I’m often asked how I’m able to consistently find interesting companies to cover. It’s all about what I call the always looking approach. If you open your eyes, you start to realize that your life is full of cues that can lead you to interesting employers. One of my favorite exercises is to walk around downtown Chicago and look at all of the billboards and signs. There’s always something new and interesting. But what about the company that makes the the signs? That’s Watchfire. They’re a Danville, IL based company that got its start as ” Time-O-Matic, an industry leader in innovations like the Time and Temperature signs that became landmarks at banks and downtown corner stores across the nation.” Now they’re in the business of LED signs of all shapes and sizes. A lot of people think that they’re not affected by outdoor advertising. I can almost guarantee that’s not true. One of Watchfire’s big products is the Price Watcher sign for gas stations. You can’t tell me that you don’t pick a gas station based on the prices shown on those signs!

It’s a Sign

Watchfire is in the business of providing cost-effective, long lasting signage that can be updated easily. One way that they attract new clients is by offering free traffic analysis. They’ll tell business owners how many potential customers are driving and walking by every day so that they can determine how effective signage may be in attracting new customers. I sometimes forget that there is advertising innovation happening away from the Internet, but Watchfire is a perfect example of a company that is using technology to update an ages old business model. You can see more of what Watchfire does by watching the video embedded below:

And if you really want to dive deep into Watchfire’s business, you need to read through some of their case studies and browse their galleries. Signage can have a huge effect on a small business. If you think what Watchfire is doing is pretty cool, take a look at their Jobs page. Right now there are a few opportunities that seem suitable for new or recent grads including Software Engineer – Integration and Testing, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, Quality Control Engineer, Technician, Systems Integration SITS and HelpDesk Engineer, Electronics Technical Support. Watchfire also offers quite a few paid internships, so that may be an alternate way to get your foot in the door.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

What’s your favorite sign that you’ve seen?


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