FASTSIGNS International Inc.—the worldwide franchisor of more than 570 FASTSIGNS® sign, graphics and visual communications centers in eight countries—ended 2014 with 45 new franchise agreements signed and 31 new centers opened in North America, as well as reporting record system-wide sales. Robust growth is expected to continue through 2015 on all fronts.
Company executives say several factors led to another record year in every metric, including continued traction and implementation of the company’s “More Than” brand positioning and expanded products and services; significant growth in the number of outside salespeople due to the company’s in-depth support and training; and high franchisee satisfaction.
Victoria Crane, who opened a FASTSIGNS franchise in California last year, said she was attracted by the support and expertise offered by the franchisor. “FASTSIGNS goes above and beyond what other sign and visual communications franchises offer in terms of business strategy, technology focus, industry experience and support,” Crane said. “With FASTSIGNS in-house team of experts, it’s like I have more than 100 employees working for me on top of a network of 500-plus franchisees that I can call on at any time for guidance and advice.”
Another key contributing factor to the company’s growth is its Co-Brand initiative, which helps independent print shop owners evolve their service offerings by adding a FASTSIGNS center within their existing business. Co-Brand franchise partner Dick Helmey, who owns FASTSIGNS of Houston, TX – Midtown South, said, “Opening a FASTSIGNS center within my existing business made the whole idea of new product opportunities and new solutions come alive for our clients. It has also allowed my business to benefit from many new resources that previously weren’t available to us such as training, research and support with new products and operations.”
In addition to continued growth in North America, FASTSIGNS also experienced success on the international front with Master Franchise Agreements signed for the United Arab Emirates and North Africa. FASTSIGNS also retained the World Franchise Group to help expansion efforts in Southeast Asia and to continue franchise growth in the Middle East.
Mark Jameson, Executive Vice President of Franchise Support and Development at FASTSIGNS, said robust franchise growth will continue into 2015, with plans calling for an estimated fifty new FASTSIGNS centers to open by year’s end in North America and expansion into five new countries.
He noted that the franchise is continuing to seek growth opportunities in Mexico, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, India, and the Middle East based on strong demand in those countries for FASTSIGNS core offerings of signs, graphics, printing, promotional products and related marketing services.
“In addition to expanding our franchise system, we continue to focus on technology and expanded products and services,” said CEO Catherine Monson. “There’s a continued growth in demand for comprehensive visual communications solutions. As long as businesses in every country need visibility, our customer base will continue to build for our franchisees.”