Priority Sign Employee Interview with Nick Fowlkes
Nick has been in the signage industry for over 20 years and knows it inside out. He began in fabrication, was promoted to shop foreman, spent time as an installation manager and now is the VP of Business Development for Priority Sign.
Nick, what do you see as the most important elements of a successful signage program?
First of all, I believe that having the right design can make a big difference in the effectiveness of the program but also in the clients’s business results.
I worked with a self-storage company in Texas and they were involved in a name change. They were expecting the same design approach as they have always had but I saw it as an opportunity to modernize their brand and image. They went with the new design approach and in fact the client attributed that new branding and signage program to an occupancy increase from 82% to 97%.
What other elements are important?
Execution and Management are critical. It all ties into the right communication which is so important in developing strong client relationships. If there are no surprises then you have communicated effectively. But you can’t prevent issues such as permit delays or extreme weather, so I want to make sure that my client’s expectations are managed properly. Surprises are ok for birthdays, but not with my client’s project.
What excites you about joining the Priority Sign team?
I was attracted by the size of the company, it’s refreshing location in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and the people. All of the team members have a very positive disposition. I believe a positive culture translates into a good business results. I look forward to sharing our Sheboygan headquarters with future customers. I believe they will see what I’m talking about.
Have you noticed anything different so far?
Yes, the level of communication – it’s instant! Our team has embraced technology for all the right reasons - to improve everyone’s knowledge on how to move our projects forward. In a larger company you can wait a long time for a response. Not here. Everyone is willing to tackle a challenge immediately.
What challenges do you look forward to?
I look forward to making Priority Sign more of a household name within the signage industry. I want to help improve our recognition among customers particularly in industries where I have experience such as self-storage. Also, I like to use social media to get our story out and look forward in being active on sites such as LinkedIn to tell the Priority Sign story. When you have an opportunity to be in front of a customer you need to take advantage of that opportunity.
Customers can reach out directly today so I’m not surprised when I hear from a CEO who likes a project I worked on and wants to do a similar proågram. I want to make Priority Sign a more visible leader in the industry and I’m looking to grow our business in areas that allows us to gain even more recognition.
I understand you like fishing, do you see any similarities between fishing and your career?
I do enjoy fishing and I think that fishing is similar to business. In fact I pursue my business like fishing. 90% of the fish are in 10% of the water. A large bass is like a national client that I want to work with so I make sure I use the right bait and lure and fish in the right area. You need to fish where the fish are.