Don't over or under-buy!

Placing your first sign order does not have to be overwhelming, particularly if you are prepared in advance. And, if you've done the work in Beginner's Block Part #2, you will be – you'll have an idea of what you want the signs to do for your business, how much you want to spend, and what you want your signs to look like. The salesperson at your sign company may help you decide specifics, but you'll already have a framework to work within. That will help you to not over or under-buy – and it will make your life and the salesperson's a lot easier!

Here are the 5 topics to address with your sign company when placing your order:

  • Pricing– Let your salesperson know up front what pricing range you'd like to stay within. Budget restraints can determine what types of materials, mounting hardware, and protective laminates would be best for you. Also, some companies offer quantity discounts for multiple signs of the same size and material, so the more you order, the less expensive your project is. Be sure to inquire! Lastly, ask for promotions and specials – you never know, it just might be "Start-Up Appreciation Week" ;)
  • Materials– Certain materials are better for certain types of signage, and it's super important to know which ones will work best for yours. (Learn why materials matter…) For example, if you've decided on an outdoor sign, the salesperson will explain that acrylic and PVC may not be the best options for you – go with aluminum, an aluminum composite, or wood. Ask lots of questions when it comes to materials – the more you know about this topic, the better!
  • Durability– How long will you need your signs to last? If you're installing a temporary sign, then you may not necessarily need premium laminates. But, if you want your signage to last years in excessive sunlight and harsh weather conditions, then you'll want to order the best protective laminate they have to offer. So, discuss durability levels with your salesperson. It will make the difference between signs that fade over time and signs that endure for the long haul.
  • Artwork– The quality of your signs will mirror the quality of your artwork! Clear, crisp graphics will produce clear, crisp signage. And, the converse is true, as well. So, make sure you ask your salesperson what kind of art files they prefer and what dpi they require for pictures and logos. (Learn how to prepare quality art files here.) You do not want your signs to be printed with blurry, pixelated images. Again, ask lots of questions!
  • Turnaround Time– Lastly, make sure you know exactly what to expect with respect to turnaround time. It takes a lot less time to produce an aluminum sign than it does a sandblasted redwood sign. Getting those details up front helps you to gauge your expectations. After proof approval, how long will it take for your sign be produced? And after production, how long will it take to ship to your door? Most companies can't give concrete dates on shipping, but they can give you a realistic range.

Discussing these topics should ensure a smooth ordering process. Your pre-preparation, along with this information from your salesperson, you should be able to make well-informed purchasing decisions. This helps you to feel very confident about ordering your signs with absolutely no buyer's remorse afterward! In Part #4, the final in the Beginner's Block series, you'll learn how to build upon your newfound signage foundation…

 

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