5. Why Do Signs Matter?, 6. What Can Signs Do For My Business?, Advertising, Business, Marketing, Sign Type, Signage, small business, Uncategorized

Part Two: How To Use Signage to Solve the Small Business Problem # 3: Getting the Word Out About Your Business

On an evening when the kids don’t have any school projects, soccer practices, dance demonstration-767982_640lessons, or friends over, you and your spouse decide to go on a date night together. At the last minute (as these things often happen) your spouse suggests going to see a movie. But how are you going to decide which movie to see from the plethora of choices?

You don’t have time to sit down and do some research since you need to be at the movie theater in an hour. This is the first time in months that you have found the time to squeeze in a date night, so you do not want to risk just picking something that “sounds good” (you will never get back those two hours when you watched Snatched).  Plus, with $30 dollars for the tickets, $20 worth of snacks for you and your spouse, and the $50 you spent on the babysitter for the evening, the movie that you will spend your precious time watching is no small investment.

Then you remember Rick, your friend from work, talking about a movie he had seen over the weekend. He and his wife both had loved it. A quick check on your phone shows that it is playing at 8:00 at the local theater. Sold! “Honey! I found a movie for us.” Bonus, if it turns out to be awful, you can always blame Rick!

In our modern world of too many choices and not enough time, one of the best ways todoors-1767562_1280.jpg help us decide on whether or not to try something new is through recommendations, also known as “word of mouth” marketing.  Think about it, when was the last time you tried a new restaurant without checking Yelp or hearing about it from a friend? What about which dentist to go to? Or a plumber you can trust to get the job done without ripping you off?  

Because let’s face it, people are suspicious of what businesses have to say about themselves (read more here).  They have tired of pushy salesman and false promises. That is why they have turned to review sites like Yelp or their friends to avoid wasting both their time and money.  

In fact, word of mouth advertising is “one of the most credible forms of advertising because a person puts their reputation on the line every time they make a recommendation and that person has nothing to gain” from making these recommendations (entrepreneurship.com).

In last week’s blog, we explored the small business problem of getting the word out about your business and how signage can help you do this since it allows your customers to come to you.  This time, we are going to dive into how signage can help your business with the ever increasingly important, word of mouth marketing.

Zadig-Voltaire 3D Sign by Landmark Signs
Commercial 3D Sign Designed, Manufactured, and Installed by Landmark Signs.

Marketing Signage Solution #2: Customers Refer Based on Signage

With “3 out of 4 consumers saying they have told someone about a store based simply on its signage”, it is vital to your business that your sign reflects your company in the best possible light (read more). With 75% of your consumers telling their friends about your business based on your sign alone, this type of word of mouth marketing can make all the difference.  Furthermore, according to recent findings, “Customers acquired through word of mouth spend 200% more than the average customer and make 2 times as many referrals themselves.”

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Gold Leaf Monument Sign Designed, Manufactured, and Installed by Landmark Signs.

So what does this tell us about the importance of signage to our marketing campaign?  It tells us that customers see a sign as a direct representation of your company.  It does a whole lot more than just tell customers what the name of your business is.  It tells what type of business you are, the quality of service you provide, and even how you treat your customers. A well-made sign sends the strong message that you take your business seriously, while a poorly made sign signals to your potential customers that you do not take care of your things, and therefore might not take care of them.  

Make certain that your sign tells the right story. Not only will this draw in new customers

Word & Brown Lobby Display
Lobby Sign Designed, Manufactured, and Installed by Landmark Signs

to your store, it will also encourage them to tells others about your business. Plus, you will not have to lift a finger to get the word out about your business. The sign will do that for you! And if it is a Landmark Sign, you can be sure of a elegant, long-lasting sign that sends the right message all the time and every time.

Check back in next week to find out how else a Landmark Sign can solve your marketing problems.

Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years.  Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation.  Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!

Copyright Landmark Signs Inc 2018

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5. Why Do Signs Matter?, 6. What Can Signs Do For My Business?, Advertisting, Business, Design, Gold Leaf Signs, Marketing, Monument Signs, Sign Type, Signage, small business, Uncategorized

How To Use Signage to Solve the Small Business Problem #2: Finding Reliable Employees

As business owners, we have all struggled on occasion to find employees that we felt like cowboy-hats-3265970_1920we could truly depend on to be a part of our small business.  There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, because we are small businesses, employees are often required to juggle multiple tasks and wear several different hats.  Sometimes our marketing team of one or two, also needs to be writers of blogs, salesmen of products, and customer service reps. This is often a part of the job that employees are not prepared for and can be an overwhelming aspect of working for a small business.

