• Company of the Day – Parker Outdoor

    Company: Parker Outdoor

    Markets: Washington, Idaho & Arizona

    Headquarters: PO Box 22, Orondo, WA  98843

    Phone: 888-800-2001

    Email: contactus@parkeroutdoorinc.com

    Insider caught up with Brad Sourbeer, owner of Parker Outdoor, to talk about the business.

    Can you share with us the history of  Parker Outdoor?
    I started the business in November 1987 building our first sign in Parker Arizona. We originally called the company Sign Broker USA, but after a couple of years decided to change the name to Parker Outdoor as the original name was confusing to the marketplace. We moved back to my original home state of Washington and started building signs there.  In the late 90’s an opportunity arose in Snohomish County in Western Washington as the state decided to expand highway 522 to meet population growth needs. In 2008, we moved our office to Central Washington and started building signs in Brewster, Omak and Yakima.  2013 was the year we put in our first digital in Woodinville and added a a second digital in Everett.  In 2014 we started building again in Arizona.
    Tell us about your billboard plant?

    Currently we have 121 total faces with 40 of those in Arizona, 1 just over the Washington border in Idaho and the rest in Washington.  All of our growth has been internal as we secure our own land leases and build our own structures. As we add

    digital signs Heidi Brown has  capably taken on the role of director of digital operations. Heidi’s duties include scheduling and loading the art for all if our digitals. My sons are in the business as a part of the installation team and we have a 2 man crew that does installs in Washington State. 
     
    Talk about your expansion in the Mojave desert?
    In 2015, a code change in Mojave County created an opportunity for us and we built 13 structures over a two year period. The county made changes to the spacing requirements along with un-designating a highway from scenic to non scenic.  The signs are within 30 minutes of the Laughlin Nevada market with potential for casino business.
     
    You’ve tried solar on some of your structures.  What have you learned?
    We originally bought a solar package from one company.  They claimed that the lighting would be sufficient to light our boards. On installation we discovered the lights were not strong enough for billboards standards, as well as having problems with the charge controller.  We decided that we could come up with a better solution on our own and after some trial and error we settled on a larger 300 watt solar panel, Formetco’s solar light and an MPPT charge controller.  We now have 6 structures that are solar.
    Our other structures we have converted to LED lights and have them on photo cells, which we have found to be very economical.
    What are your growth plans for the next 12 months?
    As for growth, we are cautious with the potential of a recession looming in the near future. We have had several long term clients not extend contracts recently. However we still hope to add at least one more digital this year.
    With the potential to add additional digital in Arizona, understanding how to sell our digital product is important.  We have found by stressing the ability to quickly change ad copy as well as timing ads to meet client’s promotion schedules is an asset.  We also are doing more short term campaigns of 1 to 2 months. It means a little more work and planning to keep everything filled, but I am OK with that as we are keeping our slots booked up.
    I think a large part of our success in sales is that every day I take at least two hours tp make sales calls.  I focus on touching base with existing customers as well as always looking for new prospects. We have found that consistency has made a huge difference for us in our sales.

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