Would you employ this person?

Who represents you and your business

Would you trust this sales person with your future?

Would you employ this person?

Some of you may know who the person is, but WHO he is is not actually relevant for my point. in fact, you could quite easily replace the picture with one of any similar uneducated person who is know for making comments that make them look stupid!

But wait! For me, that is where the problem lies.

If you were the employer of this person, that person has thus de facto become a representative of your business, and thus an extension of YOU!

Imagine the impression that makes on your hard won client, when the employed (or elected if you will) person starts interacting with or talking to your client.

That ‘first impression’ is created on first sight (or sound), and if that first impression is a poor one, it could take forever to change that perception.

At SignForce we are very aware of the impression we create, and while we unfortunately don’t always get it right, we do continually work on making sure that our work, our products and our staff represent SignForce in a manner that we are proud to own.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VALUE, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.za or david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za     http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

Why business signs make good financial sense in the modern world

Why business signs make good financial sense in the modern world

There is an old sign adage that reads: “ A business without a sign is a sign of NO BUSINESS”, and believe it or not, it is as true today as it was a hundred years ago – possibly even more so.

OK, before you all shoot me down, let me elaborate.

Yes, in the modern world, I have to concede that not every business needs a sign, because some businesses simply NEVER see clients. Cyber businesses are one such example.

However, being the human animals that we are, most people still visit stores, not only for the social interaction, but also be cause they want to TOUCH and FEEL the merchandise they are going to purchase. It is an almost primal need to touch, in order to see better. If you are a parent, simply think of how often you have to tell your toddler that they don not need to “touch to see”! (The truth is they DO! We all do)

Because of the desire to touch to see, shops, stores, supermarkets and the like are still going to be around for the foreseeable future, and if they want people to visit them, they have to stand out from the competition. One way to achieve this is to possibly have a bigger, and certainly have a BETTER sign.

BETTER in signage generally refers to LARGER, although this is not always the case. Sometimes a simple sign can make a far bolder statement than the larger, illegible sign that is screaming at you.

In the modern world us human animals are still pretty much unchanged in our habits and nature, and as such we need to remember that while internet marketing, social media, Google and the like are all fantastic tools, they are just that – TOOLS! Like a good electrician, who will have more than a hammer and a set of screwdrivers in their toolbox, a good modern marketer should keep in mind that even if your internet marketing gets the client’s to the shopping centre where your store is located, if the client walks past your store because you do not have a sign, all your marketing effort has been for naught!

There is also the reality that signs tend to be a once off purchase, or at worst an irregular purchase. When one compares the cost of a great sign to the monthly cost of a salaried salesperson who may not have the best client service manner, the cost of the sign tends to be a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

If you are willing to hear OUR truth, and possibly even receive some expert advice on what signs will work for you, SignForce are marketing professionals with experience over multiple medium’s, and we will gladly give you our truth.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VLAUE”, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.zaor david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

How long should a sign last?

Long should a sign last? or What is the expected life of a sign?

Often the life expectancy of a sign is linked directly to the cost of the sign.

As as general rule, the more expensive the sign, the longer is will last, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered.

First off all materials are not created equal, and even equal materials will not have the same life expectancy in different locations.

At SignForce we use vinyl that the manufacturer’s say has a life expectancy of five to seven years. While this may be true in Europe and North America, where the climate is cooler tan here in South Africa, we tend to find that five to seven year materials have a life expectancy of around five years. The difference between the better and cheaper options being that the better options tend to shrink evenly, so your circle maintains the shape of a circle, etc.

That is for vinyl. Perspex (or Plexiglas or many other brand names for plastic signs) has an outdoor life expectancy of between seven to ten years, and as long as the sign is not tampered with, this tends to be fairly accurate.

In the harsh African sun good, outdoor digital print and silk screening inks tend to have a life expectancy of between 12 and 36 months, so as a rule the vinyl that is printed on tends to have a life expectancy of no more than three years, as it is figured that the print will fae before the vinyl cracks and peels.

