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Signs Express

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Start a Signs Express Franchise

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Are you looking for the next step in your career? Is now the time to work for yourself rather than contributing to someone else’s bottom line? Are you looking for a positive work-life balance whilst running your own business?

Signs Express is the UK’s largest signs and graphics business with over 35 years’ industry experience and 60+ locations throughout the UK and Ireland. At Signs Express we offer you the opportunity to run your own business in a creative, innovative industry with options to join our award-winning network via our established resales, rebranding your existing signage company and benefit from our brand exposure, or choose a location that suits you and start-up your own centre from scratch with full support and training throughout.

Our current resales include:

Being your own boss isn’t a career choice, it’s a lifestyle choice… So, turn your career into a lifestyle today with Signs Express:

  1. Become part of the UK’s largest signs and graphics network
  2. Creative, high profit industry with 20% EBITDA potential
  3. Be your own boss and operate in your own territory
  4. Opportunity to achieve £750,000 turnover and beyond
  5. Monday – Friday working hours
  6. Full training and support provided
  7. Established, respected brand with over 35 years of experience
  8. Expansion potential
  9. UK wide network support and UK based Franchise Support Centre
  10. Innovative industry where no two days are the same

Why Choose Signs Express?

Offering bespoke signage and graphics solutions to customers large and small we offer room for creativity and innovation working with a consultative approach, offering anything from exterior building graphics, illuminated signage, digital signage, vehicle graphics, exhibition and displays, window graphics, bespoke wallpaper, health and safety signage, eco-products and much more.

Established for 35 years, Signs Express is dedicated to delivering our customers' innovative signs and graphics solutions. We interpret our customers visions and advise on the best visual solutions to bring their brands to life. In an ever-growing industry, our forward-thinking strategy combined with our national coverage and local approach allows us to offer our clients the most effective solutions.

Each and every business needs signage or graphics whether it's to attract customers, engage or inspire employees, health and safety notices or to simply inform, we’re here to support our clients bring their brands to life. Due to the variety of industries we service and the huge range we offer, the signage industry can be viewed as recession proof as every situation presents opportunities.

Extensive Training Programme: Setting you up for Success

With a commitment to help you grow your business and achieve your goals, we offer extensive training and support to our franchisees to ensure you are set up for success. Throughout your Signs Express career, we offer:
  • Comprehensive onboarding programme for all new franchisees including classroom learning and hands-on training
  • Business Coaching and Mentoring
  • Ongoing training for existing franchisees and their teams via our custom-built Learning Management Platform
  • Live training sessions from our company owned flagship centre in Twickenham
  • Business Health Checks ensuring best practice
  • Dedicated Franchise Support Centre and centre visits, offering support and training to our network across all disciplines including finance, IT, local and national marketing, operational, recruitment, business planning and sales
  • Social media training
  • Exit planning and realising your resale value
  • Sharing of best practice from fellow franchisees and from our supplier partners

Hear from our Franchisees:

Kris Bell, Signs Express (Aylesbury): Catching up with Kris after 12 months of ownership:

“The last year has been a whirlwind. Being quite a risk averse individual, I usually spend a lot of time weighing things up, however after the busiest 12 months of my career, I’ve definitely had to adapt the way I work, along with my overall business approach and I’ve learnt a lot about myself for sure, along with help and support from the Franchise Support Centre offering guidance and support each step of the way.

I’ve loved every minute of it (despite the challenges) and I’ve met some fantastic individuals in local businesses and built some great relationships with our customers along the way. I’m really pleased with where the business has been heading and the progress we’ve made as a team, so I felt ready for the next step in my Signs Express journey by venturing into the new hub and spoke model.”

Matt Rutlidge, Signs Express (Central Lancashire): Speaking with Matt as he moves into ownership:

“After 14 years with Signs Express and working as Centre Manager for the past four years, I am thrilled to announce that I am now the proud owner of Signs Express (Central Lancashire), serving the local areas of Preston, Blackpool and Blackburn. I’m fortunate enough to have fantastic relationships with the majority of our customers and suppliers already, however I’m excited to spend the coming weeks and months reaching out and speaking with many more local businesses to see how we can work together.

