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Franchise watch: FASTSIGNS transcends locality, language and culture

Franchise watch: FASTSIGNS transcends locality, language and culture

FASTSIGNS comes off the back of yet another awards win, and cements itself as a premium signage brand

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The biggest franchise brands likely wouldn’t be nearly as successful or well-known were it not for outstanding signage directing consumers toward quality. FASTSIGNS is a leader within this space, as the award-winning franchise brand provides comprehensive signage and visual graphic solutions to help companies of all sizes across all industries attract more attention, communicate their message, and promote their products.

Global Franchise got the chance to speak to Catherine Monson, CEO and president of FASTSIGNS, and the newly-appointed IFA chair, about how the signage franchise managed to take home the Best Signage & Communications Franchise award for the second year in a row.

GF: WHAT IS THE ORIGIN STORY BEHIND THE FASTSIGNS BRAND?

CM: In 1985, our founder, Gary Salomon, visited a computer shop in Austin and was impressed with how quickly they could produce vinyl signs. He and his business partner, Robert Schanbaum, convinced the shop owner to train them on the new tech and sign making techniques. He agreed – and the rest is history!

GF: WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU BELIEVE LED FASTSIGNS TO SECURE THIS AWARD TWO YEARS RUNNING?

CM: FASTSIGNS has always remained on the cutting-edge of our industry, which has allowed us to develop into a highly adaptable company that provides visual marketing solutions that meet the ever-evolving needs of our franchisees and their clients. But beyond our success in our segment, we are on the cutting-edge of franchising. We’re constantly evaluating how we can better support our franchisees through technology, training, marketing, and more, and we’re repeatedly recognized for our high level of franchisee satisfaction.

GF: WHAT DOES WINNING THIS AWARD MEAN TO YOU AND THE BRAND?

CM: Being recognized to this degree by such a reputable organization is a true honor. We are elated to be selected once again by Global Franchise for our renowned international franchise program within the signage and communications industry. Over the last 35 years, FASTSIGNS has always aimed not only to stay ahead of the competition but also to raise the bar within our industry and the franchising community. We’ve grown to be one of the most trusted names in franchising, which is a testament to the strength of our franchise opportunity.

GF: HOW INTERNATIONAL IS THE FASTSIGNS FRANCHISE NETWORK?

CM: FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the largest sign and visual communications franchisor in North America, and is the worldwide franchisor of more than 725 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS centers in nine countries including the United States and Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Grand Cayman, the United Arab Emirates, Malta, France and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE).

“Over the last 35 years, FASTSIGNS has always aimed not only to stay ahead of the competition, but also to raise the bar within our industry and the franchising community”

GF: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE SECRET TO SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISING?

CM: Many franchisors attempt international expansion without understanding the varying cultures, laws, and regulations from country to country, so they waste a lot of time and money trying to, many times unsuccessfully, navigate the business environment abroad. They also don’t take the time to find the right partner that will help them grow in a smart, strategic way, rather than quickly.

GF: WHAT MAKES FASTSIGNS AN ATTRACTIVE OPPORTUNITY FOR POTENTIAL FRANCHISEES?

CM: As a growing $29bn industry, signage and graphics will be in demand as long as businesses need to be seen. FASTSIGNS will be there to create captivating, high-performing visuals for businesses around the world – and our franchisees are a part of it. FASTSIGNS offers entrepreneurs and current business owners an opportunity to meet the growing demand for eye-catching graphics and marketing through franchising.

GF: WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL MASTER FRANCHISEE LOOK LIKE?

CM: We are looking for passionate entrepreneurs who are driven to help businesses in their community solve their visual communications and marketing challenges. For master franchisees, we’re seeking savvy entrepreneurs that also have a deep understanding of what it takes to grow a brand in a new country.

GF: WHAT’S NEXT FOR FASTSIGNS?

CM: In 2020, FASTSIGNS is celebrating its 35th anniversary in business as the leading sign and visual communications franchisor. This milestone is a testament to our ability to adapt to markets across the globe, and that momentum will continue for many years to come.

This year, we’re aiming to sign over 45 franchise agreements in the U.S. and enter several new countries. We’re continuing to grow our international footprint in target markets throughout the world, including Québec, New Zealand, and Brazil, as well as countries throughout North Africa, Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

AT A GLANCE

Established: 1985

Number of franchised units: Over 700

Location of units: U.S., Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Chile, Australia, France, Malta and Puerto Rico

Investment range:

Cobrand: $84,268 - $209,583

Conversion: $95,897 - $212,648

New center: $197,172 - $313,136

Minimum required capital: $80,000

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

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