How will my sign help get feet through my door

How will my sign help get feet through my door

Boosting Foot Traffic with SignForce: Crafting Signs that pull in Customers”

SignForce’s years of marketing experience allows us to specialize in creating signs that do more than mark your location – SignForce’s signs are a key element in your marketing strategy, designed to attract customers and increase foot traffic.

Here’s how SignForce crafts signs to ensure they become a magnet for your business:

Visibility and Brand Identity

At SignForce we strive to design signs to fit your location so your signs stand out and speak directly to your prospective clients while taking into account your corporate and brand identity. SignForce combines multiple (captivating) elements of design together with strategic positioning to ensure business is recognized, sometimes even becoming a local landmark which is both visible and memorable.

Clear Messaging by SignForce

SignForce emphasizes the importance of delivering your message with clarity and impact. This is done using various design elements as well as taking into account the positioning and location of your business. At SignForce we understand that not every brand is instantly recognized like Coke or AMEX, and as such, where appropriate, the SignForce approach ensures that your sign communicates what your business offers with the intention of making it instantly clear to potential customers why they should choose you.

Designing Invitations with SignForce

SignForce’s signs are more than information panels – the love and care that SignForce put into making your signa makes your sign into a visible invitation. Over and above the love and care that goes into the production process, SignForce uses appealing aesthetics, including colors and enhancing graphics, to make your sign welcoming, encouraging all who see your sign to step inside and explore what you have to offer.

Brand Consistency with SignForce

With SignForce, consistency across your signage and branding efforts is key. We ensure that every piece of your visual branding aligns, reinforcing your brand’s image and building customer trust and loyalty. Experience has shown that it is easy to neglect consistency in business branding, but the cost is high as when people see your brand and it looks ‘off’ they sub-consciously lose trust in your brand and business, and will then look for alternate suppliers.

Optimal Placement Strategies by SignForce

Location is everything, and SignForce’s expertise extends to advising on the best placement for your signs. We assess your location to ensure maximum visibility and impact in order to direct the flow of potential customers through your door.

Allow SignForce to enhance Your Success

SignForce is dedicated to ensuring your signage is an active participant in your business’s success. SignForce’s focus on standout design, clear messaging, inviting aesthetics, brand consistency, and strategic placement ensures your sign is seen and is effective in bringing customers into your establishment.

With SignForce, your sign becomes an investment as it is a powerful tool for increasing visibility and driving foot traffic, contributing significantly to your business’s growth.

Top of Form

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

You can also watch some of SignForce’s many video’s at:

https://youtu.be/2uJBSOly6wM?si=q4khxcCA9ocC_oRw

https://youtu.be/FW3arJbUK9U?si=WmuelgkOTp-sLCKE

The 5 steps to make signs visible

The 5 steps to make signs visible

The 5 main factors that make signs visible are color, contrast, size, distance and noise

Color

Color refers to both the color of the TEXT as well as the color of the backing of the sign – and also includes other possible ‘noise’ that can distract one’s eye balls from the main intended message of the sign – generally YOUR BUSINESSES NAME ad / or what your business does.

Contrast

Contrast refers to the difference between the color of the LOGO or TEXT of the sign as well as the color of the backing behind the sign. It is great to see subtle logo’s, for example a black on black logo with the backing being matt and the logo or text being gloss, or the other way around – when looking at paper or anything at close range. The low contrast does not always work as expected when the logo to text need to be expanded from a small logo on paper to a much larger sign – not necessarily even a massive sign.

For signage, the greater the contrast, the more visible the sign tends to be, especially from a distance, with the greatest visibility being black on yellow.

Size

The further away from the sign one wants the viewer to be able to read the sign, the larger the logo and text – and hence the sign – need to be.

See the previous blog on the SignForce blog (https://signforce.co.za/blog/big-must-sign/) which give an indication of how large your text or logo should be to be clearly visible from different distances.

The general rule is that the larger the sign the easier it is to read from a distance. That said, it is also possible for a sign to be too large for the available space, or for the sign to be too large for it to be easy legible from the available distance or for the sign to be spaced so far off a backing that it looks gaudy.

Distance

As stated above, the further away from the sign the viewers will be that one needs to read the sign, the larger the sign needs to be.

This is amplified when a sign is going to be installed at height.

