Published on June 14th, 2013 | by mankind


How to Make Your Small Business Stand Out in a Shopping Complex

For small business owners, attracting a steady stream of foot traffic to their businesses is always a daunting prospect. This challenge, however, is especially so for small businesses set up in large shopping complexes. Shopping complexes pose a unique set of obstacles for small businesses trying to stand out from the crowd. Not only will your business, in such a setting be competing with some of the best known retailers in the world, but it will also have to stand out against a slew of competition from other small businesses. Choosing the best signage for your store is the best way to get more people to come inside and buy whatever products you are offering. Below we will discuss how signage can help your small business stand out from the crowd in a large shopping complex.

Know Your Brand

Before you even decide on what you want your signs to say and where you want them placed, you need to decide on your company’s brand. Branding is the most basic aspect of marketing for business owners, but many small business owners fail to create a brand for their store that is effective and unique. This failure is especially true of small business owners in shopping complexes, who are often overwhelmed by the prospect of competing with such well-defined brands as Apple, Nike, and others. The response from these small businesses is often to try to appeal to as large an audience as possible, but such a response is often a recipe for financial ruin. Your brand needs to focus entirely on your target demographic, who are more likely to come into your store and make a purchase if they feel you are speaking directly to them. Trying to appeal to everybody is a sure fire way of being ignored by most.

Designing the Right Sign

Now that you have a brand, you will want to design a sign that is appropriate for that brand. Obviously, your sign needs to stand out, but don’t just opt for the flashiest sign indiscriminately. While a glaring, hot-pink neon sign might work great for attracting certain demographics, it is probably unsuitable if you are selling, say, business suits to high-end clients. Work with a professional designer to create signs that are appropriate for your business. Many materials exist for your signage, ranging from bronze to plastic, so choose the one that best reflects your brand. But watch out for how nearby competing retailers are marketing themselves; even if you are both targeting the same audience, you want to be careful that you are not targeting them in the same way. For your small business, choose signs that are unique and are sure to be noticed.


After you have designed your perfect sign, you will need to place it where it is easily visible. In a competitive marketplace like a shopping complex, this point is particularly important. Remember that many people in shopping complexes have a fixed destination within the complex, so if they don’t see your sign right away, there is very little chance they are going to stop to enter your store. A good idea is to place signs just outside of your business where the heaviest foot traffic is passing, and thus entice those potential customers into your store with special promotions and steep discounts.

A shopping complex can be a great place for a small business to thrive in, but small business owners need to be aware of the unique challenges faced in a shopping complex environment. By designing signage that highlights your unique brand, and placing it where people can easily see it, you will be taking the first steps to ensuring a steady flow of foot traffic into your store.

Robert M. Smyth is a commercial property owner. He loves sharing tips for attracting more business on marketing blogs. Click to visit the website.

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