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  • July 9, 2019

Benefits of Using Your Local Sign Shop

Convenience and cost — modern consumers value these two qualities highly. When life is busy and demanding, who wants to get off the couch and drive to the grocery store, or lug heavy bags, when you can order grocery delivery with a few clicks and have vegetables and potato chips delivered to your door for a nominal fee?

Online shopping is quick and easy — but actually, many of us would rather make the trip to the store ourselves to see what we’re getting before we purchase it and avoid delivery errors.

Designing a sign is much the same way. It seems quick and easy to order a sign online, but in reality, many setbacks can complicate and upset the process, from file errors to delays to communication challenges.

Using a local sign shop solves these problems. When you use your local sign shop for design, fabrication and installation services, you’ll gain a trusted partner who will work with you at every step toward the creation of a sign you love.

Supporting local businesses benefits the local community and the environment. It benefits the consumer by providing you with valuable expertise, customer service and efficiency.

Support your community, and reap benefits for yourself — use your local sign shop to create beautiful custom signs that represent your business with quality and style.

What Are Some Benefits of Using Your Local Sign Shop?

Modern consumers do a lot online. The number of products we buy online has been steadily increasing — online consumers numbered 1.79 billion shoppers in 2018, and those shoppers accounted for 2.8 billion in sales worldwide. Those figures are expected to rise — models project 2.14 billion online shoppers in 2021 and a whopping 4.8 billion in sales. Over half of American adults have purchased clothes or shoes online. Almost half have purchased electronics online. These billions of shoppers claim convenience with a click of the mouse. They buy a T-shirt while relaxing on the porch with a beverage, and the T-shirt lands on that same porch days later.

Yet online shopping entails risks. Some 50% of U.S. online shoppers report dissatisfaction with the quality of a product they purchased online. Additionally, 37% report dissatisfaction with shipping.

Modern consumers do a lot of things locally, too. You probably go to a local dentist and a local mechanic, have a favorite local coffee shop and a favorite little restaurant just around the corner. We know and trust these local businesses. We go to them when we need quality and service and when convenience doesn’t justify the extra costs.

Local sign shops are similar. For a quick and convenient purchase, it may seem tempting to patronize an online sign shop. As with online grocery shopping, you don’t even have to leave your couch. A few clicks, and you’ll have a sign printed and ready to ship to your door.

But here are just a few of the benefits that using sign shop near you can offer that an online store cannot:

  • Precise specifications: Maybe you need a sign to fit precisely into a narrow space, or maybe you need a large, lettered sign to penetrate through glass windows. If the dimensions are a little off, the sign won’t fit, or it will look awkward and out of place. Even if you have measured precisely, it’s still unwise to trust that sign to an online company that cannot see or survey the space you have in mind.
  • Unique products: This is the reason 61% of shoppers value local businesses — for options they can find nowhere else. Most online shops can handle only basic signs. A colorful wall sign with fun graphics and pretty fonts — sure, they can do that. But what about 3D channel letters, or signs with backlighting or monument signs made from custom materials like rocks, engraved metal or wood? Online sign printing shops generally do not have 3D printing capabilities, so if you’re looking for anything beyond a basic sign, you’ll be out of luck. Instead, look for a place to design exterior signs near you so you can create a unique product.
  • Environmental impact: Many citizens of today’s world try hard to reduce their environmental impact, whether by recycling, reducing waste, changing their consumption habits or eating locally and sustainably. When you consider the packaging, transportation and fuel necessary for a sign from an online sign shop to get to you, you can see that a local sign shop is much more eco-friendly. If your design permits, you can also ask about incorporating local materials into your sign to reduce packaging and shipping waste even further.

Sometimes you can’t shop locally, no matter how much you want to. But when you can, the practice is beneficial in many ways, and your local sign manufacturer undoubtedly offers a multitude of positive rewards and intangible benefits.

Read on to discover more substantial benefits that using local sign design can deliver.

1. Cost

At first glance, it may seem that online printing shops charge less than a local sign shop. That lower cost is tempting. There are a few ways, though, in which the extra costs that online printing can incur make local sign manufacturers more affordable in the end.

  • Redos: With online sign shops, there is a higher likelihood of ending up with mistakes or a sign you don’t care for once you see it. With an online sign store, you must submit a finalized file for printing. There is no chance to work with a designer, think of new ideas or make changes. No second set of eyes will check the sign for errors you may have missed or make sure the layout and design are appealing. If you don’t like the finished sign, you have to live with it or start all over. Working with the professional design team of a local sign shop in person saves you expensive do-over costs.
  • Substandard materials: Online sign shops can also charge less because they use materials of lesser quality. They may send you a vibrantly painted sign that looks fantastic for a year — but then the sign starts to warp and the paint begins to flake off. A local sign company like ISA — whose sign paints are more durable than the paints used by car manufacturers — uses quality materials and design standards so that these problems won’t occur.
  • Shipping costs: With an online sign shop, you’ll incur substantial added shipping costs, especially for expedited shipping or for an unusually bulky or heavy sign. You can avoid needless shipping costs by choosing a local sign shop.
  • Running afoul of local ordinances and permit requirements: Imagine you’ve designed and ordered your perfect sign, only to find out that it violates the regulations of your zoning district. You’ll either incur a fine or be prohibited from installing your sign at all — and then you’ll have to start over, causing unnecessary expenses.

