FASTSIGNS International CEO Catherine Monson was interviewed by QP editor Karen Hall. Contact Monson at Catherine.Monson@fastsigns.com. For franchise information, contact Mark Jameson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-346-5679) or visit www.MyPRINTResource.com/10054488.
QP: Tell us a bit about FASTSIGNS. How big is your network and what services do you offer?
Monson: FASTSIGNS has over 530 locations operating in eight countries. We operate under the FASTSIGNS brand name in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Grand Cayman Islands, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Australia, we operate under the brand name SIGNWAVE.
Our franchisees specialize in selling, marketing, producing, and installing visual communications, including signs (both non-electrical and electrical), graphics, banners, flags, vehicle graphics, vehicle wraps, ADA and other compliance signage, way finding signage, dimensional letters, dimensional signage, ready-to-apply lettering, exhibits and displays, decals and labels, exhibits, trade show and other displays, large-format and grand-format digital printing, advertising and promotional products (including wearables), electronic and digital signage, logo/artwork design and illustration, product wraps and other related graphics, marketing services, and complementary products and services. Our franchisees pride themselves on being “more than fast and more than signs”; assisting their customers in increasing their business visibility, reaching more customers, and accomplishing more than they ever thought possible.
QP: That’s quite a variety of products and services. Please explain how the new co-branding program for small commercial printers works.
Monson: Our FASTSIGNS Co-Brand opportunity offers reprographic companies, photo labs, trophy and awards businesses, embroidery companies, printers, and other related businesses an effective way of diversifying and generating new, higher-margin revenue streams to their organization.
With the consolidation and decline in the print industry, printers are looking for new, viable ways to grow their business. Signage and visual graphics is one of the most logical choices of new, expanded, high-margin revenue streams. Many of the same digital images and content used for commercial printing can be re-purposed for the customers’ signage and visual graphics.
FASTSIGNS has over 25 years of experience in the marketing, selling, producing, and installing of signage and visual graphics, and we offer our training, best practices, and knowledge to appropriate existing independent printing company owners who want to become a FASTSIGNS center as a way to successfully diversify their product offering.
QP: Does this create competition issues for existing FASTSIGNS franchisees?
Monson: Our new Co-Brand franchise offering allows appropriate printers (as well as reprographic businesses, photographic labs, etc.) to join the FASTSIGNS franchise system and house their FASTSIGNS location either in or next door to their existing print business. The printer has to meet our standard full criteria, which includes having an appropriate location situated outside an existing FASTSIGNS franchisee's protected territory and having a significant sales volume—a minimum of $1 million annually—as we are looking to partner with successful business owners. The printer is allowed to maintain his printing business—brand name and all—and also owns and operates a FASTSIGNS out of the same location or next door. The FASTSIGNS would have its own exterior signage and showroom that meets our brand standards; signage production equipment would be added to the existing production space that the print company has. Of course, we will provide our expertise on equipment and software selection, workflow processes, production efficiencies, and more.
QP: What are the advantages to adding sign-making capabilities to a commercial printing operation?