New ADA Signage Regulations Start Today


ADA Regulations

The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990 was designed to make public buildings and businesses accessible for individuals with physical disabilities and prevent discrimination against the physically challenged. Although the guidelines were comprehensive, the law created many confusions when it came to ADA signage. In 2010, the Department of Justice, along with the U.S. Access Board, developed updated guidelines that were enacted into law on March 15, 2011. The law gave a one year grace period for businesses and public buildings to comply with the new regulations. Today marks the end of that year and it is very important that as a business owner, you understand and comply with the new regulations.

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Harper Grey: Toddler Time


The Savvy Shopper - Harper Grey

Last week, a toddler and her family were removed from a Jet Blue flight that was preparing for takeoff. The two-year-old had an ill-timed tantrum and initially refused to sit down and buckle up. Her parents finally calmed her down, but the pilot decided the presence of a tantrum-throwing toddler made the flight unsafe. Whether or not that was the right call is not my place to say. But I have to wonder what would happen to the airline industry if every screaming, unreasonable toddler was deemed a threat to security.

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Employee Retention: Flexibility Matters


As a business owner, you probably don’t have a set schedule. You work until the work gets done (or you drop from exhaustion). But you also have some flexibility. If your kid gets sick or needs a last-minute ride to soccer practice, you can usually walk out the door and deal with your personal life. If you spent any time in the corporate world prior to opening your business, you probably enjoyed a salaried job, which meant that you didn’t have to punch a time clock. As long as you met your boss’s expectations, you could leave early to play golf or go in late on occasion.

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Sign Design: What a 19th Century Philosopher Can Teach Us

Charles Sanders Peirce - Sign Theory


Before yesterday I had never heard of Charles Sanders Peirce and it is pretty safe to assume neither have you. I stumbled upon Peirce by accident while doing some research on the history of signage. Peirce was quite the man; he is well known for his contributions to math, philosophy, science and logic. Part of his theory on logic is the concept of signs. At first I was elated, believing I had found some deep philosophical revelation about signage. I quickly realized that to Peirce, a sign was not like a banner, billboard or car wrap. His version of a sign was more along the lines of “it was a sign that I was supposed to marry that girl” or “that thunder is a sign of a coming storm.” defines a sign as, “any object, action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning.” Although slightly disappointed, as I continued reading I found that Peirce’s theory began to sound a lot like what I had been taught about marketing in my business school classes. Here are the details of Peirce’s theory on sign relation:

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Harper Grey: A Tale of Two Teenagers


The Savvy Shopper - Harper Grey

If you own a small business in the retail or fast-food sectors, odds are you have a bunch of teenagers working for you. This can be a really great gig for both you and them. They’re working their first jobs ever and you can feel fabulous about your part in the shaping of young minds and skill-building of the leaders of tomorrow. And they’re cheap labor. But hiring teenagers may require some extra hands-on training.

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5 Functions of a Sign


Think all signs are the same? Think again. In many cases, the effectiveness of a sign is determined by its use. Is it going outside on your storefront or hanging in window? Is it leading your customers to an event or simply helping them navigate to your store? When starting the design process, think of these 5 functions of a sign and get the most bang for your buck.

Recognition and Awareness (Outside Signs)


In the most basic sense, a sign on the outside of your store provides information. It makes people aware of your existence. It identifies the space as belonging to your business, and lets customers know that they’re in the right place.

Make sure that your signage is clearly visible from the street and that it is easily read. In a 2011 study by BrandSpark, 49.7 percent of people surveyed indicated that they had driven by and failed to find a business because the sign was either too small or unclear (1).

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5 Business Tips for a Smooth Checkout


CheckoutYou’ve heard that first impressions are crucial for your business and that is absolutely true. However, your customer’s last impression is just as important. His final moments in your store leave a lasting memory that has an impact on his desire to either become a loyal, repeat customer . . . or never return.

After your customer has been helped by a pleasant staff, perused a wide selection of products and enjoyed the fine atmosphere of your store, he makes a purchasing decision. At this point he might be a very happy, satisfied customer. Then he must pay for his selection, so he heads to the cash register and pulls out his wallet. Now the customer is done browsing and wants to quickly pay and be on his way. A long wait at the checkout stand can leave him with a bad last impression. To avoid this problem, consider these 5 business tips for a smooth checkout.
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