Another reason small businesses have to be picky when hiring is because they, as stated by  Holly Wade who is the director of research and policy analysis at the National Federation of Independent Business, “have less ability to absorb unexpected financial blows, making them more cautious when it comes to hiring anyone who doesn’t match the job description completely” (benefitspro.com).  This means that in the face of an employee wanting to sue a business for any number of subjective matters, a small business may not have the resources available to fight back, leaving them vulnerable to legal pursuits that could lead to them having to close their doors in order to save their name.

Still, others argue that colleges are not properly preparing their students for the library-1400313_1920.jpgworkforce.  “ ‘There’s definitely a gap between what we’re training people to do and where the jobs are,’ said John Arensmeyer, founder of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group based in Washington DC” (Source).  While we can all agree it is important to show new employees grace when adjusting to the demands of the business world, it can prove to be very frustrating when it, except in rare cases, seems like even the most basic skills are overlooked.

Regardless of the reasoning, small businesses are suffering in their struggle to find employees they can depend on to stay loyal, work hard, and be trainable.  In fact, a recent report found that “More than 80% of small businesses that were hiring said they had few or no qualified applicants for their open positions.”  Eight out of every ten small businesses are looking for solutions to the employee problem. While we here at Landmark Signs cannot find those employees for you, (Although if we could…nah who are we kidding? We would hire them for ourselves) we can provide impressive signage that can help lighten this load.

#1: Signage is a Great Representation for Your Company

Zadig-Voltaire 3D Sign by Landmark Signs
Commercial 3D Sign Designed, Manufactured, and Installed by Landmark Signs.

We’ve all been there before: one of our employees steps up to help a new customer while you are dealing with an IT issue on the phone.  Phew! You think, grateful that Daniel took the initiative to support you while you are occupied. As you return your focus back to your phone call, you stop and your throat drops into your stomach in horror.  Did Daniel just say what I think he said? Perhaps it was a well-meaning, but rather blunt piece of advice that did not go over well. Maybe it was that silly joke he thought the customer would enjoy but REALLY did not.  Or he might have misquoted a service at a lower rate than what you actually charge and you are stuck with either having to be the bad guy and charge the actual price or honor the quote and lose money.

It is a situation that every small business owner has found themselves in.  And in a people business, which is every business whether you are a service or product based business, it is an unavoidable situation.  However, with the right sign, you can trust a sign to shout proudly (an illuminated sign) or quietly suggest (a Gold Leaf Sign) that you are a top company.  The impression a sign makes will never be something that you cannot control, because with the help of an award-winning sign design team, you decide what your sign is going to look like.  A quality sign sends a message loud and clear about who your company is and what service or product it provides. Make sure you choose a sign that will tell the narrative you want it to tell.  Check out this blog to learn more about how a sign can make the best first impression.

#2: Let Signage Do the Work for You

Monument-Sign-with-Custom-Cast-Letters-Gold-Leaf-Finish
First American Gold Leaf Custom Monument Signs by Landmark Signs

Did you know that if you are a brick and mortar business most of the customers you get will come from within 5 miles of your store?  This means that “the average person will see your sign about twice per day or about 60 times a month” (Read More). Those are a lot of opportunities to get exposure for your company without you having to say a word or lift a finger.  Once you invest in a top sign, you can count on that sign to keep working for you, even when everyone else has gone home.

Furthermore, studies have shown that “3 out of 4 consumers…have told someone about a store based simply on its signage” (Learn more). So not only does a sign serve as a salesman by proudly displaying your company to customers that pass it on a daily basis, it will also work as a marketer for you helping you build a loyal customer base through the most powerful type of marketing in existence today: word of mouth marketing.

So go ahead, take an extra long lunch break. As long as you have an impressive sign, there will always be someone working at your business (don’t forget to get an illuminated sign to keep the work going well into the night!).

#3: Rely on Landmark Signs to Get the Job Done For you!

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With your busy schedule, we know the last thing you need is another job to do.  Which is why, we here at Landmark Signs, provide every service of the sign job.  After consulting with you on your goals and conducting a survey of your site ourselves, our award-winning sign design team will get to work creating a sign that is just right for you.  Then our expert negotiators will get the permits you need by cutting through the city’s red tape. After that, we will carefully manufacture your sign with the best materials and install the it with care and expertise.  

