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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
Signs Express News

Hub & Spoke Progress with Signs Express

March 13, 2024| Franchise News
As an established and mature brand within both the signage industry and franchising sector, we feel it’s essential to ensure our business model is evolving, creating aspirational opportunities for business growth and expansion for our network at Signs Express.

Tackling Tomorrow Together: Convention Award Winners!

Taking the time to celebrate the talent and amazing work that goes on within our incredible network, our Sign and Franchise Awards held at our recent Convention allow us the perfect opportunity to do just that!

Tackling Tomorrow Together: 2024 Convention Round-Up

Friday 19 January 2024 saw us come together as a network for our annual Signs Express Convention, held this year at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Another Phenomenal Year at Signs Express

We can’t quite believe it’s that time of year again, but as we close out 2023, we find ourselves reflecting on the last twelve months and another phenomenal year.

Newly Listed Established Business for Sale: Signs Express (Exeter)

Newly for sale and successfully operating for 28 years under the current ownership of Nick and Marion Baxter-Sibley, Signs Express (Exeter) presents a solid business opportunity for a new business owner with EBITDA and turnover in an upward trajectory.

Business Transformation, Outstanding Award Accolades and Territory Expansion!

After a transformational few years of business, we’re excited to see Paul Glover, experienced owner of Signs Express (Nottingham), extend his reach within the Signs Express network and take on his neighbouring territory of Derby.

New Signs Express Franchisee Expands After Just 12 Months Ownership!

Taking over ownership in August last year, we were delighted to welcome new owner of Signs Express (Aylesbury), Kris Bell, to our Signs Express network.

Signs Express (Central Lancashire) take silver at the UK Graphic Awards!

What an evening! We’re thrilled to announce that Signs Express (Central Lancashire) proudly took home silver in the Leisure & Hospitality category at last night's UK Graphic Awards!

Signs Express Franchisee Expands into Fifth Territory!

We’re thrilled to see yet another Signs Express franchisee, Daniel Pickersgill expand his portfolio within our award-winning network and officially become the new owner of our Signs Express (Scarborough) centre, alongside his other territories spanning Gateshead, Wearside, South Durham and Teesside!

From Centre Manager to Franchisee!

We’re thrilled to announce the completion of another internal sale, which sees Centre Manager, Matt Rutlidge take ownership of the Signs Express (Central Lancashire) franchise, completing the acquisition on Tuesday 3 October 2023.

13 Years Later…

Signs Express Image

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself

“My life before Signs Express seems like some time ago now, however in the years before, I co-ran a family-owned manufacturing business which was a great success. I’ve always had the drive to own my own business and work for myself, so this was a great step into business ownership. After 10 years, we made the decision to sell the business however I remained as MD for a while. Parting ways at the end of 2008, I discovered Signs Express and was the owner of Signs Express (Aylesbury) by the beginning of 2009 (and also in the middle of a recession)!”

Q. What made you look into franchising initially?

“In all honesty, I was pessimistic about franchising to begin with (sorry!), I initially wanted to look into ownership of another independent manufacturing business, however I stumbled across Signs Express (Aylesbury) on Businesses for Sale and decided to take a look into it! When I looked at the numbers I was intrigued, I could see potential and the varied nature of the business was especially appealing. It offered me support, both the manufacturing side of things as well as a creative approach, a whole spectrum of projects and a brand that had credibility. After some deliberation and due diligence, 13 years later I’m pleased to say I went for it!”

Q. Talk to us about your franchising career with Signs Express…

“It’s been a great 13 years, not all plain sailing and often a lot of hard work, but I feel immensely proud with what I’ve achieved and I’ve enjoyed 99% of it too. Successfully growing the business over the years, not only with turnover, but with an impressive bottom line, 2021 numbers were an incredible 88% up vs prior year, and continuing the trend, I exited the business on a high, with turnover up a further 13% year on year.

Having worked with multiple industries covering projects large and small I learnt what worked for me, which projects I most enjoyed and also how to work smarter with a rigid pricing structure, which has been the main contributor towards a healthy profit line.”

Q. Do you have any pivotal moments that comes to mind during your time with Signs Express?

“There are five key things which spring to mind, two which I’m hugely proud of and three which changed the way I ran my business for the years to come.

1 – Winning the contract to work with the prestigious Buckinghamshire New University was a great moment for me, this created exciting projects and led to more contracts consequently. This all happened at a time that I was looking to sell the business however it demonstrated the skills we’d built along the way and was a credit to the exceptional reputation we’d built over the years.

2 – When I took over the business it was trading at sub £250,000, however over the years, with hard work, new strategies and new ways of working, we hit well over £400,000 in just one year.

3 – It may sound simple, but investing in the Signs Express PPC booster campaign was a game changer for us, we’d tried social media and various things before but this had a noticeable effect on our enquiries and was all done for us.

4 – Amongst the events and communications the head office put on, there’s one virtual meeting which has stuck in my mind especially. The meeting was called Pricing to Win and from that day on, we adopted the approach which led to one of our biggest fundamental changes in terms of how we priced our work and our bottom line.

5 – Head office put on different initiatives over the years and the one that I found completely invaluable was the business coaching. Having that one-on-one coaching support was really valued and again played a part in my success.“

Q. What were the biggest benefits of being part of a franchise for you?

“The biggest thing for me is the brand, with an established network, years of trading experience and an exceptional reputation, the brand is a fantastic driver of business on its own, something that wouldn’t be as easily achieved as an independent business owner. The support from the Franchise Support Centre was great also, with a custom-built website constantly being updated on your behalf, the ongoing marketing activity and the technical back-up, I felt confident that I could focus on different areas of the business and driving the sales (and margins) forward.”

Q. What advice would you give to someone looking to work within franchising and Signs Express?

“I’ve heard people say this before but do your research! It really is important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Understand what you’re looking for and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision as it’s a big investment both financially and personally.

Not all franchises can give you the results you want, however for me, the Signs Express brand, varied workload, industry, work-life balance and margins ticked all my boxes!”

Q. What’s next for you post Signs Express?

“My driver when selling the business was to retire, having worked incredibly hard over the years I’m ready to take a break and spend as much time as I can on the golf course! I may look at some smaller work opportunities in the new year, but for now I’m having a well-deserved break.”

Philip was a great addition to our network and a real advocate of the brand, we wish Phil every success and all the best for the future!

Looking for a career change for 2023?

Signs Express is the UK’s largest signs and graphics franchise, with over 30 years’ experience and over 60 centres across the UK and Ireland. Uniquely positioned to meet the needs of our customers we enjoy a national reputation for providing quality products and supreme customer service.

Offering opportunities to join our network via our established resale opportunities or a start-up location of your choice, Signs Express allows you to work in a creative and dynamic industry where no two days are the same. Every day offers a new challenge, a new opportunity and something to learn, in an ever-evolving industry.

Make an enquiry today!

If this is an opportunity that appeals to you, why not get in touch to find out more?

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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Franchises available across the UK and Ireland
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