The higher the sign the larger it needs to be as height tends to be a double whammy when it comes to visibility. It is quite simple to understand that the higher the sign the further it is from the viewer, (think of Pythagoras’s theory), the not so simple part is that the same sign at the same distance that looks large always looks smaller when the sign is installed at height. This writer has no explanation for this phenomena.

Noise

Noise or visual pollution or visual distraction all refer to anything that can challenge a viewer’s attention, distracting the viewer’s eye balls from the intended message – ‘polluting’ their attention. Noise can refer to a complex design that distracts from the intended message or it can mean the font is too sophisticated or too artistic to be read at a glance, or a number of other distractions from the intended message.

At SignForce we focus on getting your message across to your intended audience in a way that will add income to your bottom line – in other words making your sign an investment.

Contact SignForce now to get your signs that work. SignForce is available at info@signforce.co.za or you can call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or you can WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za


How can you assure your investment in signage is money well spent – or is Signage a grudge purchase?

How can you assure your investment in signage is money well spent – alternatively, is Signage a grudge purchase?

Signage Fails

When signs do not work as planned

Over the past week this writer has been called to two different sites to quote on repairing existing signage. There is little unusual about this.

What is unusual is that both the signs at sites have suffered ‘failures’ due to what we at SignForce would considered reject signs. Poor workmanship, poor quality finishes and thus failing once installed.

In both cases the signs are apparently less than 30 months old.

Now I am aware that at SignForce we make signs that are value for money. This does not mean cheap, and we are seldom going to be the lowest quote. This is something I have been grappling with for many years, especially as I see other companies coming in at prices that we could NEVER compete with. One such example is a quote we gave where the client showed us that he got the sign for less than OUR MATERIAL cost.

So it looks like the client is getting a bargain! That is until one compares what we are providing with what they, based on what this writer has seen this week, may be getting for their spend.

The first sign was poorly finished. When the prospect’s contact showed me the signs he pointed out that the 3D letters were ‘peeling’ – something similar to your skin peeling after you have been sun burned – and it is a great comparison as the sign is in the sun all day, and the ‘skin’ that was peeling was in fact the plastic protective cover that should have been removed BEFORE the sign was installed. It looked like the sign was made with Perspex – a great qualitty acrylic with a 10year outdoor warranty – but not removing the protective cover cheapens the sign while possibly also drastically reducing the life of the material. At SignForce we tend to remove the protective plastic BEFORE the sign leaves the factory, and if the cover is left on, it will be removed before we ask the client is asked to sign off as this devalues the sign in many ways – both practically and aesthetically.

Many of the joints on the 3D elements were visible – something that we at SignForce work to avoid as the joints are generally the weakest part of the fabrication, and also they tend t o have dark spots. Being mindful of where the sign is to be viewed from we at SignForce try keep the joints out of view. This helps extend the life of the sign and makes it more aesthetically appealing.

One of the signs had the electrical cord running over the top of the sign. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however the wire that was found was exposed to the African sun. Anyone who knows anything about the African sun knows it is TRECHEROUS! The wire not being encased in a protective pipe or UV resistant sleeve means that the insulation coating will soon crack which will (it is only a matter of time) lead to fraying and eventually is likely to cause a short – especially if the positive and negative wires touch. This can blow all the LED’s rendering them useless, as well as potentially damaging the transformer, which will result in costly maintenance or possibly even having to re-wire the entire sign.

The prospect pointed out that birds had made a nest behind the sign – this is dangerous for the birds and can easily result in the sign getting damaged. It is also possible that the birds can accidently pull the wires so that some or all illuminated elements in the sign stop working. The sides of the sign should have been closed off before the sign was signed off.

The wiring behind the one sign was visible and was exceptionally untidy. Untidy wiring gives the impression of laziness, and as my one mentor, Tony De Gouveia pounded into my head, How yu do anything is how you do EVERYTHING – in other words if the person wiring the sign and the person inspection the sign allowed for shoddy workmanship, the chances are the fabrication will be shoddy and the fixings will be shoddy so the sign’s working capabilities are likely to also be shoddy.

The second sight had a single sign with 3D fabricated letters attached to the face. One letter had moved and SignForce was asked to assist to straighten the letter.