The sign manufacturers near you have myriad options for materials and many ways to customize your sign. Working together with a helpful design team at your local sign shop, you can find a way to create an affordable sign that you love. You’ll save money by ending up with exactly what you want the first time — or with something even better.

2. Expertise

Local sign shops offer an array of expertise that online printing shops can’t:

  • Experienced, professional staff: Online print shops are more likely to have outsourced staff. They don’t employ in-house designers who work full-time to develop their expertise and competence. The staff members who work in local sign shops boast years of experience in interior sign design, exterior sign design, printing and installation. You can meet with these professionals in person, ask them about their experience and see examples of their work. Whether you need interior signs or building signs for business, they have you covered. You’ll work directly with professionals who care about the products they create.
  • Local knowledge: A local sign shop has relationships with the local clientele — it makes signs for small businesses and large companies in the area, after all — and its employees are members of the community. The staff will know how best to cater to locals and stand out from competitors. Staff members can advise you on how to blend in and enhance the neighborhood character or to stand out. Maybe there’s a Wild West theme or a tropical theme you can jump into in a touristy town. Or maybe there are tons of understated wood signs around, and you can create one with neon and pop to catch the eye.
  • Experience with permits and requirements: Local sign shops have longstanding expertise in adhering to local ordinances. They can help you navigate the red tape required to get your sign up and working for you. They can even survey your site beforehand and share their expertise in terms of what types of signs are permitted and will work best. They will likely already have a relationship with the necessary departments and can walk you through the permit process — or do it for you. You don’t want to create the perfect sign online and have it shipped across the country only to discover that it’s unusable.

Local sign shops’ expertise means they can do these things so you don’t have to. You don’t have to become an expert on permits and regulations — your local sign pros already are. You don’t have to become an expert in layout and design — your local sign shop has years of cumulative experience. Find a shop that does interior and exterior sign design near you so you can spend your time and energy on more important things, like coming up with ideas for a sign that truly represents the spirit of your business.

3. Customer Service

The customer service offered at a local sign shop is personal and one-on-one. Patronizing a local sign shop gives you first-class customer service in several ways:

  • Personalized interaction: An online shop is hands-off ‚ you submit your file and payment, and sometime later you receive your sign. Unless you have a problem and need to call, that’s it. At a local sign shop, you’ll work with a talented, friendly team of people who are passionate about design and sign making. Your team will be happy to customize your sign for you and let you be part of the sign-making process from start to finish. You can come to the store and have face-to-face conversations with people to clarify your vision. You can get advice, new ideas and price quotes for different options. The staff at a local sign shop want to work together to find the right sign solution for you.
  • A committed relationship: Online sign shops, generally, are interested in converting sales, turning out orders and making profits. They are not inherently interested in starting a dialogue with you or spending time pondering how to create just the right product for your business. A local sign shop is committed to delivering quality signs. The staff there will know and care if you’re not pleased with your sign, and they take enough pride in their work and relationships that they would rather put in the effort necessary to get it right the first time. With an online shop, that accountability doesn’t exist.
  • A reliable point of contact: An online shop may outsource customer service. That means that if you call, you’ll have to wait on hold, always talk to a different person and explain your situation every time. At a local sign shop, you’ll speak to the same people. You can ask follow-up questions, bounce new ideas around and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with consistent communication.

Find a shop for exterior and interior sign design near you so you can take advantage of top-notch customer service and a genuine, reliable relationship.

4. Speed and Efficiency

If speed and efficiency are top priorities for your business, you’ll certainly want to look into the sign shop near you. A local sign shop’s quick and efficient protocols help streamline the sign-making process from beginning to end:

  • Rapid turnaround: When you work with a local sign shop, you’ll run into none of the shipping delays you may encounter when you order online. There will be no three-day shipping turning into week-long shipping, and no sign ending up in a different state by accident. You’ll have open communication with your team about the timeframe, and you can check on the progress of your sign in person. You can even make some changes in the middle of the process — much more efficient than having to scrap the design and start over. Sign shops have a professional reputation to uphold, so they do their best to provide a prompt, quality turnaround.
  • Rush jobs: Though you can’t create a sign out of thin air overnight, sometimes things come up more quickly than anticipated. You’re remodeling, or a grand opening is scheduled, and suddenly you realize you need a sign pronto. Your local sign shop wants you to succeed and wants to be known for being reliable in a tight spot when people need signs for business buildings. Though the staff can’t work miracles, they will try their best to work with your schedule and meet your deadlines.
  • Installation efficiency: When the local shop finishes your sign, its staff will install it promptly. If an online shop has installation services at all, those services will be undoubtedly be outsourced. The sign may be done, but the installation may take another week or more. These delays can lead to headaches and frustration on your end. The speedy installation done by your local shop will run much more smoothly.

Why Not Stop by Your Local Sign Shop?

When you buy online, there’s no room for discussion. You don’t know what end product will be like in real life. You run into hassles and delays, and you’ll probably end up wishing you could start the whole process over.

Instead, try working with a shop for exterior and interior signs near you. You’ll gain a one-of-a-kind sign that will fit your business, please your eye, and attract new customers.

If you’re local to San Diego, put your brand out in the world for all to see by working with the friendly, trustworthy team at ISA on a sign that will form an integral part of your business for years to come. Fill out the pop-up form on the website, call us at (619) 579-2229 or contact us online.

We are often urged to keep it local, support local businesses, and invest in the community. It’s true — with a local business, you’re in good, knowledgable, competent hands. Who knows — those local sign shop employees may help support your business too!