And unlike when you hire an employee, you will not have to worry about your us not taking your business as seriously as you do.  You see, as a small business, we treat your company’s sign as if it was our own because keeping your businesses doors open keeps ours open too!

Conclusion

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A sign is a great problem solver for small businesses who are facing the difficulty of hiring reliable employees.  With a sign from Landmark Signs you will have a sign that represents your company in the best light and keeps working even when you are not. Additionally, at Landmark Signs we take care of every aspect of your sign job and treat each job as if it was a sign for our own business.

Trust Landmark Signs with your sign!  Call us today at (714) 637-9900.

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Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years.  Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation.  Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!

© Landmark Signs 2018

6. What Can Signs Do For My Business?, Advertising, Business, Marketing, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

10 Quotes To Inspire The Small Business Owner

“Small business is the backbone of America.” – Chuck Fleischmann

Where would our country be without the contribution of small business owners?  As small business owners ourselves, we understand and appreciate those courageous enough to take the entrepreneurial leap because it is these brave men and women that provide the services, products, and jobs, that the each and every community so desperately needs.

In fact, entrepreneurship goes back to the founding of our nation.  Furthermore, according to J.D. Harrison and Sarah Byrne, authors at Free EnterpriseAmerica’s enterprising roots and enduring entrepreneurial spirit won’t be a surprise once you understand the backgrounds of our founding fathers–many of whom, it turns out, were successful small business owners themselves.”  Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and several others, all owned their own business as newspaper owners, founders of banks, farmers, and lawyers. These experiences profoundly influenced their ideas on freedom which they would bring with them when it came time to establish freedom for the country we live in today.

While owning your own business is most certainly something to be proud of, it is not without its challenges.  Due to the increased competition, taxes, and government regulations, it is more challenging than ever before to be a business owner.  However, it is vital that we continue to support and encourage our fellow business owners to keep on fighting.

Over the next several weeks, we will write a series of blogs that breaks down some of the biggest challenges that small business owners face and how Landmark Signs can provide the services and products (signage, sign installation, sign manufacturing, and more) to help business owners overcome these difficulties and provide a real solution for the problems you face everyday.

For today’s blog, though, we wanted to provide a series of quotes to encourage you in your small business and provide you with the stamina you need to continue your journey as the backbone of America.
Orrin Woodward Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.” Orrin Woodward

 

Chris Brady Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“Leaders lead for the joy of creating something bigger than themselves.” Chris Brady

 

Walter Cronkite Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.” Walter Cronkite

 

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“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Steve Jobs

 

Winston Churchill Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill

 

Frederick Douglass Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglass

 

Karen Lamb Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” Karen Lamb

 

 Tim Ferris Quote Landmark Signs Inc

“Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.” Tim Ferriss

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

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“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

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Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years.  Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation.  Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!

© Landmark Signs 2018

6. What Can Signs Do For My Business?, Advertisting, Business, Channel Letter Signs, Customers, Gold Leaf Signs, Marketing, Monument Signs, Signage, Uncategorized

3 More Reasons Your Business Can Fight Back at Amazon with Signage

“You can’t build a consumer brand in 2018 and ignore the 800-pound Gorilla that is Amazon” (Sophie Baker, How to Beat Amazon). Amazon has exploded onto the business scene the last few years and it has become a force to be reckoned with for any product, consumer-based company.  They provide any number of products, from the largest like a 1,325-pound gun safe to the tiniest item like the world’s smallest Bluetooth speaker that can fit in the palm of your hand.  There’s the clever product (a mug that won’t tip over for all those clumsy drinkers), the helpful item (IFetch – your dog can play fetch all by himself), and the downright bizarre (a Nicolas Cage pillow because why not?).  Virtually Related imageanything a consumer can think of, Amazon can provide. And to top it all off, a shopper can order any of these products without even having to get out of bed. How can any other business possibly compete?  Amazon literally has it all.

Well like any Titan, there is an area where they are vulnerable.  Achilles had his heel, Macbeth has his blind ambition, Marie Antoinette had her cake, and Amazon has its customer experience.  And by that, we mean it doesn’t have the customer experience.  How can it possibly create an experience for its customers when the customer is in control of all of that (will Michelle buy her Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Shampoo from her iPhone 8 sitting on her green velvet sofa or on will Brian purchase his Sony Extra Bass Wireless Headphones on his Apple MacBook Pro on his lunch break?).  

