Monson: No matter what print industry publication you read or print-oriented conference or trade show you attend—or have read or attended over the past decade—the need for printing companies to diversify and provide new, value-added products and services has been a primary topic. Commercial print sales continue to decline and margins continue to get squeezed. Successfully marketing, selling, producing, and delivering new high-margin, value-added products and services is essential for a print company's long term success.
Signage and visual graphics are a natural extension of a print company’s existing products and services. For instance, many (but not all) of the decision makers are the same, it is a similar B2B marketing and selling process, and much of the artwork used for printing can be used for signage and visual graphics.
QP: What are the requirements as far as the space, equipment, training, and other considerations that are needed to add sign-making services?
Monson: Good placement for the exterior signage is required. A minimum of 400 square feet dedicated to the FASTSIGNS showroom is required, along with space for production equipment, which typically would be located in the area that their current existing business’ production equipment is placed. All FASTSIGNS branding criteria must be followed. Specific minimum production equipment is required as well. Most printers who have already signed franchise agreements with us had much of this equipment already.
We provide an initial four weeks training (one week in an existing FASTSIGNS location, two weeks in our corporate training facility, followed by a week in their new co-brand location) on how to market, sell, produce, and install signs and visual graphics, and then ongoing training from then on.
Our complete training suite includes an extensive online training library, an annual convention, an annual Outside Sales Summit, regional meetings, and one-on-one training with your business consultant and marketing services manager.
QP: If a printer wants to add sign-making services, why do you think they should they join the FASTSIGNS co-branding program rather than doing so on their own?
Monson: We make it easy to do by providing the necessary tools, systems, training, and support. Through our co-branding program, independent print shop owners have the opportunity to grow new, profitable revenue streams by diversifying with signage and visual graphics services, while still retaining their original business identity. Through the program, independent operators have access to our proven track record and business model, including ongoing training and support provided by FASTSIGNS.
One of the challenges of getting into signage and visual graphics on your own is understanding signage regulations, the best substrates and manufacturing methods for specific sign types, workflow efficiencies, and installation techniques and efficiencies. We provide all the sales, marketing, production, and installation training and expertise, allowing for quick success in the signage and visual graphics market space.
As a co-branded partner, FASTSIGNS offers effective local and national marketing, improved buying power and relationships with vendors, access to national accounts, and up-to-date technology and digital services among other benefits from being part of a franchise network with business owners nationwide. The FASTSIGNS brand is strong, has outstanding name awareness, and provides great value in the market and allows the co-brand franchisee to benefit from the FASTSIGNS brand recognition from day one. Our brand truly positions them as a provider in the wide-format, signage, and visual graphics space. Plus, the business customer is the same for their current, existing business and FASTSIGNS, which results in added value to both operations.
The new co-branding program allows independent print shop owners to add a FASTSIGNS center within their existing business and gain ongoing training and support from the franchise for as little as a $10,000 initial investment as well as reduced franchise and royalty fees.