Make sure jobsite signs are easy to read -- especially the company's phone number.
Credit: Courtesy Rehder Construction, Otogawa-Anschel Design Build, and Medallion Make sure jobsite signs are easy to read -- especially the company's phone number.

Suppose you could parlay a current job into additional business by spending just $4. Sound worthwhile? So why aren't you putting up jobsite signs?

“It's not expensive, compared to advertising and the Yellow Pages,” says Bill Hughes, president of Medallion Window and Door in Fayetteville, Ga. And another sign proponent — ABC Seamless of Northeast Ohio, in Fredericksburg — buys signs in bulk every few years at $4 a pop, says marketing coordinator Ann Peterson Miller.

So, what should you put on them?

Oliver Schreiber, sales manager for Medallion's Maryland office in Forestville, says his company's double-sided 22-inch-by-30-inch signs (see photo) have a logo, a list of the products Medallion installs, and the most critical information: the company telephone numbers.

Signage Dos and Don'ts Making the sign visible to traffic from both sides of the street is important, says Tyrell MacGregor, managing director of consultant Footbridge Media in New York. He points out that a double-sided sign is more expensive but wins more drive-by visibility. Make it easy to read, he advises, especially the phone number.

Some contractors like to put signs up as soon as the contract is signed. But beware. One home improvement company in Nebraska found that its competitor, upon spotting a sign, would immediately send a sales rep to the home offering a lower price, hoping to persuade the homeowners to change their minds before the rescission period had lapsed. At that point, the company began planting its signs only after the 72-hour rescission period had expired.

ABC Seamless waits until work begins. Medallion, on the other hand, likes the idea of putting up signs that say, “Coming soon: another professional project by Medallion Door and Window.”

ABC Seamless doesn't ask customers to leave signs up for any specified amount of time. Medallion asks for three to four weeks, and in exchange, he offers a 10% price reduction in areas where the company hasn't worked before. In Maryland, Medallion offers an incentive for homeowners who leave the signs up for 30 days after completion: For each customer who calls Medallion and mentions the sign, the homeowner gets a gift card to a restaurant or home improvement store. Installation crews are instructed to put signs on every job.

Then Schreiber has his people follow up at neighboring houses, mentioning the sign and offering free estimates. “We probably take three to five calls a week from [people who have seen] the signs,” he says. “They pay for themselves.”