Sign selection says a lot about your company. It can also make a big difference in your street sales. These tips will help you understand the world of signage better.

Choosing Signs for Your Small Business

Choosing the right sign for your business can enhance your visibility and help build your brand. There are a few things you should keep in mind before you make your choice, though.

Have a plan. Ideally you’ll want to mount a sign before or soon after you set up shop, but take the time to integrate your signage with the rest of your branding. If you’re on a tight budget, this can be a challenge, but it will pay dividends later. Signs are expensive; they’re also an immediately effective marketing aid. Don’t stint on this important device and branding tool.

Start planning now. Sign design, manufacture and installation can take from 6 to 14 weeks to complete, so place it high on your start up to-do list.

Rely on the pros. A professional sign company is worth a healthy portion of your startup budget. They’ll help you evaluate the right sign location, style and materials. They’ll also help you get any permits or variances you might need. A local sign company can help you strategize your color selection and give you an idea of what the competition (and your neighbors) may be doing. From interior to freestanding to wall mounted, signs can give you a big push in the right direction. Don’t underestimate the value of a local company that knows the key to successful signage for your area and industry.

Understand the restrictions and standards for your location. If you’re moving into a business park or strip mall, make sure to review their guidelines regarding signage before you sign a lease. That electronic behemoth you’re planning to mount over your door could be nixed by site management, so be forewarned.

Check out creative financing. Signage is usually an accepted add on to your SBA loan. Depending on your circumstances, that or a lease may be a good option.

Pay attention to the details:

  • If your location doesn’t have great building sign visibility, consider other possibilities — like major thoroughfare prominence via a high rise sign.
  • Choose colors that will stand out from the environment surrounding your shop. If your site is dotted with attractive, restful trees, the best green sign on the planet will still have reduced visibility.
  • Make it friendly and easy to see. You want to take advantage of impulse shoppers. Unplanned shopper visits happen all the time — if you’ve done your homework. From drive-by commuters to foot traffic visiting your mall neighbors, make the most of the available opportunities by keeping the print on your signs large, the font clear, and the layout easy to understand.

To get a better idea of the type of sign you want for your small business, drive around the area adjacent to your premises, and check out a few signs that catch your eye. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If something pops out at you, it’ll probably have the same impact on your customers. Find a few options you like, and ask the shop owners for the names of the sign companies that performed the work. (Don’t be surprised if the same names keep popping up again and again.) You’ll be performing two tasks at once: conducting a meet and greet with your neighbors and doing some valuable research.

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