Sorry, if I had any good ideas I wouldn't have closed up my business in
early 2010. People either have no money or don't want to risk spending it, and in your line of work there has been no new construction going on. I have noticed a few housing developments starting back up in the area, so maybe things will improve soon.
My customers were business people like you that couldn't afford my services
any more as theirs began to slow down or fail.
As a former sign shop owner, I will say that a good truck/van lettering job is a great one-time investment that provides advertising wherever you go, but most likely you have already done that.
I did sign painting years ago, so I lettered my own. Then my agent told me it would double my insurance so I painted over it. Can't afford to raise any expenses.
Must have been because they considered it a business rather than personal vehicle. The other advantage to lettering is that you can park in city loading zones, and you can deduct the payments and maintenance from your income tax. My insurance doubled after 9/11 but I told my agent it was for business and would be lettered when I first got it so I don't know if they charged more or not. In fact I did signs for his office.
Sam, what about apt complexes or hotels/motels? I know in the roofing business half of our business vanished the last couple years because of the economy and new construction. Are there any other areas you could branch out in that would diversify yourself some?
Do you use yard signs when you do a job? What about Home Improvement Shows (not TV) at malls and convention centers? One thing I do when we complete a roofing project is really instill the fact in our customers head that if they need anything done to their home to call us for advise or referrals to trades people who might help them. I have people call me to take down Christmas wreaths, change outside high light bulbs, inspect the roof and gutters yearly, get things off the roof the kids have pitched up there and if they need something we gladly referee people who we have confidence in their work. We don't make money when we go out there, but it keeps our name fresh in their minds and we get all our business from referrals.