Great end to 2009 shows signs of strong future

Proven route to running your own £500K+ business.

Signs Express

Available across the UK & Ireland
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The UK & Ireland’s largest and most successful sign franchise Signs Express, is ending 2009 on a high by extending its network with 4 new franchisees.

The new signings add to an already positive year which included three new owners joining back in April and the group receiving finalist recognition at both the British Franchise Association Franchisee and Franchisor of the year awards.

The Signs Express network has grown in recent weeks with the introduction of new owners at three established UK Signs Express centres and a new production centre opening in Ireland. The latest addition brings the total number of centres in Ireland up to seven – with over 80 in total across the UK & Ireland.

The new franchisees come from all different walks of life. Graham Casey has taken over one of the most successful centres in the network – Signs Express (Glasgow). Having worked for Macfarlane Group PLC for over 30 years and leaving as a member of its board of directors earlier this year, Graham had reached a point in his career where he wanted to try something different and utilise his skills and knowledge to run his own business.

Signs Express has been established in Glasgow since 1995 and the former owners had taken on three additional territories to enable them to cover the whole of Glasgow and grow their business consistently, receiving recognition from the franchisor for invoicing over £5m during their time with the business. When Graham visited a franchise exhibition and saw the opportunities a Signs Express franchise could bring, he was delighted when the opportunity to purchase a franchise in his local area arose.

new franchisees at the Signs Express head office during training. MD Craig Brown third from left.

The value of the Glasgow franchise resale is the most in Signs Express’ long history, over 4 times the highest price of a sale, which is testament to the strength and size of the business along with its extensive machinery and loyal customer base. High quality and excellent customer service are installed throughout all staff and Graham is relishing the opportunity to continue this and grow even further. 

Neil Fisher and Mark Kendall, who have just become the new owners of Signs Express (Southampton), came from BT and the aluminium and stainless steel industry respectively. They were looking for a secure business structure in the B2B sector. After visiting a local franchise exhibition they met with the existing owner, who was looking to move overseas, and were impressed with the business. When travelling home they realised just how many signs were out there and the potential within the industry and decided it was the right opportunity for them.

Daniel and Glenn Pickersgill have also bought into the Signs Express business model and have taken over an established franchise after the existing Signs Express (South Durham) franchisee chose to retire. The father and son team had looked previously at the option of going into franchising and had shown serious interest in a courier franchise two years earlier, however, at the time they decided against the idea of a van-based franchise and chose to opt for something premises based instead. They had both been customers of Signs Express in the past and recognised the excellent business opportunity available.

Finally, Sean Doonan, Seamus Owens and Frank Murphy, are the newest franchisees to join the network and have now opened their brand new business in Derrylin, Northern Ireland. They looked at the signs and graphics market after having a business idea to supply the construction and road contract industries with temporary road signs. When investigating the industry they realised that a signs and graphics business could provide a greater service to their customers, so they looked to industry leaders Signs Express to help facilitate this.

Sales and marketing director Tony Marsh commented on the new signings: “We are delighted with the high calibre of franchisees coming on board and have no doubt that they will have a great 2010. With a network the size of ours and some franchisees now trading with us for over 17 years, we are finding that franchisees looking to move to new pastures are able to sell their business on as a going concern. Equally, there are still some key territories available and the training and support available at our 20-strong head office ensures that new franchisees are given the best possible start in business.” 

The thought of starting in business could be considered by some as risky, especially when we’re in the midst of a recession. However, by spending its 20 year history being diligent and undertaking constant planning for all future eventualities, the Signs Express business model is continuing to provide a stable package for both new and established centres and attracting high quality applicants.

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