Advertising is a key marketing strategy to enhance the visibility of the product or service related to the business. There are many forms of advertisement such as televised commercials, flyers, signage, and door to door sales personnel. But the usage of signage is the most common because of its lifespan, durability, space for advertisement, reach and visibility. The business signs cost should be included in the startup budget due to its efficiency and its importance to the success of the business.
As the technology advances, the availability of digital or electronic signage becomes more popular and much flexible in advertising the content of the business to the public. The electric signage prices are expensive because of the materials, monthly electricity bill, and regular maintenance involved. But it can be considered as a good investment since the content will be colorful and can be updated using programs.
Average Cost of Signage
In a small business, stand-alone or simple signage is sufficient enough as a form of advertisement. Such signage requires minimal materials, easy to install and mostly unregulated depending on the placement. Typical examples are banners, stand-ups, board signs and metal signs which commonly used for small-scale business. The signage for small scale business use is around $10 to $270.
Meanwhile, outdoor business signage is usually scaled around medium to large. These types of signage require planning, construction, and compliance with the state regulation. The business signs cost around $150 to $400 per square foot and depend on the complexity of the design.
For digital signage, electronic signs are available at $4,400 to $154,000 depending on the display size, pixel pitch and mode of installation. There is also stand-alone LED that can be bought separately and installed inside the shop. The unit usually costs around $292 to $2,998.
Shopping for Signage
The scale of business can determine the adequate form of signage for advertisement and optimal to the budget. Small-scale businesses can use banners and stand-ups which are the simplest and almost require minimal installation. Vista Print is signage provider that has various sign products and good for start-up businesses.
Meanwhile, Signs by Crannie makes free-standing outdoor signage for $150 to $400 per square foot. Based on their portfolio, the projects cost around $5,000 up to $28,000 depending on the material used, size, and complexity of the design.
Wire Spring provides an estimated cost and a ballpark cost of a digital signage such as an electronic billboard. The website also has a calculator to give you an estimate depending on the requirement of the business owner.
Business owners can also buy stand-alone LED display as a form of advertisement The good thing about stand-alone units, they are easy to install and programmable to showcase the desired content. It can also play various media format and flexible enough to personalize the display.
What are Included
Most of the signage makers such as Fast Signs offer a complete package for creating the signs from the design phase up to the installation. Hence, consult the representative of the company regarding the full extent of the service. The scope of work varies from one provider to another.
- Graphic Design – the conceptualization of the content that the business owner wants to show to the public. Signage makers offer skilled artist and powerful software on their arsenal to design the content.
- Content Development – refers to experts that can help boost the effectiveness of the design of the signage and to guarantee engagement to the target audience.
- Survey and Permitting – refers to the service provided by the signage makers in regards to the compliance of the project and acquisition of the necessary permits as per requirement of the law.
- Project Management – the business owner can rest easy while the service providers manage the team from planning, procurement and up to the construction phase. The managers will assure the client that the project will be delivered on time. The project management team will also be responsible for conducting the quality check.
- Installation – refers to the installation of the signage performed by professionals. It is to ensure the proper installation of the signage and to avoid any hassle of finding subcontractors or performing DIY installation. It also prevents any damages that can be inflicted to the materials due to mishandling.
- Shipping and Storage – most of the service providers include free shipping of the materials to location site or provide temporary storage facility in some cases.
- Warranty – it is the most important inclusion since the coverage and duration of warranty can significantly protect the investment of the business owners. The usual coverage is the replacement of defective parts and regular maintenance of the signage. The typical duration of the warranty is around 3 to 5 years depending on the provider.
Factors Affecting the Signage Prices
- Space and Size
A smaller size signage will cost less while larger size will be more expensive.
The complexity of the design can yield additional charges depending on the service providers. The more complex and difficult the designs are, it will result in an increase in the duration to finish the project. Also, skilled workers might charge an additional fee for creating the difficult details even with the help of software.
- Type of Signage
The materials used in the signage can directly affect the overall cost of the project. As an example, the acrylic signs are cheaper in comparison to the LED signs. But in long-term usage, the cost efficiency between the two can change depending on the circumstances.
Acrylic signs are a cheaper investment but the lifespan and durability of the material are limited especially if exposed to extreme conditions. The design can deteriorate over time due to weathering and moisture exposure. Also, the signs are not that flexible since it requires to replace the material completely to update the content.
Meanwhile, electric signs are expensive but have a longer lifespan and more durable. The content is easily updated by just reprogramming which lessens the need to replace the materials. But the monthly bills and regular maintenance must be put into consideration.
Other materials such as woods, plastics and resins are available but provided only by some specialized sign makers. Even though, the usage of such materials is rare because of the availability of the cheaper materials and digitalization.
- Mode of Installation
For freestanding signage, the pedestal or foundation needed to support and to maintain the stability of the structure is considered in the construction cost. For wall-mounted connections, sturdy supports are needed such as clamps and hinges. The installation might also require structural alteration to the wall to mount the support and the display. Meanwhile, overhead signage requires steel frames and anchorage to carry the advertisement materials.