Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Small Business Signage Advice

Written by Trynka Shineman for Gaebler Ventures

Buying business signs may not sound strategic, but an effective small business sign is in fact a great marketing tool. Check out our small business signage advice to make sure you are making the most of your signage investment.

When thinking about small business marketing, what most often come to mind are the usual means of promotion, such as newspaper ads and postcard mailings.

Small Business Signage Advice

While these "tried and true" methods can be effective, they are not the most cost efficient for a business just getting off the ground.

Local newspaper ads don't draw very much attention for the size and it is difficult to stand out. Filming a television ad can be very costly, and a poorly made one can make your business appear unprofessional.

Small businesses need to immediately gain visibility and build brand recognition in the minds of consumers, but how?

This can be achieved in an easy and rapid way: through the use of effective signage. By putting a company name, logo, and contact information on things like window decals, car door magnets, and lawn signs customers are quickly introduced to your business for a very small investment.

But how and where you use these various signage products is paramount to success.

Location, Location, Location

A prime retail location can make all the difference for a new business. Being in a high traffic area almost guarantees that people will be drawn into your store and at the very least aware of the products or services you provide.

Of course, these locations come with a price which often excludes a small business. This doesn't mean however that a business is out of luck if it is in a less-traveled area.

Building familiarity with a target market is as simple as displaying your company's name, logo and message near a busy road. A professional and durable way to do this is to use one of the customizable lawn signs that are now on the market, and very cost effective. Many retailers offer these at low prices, so any small business can get 10 for well under $100. Make sure to keep the sign simple so people can understand what you are advertising as they are passing. Using your logo and message on the sign will also help to build your brand.

Someone may not be in need of your service now, but they will be more likely to remember you in the future if they are continuously exposed to your services. Holding specials or sales on a regular basis give you another great reason to draw people into your store. Displaying bright signs advertising the sale at the nearest busy road grabs people's attention and alerts them of the event.

For service-based businesses who are often at different locations around town, a lawn sign is a must have. Displaying your sign at a job site advertises your business to your target market. Oftentimes you can enter into an agreement with a customer to display your lawn sign in exchange for discounts on products or services. If one person needs a housekeeping company more often than not their neighbors will as well. The lawn sign will give an idea of what service you provide and hopefully encourage a customer to contact you.

For a landscaping business or painter, these signs allow potential clients to see firsthand the level of service you provide, which is extremely valuable. Always be sure to include a phone number and/or website on the signs so customers can contact you or find out more information.

Trynka Shineman is chief marketing officer of VistaPrint, the small business marketing company. VistaPrint ( is a leading online supplier of high-quality graphic design services and customized printed products to small businesses and consumers.

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