As a side note, we, as human’s, all tend to get caught up in a very particular pattern of thinking. I do believe this is one of the traits of being human and it allows for different people to think differently. I mention this as, as the primary designer for SignForce, this writer sees the fabrication of signs in a particular way. It is (in SignForce’s view) the best way, but is certainly not the only way to make certain signs. That said, when faces with a photo of a failed sign, our first thought is that the sign would have been made according to industry best practice, so the repair would entail certain steps.

In this case because the skew letter was on a backing board spaced off the wall it was assumed that the invisible fixings located at the rear of the letters have come loose and moved. This can happen. It is not common and it can be costly to repair as to repair properly it is recommended that the entire sign be taken down, all fixings be checked and secured and the sign be replaced. When the sign is at height – as this sign is – the costs include lifting equipment – scaffolding or cherry picker or ladders (not always allowed) or rope access – which all (except long ladders) sound almost as costly as they are.

In fact we got a new lesson in signage – well not quite new and definitely not a lesson we would need to learn or would copy – but we did soon find out WHY the sign failed. A little technical background may be helpful here. In years gone by in order to keep costs down some larger fabricated signs would be fixed to the backing board with what we in the industry refer to as L brackets. The bracket is fastened to the backing – wall or whatever – and the fabricated element is fixed to the opposite side of the L. Industry accepted fixings would mean that the sides of the 3D element would be SCREWED to the L bracket. This sign was ONLY attached with double sided tape. While this in itself may not have been an issue, if the business are in such a rush to get the sign out that they are not prepared to coat screws, drill and countersink the acrylic, the chances are they are also not using double sided tape that is made for purpose. That aside, double sided tape can be extremely strong when used for the correct application, however, when mixing materials – acrylic and Aluminium – and placing the sign in direct north east sun in Africa, the chances are that the expansion and contraction of the double sided tape on a regular basis will result in the double sided tape failing, which will result in the 3D element becoming loose, and possibly even falling off the sign. This would not only make the sign look aesthetically unappealing, it would most certainly damage the 3D elements (this one was over 6 meters above the ground) and could possibly damage vehicles or people driving or walking under the sign when it chose to fall.

Back to topic, How can you assure your investment in signage is money well spent – alternatively, is Signage a grudge purchase.

The latter question is more rhetorical as most business’s understand the need for signage, yet many see it as an after thought and are SHOCKED at the cost when they eventually get around to requesting quotes. While we at SignForce view signage as an essential tool in a business’s marketing strategy – we believe a business without a sign is a sign of no business – we can understand that there are business’s and people who feel that signage is not worth the cost. This may be for a number of reasons, some of which may be the high cost of an effective sign, a bad experience with previous signage, not knowing where to go to get signs or not getting signs that do what the client intended the sign to do. This can often be overcome by simply stating what the sign is for when asking for quotes. Also any decent signage sales person will ask this question when interviewing the prospect, as it is dangerous to assume you as the sales person KNOW WHY the prospect wants a sign.

The former question – How can you assure your investment in signage is money well spent – is a little more complex and difficult to answer.

I suppose the short answer is to do one’s homework BEFORE placing the order. This may include talking to past and present clients, looking at the prospective sign companies’ track record – although this may be unfair to excellent new start up’s.

One could also use standard accounting practice of getting at least three quotes. Notice this is standard ACCOUNTING practice which comes with a MASSIVE BUT when referring to signage or any custom designed products. When looking at 3 quotes it must be assumed that ALL companies are using the same material and the same production processes – think of a tin of your favorite canned beans It does not matter which outlet you buy the beans from, you are buying X brand and you trust the brand, so supporting the cheapest outlet saves you money. Because signs are custom made, and material prices vary insanely, it could well be that the lowest cost supplier is using lower cost material. Sadly the opposite is also possible – that the lowest cost supplier is in fact using the highest quality material but has forgotten to include costs of labour or other costs in the quote, or the highest cost supplier may be using the poorest quality materials and making a killing. It is near impossible for the purchaser to know, no matter how astute you are. I guess signage – like many other purchases – require a high level of faith and trust.

One could ask to see sample materials, but once again this is pretty useless if one does not know the technical specifications of materials. If you visit the SignForce factory you will find one or two rolls of ‘cheap’ vinyl. These are for specific client’s and are appropriately marked. Not because we enjoy the process but because we are VERY aware that it is extremely simple to make an error and use the incorrect material when making signs.

