Membership History

Full Member
Joined 2002

Membership History

Full Member
Joined 2002
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Company Overview

FASTSIGNS specialise in providing impactful signs, graphics and visual communications to businesses in any industry.

Established in 1985, FASTSIGNS operates over 680 franchise businesses in 10 countries worldwide, of which, 22 are based in the UK.

Over our 33 year history we have developed a reputation for delivering high quality signage. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technology producing interior and exterior signage applications from large format hoardings, digital signage to window graphics and so much more!

Franchise Overview

The FASTSIGNS franchise opportunity allows you to run your own business in a creative and diverse industry and requires no previous sign industry experience.

Our business model is optimised to help develop profitable businesses whilst balancing life outside of work, our B2B target market allows normal working hours, Monday to Friday.

Territories available across the UK

Our franchisees benefit from:

  • Generous territories
  • High earning potential
  • Consistent training and development
  • Low staffing requirements
  • Buying power with approved suppliers
  • UK based support team

Training

Opening a FASTSIGNS centre in the UK requires no prior sign industry or business experience. We provide an intensive four week training programme to introduce you to the FASTSIGNS business model, your training will include:

  • 2 weeks in our training facility in Dallas, Texas
  • 1 week in your FASTSIGNS mentor’s centre
  • 1 week in your centre as we prepare for launch.

Followed by:

  • Continuous support from UK based team
  • Regular visit from the US Signage Experts
  • 24/7 access to web-based training
  • Webinars

Daily Life of a franchisee

A FASTSIGNS franchisee’s day can vary greatly, from managing your team, focusing on marketing in your territory to attending customer meetings and measuring for signage, through to supporting your production department.

The franchisees role can play to your strengths and we can build your team around you.

Trevor and Mark Davies

A father and son with unique backgrounds in motor racing and small business management. Trevor Davies, who previously owned a food industry company, and his son, Mark, a racing driver for Renault Sport U.K., opened a new FASTSIGNS centre in Huddersfield in spring 2005.

The Davies decided to locate their centre in Huddersfield “because of the outstanding commercial and residential growth in the area,” explains Trevor Davies. “We wanted a service-led business that would utilise our skills in an exciting, growing industry.”

The elder Davies, who brings 25 years of business ownership experience to the centre, previously owned GB Bakery Supplies. Mark Davies raced for the ELF Renault Clio Cup, which sports enthusiasts say is watched every race weekend by the U.K.’s biggest motor sport crowds. The Clio Cup is considered to be a proving ground for drivers aiming to graduate to Touring Car racing.

Given the younger Davies’ background, it is not surprising that the Huddersfield centre offers race team vehicle graphics as one of its specialty services. “We also have the latest digital sign-making technology in our centre, and can do full colour graphics, large-format signs and graphics, trade show exhibitions, exterior and interior signs, vehicle graphics and a host of other kinds of signs and graphics,” Trevor says.

The Davies’ centre already is operating ahead of plan in terms of sales, due in part, the father and son say, to the support they receive from FASTSIGNS International, Inc. They also attribute their success to an ability to work well together, and to a good division of responsibilities in the centre. Trevor handles sales and marketing operations, while Mark works in design production and general management. “We’ve developed a great system that plays to our individual strengths,” says Mark. “My dad and I knew that working together potentially could have its challenges, but so far, everything is working far better than we had ever hoped,” he adds.

Richard Wedgwood

Richard, 41, set up FASTSIGNS® Manchester in July 2010 after a career in the ceramics industry spanning 20 years and involving lots of international travel. The recession led to inevitable cost-cutting in the industry and when Richard found himself moved to a new role that wasn’t working for him, he decided to seek a redundancy package.

Why did you opt for redundancy?

“I loved the job but the travelling became too much. It sounds glamorous but living out of a suitcase loses its appeal after a while.”

“I’m a workaholic by nature and my roles had all been quite pioneering. It got me thinking ‘If I can set up and grow somebody else’s business surely I can do it for myself?”

Why franchising?

“I hadn’t previously considered franchising and was looking at moving overseas, Canada in particular. Most of the business opportunities there seemed to be franchises so I enlisted the help of a franchise consulting network who match prospective franchisees’ skills to potential franchisors, to help me find a good ‘fit’.”

“When I discovered the range of franchising opportunities in the UK I reconsidered moving overseas and started looking at what was available here.”

