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A business with no sign


is a sign of no business!


     Even if you’re running a business  out of your basement or garage or attic, and even if it’s illegal to have a sign outside, at least have one inside. If for no other reason than that the occasional visitor will be impressed, the IRS will give you less hassle about writing off a percentage of rent or mortgage and utilities, and –most important– it will make you feel good. 

     It doesn’t have to be a Times Square  smoke-blowing LED display spectacular. A piece of wood or cardboard will do just fine. The point is to give your business an identity. If you don’t who will? And when was the last time you had business dealings with, or rode through the desert on a horse with no name?  

     Okay, now let’s get to those eleven or so businesses  that are still not run out of the home. (That was a joke. My wife always urges me to announce a joke when I have a straight face like I did just then.)

Bottom line is that people judge

your business and you on first

impressions (and you’ll never

get a second one!)


     And many first impressions are at least formed in a large part by the sign on your building and/or in your window and or parking lot. 

     That sign needs to stand out.  It needs to communicate what you’re all about. It needs to be clean and attractive, visible and well-lit. Shrubs in the way? Trim them. Dirty frame? Wash or paint it. Bulbs out? Replace them. A sculpting studi0 I worked with uses lettering that is so thin and so fancy, it can’t be read when you’re parked next to it, never mind driving by.

A shabby sign tells people

you have a shabby business. 


     Replace or refresh it. A fish business has 20 signs on scrap wood that look like a 3 year-old spray-painted them. I drove past regularly for three years and refused to go there, thinking the fish couldn’t possibly be fresh.

     I finally stopped there one day out of curiosity  about they could still be in business. Now, I wouldn’t buy fish anywhere else. Aha!, you say, so lousy signs work. Actually, I think of it more that they lost my weekly business for three years; that’s a long time to court a prospective customer. 

     Your sign is your face. 


     How many days would you go without checking out your face in a mirror? Why would you not look at your own sign for weeks on end? In today’s economy, it’s not a good idea to have a less than perfect sign showing for even 24 hours! An ineffective sign is a sign of an ineffective business… yes, even in your basement, attic, or garage!           

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