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Tips & Advice

Sharing ideas on how to grow your business and generate opportunities.

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Why Are Sidewalk Signs So Effective at Bringing in Business?

Why Are Sidewalk Signs So Effective at Bringing in Business?

As a business owner, you know the important role your building's appearance plays in setting the tone of your company. You probably spent a good amount of time and money on a well-designed sign and continually put in effort in the maintenance of your business's exterior. You likely also use banners and window decals to show merchandise and announce sales. All of these tools help to advertise and establish a sense of professionalism so customers will come in. However, have you thought about what a big impact something as simple as outdoor  sidewalk signs can have on your profits?

What Are Sidewalk Signs?

These little displays go on the sidewalk in front of your business to attract pedestrians and motorists alike. The most common type is the A frame sidewalk sign, also known as the sandwich board sign. Other styles are available, such as a flat base, and they come in various materials, sizes, and colors. They are lightweight, easily movable, and very versatile.

Many signs use changeable letters and numbers to spell out a message, like a marquee. The typeface is bold, clean, and large to make it easy to read. A dry-erase or chalkboard sidewalk sign allows you to write messages in your own style and add artwork. It tends to fit more information as well, though it can be harder for people driving by to read. You can also opt for a customized sign if you want a permanent message personalized to your business.

How a Sidewalk Sign Can Boost Your Business


How a sidewalk sign can help you depends on your circumstances. Some of the most common reasons businesses use them include the following:

  • Menu: Restaurants and cafes use sidewalk signs to show menu items. They usually share the daily special or reveal new seasonal dishes and drinks. If the establishment is small, the sign may display the full menu. People who can tell right away what a restaurant serves and what its price range is are more likely to go in.
  • Sales: Boutiques, markets, and small retail stores use the signs as advertisements for sales and new merchandise. This approach can be more cost-effective than other promotional tools for those on a budget, as the signs are continually reusable and customizable.
  • Event: Bars, lounges, local theaters, and the like say what performances are on that night or will be coming soon. Passersby can photograph the sign so they can easily access the info again without having to look it up online.
  • Location: Some places are in an odd location that make them difficult to find, or perhaps they lack a large sign above. Custom sidewalk signs can make the business more visible to customers trying to find it and for people who are walking by. They can also tell motorists where to park.

Whatever you decide to put on the sign, keep it simple, short, and straightforward. Too many words will act as a deterrent.

Why Creativity Matters

The wonderful thing about a sidewalk sign is that it gives more freedom of expression than other display tools. While using a sign to share information is extremely helpful and practical, the bigger draw for potential customers is creativity. Coming up with an interesting, unique, or amusing message is sure to catch more attention and make your business memorable. When people see wit and humor they can relate to, they may connect with your company and be more likely to come in, leading to a higher chance of purchase. 

Jokes, puns, and plays on song lyrics are always hits. Another option is to share a famous funny quote. Just be sure to attribute it to the correct source. Here are some examples of funny sidewalk signs that you can use as starting points and twist to fit your business:

  • Bar: "Soup of the day: whiskey."
  • Bookstore: "Dinosaurs didn't read. Now they're extinct. Coincidence?"
  • Dance studio: "I was addicted to the hokey pokey, but I turned myself around."
  • Gas station: "Eat here and get gas."
  • Gift Shop: "So you waited until the last minute? We don't judge. We wrap."
  • Gym: "Birthday suits tailored here."
  • Hardware store: "Husband day care center."
  • Jewelry store: "Sometimes it's OK to throw rocks at girls."
  • Laundromat: "Irony: the opposite of wrinkly."
  • Library: "Where 'shhh' happens."
  • Pet shop: "If it's raining cats and dogs, don't step in a poodle."
  • Pizzeria: "Doing taxes? Pizza goes great with tears."
  • Salon: "Improve your selfies! See a stylist inside."
  • Steakhouse: "Turning vegan would be a big missed steak."
  • Veterinary clinic: "We like big mutts and we cannot lie."

The more often you change your sign, the better. The one-liner doesn't even have to be related to what you do; anything hilarious is effective! Customers will look forward to reading your new sign each time they visit and may stop by more often just to find out what you wrote next. They will also be very likely to snap a pic of the sign and share it online, giving you free advertising. With a little creativity, you can build your brand, increase traffic, and boost sales.

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