George Lay Signs has been a family owned company since its inception six decades ago, and that’s not going to change, but part of the business is now a franchise.
“We purchased a franchise … for YESCO Sign & Lighting Service,” says John Lay, son of the late founder of the company.
YESCO stands for Young Electric Sign Co., an almost 100-year-old Salt Lake City company.
Like George Lay signs, YESCO builds, installs and repairs electric signs and also has billboards of its own.
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“They’re a major supplier of signs to the gaming industry both in Las Vegas and around the world,” Lay says.
Both companies traditionally have employed the same workers for all aspects of their businesses. That changed for YESCO, though.
“About 10 years ago, they started an initiative to separate their service and repair business from their other operations,” Lay says. “They discovered that by separating them out, both sides could do better.”
Lay says YESCO refined its procedures and developed software to improve and grow its service and repair operations. He says YESCO wants to concentrate on business in the western states and decided to franchise its systems east of the Rockies.
Though Lay considered implementing his own systems, he says he decided franchising would be smarter.
“We weren’t going to do it as well without all the systems they had already developed,” he says.
Initially, the company will rebrand one of its trucks and assign two employees to the service side. Within three months, Lay expects to hire another service technician. Within a year, he says he expects to add another technician and another truck.
“All of our service and repair will be done under the YESCO name, but we’ll continue to operate out of our same facilities,” he says of the company’s office at 1016 N. Waco.
Lay says he thinks both sides of his company will benefit from the franchise.
“The two sides will be able to refer business back and forth.”
He thinks his father would approve.
“He would be happy with it, but he would be surprised to see how much the business has changed in the last 24 years,” Lay says. “There are so many things that have changed drastically.”