Small businesses often ignore the tremendous benefits expert use of signage can provide. Signs can readily identify any business to potential customers, or help customers find a shop when they are unfamiliar with the geographical area where a business is located. Signs are taken for granted by customers because they saturate the environment and are so great a part of modern life, that customers often do not realize how signage influences everyday buying decisions.
Benefits of Signs
Businesses with retail locations can enjoy many benefits when they put signs to work on their behalf. These include the following.
· Signs are the least expensive form of advertising. Once a sign is created, it belongs to the owner and performs its function 24-hours a day year-round. No further expense is required to enjoy the advertising benefits.
· Signs identify your business to new customers. Attractive signs can make a fabulous impression passersby will recall when they need the type of product or service you offer.
· Signs can draw customers immediately when they decided on impulse to sample the products you offer.
· Signs can brand your name and logo into customer consciousness. Savvy business owners always maintain a recognizable logo that identifies their business across all forms of media output, including print advertising, online identification, and local applications such as company letterhead.
· Signs can create desire for a product or service.
Businesses cannot rely on repeat business. In a perfect situation, repeat business would only match a company’s previous best performance. Most companies require growth; it is why they are in business. But the perfect repeat situation does not exist, in any case. People die, move away, or change their minds. Businesses need to replace lost customers.
On the Small Business Administration website, SBA.gov, the value of signs is discussed and the following observation is offered: “We live in a mobile society. According to the United States Census Bureau, 18% of households relocate each year. As your customers move, you need to replace them by attracting new customers.”
Signs offer small business the most cost-effective method of reaching a steady supply of new customers. In order to maximize results, signs need to be effective, however. Signs should perform three functions for a business. They should attract new business, stimulate impulse buying and brand the business so customers remember when they need a product or service the company offers. Even a simple led open sign will add value and attract customers.
1. Signs must attract new customers to replace those lost in the normal course of daily life. But it is also important for a company to grow. Company overhead must first be covered by an organization’s sales. The rest is gravy, as the saying goes. A small increase in sales can result in a tremendous increase in profit, since the bills have been paid.
2. Consistent branding across all print and advertising forums will help customers readily identify your company and stimulate the memory when they need the products or services you offer. This is a subtle form of advertising that insinuates itself into public awareness and provides long-term benefits.
3. Impulse buying provides an overwhelming and immediate benefit. Signs that are well designed or promote interest can deliver customers immediately. For example, imagine two local restaurants located side-by-side, offering similar menus. One restaurant has two custom neon signs. One sign promotes the business, while the other displays the logo of a much-loved local college football team. The other restaurant has a lackluster sign that only features the name of the business. Guess which restaurant stays packed while the other enjoys only moderate success, even though it has better food.
The International Sign Association quotes the following true story to illustrate how effective signs drive business. It can be accessed at:
A car wash in Belmont, CA, had a poorly designed sign that failed to attract the number of customers the owner felt it should. “The owner invested $15,000 in a new pole sign that was well-designed. The strong, first-read pictorial graphic immediately identified Belmont as a car wash and the colors were contrasting and lively. A reader board was also added to highlight specials such as detailing.
“In its first year, the new sign produced a 15% increase in overall business, which translated into an additional $135,000.00 – nearly nine times the cost of the sign.”
Effective signs are an inexpensive way to attract business 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Small business should tap into this great advertising resource.