Signs are an essential asset that businesses must have to be seen and create brand awareness. But when you need a sign, or multiple signs for your business, who do you go to? A local sign company in your area or a larger, national one? Even though both manufacture signs, there are many differences between the two.

Local

A local sign company is a great fit for smaller businesses in need of signage for one, or even a handful of locations spread out within a small geographic area. Why? Local companies are set up to run a more flexible operation to manufacture hundreds of different types of signs for many area businesses. Signage options may be limited depending on their equipment and capabilities and any extra services such as design, engineering, permitting, and maintenance. If your signage needs are more complex, you may have to talk to a few local companies before finding one who can perform the work.

You may find that a local business that is familiar with the area and the community is a better fit for your particular project. And, because they are local, can provide a more personal experience. They may also be able to get your sign produced faster since they have a smaller customer base.

National

A national company is a better fit when you’re a multi-site business in need of more than one sign, which could be anywhere from 5 – 1,500 or more. Nationals typically have multiple manufacturing facilities to provide specialized production and the shop capacity required for nationwide rollouts or conversions. They offer internal staff such as designers, engineers, account and program managers, and others who are uniquely qualified and who understand how to manage larger projects, whether it’s for a specific region, across the U.S., or internationally.

Customers also benefit from a national sign company’s ongoing external relationships such as with government regulators, specialty suppliers, and a network of others who can make a difference in how your project comes together. A multi-site business will often find that the logistics of managing numerous vendors is time-consuming and inefficient. A single-source vendor is better suited for providing consistent branding, product quality, and project management. And, several sign projects can be run simultaneously while maintaining the same brand standards across each location.

Price

Of course, as with everything, price is an essential factor to consider. If your signage needs are small in scale, going local may help you keep the price within a limited budget.  A national company works to your advantage when you have multiple or complex signage needs. Because they are specifically set up to produce larger signage quantities, you will reap the benefits of lower, overall pricing. Think of it as buying bulk at Costco vs. your local market. The larger the quantity, the more you save. 

The Bottom Line

If you have somewhat limited, basic signage needs for your business, a local sign company may be your best fit since they specialize in small quantity signage, are familiar with your area, and are just around the corner. For others, such as a multi-location business, or those who are looking to rebrand or upgrade their signage, a national sign company is the better choice, providing more options, manufacturing capabilities, reach, volume pricing, and support that a local cannot.