Driving through my hometown a few weeks back, I realized I was in a part of town that receive none of my youthful attention. This wasn't the white kids neighborhood. It was a different kind of hood. That's not important.
The important thing was the sign I saw on a ramshackle building that said: Pad Thai and Fresh Papaya Salad. There were bars on the windows and plastic containers outside - like you might see near a street vendor in any part of the world. They'd fill the with water and clean their pots and pans at the end of the night.
But, this was California. The Central Valley. There was no street to vend on, it was just light city traffic - nobody on foot.
My brain had to re-think? Papaya Salad in Fresno, CA? The closest papaya is probably in Mexico. It's not that far, but it's not Asia.
The sign made all the difference.
The part of me that has learned some marketing realized how important that sign was. Without it, the building could have been a homeless shelter. There was nothing appealing about the building except for the fact that if I pulled in, I'd do so hoping for the authentic Thai cuisine you can't find at the mall.
It was too early for salad. My brain eventually re-oriented and I justified the existence of this scenario as the founders not having money for a higher-rent district but definitely the ability to feed themselves and those around them with some slicing and dicing skills.
What I took away, however, was the power of the sign. I almost pulled in. It made all the difference. With sign, my mind lit up. Without sign, I wouldn't have given it two more seconds of attention.
If you're in business. How will people know about you? How will they find you? How can they tell their friends and share? Start with something to get their attention. It might just be the sign they need to see today.