One of the most important and frequently asked questions from new sign makers is what do I charge? No other question has such potential for success or failure for a new business. No matter how well you know your equipment, no matter how good your designs are, if you fail in pricing signs right, you fail; period. So in the interest of increasing your chances for sign making success, we offer this beginners guide to sign pricing. We’ll look at industry standard pricing for the most common applications, guidelines for design and labor charges, resources for managing costs, and tips for adapting to regional differences. Let’s start with some basic guidelines for banners, vehicle graphics, and small signage.
One of the most frustrating things with running a small sign making business is not being able to close a deal with a client. After going over several different proposals, making sketches, and getting yourself hyped for the job you hear those dreaded words, “I don’t think I am ready to make this kind of purchase yet.” No matter what form the rejection comes in, it stings. However, don’t give up hope. Just because a potential client isn’t ready for a sign right at this moment, doesn’t mean they won’t eventually need a sign maker. Treat such ones as potential clients and eventually they may convert into actual clients.
Have you ever made a presentation to a committee/boss/client who could not converse in words? It goes like this: “Hmm. Mm-hmm. I’m not sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it.” And, “I can’t tell you what I like, but I know what I don’t like.” Is the problem the “stupid client”, or you, the sign designer?
Signs are the most basic and standard way that any business advertises. Sure, they are likely to put an add in a newspaper, and these days most business will probably be quick to get on Facebook, but the tried and true method of sticking a sign up outside their business will never go out of style.
Do you know what your customers want to see on your sign making web site?