When it comes to joining a franchise network, the options are far-reaching and not restricted by your locality. FASTSIGNS, as an American brand, offers its global network an internationally recognised model.
The concept of franchising is not a new model of business ownership and has been widely used, in the United States, since the 1900s. According to the British Franchise Association (bfa), franchising really took-off, in the UK, during the 1950s and 60s. Businesses operating in diverse sectors from retail, to catering, oil and car companies took advantage of a business model that offered a route to national – and international – growth.
In 1985, FASTSIGNS was one of the American brands who recognised the potential of franchising their business. This method of business expansion would provide the vehicle to take their highly advanced approach to signage from a small business in Dallas, Texas and create a large scale, international brand which operates over 700 centres, in nine countries, today.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FASTSIGNS since 2008, Catherine Monson, continues the vision for FASTSIGNS, as she drives the brand forward to have an international impact. “Having launched FASTSIGNS’ centres in countries that have diverse cultures, I haven’t seen a lot of differences in how the centres operate from country to country,” she says. “The business model is proven to work, no matter what country it is operated in. We have identified the strength of our offering, including the value of the brand name, the brand standards, the training and our tools and resources, which all franchisees benefit from.”
Launching an American owned franchise in the UK has its benefits, as Catherine explains, “in the US, technological advancements in the signage industry are approximately five years ahead of the UK. This means that once there is a demand in the UK, FASTSIGNS has already worked out the best usage methodologies, helping the UK network to stay ahead of their competitors.”
FASTSIGNS has a customer-centric business focus and many of the product range advancements, although they have to be commercially suitable, are lead by the changes in customer tastes. Across all nine countries, FASTSIGNS is at the forefront of industry development and our offering extends beyond traditional signage, including digital signage, architectural signage and interior décor. “Having a diverse product range means we can comprehensively help our customers achieve their desired aesthetic across all of their signage and visual graphics,” Catherine says.
“Although there are many similarities in each country that FASTSIGNS operates in, there will always be differences in the way customers consume our offerings.” Catherine explains, “the US public is into bold signs and ‘point-of-purchase’ materials, whilst in the UK, consumers have an appetite for a more subtle approach. The UK citizens are also environmentally minded and are keen to use sustainable, lightweight materials, which reduces fuel costs for the shipping of signage. It’s about understanding the products available and positioning them attractively to the end customer. In every country we operate in, we have been able to successfully adapt FASTSIGNS to the economic, legal and socio-cultural realities of the country. There is always a way to make our brand work for our franchisees.”
For new and existing franchisees choosing to operate their FASTSIGNS centre in the UK, there is a local support team of business and marketing experts who support franchisees on a day to day basis. This team implements the brand in the most appropriate way for the UK’s trading environment and helps franchisees to conduct their business in a compliant manner.
For new franchisees, the UK Support Team assists by helping you to find the right location, to fitting out your FASTSIGNS centre. To get to grips with the FASTSIGNS brand, you will attend world-class training from FASTSIGNS leading experts in Dallas, covering everything to do with starting and running your centre. This is followed up with training with one of the UK franchisees, as well as on-site, in your own centre.
“We have years of experience in launching our franchisees business and understand that you may not have signage experience,” comments Catherine. “We know what you need to launch your business, having refined our processes over our 34 year history. When you become part of the FASTSIGNS global family of sign-makers, you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.”