Buying a Franchise

Just One Franchise: FastSigns

As of this writing, FastSigns is on our new franchise business opportunities page. Since we update this page frequently, you should also look on the FastSigns profile page to get to know this international leader in signage.

You’d think that with a name like FastSigns, this business might only make banners and signs quickly — something like a Kinko’s for banners. In fact, FastSigns has kept up with the times and changed as customers’ needs changed. They now do whole branding packages, from banners and interactive display signs to storefronts and car wraps, in addition to traditional signage such as safety signs, point of purchase, and menu boards. They also have design services for online marketing and marketing integration for large campaigns, perfect for customers who are looking for a better return on their marketing investments.

FastSigns might have started out with printed banners, but they moved with the market and their customers so they could continue to serve them as their needs changed. This change is the hallmark of a company that’s ready to stay in business for decades to come. FastSigns has been in business since 1985, well before the Internet marketing boom of the 21st century. They’ve kept up with what’s new in the signage industry and they implement it in their business strategically, so customers get the best service and franchisees stay successful as the business evolves. Their goal is to leave only the competition behind.

On top of franchisees who remain successful even as the industry changes, FastSigns has received a number of accolades from franchise experts, including the 2013 World Class Franchisee Satisfaction Recognition award from the Franchise Research Institute and a top spot in the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 as the #1 Sign Franchise in 2011, 2012 & 2013. FastSigns has also won the attention of G.I. Jobs as a 2013 Military Friendly franchise because of a 50% reduction in the franchise fee for veterans.

Few franchises are as transparent about their successes as FastSign. On top of being the best sign franchise according to many experts, they’re also the only franchise that shares a full financial performance representation in their franchise disclosure document. As with all financial performance numbers, you should do your homework and take numbers with a grain of salt, but the FastSign numbers are quite appealing.

FastSigns Financial Review

  • Top Quartile Average Sales: $730,673
  • Top Quartile Owners Discretionary Profit: 28.3%, or $206,857
  • Average Center Sales: $700,946
  • Average Center Owners Discretionary Profit: 17.4%, or $122,215

When the top quartile average sales are so close to the average center sales, it reveals a healthy franchise system where most of the franchisees are on par with the top performers. Sometimes a franchise will list an average which might be skewed because of an extremely high performing segment. Others might focus on the top performers.

The honesty and transparency FastSigns shows helps potential franchisees gauge their potential performance better than they could with a less open franchise. While there are many reasons that a franchisor might not choose to share so much information, this approach might also give you a sense of the company culture. If transparency is important to you, this might be an indication that FastSigns would be a good fit.

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