I’m extremely passionate about what I do and with a dedicated, experienced team around me, we’re excited to see where we can take the business and continue to explore and push the boundaries of what we can create for our local communities and beyond.”

Roy Heeley and John McEntee, Signs Express (Liverpool & Wirral): Discuss what they enjoy most about working in the signage industry:

“Having started the business from scratch many years ago, we are still learning 20 years later! We thrive when working in a creative environment offering a varied and diverse approach to our customers means every day is different. We’re both sociable individuals and enjoy getting out and about meeting new customers. Building relationships is key to the success of the business, leading to repeat business, a solid reputation and word of mouth recommendations. Many of our good friends started off as customers and it’s great that they’ve been on the journey with us.

Work life balance is also essential, our Monday-Friday working days have allowed us to spend time with our friends and family whilst enjoying the benefits of running our own business. Undoubtedly the support from our fellow franchisees along with support from the franchise support centre has been integral to our success.”

Who are we looking for?

Full support and training is provided throughout your Signs Express career, therefore no industry experience is required.

We are looking for two types of franchisees:
  1. Business savvy, hands-on managers with no industry experience but have the desire, drive and ambition to take a business to the next level.
  2. Career driven sign makers and production managers that are experienced in the industry with ambitions to own and grow their own business with our support.

Our ideal franchisee will be extremely personable with the ability to build relationships, act consultatively to help build solutions, they will be driven, ambitious, a good all-rounder, creative and not afraid of hard work.

‘A Day in the Life of a Franchisee’

As a centre owner no two days will be the same, you’ll be the key relationship manager for your customers, you’ll be the face of the business, the driving force for innovation, you’ll work in a consultative manner and be the voice of authority in your field, offering bespoke solutions to your customers, all delivered with outstanding customer care.

Investment and Funding:

  • Franchise Fee of £8,500 for a resale purchase or £25,000 for a start-up opportunity
  • Investment levels vary for our resale opportunities depending on the size of the business. Current opportunities range from £99,950 to £250,000.
  • A total investment of £215,000 is required for a start-up opportunity.
  • At Signs Express we can support you with funding via our 3rd party financial partners such as HSBC.
  • Typically, 30% of the asking price is required in liquid capital, however we will work with you to look at different funding approaches if required.

Please get in touch today to find out more!

Signs Express Financial Data
The following financial information was provided by Signs Express to give you more information about the costs associated with a Signs Express opportunity
Start-Up Investment Costs
  • Franchise Fee: £25,000
  • Minimum Investment: £215,000
  • Minimum Liquid Capital: £65,000

Legal Requirements: Buying a Business, The Process

Signs Express Image

In legal terms this process is known as a “Transaction”. There are a number of key steps that must be completed in order to protect the interests of both parties, and they can be summarised in six steps:

Step 1 - the buyer identifies a company it wants to purchase (the “Target”) and it begins exploratory talks with the seller or a seller may actively seek a buyer whether that be the management team or a third party;

Step 2 - before conversations go into too much detail, the parties will sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect the confidentiality of the Transaction;

Step 3 - the buyer begins initial due diligence to check for any obvious red flags;

Step 4 - the parties will draw up an indicative agreement. This document may also be referred to as the heads of terms or letter of intent because it sets out the terms of the Transaction that have been agreed in principle between the parties. The heads of terms will form the basis of the agreement documenting the Transaction;

Step 5 - full due diligence is conducted. This will enable the buyer to scrutinise every aspect of the Target, including, but not limited to, information about the corporate structure, any existing or historic litigation that could affect the value of the business, the financial stability of the Target, and information about its employees. The level of due diligence will depend on the type of Transaction and the buyer. If the sale is to management it may be that they know enough about the business to not need legal assistance with the due diligence.

Step 6 - contract negotiation and disclosure. The type of agreement typically entered into between the parties is a ‘share purchase agreement’ commonly known as an “SPA”. The SPA is usually drafted by the buyer’s solicitor and will include a number of statements about the Target, called warranties, that the buyer expects the seller to give. Where the seller knows that it cannot agree to a warranty, he must tell the buyer in the form of a disclosure. The warranties are important to the buyer because it will allow him to make a full and fair analysis of the Target and the Transaction.

