By Cindy Price | MX Services – Marketing Specialist
Your signs aren’t just something you arbitrarily install in front of your business. They are constant and continual reminders to the consumer who your company is and what your product/service is about. People notice signs. They are the face of your business; the first thing visitors see when they arrive at your door. Do you really have a good idea — across all of your locations — what your signs are saying about you? If not, you need to.
Whether you have one sign or 100, you should not ignore one of the biggest advertising tools you have. A poorly maintained sign is like a print ad with typos or a commercial with bad language. And if you don’t care what your location looks like on the outside, what might people think about the condition on the inside? Working with a qualified maintenance provider, here are some basic things you should be doing that will streamline the repair process, make you more efficient and help you to be proactive in maintaining your signage. Create A Catalogue Of All Your Signs
For each location you operate, create a list of all of the signs you have. For example: Pylon sign — (1) Directional signs — (2) Building signage — (2) sets; north and south ends of property An assessment and catalog of all of your location signage is the first important step in keeping your signs consistent with your brand. After you’ve done that, consider the last time you, or your management, saw those signs at night. Do you have a system in place at the store level for reporting outages? If not, you should.
Standardize Your Repair Process
Having a standard repair process in place will help keep your brand looking its very best. Ideally, this needs to be handled at the store level, by the people who are on-site. Here are some options to consider:
- Have a regular, set schedule for visual night inspections of all exterior area lighting. At a minimum, weekly inspections are recommended.
- Assign one person, or a small team, to handle reporting of all outages to maintain consistency.
- Arrange how you would like to report and track outages with your service provider. There are so many options available today that makes this process quick and easy. Phone, email, online, text messaging, fax, etc.
- Finally, be sure you or your service provider documents each service call for things such as response time, days to complete repair, materials used, invoice cost, etc. This type of information is critical in knowing not only how your service provider is performing and how they stack up to other providers, but also tells you a lot about your signs in general. Perhaps you have aging signs that require frequent repairs. Why is this happening? Keeping this information at hand, where you have access to it, will help you understand more about this asset and the annual spend for it.
Now that you have your system in place, there’s no reason why your signs should not be well maintained on an ongoing basis, without lengthy down time. As a rule, a good maintenance provider should also tell you things about your sign that you may not be aware of, such as:
- Cracked or broken sign faces. This can quickly turn into a dangerous situation, and a liability if not repaired.
- Painted poles, cabinets and faces that are cracked, chipped, faded or peeling. A little touch-up paint can do wonders in making your signs look almost new again.
- Re-lamping all of the lights in the sign, even if only one or two are out. This preventative measure will save you money on return service trips.
- Visual inspection for any loose or cracked foundation near the sign.
It’s important to remember just how valuable your sign investment is. It truly is one of the most effective forms of advertising at a company’s disposal. People are extremely visual. They look for signs to tell them where they’re going and when they’ve arrived, so why blow the opportunity to attract customers by sending a poor visual message about your brand? Your signage speaks volumes about you — and people are listening.