When you’re opening a new business, or even just opening a new location for an existing business, there’s a lot you have to get done. You might have to renovate the space, hire new employees, acquire any licensing or applicable permits for the location, move-in furniture, equipment, and products… and, oh yeah, have a new sign installed. And while buying a sign may sound a bit overwhelming, we’ve outlined 4 steps to help you buy a sign for your business.
4 Steps to Buy a Sign
- Determine your budget. Now, you’re probably expecting us to say not to skimp on your sign budget…and you’d be right! While we may be a bit biased, we’re telling you to invest in your signage because we’ve seen time and time again what a difference in value a sign can have for businesses. And the research backs us up, too. A great sign will increase foot traffic, sales, and the brand equity of your business over time at a much faster rate. Quality signage also increases the value for customers because it helps them locate your business.
- Create a design. You’ll need to work with your sign company to figure out the best sign design for your business. There are many elements to consider. For example, what does your existing façade look like? Will you need to change it? Or is there an existing sign that you can modify to save some money? Should the design include your logo or should it just have your business’s name? Do you need an electronic message center to communicate with people? Are you in an area with heavy foot traffic that requires a blade sign for walking shoppers to see? What material should you make your sign with? Durability is an important factor, especially for exterior signage in regions with inclement weather. Even the lettering style of your sign could impact the success of your location. Those are just a few questions that you’ll need to answer to design a sign that fits your facility, brand guidelines, and location.
- Navigate municipal permitting and variances. Especially if you’re handling the signage for many locations, it’s important to understand that each municipality/region has its own sign codes. And sometimes those regulations may appear to impede the visibility of your site branding. Remember that signs are a protected form of free speech under the 1st Amendment! You can check with your local Chamber of Commerce or do a quick Google search (i.e. [your city or zipcode] + signage zoning regulations) to learn more about local laws. But working with an experienced sign company is the best way to navigate variances. They’ll take care of the complexities of sign codes and help you achieve your brand goals!
- Schedule your sign for installation. Of course, you’ll need your sign installed before you open your new location. It’s helpful to allow some flexibility in the installation schedule as factors like weather can occasionally impede a project. Great sign design coupled with expert handling of sign permits and variances will mean a smooth install that ensures your business gets up and running as soon as possible!
Your sign is fundamental to catching customers’ eyes, drawing them into the store, and communicating what your brand values. So prioritizing your signage by ensuring you have a clear budget, stellar design, and a sign company to help you manage permitting and variances will mean that your sign installation can go smoothly. In no time, you’ll have an easily-recognized location that continues adding value for you and your customers.