All disclosures are collated into what is known as a ‘disclosure letter’. The seller’s solicitors will be responsible for drafting the disclosure letter as it is a key document for the seller. If a warranty is breached and the seller did not make a disclosure against it, the buyer will be entitled to bring a claim for breach of contract and seek monetary compensation. To give an example, if a warranty requires the seller to confirm that there is no active litigation being brought against the Target, and the seller knows there is an ongoing claim, the seller must disclose this to the buyer or risk a claim being made post-completion.

At this stage the buyer has the opportunity to revise his offer on the Target based on the disclosures made or pull out of the Transaction completely.

Step 7 - completion. The SPA and other documents including but not limited to the disclosure letter are signed, the purchase price is paid by the Buyer and the Transaction is now legally binding. The Buyer now owns the Target and can begin the integration phase.

Steps 1 to 4 are commonly completed by the parties before engaging a solicitor to help with the purchase. These steps are more about setting out the commercial detail and each side’s expectations.

The bulk of a solicitors work during a Transaction falls within steps 5 to 7. These steps are usually conducted concurrently in order to save time and money. The solicitors for each party will amend and negotiate the documents in the best interests of their respective client which usually results in the parties entering into reasonably balanced agreements.

Signs Express: Make an Enquiry Today!

Signs Express Image

Signs Express is the UK’s largest signs and graphics business, offering a bespoke, creative and consultative approach to signage from a network of over 60 centres. With over 30 years’ experience and a passion for customer service we are at the forefront of the signage industry, offering an innovative approach with a forward-thinking strategy.

With franchise opportunities to join our award-winning network via established resale opportunities and prime-location start up opportunities, we offer you the chance to become your own boss and secure your financial future. If this is a business opportunity that appeals to you why not get in touch?

Legal Advice:

EMW support both buyers and sellers with Transactions and have a wealth of experience across different sectors. Their team’s approach to Transactions means they can be efficient and thorough.

If you are considering making an acquisition with Signs Express, we would encourage you to contact EMW Law for more information as they are familiar with our business, however, please feel free to use any solicitors you so wish.

Signs Express Success Stories

From Signmaker to Franchisee, to Network Champion!

Learn more about Richard Howes, our 2023 Network Champion and owner of Signs Express (Lincoln)

13 Years Later…

November 23, 2022
After 13 years ownership of Signs Express (Aylesbury), we talk to exiting franchisee Philip Harris about his time with Signs Express, the benefits of franchising and his plans for retirement.

Signs Express (Plymouth): 4 weeks in!

November 10, 2022
Just a few weeks into their exciting new venture, we speak to Simon and Tracy Hallett, new owners of Signs Express (Plymouth), possibly the calmest new business owners I’ve ever met!

From initial enquiry to business owner in less than six months!

September 28, 2022
We speak to Kris Bell, new owner of Signs Express Aylesbury to find out all about his journey from initial enquiry to signing on the dotted line and what advice he’d pass on to our next would-be franchisees looking for a new challenge for 2023.
Signs Express Testimonials
I would definitely recommend franchising to those who wish to own a business with large potential. It’s been a fantastic way to grow my opportunities whilst knowing I have all the support, guidance and reassurance just a phone call away.
Janiv Patel, Signs Express,
Signs Express
Signs Express’ dedicated support team ensure I look at the facts and figures giving me advice on the next steps to take. It’s important to keep looking at the bigger picture in order to keep on track with the growth I want for the business. I have a very exciting future ahead of me.
Craig Tiley, Signs Express (Stoke-on-Trent),
Signs Express
Signs Express Master Franchise

Signs Express Master Franchise Opportunity

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Signs Express Gallery Image
Signs Express Gallery Image
Signs Express Gallery Image
Signs Express Gallery Image
Available Locations:
Franchises available across the UK and Ireland
Business Type:
Minimum Investment:
Financing Assistance
3rd Party
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