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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Small Businesses: How to Make the Right Signage Choices

Custom Signs, Real Estate, Magnetic, Yard Signs

You may call your business "Joe Miller and Associates", but is that the right information for your building signage?
The answer is no.

If the name of your business doesn't say anything about what your business is, then chances are the average Joe (no pun intended) will have no idea if your business is a law firm, insurance company or travel agency. If you do not run a franchise with a recognizable name, consider ordering signage that is generic.

Three years ago, I would have said that branding is everything, but in a down economy your name is not much worth to you if no one is patronizing your business if they don't know what it is.

This advice is for business located in a strip mall, on busy highway or in professional building with other businesses. If you have a stand alone operation (you are the occupant of your office or store location) branding should be the highlight of your signage. But if you are running a restaurant in a strip mall with three or more stores your signage should be the type of food you serve.

Example:  Mary Ann's Bistro is a nice name - but if someone driving by on a busy highway saw it they wouldn't  know what type of food the restaurant served.  But if the sign said "Mary Ann's Italian Bistro" or simply "Italian Restaurant" in bold letters people will know what they can get from the place immediately.

There is a really great camera store that I drive by every day on a very busy highway called "Right Photo."  When I needed to buy my Canon PowerShot SX20IS , which is an awesome camera by the way with HD video with zoom function, I bought it from there. I noticed recently they placed a large free standing sign on the lawn out front that now just simply says "Camera Store".  The previous branded signage was on the top of the three story building that was hard to see driving directly in front of the store. This was very smart because the company name is not widely known but the simple lawn signage is eye level to most drivers.

Remember it doesn't matter what your name is if you are not putting $$$ into making your branding known.  Focus on getting customers in who have a need. I needed a camera - I could have bought it online but I wanted to go to a place with sales clerks with knowledge of the cameras.

If you own a non-franchise business signs like "PIZZA", "ITALIAN RESTAURANT", "TRAVEL AGENCY", "LOCKSMITH" can go a long way to drive new customers who don't care about your business name but only need the service you provide.

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