Signs are an essential tool for any business these days. Design, placement, quality, and condition all play crucial public roles in capturing customers’ attention and defining your brand for better or worse. So let’s say it’s time to review your signage. Where should you turn, to a national sign company or someone local? It depends on your need for something we’ll call “reach.” There’s a reason why sports teams recruit some players with long limbs. Certain positions benefit from the ability to reach above and beyond others, to block a ball or to nab it out of the air. In those positions the advantage is tremendous. How much reach you need also determines what type of sign company you should recruit.

External Reach

While a local sign company might be a great fit for smaller businesses with one location, 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 the level of oversight that larger projects require initially and over time.

A top national sign company typically offers a wide range of signage options (traditional, dynamic digital, and large print formats), putting a customer’s best choices within easy reach. They have multiple manufacturing facilities to provide both specialized production and the shop capacity required by nationwide rollouts or conversions.
Customers also benefit from a national sign company’s ongoing external relationships – government regulators, specialty suppliers, and others who can make a difference in how projects come together. Then there’s the network required to ensure that signs keep doing their job for years to come with routine or on-call maintenance. In many cases, the advantages of external reach go on and on.

Internal Reach

Internal resources also define the difference between a local and national sign company. A single-location business may not require a company with deep and wide internal reach, but that factor may be the difference-maker for a large-scale project.

A national sign company will offer internal access to both the staff and proven processes that power large or complex projects. They understand how to handle large RFP’s and bids to meet customer requirements. Internal industry experts may help optimize a project from Day 1 with personalized consulting about needs and solutions. Then a full time staff of project managers can take on program logistics, including planning, analyzing, executing, and problem-solving – right down to each site’s specific requirements.

Because everything happens inside one ecosystem, customers have a single source for communicating requirements, making project-wide modifications, and tracking progress in real time. That same turnkey system can also simplify bookkeeping by collecting and reporting transactional details in one place.

The Bottom Line

In some cases, a local sign company is a good fit as you review your sign needs. They may be just around the corner, and all you require is a limited quantity of the basics. For others a top national sign company is the better choice, offering options and scalability that makes sense in a world where your brand must be nimble nationwide. It all depends on how much reach works to your advantage.