It is a question that every business owner with a van must ask themselves and question whether it's worth doing. What are the advantages and disadvantages? How much does it cost? How much business will it really attract? This post will discuss all of these topics and try to provide some answers.
Let's start with the negatives of sign writing. The most popular reason that trades people will give for not sign writing their van is that telling people what your business does will increase the risk of your van being broken in to because thieves will think that you have valuable equipment stored in it.
For example, a professional DJ is likely to keep expensive equipment in their van when they aren't working for convenience so that they don't have to keep loading and unloading it. But let's be honest, most thieves are opportunistic and it won't really matter if your van is sign written or not; most people are clever enough to know that a van normally belongs to a business and is likely to have something kept in it at all times.
The other main disadvantage to sign writing is directly linked to the perceived 'increased' chance of your van being broken in to, and that is a higher insurance premium. Some insurance providers will look to charge you more money to insure your van if it is sign written because it is supposedly more likely to be targeted for theft.
However, there are also a number of insurance companies that will not increase your premium, so as long as you do some shopping around for a good quote, or are happy to pay a little bit extra, it shouldn't really stop you from taking the plunge and sign writing your van.
So, you're thinking of giving the green light to sign writing your van, but you're not completely convinced of the benefits that it is going to bring to your business. Firstly, a sign written van gives you low cost advertising, especially in comparison with other marketing activities.
Let's assume that your sign writing costs you £150 and you keep that van for three years. Over the course of this period, it would cost you £1 per week for the sign writing. After the initial outlay, it's completely paid off and you don't need to worry about doing it again until you get a new van.
It is estimated that your van will be seen by around 2,000 people every day, so even if you only get one job from your van's sign writing, it will probably have paid for itself!
A sign written van will instantly make your business look more professional. Customers will appreciate that you have taken the time to design a logo and spent the money to have it put onto your company vehicle with your contact details.
Some trades people have even stated that customers they are providing a quote for have been more likely to convert if they have their van sign written. Customers are more confident in you if your business looks legitimate and professional.
Cowboy builders are more likely to have blank vans because they don't want their company name to be traceable, so by having a sign written van you are showing your commitment to your business and your brand.
Finally, having a sign written van means that your business name and contact details are constantly available wherever you are, so you can pick up leads simply by driving to and from a job, or even on your way to pick up supplies.
A number of trades people have also said that they have received business from neighbours of customers they have worked with just because they have seen their van parked outside.
Word of mouth is the strongest asset to any business owner, but it never hurts to give people a helping hand to remember the name of your company.
If you've decided to take the plunge and get your van sign written, here is a number of helpful tips that you should keep in mind before you get anything printed.
Firstly, you should be advertising what your business does and not your business name, unless it is already a household name. For example, artwork that just says 'JOE BLOGGS AND SONS' with the company's contact details doesn't tell a potential customer anything. They won't know what Joe Bloggs and Sons does, so why would they contact them for work?
Another important factor to consider for your design is how much can actually be read by customers as you drive by. People will only have a matter of seconds to read your artwork so you need to make sure that it is smart and clean, not tarted-up and crowded. Do a small amount of market research with friends and family or people that you come into contact with to check that what you've designed will do the job.
Before you commission any work to be printed, it is very important that you get your sign writing proof read.
While it is true that sign writing makes your business look more professional, if you have a word spelt wrong or a grammatical error, customers might think that you lack attention to detail and are unprofessional.
If you are concerned about your spelling and grammar abilities, you should ask someone else to proofread it for you to make doubly sure.
Finally, once you have your van sign written, you need to make sure that anyone driving it is a good driver. Your van is now a mobile advertising unit as well as everything else it does for your business.
That means that if anyone driving your van cuts someone up on the road or is seen driving dangerously, people will have a bad impression of your business and could spread the word in a negative way. So, it is important to be confident in everyone that you allow to drive your van to promote your business in a positive way.