THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Signage

Many is the practice visit I make where the signage in the premises is either scruffy, irrelevant or confusing.

The pictured sign was spotted at Pret a Manger (yes, my favourites) in Newcastle on Tyne.

I took a break from a client conversation, wandered down the corridor and, faced with this signage on the toilet door, froze, unable to decide what to do next.

Well, for a moment or two anyway, until nature’s call became greater than my social inhibitions.

I suspect that signage in dental practices isn’t quite so confusing but the “presentation” is often below par.

I’m well known for arriving at a new client’s premises and, after asking permission, wandering around the place, taking down laminated sheets that have been Blu-Tacked to walls, cupboard doors, doors proper and the front of expensive reception desks.

“We have to put these up for the CQC!”

Well that may be the case but here are some lessons that you might want to take note of:

• if it has to be up there – get it properly framed and mounted or hung • if it doesn’t have to be up there – don’t put it up there • if there is any Blu-Tack or sellotape then pull it down and replace as above • remember that you have about 15 seconds attention span – if I cannot read what you want to say in that timescale – take it down • don’t confuse me (as above)

Oh – and while I’m at it:

• get rid of those charitable plastic collection pots and replace them with a practice charity that you support as part of your CSR programme (Bridge2Aid!) • get rid of those posters that feature photo-stock pin ups of Americans with big smiles • get rid of other businesses brands on promotional material – promote only your own brand • get rid of clutter • get rid of dog-eared magazines • get rid of crappy DIY loops on the TV

and:

• use Purple Wifi to offer free internet access and collect email addresses at the same time • use professional signage that asks people to friend your Facebook page • use real photos of real patients throughout your premises • use professionally made TV loops to tell stories about patients whose lives you have changed and stop talking about products

Let pictures tell a story.

Like this patient photograph from the team at Your Perfect Smile in Aviemore, featured in their marketing and on posters in the premises.

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