Imagine that you’re sitting at a red light on your way to work. Beside you, you notice a large, beautiful building, obviously made from high quality materials. It’s on the corner of two busy streets—a prime location in a bustling town. You’re impressed by the overall appearance of the building and the first impression it gives you.

Then you notice a small sign in the front parking lot. You squint at it, wondering what it might say… But before you can make out the small lettering, the light turns green. You drive away and forget the whole incident.


Alright, so what’s the glaring problem with this situation? It’s a classic example of what NOT TO DO.

The person who contracted the building of this facility obviously did an excellent job… You noticed that it was carefully made and had a great aesthetic—it was probably very expensive! But from first glance, you had no clue what type of building it was or what its purpose was… For all you know, it could have been a burger joint, a chiropractic clinic or even a church—which isn’t very helpful to you, the potential client.

Hypothetically, that building could’ve contained the magical answers to all of your problems and you’d have absolutely no idea. Once you drove away, it never crossed your mind again.

That’s why—no matter how much money you’ve already invested in your facilities—if you don’t invest in great signage, it’s all a waste!


Great signage alone can create a huge bump in your monthly new patient average. But first, you have to understand exactly what makes a great sign. Does it just need to be really big and legible—the opposite of the sign in our example? Well, there’s a little more to it than that…

We’ve created a list that outlines the anatomy of a perfect sign so that you can get started on this crucial investment! Keep in mind that the layout and details of your sign might differ slightly from the examples given. But overall, this should be a helpful guide to creating a sign that will attract new patients, create a great first impression, and increase your profitability and the return on your investment!


  • If possible, make it interchangeable.

Take a second and think about your morning commute. If you take the same route to work every day, you’ve probably become oblivious to the things you see. You become—for the most part—immune to the marketing that you pass on your route.

But with an interchangeable LED sign, there’s always something new to read! Potential patients are much more likely to notice a sign when the information is constantly updated… People like fresh, current news! This interchangeable sign will have the ability to engage people on a weekly (if not daily) basis as they are passing by on their commutes. Additionally, it’s a great way to keep your marketing culture relevant and seasonal!


  • Include your hours (unless they’re crappy)!

Including your hours somewhere that is highly visible can be a huge selling point IF your hours are 1) simple, 2) patient-centric and 3) memorable. Don’t include your hours on the sign if, for example, you are only open Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Just. Don’t. Do it. (And while we’re on the subject… Go ahead and change your hours!!)


  • Include a large phone number.

Here’s a good test. If someone is driving by your practice—not sitting at a red light like in our example—would they have time to read and dial the phone number on your sign? If not, chances are you haven’t made the phone number BIG enough. After all, this might be the one thing they take from your sign besides the fact that you operate a dental (or orthodontic) Practice. This one number has the potential to generate thousands of call-in appointments! So don’t bungle this opportunity!


  • Position your sign so that it’s easily visible from the road.

If you have an incredible building, ideal location, and a huge, well-made sign, BUT your sign is poorly positioned…. Your Space & Equipment investments are still being wasted! Potential patients should be able to easily view your sign and all of its information from the road… Be honest with yourself. Do you really think anyone is going to take the time to pull into your parking lot for closer examination? Probably not! You have to catch their attention on the drive-by.


  • Keep it simple.

Over-cluttering is a graphic designer’s worst nightmare. They’ll tell you that not only does it ruin the aesthetic of the piece, it also detracts attention from the main message—effectively crippling your marketing!

So, as you create your sign, think about the elements that are most important, and include these first. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to leave out some of the secondary information—like what makes your Practice so unique—unless you are purchasing a billboard. (Or you’ve come up with a succinct and catchy slogan!) The fact is, an average business sign just doesn’t have enough space to include all of the your Practice’s selling points.


  • Use a light background with dark-colored letters.

This one’s pretty basic. The human eye can most easily perceive a light background with dark lettering. This is especially true “at a glance”—when someone is driving by your Practice and just happens to glance at your sign. If you decide to add any funky, dark backgrounds or crazy letters… Do so at your own risk. As we mentioned in tip #5, when it comes to signs, you should keep it simple.


  • Invest in the size and quality of the sign.

Let’s say your cash flow has been struggling lately and you’re tempted to skimp on some of your purchases… Here’s our word of advice! Don’t skimp on your sign. Your signage should be large, so that drivers have a chance to read it as they pass by. It should also be made with high quality materials. You can expect to spend up to $80,000 or $90,000 on great signage!

Ask yourself this question before you invest: is it a good-looking sign? Does it show your potential patients that you will deliver the highest quality experience? You simply can’t do that with a cheap sign.


This is an investment that will deliver to you over and over again! If you choose your sign carefully, it will literally generate free traffic every month, year after year!

What’s more—you’ve got to understand that every single element of your marketing is much more effective when paired with a high quality sign. Your website, your direct mail pieces, your emails… In fact, we recommend that you include a picture of the new sign in your marketing so that people are able to remember you and pinpoint your office’s location when they pass!


We’ll leave you with one word of advice: don’t wait around. If your results are slumping or stagnating and you don’t understand why, a top-notch sign could be exactly the revenue boost that you need. For other easy-to-implement strategies straight from Jay, call 866-917-2808 and ask about our marketing products and trainings! 


Do your best to maximize your productivity this Friday! Have a fantastic weekend!!

-Scheduling Institute Marketing Team