If you are in the market for signage that IS an investment, SignForce have been a supplier in the South African (and global) market for over four decades. We take pride in our work and believe our prices are fair so that your investment in signage IS an investment!

Contact SignForce now at info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

Custom 3D letters for ANY event

Sometimes in life you want to stand out from the crowd. Whether it be for a special personal or function.

Seeing one’s name in lights can have a massive impact on your audience.

These 1,200 mm high letters form an excellent, sturdy table that can be remembered – and catches the viewers eye.

Get your own custom table stand – illuminated or not – from SignForce by contacting info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

How simple is Signage and the Sign Industry?

Halo illuminated 3D wall sign

halo illuminated 3D sign

It’s been said before in this SignForce space that signage is a REALLY simple industry, well until it IS NOT!!

This writer was reminded of this point this week when a client sent through a request for an urgent sign.

The brief was in fact more detailed than many as it included required materials, sizes and a sample picture showing the desired effect.

Where the challenge came is that the sample is all based in clear acrylic and is NOT illustrated. Our client wanted their sign to be halo illuminated.

What this means is that there will be a halo of light reflecting off the wall behind the sign.

For anyone reading this that is interested in the technical details, with halo effect lighting the face of the sign will often appear as black or dark as the lighting creates a shadow of the face.

This client wanted the face of the sign to appear in their corporate blue. On top of this challenge, in this writers opinion, when it comes to illuminated signs there is very little that is more off putting than being able to clearly see the strip of light or the LED modules themselves, especially if through the face of the sign. It is (once again in this writers opinion) extremely distracting and certainly detracts from the intended message of the sign.

This sign thus required a number of processes, with a fair amount of trial and test to ensure the client will be happy with a sign that reflects their professionalism and image, in their corporate colour while being halo illuminated.

When you are in the market for a STAND OUT sign that accurately reflects your brand and corporate image, SignForce are the sign business to call.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call 0)11 440 7525

Find out more about SignForce at http://www.signforce.co.za

Why is My Sign So Expensive?

Printed Sandblast Effect Vinyl

Impressive Printed Sandblast Entrance Sign

The Value Behind Your SignForce Investment

When evaluating the cost of a sign, it’s natural to wonder about the pricing, and even if a sign is an essential business assets. At SignForce, we’re committed to revealing the true value behind every sign we create. More than a mere sign, it represents your brand, serving as a long-term investment in your business’s visibility and reputation.

Quality Materials: The Foundation of Excellence

The durability and impact of a sign depend on the quality of materials used. At SignForce we pride ourselves on selecting materials not just for their appearance but for their longevity and resilience. From weather-resistant materials to vibrant, fade-resistant original Roland inks, and energy-efficient LED lighting, our choices ensure your sign withstands the elements, even in the extreme South African sun. This focus on high-quality materials often leads to a higher upfront cost but results in fewer replacements and repairs, saving money over time, making the up front investment a better, more cost effective long term investment.

Custom Design: Tailored to Your Unique Brand

Your business’s unique identity deserves to be reflected in your signage. Custom design is a significant factor in the cost of your sign. SignForce’s team collaborates with you to craft a sign that encapsulates your brand and also distinguishes your sign in the market. This process, involving meticulous planning, creative design, and precise execution, demands time and expertise, which we at SignForce believe we are worth being compensated for.

Skilled Craftsmanship: The Essence of Your Sign

Each SignForce sign is a product of skilled craftsmanship. Our artisans, experienced in their craft, blend traditional skills with modern techniques to create visually compelling and robust signs that make your BRAND stand out and draw potential clients to your business. This human touch in sign-making ensures each sign embodies quality and character, making it a symbol of your brand’s identity.

Long-Term Value: An Investment in Your Business

A sign from SignForce is an investment in your business’s future. Beyond the initial cost, a well-crafted sign draws customers, enhances your brand identity, and signals your commitment to style and quality. The long-term benefits in brand visibility and customer engagement far outweigh the cost, especially compared to standard signs that do not elevate your brand and are not likely to last long.

Conclusion: A Partnership in Your Brand’s Success

At SignForce, we view our role as your partner in success. We focus on delivering signs that add value both aesthetically and also as effective business growth tools as your brand becomes recognized. Choosing SignForce means investing in a quality, durable, custom sign that supports your business for years to come.

