BY ANDREW SCHWEIZER
Oscar Tejedo, vice president of Industrial and Architectural Sign Production Inc., a sign fabrication company in South County, has been in the sign industry for more than 20 years. Starting from scratch, Tejedo and his wife, Rosa, have turned their nine-person business into a $750,000 a year enterprise.
Name: Oscar Tejedo.
Title: Vice president.
Company: Industrial and Architectural Sign Production Inc.
Company address: 1440 Harding Ave., National City.
Company phone: (619) 474-0210.
Founded: August 2001.
Prior business experience: I had been in the sign industry since 1985. I started doing films and negatives and silk screening, and then was promoted to master printer and production manager, then I was promoted to sales (Spanish), plans and specs estimator, project manager, and now have my own business.
Average hours worked weekly: 55.
Source of startup capital: $25,000 loan from my mother.
2007 revenue: $727,967.
2006 revenue: $452,483.
Number of employees: Nine.
Web site: www.iaSignProduction.com.
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico.
Education: Degree from Lazaro Cardenas High School in Tijuana; degree in production art from Platt College in San Diego.
Current residence: National City.
Family: Daughter, Nicole, 3; son, Jovan, 16; and wife, Rosa, 35.
Hobbies: I enjoy being an active member of my church, and I enjoy spending time with my kids and wife.
Reason for getting into business: I knew we could make more money having our own business and after so many years of experience I had no choice other than starting my own (I was afraid).
How I plan to grow the business: Keeping good company values and applying them to our customers: quality, honesty and trust.
Biggest plus of business ownership: You’re able to manage your time as you like and financially it is a plus.
Biggest drawback: Not being able to find someone to help me in the estimating department. This can help us grow faster.
Biggest business strength: Having most of the equipment and staff in-house to fabricate signs.
Biggest business weakness: When customers don’t have time to schedule their signs and it becomes a rush project, which requires more supervision and effort.
Biggest risk: Investing all the money and buying all of the equipment to fabricate (signs) in-house.
Smartest business decision: Involving my wife in the business and getting the California contractor licenses.
Biggest business mistake: For a couple of years I depended only on one company to get jobs and did not try to promote my business to more companies.
Toughest career decision: To become self-employed.
Biggest ongoing challenge: Satisfying the different needs of all my clients as well as designers and architects.
The most important part of my business: Every single part is important in this business , my customers, the staff and the equipment. Without these the business doesn’t exist.
My business works best when: When everything is coordinated properly.
Best way to stay competitive: Offering the customer diverse forms of signs and solutions that will exceed expectations.
How I measure success: When customers tell us how happy they are with their signs. That is the whole point to having a business, satisfying the customers.
Goals yet to be achieved: To promote Americans with Disabilities Act signage, such as ADA-required exits and restroom signs with Braille on the Web so customers can purchase on the Internet; to buy a building to fit our needs and to get a good benefits package to my employees.
My five-year plan: To reach $5 million in sales.
I would sell my business only if: I don’t see any reason yet to sell the business.
Guiding principles I will continue to follow: Quality and trust.