Frequently business owners are battling with the same problem. They’ve spent a lot of money on a sign but still aren’t getting the business they expected.
There are many reasons that this can happen. Unfortunately running a business isn’t as easy as putting up a sign and the customers come flocking in with bills-in-hand. The first step is you have to get them in the door, but then you have to get them coming back.
Maybe your business had a great grand opening but now business has tapered off. If that’s the case, it may not be your sign. Usually your grand opening comes with a lot of flair, specials, unique events and a lot of other advertising (we have a portable gigantic LED full color display that we bring out for our customers’ grand opening to really help them hit the ground running). So once all of that extra jazz is over with business will naturally taper off. But is your lack of traffic normal?
First thing you should do is see if there’s something about the way you are running your business that is pushing customers away. Is the business clean? Is the parking lot bright (most business owners do not place enough value on this one simple, but effective, point)? Is your product good? Is it priced correctly?
Outside of your management issues, look to marketing. Your best marketing will be your sign, so what can you do to your sign to make it more visible? One simple solution is to add neon. Yes, LEDs have taken over the industry but you’ll be surprised how effective good ol’ neon is at pulling in business. Don’t be alarmed by the “it’s fragile” argument. It is a time tested lighting element that has been used on every building type from highrises (the famous downtown Dallas green building) to converted houses. It’s wildly effective, inexpensive, and durable.
Second, look at your storefront. Is the sign effective from a marketing standpoint? The City of Fort Worth describes effective signs in their Downtown Design Review Board guidelines. They make the following observations (and these are good ones!):
- Materials and colors should contribute to legibility and visual appeal
- Sign colors should complement facade colors (this does not mean the sign should blend in with the background)
- A sign with a brief, succinct message is attractive and easy to read
- Sign fonts should be both legible and artistic
- Contrast between the color of the background and the letters or symbols makes the sign easier to read
- Symbols and logos on signs, identifying the business, add interest to the street, are quickly read, and are often remembered more easily than words.
These are very good guidelines to keep in mind when you are thinking about your storefront, your sign and your logo. A good sign company should help you create an effective sign. But don’t trust them too much. Many sign company employees are just as inexperienced with signs as you are.
When looking for advice, find a sign company that has been in business several years. See if they have creative ideas, unique products and a pursuit towards cutting edge technology. Every year there are new products out that can help you stay visible to your customers.
Remember, your best marketing will always be your storefront.
James Watson (27 year veteran of sign fabrication and owner of Signs Manufacturing Corporation in Dallas, Texas)
Also visit Sunburst LED Displays for the best full color and monochrome digital LED signage.