So you’re thinking about the business of sign making? Well you’re in luck! Sign making is an easy business to get into and it has a very stable market. As long as people need to market their goods or services to those around them, they’re going to need signs to do it!

Now, when graphic Greensboro say that it’s “easy” to get into sign making, that’s a relative term … It’s still a business and like any business you need a good plan. This article won’t deal with writing a business plan as there are plenty of other resources for that. What this article will deal with are some of the key factors in building a successful sign business, including a general overview of the talent and equipment you’re going to need to get started.

The topics we’ll cover here are location, artistic talent, software, equipment, supplies and the types of signs you can expect to sell right out of the box.

Location, Location, Location

When you’re starting out, you’re customers are likely to be local political campaigns, other small businesses, schools, churches, municipalities and occasionally an individual looking for a vinyl graphic to spice up their vehicle. So with a sign making business, having your shop visible to customers in your area is important, but don’t break the bank right away by trying to open up a shop in Times Square. A second floor office space or a shop at the edge of town is fine, as long as lots of people drive by and can see your sign as they pass.

Also, don’t forget that your own sign is going to say a lot about the type and quality of work that you do … after all, who’s going to want to use a sign shop if the shop itself has a terrible sign?

If your customers can’t come to you, take your business to your customers! An interesting sign business I came across recently was a 19 year old guy who outfitted his minivan with a “mobile sign studio”. He would travel around to regional racetracks where he would rake in the cash for offering on the spot vinyl lettering and graphic service to racers who needed some extra vinyl on their vehicles before their events. Sometimes a little creative thinking can go a long way when it comes to reaching your customers.

Design Sense

The next priority is to find someone who can handle the artistic requirements of your sign business. If you’re already a graphic designer looking to start a business than you’ve definitely got a leg up as you won’t need to hire anyone right off the bat. If you’re not an artistic person, than you’ll want to start searching around for someone who is. While most of the software used to design signs is easy enough to learn, becoming a good artist is not.

Hiring a good graphic designer may cost you, but putting out poorly designed signs because you’re trying to do everything yourself will cost you even more. Also, someone who can fulfill your design requirements can easily learn all the other aspects of the business and become a valuable “all in one” employee … especially if they have excellent people skills and can act as sales/customer service as well.

When looking to hire a designer, REQUIRE that they’re proficient in Adobe Illustrator (or similar vector based design program) and request that they submit their portfolio when submitting their resume/application for the job. If they can’t provide a portfolio, throw their application out and immediately move on!

You don’t have to be an artist yourself to recognize good design. Simply look over their portfolios and interview the ones that strike your interest. In addition to the quality of their designs, also pay attention to how their materials are presented and how good their social skills are. You’ll want to pay attention to attributes that illustrate the applicant’s craftsmanship as well as their ability to communicate with customers.