As a buyer of signs what we at SignForce suggest is that you look at the investment over a period of time. A sun that runs and looks bad is BAD for business! That said, if the cost of a print that will last three years is double the cost of a print that lasts 18 months, the latter is actually more expensive, as chances are that in 18 months the latter will cost more and you would thus have been better off looking at the long term cost. Of course, if you only need the print for six months, then a print that lasts 18 months is a better investment.

For great advice on how to have signs that make you look good at a fair price, signs that, as an investment, will generate greater income than their cost, and enhance your image, contact SignForce now. David: david@signforce.co.za Arnold: arnold@signforce.co.za 0861 SIGNFORCE / 0861 744 63 6723

www.signforce.co.za  www.signforce.co.za/blog

 

Gambling on relationships in business

Business is about relationships, selling and money! For now I am only going to think about relationships.

Sometimes relationships are a gamble, not unlike a lottery ticket.

Sometimes you buy your ticket, and you simply lose – most often, and a bad investment!

Other times you buy your ticket and get a little (or not so little) payback – possibly an excellent investment – generally very rare.

And then there are the occasions when you purchase the ticket and get informed that your ticket IS a BIG winner. You get so excited. When you go collect your winnings, you are informed that you have to pay 50% of your winnings to tax. The win was LARGE so you justify the diminished reward by thinking that you should not be greedy. Then the cashier asks if you would like your payout in a single payment now or 20 years in the future. You laugh and ask what that means, only to be informed that if you take the payout now you get 50% of the remaining 50% (after tax) or you can wait the 20 years and get the full amount 50% after tax.  It is at times like this that we feel like we are been screwed!

At SignForce we believe that in order to spare your prospects and customers this feeling, it is best that they are informed, BEFORE the event, of the potential pitfalls and costs. I find myself often telling this to my seven year old, advising him that negotiating AFTER the fact means he will ALWAYS be on his back (otherwise known as losing) foot.

In the world of increasingly fast technology, where people seek immediate gratification, the best service we can provide is to make sure we are honest and up-front with clients. They may walk away because they don’t like what they hear, but in the long run, they tend to come back, because they learn (the hard way) that false promises generally cost a lot more than hurt pride – and the seeds for trust – and a great, lasting relationship – have been planted.

If you are willing to hear the truth, SignForce are marketing professionals with experience over multiple medium’s, and we will gladly give you our truth.

If you are in the market for professional looking signs at “FAIR VLAUE”, and would like advice on how best to project your business’s image while making any funds you spend on marketing and signs an investment, please contact the writer at arnold@signforce.co.zaor david@signforce.co.za and use the subject line: ADVICE PLEASE and we will get back to you.

http://www.signforce.co.za http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

 

Step 1 to ensure your sign is an investment?

At SignForce we aim to ensure that any money our client’s spend on signs is an investment in marketing. This is achieved by ensuring that our client’s signs fulfill their intended application. In order to establish their intended application we ask the following questions: 1. What do you want your sign to achieve? 2. Why? and 3. What is your budget?

Knowing what you want your sign to achieve and your budget gives us the ability to help you achieve your objectives within your budget. I mention this because it is not uncommon for us to find that clients are sometimes uncertain as to what the sign should achieve, and either do not have an allocated budget or are not willing to share the budget with us, for fear that we may then spend the full budget. In reality, knowing your budget means we are more likely to accurately advise on materials and design as well as if the desired objectives are possible to achieve within your – our client’s – budget restraints.

In order for us to best advise you we need information, and the more information we have the better we can advise. So when thinking about signs it is worth keeping in mind that the more information you give us, and the better the idea you have of what you want the sign to achieve, the faster the process, and more effective your sign is likely to be.

If you are in the market for signs, whether it is to design a sign, manufacture your signs or relocate and install existing signs, contact SignForce’s now. SignForce is a full service sign company, and with our understanding of consulting, internet, design and signs, we are well positioned to assist you to ensure that all the money you spend on signage is an investment. Contact the writer now for more information.

Arnold N. Pollak

arnold@signforce.co.za

For signage idea’s to suite your business, go to SignForce’s idea’s bank at:

http://www.signforce.co.za/action.php

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http://www.signforce.co.za/blog

 

 

How does my business survive a recession?

