Service Businesses | Signage Pays-Off


Your service company has the capacity to do more business, and you know your potential customers are out there somewhere.  But how do you reach them?  Television and radio can be effective, but once the spots run, the impact is gone.  Newspaper advertising persists a little longer, but after a day the message has also faded.  For some organizations, service business signs might be a cost effective means of reaching new customers.  But is a service business sign right for your company?

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Signage has clear advantages over other forms of advertising

  • Your signs reach customers who are naturally near your business, so you are not paying for impressions outside your territory.
  • A sign has a one-time cost, so a break-even point must occur eventually.
  • Your competitors’ advertising is not inches away from yours, or presented a few minutes after yours in the same frame- as occurs with newspapers, radio or television.
  • A sign has a larger format than television or newspaper ads, so is more noticeable.
  • Signs are persistent- when your customer realizes a need, your sign is always there.
  • Modern signs can be as visually interesting as a television commercial.

Cost-Benefit Considerations

Although signs usually have a higher initial cost than other forms of advertising, that cost can be amortized over many years with no additional investment needed.  A relatively few new loyal customers can provide break-even in a short amount of time.  And even with custom signs, chains of stores can retain the benefits of both customization and mass production.

Assessing signage needs and developing sound recommendations

The first thing you should do is determine whether service business signs are right for your enterprise, and if so, how much you should spend to make the investment as profitable as possible.  For example, if you can reasonably expect to attract one new customer per month with your new signage, and you estimate your average customer will bring in $2500 in profit over the lifetime of your relationship, then $25,000 invested in signage at your business location(s) will have captured enough business in less than a year to be considered a worthwhile decision.  You’ll want your signage to be large and attractive enough to be effective in drawing new customers, but not so expensive that the break-even period falls outside your comfort zone.

Other Considerations

You should also evaluate the traffic pattern around the site(s) you are considering for signage.  Visibility to high frequency vehicle and pedestrian traffic is generally good, but could require different types of signage to be most effective.  Lighted signs can attract attention and are effective during rush hour even during darker winter months, but be sure to factor in electricity costs.  Your signage should match the architecture of your structure and build your brand by including your logo and/or trade dress while maximizing visibility to trafficked areas.  Don’t skimp on the graphical design of the signage.  Research your competitor’s signage and make use of research findings.  Give guidance to your graphical design team, but trust their talents also.  Government and neighborhood ordinances should be researched so the new signage can comply with those regulations and so preserve the good name of your business. Your service sign professional has a wealth of experience and information that can help you determine reasonable values for signage cost and effectiveness, and can be a valuable source of advice for your advertising decision.  They can also help to make sure that your signs comply with all site requirements.

Paying attention to these factors will result in sound recommendations for your service business signs and position your company to reap the rewards of increased visibility and a growing customer base.


  1. signs really reach customers who are naturally near your business, very thoughtful article. Thanks for sharing.

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