Signs Make Your Businees Successful

Signs Make Your Business Successful

OK, apologies up front for the click baiting, as we all know (WE referring to intelligent business folk) this statement is not entirely true, as there are MANY factors that make a business successful.

In general, from what this writer has observed, success in business is more often than not a result of doing the slog work, doing the same correct (that is imperative) behavior over and over and over and over and over – you get the point – beyond the point of boredom, beyond the point of repetition, to the point where one can literally do the task in one’s sleep. This is sometimes referred to as achieving efficiency at the task, and it is said this takes 10,000 HOURS of the same task.

Another part of the success of a business is MARKETING and SELLING. Without sales there is no money for product development, no money to train and pay staff (someone may want to point this out to the current anc leaders who have reportedly managed to bankrupt their 109 year old organization) and no money to grow your business.

Now marketing and sales a re multi faceted and not entirely the focus of this blog, but I would like to focus on #SIGNAGE – the one part of that marketing puzzle that SignForce sells. We do advise on signage in order to ensure your spending on signage is an investment, but we tend to do this for free (not great for our business turnover in the short term, but we never claimed to be great sales people). If anyone wants to take me for a drink I can explain the difference between TECHNICAL SELLERS (SignForce’s sales staff) and GREAT SELLERS (who tend to sell on emotion).

Signs SELL! So does collaboration 🙂

I have known this for many years and have seen many examples from our own billboard on the M1 highway to what happened with STAX (many years ago) when they upgraded their signage at a loss making store that was being prepped for closure, but I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when one of our clients informed the writer that he spotted SignForce when he passed out pylon.

The point of this ramble is that if you want your business to succeed, especially if you are a business that has physical products or a physical premises, you should certainly consider SIGNAGE as an integral – and initial – step in promoting your business.

SignForce LOVES assisting new and small businesses. This does not mean we are going to give you your signs for free, but we will do what we can to make your business visible in a manner that can help your business grow – both to pay us AND to help you grow.

For more information on how SignForce can assist your business contact us now on info@signforce.co.za or call +27(0)11 440 7525

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

Do FIRST IMPRESSIONS count?

Cut out, illuminated reception sign

Illuminated reception sign on a corporate blue backing with halo illumination and a cut out RECEPTION sign

How many chances do you get to create a first impression

Picture these two scenario’s.

Scenario 1.

You are introduced to a person who is wearing shorts and a t-shirt and looks like a billboard for a tatoo parlor. You cannot see a single square millimeter of uninked skin. The person is introduced as a marketing genius who runs a multi million marketing organization. Before they open their mouth, what is your FIRST IMPRESSION? Is this the same impression you would have if the person looked differently?

Scenario 2.

You are introduced to a person who is dressed in formal business attire. They look well groomed. They stand proud. They are introduced the same way as the person in scenario 1 above.

From your FIRST IMPRESSION which person do you think you are more likely to listen to? Which person would you think is more likely to impress you? Which person will you JUDGE more, no matter how inaccurately or unfairly?

This may seem like a loaded question – because it is. That said, it is also a true ‘experiment’ I was a party to.

An individual who I had great respect for introduced the above two people to a group that I was a member of. They were both introduced as marketing experts. They both gave a five minute talk about FIRST IMPRESSIONS and marketing. They were then taken out the room and the audience were asked to vote on which person made the most sense.

Any guess as to who was seen as the expert? I will tell you. It was the individual dressed in formal business attire.

Once the votes were counted we were re-introduced to both parties again. This time THEY did the introductions. The tatoo’d individual was in fact a marketing expert and business person who ran a multi national business.

The second individual was in fact a homeless person who was ‘coached’ on what to say but had no clue whatsoever on how to market anything – not even themselves, as one has to assume if they could market themselves they would not necessarily have been homeless.

The difficulty changing the perceptions of the group after their FIRST IMPRESSIONS was palpable. People believed that the two individuals were lying the second time around. People has already made up THEIR MINDS and this is what they were going to BELIEVE – REGARDLESS OF THE FACTS.