With the world markets in turmoil and no certain end in site for the recession that most countries seem to be in, does business need to step in and assist government, or should the assistance for business come from government?

For there to be a light of hope at the end of the tunnel of doom and gloom, it seems to me that government should be assisting business, implementing procedures that create work for ‘the people’, assisting the economy to grow.

To assist with this job creation, government need to look at long term projects that are financed by taxes and create long term jobs. At the same time, business – especially small business – needs to be encouraged and supported by government for creating jobs. This can easily be done by giving tax breaks, or other incentives to small business.

While this is a logical, and tested approach, it seems that at the current time in South Africa, our idiot elected officials are way too busy jockeying for positions so that they can openly rape the coffers, for them to care about the electorate, or business.

This can be seen by our president’s proud announcement in March 2012 that there are 15 million South Africans receiving social grants – a quick way to bankrupt any economy – as well as the myriad of taxes that are being imposed on the ever more stretched tax payers.

Since government are certainly showing that they are not there to assist small – or any – business, what can business do to ensure their survival until that light at the end of the tunnel is once again turned on.

History has shown that investing in fixed assets, and generating more business tend to be two good ways to keep ahead of inflation, and is most likely a brilliant bet to continue to be able to afford the ever increasing taxes.

Since SignForce is not in the business of marketing fixed assets, we cannot assist you with those purchases, but we are in the business of custom communications, which means that we are well positioned to assist you to ensure that that portion of your marketing budget that is going to signs is an investment in marketing.

For advise on or assistance in how to ensure that your ad-spend is an investment, contact Arnold or David at http://www.signforce.co.za/action.php

The Importance of CONTRAST and it’s use in signs

Why is ‘contrast’ important when it comes to signs and visibility?

I was recently putting together a video blog, and in order to make the video more interesting, I began playing with various backgrounds.

WOW, what an eye opener!.

I ALWAYS advise my sign clients that it is the contrast between the message and the background of a sign that makes the message stand out – or get lost, and this video shows how this works. Check out the video at youtu.be/JTTeyQJH1dI

I am a firm believer that ANY MONEY spent on signs MUST be an INVESTMENT – that is, there MUST be a measurable return on investment. For this to happen the sign MUST have a purpose and MUST be VISIBLE. If either element is missing, the sign will not achieve it’s objective. Contrast is one of the MAJOR contributors to a sign being visible and successful or getting lost in the noise that the background can be.

In case you think that I am making a mountain of a mole hill, check out this video youtu.be/JTTeyQJH1dI . It is THE SAME sign with different borders, and notice how some borders are so BOLD that you almost forget to look at the sign.

Should you require any signs or advice on signs, or if there is any specific sign related topic you would like me to cover please email SignForce now on arnold@signforce.co.za or call the office on +27 11 444 3331 to see how we can serve you.

Arnold N. Pollak

arnold@signforce.co.za

http://www.signforce.co.za

 

 

Getting a sign ‘HEARD’ above all other ‘NOISE’

Each one of us is supposedly bombarded by millions of stimuli on a daily basis, much of which is ‘lost‘ through a wonderful feature known as ‘FILTERING’, which removes information that we do not ‘see’ as immediately relevant or beneficial.

Signs often fall into this category, as unless the viewer is looking for your product, service or store, their filters will delegate your visual advertising to file 13.

There are two thoughts as to how to overcome filters. One is constant change. The other is simplicity.

Constant change requires that the sign colour, shape and message change on a regular basis – which today can be achieved by using flat screen monitors on a shop front as a sign.

The other, possibly more effective from both a cost and memory perspective, is simplicity.

A simple sign means that the message is clear and there is a large contrast between the background and the message. The larger the contrast, and the clearer the message, meaning the greater the possibility that the sign will be seen and remembered amongst all the ‘noise’.

Should you require any signs or advice on signs, or if there is any specific sign related topic you would like me to cover please email SignForce now on arnold@signforce.co.za or call the office on +27 11 444 3331 to see how we can serve you.