SIGN TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Below are some quick thoughts that may help a small business thinking about how they should be promoting themselves.
Bottom line, know what you want before you go in and you will be much happier with the results when you walk out.
Why you need to get your message out there?
This will be the foundation for your sign plan and should be taken
into consideration when you ask the other questions...
- Are you trying to improve your Brand awareness?
- Do you have a sale or special on?
- Do you need to tell people where you are or when you’re open?
- Does your audience need to know about your products or service?
Who is your target audience for your message?
This will influence the style of your design and the information on it. Is your audience walking past your shop with an empty
stomach looking for a great meal or is it someone browsing past looking for a new outfit or gift on sale today only? Are they
young, old, require your services for work or play?
What is the key message for each sign?
We have far more time to take in the message of a fixed sign on the side of a building or in a window than on a moving object.
Keep your message appropriate for its location. Your audience needs to know in a very short space of time what you are trying to
say so keep the message short and the font large, not the other way around. Are you trying to promote your products or your
business? Who you are, what you are, How to find you.
Where are you going to put your signs?
Do you have permission? Check with your landlord, building owner or the city before placing any new signs. If you have taken
over a new lease there is no guarantee you have the right to the existing sign in a common area. Check the legal requirements
with your town in regards to signs as they can vary from a residential zone to retail and industrial location.
How much money do you have to spend?
The old saying you get what you pay for counts in signs just like many other areas in life. Get a good idea on what your budget is
and what you hope to see in return. Your budget will dictate not just the size but the quantity, location and materials. A solid
message on the right sign in the right location should cover its costs quickly.
Where do you go to get the message out there?
Who are you going to use to spread your message? Local is always good. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a few quotes and
don’t think that the cheapest quote is the best way to go. If you are looking at multiple products and the costs vary ensure they
are comparing apples with apples and don’t be afraid to haggle.... But don't do it to me as I'm usually the sign guy for for way too
little! Show loyalty to your sign shop and they will be loyal to you. If they are reputable they will keep all your artwork on file for
future use which will help to keep costs down.
Branding is one of the most important pieces of the marketing model. It helps your suppliers and customers tie your whole story
together. Make sure when you are putting your message out there that your logo, message, fonts, images, etc. reflect your
Branding. People see the logo/colour schemes way before they see the many bullet points on what you do.
Next time you are driving in the car look around at the various signs and take a mental note on what caught your eye and why.
Try and read the A-Frames as you are driving by or the message on the back or sides of the car, did you get all the information
on the Banner in front of the local school or church? Look for your competitors, what are they doing, do you think it is working for
them? If a sign catches your eye stop in and ask the owner how it works for them. Most people are more than happy to tell you.
When was the last time you wrote a phone number down from a sign?
Lacking design skills?
Don’t worry - bigger sign companies will have a design team in house... prices vary of course so shop around! We're a smaller
sign shop here, but very busy... Usually it doesn't take a lot of time or money for us to come up with what you need - But if you do
have your own graphic designer, they will most likely have a connection with a local sign company and be able to point you in the
right direction to a trustworthy company. Yes even the sign business has its sharks!