Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.
When you drive towards your business and see your sign – what do you see first? Is it your business name? Is it an image of what you do? Is it a phone number? What you place as the “first read” elements on your sign can determine whether the customer stops by or just drives on by.
As I’ve mentioned before, designing an EFFECTIVE sign is an art and science combined. One of the more important aspects of a sign is the first read concept. When a potential customer sees your sign – what is the “first read”? What do they see and comprehend first? Is it the WHO of your business? Or is it the WHAT of your business?
In an interesting article on Entrepreneur.com, the author discusses how he believes “MEMORABLE” business signs should be created. That’s exactly what you should be trying to achieve. Your sign should be memorable so it constantly creates that important “top-of-mind awareness” that we’ve discussed so often. But all too often, business owners create boring, uninspired, and completely “invisible” signs that nobody notices or cares about.
The five most common mistakes made in business-sign design are:
First impressions matter. Especially to your business.
I remember a very powerful article written by Maurilio Amorim called “The Power of the First Impression” that spoke about different, physical aspects of a church that can either draw people in or scare them off. One of the most important elements he spoke about was the church’s signage. He said, “When was the last time you took a good look at your sign? What does it say about you? I know of several churches that have a dynamic worship style with contemporary music but the sign out front says “old and uninspired.” Needless to say, the church had been turning people away because it had the wrong sign and image.”
Many business owners don’t realize the power of their signs they place outside their business. Does the sign look good? Is it inviting? Does it communicate the message you want in order to bring in new customers? Does it feel WELCOMING?
Here’s an interesting and spot-on post about welcome signs in front of businesses (and other interesting ones within as well!)
You’ve seen letters from a number of our customers, but we haven’t shown you too many video testimonials.
The power of these video testimonials is that you can hear the story directly from the business owner and see their sign in action. You can really understand how these sign products have impacted their business and their lives.
Thank you to our customer, “Thingamajigs and Whachamacallits” from Lufkin, TX, for their wonderful letter to us. We can’t thank you enough for letting us know how much the sign has impacted your business. Here is their letter:
“We are a start-up Resale shop in a small town, with several other resale and vendor malls in the area. We started off knowing it was going to be an uphill climb. We did all the initial things you need to do, and scoped out all the avenues of advertising in our area. The cost of print media, and on-air sources of advertising are well beyond our budget, so that left us with local signage and social media forms of advertising.
We got with local vendors for our roadside sign, and the occasional yard sign. We opened the last week of September, and were shocked in the realization that very few people were getting the message about our store. It took months of bombarding social media, and passing out cards, and flyers, before we started seeing some regular traffic. After our first quarter, we were doing Ok.
Then we had a salesman come in and offer us an opportunity to increase our incoming traffic through our roadside visibility. He pitched us the opportunity, and everything he said had some validity to it, so we decided to take him up on the offer. We ordered a new sign with new graphics that would actually light up.
We were very pleased with our dealings with the design department, and they came up with several variations for us to choose from. With our decision made, we received the sign a few weeks later and we installed it the following week.
The difference if our traffic was great. The increase averaged about 75% above previous totals. The extra traffic has increased our total sales by 57%. The only thing we can tell you is that we have benefitted from making these changes, and we would recommend any business to do the same.”
More news about the importance of storefront signage has been released recently.
In an article in the Houston Chronicle, Chris Joseph stated, “If you operate or are planning to start a business, an important consideration is how you plan to use signage. A creative, attractive sign can help your business stand apart from the competition. According to ChamberofCommerce.com, customers are more likely to purchase from a business they have already heard of, so a sign can help plant the seed for future sales.”
In these blogs I am constantly talking about “first read” and the power of images vs. text on signage. It’s nice to be able to see this with a “before” and “after” example. See the above photos from our customer, In-Line Chiropractic. The “before” photo with the text only on the sign doesn’t capture the eye or tell people what the business is immediately. The “after” sign immediately gets your attention and within seconds, you know what type of business they are.
The power of images on signage can’t be overstated.
Happy Monday! We hope you had a fun but safe weekend after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
We recently received a Signtronix review from our customer BMG Flooring out of Mauldin, South Carolina. We can’t thank our customers enough for the kind words and spreading the word of mouth about how much our signs can positively impact their business. Here is the letter we received from Jim Bostic of BMG Flooring: