The other day, I had to run a few errands.  I would normally leave the grocery shopping for last so that the frozen items wouldn’t melt.  However, on this day, I decided to stop at that store first because it is right by my house.    Plus, I heard there was a boutique by the store that would be a great stop for my daughter’s friend’s birthday party.

Driving through the strip mall to get to the grocery store, I noticed a large banner for a store that had just opened.  Grand Opening Sale!  Yes, it caught my eye.  As the owner of a specialty sign shop, I guessed that the business owners were waiting for their permanent signage but we’re ready and open for business.

I went into the grocery store, got my items and was in and out in 15 minutes.  I loaded the car, returned the cart and was now in search of the boutique.  I drove through the parking lot and circled around.  My GPS was no help.  I kept circling, double-checking the address and was growing frustrated.

One more time around the strip mall property and I gave up.  I didn’t care how great the store might be, I was tired of playing Hide and Seek.  I put the car in park and entered the store with the Grand Opening sign.  The place was welcoming.  I was greeted with a smile, asked if I needed any help finding anything and upon check out, I was more than happy with my purchase!

During our small talk, the owner informed me that he had a delay in the exterior signage and he wasn’t too happy.  So, they decided to do a last-minute banner to make sure customers knew where to go because ‘it’s difficult to navigate these types of properties sometimes.’  I could attest to that!

I told him that I owned Forerunner Signs & Graphics and asked what type of sign he had designed and ordered.  A basic non-illuminated, channel-letter sign in white to meet the zoning guidelines.  But, when the sign company they used went to install the sign, one of the letters cracked.  Needless to say, the owner wasn’t happy.

I told him that he did the right thing in ordering a large banner as a temporary fix – after all, it caught my eye.  Then, I told him, if he needed any help in the future, to give me a call.

I never did find the boutique that day.  I found out later that the store was in the back of the building.  But, there was no signage.  Being included on the strip mall’s monument sign is a must for stores that inhabit the property. Exterior signage outside your store is a MUST if you want customers to know you exist.

The store with the temporary banner got a new customer.  And, I will be sure to relate my positive experience to everyone I know.  Unfortunately for the boutique, they didn’t receive my business and probably the business of hundreds of potential customers that frequent that strip mall and grocery store on a daily basis.

My daughter’s friend did receive a great present thanks to the brand new store that let it be known they were open.  I made a new connection.

You never know who you are going to meet when you are out running errands.  If you’re a business owner, you never know who may walk through the door.  However, if prospective customers can’t find you, they won’t become customers.  Period.

If your business is in need of signage, the experts at Forerunner Signs & Graphics would be honored to help!  We pride ourselves on helping businesses stand out with high-quality materials installed by a highly-trained team.

Michael Ryan