√ Checklist: 5 Reasons Your Business Signage Sucks

So I can be a little ‘in your face’ sometimes. I get it. That’s not everybody’s cup of tea. But here’s the thing: If your business is struggling, there’s a reason why. I’m just gonna say it.

It’s you.

How do I know? Because I was the reason my past businesses have sucked. Once you accept that you can move forward. I’m just here to help.

What does that have to do with your Business Signage? That should be ‘in your face,’ too. So here’s 5 reasons your business signing sucks.

1. Color

You didn’t go to art school, I get it. If you did, then your sign for your business is probably even worse. Whether your sign is on the facade of your business, out in front on a brick and mortar build-out, or standing on a pole above the street corner, you have to follow some basic rules if you want to get noticed.

Let me prove my point.

Your probably already read this sentence, didn’t you? Now you’re either reading this one to figure out why, or you’re just getting to this part of the article and are feeling embarrassed. It’s okay.

You read that line first because it was red, and you’re human, which means you’re a predator. See, in the wild (i.e., any place that is outside and not under the artificial lighting) things only get noticed when they are bright, moving, and/or certain colors. This is one of the few times that your branding — in particular your company colors — have to get thrown out the window. A big ‘ol glowing red sign that says ‘Dentist’ is a lot better way to get people’s attention than something detailed and packed with lot’s of information.

2. It’s Not Really Clear What You Do

If color get’s you noticed, words convey meaning and purpose. If your signage does do that it’s a waste of space. If you can’t answer the question “What do you do?” without mumbling and fumbling over your words in a conversation, you should at least be able to answer that with your business signage.

A single word or your logo should be enough. You want to convey the idea in the simplest form possible so that it can be understood while that mom of three is driving down the road with a toddler screaming in her ear with Rafi’s Baby Beluga blaring on the stereo.

3. Poor Visibility

Ok, so this one isn’t always your fault. If your business is on a dead end street your chance for casual, passerby traffic is probably reduced to zero. And if your local city government decides they’re going to plant trees literally right in front of your business awning, then they’re a**holes.

Still, you have to think about the best angle and positioning for your signage if you want it to be seen. It might be worth it to get the sign on the corner, even if you have to cough up a few extra pennies, rather than having your signage somewhere that no one will ever see it. If that’s the case it doesn’t matter how much you saved on your signage, you’re just wasting of money on something that’s going to bring you zero return in the long run.

4. Not Enough Signage

I don’t usually advise clients to go full tilt type-a when it comes to marketing they’re business (after all, the way you market your business says something about the way you do business), but this is another exception.

If there is the possibility for more than one sign for your business you should pounce on it. I’m talking your awning, the side of your business, the corner sign, and the A-frame on the sidewalk. Do it. All of it. There’s no excuse for not doing it if you can.

5. You Don’t Ask People if They Saw the Damn Sign

People often complain that signage has poor ROI. Wait… no they don’t! I have never heard a business owner say that their sign was a terrible investment. Even if it was a crappy sign, it probably still produced something.

But you might be, and I mean might be, tempted to believe that your sign is a waste of space or needs to be updated if you don’t know how much work it’s doing for you. So, ask. If someone comes into your business, ask if they saw the sign. Someone calls you; ask if they saw the sign. Someone likes your page on Facebook; ask if they saw the sign.

You might prefer to ask the blanket statement “Where did you find out about us?” which is good, but asking about the sign specifically is useful, too. Because once they have to find your business you’ve already mentioned a landmark for them to spot. Yes, even in the world of GPS, people still rely on land marks to find where they’re going.


Small business is hard, but you can do this. If you need help, though, it never hurts to ask.

Feeling frustrated? Not getting enough business? No time for life/family outside of your business?

Press the stress relief button and you’ll be taken to a place where you can get help. Small business addiction is real, kids. Truth.


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