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

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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

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5. Why Do Signs Matter?, Advertising, Advertisting, Business, Customers, Design, Gold Leaf Signs, Lobby Signs, Marketing, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

Why Do Signs Matter? Business Sign Statistics – Signs Are Your First Impression

Why Do Signs Matter_ Business Sign Statistics - Signs are Your First Impression

 

will-rogers-401259_1920Stage actor, vaudeville performer, and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, Will Rogers, said it best when he stated, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”  Based on his success, this is a mantra that he lived by because by the time the 1930’s rolled around, he had made 71 movies, wrote more than 4,000 newspaper columns, and was the highest paid Hollywood film star of his time (Source).  Adored by the public and sought after by directors, editors, and even the world-renown Ziegfeld Follies, Rogers knew how important it was to make a first impression that would turn into a lasting impression.

So what does all of this have to do with your business sign?  You already, no doubt, make a great impression upon your potential clients.  As soon as they enter your business, they tie-690084_1920are greeted by a warm, friendly receptionist who directs their attention to water or coffee available while they wait.  They happily sip their coffee while flipping through a Star magazine to catch up on who Taylor Swift is dating now in your lobby that feels more like a relaxing, welcoming spa than a cold, matter-of-fact business.  Soon, they are introduced to your best salesman, dressed for sales success in a tailored, navy blue Armani wool and single-breasted suit, and led back to a professional office with a mahogany desk and dark green leather chairs.  You have set up the perfect environment to give your potential customers the first impression that not only are they going to be taken care of, but that you are successful as what you do and your business is here to stay.

A business like that would have a harder time getting their customers to leave than getting them to stay.  However, for many possible customers this is not actually their first impression of you.  Their first impression of you is usually long before you have the chance to wow them with your personality and your professionalism.

Business Sign Statistic # 4: “When it comes to local 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).

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Gold Leaf Monument Sign Designed and Installed by Landmark Signs Inc.

What this tells us is that many of your potential customers are actually getting their first impression about your company from your sign. Furthermore, they see your sign again and again, which means that whatever first impression they get of your company will most likely be solidified again and again. A study done by Bertram Gawronski, social psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, found that the “results support the common observation that first impressions are notoriously persistent.”

Potential customers are actually getting their first impression about your company from your sign. Are you proud of the first impression that your company makes_

Think about your sign. In fact, you may even want to step outside for a minute and take a look at your sign.  Remember that much of your business comes from customers who see your sign first and that first impressions are notoriously hard to shake.  Consider what type of first impression is your sign making upon your potential customers. Are you proud of the first impression that your company makes?  Would you enter your own business based on your sign alone?  Does your sign tell of a business that is successful and longlasting?

If your answer to any of these questions is no, it is time to give Landmark Signs a call to make your best first impression. You will never be able to show your customers how valuable your services and products are if they do not even step foot in your door.

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Experience and innovation have been the back-bone 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

3. Our Featured Projects, 4. About Landmark Signs, Advertisting, Business, Customers, Marketing, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

Why Do Signs Matter? Business Sign Statistics – Customers Refer Based on Signage

Why Do Signs Matter_ Business Sign Statistics - Customers Refer Based on Signage

 

“Word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions” (Source).

In last week’s blog, we briefly touched on the changing role of the marketer from production centered businesses to brand-based strategies and finally to today’s modern consumer-focused industry.

The current consumer is sharp, savvy, and even slightly suspicious of your company initially.  There pexels-photo-696218 (1)are many unfortunate instances of businesses making promises to their customers and failing to keep them. In the past, many were powerless to do anything about it because of limited choices or the lack of a platform to express their upsetting experience.  But the tides have turned and now a customer not only has the place to vent their frustrations for all to see (Yelp-a business’s best friend or worst enemy ), they also have more options than ever before.  Which also means that you have more competition than ever before.

pexels-photo-331989.jpegToday, the customer is in charge.  Gone are the days of the door-to-door salesman, the convincing catchy jingle (at least not the ones we wish were not stuck in our heads; most of them are worse than the small world song), and intrusive sales calls (why do they always come during dinner?).  They decide if they want to learn about your business, try your business, and whether or not they will recommend it (or strongly advice against your services) to their friends and family.

