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Franchise watch: FASTSIGNS begins 2021 stronger than ever – and ready to grow

Franchise watch: FASTSIGNS begins 2021 stronger than ever – and ready to grow

Ongoing support has allowed franchisees to survive and thrive.

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After a year that left no business unaffected, FASTSIGNS remains at the top of its game – and ready to continue its domination of the sign, graphics, and visual communications industry.

The award-winning franchise reported a strong year of growth amid the pandemic, signing 31 franchise agreements to develop new, co-branded, and conversion centers worldwide and opening 30 locations, including the brand’s first center in the Dominican Republic.

Much of FASTSIGNS’ success in 2020 can be credited to centers being deemed essential businesses, allowing franchisees to pivot their services to focus on what matters most – serving their customers.

“At FASTSIGNS, our franchisees’ success comes first. When the pandemic began to impact our industry, we fought to ensure FASTSIGNS centers across the U.S. could continue to operate, and we’ve continued to be by their side to help them every step of the way,” says Mark Jameson, chief support and development officer, FASTSIGNS International, Inc. “We’re incredibly proud of how our franchisees adapted to the changing climate by tapping into the diverse product range we offer so they could fulfill the unique needs of their customers.

“Throughout the pandemic, our franchisees have continued to manufacture critical signage, plexiglass shields, and more to help hospitals, local governments, and businesses communicate important health and safety information and to protect communities. Their role of being the go-to resource for visual communications in their communities continues to grow stronger every day. The growth and momentum we’ve experienced is a true testament to the strong FASTSIGNS network, our brand’s ability to adapt systemwide, and the rising demand for signage.”

WORLD-CLASS SUPPORT DURING UNPRECEDENTED TIMES

Thanks to FASTSIGNS’ exceptional support team that worked around the clock to help the system succeed, even new franchisees were able to open in a timely manner during the pandemic.

Kevin Leamon signed a franchise agreement with FASTSIGNS in March 2020, and in July celebrated the grand opening of his center in Springfield, Illinois.

“Looking back, I feel incredibly lucky to have had my new business up and running in just four months during such a challenging period. As a first-time franchisee, the support and guidance that FASTSIGNS offered as I navigated this new endeavor helped the entire process run smoothly,” says Leamon.

“Along the way, I had the opportunity to tap into the impressive network of existing franchisees to discuss how they were adapting throughout the pandemic and learned so many invaluable tools that I could incorporate into my center. It was motivating to hear how FASTSIGNS centers could quickly pivot to meet the needs of current events and further position themselves as the expert in the sign industry. I’m thrilled to be part of this dynamic brand.”

FASTSIGNS ACQUIRES NERDSTOGO

To cap off an already successful year, Fastsigns Holdings Inc., parent company of FASTSIGNS, also made its first acquisition with the addition of NerdsToGo, an emerging IT services brand, to its portfolio.

“I could not imagine what it would have been like to operate during the pandemic without the support of FASTSIGNS and our network of franchisees”

“We are excited to officially welcome NerdsToGo, a growing franchise organization in the IT services business, into our family,” says Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International. “We look forward to what lies ahead for this exciting brand, especially the continued growth that will benefit NerdsToGo customers, franchisees, and team members.”

NerdsToGo has been franchising for four years and is a part of the large and growing IT services industry with 26 franchise locations in 16 states.

Connectivity is more important than ever with COVID-19 only accelerating remote working, online learning, and business continuity – all of which require error-free networking, security, privacy, and video conferencing. Poorly functioning IT systems are a huge headache and productivity constraint for consumers and small businesses alike who need reliable solutions.

“We look forward to growing this business with existing franchisees and introducing the NerdsToGo brand to a new group of potential franchisees and customers,” adds Monson. “Our goal is to add value to the business as well as to expand and grow the NerdsToGo brand as a standalone business.”

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW AND EXISTING ENTREPRENEURS

Over the last year, the FASTSIGNS business model has continued to show its resilience. The brand not only emerged strong, but also is poised for growth in 2021. As the pandemic drags on, FASTSIGNS is positioned to provide a strong business opportunity for people ready to make the leap into franchising.

FASTSIGNS is aiming to sign at least 35 franchise agreements this year in markets across the U.S. such as Southern California, the Midwest, New England, and along the Northeast Corridor. Additionally, the company is focusing its NerdsToGo development on the U.S., aiming to sell 30 franchises nationwide as part of its plans to grow the brand’s presence in new and existing markets.

FASTSIGNS is particularly focusing on its co-brand and conversion programs, which help existing business owners add a FASTSIGNS to their store or fully convert their business to a FASTSIGNS franchise. FASTSIGNS has helped countless owners of print shops, photography studios, camera stores, embroidery shops, and more, diversify their product lines and services to meet the growing demand for signs, graphics, and visual communications. Both the co-brand franchise opportunity and conversion can be started with only $15,000 down on the initial franchise fee.

Jeffrey Chudoff, a FASTSIGNS franchisee in Maple Shade, New Jersey, spent over 30 years as the owner of an independent sign shop before converting his business into a FASTSIGNS franchise in 2016. He credits being a part of the FASTSIGNS family for his success in 2020.

“I could not imagine what it would have been like to operate during the pandemic without the support of FASTSIGNS and our network of franchisees,” says Chudoff. “While so many small businesses struggled or closed their doors permanently, we exceeded $1m in revenue for the first time. I was truly in business for myself, but not by myself.”

AT A GLANCE

Established: 1985

Number of franchised outlets: Over 740

Location of units: U.S. and Puerto Rico, U.K., Canada, Chile, Grand Cayman, the UAE, Malta, and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE)

Investment range:

Cobrand: $96,881 – $206,501

Conversion: $106,054 – $219,842

New center: $218,596 – $298,679

Minimum required capital: $80,000

Contact: mark.jameson@fastsigns.com / +1 (888) 285-5935

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