Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions

by : 
Kim Perkins
May 1, 2012

Question: Our store will open in two months, and my husband and I have run into a disagreement. He thinks we should spend $4,000 on signage right now, and I think we should start with a less expensive sign and then get the one we want later. What would you suggest?

Answer: You don’t offer details about your financial situation, so I’ll assume you have the money for the signage and you are being cautious about spending it. My best advice is, if you can afford a good quality sign, do it now. Shoot for excellence at the best price you can negotiate.

Do obtain at least three bids from reputable sign companies, but I urge you to purchase great signage. Scrimping in this area will not pay off and may even hurt your business in the long run. Good signage makes a powerful, confident statement, and that’s what you want just starting out. Experience with human nature tells me when we buy something to “just make do,” it may still be unchanged a decade later.

Kim Perkins is co-owner of Elysian Fields Books & Gifts for Conscious Living (, an award-winning store in Sarasota, Fla. Send your retail questions to