Cambridge couple could see their future in signs
Last updated 12:43, July 27 2018
Signboss directors Nikki Mayor and Chris Place are happy with being named as a finalist in the 2018 Waipa Networks Business Awards. A spot of good advice from their landlord has been a key driver to success for a Cambridge signage company. Spotting the gap in the market place in 2015 for a sign writer in the town, Chris Place and his partner Nikki Mayor took the gamble and set up their business Signboss.
In 2017 Signboss was named in the Waipa Networks Business Awards emerging business as a finalist. Signboss was recently was named as finalist in the small business category in the 2018 awards to be held at the end of August. Now considered as the “go too” signage company in Cambridge, Chris and Nikki have added two new members to their team.
Their story is not an unfamiliar one for anyone who has started a small business. In order to provide for his family Chris continued working his 40-hour a week job. He would come home and work through the night making signage. Meanwhile, Nikki juggled her pregnancy, two children, a sick mother, customer enquiries and business administration.
“It was tough going, but we believed in ourselves,” Chris said.
“We had no assistance from the bank, we maxed out our credit card to buy equipment.
“Money was so tight we couldn’t even afford to put signage on our own vehicle.
“Our landlord Eddie Webb told us to ‘take it slowly and steady and keep your costs down and we will make it’.”
Over their first three years they have reached out to business mentors for advice.
They admit the first six months was the toughest and there were doubts lingering as to whether they had made the right move.
“Nothing will be as hard as was then, but we had confidence we could push through,” Nikki said.
“Initially we worked hard relying on small sales and referrals. “With good testimonials and word of mouth referrals our business increased. “We learnt what a great community Cambridge is as every business in town supports each other. “We have been lucky to have the businesses who are our neighbours all starting around the same time and we have grown together. “Now we are a bit more relaxed and looking ahead.
“Our five year plan is to become a one stop shop for signage, business cards, flyers even website design,” she said.