Fastsigns franchise

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Fastsigns produce custom signs and marketing materials for businesses in the UK and seven other countries. They claim to be the leaders in a market worth £29 billion per year.

Fastsigns business details

Fastsigns were launched in 1985 and they have offered franchise opportunities since 1986. They are headquartered in Carrollton, Texas. The company designs, produces, installs and maintains all types of sign as well as producing other graphic and marketing materials and further complementary products. The organisation has a total of 745 outlets across the globe, including Canada, the UK, Chile, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico and more.

Fastsigns at a glance:

  • Stores: More than 765 
  • Required Investor net worth: £150,000
  • Required investor liquid cash: £35,000
  • Min. investment: £36,000
  • Max. investment: £310,000
  • Standard franchise term: 10 years

Can I start a Fastsigns franchise?

With reasonable liquid cash and net worth requirements and affordable set-up costs, starting a Fastsigns franchise may be possible for many entrepreneurs. Fastsigns do not require previous experience in the signage industry, although having owned or managed a business before would clearly be an advantage. The company mandates that either the franchisee or their designated manager is on site to oversee the daily running of the store and to liaise with business customers. After the initial set-up period, you could operate this franchise as a passive investment.

How much does a Fastsigns franchise cost?

Set-up costs for a Fastsigns franchise range from £36,000 to £310,000 depending on the size of your store and the range of services you provide. This cost ranks as low to moderate.

The franchise fee is £21,000. Military veterans may be eligible for a 50% discount off this cost.

After opening, you are required to pay an array of ongoing fees and charges. They include:

  • Royalty fee: 7% of gross sales 
  • Advertising fee: 2% of gross sales
  • Interest charge: 18% annual rate or highest rate allowed under applicable laws
  • Transfer fee: £17,500
  • Resale consulting fee: £5,000
  • Renewal fee: 15% of current initial franchise fee
  • Technology fee: Up to £200 per month
  • Google workspace accounts: £11.50 per month per account
  • Optional ecommerce catalog fees: £499 set-up fee, plus £199 per month for 5 catalogs and £29 per month for each additional catalog

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Estimated key costs to open a Fastsigns franchise:

Key Costs GuideLowHigh
Franchise fee£21,000£21,000
Leasehold improvements£21,000£37,600
Furniture and fixtures£10,700£12,800
Telephone and networking£1,200£6,800
Décor and graphics£1,900£1,900
Tools and supplies£10,300£10,300
Production equipment£64,880£67,000
Commercial display, laser equipment and licenses£1,500£1,500
Computer equipment and software£1,500£1,500
Initial inventory$2,700£2,700
Initial advertising£14,500£14,500
Expenses during training£7,400£11,500
Insurance (first three months)£625£1,125
Business licenses, permits£79£600
Working capital£40,000£65,000

Are Fastsigns franchises profitable?

Yes. Fastsigns expect to see revenue of £200,000 after two years, with the top performers generating discretionary profit (profits before any distribution to owners and shareholders) of 32%. However, other sources say profit margins of 20% are more typical – still a very good result.

What is the failure rate for a Fastsigns franchise?

The failure rate for a Fastsigns franchise is 1% in year one, rising to 4% by year three. This ranks as low.

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What are the franchise territory policies for Fastsigns?

Franchisees are assigned a specific geographic area around their store (the territory), which shall encompass a minimum of 4,000 businesses. If franchisees comply with their franchise agreement, the franchisor will not establish or grant others the right to establish a Fastsigns store in the territory unless there is an increase of at least 25% in the number of businesses in the area.

What franchise resources does Fastsigns offer?

Fastsigns support for franchisees includes:

  • Training: Before their store opening, franchisees, their graphic designer and visual communications specialist must attend and complete the initial training program to the franchisor’s satisfaction. The training program comprises two weeks of classroom instruction for up to nine hours each day, plus five days in a Fastsigns store prior to the classroom training. Franchisees and/or their employees are also required to complete some online training assignments prior to attending the initial training course. The franchisor provides on-site opening training, supervision and assistance to franchisees at a time it determines. The on-site training focuses on the opening, inventory control, management, sign production and marketing strategies and skills. From time-to-time Fastsigns may offer additional training programs, seminars, and webinars and they may charge a fee for this tuition. Franchisees, or their key management employee must attend the franchise convention at least once within every three-year period.  
  • Marketing support: Fastsigns provides promotional and other marketing support for their franchisees.
  • Third-party financing: Fastsigns provides limited financial support for investors seeking franchise funding. You may also be able to obtain economical and flexible funding solutions from the many independent funders who provide business loans to franchise operators.

Why should you start a Fastsigns franchise?

Low to moderate start-up costs, strong profits, a low failure rate and the support of the industry’s leading brand all point to a solid franchise opportunity. Apart from the fairly hefty franchise fee, there are very few downsides to starting a Fastsigns store.

Could you make your store deliver almost half a million pounds more per year than the total market average? Do your homework to forensically examine the competition in your selected area, and the potential for new sales, before jumping in to this (or any other) franchise.

What is the process for starting a Fastsigns franchise?

It begins with an application. Start the process today.

Secure franchise funding with Swoop

Starting a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s easy to get lost in a maze of business loan applications that can make funding your new signage business like too much hard work. Instead, cut out the hassle and cut to the chase. Swoop has the best lenders for the best franchises across the UK. Just tell us what you need and leave the rest to us.

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Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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