Becoming a SUCCESSFUL small business these days is no easy feat, and I know this because I see it every day here in Columbia County. A store front down town will open up with very minimal signage and new products in the window only to close their doors a mere few months later.
One cannot just have homemade signage and expect to sell quality products any more. Just because you have the best product and the heart to sell it, does not mean people are going to give you the time of day. The truth is, Americans want things in bulk, and they want those bulk items cheap. Big box stores provide exactly that. Walmart carries the equivalent to almost every product that the locally owned businesses down town carry, and probably for at least a couple of dollars less. So it is no shock that small town’s all over the country have empty, window-shattered buildings with a Super Walmart and a packed parking lot. The same could be said for Target, JCPenney, Big Lots, etc.
Now hear me: I don’t think those places are bad, and if we had a Target here in Lake City, you’d be darn sure I’d be there buying a bunch of stuff I don’t need (it happens EVERY TIME I enter the giant building).
What I’m trying to say is that the small business owner now has to work harder. Get creative. Figure it out. Stop settling for bad signage! It can be done, and a wave of local/small business pride is starting to sweep across the nation, little by little.
I first saw this wave when my husband and I went on our honeymoon in March of 2010. Our original plans had a small hiccup, so we ended up in Asheville, North Carolina. We spend one of the days in the downtown district, and what we experienced was something I had never seen before. It was a melting pot of locally-owned, small businesses mixed with chain retail shops, all being successful together. I kept seeing these posters in every local business window that said “Love Asheville, Buy Local.” I thought it was so awesome! What a great community campaign to bring life, culture and economy back in to the town. I also noticed that the signage for the businesses were visible, creative and catchy.
Let me say that one more time. THE SIGNAGE FOR THE BUSINESSES WERE VISIBLE, CREATIVE AND CATCHY.
Marketing these days involves so much (Billboards, S.E.O., Social Media, T.V. Commercials, etc) that can get pretty high up there in costs, and when you are a small business owner, you simply cannot do it all. If your budget leaves you with just the right amount for some excellent signage, then take advantage of it! Regardless of how far advanced we become with technology and internet marketing, at the end of the day, we are still visual beings. And I don’t care how many awesome promos, commercials and tweets I’ve seen from Target; if a small business has one heck of an awesome sign, then I’m going to go in and check it out. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve entered a small business with products that I invested in that I probably could have gotten some where else for less.
On the contrary to what I said earlier, the customer is not ALWAYS about pinching every penny. If that were truly the case, people would only shop at Walmart instead of Target, saving several dollars for each transaction. Customers want an experience, and it starts with their eyes on your prize, which is the business sign. As I’ve mentioned in posts previous, It is the first impression. Why not make a great and memorable one?
Sit down with people who are creative and really take advantage of the design process. If you are not creative yourself, consider looking into recommended graphic design services. Please, PLEASE don’t use a black marker and a bright pink piece of card stock as your signage. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen that. Signage like that show me how much the business owner actually cares about their product.
Placement is also key in the success of your sign. Wherever you decide to place it, make sure to stand in different parts of the parking lot and street to see if it is visible from all angles. You don’t want to limit the customers your sign reaches.
Think even more outside of the box and place eye catching yard signs in other areas of your town or city, with your logo and address. Just make sure to comply with any city sign ordinances.
Feeling inspired now? Ready to design some new signage and grow your small business?
SpeedySigns.com is a sign company can provide for you the best quality signage out there for prices you can’t beat! Custom make your signs with us using our online design tool and upload your very own uploaded image, and feel free to call our customer service representatives with any questions. They will be happy to assist you on your way to success!