SIGNWORLD Defender Speaks Out
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.”
However, UnhappyFranchisee.com has posted some of the many SIGNWORLD Complaints, which prompted sharing of more complaints, such as this one from an anonymous owner:
“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.
2 thoughts on “SIGNWORLD Defender Speaks Out”
Fascinating piece of writing from Paul.
Basically, he’s saying it’s ok to lie and deceive people into an investment in which they will likely lose everything because 1) Everybody lies and 2) People who sign up with Signworld should already know all about the sign business (even though they are signing up because they don’t have experience in the sign business) and if they don’t already know what it takes to run a sign business and can’t see through the lies it’s their own fault.
Paul wrote: “Do Ken and Jack overstate? Yes.”
I guess when someone does it to you, it’s lying.
When its done to someone else, it’s “overstating.”
Paul wrote: “I used to work at Hewlett-Packard and we had some pretty good spin masters there too…”
If Paul invested with Bernie Madoff, and lost it all, I’m sure he would say “It’s ok that Mr. Madoff wasn’t that ‘forthright’ and caused me to lose my money because, after all, he wasn’t as big a liar as people I used to work with.”
Paul wrote: “I don’t think K and J are at all forthright about the turnover…”
I’m sure Paul would say “It’s OK that Mr. Madoff enjoyed a life of luxury at my expense. It wasn’t like he lied. He just ‘wasn’t forthright about the fact that I’d never see my money again.
Paul wrote: “Everyone stretches the truth. EVERY good businessperson knows that…”
Hmmm. I bet Paul’s sign customers will be glad to hear that.
“So let’s not get all pollyanna about J and K’s selling style…”
Since when is lying and misrepresenting simply a “selling style”? I think the legal term is “fraud.”
I hope Paul is getting something worthwhile for sucking up to Ken and Jack so publicly and blatantly. While he shares good info on what it takes to succeed in the sign business, an honest and ethical man in Paul’s position would state that Ken Kindt and Jack Werner should be honest about the risks upfront, should stop “overstating” and “not being forthright,” and shouldn’t sell their opportunity to newbies that they know will not succeed in the grueling sign business.
Sorry, Paul, but what does your dismissing unethical business practices as par for the course say about you? I hope your customers are double-checking their invoices and counting their change before they leave your shop.
Franchising is made up of a COALITION of people who allow franchisors to FALSELY advertise, glorify their franchise as something its not and NOT provide “common good” for the American citizen.
Instead its “Fleece and Flush” and “Churn and Burn” while FAT CATS get fatter and the American civil unrest GROWS!!!!!