FASTSIGNS were one of the franchises the consultancy put forward and the company ticked all the boxes.

Why FASTSIGNS?

“I met with Garth Allison, the UK Managing Director, and I was impressed by the business model. The initial investment was manageable and there is a good split between franchise fee and royalty. I want the franchisor to have a vested interest in my continuing success.”

“I want a business that can challenge me and keep me interested for the next 20 years, so I like the fact that FASTSIGNS offers a complex range of products, from a simple printed poster to state of the art multi-media electronic installations. There’s a lot to learn and a lot of market opportunities.”

Lessons learned?

“Running your own business tests your metal, resolve and drive. You can’t afford to be complacent in business. I did an MBA which exposed me to the basic tools of business and here is my opportunity to put the theory into practice.”

“As an employee you have a fixed income every month largely irrespective of how the company is doing. When it’s your own company you’re acutely aware of every rise and fall in revenue and if you don’t chase for payment you don’t get paid!”

“Above all I love the diversity of running a FASTSIGNS centre. At 10am I might be the IT manager, then at 12 I’m a salesman then at 2pm I’m the Financial Director. It’s exciting and there is no opportunity to get bored.”

Advice to prospective franchisees?

“My advice would be to make sure you ask yourself what you want to get out of it as an individual. Really think it through. You need to make sure the franchise you choose fits with your strengths and doesn’t require you to spend a lot of time on activities you don’t enjoy.”

Charan Anand

In 2011, due to a family emergency, Charan made the difficult decision to relocate to the UK from his home of 18 years, LA. Having previously owned a successful PostNet franchise, Charan set about looking for similar franchise opportunities in the south of England. After meeting FASTSIGNS CEO, Catherine Monson at an exhibition Charan decided that the opportunities in the signage and graphics industry appealed greatly.

Charan Anand joined the FASTSIGNS® family in 2012, purchasing the Watford centre from the previous owner Dick Northcote. Having signed a contract with a large multi-national car-parts company and a being awarded a European tender for the one of the largest online retailers, Charan has doubled the annual revenue of the centre from £250,000 up to £510,000 in the last 4 years.

What attracted you to the FASTSIGNS franchise model?

“Once I had made the decision to branch into the world of sign making I reviewed a few different signage franchises. FASTSIGNS ranked very highly as a franchisor, winning several awards for franchisee satisfaction and seemed to provide great support to their franchisees”

Did you have any prior experience in the signage industry?

“I knew a little bit through my previous companies, but my knowledge didn’t extend very far. It was mainly sourcing banners and for sale signs through wholesalers, I didn’t know a lot about materials or manufacturing”

Did you feel that the training provided prepared you to run the business?

“Absolutely! I received 4 weeks of hands on training. Two weeks at the FASTSIGNS designated training facility in Dallas, Texas and one week at a FASTSIGNS centre and one week in my centre once it was open. I received loads of help with my business and marketing plan and continue to receive full support from the Head Office team. FASTSIGNS also helps with product support and provides advice and training on buying and getting the most out of new equipment, including sending the American technical specialists over for training a few times a year.”

What is the best thing about owning a FASTSIGNS centre?

“It makes me proud to be part of one of the world’s best franchise networks. The support that I receive is outstanding, from hiring staff to training on new equipment. As a company we receive nationwide discounts from our suppliers and the chance to attend both the international and national FASTSIGNS annual convention. FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson is a very inspirational person and has a brilliant mind for business, you always feel strengthened knowing that you are on the same team as such an accomplished woman.”

What would your advice be to someone who is thinking of becoming a FASTSIGNS franchisee?

“Use due diligence and don’t expect it to be easy work. The rewards both emotionally and financially can be huge but you need to be prepared to work hard and put the effort in. FASTSIGNS are very supportive in your decision making process and will provide you with all of the information that you need to ensure that you are 100% confident in your decision. They will also arrange visits to other centres so you can see what being a FASTSIGNS business owner is really like.”

Having experienced rapid growth over the last 4 years, Charan has recently invested in a new flatbed/hybrid printer and is considering relocating to larger premises to accommodate the work load. Charan says “I am very excited about the new contracts we are working on. The investment we have made, in addition to bolstering the team here at Watford will enable me to grow my business even further over the coming years. FASTSIGNS have helped me to develop my business, from a beginner in this industry, to doubling our turnover in just 4 years. Without their dedicated business support, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

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