Your sign often creates the first impression of your business, and with SignForce, it’s an enduring one. SignForce ensure your sign investment enhances brand recognition and customer engagement, affirming the lasting impact of your choice.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

What are you ‘buying’ when you choose a sign company?

What are you ‘buying into’ when you choose a sign company?

SignForce 'invisible' sign

Partially Invisible Sign  – do you notice how the top left seems unattached?

It seems the standard method used to purchase a sign (and many other high ticket items) is to decide what you want, or at least have a rough idea of what you want or are looking for, or what you want to achieve. This applies to signs as much as it does to purchasing appliances, cars or televisions, all considered high ticket purchases.

Well that is only partly true. While cars and the other listed purchases (especially in South Africa) are definitely almost always seen as high ticket items – even for entry level models, signs and SIGNAGE are very often seen as a cheap after thought – that is, until quotes are received.

But I am digressing so back to the standard method of purchase.

  1. Have an idea of what you are looking for

  2. Hopefully have an idea of what you want your purchase to achieve (I know this sounds obvious, as you purchase a fridge to keep your food fresher for longer, DUH, but not everyone knows or understands WHY they purchase a sign.)

  3. Look on Google for a possible keyword – lets use signage or pylons or cut out letter signs.

  4. Wait – generally less than 1 second – for Google to give you a list of suppliers you can contact. ** This is where the fun begins and will require it’s own paragraph

  5. Call, WhatsApp or email the suppliers listed on Google to give them an idea of what you are looking for and ask for a price.

  6. Copy and paste the same message to all the possible suppliers listed on the first page *** of Google. Not sure where to mention this but are you aware that the top and bottom (of every page) few sites listed or ‘recommended’ by Google are paid sites – what Google refers to as sponsored – also known as paid adverts. This is only a FYI comment but is worth noting as there are possible additional benefits and costs linked to businesses that do and do not use sponsored adverts.

  7. Wait for feedback from the potential suppliers you emailed or called, or follow up the email with a call to make the potential sign supplier aware that there is an incoming email.

  8. Get quotes from the potential suppliers who respond to your request for a quote

  9. Assess the cost from each supplier making the assumption that ALL quotes are for the same ‘thing’ ****, especially as you sent the same request to all potential suppliers.

  10. Choose a supplier based on cost and possibly on a picture they have provided. *****

  11. Delete all correspondence from the alternative suppliers

** When you get the list of possible, potential suppliers, you are doing a wide range, generic search. Your search has no specifics and doesn’t necessarily tell you much about the businesses you are approaching. A cursory search of the proposed supplier’s website should give you a little more information, but please always remember that we live in a world of INFORMATION, and not all information is necessarily true, so a general rule is to do a little more digging (formally known as due diligence), make a call and see what response and ‘feel’ you get.

*** How often do you search beyond page 1 of any Google search? How often do you look at the number of responses Google provides – and the time it took to get the list. For example, a simple search of cut out letters took 0.6 seconds – well under 1 second – to provide a list of 2,120,000,000 web sites that MAY provide a good match for the simple search. This is an overwhelming number and is why almost every business strives and pushes to be on page 1 of the world’s largest business directory – Google!

The challenge comes in that for this specific search only 2 of the listings on the front page MAY fulfil my requirements. As such I tweek the search to CUT OUT LETTER SIGNS. This search took 0.4 seconds and provided a list of 925,000,000 possible sites. A great reduction of over 1 billion sites, The refined search has made it simpler to find what I am looking for and thus made it very simple to find at least one supplier on page 1 that should meet my requirements, so why go to page 2? The reason is due to the limited retail territoryavailable on page 1. Only a limited number of potential suppliers can be listed on page 1 (or every page) so there is a high likelihood that good suppliers may also be found on pages that are past page 1.

**** making the assumption that ALL quotes are for the same ‘thing’”

When you contact multiple potential suppliers you will most likely assume that because they are listed on Google that they are capable of doing the job. What you have no idea of is if there is any additional service or benefit you can get from any of the suppliers. In order to find out if the suppliers can provide any additional ‘services’, a number of questions need to be asked. History shows asking these questions while TALKING to a person tends to give great benefit.

