We talked to Leanne Arnold, founder of Custom Vinyl Graphics, about custom wall graphics and this is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Leanne Arnold: My immediate family is doing well but we lost my beloved Aunt Catherine to COVID last May. The loss was tremendous and not being able to be there was heartbreaking.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Custom Vinyl Graphics.
Leanne Arnold: I got my BA in Business and was always interested in Marketing. After working for a few different small and large companies, I started my own company. At first, it was just to make extra money on top of my full-time job but then after getting married, my husband and I invested and expanded it so that I could make it my full-time job and still be able to be home with our kids.
How does Custom Vinyl Graphics innovate?
Leanne Arnold: We custom make wall decals and window decals for trucks. Other companies make them but no one else is offering our exclusive Clear Coat Laminated Rear Window Decals which are much safer when driving in rain and snow.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Leanne Arnold: This virus has really affected our business. Small businesses are a large part of our target market and since they were hit hard and many even closed, we saw a decrease in sales. And the portion of our sales that were from consumers slowed down as well, which is understandable considering the unemployment rate and how the virus has affected people’s finances.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Leanne Arnold: Luckily it’s just my husband and I, so we didn’t need to lay anyone off.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Leanne Arnold: If anything, we’ve had more time to spend with customers – answering questions, designing their decals, etc. We don’t use anything fancy other than Microsoft Outlook and good organization.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Leanne Arnold: Yes we did. We received a few grants as well as the Paycheck Protection Program loan. I’m not sure if we would still be in business if it weren’t for those programs.
Your final thoughts?
Leanne Arnold: It’s always been hard to compete with large corporations and this virus just made it harder and made them stronger and more profitable. I’d encourage everyone to shop small as much and as often as possible.
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