As their third business anniversary fast approaches, FASTSIGNS St Albans looks back on an amazing journey so far.
Has the uncertainty of the last few years changed how you think about your working life? Has it made you more determined, or more cautious, about running your own business?
Undoubtedly, 2020 was a year which caused a huge shift in our thinking about so many things. Some people discovered their jobs and businesses were not as secure as they thought. Many decided to play it safe, whereas others decided it was the perfect opportunity to forge their own future.
Lee Simpson, from St Albans, felt he was firmly in the latter camp, which is why he joined FASTSIGNS later that year. He already ran a printing company and wanted to expand his business’ capabilities, by Co-Branding with FASTSIGNS, to enhance his product and service offerings.
Starting a new business in the middle of the pandemic was certainly a brave move, but Lee knew he didn’t have to go it alone. Not only did he have access to the very best in signage technology, but also the full support and expertise of FASTSIGNS’ global network.
Now, nearly three years on, Lee can look back and see how well he overcame the various challenges which were thrown at him along the way, emerging from them with a business which is stronger than ever. “At the beginning, things were slow, but 2022 was when things really started to pick up. 2023 has been great so far! It’s been hard work, but we’re growing steadily, up 30% year-on-year, which is really, really good! We added FASTSIGNS as another arm to our existing business, so it can share some of the same skills and equipment. It’s proven to be a great synergy.”
Whilst many businesses have, understandably, struggled during the last three years, it’s clear from success stories like Lee’s, the demand for great signage is not going away. In fact, you could say it is stronger than ever before! Many companies have had to make major changes to how they work, and changes in both retail and office environments have been very common. Innovative signage solutions, such as those provided by FASTSIGNS’ franchisees, are greatly valued. “We tend to focus on supporting businesses who are moving premises, with interior and exterior, directional and building signage etc, and even a few schools, too. Healthcare, local builders and water companies, vehicle graphics – you name it!”
Lee is also a business owner who cares about more than just profit. We’ve always encouraged our franchisees to go the extra mile in helping their clients and local communities – especially when they needed it the most. Lee excels in this area, too, as he’s a huge supporter of the local charity, Youth Talk, which provides free counselling to 13-25-year-olds. And, in a further development to his FASTSIGNS success, Lee has recently taken on an apprentice giving him a very real means to make a real difference to the life of a young man who could, end up running his own business in the future.
It’s an approach we wholeheartedly support. After all, franchising is about creating opportunities for talented and ambitious people to gain a head start in business. The FASTSIGNS franchise model has been hugely successful for us in attracting some of the best and brightest, so it only seems natural for franchisees, like Lee, to extend the same to building his teams.
Interested in discovering how you can grow? Contact us to find out how a FASTSIGNS franchise can create opportunities for you to build the future you deserve.