***** If you are making the decision of which supplier to use based purely on PRICE (and a possible picture) you may be doing yourself a great disservice, as you may be expecting to get the same quality and same sign from all the potential suppliers, but you would be shocked to learn how many different possible interpretations there can be for the same sign brief, and as such you may not be getting the full benefit of any or all the suppliers.

A case in point is a recent request by one of SignForce’s longest standing and largest clients. The request seemed a little strange at the outset, but made sense later on when all the elements fell together. The request was for photo’s of premises, information about staff, a list of machines on the premises and a few other VERY PERTINENT questions. It turns out our client’s client was requesting the information, possibly as a means of doing part of a due diligence. The other points that may be lost when only looking at cost is quality and cost of material to be used, expected lifespan of the signage, type and quality of paint and if the sign that you have requested is in fact the BEST sign to achieve your intended outcome. At SignForce we have the benefit of a number of years of experience (as well as the formal qualifications) to provide input regarding your marketing strategy and what signs would best suite your needs. This information is not charged for, although our signs may sometimes ‘cost’ more than a competitor, but the added value is definitely there to be taken advantage of.

Which brings us back to the question of what you are buying when you choose a sign company.

It goes without saying you expect the company to produce a sign. You may expect them to design and install the sign as well. It is possible that you know exactly what you need and how it should be made in order to get the most beneficial results from your signage, but it is highly unlikely that you would know as much about signs, their benefits and cots and the best placement to maximize your investment, as the sign producer, especially one who has years of experience, and possibly some formal qualifications in the field.

Trusting your signage manufacturer means you believe they have some knowledge you don’t have. In addition you are not only looking for a sign, but if the signage business is a decent one, they will make sure that your purchase is an investment so that your sign helps to generate more income than it costs. In order for this to happen it means that you also value the experience of your supplier, you value the expertise of your supplier and you are quite right to expect a level of after sales service. The question from the sign suppliers perspective is what is the commercial value of these additional – add on – benefits, and what, if anything, Is my client prepared to pay for these benefits.

At SignForce the senior management have a depth of knowledge and experience in signage – as can be expected after more than 20 years in signage – but also have a depth of knowledge in marketing, visibility, design and project management, which means that when you use SignForce you are investing in a team that will gladly take on and supervise your signage project with the intention of making you look good, ensuring you signs work and your deadlines are met.

Contact SignForce now on info@sgnforce.co.za or call 27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 for all your signage requirements as well as for advice on signage and what signage will work best for your unique business.

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Handling Expectations

Printed Sandblast Effect Vinyl

Impressive Printed Sandblast Entrance Sign

 

Handling [Unrealistic?] Expectations

Regardless of how great one’s communication skills are, it is always possible that a message is received ‘differently’ to how it was intended when sent – ask anyone in a long term relationship.

Language skills, mood and / or intention of the recipient and reader are three of MANY reasons miscommunication can occur. A simple example could be that a signage quote is sent with standard industry jargon but when it is received the recipient does not ask for an explanation of the jargon but rather assumes the words used have their standard, common, meaning. If this happens it is then possible that when the work is completed the client’s expectations are not met, and a dispute arises.

From experience most times mis-communication happens it is best to talk to the client so as to clear up any misconceptions, and that will mostly resolve the issues.

However for the more complicated situations, it would be fantastic if there was a formula to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all parties.

According to business guru’s the most successful way to handle issues of misunderstanding are to:

  1. Be Honest and Transparent. This may help close the gap between where the client’s expectations and reality lie.

  2. Communicate openly, focusing on the problem without being judgmental or allocating blame.

  3. Try anticipate the client’s requirements in advance. This is not always possible as when client’s are faced with multiple options they may (incorrectly) believe that all options are similar, and without asking for clarity they may not get this right. An example of this is a client following standard good governance and getting multiple (3) quotes for a sign. When the sign quotes come in from say A, B and C, the wording on the quotes may be identical, but if none of the quotes SPECIFY what material will be used, yet the quotes vary widely. The variation in the quotes can be due to very different materials being quoted on, with different life expectancies and different looks and feel. No signage client could be expected to know these differences if they are not specifically explained.

At SignForce we have been accused of being long winded and our quotes giving more details than needed. This is generally to avoid the possibility of misunderstandings by clients and also to hold ourselves accountable to ensure the correct materials are used.

If you have physical premises and you want SIGNS that WORK, consider partnering with SignForce.