Why am I mentioning all this when it comes to SIGNAGE? Can there be any relevance?

To me the common ground is glaringly obvious.

If your SIGNAGE is damaged, non-existent, dirty or simply OLD FASHIONED (and you are in a ‘modern’ business), your sign may well be creating an incorrect, inappropriate and misleading FIRST IMPRESSION.

Imagine you are a seller of LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY and your sign is old fashioned bulbs on an old, rusted frame (picture a long closed, old style movie house) how could your sign possibly convey the message of modern technology? And once that FIRST IMPRESSIOIN is made, what would it take to ALTER your prospective client’s first impression?

A business that understands FIRST IMPRESSIONS is BOLTGAS INDUSTRIAL MINING SUPPLIES. This well run and managed mining supply business is in the process of creating VERY IMPRESSIVE first impressions. From the moment one enters the premises you get the impression of a well run business. The modern reception area is warm and inviting with the wall signage and blue desk cover with illuminated signage making one feel at home – and this is only the reception area, where the signage and blue tinting on the windows create a feeling of warmth and professionalism.

Reception signage and window tinting by #SignForce can change any old area to an inviting, professional space that is welcoming to all that enter, especially unknowing prospective clients.

For reception signage and window tinting contact #SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or +27(0)82 558 6413 or email us on info@signforce.co.za

For further information on SignForce visit our website at http://www.signforce.co.za

What VLAUE does your SIGN and your Signage provider ADD to your BUSINESS?

 

Mambo's Chicken Individual Cut Out Sign

Internally Illuminated 3D cut out sign

What VALUE does your sign add to your business?

If your sign is a MAJOR tool in getting feet into your store (it is!) and thus placing you in the position to SELL to your prospects, what is your sign truly WORTH?

I ask this, not rhetorically, but because all too often we see businesses running on the lines of Best Value – choosing the cheapest supplier – which is great when comparing EXACTLY THE SAME PRODUCTS – but is extremely difficult and can be costly when one is comparing one SERVISE business (signage is a service business) to another.

Yes, when you, the sign buyer, are presented with an artist impression and a quote, you believe that what you are seeing from one service provider is the same as what you are seeing from the competitive service provider. Unfortunately this is SELDOM true. This is because of the nature of signage (meant in every positive way), the range of materials available, the nature (you can call it morals) of the signage company and the reality that even if all else was equal, because signage is as much – if not more – of an art than a science, and most signs are made by hand, every sign will most likely be made differently.

All this aside, even if all the sign company’s you assessed were using the same material, charging the same amount and doing the same job, what would or should YOUR chosen sign company be able to offer YOUR BUSINESS that goes beyond the sign you are looking for.

At SignForce (http://www.signforce.co.za) we have decades of experience in MARKETING and SIGNAGE.

At SignForce we believe in supporting OUR CUSTOMERS, which is one of the reasons SignForce regularly posts pictures and comments of signs we have completed. This may not seem like anything special, we assume ALL sign businesses ‘self promote’ and the self promotion entails ‘SHOWCASING’ THEIR WORK. This is true, but how many sign businesses get more than 80,000 views of a single client’s sign.

If one considers that traditional media base their fees on the number of views one’s insert (advert, post) will receive, how does one measure the added value SignForce is offering our client’s?

If you are looking for signs that WORK, that get feet into your premises, that look good and are value for money, together with the added value of being promoted on the SignForce website, contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or email info@signforce.co.za

You can find out more about SignForce by visiting http://www.signforce.co.za

Why SignForce!

SignForce Pylon

Any Size pylon or billboard to suite YOUR needs

Why SignForce!

This ambiguous phrase could be a question just as well as an answer – as such, we will both ask and answer the question.

What makes SignForce unique?’

Obviously the people. No two people are alike, so the people make SignForce unique. However, that same argument is applicable to EVERY business. Not only businesses that design, manufacture and install signs.

