Friday, March 21, 2014

Outside signage

     Daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that.

     Today is Friday. On Fridays, my attention turns to business externals. Like landlords and leases, laws and regulations, community involvement and more.

     This Friday, it's outside signage.

     The outside sign of a business puts the face on what's inside. Business owners want a sign that tells people and who and what of the business. It stirs the expectations of those who pass by--and enter. It can be as simple as the name of the place or a logo.

     A fancy boutique or law firm might use a small bronze plaque. "Sam's Place" can be appropriate for a local hangout, a billiards room, or cafe.

     In-town stores can paint signs across their windows or hang a sign above the entry. A rural operation can opt for a large sign that contains more than the name of the place.

     Splashy neon signs are popular at bars and taverns. Neon attracts attention and pulls people into the operation.

     Before you rush out and make arrangements for your sign, take note. Most towns and other communities regulate signage. Regulations govern placement, sign type and size. 

     Landlords can also dictate the what and where of outside signs. Read your lease. Before you sign a lease, make your signage intentions clear.

     Outside signage is important to your business. Say this at town meetings. Make your voice heard at other times--local business associations, chambers of commerce, planning board meetings. Talk with other business owners. Together, you can make more of an impact.

     Too often, towns put onerous regulations on business. These are written by well-meaning people who have a different mindset. Most people who write regulations have never run a business. It's up to you--and your business neighbors--to educate them. And watch what they do. Speak up and speak out. Small businesses are the core of towns and neighborhoods.

     If you have questions on this or any other topic covered, 
     email me direct at: and put BLOG in the subject line. 

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