As the song goes, everywhere a sign… but do you have the correct signage?

There’s an almost overwhelming amount of visual information bombarding your potential customers on a day-to-day basis. People are practically glued to their mobile devices, and you’re trying to attract new business while also cross-selling and up-selling. Leveraging your visual presence requires tact and precision, and the right signage can make a significant difference to your daily traffic.

The maximum amount and type of allowed signage is determined by zoning and, if you’re leasing, landlord restrictions. Always ensure that you know the rules to follow to avoid costly fines and rework.

Storefront: The most obvious and immediately visible cue is your exterior. Everything from your main exterior sign to windows help clue a customer in as to where your business is and what you do. Make sure that the lighted elements of your sign are working, and consider the amount of the maximum square footage that you’re using. Optimal placement and design can make or break your sign, and it may be better to focus on certain sides or areas depending on the traffic flow in your area, both foot and otherwise. The glass in your windows is another great opportunity to market and attract eyes. Removable window clings are a cost-effective way to keep things fresh – and also change your signage quickly and easily with the seasons – but keep in mind that the typical limitation for glass coverage is a maximum of 25 percent.

Interior: While exterior signage brings in customers, it’s the interior variety that helps to drive sales once they’ve walked through the door. Leverage point-of-sale messages on displays and receipts. You can add offers, social media contact information, and even a way for customers to provide feedback. Menus and order forms should be readily available and well-presented, and make sure to use digital pictures and/or menu boards to your advantage! The cost of digital signage has come down in price to the point where it will pay for itself, not only in the hard costs of creating new printed boards but also in the additional opportunity to visually represent your offerings and change as you desire.

Van: Signage doesn’t end at your place of business, though. A wrapped van or other transportation used in your daily business can do wonders with a simple, memorable message and graphic. Of course, make sure there’s room for your contact information!

Movable and other: If your business doesn’t need transportation – and even if it does – a reasonable and cost-effective option for additional signage may be via the DOT Highway Signage Program. These may be difficult to obtain if they’re full, as there isn’t a waiting list and you’ll just have to monitor blank spaces. Another potential low-cost option is A-Frame sidewalk signs.

Think through: Make sure current signage is in good working condition. No bulbs or elements out, clean and well maintained. One word of caution, as previously stated, check with your landlord and zoning department before changing your signage. Zoning does change and typically signage becomes more restrictive. Do not be surprised if you want to replace your main sign and find that it needs to be smaller. There are many nuances such as how far from your storefront a wrapped van can park, or an A-Frame be located. There are also typically lifetime limitations on use banners. Usually once for the life of the business. Except, ironically, if one is going out of business! Do your homework and avoid potential pitfalls.

Small Business

About the Author:
Gregory Woloszczuk is an Entrepreneur and experienced tech executive that helps small business owners grow their top and bottom line. Gregory believes in straight talk and helping others see things they need to see but may not want to with a focus on taking responsibly for one’s own business. He and his wife, Maureen, started GMW Carolina in 2006.
Gregory has been fortunate to have been part of building teams for companies that went through hyper-growth as well as his own company. He also has experience in working through economic downturns and taking responsibility to fix what is in his control. The focus has always been working with partners, customers, and building a successful business channel. His range of experience includes marketing, sales, support, training, and operations.
Gregory holds an MBA from Nichols