Think about it?  How often do we try a new company without a recommendation from someone that we trust?

So what does all of this have to do with your business signage?  Well, according to the following statistic, 75% of your customers think it has a whole lot to do with signs.

Business Sign Statistics #3: “Three out of four consumers saying they have told someone about a store based simply on its signage” (Source).

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Most businesses are already well aware of the fact that a customer will make a decision whether or not to continue working with you based on their overall experience.  This is why we go above and beyond to make their time at our company the best we possibly can from the friendly greeting as soon as they enter our building to the follow-up calls after they have used our services to make sure we did everything for them we possibly could.  For example, Trader Joe’s actually delivered food to an elderly man who was snowed in after his daughter called worried that he would not have food to endure the storm.  Delivery is not a part of their service.  Talk about amazing customer service! (Read more about other amazing customer services here).

With a quality, custom sign (see what a gold leaf sign can do for your business), you are Landmark Signs Quotesadding to the customer’s experience from the very start. However, you will never have a chance to impress your customers with your stellar service if they do not give you a try.  For many consumers, their first impression of you is you store front sign, monument sign, or pylon sign (more on that in next week’s blog).    Before they even have the chance to speak with you, they may have already made a decision about your services based solely on your sign.  A poorly-made sign (read more about that here) reflects on the quality of your service.

It is essential that we, as business owners, utilize every resource we have available to create the best customer experience possible, and that starts with our sign.

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Copyright Landmark Signs Inc 2018

2. Which Sign Type Should I Choose?, Advertising, Business, Customers, Gold Leaf Signs, Signage, Uncategorized

Why Do Signs Matter? Business Sign Statistics – Poor Signage Deters Customers

Why Do Signs Matter_ Business Sign Statistics - Poor Signage Deters Customers by Landmark Signs.png

“Customer service is the new marketing.” – Derek Sivers, CD Baby

oldtimer-60521_1280The role of salesmen and marketers has radically transformed over the last century and a half.  For instance, the Industrial Revolution was a time when consumers had the opportunity to buy many products, rather than having to make them themselves.  It was also a time where there were few competitors, so businesses did not have to put a whole lot of effort into convincing their customers that they were the best.  A business’ main focus during this time was their production, not their customer.

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Right around the turn of the century and into the 1940’s, competition in the business world increased.  And the focus turned from producing to branding.  Companies took advantage of the newer technologies like the radio, television, and phone to reach their consumers. While the goal was to convince their customers that they were the best, the customers themselves were still not the main focus. Building the ideal brand was the top discussion around the conference room table.

smartphone-1445489_1920Fast forward to today and not only do businesses have to compete with innumerable competitors, we also have to recognize that our consumers are now the ones in control.  Because they can access information anytime they want through social media and the internet, harassing them with phone calls, emails, and TV ads only alienate them. Jingles won’t do the trick, no matter how catchy.  They do not need more information coming at them trying to convince them that our service or product “Cannot be beat!” Instead, they rely on their own impressions, and the impressions of their friends, to determine whether or not to give a company a try.

The focus of any successful business should not be solely on creating a better product or building a stronger brand.  In today’s marketing industry, it is vital that the customer not only be taken care of, but actually listened to.

Last week we learned that 68% of customers see a direct correlation between a company and its sign.   That is two of out every three customers!  What can be gained from this insight is that a sign is an absolute necessity for any serious business.  Today, we will learn that not only do customers connect the dots between your business and your signage, they also might not even step foot in your door if they do not like what they see.

Business Sign Statistic #2: “Poor signage can deter consumers from entering a store, with over half (52 percent) saying they are less willing to enter a store with misspelled or poorly-made signs” (Source).

