How to Start a Sign Printing Business – Updated Guide
As an individual you might believe that the sign printing industry Or the concept of physical signs have lost their space in almost sad way to online pamphlets and advertising agencies. However at a macro level, when we consider how a majority of small businesses are discovered, we find out that it is through either of two ways. Any small of business is discovered when people talk about it, that is word of mouth, Or when they see a sign about it. This implies that not only is the sign printing business, extremely relevant but is also growing even today.
Now that it has been established how stable a sign printing business is, we try to understand how practical it is to set up and what are the steps involved in the same.
It is true that Starting a sign printing business is no longer as simple as it once was. Rather, it has evolved, and sign business owners are no longer limited to selling simple signages. Customers can now also receive consulting services from them. However today, there are different types of sign design software available in the market that can be used for making the sign printing job easier. An entrepreneur can even choose to outsource the job to an online designer with more experience
Proper research about the market and the audience to be targeted is also necessary.
Decide on your target market before launching a sign printing business.
1. Printed signs are required by a variety of businesses such as-:
- Physical stores such as corner stores or department stores
- Pubs, hotels, and restaurants
- Real estate agents require ‘for sale’ signboards
- Lobby signs are required by professionals such as doctors, insurance brokers, dentists, lawyers, and others who have offices on multiple floors
- Hospitals, amusement parks, universities, schools, tourism places, churches, and other institutions are among them
- Businesses and industries like driving schools, trucking companies etc that require a large fleet of vehicles at their disposal.
- Individual professionals that require a vehicle to travel for their work, such as builders, plumbers, or electricians
- Customers who need to find their way around factories or stores mostly use exterior wayfinding signs.
- Traffic signs are required by administrative departments for passengers.
Beyond this list, you can think of other target markets as well. For example, firms may require the phrases “Launched now” and similar phrases to inform customers of their existence in a completely new city.
2. Determine The scale of competition locally
Find out the degree of competition for your web2print business after you’ve decided on your potential clients. Determine how well existing businesses are serving your target audience.
Try using directories like yell Or yelp to get a better understanding of the scale at which your firm operates.
Keep in mind that non-experts such as flex printers, printers, reprographic specialists, and others can also provide signage services. You may again face competition from sign printmakers who operate entirely online.
As a result, it is very important to thoroughly investigate your competitors’ websites, advertising, and other marketing materials. It will assist you in understanding:
- The goods and services they are offering
- Whether their main area of expertise is offering generic services Or specialised targeted services
- Whether they target a specific clientele
- Whether they are members of trade associations or run their enterprises,
- The appearance of their websites and advertisements, as well as the impression they offer you of the companies
- Prices and discounts they provide for their products as well as services.
- Pay careful attention to companies whose target market is comparable to the one you want to target.
3. Make A Decision About The Services You’ll Provide
As someone in the sign printing industry, whether with an online or physical presence, you can offer either of the following services Or all of them. They are –
- Painted signboards for pubs, taverns, restaurants, or hotels
- Exterior pavement signs that are free-standing
- Signboards with phrases like “To Let,” “For Sale,” and so on.
- Various types and materials of illuminated shop front signs
- Internal signs for a variety of institutions such as coaching centers, schools, universities, and so on.
- Safety and emergency signs, as well as warning boards, etc.
- Menu boards for cafes and restaurants that are illustrated or illuminated.
- Door plaques
- Large banners for outdoor events such as festivals, sports, carnivals, and shows, among others.
- Signs and logos made of adhesive vinyl
- Murals and sports signs
- Artwork for tourist attractions, nightclubs interiors, and other venues
You can provide a diverse choice of sign printing services in various styles and materials utilizing various technologies. In this regard, you can also opt for a specific service or two, such as glass décor signage, vinyl logos, and so on.
If you believe you are an expert in a particular field, you can consider targeting a niche market. Customers may come to you with similar design requests at times and one-time design requests at other times.
While you may or may not cater to consumer expectations in general, but if you provide ‘specialty’ signage services, you must always do so.
You should be more resourceful in this situation. And you must not allow any customer to leave your store without making a purchase. If you specialize in vinyl lettering, for example, there may be a demand for several types of vinyl.
While one customer may request a cast vinyl for their car, another may request a calendared vinyl for indoor signage. When you specialize in vinyl signages, you must be able to provide all of them.
4. Design Consultation, Restoration or Repair Services
While some customers may have a clear vision of what they want their sign looks like, others may not. They may seek your advice before deciding on the final appearance of their signs.
If you merely provide basic signs, they may focus on finding a lot of sources for that particular thing. However, if you want to stand out, you might have to do something unique.
In addition, to grab their attention and grow your brand, provide design consultation services to your consumers.
DIY sign-making service is very popular in this aspect.
Customers want to design their signs by themselves. You may set yourself apart from the competition by allowing customers to customize their signs.
Also, you can accomplish this by integrating an online product design software into your store and allowing customers to personalize signs as per their preferences.
Some old-school customers still want to preserve their hand-crafted signs. You might also try fixing and restoring vintage hand-painted signage to meet their needs. It will not only provide you with an additional source of cash but will also extend your consumer base.
5. Think out of the box and offer services like sign removal
Some customers may come to your sign shop for new signs, but they may also need sign removal services.
You might come across a customer who wants to get rid of an old sign before selling their vehicle. Another customer could want to get rid of their door plaques before selling their house.
Removing vinyl lettering does not always have to be difficult or time-consuming. You can estimate the cost of removing a sign depending on its size and the amount of effort required. You would be able to generate some extra income from occasional sign removal jobs.
6. Indulge in Promotions of your firm.
Adopt various promotional techniques for your sign-making firm in addition to fostering word-of-mouth advertising.
- Make sure you reach your audience locally by targeting local newspapers, brands etc.
- To expand your reach beyond your local market, advertise in trade journals. It’s would be even better if you have a specialty sign company that caters to a specific industry.
- Make sure your website’s content is optimized for the proper keywords. Upload photos of your artwork, testimonials from happy customers, and blogs as well as whitepapers.
- To raise brand recognition, print flyers and distribute them to local companies such as shopfitters, painters, as well as decorators.
- To reach a broad audience, use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, as well as Instagram.
- If your budget allows, use paid marketing and display advertising initiatives as well.
- Attend trade shows as well as festivals to expand your reach and meet with similar businesses.
- Associating with a well-known brand may also be advantageous. There are a few recognized sign-making franchises that might assist you in expanding your firm. The scale of a franchise can ranges from large national corporations to small local businesses.
The world we live in is full of possibilities to explore and opportunities to grab. The fear of not being familiar with the industry stops people from breaking into it, however with the correct tools like a decent sign printing tool and web to print software, establishing a sign printing business becomes not only easy but also extremely profitable.