"My sign is three feet by seven feet, with three columns and is not full color," Hall said. "I know they make bigger ones, but
you have to look at your situation. In our situation, you only have X amount of dollars to spend. Looking at it, I think I got the
best value for my money."
Once an operator decides on the size and type of sign, another critical aspect is sign placement at the business.
"When you're buying an LED sign, you want to make sure it's located at the best possible position on your property," Stevens
said. "It needs to have the best visibility possible to the passing traffic."
It is a good idea for operators to ask the company they are considering buying from if they offer on-site evaluations for
Another thing to look for when choosing a sign is the type of warranty offered by the manufacturer. Stevens
recommends a five-year warranty.
It's not the sign itself that does the job, it's the programming Stevens said.
One attractive feature of LED signs is the instantly changeable, programmable messaging.
To get the most out of an LED sign, the proper programming needs to be displayed to draw customers to the business. When
shopping for an LED sign, ask the salesperson if the company can offer fast lube specific programming support.
Stevens recommended starting out displaying time and temperature on an LED sign. With the time and temperature, you're
communicating to people driving by your business daily, and a large portion of them are going to start looking at your sign,
Once people are looking at the sign, start creating awareness of the different services that are offered.
"Everyone knows you do oil changes, but what about all the other things you do that people aren't aware of," Stevens said.
"There is a lot of seasonal promotional stuff you can do. You can create impulse traffic in inclement weather by advertising
windshield wipers. When it's heading into wintertime and you're in the northern part of the country where it's cold, there are
specific vehicle services you offer that are geared toward the cold."
Some operators may be technology-weary because they do not know if they will be able to operate the new technology. This
should not be a fear with LED signs.
King said it usually takes him about 15 minutes to show a manager how to change the sign's messages, which is helpful
considering the turnover rate in the fast lube industry.
"The major advantage (of LED signs) is that our managers are able to make changes at a moment's notice," King said. "If the
oil bay is slow, they can put a new message up there that has a reduced price for the next five cars. Then, once they get five
or six cars, they'll change the message back to some of the typical marquis. We are able to make immediate changes that impact our
business, literally on an hourly level, which has been very advantageous to us because the market immediately responds."
Hall said they change their messages often, as well.