Banners are one of the more interesting opportunities to create sales for many businesses. And that opportunity is missed by most of those businesses.

Do you have space somewhere on, or in front of, your building?

The space could be a patch of ground in front of your store, or to the side of it -- even behind it -- where you could display a banner.

The space could be above your windows on the front. Or on the side of your building. It could inside your windows on the front. Or the side. Or the back, facing a drive-up to a bank.

Look for empty spaces. As big and as little as you can find. Spaces that could hold a banner.

Now, banners can be created in all kinds of sizes. I create and print them horizontally, vertically, and in squares. I have a customer I create 5 foot x 5 foot square banners that get him a lot of play. I create banners that are 5 feet high x 15 feet wide for another customer. And I create pretty much anything and everything in between.

Then, when you identify a space that is just sitting there, silent, not working for you ... give a banner a try.

It doesn't have to be big, you know.

I have quite a few jewelers who do relatively small banners that they put on the inside of their front and side windows. 48 inches wide x 24 inches high. Small 4x2 banners that face out to people walking by.

I have jewelers who do 2x10 (feet) and 3x10 and 2x8 and, well, you tell me what space you have to work with. Find some headlines that you like. And let me design to fit that space.

You see, a sign, poster, banner, billboard, print ad -- all of them are just space. You get to put something into that space, if you want. And if that something, if those words, are good ones, then people will notice that space. They'll stop and look at YOUR space, and not give a glance to other spaces.

What makes people stop, and look, and pay attention, and remember, and look again?

That's my job to figure that out, and to create the words and designs that make those things happen.

The beauty of a banner is that this space is something you already own. It's the side or front of your building. It's that patch of ground where you can display a banner, and you own that ground, or have permission to use it. It's empty space. And you can put something there, instead of letting it sit quiet.

That space can become a salesperson for you. It can be a space that talks to people. Stops them. Gets their attention. Causes them to notice you, and remember you. And some of those people will come in as a result of this space that used to sit silent.

So look around your store. Inside, as well as outside.

Where could you put some signage?

Do you have big front windows? A lot of windows?

Do you have space on the side of your building?

Is there a square of space somewhere on the front? I have a customer who realized he had a 5x5 foot square space on the front of his brick building, and I created some banners for him to go in those spaces. He has gotten a lot of play from what he's gotten from me. He constantly keeps a sign up there now, and we're going on probably three years.

A lot of great spaces go empty, stay empty, stay silent, don't work for you. One reason for that is that you no one has suggested that you put some kind of sign, poster, or banner in those spaces. It's just never crossed your mind.

Another reason all these spaces stay empty is that, even if you realize you have these spaces, what do you do with them? You don't have any great banners, great words, great designs, to put in that space.

And so ... this space, that is yours to use, sits silently. And people and cars drive by. They don't notice this space because that space is blank. It's silent. And because they don't notice this space, they don't notice your store.

See, that's the real opportunity here.

Every retail business in this country has amazing numbers of people who literally walk right by them. Right by their door. And they don't even know they're going by that store. And they can walk by businesses like this for years, and never realize what the business sells that they are walking by.

We all do this.

It's the same thing with people driving by. Depending on your location, you may have thousands of cars go by daily, or weekly, who have no idea you exist. You may have been in your location for 25 years. And still, you have people come in on a regular basis and say, 'Gee, I never knew you guys were here. How long have you had your store?' And you've been there 25 years. And they've lived in town for 30 years.

Unusual for that to happen? Not really. I've heard that basic story from just about every jeweler I work with.

So why make those silent spaces work for you? Why find those spaces, and then make them start selling?

Well, one of the things that happens is that you get the attention of some of those folks who don't even know you exist. How much is that worth now, and over time? The #1 'truism' of business: people can't buy from you if they don't know you exist.

And every retail business has all kinds of folks who don't even know that this retail business exists.

Not a new problem. And signage -- making those spaces sell for you, talk for you -- can help reduce the number of folks who don't know you exist.

Years ago, I had a customer in Maine. This is back in 1997 or 1998. His name was Bob. A very kind, gentle soul. We felt a connection with each other.

He had a small store. And he was right on Main Street in the little town of Bath, ME. He told me one time that he had a customer come in one day. He asked Bob how long he'd had his store. Bob said, oh, 18 years. The customer said, "I've been walking by here every day for years. I didn't even know you were here."

That customer was literally walking on the sidewalk, right in front of Bob's store. Right by his store several times a week. For years. And he didn't even know Bob was there.

Why make all these spaces sell for you? Because if you do, you stand a very good chance of increasing your business.

What empty, silent spaces do you have now? Get a banner. Get some posters. See what happens. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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