In a couple of towns I’ve visited, locals complained to me about businesses that were using ugly hand scrawled promotional signs. Not attractive hand crafted carefully lettered signs, but the kind of temporary un-artistic and frankly ugly signs we sometimes use “just for now” in our business.

Except “just for now” becomes “oh yeah, I ought to do something about that” and then becomes “what? I didn’t even remember that was there.” 

In one town, a downtown restaurant had just decorated their window with new professionally-done cut vinyl lettering with their logo. Very nice! But in the other window they still had the old hand-written hours poster. Not so nice.

In another town, there was a business with spray painted signs. Not just one, but several that said things like “BAIT” and “OPEN”. Spray painted signs just never look good.

Since you care about your town, you might cringe a little when you see those ugly signs. You might be gritting your teeth or complaining (just a little) to your friends. What can you do? It’s not your small business. 

You know I’ m not going to say you should angrily confront the owner. “Your signs look terrible!” You might feel better, but that business owner sure won’t. 

What’s the Idea Friendly way to get better looking signs in the businesses?
Just print the business some new signs.

Maybe you have a sign printing business in town. Or maybe someone local does beautiful hand lettering. Certainly someone in town has a big printer, and you can use something like Canva to design something better. Print up a few new ones, and deliver them.

Be sure you say something positive, like “We made this for you to say thanks for all you do for the people in our town.” 

Of course this applies to more than just signs. Rather than spend one more minute hating on the ugly thing in your town, turn immediately to action. What could you do that would make it better right now? If there really is nothing you can do, then maybe you don’t need to spend any more time hating it.

Keep shaping the future of your town, 
Becky

PS –  I’m going to be mostly off the grid for a bit. Feel free to reply with your thoughts, but be patient if it takes me a little time to answer you, ok? Thanks! 

Get a weekly dose of positivity for small communities from Becky McCray and Deb Brown, co-founders of SaveYour.Town. We share practical steps you can put into action right away.
We won’t sell or rent your email address to anyone else because we wouldn’t like that either.