has taken over ethics and morals.
Be sure to read: SIGNWORLD: VP Jack Werner Fires Back at Critics
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE SIGNWORLD OPPORTUNITY? WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.