December 09, 2018 at 6:39 PM
Your van is a big investment for your business and you want to make the most of it by maximising the space inside and grabbing any marketing opportunities with both hands.
If you think of it as a blank canvas, your van is ideally suited to becoming a moveable advertising hoarding that goes wherever you go. By signwriting it with your company name, logo and contact details, it can spread publicity for your business easily.
Branding your van is a big decision and you should consider the pros and cons before you give the green light.
As a business owner, you might question the return on investment you'll get by adding writing and graphics to your van. There are definitely some key benefits to having your van signwritten.
The size of your van, the complexity of your design and type of signwriting will determine how much it will cost. The average cost of signwriting one vehicle is £300 + VAT.
Let's assume that you sign write your van for this amount and keep it for three years. You will be paying just over £2 per week for the signwriting throughout this period.
On an average day in a city, it's estimated that your van will be seen by around 3,000 people per hour. So, that's thousands of people that will see your business name, logo and contact details for around 0.33p per day.
Even if you only get one job from someone seeing the signwriting, it's likely to have paid for itself.
Wherever you are, whether it's driving to a job, getting supplies or out and about at the weekend, your business name and contact details are always available when you have a signwritten van.
You can pick leads up and make the phone ring without having to do any extra work. In fact, some trades people have revealed that they've received business from clients' neighbours just because they've seen their van parked outside.
Being employed by someone that people trust and getting good word of mouth is arguably the strongest marketing tool for any business which can be assisted by a van with signwriting.
Taking pride in your appearance extends beyond what you look like and what clothes you wear. Turning up to a job with a nicely signwritten van gives the customer confidence that you're a legitimate business.
Typically, cowboy builders and similar dodgy trades people will have blank vans because they don't want their company name to be on display or in the public eye.
If you take the time and money to design a logo and signwriting for your vehicle, it shows a commitment to your brand and encourages trust. So much so that customers being given a quote are more likely to convert if businesses have their van signwritten.
For all the pros of advertising your business with signwriting, there are some drawbacks that you also need to consider.
Promoting the type of business you own on your van can make your vehicle and the contents inside it more desirable to thieves.
For example, professional DJs have to transport expensive equipment and largely work during the night. For the sake of convenience, they might not unload their van after every job making them a higher risk of being broken in to.
However, owning a van normally means owning a business, so you are more likely to have something valuable kept in it at all times compared to a car owner.
Similarly, most thieves are opportunistic, so it probably won't matter if your van is signwritten or not.
As a result of the perceived risk of being broken into, some insurance providers will raise your insurance premium to mitigate this risk.
Because signwritting is seen as a modification being made to the vehicle, you will have to declare it when updating or renewing your policy.
In the age of comparison websites that we live in, you can always shop around to find a different insurance company that won't punish you for having a signwritten van.
If you decide that you want to transform your blank canvas with some signwriting, here are some helpful tips to bare in mind before getting anything printed.
It sounds simple, but unless you're a household name of have your trade in the name of your business, you need to specify exactly what work you do.
For example, signwriting that just says 'SMITH BROTHERS' with contact details doesn't tell potential customers anything about the business. So, why would people get in touch when they don't know what jobs you can be hired for?
By explicitly saying 'SMITH BROTHERS - LANDSCAPE GARDERNERS', everyone knows what the business does.
Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to getting your message out there. When you're on the move, you need to consider how much can be seen by people as you drive passed.
Your artwork needs to be able to be read and understood in a few seconds - so, it needs to be clear, consice and not crowded with lots of text or graphics.
Make sure to be consistent with your brand images: your brand logo and company colour scheme ought to be the same across all of your marketing materials (for instance, your van, your website and your company uniforms and stationary).
When you have a design mocked up, ask your friends and family what they think. You could also do some market research with your clients while you're on different jobs.
If you're an award winning business, let people know about it to help you stand out against your competition. Most people are inherently distrustful, especially of trades people, so give them a reason to trust you.
Once you have a design you're entirely happy with, proofread all of the text and numbers to ensure they're correct.
Having a signwritten van does make your business look more professional, but not when there is a spelling or grammatical error on it.
If you're not confident in your own proofreading abilities, ask someone else to double check it for you.
There are three different types of signwriting for you to choose from:
Magnetic signs are a non-permanent form of signwriting for your van. You can put them on and take them off whenever you want. This helps to reduce the perceived increased risk of theft that signwriting brings. Depending on how much you want to spend, it also allows you to design special offer signs that you can attach and take down when the offer has ended. However, because they aren't permanent they could fall off, especially when the van is travelling at speed.
Stencil sign writing uses a special printer and adhesive vinyl to create the sign. Once printed, the stencil can be applied to both sides of the van as well as the front and rear. If you want to display the same or similar information on all panels, this is the best (and cheapest) option.
Wrapping also uses vinyl to cover the entire van in a more holistic design. This is the option that most larger companies (e.g. Sky) tend to use for a more impactful design. Partial wraps are available if you don't want to cover the whole van.
When you have the finished product, it's important to remember that you are now driving a mobile advertisement for your business, so you want to give the right first impression wherever you travel.
If you turn up to a job in a dirty van your customer might think that if you can't be bothered to keep your van clean, you probably won't keep their home or premises clean and your work might not be up to scratch.
This is not the first impression you want to make, so you should ensure that your van is clean and tidy, inside and out. People don't want to see what you've been consuming on the road lining the dashboard.
Signwriting is like a uniform for your van - the way it behaves on the road reflects on the business postively or negatively.
Therefore, it's important that whoever gets behind the wheel is a good driver. If they're seen cutting someone up or driving dangerously with your logo on the side, it gives a very bad impression of your business.
Equally, the van should always be parked legally and considerately. Vans are big vehicles and block more of the road than smaller cars, so where possible, try not to park on corners where it could be dangerous for other road users to pull out.