Custom Banners & Signage: Stop Settling for Less When You Can Have More

In today’s challenging economy, the ability to shop online and cut expenses is typically a huge benefit for small businesses. Whether it’s bulk orders for office supplies or comparing costs for phone services, saving a few dollars here and there really adds up. While we love a good deal (and who doesn’t?), when it comes to custom banners and signs, however, you should think twice before placing an order through an online discount sign shop.

All too often, we talk to customers who have had disappointing, frustrating and expensive online sign ordering disasters. While online sign prices may initially seem like a good deal, your quest to save a quick $20 on a sign order may ultimately cost you hundreds of dollars more. The majority of customers who order signs online end up returning them due to problems with printing, the color, the sign material, or the overall design. Online sign disasters waste your time, create undo stress and aggravation, cost you new business, and may even embarrass you in front of your peers and clients.

If you’re buying online, then you’re using online templates that the online store provides. You’re using the very same online templates that other companies are also using. Ask yourself these questions. Isn’t your business special and unique? Isn’t your business better than your competition? Doesn’t your company deserve more than a template that everyone else, including your competition, is using? If you believe in your brand, then make sure it is reflected in all that you do. That’s what will separate you from your competition! You care about the details, they don’t!

When you purchase a banner or business sign, you are buying more than a simple sign. You’re making an investment in your company’s brand and sending a message to the world that this is your business. Nothing screams unprofessional and damages your brand like a boring, generic sign with bad graphics – and that’s what most customers end up receiving when they order online.

Sometimes, it’s just better to shop and buy in person. You wouldn’t purchase a car without test-driving it. And you wouldn’t buy a house without inspecting it first. Buying a sign is the same. It’s easier to purchase your sign in person from knowledgeable professionals and get it right the first time.

Below is a list of comments we’ve heard from customers who used online banner or sign printing services and regretted the results. (Yes, the comments are real… we can’t make this stuff up!) But don’t worry – the friendly folks at Signs Now Mill Creek are here to help!

“My banner ended up costing me more when I ordered it online!”

Using banner signs is a great way to advertise your business for not a lot of cash when compared to traditional print advertising. However, not all banner signs are created equal — beware of extra costs! Some online companies charge additional fees for graphic design assistance or image processing that can really add up. Want a custom size? That will cost extra too. Big online companies print cheaply by using four or five basic sizes. If you need a custom fit, you’ll either pay extra (be prepared to wait at least an extra week for delivery, as well) or won’t be able to get the size at all. Need your sign this week? A quick turn around means overnight shipping, so you’ll have to pay extra (anywhere from $29 to $45 and up) for rush shipping and delivery.

“I just don’t like my sign – it doesn’t look how I imagined it would.”

There’s nothing worse than seeing your new business signs for the first time… and being completely disappointed in the results. From flimsy fabrics that look cheap to poor print jobs and incorrect color matches, the sign may “look” similar to the proof you saw online, but be totally different than how you imagined it.

How could the sign company you trusted let you down like this? Were they even paying attention? Answer: they probably weren’t. And now, unfortunately, you’re stuck with a bad sign. Depending on the company’s ‘customer satisfaction guarantee’ you may be able to return the sign for a partial refund and an exchange. However, unless there’s a serious workmanship flaw (such as the sign arriving broken or otherwise damaged) chances are that you’re now stuck with a sign you can’t use. Not only is your money gone, you’ve also lost valuable time and energy. Even worse, you may be unprepared for a major conference or exhibition, and your storefront window will continue to sit vacant. The opportunity cost for poor signs is huge.

Avoid buyer’s remorse by working with our in-house graphic design team. They’ve helped hundreds of businesses design creative, eye-catching graphics, signs, vehicle wraps and more. These professionals are experienced, easy-to-work-with, and know how to take your ideas from conception to completion. By working with an in-house design team, you can go back and forth with a designer until the sign looks just right – and you can even see mock-ups and sample prints. We’ll help you tailor your message for maximum impact. That’s the kind of personal service you just don’t get from a computer or call center.

“My banner broke!”