This is the chance to get the upper hand.  In our last blog, we explored why signage can help you fight back at Amazon because of this very reason – that it helps create a better customer experience.  Furthermore, because signage is the original form of marketing and it gives consumers back some control, it is the ideal way to stand out from the Amazonian giant.  Today, we will look at 3 more reasons your business can fight back at Amazon with signage.

Signage Can be Made of Quality Materials

Monument-Sign-with-Custom-Cast-Letters-Gold-Leaf-Finish
First American Gold Leaf Custom Monument Signs by Landmark Signs

This may seem like an odd place to start. Isn’t something concrete like material usually something you get to after you have gone over all the fluffy, vague reasons like “draw your customers to you” or “tell your best story”? While it is important to emotionally appeal to our readers, we know that you are in a business and so you need to literally get down to business.  And you may be reading this blog sitting in an office that has a sign hanging right outside your store. Which means you need a reason to keep reading.

Well, here it is.  Excuse me while we get emotional for a second.  Take a look at your sign. What type of message is it sending?  Does it tell of a quality business that takes its customer’s needs seriously or does it look like a sign that was quickly ordered and quickly made?  Was it a priority marketing tool that you invested in just like you will invest in your customers or was it an afterthought that might lead your clients into thinking that they themselves might become an afterthought?  

It is not enough to just have a sign.  A business must have a sign that reflects with its quality of material the quality of the service.  Especially since “three out of four consumers say they have told someone about a store based simply on signage” (Source). Your company provides the best service it can, so make sure that your sign reflects that.  Choose from quality signs made out of the best materials like Gold Leaf Signs, Internally LED Illuminated Storefront Signs, or Wood Lobby Signs.  

Signage Sends A Powerful Message

Zadig-Voltaire 3D Sign by Landmark Signs
Zadig & Voltaire 3D Sign by Landmark Signs

Once you have a sign that tells of the quality company that you are, your sign will show potential consumers that you are a company that takes itself and its customers seriously.  Your sign can send any number of powerful messages. A strong Monument Sign tells customers that you are reliable and dependable.  A custom-made 3D Sign shows consumers that you are are creative and interesting.  A Gold Leaf Sign sends the message that your company is literally “as good as gold”.

Why is this important?  Studies have been done that explain that when it comes to new business “a vast majority of what you’ll get comes from people who live within 5 miles of your store.  That means the average person will see your sign about twice per day, or about sixty times per month” (Source). Those are a lot of opportunities to send the right message or the wrong one.  Which one does your business sign send?

Signage Impresses Clients

Word & Brown Lobby Display
Word & Brown Lobby Sign by Landmark Signs

“Your business can survive only if your customers feel attracted to your products and services” (successstory.com).  You can have the best Chinese food in the whole city, the Related imagemost helpful college consultant anyone has ever met, or even be a part of the famed Michael Scott Paper Company, but if your potential consumers don’t feel drawn to your businesses, you will never get the chance to close the deal.

Signage is a powerful tool to make the best first impression because for many of your customers, it is their first interaction with your business.  Whether it is your powerful Monument Sign that they see when driving by your business on the street or the graceful Lobby Sign they see hung on your wall when they walk into your store, signage gives you the opportunity to sell your company without having to utter a single word.

Conclusion

While Amazon may have an advantage in its range of products and its speedy delivery, there are several areas in which you can beat them.  Signage provides the chance to fight back at Amazon because it gives customers back some control, it is the original form of marketing, and it enhances the customer experience.  Additionally, if your sign is made out of quality materials, it will send a powerful message to potential buyers and impress your clients.

Fight back at Amazon your own quality sign. Call Landmark Signs today! (714) 637-9900.

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Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years.  Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation.  Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!

© Landmark Signs 2018

6. What Can Signs Do For My Business?, Advertising, Business, Customers, Gold Leaf Signs, Lobby Signs, Marketing, Monument Signs, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

3 Reasons Your Business Can Fight Back at Amazon with Signage

cleveland-1936108_1920.jpgBrick and mortar stores are no strangers to competition.  In fact, roughly ten years ago, small businesses were in trouble whenever a new Walmart would pop up in a town. Studies found that the closer a small business was to a Walmart, the more likely it was to end up closing. For every closer a mile was to Walmart, it was 6% more likely to close, while a whopping 35-60% of stores that were located the closest would go out of business. (Source).

