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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.

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

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself…

Where to start… My previous work experience saw me work in the media industry for several years before opening and operating multiple successful hospitality locations, including an award-winning Nightlife and Event venue in Dubai which was a great adventure and was also where I met my lovely wife. Having relocated back to England with my family and welcoming our son into the world (a slightly different type of adventure), I felt just about ready for my next challenge, which has led me here. I’m also an avid sports fan, whether that’s watching or playing sports, it brings out my competitive nature and I can often be found on the driving range when I have a spare moment.

Q. What inspired you to move into franchising?

As a previous independent business owner, I know how tough and isolating running your own business can be. However, coming from a family with franchising experience, when I suggested running my own business again, franchising seemed like the obvious choice for a number of reasons. After doing my research, and looking at the current climate, the support of a franchisor, an established brand and operating under a tried and trusted model, franchising seemed like the right direction for me.

Q. How did you find your initial recruitment process and what led you to Signs Express?

I was very open when making enquiries that I was looking at a number of franchise options (as everyone should), all of which were very different and across different sectors. As a driven and ambitious individual, I wanted the security of an established franchise, however it was essential to me that I could still feel very much like an independent business owner with the ability to make decisions and drive my business forwards with growth potential too.

After an initial conversation with Signs Express, I found the communication was open and honest and was soon put at ease, finding the process very much a two-way street. Yes, I’m sure they were analysing me as we spoke(!) however I felt very comfortable, able to ask plenty of questions and having discussed the process in depth, I felt assured that it was just as essential the business was right for me as I was for them.

Funding was something I was also interested in, and it felt reassuring to know that Signs Express had relationships and worked with some of the biggest high street banks to support its incoming franchisees.

Q. What do you see as the biggest benefit from Signs Express Limited as the franchisor?

Support and brand. Support for me is imperative, right from my initial onboarding programme to training and beyond, this is definitely the area that I value the most and can see being a big contributor to my future success. With brand as a close second, I already feel the benefit of working under a trusted and recognised name and feel in a much better starting position as a result of it. There are lots of other benefits including the training, buddy and mentoring systems, marketing, online optimisation etc. which I look forward to utilising in the coming months as I get fully immersed in the business.

Q. What support have you received from the wider Signs Express network so far?

The welcome from the network has been reassuring along with the offer of support, it has definitely been comforting to know there is a wealth of experience and knowledge out there. All discussions have been very positive and helpful, and I can’t wait to be able to immerse myself in online discussions and attend the wide-ranging list of events to get to know my fellow franchisees! The mentoring system is also something I’m excited to take advantage of and think this will be invaluable going forwards.

Q. What would you say are the biggest benefits of an established team?

Surrounding yourself with a great team is hugely important. Being completely new to a business and industry as a whole can be daunting, making the skill sets and knowledge within a team essential. A great team will be the backbone of the business and you can’t run things without them, their ideas and capabilities allow you to continue the ongoing efforts of the business but also gives you momentum to try new things and move the business to the next level. It’s also essential to have trust both ways, so take them on the journey with you!

Q. What are your ambitions for the next five years?

My aim is to have a multi-site business with centres across multiple territories, driving the turnover and profit to a gold/platinum level, pushing the centres forwards, increasing the team and having a good work life balance for me and my family. So not much at all!

I like to think of myself as an entrepreneurial, driven individual and am my own worst enemy in terms of setting myself wild goals! However, from early on in the recruitment process I had my five-year plan in my head and I’m very much still working towards it and excited to see what the future holds for me at Signs Express.

Q. What would you say to someone currently looking into franchising as a business option?

In all honesty, I would say that it’s not for everyone (I’m sure that’s not what I’m meant to say!). Yes, there are restrictions however so long as the benefits outweigh the ‘negatives’ you can easily make your peace with it, and for me, all of the benefits far outweighed anything else. Just make sure you do your research. Just a few weeks into ownership and I already feel empowered, I’ve got creative freedom, can apply my own processes, however I know at the end of a phone, or a short journey away, is a whole host of support from the Franchise Support Centre, along with a support network of over 60 additional Signs Express centres all ready to help with queries large or small.

Whilst I’m still new to Signs Express, having previously run my own business I can already say hand on heart that I feel much more secure and supported as being part of a franchise and would definitely recommend this route as the support simply overshadows everything else.

Q. What advice would you give to a potential franchisee?

The key thing is do your research. Whilst you don’t need previous experience, in my opinion it’s important to have a spark or some form of connection to the business you’re moving into, whether that’s at a specific subject level, from a creative perspective or from a production perspective etc., a keen interest is important to add a level of excitement and passion to succeed. Do plenty of research into franchising vs going it alone and understand what you’re looking for in the long run. There will be restrictions with a franchise, so don’t be afraid of these, look at the benefits and weigh it all up!

I’m definitely not flippant about these things, you’re talking about a big investment but at the same time, sometimes you have to just go for it! I went into my first call with Signs Express having done my research and being confident in what I wanted out of a business and from that first call I was excited about what the future looked like for me at Signs Express!

Do your research, make that call and don’t dismiss a Discovery Day! I found the Discovery Day hugely valuable, not only did it give me a good picture of the business, but it also allowed me to meet the team and get to know the people I’d be working with, and it was from this point that my five-year plan went from the answer to a question to being put into practice today!

Looking for a new challenge in 2023?

Kris made his initial enquiry at the end of February 2022 and less than six months later (and after a rigorous onboarding and training programme) we’re thrilled that he’s now part of Signs Express, the UK’s largest signs and graphics business! If you’re looking for a change in career and want to try something new, why not get in touch?

We have more resale opportunities available, just like Aylesbury, where you have the fantastic opportunity to take on one of our established businesses, or if you want to find a location that suits you, we have start-up opportunities available throughout the UK and Ireland.

If you’re interested in finding out more, we’re happy to arrange an introductory call at a time that suits you and you’re welcome to attend one of our no-obligation Discovery Days.

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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Available Locations:
Franchises available across the UK and Ireland
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Minimum Investment:
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