Recently I had to go to a new business to pick out some products that I wanted to view before ordering. I was given the street address and knew where the street was. On driving up the street, which was in a semi-industrial area and only a fairly short street, I could not find the street number that I had been given, or any buildings with the business name on it. This left me feeling very frustrated and I drove up and down the street numerous times, before I finally spotted a very small sandwich board style sign in a carpark infront of a huge shed with the faded business name on the sandwich board sign.
I parked in the allocated carpark and went into the business. On entering the business the office was set up professionally and I couldn't fathom why there was no outside signage. I mentioned to the business owner that I had trouble finding the business, even in this short street and that there was no clear outside signage on the building or street numbers displayed. He went on to explain that they had been working from that shed for ages and that everyone knew where the business was???? This totally baffled me and I could not understand his thinking. Yes, he knew where the business was, but how were any new customers going to find it? To me this was just common sense, but he thought otherwise!!
All businesses should have suitable signage that is clear to read from the road and street numbers should be displayed clearly. Small numbers on a mailbox are not usually sufficient as they can be hard to see from the road and most visitors to your business will not park their car and get out to check that they have the right number. If they can't find your business, they will keep on driving!
* Drive past your own business and assess it, as if you were a new customer or new to the area.
* Is your signage clear and does it stand out.
* Is there adequate signage on the street front/fence/entry as well as the business entry?
* Are your street numbers and contact phone numbers displayed so that they can be read easily from the road?
* Is your business displayed correctly on Google Maps, WhereIs and on GPS Devices?
Work From Home? How To Use Signage Effectively for Visiting Clients:
Many business are work from home businesses either operating from the owners home, or if they are lucky enough, from a separate studio located at the home. While it is not necessary to have business signage displayed all the time (and often not allowed by council), I strongly suggest displaying adequate removable signage when you know that you have customers/clients visiting your business for an appointment.
* Invest in a lawn sign or sandwich board style sign that displays your business logo clearly and display these prior to your clients visiting your home business. This can then easily be removed after the appointment is finished. A small sign only on your door will not be enough, and will not be readable from the road or noticable.
* Ensure that your street number is displayed and is clear to read from the road. Small street numbers can be hard to see for some drivers.
* A "Where To Enter" sign is advisable to direct clients/customers. You don't want them popping through your laundry after noticing this door first!
* Is there a path or designated walking area to your home business entry? Visitors to your business don't want their high-heels digging into your lawn on the way to their appointment. A path of some sort will also avoid having to ask clients to remove their shoes in your home - something they also don't usually like to do when dressed professionally.
Adequate signage will make visitors to your business comfortable as it will look profressional and organized and they will feel reasurred that they have found the right place with ease.
Let me know your thougts and ideas on signing your business...
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Judi Gray is the Owner Operator of Blue Bird Internet Marketing and has been assisting small Businesses with their online profiles since 2011.