The Vinyl Guys started in a spare bedroom with a 600mm vinyl cutter producing decals for owner Alex Liggett's own race car project. Thanks to an investment in a Roland TrueVIS SG-540 eco-solvent printer/cutter it is now a fully-fledged business – alongside Alex's full-time job in the public sector.
Alex Liggett has a full-time job in the public sector, a nine-year-old daughter and a two-year-old Labrador – but has somehow found time to turn a hobby into a profitable business, The Vinyl Guys.
Four years ago Alex started making decals for his own race car build project using a 600mm vinyl cutter and a PC in his spare bedroom in the West Midlands, UK. He began selling a few small decals on an auction website and quickly demand grew for both motorsport liveries and commercial vehicle graphics, until the work spilled into his dining room and garage too.
Soon The Vinyl Guys moved into a 950 square foot office and installation facility with space for vehicles to be wrapped indoors, but Alex was still outsourcing print work to other companies. He spoke to printers about their equipment as research for investment in his own kit.
"The Roland TrueVIS SG-540 is my only machine and it's all I need – its versatility is amazing. My Roland hasn't just supported my business, it's been the making of it!"
Alex Liggett - The Vinyl Guys
"One thing that stood out for me was that Roland users seemed more passionate about their machines than users of other printers," he says. "In November 2016 I invested in my first printer, a Roland TrueVIS SG-540. It immediately transformed my business."
The Vinyl Guys now hires two installers and is based in a 1,300 square foot unit with a super-high roof to accommodate everything from small cars up to 7.5t lorries, with 'all sorts from plumbers and heating engineers to pest controllers, furniture shops and courier companies' making up the client base, says Alex. Sixty per cent of the work is commercial vehicle graphics, but The Vinyl Guys also produces labels, clothing, signage, cards and leaflets.
All this has been achieved in Alex's valuable free time. "My wife also works full time so to say that life is busy is sometimes an understatement. But without my family's support I wouldn't be able to have grown the business like I have."
His investment in Roland technology has also been essential, relying on the quality and versatility of the TrueVIS and the fantastic support of the RolandCare team.
"The TrueVIS SG-540 is my only machine and it's all I need – its versatility is amazing," he says. "My Roland hasn't just supported my business, it's been the making of it!
"I intend to spend 2019 developing The Vinyl Guys even more – who knows what it will become? So far I've already turned a dream into reality."
Alex, how do you rate Roland?
Alex's Fun Facts
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Driven, thoughtful, daft.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
When a customer comes to you for something, always say, 'Yes, I can do that' even if you can't – you can work that bit out after you've got the order!
What's your favourite social media platform?
In your free time you enjoy…
Spending time with my family.
What don't people know about you?
I hate coffee. I tell people I only agreed to have our puppy for my daughter, but really I love dogs and he was for me. I can't tell you the third one, it's top secret.
Connect with The Vinyl Guys
Throughout 2018, we're celebrating our Roland Heroes: people and businesses who go above and beyond to lead, to inspire and to create. Are you a Roland Hero?