Signarama is the largest signs franchise in the world. Tracy Andrews co owns and co manages the Signarama UK Birmingham South territory with her Husband Jeremy.
The Sign of a Great Family Business
One of the greatest appeals of investing in a franchise is the training and support you get - two things conspicuously absent when you start your own business from scratch. Once her decision was made to go with Signarama, Tracy spent a couple of weeks at the company’s global head office in Florida where she learned about every aspect of the sign industry from dedicated trainers and met with other Signarama owners who in addition to the formal support, shared their stories and gave her advice. On returning to the UK Tracy was able to spend an invaluable few days with the Signarama franchise owner in Milton Keynes who was able to talk in great detail about the type of customers they had and the nature of the work they did for them.
Only a month or so before, signage was a brand new industry to Tracy, but now she was brimming with ideas for the business. “The training was excellent. I was very comfortable with being able to run the business, but it was important to learn as much as I could about the industry – the products; the services; new technology; customer types; competitors; trends and potential. My time in Florida was very well spent and I left really encouraged and excited to get started.”
Six years on and the business is thriving with a full time team of six. “There’s no question that being part of such a well known Global brand can open doors for you. Often the impression of size and national reach is very instrumental in larger clients trusting you with important and high value projects. We have some large construction companies as customers and being based in Birmingham we are particularly delighted to produce a lot of work for Land Rover.”
Is it still fun? “Yes absolutely! It’s been challenging of course and it’s been a steep learning curve at times, but we have the advantage of always knowing that there is support there whenever we need it. We are also part of a large network of franchise owners who are more than happy to help each other out or even work together to deliver on national contracts.
What sort of person would suit a Signarama franchise? “You need to be lively and outgoing with the ability to get on with a wide range of customers from small local businesses to large corporates. You need to be both a team player and good leader, as you will need to manage your staff as well as remembering that you are part of a larger network that is strongest when it works together.”
What about experience? “I honestly think that with the right attitude and work ethic, the training and support from Signarama could see anyone become successful without any industry experience or having run their own business before. That’s the beauty of franchising isn’t it!”
Would you do it all again? “No question. This was a great decision for us both!”