It is hard to argue that a sign is not necessary, especially after looking at last week’s blog and the statistics.  However, some companies just stop there.  And really who can blame them.  With all the costs it takes to run a successful company – supplies, advertising, employees – businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs.  Sometimes this can make the difference between being able to pay all of your employees and having to let go of a member of your business family. Being a business ourselves, we understand the importance of staying within the budget.

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But as the numbers suggest, your n, should not be on the place where you spend as little as possible.  In fact, since we see that over half of your consumers are less likely to give your business a chance if your sign is poorly made, really, you can’t afford to be cheap with signage.  You have got to make the best first impression possible and for many of your potential customers, your sign is their first impression of your company and how it operates.

We take the time to buy a nice suit, keep a nice haircut, and smile whenever we meet a new customer all in the effort to make the best first impression.  The same attention to detail and quality should be put into your business signs. Investing in a quality sign is an investment in your business.  Not only does putting in the extra effort into a top business sign means that your sign will require less maintenance and last a lot longer (we’re talking 10 years), it will also send the message to your customers that you are the best, you take your business seriously, and you are willing to put in the effort required to produce quality.

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Leave it to the sign experts to get your customers in the door with a premium sign.  Once they step inside, we are confident that you can take it from there.


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Copyright Landmark Signs Inc 2018

2. Which Sign Type Should I Choose?, Business, Monument Signs, Sign Type, Signage, Uncategorized

Why Do Signs Matter? Business Sign Statistics – Signs Reflect Quality of Business

Why Do Signs Matter_ Business Signs Statistics - Signs Reflect Quality of Business

We can debate about which type of signage is best – a store-front sign, a Monument sign, a Pylon sign – and where a sign should go – above your door, along the street, inside your office– but there is one thing that we, here at Landmark Signs, believe is not up for debate: that signage is an absolute necessity for any serious business.  And there are oh so many reasons why this is true: signs make it easier for people to find you, signs let your customers know that you exist, signs market your business without you having to lift a finger.  The list goes on and on, and believe me, we have this list memorized by heart.

But of course we are going to say that, right?  You don’t work in the sign industry for over 40 years without having a serious appreciation for signage.  It is literally in our blood, and our family, with our own owner first learning the trade from his father and then passing it down to his own children.  Wouldn’t you say that might make us a little biased?  Why should you listen to us?

The good news is you don’t have to. We can save our breath and you can save your ears…and time…and energy, because sign salesmen, am I right?  Research has been done asking the consumer directly what they think about signage, its importance, and why (or even if) signs matter.

Over the next few blogs, we will break down some of these enlightening statistics so you, as a business owner, can do what you do best: listen to your customers.  After that, we leave it to you.

Business Sign Statistic #1: “More than two thirds (68 percent) of consumers believe a store’s signage is reflective of the quality of its products or services” (View Source).

­Yep, you read that correctly.  A whopping 68% of consumers see the business sign above the door as a direct reflection of the business inside the door.  That means that 2 out of every 3 customers are judging your company based on the sign.  Which means that you could lose 2 out of every 3 customers if they do not like that they see.

It almost seems surreal.  What does a sign have to do with the quality of a business?  Yes, it lets a customer know that the business is there, but isn’t that enough?  You might even be thinking that a sign is really just an inanimate object that my business didn’t design, manufacture, or install.  It tells nothing of how well we treat our customers, how valuable the service we provide is, or the quality of our product.  It has absolutely nothing to do with my actual business.

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But the numbers clearly display that customers feel differently.  And any successful business knows that the customer is always right.  But, even if you are a business that rejects this philosophy, the reality is that a happy customer means repeat business not only from the client, but most likely the new business they bring in when they tell their friends how great you are.  At the end of the day, these customers are paying the bills, and companies cannot risk potentially losing a client, or having them not even step in the door, because of your lack of quality signage.  Let them learn about the quality of your business by impressing them first with the quality of your sign.

