Meet Our Franchisees
Andy Dearman, FASTSIGNS Hull
Franchising proving to be the perfect partnership for growing an already successful business
Hull businessman, Andy Dearman, was determined to find a way to expand his customer base whilst building on the success of his already established company. The FASTSIGNS Co-Brand franchise provided the perfect solution for taking his business to the next level.
Over the last twenty years, Andy has successfully operated his own business providing pop up visual point of sale displays, for use in-store and at exhibitions. Building on his solid background in reprographics and paper-based displays, Andy has grown the company to service a large number of high-profile clients, including Blue Chip companies, around the world. He has patented a number of display mechanisms which provide innovative solutions for on-site and point-of-sale displays.
Despite a well-earned reputation in the industry and a strong customer base in the UK, as well as overseas, Andy knew his company was capable of so much more. He was determined to make the most of its untapped potential. In a highly competitive market, he wanted to find a new direction which would make his company really stand out from the crowd and allow him to expand into new markets, without losing the core business he’d worked hard to build. This was when he discovered the FASTSIGNS Co-Brand franchise opportunity.
As a franchisor, FASTSIGNS could provide Andy with a tried and tested business model based on their 35 years of experience in the global signage industry. They provide an established brand name, years of research and development in innovative, cutting edge signage and machinery, marketing resources and training opportunities. Andy believed he could leverage FASTSIGNS expertise to help him develop his existing business. Rather than launching an independent centre, the Co-Brand method of franchising, which is unique to FASTSIGNS in the signage industry, held particular appeal.
By Co-Branding his business he was able to ‘bolt-on’ the FASTSIGNS franchise, launching his centre within his existing businesses facility. The addition of FASTSIGNS meant he could diversify his product offering exponentially, whilst maintaining his existing brand identity and keeping two distinct revenue streams. As Andy was deservedly very proud of what he had already created, the concept of joining forces with a successful brand to complement rather than compromise it, was exactly what he was looking for.
After making contact with the FASTSIGNS team, it became apparent to Andy this would be a fantastic move for him. In his own words: “FASTSIGNS has a fantastic machine behind it and a business methodology which has been consistently proven to work. Plus they are an established recognisable brand. Co-branding my business with FASTSIGNS, has allowed me to ramp up my knowledge quickly, with access to the FASTSIGNS training and their online database resources.”
Though his years of experience put him in great stead, Andy had little direct experience of the signage industry. As soon as he joined the franchise, he was invited to Dallas, Texas, where he spent two weeks learning everything FASTSIGNS’ expert trainers could teach him about FASTSIGNS. He was able to see the whole process, from production to marketing and sales, and meet others within the network he was now a member of. This gave him valuable insight into how to make the system work for him. As an experienced businessman himself, Andy was fascinated by how the FASTSIGNS model worked and found the experience to be a real ‘eye-opener’. “Brand is really important; FASTSIGNS is a very well established brand. There were others I was looking at, but having met the FASTSIGNS team, I really liked how they were, and what they are seeking to accomplish in the signage industry. I can see how my business could help FASTSIGNS grow further, as they help me grow at the same time.”
The training was only the beginning of Andy’s journey with FASTSIGNS, of course. The ongoing support he and his team have received since setting up his co-brand franchise, has meant the two sides of his business are working together in perfect harmony. Being part of the larger network of FASTSIGNS has also given him access to a wealth of resources on how best to respond to customer’s needs, from other FASTSIGNS owners. “I have brought in a manager to focus specifically on growing the FASTSIGNS part of my business. I wanted to ensure someone in my team is fully committed to growing this side of it, with the support FASTSIGNS offer. Their innovative website and online tools, in particular are proving to be invaluable in delivering the best possible product to my customers.”
Andy has found he is not only capturing more business since working with FASTSIGNS, but he also provides a greater range of products and solutions to his existing customer base. This is allowing him to grow his original company in tandem with the newer enterprise and cut through the competition by offering a more comprehensive service to his clients. Though it has only been a year since he signed up with FASTSIGNS, Andy is already seeing the benefit for his national and international clients, so is positive about the new opportunities joining FASTSIGNS has opened up for him.
To find out more about how co-branding with FASTSIGNS can help you grow your business, please call us on: 01785 253140, or visit our website to request a call.