Name of Recipient:
Ms. Caroline West
Safety signs are one of the staples of workplaces and public places. From the usual fire exit signs, no littering signs, to the industry standard hazard signs, safety signs provides important visual communications that ensures people go about their daily work with security. Should one need a signage to meet their needs, they should look no further than SafetySigns.sg.
Established in 2010 by Ms. Caroline West, SafetySigns.sg specializes in the production of made to order industrial signage, as well as related signage products. Custom signs are created based on their client’s requirements, with their additional services include metal etching, engraving, UV and digital printing, screen printing, laser cutting, and more.
In addition, SafetySigns.sg also supplies a wide range of pre-made traffic safety products, personal protective equipment, safety barriers and more to many industries, which includes the education, hospitality, food and beverage, construction, as well as the industrial and marine industry. Committed to providing quick turnaround times and quality merchandise for their customers, SafetySigns.sg have come to be recognized as a prominent and reliable service producer in the competitive industry.
For Caroline, the safety sign industry has always been a constant fixture in her life. “I started out helping around with my family’s business, which was within a similar industry, during the school holidays from when I was about 8 years old. I continued to work there every school holiday season and then went full-time after graduating from my studies.”
After getting married a few years later, Caroline and her husband decided to start their own business, intent on not letting her years of experience and knowledge go to waste. Commenting on her career move, Caroline said, “We believe signage is a misunderstood and underused tool in businesses today. Signage has proven to be one of the fastest and most economical ways to increase sales in retail, it helps save lives, it helps the world work; every space needs a sign and it is a necessity in this day and age.”
However, the initial years for the budding company were tough ones, and Caroline soon found herself challenged by obstacles in her way. She said, “I first took the reins of the company when I had a very young family to support. As with many start-ups, sacrifices had to be made – I went for months without any income and slowly saw my savings get wiped out. I worked seven days a week for about 15 hours a day.” In addition, being a woman in a male-dominated industry hampered Caroline’s initial efforts as well, with some customers doubting her ability to accomplish her duties.
Fortunately, a supportive husband and family stood behind Caroline in her efforts to establish SafetySigns.sg. “My husband saw the potential in what I was doing, and left his career to help me get the recognised we deserved. From then, we spent a lot of time marketing the business by visiting shops and offices we thought needed our services. For example, we would drop off a flyer or business card to companies with damaged or faded signage so the owner could contact us to sort the problem out.”
Four years on, and SafetySigns.sg have built up a solid reputation for themselves in the competitive industry. This is evident by the various projects that they have had from larger firms such as Singapore Power and Certis Cisco Security Technology.
For Caroline, she attributes much of this success to their service and product quality. “Our aim to only sell what the client really needs. No upselling, no add-ons. Often clients make a larger order than we think is necessary for what they need and we make sure we make the right recommendations to help them save time and money. There’s absolutely nothing worse than buyer’s regret and we don’t want that to happen at SafetySigns.sg.”
Indeed, their professionalism and service have brought SafetySigns.sg plenty of returning customers, and even as recent rental hikes and levy increases have increased much of their overhead, and with competition from foreign businesses in Singapore, Caroline is adamant on continuing with the same stringent production methods to ensure only high quality products are delivered.
Looking back on the last four years, Caroline feels that her entrepreneurial journey has taught her much about life. “Owning your business is a world away from working in a regular job and you go through some tough times mentally and physically. If anything, I have learnt to take a step back, not to sweat the small stuff and to appreciate that I have come this far. My proudest achievement to date outside of my business is my family. I have a loving husband who supports everything I choose to do and I have three daughters that bring a smile to my face every single day.”
“To be successful in business, first and foremost, one needs to learn to be happy. Always do what you love and love what you do. You cannot be successful unless you are happy and in turn your happiness will reward you with success both in work and in life. Other qualities I think business owners need are persistence, patience, flexibility, to be open to advice, as well as to have respect and faith in yourself and others.”
Looking ahead to the future, Caroline wants to focus on upgrading their services, in order to offer new and exciting signage options, while at the same time remaining ahead of their competitors. She said, “The aim is to do this is to achieve optimal efficiency during production, but at the same time keeping costs and prices low. While nobody can achieve perfection, we aim to make constant progress.”
“We are also looking into developing an online-only subsidiary of SafetySigns.sg, producing unique and affordable home décor and art for the local market. This is in the planning stages at the moment but has already received plenty of positive feedback from clients.”
As Malcolm Balridge said, “In the race for excellence, there is no finish line”, Caroline is intent to continue her pursuit of excellence, to establish SafetySigns.sg as the name synonymous with safety signage in Singapore. With their success fuelled by her expertise and passion for the industry, Caroline is well poised to lead SafetySigns.sg to even more success in the future.
612 Serangoon Road S(218217)
T| 6293 4569
F| 6392 1198