Saturday, May 16, 2009

FAQ about business signs.

FAQ about Signs.
Signs: Why Do I Need a Sign for my Business?
• Signs are an effective, yet inexpensive, form of advertising for the small business.
• A sign is your introduction and handshake with those passing by, identifying your business to existing and potential customers.
• Signs are always "on the job" for you, advertising 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
• People often judge a business by how it looks on the sign.
• Many merchants increase their business measurably just by adding a good sign. Conversely, many have gone out of business because they simply were not identified well, so not enough potential customers knew of their existence.
• Anaheim Signs has the experience to provide effective signage at an affordable cost compared to other forms of advertisement.

Signs: What is the Most Effective Sign for my Business?
Signs: What Should My Signs Say?
A successful sign will communicate effectively and concisely. Therefore, here are some general guidelines:
• In as few words as possible, clearly communicate what you are selling.
• Emphasize your product if you do not have brand recognition
• Present the image you want to project that will attract customers and entice them to stop, shop, and buy.
• Determine the best sign type, size, colors, and placement, keeping in mind what the sign will look like from the street and sidewalk. The proper design of your sign is critical to its effectiveness.
• Crowding the sign with too many words or lines of text makes it impossible to read from a distance. Use as few words as possible. In general, not more than 5-7 words, with 3-5 being ideal.
• Don't try to sell your customers with the sign - save that type of information until they are in your place of business.
People are looking through a windshield, in traffic, day and night and in all types of weather. Help your customers both see and read your sign easily.

Signs: Are Business Signs Expensive?
• Business signs are the least expensive, yet most effective, form of advertising for independent and national retail businesses.
• You pay for the sign once and it works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years. Use of other media requires paying month after month and you never have the benefit of ownership. You also have no assurance that you're reaching potential customers.
• From a business owner's perspective, a sign should not be viewed as an expense, but as a capital investment. When you factor in your return on investment, signs are not expensive. An effective sign will most likely pay for itself many times over.
• The price for signs will vary greatly depending upon the size, design, style, manufacturer, and mounting type. Please call or email for prices. It will not cost you anything for a sign quote.

Signs: How Can I Determine Whether My Current Sign is Effective?
As with measuring a new sign's effectiveness, evaluating your existing signs will require assessing readership. Sign companies often offer this service; however you can also conduct simple customer surveys in which you ask your customers a series of questions about your existing signs, such as the words, colors, and size, and whether they can even recall what it looks like from memory. Open discussions like this, with your customers, will provide valuable insights. You may discover that customers remember the graphic or image on the sign, but not the business name, or maybe it's the color that stands out in their memory. Listen closely and carefully, because these are answers that can help you determine not only the effectiveness of your existing sign, but also suggestions about what you might do differently with a new sign.
Remember to thank your customers for their time and input after the survey with a tangible item that further reinforces your business' product or service. You might extend a discount for future services, or present them with a gift related to your business (a mouse pad from a computer store, a coupon for the daily special from your cafe, or similar

Signs: How do I Choose a Sign Company?
As you would with any vendor:
• the quality of the signs offered
• the sign company's ability to design and deliver a sign that fits your needs
• the product knowledge and experience of the sign company.
• the price, quality and value offered
• the follow-up and ongoing service provided
• Always use a State Licensed Sign Contractor.
• Anaheim Signs has been family owned and operated since 1910. Serving all of Southern California. We have all these benefits to offer.
Signs: What Are Some of the Alternative Payment Methods for Signs?
In general:
• A deposit of 50% of the total sign order is usually required when you place an order, with the balance paid on completion.
• We accept all forms of payment. We use PAYPAL for are credit card transactions.
• Signs are eligible for inclusion in business asset loans, including all normal SBA programs.
You can arrange for the sign to be financed through your bank or other lending institutions, however, you will need to make these arrangements on your own. Sign companies normally will not involve themselves with financing.

Signs: What Are Some of the Legal Issues with Business Signs that I Should Know?
While a combination marketing tool, communication device and ideally, pleasing art form, signs is considered "speech", and in the United States, is legally protected as such.
The following are the four different sets of legal issues you will want to know about regarding your business signs.
1. Almost all local governments control the construction, materials, electrical or other operating components, size, numbers and location of business signs. Typically, standards for construction, materials, and operation are found in local building and electrical codes; regulations controlling physical parameters and placement or display are found either as part of a comprehensive land use zoning code or in a separate sign code.
2. Business signs are considered a form of commercial speech that has significant protection from unlawful government interference under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Also, under the Fourteenth Amendment, local governments are required to provide due process and equal treatment to all applicants as part of the sign permitting process.
3. There are federal laws protecting a sign company or business owner when someone tries to copy the design, artwork, or wording of a business sign without authorization. For example, an innovative method for constructing a sign may be protected by a patent, the original artwork on a sign may be copyrighted, and a unique business logo may obtain both trademark and copyright protection.
4. Finally, whether a business owner owns or leases the sign, the sign is a business asset and receives the same tax treatment as any other tangible business property.
Signs are regulated through the following two codes:
1. Building & Electrical Codes
The construction, installation, and operation of any permanent business sign will need to conform to all applicable building and electrical codes. Because compliance with these codes requires specialized technical expertise, a business owner should specify that conformity to these codes is the responsibility of the sign company that builds and installs a business sign. This responsibility would extend to the sign company's subcontractors.
2. Local Zoning or Sign Codes
Nearly every local government regulates the display of business signs. Such regulations are found either in the local zoning code or a separate "sign code." Most codes will contain the following provisions regarding business signs:

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