SignForce has been in the market for over two decades, and have built our reputation on giving the best possible advice and producing quality signs.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsaApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or call +27 (0)11 440 7525

Find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Why would any entrepreneur want to get into the signage industry

Why would any entrepreneur want to get into the signage industry

There are a number of positive reasons to get into the signage business.

In the modern world where AI is starting to impact a large number of opportunities, signage included, the manufacture and installation of signage is still very labour intensive. Design of signage is definitely being threatened by AI, and this could well have an impact on sign businesses, but from the writers experience AI generated signs are not yet very practical to manufactured, so for the foreseeable future humans will still be required to manufacture signage.

Another advantage of the signage industry is there are advances being made which include digital boards that are becoming more and more popular.

Some factors potential entrepreneurs should be aware of when planning on opening a sign business include location, equipment and machinery, licensing, regulations and compliance administration, advertising, networking, staffing and administration.:

Location: While location is currently less concerning than it has been in the past, with the move to buying local there is a good chance that in the future location will once again become a large factor in costing and people’s requirements for signage. When considering location a potential signage entrepreneur should consider the location of their sign business and the proximity to their target customers as it may become increasingly important to find a location that is convenient to customers who will likely use their services, especially if they are relying on customers to come in off the street.

Equipment: Having the right equipment, machines and sign making tools is essential for a sign business. Potential entrepreneurs should decide what type of signage they will offer and then research the cost and availability of the necessary tools and machines. Depending on the business model and type of signage the sign business intends to market and manufacture, the sign making tools required may vary.

Licensing, Regulation and Administration: Depending on the location of the sign shop, there may be specific licensing and regulation requirements for sign businesses. Potential entrepreneurs should research the specific requirements for their area – be it country or state – and prepare to meet any applicable regulations. This is increasingly important when one wants top be compliant in a country such as South Africa where, unless the correct hands are greased, government and large business contracts will only be issued to businesses that are compliant with a huge number of laws and regulations. In current day South Africa an entrepreneur who intends to remain compliant needs to plan and budget for sufficient compliance staff to remain compliant.

Advertising: Advertising is an important part of running any business, with a sign business being no exception. Potential signage entrepreneurs should consider how they will advertise their services and reach potential customers – see also your intended market. Advertising may vary from networking to online PPC to printed or digital media to name a small number of options.

Networking: Networking with other sign businesses, suppliers, and potential customers can help a sign business grow. Potential signage entrepreneurs should research local networking opportunities and take advantage of them. Sign entrepreneurs should also look at networking with other signage businesses, especially if located in countries like south Africa with shrinking economies or if located in outlying area’s where networking can help the sign business with materials, techniques and other sign industry related updates that may not get to outlying sign businesses.

People. It is believed that every business, sign businesses included, require three main components – like legs of a tripod. Marketing, Finance and People. Marketing covers all types of selling, finance includes ensuring you have sufficient capital to carry the business through the first months of operation – including understanding that not all clients will be paying on time – and employing the correct staff or contractors. If the right people are employed the business can thrive. Likewise, poor recruiting decisions can be extremely costly to the point of closing down a sign business.

Administration – also called accounting or finance – is ensuring that there is a constant flow of cash. Most businesses that die die as a result of poor cash flow. It is as important for the sign business to sell at a profit – important part of administration and sales – as it is to collect the money, as in the modern world it is increasingly common for payments to be delayed, and delayed payments can cost the sign business both in terms of relationships and lack of cash flow.

If you are looking to enter the signage industry SignForce, with almost 40 years experience, are willing to talk.

Contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413 or visit

the SignForce website at http://www.signforce.co.za

What Should One Know BEFORE Entering the Signage Industry?

What Should I know BEFORE I go in to the sign business?

While this SignForce blog space is generally focused on the benefits of signs, the pitfalls of signs and general selling of signs, this post will be different as the writer was recently approached by a family looking to get into the signage industry, and asked about it.

After my initial shock – wondering why would any ‘sane‘ individual – the mom who spoke to me looked and sounded VERY sane – WANT to get into the signage industry.

It is quite possible that I was stressed at the time and thus I was too quick to forget that this was me about 22 years ago. Someone looking to get out of the financial / consulting industry I was in and looking for a new challenge – they do say be careful what you ask for!

