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Satisfaction with Signs Express

Neil & Carol Fraser
Signs Express

Why I chose franchising

Carol and I had reached a crossroads in our careers and wanted to try something different. We wanted to be in control of our own lives and experience the satisfaction of owning our own business and pooling our resources and talents together seemed to be the best way to achieve this. We could see the advantages and benefits of owning a franchise and researched the opportunities available.

What I did before taking up a franchise

I worked as the Managing Director of a transport company.

Carol was a qualified PA with Ernst and Young.

How I raised the finance

Part personal savings and the remainder of finance from the bank

The training and support I receive from my franchisor

The training and support we have received has been fantastic. Apart from the initial 5 weeks training when we joined the franchise, we have received ongoing support and advice in all areas from the support team based at Head Office. There are also regular regional meetings and training days which cover all areas involved in the running of our business, anything from new sign-making techniques to accounting procedures. We also receive updates on changes in legislation and advice on suppliers and can take advantage of national account contracts established by Head Office.

The challenges I have faced

The sign industry is often thought to be one type of sign. In truth we manufacture and supply many different types of signage, anything from banners to vehicle graphics and interior/exterior signs to exhibition stands. Every business is a potential customer in the Sign Industry. There is never a difficulty in finding customers, just choosing those to do business with.

Keeping up with the rapid pace of changing technology has been another challenge.

My advice to someone thinking of buying their first franchise

  • Research all opportunities thoroughly.
  • Check Franchisors are members of the British Franchise Association
  • Make sure you are going to be interested in the area of business you are looking at as franchises are usually agreed for a fixed period of years.
  • Talk to other franchisees independently to see how they view the business.
  • My plans for the future

    The business has grown year on year and we have high hopes for the future. We have recently placed considerable investment in a wide format printer and flat bed router which has allowed us to do more work in house and improve profit margins. We intend to develop the business further and hope to have a very profitable year.