How crucial is signage for small businesses?

A small business without signage or public display signs is much like a book without a cover or a road without a signpost: how is the public supposed to guess who you are or what services you provide without it?
I once spoke to a small business owner at a charity function who expressed amazement at the sharp increase in new clients and his resulting turnover after placing signage on his outer wall (opposite a small shopping centre). Maybe because he wasn’t a retailer, he thought that it was unnecessary to advertise his services. He should not have been so surprised or taken so long to do it either.
If you wish to take full advantage of passing traffic, it’s a no brainer. The public will just pass by, never having had the opportunity to pop in, Google your business name or browse your website to find out more without it. Signage is a silent salesperson that you don’t have to pay a salary – take full advantage of it!
Because signage is on display all day and night for 365 days of the year for many years, it is a continuous advert for your business without having to pay advertising space. Despite the initial outlay, it is much cheaper than other forms of advertising.
The psychology behind signage
When you invest in professionally designed signage for your business, you are placing your brand in the public eye and thus are announcing to your potential and existing clients that you are proud of your business, are committed to offering good service and are someone in whom they can place their ongoing trust.
Where to install signage
If your argument for not installing signage is that your business is off the beaten track, then what about designing a signpost to direct people from the main road? Don’t forget to also include signage on your business premises so that people know when they have reached the right place.
You could install it on your outer wall, your building’s façade or within your business property on steel poles – wherever you will get the most views from all directions – but make sure that you adhere to all municipal by-laws. You could even install signage that lights up at night!
Car signage
You could also look into designing signage for your company vehicle so that wherever you drive, people will notice your business and have your contact details at their fingertips. What else do they have to look at in traffic than the back of the car in front of them? Just make sure that you obey the rules of the road as people will link your business to your behaviour!
The point is: if you are not seen, you might as well not be there at all! In today’s competitive environment, it is imperative that you leverage whatever means you can of being noticed. So to answer your question, in order not to miss the message, picture a neon flashing sign saying: "Signage is crucial for small businesses!”

By Gaylene Jablonkay, Managing Editor

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