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There are not many things in this world that are as breathtaking as catching a fish.  Some people enjoy the hobby more than others, but everyone will agree that the tug at the end of the line, the disappearing bobber and the first view of that scaly aquatic animal all add to the thrill of fishing.  It was the perspective of this excitement, and more specifically, the need to have a freezer full of Alaskan King Salmon, that a couple of years ago landed me on the banks of Ship Creek in Anchorage, Alaska partaking in a local tradition called "Urban Combat Fishing." 

Sounds to me like some kind of military survival training! "Urban Combat Fishing" takes its name from the fact that 1) it takes place in an urban environment, 2) it's a type of fishing and 3) it involves tons of fishermen and fisherwomen lining up side by side along the side of Ship Creek, all competing for the same limited number of Alaskan King Salmon.  Sure, there are times when the salmon outnumber the fishermen, but this was not the case during my vacation.  In fact, while I was out there, only one of the hundreds of anglers within sight of me actually caught a salmon.  Now, the first thought that comes to mind by nature has something to do with the "chosen" angler being very lucky.  That probably contains some accuracy, but I'm a firm believer that the harder one works, the more lucky he or she becomes. 

The road less traveled.  Please, go on. After returning from Alaska without any King Salmon and feeling a bit sad, I started thinking about what possibly could have made that angler the lucky one to catch a fish.  My inclination was that this man was simply in the right place at the right time and that someday I would also be in the right place at the right time.  But then I started thinking about what I would have done had I been the one to catch the fish.  Did I research where these fish tend to congregate?  Did I know the best kind of bait to use in order to charm a hungry fish?  Would I have even been able to competently reel in a 30-pound fish in front of an audience of strangers?  The answer to these questions is, quite simply, no.  thus, my lack of preparation probably saved me from a potentially unenviable situation and it unquestionably played a role in me returning empty-handed. 

Ok...so what does this have to do with my business? Good question.  Had I, like the angler, been more prepared, I may not have caught a fish, but I would have at least known how to do so if the chance had arisen.  This is relevant to metal signs because even though we may not realize it, we, as small business owners who advertise with custom metal signs, must be just as, if not more prepared than our competition in order to catch the fish (your customers). 

Are you calling me a fish? Think about the number of personalized metal signs you see each and every day. You probably see more custom metal signs than you can count, and you most certainly see too many to recall them all.  However, there are more than likely a few made-to-order metal signs that you can tell me about.  And that, my friends, is no coincidence. 

It's no surprise that you are able to remember some metal signs rather than the other two hundred that you see in a day.  That's because whoever the business owner is that designed the "chosen" metal sign put in extra work to make their business sign stand out so that you, the potential customer, would remember their custom metal sign instead of all the other custom metal signs.  And, just like the angler who studied where in the Creek the salmon are most likely to swim, so too should the smart small business owner research where their potential customers are most likely to be.  A small business owner has to be smarter and more prepared than her competitors when designing a custom metal sign so that it will stand out in an ocean full of custom metal signs.

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