Your sign is the first thing customers see, and it’s one of your biggest branding tools. It’s the sign that represents your business, and it needs to be great.
Whether you’re a restaurant with a lighted sign that can be seen from the highway, or a retail store that needs to stand out from the crowd, handing this responsibility to a fly-by-night operation isn’t an option. But you’re likely not an expert in this area, and you probably feel out of your depth when a sign salesman starts throwing jargon and technical words at you. How can you cut through the noise generated by so many signage contractors and find the one who will get you what you need, when you need it so that customers can always find you?
“68% of consumers believe a store’s signage is reflective of the quality of its products or services.”Fedex
As with so many other aspects of your business, you need a little more information. You need to arm yourself with a few well-crafted questions that a great contractor can and will answer.
As we said, your sign is the first thing your customers are going to see. It should also be the last thing you have to worry about.
So how do you narrow down your search for a sign company? Here are some questions you need to ask before deciding to hire a sign contractor.
Do you have a design team?
The best signage contractors have an in-house design team that will work with you to bring your ideas to life. And those same sign companies will work with your designer if you have one. Flexibility is key because every sign project is completely different.
If you don’t need design help the first time around, you might need it for future signs, so it is important to establish this up front because it is much easier to find a sign company who can flex to your business’ needs for years to come.
“60% of businesses reported that changing the design or enhancing the visibility of their signage had a positive impact on sales, number of transactions and profits.”University of Cincinnati
Where will my sign be fabricated?
The first thing you need to know about your new sign is where it’s coming from. A great contractor should be able to answer this pretty simply: “We’ll make it!” Follow up with questions about other signage projects they’ve completed in your area, where their fabrication shop is located, and anything else that interests you. Truly great signage contractors handle fabrication in-house.
That tells you they know what they’re doing, and they’re not some middle-man who’s going to leave you hanging at crunch time. If the contractor you’re interviewing stumbles over this question, be on guard. Follow up by asking whether they will also perform the installation of your new sign. If you don’t get a straight answer (or they simply don’t offer that service) you probably know everything you need to know at that point: move on to your next option.
Who can I call with questions about my sign project?
Even the best contractors in the world, no matter the industry, face unforeseen problems. One of the last things a customer wants is their new sign delayed beyond its original delivery date. Ask the commercial sign contractor how they will handle communication if unexpected snags arise.
A contractor you can trust–a contractor you want–will happily share their proactive approach to customer communication. Dedicated project managers, an accessible hotline, and online support are all services offered by the best signage contractors.
Communication is the most important part of a successful sign project. You should know the proposed milestones before the project begins. During the project, a trusted sign contractor will communicate where they are in the process. Anyone unable or unwilling to commit to transparent, easy communication is surely hiding even bigger problems behind their back.
“A great sign contractor is interested in doing more than selling you a sign. They want to build a relationship with you.”
Will you warranty and maintain my sign?
“Of course!” should be the response you hear from the sign contractor. A great sign contractor is interested in doing more than selling you a sign. They want to build a relationship with you. They want you to have confidence that your sign will look great, and to feel comfortable knowing they have the tools and know-how necessary to build, install, and service every sign they offer.
Questionable contractors will stammer around the answer to a question like this–or, worse, give you the phone number of their cousin’s sign maintenance service (great guy, you know?) At that point, you should know everything you need in order to go ahead and end the conversation as quickly as possible.
Do you have references?
A commercial sign is an investment. Since it is going to be the first thing that your customers see, you want to make sure that the job is done right. A trusted sign contractor should be able to give you references to ensure the sign company’s words match their work.
Ask to see pictures of signs similar to the one you’re about to order, and, if you can, take a drive past any nearby signs they’ve installed. If the sign company has a photo gallery online, take a look at their recent work. Ask for case studies. Top sign companies will often have case studies of their work, as well as videos that show the actual fabrication process of sign projects they have worked on.
The Best Sign Company Can Do It All
The truth of the matter is that the best signage contractors–the ones you want working by your side—are the contractors who do it all. They design, build, install, and service everything your business needs, and they go the extra mile to keep you informed at all times. By offering all those services, these contractors demonstrate they have the capability and talent necessary to put (and keep) a great sign on your business.
That’s exactly the kind of signage contractor we are at FSG. We fabricate every design imaginable, from rooftop stadium signage to intimate welcome signs. Our crews install those signs and handle permitting issues.
We maintain and service your sign to keep it shining bright so it can guide customers through your door. And we do all of that with world-class customer service and upfront communication throughout every phase of the project. Talk to FSG today, and you’ll find you don’t have to ask any of these questions at all because we’ll give you the answers right from the start. You can call us at (512) 615-6615 or email us here if you have any questions about your next sign project.
AT&T Center Sign Rebrand – Video of before, during fabrication & install, and after
Just a few of our Sign Projects