I guess that at a time when business is tough I had forgotten all the positive aspects of the signage industry that have served me well for the past two decades, and was more focused on the day to day challenges I was facing.

As a colleague recently mentioned, the signage industry is not for feint of heart, sane people ho want a boring, predictable, regular job where you have structure and know days in advance what your schedule – and life – will look like.

Signage is an extremely dynamic business where, if one is not disciplined, your daily schedule can change every other minute.

On the positive side the signage industry requires one to be a jack of many trades, possibly a master of one or two, with the ability to design, work with multiple materials and SEE (visualize) some things that don’t exist – in the sense that one has to be able to imagine what the end product (that does not exist) will look like AND be able to work backwards from what the end product looks like through the step by step manufacturing process – which may change when actual production begins, so lets add in that being in the signage industry one needs to be extremely FLEXIBLE – to the start which includes determining what materials will WORK to achieve the desired outcome. All this in the most cost effective manner.

While traditional sign writers in the 21st century tended to be artisans that came through the ranks of artists who did some apprenticeship and could go into a one man business, modern signage is more computer generated, and more business like than ever before.

For a modern sign business to be successful the head of the business tends to need to be a marketer and sales person with a BIG PICTURE mentality where one is able to talk to, motivate, lead, inspire and deal with the widest possible range of people – from the MD of a large publicly listed business to an ego driven politician who will never have done a days work in your industry but will always know how to do it better, to the slowest, lowest paid employee in a business who may be required to do the simplest and most important of tasks, without which the work comes to a sudden – not even grinding – HALT.

The need to be able to get all individuals to work together is possibly the second largest challenge, second only to the need to be able to turn off and take time away from work in the modern world where one tends to be expected to be online, on call and available 25 / 8 / 366.

On the other hand, if one possesses the necessary mind set and skill set and is prepared to put in some HARD WORK, working what can be insane hours with little gratitude or reward, then signage can be the most amazing and rewarding industry.

Working in signage can be amazing because it opens doors for a person with a flair for design to put their skills into practical operation. There are seldom two days in a row where signage wok is the same. Signage requires one to think out of the box a LOT more than one would expect, possibly because the industry is dynamic, and client’s can have some EXTREME expectations, from how long a sign will take to produce to what the sign will cost to how long the sign will last to what the sign may look like. 

The signage industry has almost ZERO limitations in design. This means that ten sign businesses – or ten estimators within one sign business – can quote the same sign and come up with 10 different designs, 10 different costs and 10 different structures. It cannot be stressed enough that all 10 designs will ALL look the same on paper, and they will surely ALL work – at least in the short term – but they can (and most likely WILL) be VASTLY different in design, (finished) look, appeal and cost. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult for buyers of signs to compare the offerings of one sign business with another if they do not have detailed specifications on EXACTLY what materials will be used in the manufacturing of the sign, as well as how they will be assembled.

Signage is also an ancient and static yet changing and dynamic industry. Signage is possibly the third oldest profession – ok, that is an exaggeration, especially as physical businesses needed to come first – because it has been around a LONG time. Some ancient techniques are still used to manufacture certain signs, yet there are also new and exciting developments, new materials and a lot more digital processes used in modern day signage.

BUT, even with the new materials and the -progress of digital signs, for the large part signage is still an EXTREMELY LABOUR – read that as PEOPLE – intensive and oriented business. Yes, machines can make a number of modern signs, BUT machines (and AI) have limitations that may mean the client’s reject the signage or the machines cannot make signs with certain materials or they cannot be used to DESIGN certain signs or processes.

This means that until AI can (a) design and think out of the box, (b) get on it’s – their? -hands and knees and climb ladders and drill holes that are nor necessarily ‘straight’ – people employed in the signage industry are sort of secure in the knowledge that like many artisans – plumbers, electricians and the like, the physical elements of the work will not be done away with in the foreseeable future.

SignForce believes that the market is large enough for all competitors, and collaborators, so we at SignForce work closely with a number of our competitors. Because this is our philosophy, we are glad to assist any folks that are as insane as we are and looking to enter the signage with information on the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the signage industry as we see it.

For more information – or for signs – contact SignForce now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27 (0)11 440 7525 or WhatsApp +27 (0)82 558 6413

Find out more about SignForce by visiting our website at http://www.signforce.co.za