Marketing with Signs 101 is a three-part series on how to effectively use signs to generate more business. This article is part one of the series.

The new business or branch office
When you are starting a new business or opening a new branch of an existing business, nothing will put butts in the seats like signs. Rule of thumb: If at least half of your business will come from people who live or work within a 10-mile radius of your location, a sign strategy is essential to early success.

Signs do two important things: They give people information about your business and they direct people to your business location. Understanding these two main benefits, let’s get started.

Before the Grand Opening
With a new business or location, I suggest starting as early as possible. As soon as you sign the lease on your new space (or buy it), you should order your “coming soon” banner to place outside the new address. The busiest street that borders your establishment is a great location, and a corner is even better. This custom banner should use your company logo and colors (if you have them) so people will begin to associate them with your business. This will help them locate your business easily, once you put up some type of permanent signage.

Yard signs can also be used to generate interest before your business opens. A few well-placed “opening soon”  sign on busy intersections will repeat your message over and over (in advertising, repetition is the key to success and nothing gets repeat views like yard signs at a busy intersection).

When creating your signs, try to think like your potential customer. What will they need to know to make it to your address after you open? Make sure your business name, address and opening date are on there.

The Build Up
Once you know the date your establishment will open, swap out your “coming soon” banner with one that says “opening on…”. During this time, check on your yard signs and make sure to replace any that have been removed or damaged.

The Big Day
On opening day, you can replace your banner with one that says “Now Open” and put up new yard signs in the same locations as the old ones that also announce that you’re open for business.

Using signs to build up anticipation of your business opening is a proven method for getting new customers to your establishment.  After that, your excellent products and service will hopefully help you keep them for a long time.