How to make money starting a sign business

December 17, 2014

Before you start your sign business, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the different types of signs, the manufacturing process, installation, and customer service skills. Once you’ve done your research, you can decide what type of sign business you would like to start. Some manufacturers are still producing traditional handmade signs, while others have a more automated system that requires a higher up-front cost.


Neon signs are made of glass tubes that have been bent into letters or designs. The manufacturing process is difficult and time consuming, but custom neon signs are in high demand because of their bright glow and brilliant colours. The up-front costs of starting a neon sign business can be high and skilled workers will be needed. Though, high-quality custom neon signs can sell for a much higher price than traditional signs. If you’re considering starting your own neon sign business, taking glass blowing classes can be a good way to see if you’re interested in the art.


Getting started with vinyl sign printing is fairly simple. With vinyl, you can launch with a smaller budget and expand your business as you grow. To get started, you’ll need to purchase a plotter. Choosing a plotter with cutting functionality is very useful because it will save you hours of cutting out your designs by hand. Vinyl is versatile. You can use it for windows, vehicle wraps, t-shirts, storefronts and more. Keep in mind that excellent graphic design skills are required.


Digital printing can be used for many different types of signs. Whether you want to produce large-scale storefront signage, billboards, or posters, expensive industrial equipment will be required. When it comes to digital printing, you can start by finding a niche, such as window signs for local shops, and expand your business from there. Like vinyl printing, excellent graphic design skills are required.

Getting started

Once you've decided what type of sign business you would like to start, it’s a good idea to do some market research. Use the internet to see if there are any competitors in your area. If there are, make a visit to their stores and see if there are ways that you can offer services that will be exclusive to your business. Ask other local businesses that you hope to serve what needs they have, and try to build your business around suiting them.

Creating a business plan is important, and you may even want to hire a business consultant to help you out. If you’re hoping to get business loan, a plan is your most important tool. It will also be helpful as you apply for your business permit. All provinces are different, so be sure to check if there are any special business requirements for sign manufactures in your area before you apply.

You’ll also need to find a retail space for your business and purchase your equipment. If you are catering to the public, your location is very important and you’ll want to set up your business somewhere with a decent amount of foot traffic. Also, don’t forget to secure business liability insurance to protect you and your business.

Starting your own sign business can be difficult at first, but don’t give up. The sign industry is huge and this could be your opportunity to break into the market.

How to make money starting a sign business
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