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Franchise watch: look out Canada, here comes FASTSIGNS

Franchise watch: look out Canada, here comes FASTSIGNS

FASTSIGNS International, Inc has already brought its custom graphics business to Canada. It’s now seeking dynamic franchisees and master to expand further in the Great White North

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As long as businesses need to be seen, FASTSIGNS International, Inc. and its franchisees will be there to meet the demand by businesses throughout Canada for captivating, high-performing visuals.

FASTSIGNS — the leading sign and visual communications franchisor in North America and the worldwide franchisor of more than 700 independently-owned and operated centers in nine countries — offers entrepreneurs and current business owners an opportunity to meet a growing demand for eye-catching graphics and marketing through franchising.

Currently, Canada is home to over 30 FASTSIGNS locations, but the brand is growing rapidly as entrepreneurs realize the opportunity to feed the demand for comprehensive signage and visual communications solutions by joining FASTSIGNS.

Last year, FASTSIGNS opened a record number of centers in Canada and recently signed two franchise development agreements to open new locations in Toronto in 2019. FASTSIGNS expects to sign two to three more agreements in Canada this year and is actively seeking prospective franchisees throughout the country, including a Master Franchisee to develop in Québec.

“We see a huge opportunity to develop FASTSIGNS throughout Québec, particularly in Montreal, Laval, and Québec City,” said Mark Jameson, EVP of Franchise Support and Development, FASTSIGNS International, Inc. “We’re seeking a savvy entrepreneur with deep ties to Québec and the expertise required to not only to operate a successful business, but also to grow a brand throughout the province.”

The franchisees’ choice for seven years and counting
Much of FASTSIGNS’ success in Canada can be attributed to its high level of franchisee satisfaction. This year the brand was once again recognized by the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) as a silver recipient of the 2019 Franchisees’ Choice Designation. This was the seventh consecutive year FASTSIGNS has been recognized for its strong relationship with Canadian franchisees, as well as for providing extensive franchisee support and training.

FASTSIGNS touts its high system-wide support ratio — the best of any sign and graphics franchise. As the brand grows throughout Canada, it continues to allocate significant resources to ensuring franchisees have access to top-notch training and support.

“We pride ourselves on our high level of franchisee satisfaction in every country we operate in around the world and we’re honored to be recognized once again by the Canadian Franchise Association for this prestigious designation,” said Jameson “We continue to nurture the strong franchisor-franchisee relationship that is so crucial to FASTSIGNS’ success in Canada.”

Craig Gibbs, a franchisee that opened a FASTSIGNS center in Scarborough, Ontario, in 2007, is an advocate for the brand.

“I’ve been with FASTSIGNS for more than 12 years, and the support I’ve received from the franchisor, in many aspects of my business, is fantastic. From strategic direction to marketing, along with vendor relations, technology, and more, the tools and resources provided have continuously contributed to my center’s ongoing growth,” Gibbs said.

Extensive training and support
After years of dreaming and talking about owning a business together, FASTSIGNS franchisees Donna Bilodeau and Jackie Raymond made the leap from friends to business partners in 2000 when they opened a center in Windsor, Ontario.

Neither Bilodeau nor Raymond had experience as business owners when they joined FASTSIGNS, but they leveraged their unique backgrounds and experience to become successful franchisees. Bilodeau, the daughter of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, lived all over the world, learning to adapt to new situations and make new friends easily. Raymond was born to a French-Canadian family and, after high school, got a job at a local French newspaper where her interest in creative graphic design grew.

“Everything was finalized in July 2000 and we drove down to Dallas for a three-week franchisee training program. We spent the entire month there, returned to Windsor and opened the doors to our FASTSIGNS center on Aug. 1,” Raymond told Canadian Business Franchise in 2017. “It was an intense few weeks, but training was great. It was split into units. I went through the graphic design modules and Donna focused on the sales and management ones. This way, we’d be able to come back and use everything we learned and implement it into the business. Plus, we were playing to our previous experience and strengths. It was a great decision.”

After nearly 20 years in business, FASTSIGNS Windsor continues to thrive. Even today, they have no qualms about calling the corporate office to ask questions.

“Yes, it is our own business. We make the final decision, but they are our sounding board if we need something,” said Raymond, who previously worked for another local franchise in the print industry. “Nothing compares to the FASTSIGNS corporate help.”

Continued development worldwide
FASTSIGNS has signed several master franchisee agreements in recent years, including in Spain where existing FASTSIGNS franchisee Chris Kirby plans to develop a minimum of 10 locations, specifically targeting initial development in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Malaga, while new master franchisee the Famalco Group will open 16 centers throughout Malta, Italy, and Greece.

FASTSIGNS is continuing to grow worldwide with a focus on finding master franchisees for Québec, New Zealand, Brazil, North Africa, Southeast Asia, India, Europe, and Latin America.

“FASTSIGNS’ business model is focused on providing custom marketing and graphics solutions for local businesses, so franchisees that operate centers anywhere in the world are well-positioned to serve the countless organizations right in their backyard,” Jameson added. “Whether a new center, conversion, or co-brand, FASTSIGNS franchisees continue to experience strong sales and growth.”

AT A GLANCE
Name of franchise: FASTSIGNS International, Inc.
Established: 1985
Number of franchised outlets: Over 700
Location of units: U.S., Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Chile, and Australia
Investment range:
• Cobrand: $84,268 – $209,583
• Conversion: $95,897 – $212,648
• New center: $197,172 – $313,136
Minimum required capital: $80,000
URL: http://www.fastsigns.com/
Contact: mark.jameson@fastsigns.com / +1 214-346-5679

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