The Hidden Benefits of Maintaining Your Business Signage
Effective, well-designed signage can create first impressions that last a lifetime. Business signage can bring your brand to life, speaking on your behalf as a very visible and informative sales tool all year round. Signs have a unique power to transform anyone who looks at them into potential customers, simply by virtue of being seen. In short, signage is a very powerful promotional tool that should take centre-stage in any effective marketing strategy.
Sounds great, so what kind of business wouldn’t want to have access to all of these benefits? There’s only one condition – signs can only wield the kind of power described above if they’re well maintained. This isn’t really all that surprising. After all, everyone has seen those shops with signs whose letters have fallen away, and it doesn’t exactly look inviting or encouraging, does it?
Even a sign that’s hard to read due to layers of grime and dust will put off some less intrepid passers-by – remember that most people’s glances at your sign will last for less than a second, and you must take full advantage of this tiny window to communicate your message. The crux of the problem is that poorly maintained signs fail to fulfil their purpose of promoting your business and drawing in new customers. In fact, they do exactly the opposite, giving a negative impression of your establishment and turning customers away.
You may offer outstanding customer service, lower prices than your competitors and higher quality goods, but if your customers are put off by your signs, they’ll never find out what you’ve got to offer and you’ll lose their custom. How can we, as business owners, expect a customer to go against their better instincts when they compare your poorly maintained sign with the sign of your competitor a couple of streets over?
As we’ll see shortly, maintaining signs is a necessity, not simply an afterthought. Read on to find out everything you need to know about what sign maintenance can do for your business.
Keeping up Appearances
Over the months and years, external business signage comes under attack from a wide range of environmental influences including dust, pollution, rain and even vandalism. Often, but not always, these can affect the aesthetic appearance, visibility and legibility of your signage, diminishing its power to attract attention, communicate your message and draw in new custom.
Pollution and dust are particular problems when your premises are located on a busy thoroughfare (almost to be expected), although these are the best locations in terms of volume of footfall. Looking at it from the perspective of prospective customers, however, what would you think of a shop whose sign is obscured by a thick layer of grime? It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Indeed, there is a risk that people may extrapolate your lack of attention to your signage to lack of care for other areas of your business, such as customer service or product quality. Regular maintenance – in this instance, simply wiping the sign clean every now and then – helps to avoid this pitfall.
Care and Attention
The need for attentive maintenance is even more pressing where illuminated signage is concerned, due to the electrical components involved. No light bulbs last forever, and as components fail over time, what was once an impressive, eye-catching statement of purpose can turn into an embarrassment.
Partially illuminated signs are, in many ways, worse than no illumination at all, as it suggests that the business owner can’t be bothered to make the rather small effort to change a couple of light bulbs – perhaps they think nobody will notice? The prospective customer will naturally worry that they may receive the same lack of regard from such a business.
Sign vandalism is another potential maintenance issue, although far rarer than environmental damage and generally location-dependent. Nonetheless, the same results occur – an obscured sign that not only fails to transmit your message, but actively turns customers away. Failure to respond quickly risks alienating customers and, if left over time, vandalised signs could become dangerous.
Health and Safety
Indeed, the issue of maintaining signs is not just a question of aesthetics and effective communication, but also strays into health and safety issues covered by relevant laws and regulations. The responsibility for sign inspection and maintenance ultimately rests with the owner of the sign, and three statutory regulations make it obligatory that these are carried out.
The Health and Safety at Work Act states that signage must be maintained in a safe condition that doesn’t pose any risks to health. UK building regulations also mandate the regular inspection and maintenance of fittings, services and equipment. The Town and Country Planning Act further states that signage and advertisements must not endanger anyone, to which end any supporting structures must be maintained in a sturdy and safe condition. There exists the potential for criminal proceedings against those who fail to fulfil these obligations.
Never fear, however – most sign companies can take care of all of this for you.
Reactive and Preventative Maintenance
In the industry, we talk about reactive and preventative maintenance. These are fairly straightforward but very different ways of approaching maintaining signs. Preventative maintenance involves regular inspections and repairs to prevent problems from occurring, while reactive maintenance responds to remedy problems after they have occurred.
Some issues will always come out of the blue and require reactive maintenance, such as a particularly strong storms, but most issues can be avoided entirely with a well-structured preventative maintenance plan. This saves you stress, hassle and money in the long run, as any problems are caught and dealt before they become serious.
At Sign Installations, we can construct bespoke maintenance plans that perfectly respond to your needs as a business and take care of your legal obligations. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to hear what we can do for you. Call us today on 01273 417074Published on 03/10/16