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Advertising, Business, Marketing, Signage

The Pros and Cons of Running a Family Business (Part 1)

There is an age old adage that warns: do not mix business with family!  Perhaps the original informant of this advice knew a thing or two about running a family business.  Issues like greed, jealousy, and resentment are likely to rear their head in almost any business; it is after all a competitive environment.  However, when dealing with family, these are even more likely to be trigged since each family is likely to bring their own special set of personal disputes and supposedly “forgotten” angers to the job.

Yes, there are have been multiple failings of family businesses who have not been able to handle the pressure of working with each other and then being forced to sit down together for a Thanksgiving dinner.  Despite all the hazards of working with one’s relatives, there have been many success stories.  Take for example the Trump Organization, who has built up an extremely well-known brand that is associated with the height of wealth and luxury.  Started by Donald Trump, three of his children now are involved in the prosperous corporation.  Or the Maloofs, whose company is comprised of five siblings; they have managed to effectively continue what their father started by managing a casino, a record label, a sports team, and even a skateboard competition. Obviously, it can be done, and done well.

Generally, individuals can work on their personal weakness by understanding what their weaknesses, as well as their strengths, actually are.  I believe this too, is an all-important step to running a family business.  By being aware of what it is that may threaten to tear your business apart and acknowledging the positive aspects of working with your loved ones, a company can learn how to move forward with their business in the most efficient way possible.  I give you, what I consider to be, the pros and cons of running a family business.

Pro/Con Number One

“Do I WANT to be here or do I HAVE to be here?”

Pro: A Sense of Responsibility

Motivation is a key factor in accomplishing almost any task that not only a company, but an individual takes on.  There has to be something pushing one forward and encouraging him/her to keep working despite the obstacles that will most certainly be faced along the way.

Working for your family business automatically provides you with a reason to put your best foot forward, even in the most difficult of circumstances because after all, it is your family we’re talking about.  What can motivate you more than knowing that you have people you love counting on you?

For many, it is the very same business they are now working for, that as they were growing up put food on their tables, a roof over their heads, and clothing on their backs.  In our case, Landmark Signs was founded by my father and mother.  It was this business and their hard work that provided my siblings and me with everything we needed, not to mention the comfort that comes from trusting that we would always be provided for.  As an adult now working for my parents, how can I not be willing to do whatever I can to contribute to our company?  There is pride in knowing that I can give back to a business that has given me so much.

Con: Feeling Obligated

Nevertheless, there is a downside to a feeling of responsibility: it can often turn into resentment that one is being forced rather than choosing, or even wanting, to work for their family business.

Perhaps some in the family business may find themselves in a position of originally being compelled to help out their family when they took the job, but now feel like they have to continue working there no matter what.   They might even believe they are trapped in job they have discovered they hate.   If this is the case, then the obvious answer is to quit.  Go make your own way; find something you love and are passionate about.

That idea does make sense in theory, however making it a reality is not always that simple. It’s a lot easier to walk away from a company that has only known you since your hiring, and has given you nothing outside of the work world.  Walking away from your family job can often seem like walking away from your family.

A Solution

Does it really have to be one or the other?  Not exactly; there are many times in life when people go through fazes of happiness or sadness.  Just because you aren’t in joyful mood, doesn’t mean you should walk away from what you are doing.  Likewise, times of contentment don’t always imply that you are exactly where you need to be and that you will always be satisfied if you stay put.

In order to give a family business the best chance of succeeding, it is wise to keep in mind that feelings of responsibility can often become feelings of obligation.  By accepting that not all of your family will want to jump on board and join you in your venture, allows those who are participating, or are thinking about participating, to believe they are doing what they want to do, not what they have to do.

Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with thinking that you owe it to your family to help out; it is respectable to be compelled to give back.  Instead of feeling constrained by this sense of duty, it may be helpful to embrace it.  Who knows, you may end up working at a job you love, with people you love.

© Landmark Signs Inc. 2011

Make sure to check back soon for “Pros and Cons of Running a Family Business (Part 2)”

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© Landmark Signs Inc. 2011