SignForce’s USP – Unique Selling Proposition – is the experience we at SignForce strive to (and mostly achieve) create for our clients, as well as the fact that SignForce is a SOLUTIONS based SIGANGE business, meaning we seek solutions – whatever they may be – to your visual communication concerns, issues and questions.

SignForce has a fairly unique skill set in that we CAN and DO offer MARKETING advice, and we are fortunate hat said advice, while being largely logical, is also based on and backed by formal qualifications in the marketing and financial fields. It is for this reason that we firmly believe that ANY money spent on signs should be an INVESTMENT. If your sign does not bring in feet or catch people’s attention or achieve whatever it’s desired purpose is, then in our opinion, the expenditure on your sign is a failure.

Yes, we may offer some top left field  idea’s – but these tend to work. Talking to people much more experienced in international marketing than ourselves, it seems the more uncomfortable you feel when you see the proposed idea, the higher the probability that the sign will be noticed – and achieve it’s objective.

Part of SignForce striving to create a positive EXPERIENCE when dealing with us is to provide FAIRLY priced, intelligently made, value for money signs.

Part of creating value for money means that we need to stay ahead of our competitors when it comes to being informed about new materials on the market, and figuring out if and how the new products – or sometimes old products – can be repurposed to give our clients the best possible value.

Call SignForce today to see how we can help you get your name and message out there – our all time favorite activity, as when our client’s expand, it helps SignForce expand. We are definitely long term thinkers, in it for the long game.

Call SignForce today on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or email us on info@signforce.co.za

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

I need a sign and I have a DRILL

Drills and Signs

Using a Drill for a Sign

I have a drill!

But that doesn’t mean I need to, or should, use it!

Life is short. Life can be serious! Business or work is ‘serious”.

But life doesn’t always have to be serious, or at least some things can be amusing.

Life can be made funny when we try to be everything to everyone, or when we try ude the drill – because we have one!

I am all for training, and learning through trial and error, so please, go ahead and play with your drill.

That said, there are times when it is beneficial to allow what we term ‘professionals’ to do the work. What makes one a ‘professional’? Generally hours and hours and days and days leading to years and years of practice. It has been said that in order for one to be truly proficient in your work you need to put in 10,000 hours.

10,000 hours equates to just under 417 days. Broken down into eight hour days that 10,000 hours is 1,250 ‘work’ days- that equates to 62.5 months, or just over FIVE years! Five years of doing the same thing, day in and day out. It is for this reason we can watch a ‘professional’ ‘play’ with a grinder – a tool that must always be respected – as if it is nothing. It is normal for him as he works with it DAILY. And after 20 plus tears, it is second nature.

While employing the professional to do certain work may cost a bit more than doing it oneself, it certainly can make life easier, even if it is less entertaining for the onlooker.

The advantage of allowing professionals – people who do the same tasks over and over and over on a daily basis – to do the work is that, because they do the same work repetitively, they learn what is generally referred to as the ‘tricks of the trade’.

Being a ‘do it yourselfer’ is admirable and great – and I believe is important, possibly because I am one myself – and it can even save one money when done correctly, but the university of life is not free, or even cheap, so expect to make some costly mistakes along the way. These ‘mistakes’ are the best way to learn, but they are often costly.

If you would like to manufacture a sign or install a sign save yourself time and possibly even money by calling #SignForce – the professionals.

For advice on signs or to order signs contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

You can find out more about SignForce by visiting http://signforce.co.za

 

Solid Metal Signs

Brass signs

Brass signs

In a world of JUNK, built in obsolescence, instant gratification, cheap materials, no concern for longevity (until it needs to be replaced which is invariably too soon, especially for cheap materials), it is always comforting to know that solid, NATURAL METAL signs – as in BRASS, ALUMINIUM, COPPER and STEEL (including STAINLESS STEEL) are still available.

Whether you are in the market for a plaque or cut out material, natural, long life, SOLID metal signs create a lasting impression  of CLASS, REFINEMENT and TIMELESSNESS.

As with all signage contrast is VERY IMPORTANT which is why the featured BRASS sign on the BLACK background works so well.

A similar effect can be created with copper.