Walmart was certainly an entity to be reckoned with.  However, this was mostly a threat smartphone-2995676_1280.pngfor smaller businesses that did not have the same marketing budget as the bigger companies, like Best Buy, JC Penny, and Toys R’ Us who managed to weather the Walmart storm cloud.  Fast forward to today though, and these brick and mortar stores are quaking and folding in the force of a much more formidable foe, one whose omnipresence makes it a threat no matter where a store is located. Being that most of you are business, you most likely have already guessed that I am referring to the online giant, Amazon.  

JC Penney closed 140 of its stores in 2017 and announced that it will continue to close stores this year.  Best Buy plans to close all 250 of its mobile phone stores.  Toys R Us just recently released a statement saying that it will close or sell all 735 of its stores bringing an end to the only store that really seemed to be ours as children as we strolled happily through aisles and aisles of dolls, games, and action figures (we are in intentionally leaving out the countless temper tantrums that could easily ruin the nostalgia we’ve reminded you of).  Even Walmart is not immune, which will close 63 of its Sam’s Club locations impacting 9,400 employees.

So what does all this mean for you and your business?  Well, whether you are a small business like ours, or a Fortune 500 company, upping and adjusting your marketing strategy and making the in-store experience more authentic for customers seem to be the direction many are recommending. We concur with these strategies and luckily, we are in a business that provides a solution to both of these methods. Let’s break down a few reasons why signage can be the answer to fighting the competition.  

#1: Gives Consumers Back Some Control

Research has found that customers go to brick and mortar stores because they are looking for authentic shopping.  In a world where they are bombarded by constant in their face marketing, customers are tired of being aggressively sold to.  We cannot even look at our cell phones without getting a text from some company advertising their products even though we have no memory of signing up for these messages.  When we reply to this communication with STOP in all caps, we really mean it!

Business Signs Landmark Signs
Zadig & Voltaire 3D Signs by Landmark Signs

Signage, like Monument Signs or Store-Front Signs, gives consumers the chance to take back some control of when and where they choose to learn about a store and its products.  If they see your sign and are interested, they will come to you and if not, they can move on without their day being disrupted. Furthermore, according to the research, with a brick and mortar store, most of your consumers come from within a 5-mile radius, which means that potential customers will have the chance to see your company twice a day or roughly 60 times a month.  That gives them plenty of time to decide if they want to check your business out without the frustrating experience of being bombarded wherever they go. Don’t be just another company that tries to aggressively convince consumers to give them a try with the next “best deal”.  They get enough of that. Let them see your impressive signage and come to you.

#2: The Original Form of Marketing

rome-1948384_1920.jpgIt does not get much more authentic for customers than signage, which is a form of advertising that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks.  The Romans used stone or terracotta signage to announce public events. Later, during China’s Song Dynasty, people started using signage for effective branding.

Signage continued to develop and from the late 1890’s to the 1960’s, when chipped- glue

Gold-Leaf-Chipped-Glue-Window-Display
The Chili Pepper Gold Leaf Chipped Glue Window Display by Landmark Signs 

 window displays, gold leafing, and sign painting were the norm for signage advertising (our owner actually learned to create signage with his dad painting by hand).  We can still see hints of these past signs today!  Then in the 1980’s the emergence of neon signs took center stage and since then, this more permanent, long-lasting type of signage continues to dominate the sign industry today.  

In a world of online businesses and temporary, ambiguous marketing that floats through the internet like a cloud in the sky, advertise your long-lasting, permanent business with signage that dates back to ancient times.  What can be more authentic than that?

#3: Enhances the Customer Experience

Bloomberg Businessweek survey revealed that “delivering a great customer experience” has become the new imperative: 80% of the companies polled rated customer experience as a top strategic objective. This is different than simply providing great customer service, which is an aspect of a customer’s experience.  

First American Interior Lobby Sign
First American Title Gold Leaf Lobby Sign by Landmark Signs

But what exactly is the elusive customer experience?  Well, according to the Harvard Business Review, it is “the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”  It is said that all the little things add up in the end, and this is another way of looking at the customer experience. It is all the ways that a customer interacts with your company from the coffee and snacks that are served in your lobby to the day they sign on the dotted line.  And one important component of a customer’s experience is your signage. With more than two-thirds of consumers believing that the quality of a business’ signage is directly related to the business itself, it is imperative that the signage component of the customer experience (from Monument Signs to Lobby Signs) make the right impression on your customers.  

To stand out to your potential customers, choose not just any sign, but a Landmark sign.  Call us today at 714-637-9900!  Or shoot us an email to get a quote.

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Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years.  Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation.  Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!

© Landmark Signs 2018