Small Business Tips: Boosting Retail Location With A Visible Sign

Ideas for using signage to enhance your companies visibility and potential for profit.

Choosing a commercial space for your business is a unique process. It is unlike choosing a home, where one usually wants convenience but privacy. Some may even want seclusion from the rest of the world. Choosing a retail location, one wants convenience and accessibility for their customer base. Business owners also want visibility to help foster traffic to their establishment.

But what does a small business owner who can't afford a five thousand square foot corner location do to ensure visibility? How does he or she boost visibility if they are a small boutique or storefront sandwiched between two bigger establishments? One way to boost visibility is through sign usage.

Business signs are a major tool in advertising your business, as well as welcoming customers. There are several types of signs to choose from depending on the type of storefront one has. Location of the business also guides what type of sign to use. For example a corner business may use a sign over the front door as well as a sign on the side of the building. If the side of the building is a wall with no windows, some business owners may choose to have a mural painted as their signage and marketing tool. The bright colors and the artwork will draw the attention of everyone crossing the street corner, and can lead to a business increase.



Most businesses have a large metal sign placed over the doorway. It is best to choose a sign of at least forty-eight inches high, so that it is readable from a distance. You must consider customers who are driving as well as walking. The ideal sign has a light or white background with dark or bright letters. Using interesting font type draws the eye of the customer. Another eye catcher is artwork. By artwork, we mean a logo or picture relating to the business. A flower shop may have a sign with the business name and a bouquet of flowers.

Some storefronts have a receding doorway. A receding doorway sits several feet back from the two side windows. The two side windows usually serve as a showcase for merchandise. With this gap between the windows, a hanging sign can be mounted. During a windy day the sign will swing back and forth and catch pedestrians' eyes. But one must be careful that this sign is not heavy and is mounted securely. Also, the sign should not swing low as to hit tall customers.

Awnings boost visibility of businesses before the pedestrian reaches the business. This is especially true of an awning that spans from the building to the curb. The business name can be emblazoned on both sides of the awning, catching the attention of pedestrians or drivers coming from both directions.

If a business is open after dark, a fluorescent neon sign is essential. It not only aids visibility at night but is eye catching. Fluorescent signs come in different colors, and colors can be combined in individual words. Fluorescent signs also have the option of blinking, bringing more attention to a business. Fluorescent signs also boost visibility for businesses that are not on the ground floor. If one has a second floor business, a fluorescent sign helps existing customers find you, and prospective customers notice you.

Some business owners choose to place a mobile folding sign on the sidewalk in front of their business. The concept is similar to that of the awning, to be visible before the patron approaches the business. These signs are two metal panels that are hinged together. They are about three to four feet high and can be advertised on both sides, catching traffic from both directions. Check with your township ordinance before using these signs. The sign may be viewed as a sidewalk obstruction.

Starting out as a small business usually means leasing a compromising location. But there is no need to compromise your visibility. Using signs to boost your location is a long lasting investment, whose return on investment is quickly realized. Using adequate size, bright colors and art captures pedestrians' eyes. Curiosity stirred from a sign can lead many to enter your establishment. Once they are inside, it's up to you to introduce the product and close the deal.

© High Speed Ventures 2011