If you are in the market for a sign that will weather with class, contact SignForce now on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or info@signforce.co.za

 

HOW can #SignForce HELP YOU?

How can SignForce HELP YOU?

SignForce is a FULL service sign company – meaning we are either brave or insane enough to take on ALMOST any size job in order to make YOU, our client’s lives easier.

If it makes your BUSINESS VISIBLE, we are the people to assist.

You would be wise to ask WHY we dare make such a BOLD CLAIM

1. The management team at SignForce we have a few years experience, having been at this game – yes, we do have fun so we do see work as a game, played by our TEAM – since 1999.

2. At #SignForce we care about QUALITY and REPUTATION (ours and You, our client’s), which means we UNDERSTAND what a GREAT sign does to increaser and EXPAND your business as well what a POOR QUALITY, NEGATIVE IMAGE does to hinder your business.

3. We understand business – well at least we have the qualifications to say we do. This means that we are likely to have a little more knowledge on MARKETING than most of our competitors. (We don’t mean to brag but who will recognize the value we add if no one knows that our knowledge is thanks to a combination of marketing experience and formal qualifications)

4. We are community minded – ask our community, and

5. When you have SignForce doing the work you get the benefit of our years – actually DECADES – of experience in making MARKETING and making OUR CLIENT’S

Ferrari sign

Ferrari Johannesburg signs by SignForce

BUSINESSES VISIBLE.

To get the MOST out of your SIGNS contact #SignForce now on +27(0)11 440 7525 OR info@signforce.co.za OR http://www.signforce.co.za

Why use a REPUTABLE Sign Company

Anyone can make a sign.

Any three year old can, and most likely does make signs – even if only in the form of a scrunched up face to show displeasure or a smiling face to show happiness.

Signs are ALL around us!

So why use a reputable – read that as more costly – sign company to design, manufacture and install your signs.

It is quite simple. If you look at the attached ‘sign’, you can most likely see WHAT WAS INTENDED TO BE MEANT by the writer, however, because of the ambiguity of the sign – which a reputable sign company would HOPEFULLY have pointed out to the writer – the meaning can be turned into a joke, as can be seen with this sign.

If you are in the market for a sign and would like simple, practical advise on how to make your sign as effective as possible, contact Arnold at SignForce on arnold@signforce.co.za or call on +27 (0)11 440 7525 or +27 (0)82 558 6413

What makes a #sign expensive? Signs as an investment.

What makes a sign ‘expensive’?

Expensive is a VERY subjective word, so lets look at the input costs and how that could, would or should influence one’s purchasing decision.

#SignForce, as all sign suppliers, work in a very competitive market. There are generally many sign businesses in a relatively small area, especially as #signage is a low entry cost business. Because of the high level of competition, each sign business needs to have ‘something’ that makes our business ‘stand out’. For the person making the purchase, the high level of competition means one SHOULD be able to compare various options and get the best solution to fit your requirements, although COST, OUTLAY or INITIAL INVESTMENT is often the deciding factor, very often at the sacrifice of long term investment or long term LIFE of the sign.

Because COST or INITIAL OUTLAY is such a HUGE determining factor for many buyers, one of the easiest ways to stand out  is on ‘price’. It is easy for clients to choose the lowest cost supplier, as, generally, all suppliers will quote to supply the same LOOKING sign.

Often how this works is the potential client (or buyer) will send out a ‘tender’, which consists of a picture of how the sign should look. Sophisticated buyers will also supply detailed specifications – which they understand and can check – but this is less common than only supplying a picture and sizes. Also too often the person supplying the specifications does not gave a great understanding of what they are specifying so their ability to ensure that they receive what was quoted could be limited.

Because EVERYONE is quoting on the same OUTCOME (read that as picture), when the buyer gets their three or more competing quotes, they naturally assume they are comparing ‘APPLES’ with ‘APPLES’, but because #signs are not standard, off the shelf items, the design, makeup and materials can (and generally will) differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. As such, although all the signs may (initially) LOOK the same when installed, they could, in reality, be EXTREMELY different.

