Starting a business is never easy. Since opening her Hamilton based signwriting business two years ago, Sign Logic owner Jean Krielen has made her fair share of mistakes and contemplated if she made the right decision. But in the last six months she has doubled her revenue and employed her first staff member.

“It’s been hard. There were a few times that I nearly threw in the towel so I’m proud that I’m still here and still motivated!” says Jean.

Sign Logic create a wide range of print and signwriting products – from stickers to pull up banners, real estate signs, building signage and vehicle wraps. They offer the full service – from design right through to installation.

Jean says she was always a crafty kid who loved creating arts and crafts.

“I completed a Certificate in Graphic Design at Wintec then saw a print finisher job advertised which is how I started signwriting. At each place I worked I picked up different skills and, after ten years in the industry, thought I had enough experience to give my own signwriting business a shot.”

Initially the business was based in a friend’s garage but eight months ago Sign Logic moved into a workshop, which Jean lists as a business highlight. She subleases a building with another business owner she counts as her unofficial business mentor.

Jean’s partner, who works in construction, has also been a huge help and much-needed extra set of hands while she started out, helping her install signage.

In what is quite typical for a sole trader or startup, Jean works during the day producing and installing signs then completes business admin such as quoting and invoicing in the evenings.

Jean recently hired her first employee - an exciting milestone in her business. The new staff member will operate the printing machinery and workshop, enabling Jean to focus on marketing and sales to grow the business.

“Starting a business has been slow but steady. I applied for funding as my marketing and social media knowledge is non-existent,” says Jean.

Jean received Regional Business Partner funding to undertake business coaching with Sarah from Sweet Spot Coaching.

She’s been working with Sarah for the last six months in her group coaching programme ‘Beyond the Hourly Rate’. The programme offers a targeted approach to launching and growing a business, giving  participants the skills and support they need to build a successful and sustainable business.

Jean meets with Sarah and a group of new business owners weekly to learn about a different business topic and discuss how they’re progressing in their businesses.

“Sarah’s coaching gave me a methodical approach about what steps to take next in my business,” says Jean.

“The most beneficial part of the coaching has been having someone to be accountable to and to celebrate my business successes with.”