What is it really like to run your own FASTSIGNS business?

Aside from the really big questions you may have about a FASTSIGNS franchise such as: How much does it cost? When can I expect a return on my investment? How easily will I find customers? What training and support will I receive etc. – you may be wondering what your day-to-day life will be like.

People choose to invest in a franchise for any number of reasons. One of the biggest is the desire to take control of your working life, by becoming your own boss. So, what can you expect from your day as a FASTSIGNS franchisee?

Paul Robinson, who invested in his franchise, FASTSIGNS Peterborough, in 2019, provides some insight into what his typical day looks like. At our most recent internal awards, he won the FASTSIGNS Franchisee of the Year in 2022, so it’s safe to say he understands how to build a successful FASTSIGNS centre!

The day begins…
Just ahead of opening for the day at 09.00, I like to get in early to turn on all the machinery so it’s ready to go; just like the rest of us, it needs a few minutes to warm up before work begins! I usually run a couple of small test prints, and maybe even a cut, to make sure everything is working properly. With FASTSIGNS equipment, there’s almost never any problems, but I like to be ahead of the game with stock and calibration, reducing any nasty surprises which could impact my staff or customers.

Once the team are all in, we spend time together, catching-up at the previous day, and looking at each person’s expectations for the day ahead. These ‘work in progress’ meetings are a great way for me to ensure my teams – design, production, sales & marketing – are all on the same page, and moving in the same direction with any ongoing or new projects. I have a great team around me, who know exactly what they’re doing, so this morning catch-up is our time to check everyone is confident we have every element in place to meet, or exceed, customers’ expectations.

Personally, my biggest buzz comes from making customers happy, which is why I choose to go out and meet with them face-to-face, for any project we take on. I find it beneficial, not just because I can take measurements and see the location for the new signs for myself, but because it allows me to fully understand and appreciate what they’re looking for. Sometimes they will have a clear idea about their signage goals, but I like to think my experience means I can address any challenges in ways they might not have thought of.

Things can move pretty fast in the signage world! We like to deliver a quick turn-around without compromising on the quality of our signage solutions. So, I will often need to create the production and design brief my team will use, straightaway. The projects we work on are so varied, and could be something small like a logo, or a handful of wayfaring signs, but it could just as easily be an entire signage strategy for a large company or public building.

Lunch break; headspace…
Having focused so intently right up until lunchtime, I then try to carve out some time to refocus myself. You can drive yourself pretty hard sometime when you’re your own boss, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look after yourself!

Let the afternoon commence…
Feeling a little refreshed after lunch, my afternoon may involve the wearing of many hats, depending on what is needing to be done in my business. I might spend some time working on quotes for customers, following-up on jobs, or having meetings with team members. I enjoy the challenge of maybe one minute speaking to a customer or supplier, to then helping with my team’s workload and priorities, or looking at accounts.

I know everyone in the network runs their FASTSIGNS centre differently. For me, I like to be as hands-on as possible, so I understand every nuance of my business, and what people need from it. Also, there’s a great deal of trust involved: Customers know they’re working with a renowned brand in FASTSIGNS, but it’s the one-to-one relationship I build with my regular customers where we can really have a positive impact in what we’re doing for them.

The same is true with the process of sign-making, as well as with leading a team. No matter how busy the day is, I believe it’s important to make time to be with my staff on the workshop floor and get stuck in. It’s also important for me to understand what they’re working on, and how I can best support them, so they enjoy coming into work each day.

Customer appreciation keeps business growing…
Paul must be doing something right at his FASTSIGNS Peterborough centre, based on the 4.9 review score customers like this have given him:

“We came to FASTSIGNS for branding for our driving school. They were excellent from the first phone call, and we’ve been impressed with every aspect of their services. The customer service has been top notch (thanks again Dave!), as well as the finished product – they’ve done a great job with the vehicle wrap on our car!” Owain Hughes

“I’m absolutely blown away by the personal touch FASTSIGNS gave to my job. Having only a very small job I wasn’t expecting the excellent level of service which FASTSIGNS have provided! Replies to my e-mails have always been prompt and the guys have made every effort to accommodate my needs. Really very genuinely Impressed!” Simon Mohr

“We wanted something a bit out of the ordinary and FASTSIGNS worked with us to achieve it. They were efficient and professional and gave us exactly what we wanted. We were working to
a very tight deadline and I feel they pulled out all the stops getting our signs to us with time
to spare.” Annette Johnson

What could you achieve?
Paul sure is busy! However, one of the great things about owning a FASTSIGNS franchise is knowing no two days will ever really be the same! Running your own business allows our franchisees to take control of their days, and redefine their work-life balance.

So, why not contact us and speak to someone about how a FASTSIGNS franchise could help you transform your day – and your life – for the better!