In order to explain I am going to use the example of a modular, internally illuminated light box sign with an acrylic face that is illuminated using energy efficient LED lights. I am using a modular frame as we can then assume that everyone that is quoting is using the same external frame, so all the quotes would have the same (or similar) input costs for the frame.

Now lets look at the make up of the sign, starting with ILLUMINATION. There are a number of LED’s that can be used on a light box sign. The difference can be anything from in how much light the LED emits (lumens) to the size of the individual LED units (or modules) to the angle of the light emitted from the LED module (especially if the module has a LENS), the expected life of the units and the COST. Because there are so many variables, for the purpose of this article I will compare cost that can vary from about R35 (US$ 13) per meter to about R500 (US$ 186) per meter. It would seem obvious there are a number of variables that affect the cost, but for #SignForce the important differences are (a) the LED’s are the correct LED’s for the job (meaning they will give equal and sufficient light), (b) the expected life of the LED and (c) the LED’s are sure to do the job (preferably guaranteed) so that the business will not have any unnecessary call backs which can be substantially more costly than the cost of the LED’s.

Other factors that can have a GREAT  impact on the cost include, but are not limited to, (a) the size of the sign (this has way too many variables to reference in this article), (b) the cost of the decoration (print versus cut vinyl versus ink versus paint) (we will only refer to PRINT where costs have a range difference that can easily exceed 500%, with the quality and life span of the print varying greatly), (c) the thickness of the acrylic face (this is influenced by the size of the sign and possibly the location of the sign, and will in turn influence the cost of both the acrylic (the thicker the higher the cost) and the beading that holds (supports) the acrylic face). (d) If the frame is to be painted the make up and application method of the paint can also have a great impact on costs, both due to the large difference in cost of the base paint as well the time and process differences between the various application methods which range from ‘dipping’ to using a paint brush to spray painting and powder coating.

At #SignForce we take our guarantee VERY SERIOUSLY, and as such we use materials which, while generally more costly, will have a higher likelihood of lasting and not creating negative comebacks from clients. This does tend to make the initial outlay slightly higher, (historically this is generally no more than 20%), but #SignForce’s logic is that having to redo a sign after three to five years could be substantially more costly than having a sign that does it’s job well for it’s intended life, which is generally seven years, even if the decoration needs to be replaced more regurarly.

For more information on why SignForce views #signs as an investment or on purchasing  quality signs that will consistently keep you in your prospective clients eyes for many years to come, please contact #SignForce at info@signforce.co.za

How BIG must my sign be?

How LARGE MUST my sign be? What size sign will best convey my message? From how far will people be able to read my sign?

These are questions we often get asked. As a joke, we tend to advise clients that, as a rule of thumb, (a) the bigger the better and (b) the sign should be as large as your budget allows. (Please note this IS a joke and while it is valid for outdoor signs, is not always best for intimate signs, where too big becomes gaudy.)

In truth, if a sign NEEDS to be visible from a specific distance – because it is located on the side of the road or it will only be viewed from moving vehicles or the sign is some distance from the point where it will be read (to name three of many scenario’s), then there are some rough scientific calculations that can be used to calculate the height the text needs to be in order for the text to be visible from a specific distance, as well as from a distance at speed. Please remember, at best, these calculations are rough guide, as they do not take into account ALL factors that affect visibility, especially height above the viewer.

The table below has been adapted from information taken from signsnow.com. For more in depth calculations, especially for measuring legible distance while driving, please visit https://www.usscfoundation.org/USSCSignLegiRulesThumb.pdf

It is important to remember that the table below refers to LETTER height ONLY. This means that if you have multiple lines of text or multiple words or either of these combined with a logo, the SIZE of THE SIGN will change, with the dependent factor being the DISTANCE at which the TEXT must be legible.

legible sign distance

For assistance for any signs, especially when you need to calculate sign size in order to make the sign legible, please call #SignForce on + 27 (0) 11 440 7524 / 5 or email arnold@signforce.co.za