This post is the first of two parts. To read Part 2, please click here.
With electronic and social media providing new marketing alternatives for businesses, and websites and email being the standard for business communication with customers and clients, FASTSIGNS has come up with a co-branding model that creates a new revenue stream for traditional printing companies that might be experiencing a decline in orders for products printed on paper.
Donna Booth, 46, owner of Prestige Printing in Columbus, Ind., is one of the first franchise partners to take advantage of the new co-branding initiative that allows her to retain her business’s longstanding brand in her local area while diversifying products and services that she’s able to offer clients through a complementary FASTSIGNS franchise. The new business model will allow her to up-sell to an existing customer base of 1,500 clients as well as attract new ones.
“It makes absolutely perfect sense.,” Booth said. “When you’re looking at co-branding, it’s a great benefit to have (printing experience) because a lot of the lingo is the same. I think it does catapult your learning into the sign industry much quicker.”
Weathering the Recession
With an accounting degree from the University of Kentucky, Booth spent much of her career as a CPA and worked in finance as a freelance consultant. In 2007, she discovered that the owner of a venerable printing company in her town was ready to sell his business and retire.
She and her husband Chris, an employee of RR Donnelley, a printing conglomerate, decided to buy Prestige Printing, which she would run. When the recession hit, she started looking for ways to diversify by adding services such as web development and email marketing. Adding signage services seemed the next logical step.
When she attended a trade show in 2012 to purchase equipment that would allow her to venture into sign making, she talked to representatives from FASTSIGNS and took their suggestions on the type of machinery she should buy, even changing a purchase order for some equipment she had already selected.
She continued talking with FASTSIGNS during the latter part of 2012 and discovered other benefits of a co-branding program that would allow her to keep the identity of her original business but add new components through FASTSIGNS.
Lower Fees and Royalties
“Franchises have always been of interest to me because of the support that you get,” she said. “I knew that FASTSIGNS would help me grow that end of the business much more quickly than I would be able to do on my own. The other factor is the education and the training that they would give to me.”
“Our co-branding program is designed to help independent print shop owners join the FASTSIGNS franchise system at a significantly reduced investment, including lower franchise fees and royalties,” the company reports on its website.
The new co-branding program allows independent business owners to add a FASTSIGNS center for as little as $10,000 down. As a co-branded partner, FASTSIGNS offers local and national marketing, improved buying power and relationships with vendors, access to national accounts, and up-to-date technology and digital services.