This one always breaks our heart. But the old adage really is true; you get what you pay for. Whether it’s a flimsy vinyl material, improper hemming or grommet attachment, or poor quality ink, sloppy craftsmanship catches up with you. We’ve heard horror stories from customers who ordered signs online, displayed them in their store window or at a major exhibition, and had the vinyl stitching unravel, the grommets break or the flimsy fabric crumple.

Here at Signs Now Mill Creek, we only use high quality vinyl and ink. The finest materials and the finest professional craftsmanship produce the finest end product. Guaranteed.

“The colors on my sign are wrong – they don’t match my business logo and look terrible against the background; the green shade looks like someone threw up on my sign!”

Any graphic designer will tell you that color matching is a tricky business. Colors look different from computer monitor to computer monitor, depending on the natural calibration of your screen. A soft blue on one computer may have an eerie, other-worldly glow on another computer, and shades of green can morph from a calming summer day to an unfortunate color resembling throw-up. (Definitely not what you had in mind for the big product expo!) The blue in your company logo may look great printed on your business cards, but terrible against your sign background. And if you don’t know the exact color (a Pantone number or hexadecimal code your printer used to produce the blue), matching the blue in your sign to the business card using a computer monitor is nearly impossible.

Matching colors in person, however, is easy! Bring your printed color sample into our shop and we’ll make sure your sign gets printed with the right blue. During pre-press, we can even print a sample to ensure the blue not only matches your logo, but also looks great against your background sign color. And if you don’t like something, we can quickly switch colors on the spot for you – you won’t have to wait 7 to 10 days for a new sign to arrive in the mail.

“My banner sign arrived damaged – one side was completely torn.”

After waiting 10 days, the box containing your sign finally arrives! You tear open the box, carefully pull out your new banner and… find that your sign is damaged. It happens. We’ve had customers tell us that their signs arrived torn, partially ripped, with broken grommets, uneven stitching, or otherwise damaged. Sure, some online companies may offer ‘workmanship guarantee’ where if there’s a problem, you can send it back for a full refund and replacement. But retuning a sign takes time. You’ve already waited at least a week for the first sign… and now you’ll need to wait another week for a replacement? Not to mention if your sign arrives Friday and you don’t realize there’s a problem until later in the day, you’ll have to wait three days until the next business day (Monday) to call or email customer service. And what if Monday’s a holiday? Or what if you needed your sign for that weekend?

The good folks at Signs Now Mill Creek take pride in their work, and have a personal relationship with each and every customer. In the world of online banner stores, you’re just another order fulfillment number. At Signs Now Mill Creek, we know your name, your business, and the name of your dog, too. We’ll never give you a damaged sign, and if you ever feel there’s a problem with our product, we’ll have you a replacement for you as soon as possible. Here, you get to talk to an actual human being, not an automated answering service, so your work is done right the first time and your problems get fixed fast.

The bottom line: It’s your brand, so why trust it to an online vendor? When your sign looks cheap, so does your business. From color disasters to font fiascos, don’t gamble your business’s brand away on sub-par design and inferior products. In a world of sprawling big box stores and giant corporations, small businesses need to build a strong brand so customers know who your business is and where it’s located. A strong brand translates into a strong relationship with your customer base, and allows you to cultivate a strong culture around your product, service, or organization.

Our custom-designed signs will help you build a strong brand by attracting attention, getting your company noticed and ensuring your business is remembered. Our signs translate enthusiasm into sales – helping you spend less time chasing down sales leads and more time serving customers. Even better, our friendly sales staff ensures your sign gets printed the right way the first time, no time consuming returns or expensive changes required.

And just in case the real-world experiences of some very frustrated online sign buyers is not enough to convince you of the dangers in online sign shopping… think about shopping locally. Shopping from a local sign company (whether its us or a competitor down the street) is an investment in your community. Local tax revenue supports important parts of our community such as buses, schools, roadways and infrastructure. Employees who live locally spend their money locally. If you buy online, chances are the sign company is located out of state, and your money is not being invested in our community.

So stop settling for less when you order online (an inferior product, poor customer service, sloppy graphics, incorrect colors) and get more with a custom sign job from Signs Now Mill Creek.

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About Signs Now Mill Creek
Hi! My name is Rani Bal and you can learn more about me and connect with me here: Rani Bal Google+ Profile

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