Business and Professional
December 30, 2015
Some people just aren't content if they have time on their hands and nothing to fill it with. Frank Chimaobi would be included in the category.
The 56-year-old Chimaobi's business background extends across multiple industries and he's just getting his feet wet in another. He couldn't be happier.
On Dec. 7, Chimaobi opened a Signarama retail location at 12579 Westheimer Rd. that serves all of west Houston. Signarama is the world's largest sign franchise, providing a full range of comprehensive sign and graphic services to both consumers and commercial customers.
Every Signarama store features trained specialists who understand the needs of today's market and can offer unique branding and messaging solutions including business signs, vehicle wraps, digital signs, advertising and marketing services and much more.
"Every business needs signage, not only when opening but with different events that are constantly taking place throughout the year," Chimaobi said. "Reports on growth in the industry are pointing upward, too."
Indeed, one of the fastest-growing sectors is the digital signage market, which is expected to grow on a global basis from $14.89 billion in 2015 to $21.92 billion by 2020, according to a Businesswire.com analysis.
Whatever his customers' needs, Chimaobi and his staff will certainly be up to the task, given the versatility Chimaobi has shown throughout his business career.
Chimaobi has worked as a field safety coordinator in the oil and gas industry and he also started a small marine safety equipment supply company that supplied major shipyards throughout Asia with marine valves, flanges and marine safety goods.
In 2009, Chimaobi purchased an existing home healthcare agency. He assembled a great team and once the business started humming along on its own, Chimaobi began looking for another challenge.
"I love challenges, but I had a great staff in place at my home healthcare agency," Chimaobi said. "There was less for me to do, so I wasn't challenged as much as when I first took the business over. I knew it was time to find something else to occupy the extra time that I had."
As part of the $49-billion-plus worldwide sign market, Signarama proved to be a perfect fit for Chimaobi. Signarama was unique when it was founded because it took sign production from industrial facilities and warehouses to clean, accessible retail spaces. Of all sign stores combined internationally, Signarama today makes up 80 percent of the sign franchise market.
"The Signarama business model is tested and proven. The important work has already been done," Chimaobi said. "What I like about the business is that my daughter, my son and even my wife can all come in at one time or another and contribute, in addition to the trained specialists we have on staff to solve our customers' needs."
Given his past, it's no surprise that Chimaobi is already looking ahead to the future. He sees himself opening two additional locations, with one equipped to meet virtually any need within the signage and visual communications industry. He foresees revenue within five years topping $1.5 million annually.
What is Chimaobi's advice to other would-be entrepreneurs? One need only look at how he has lived his life.
"Do your homework. Don't wait until you have all it takes," Chimaobi said. "Take the first step. Commit. Dream."