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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.

Signs Express (Plymouth): 4 weeks in!

Signs Express Image

Having worked at Signs Express (Plymouth) as Production Manager for 17 years, Simon and his wife Tracy decided to take over the business just four weeks ago. After a short (350 mile) drive to Britain’s Ocean City of Plymouth, we catch up with them to see how things are going:

Q. Tell us a bit about yourselves…

Tracy: “We feel like we’ve gone full circle! We started married life working together in our small signage business and 31 years down the line, with lots of fun adventures in between, we’re now proud owners of Signs Express (Plymouth).”

Simon: “We’ve worked together on joint projects and separately also, so we know we make a good team. Between us we’ve worked in signage, finance, hospitality, the automotive industry and also ran our own successful music venue which was a great part of our lives.”

However, with Tracy being a qualified accountant and with Simon’s extensive knowledge and experience of the signage industry, when the centre became available it was a no brainer and seemed like the logical next step in their careers to buy the business.

Q. What inspired you to move into franchising?

Simon: “Throughout the years, I’ve slowly become more and more involved in the day-to-day running of the centre and when the opportunity arose many years ago, I jumped at the chance to move into the Production Manager role. So, after years of personal investment at Signs Express (Plymouth) I was in the position where if the business ever became available, I just couldn’t pass up on such a great opportunity. Having both been self-employed for the majority of our careers we’ve experienced the challenges of running your own business, along with working for others, and after years of exposure to the Signs Express brand, investing in the franchise model seemed like an obvious choice for us.”

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

Simon: “The recruitment process was great and really assured us that we were definitely making the right decision. The flexibility of the training and the supportive nature of the Franchise Support team across all specialist areas allowed us to go into our first few weeks feeling confident, well versed in what we needed to achieve, and safe in the knowledge that help was only a phone call away!”

Tracy: “As for what led us to Signs Express, it seemed like a natural next step. At this point in our lives, we wanted stability, support and a risk averse way to own our own business again. For us, Signs Express ticked all these boxes.”

Q. What would you say are the biggest benefits of being part of the Signs Express franchise?

Simon: “For us, we see so many benefits and we’ve been really impressed so far. Firstly, we’d say the support from the head office has just been superb, along with the support of the network and being part of a bigger picture definitely makes us feel less alone as new business owners.”

Tracy: “We always knew or hoped taking on the centre would be our next step, but in the current climate it did add a sense of worry we hadn’t had before, however the smooth transition into ownership along with comprehensive training and the support from the Franchise Support Centre has certainly alleviated that feeling of risk. We’re feeling relaxed, surrounded by a great team and have the confidence in each other to drive the centre forwards!”

Simon: “The buying power in being part of a franchise is just great also, financially, having been in this position before as an independent signage company, we just couldn’t compete with the discounts we’re privy to. If you weigh up the monthly franchise charge vs the benefits we receive, it definitely comes out in our favour.”

Tracy: “The knowledge within the network is fantastic too and something that you can’t quantify, however knowing we’ve got years of experience from over 60 other Signs Express franchisees is a huge tick for us.”

Signs Express Image

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

Tracy: “We’ve had a lovely welcome from the network, everyone’s been really friendly and lots of support on offer which is great. We’ve been working on joint projects across other centres which allows you to take on jobs you may not have been able to on your own, it also gives you a glimpse into how other centres work, which is always interesting! We were also very lucky to have centres reach out in advance of the sale completing, and it was great to have people willing to go out of their way and support you, offer help in advance and most of all what to expect.”

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

Simon: “The team are just great, having an experienced team already in place means you can jump straight in and without having to recruit and train, has meant we can start our strategy from day one and bring the team on the journey with us! The knowledge already in place, the trust between us, along with the support they’ve offered will go a long way in the success of the business.”

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

Simon: “World domination… Only joking! We were keen to get started, so we’ve already expanded our workspace, by investing in a neighbouring unit to open up the opportunity for new projects. Plus, we’re in the process of reconfiguring the existing space we have, to allow us to work smarter, along with a review of processes and procedures to maximise productivity.

Long term, we’d love to expand. Obviously, we know we need to make a success of Signs Express (Plymouth) before we take any big next steps, but additional territories, maybe even additional centres in the Southwest would be an exciting leap forward.”

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

Tracy: “It’s a great bet, lots of support, great people and a great industry to work in. Signs Express take away the risk as far as we’re concerned. Do your research, weigh up the benefits vs risks and as long as the scale tips on the positive side, then give it a go. We did our research over the years and have friends in franchising, but none of the other franchises have the same benefits as us!”

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

Both: “Go for it!”

If you’re looking for a new challenge or a fresh start for next year, why not get in touch?

We have resale opportunities available, offering you the chance to take over an established business or we have a number of start-up locations, allowing you to find a location that suits you.

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 at our flagship Twickenham centre, allowing you to experience ‘a day in the life of’.

We’ll follow up with Tracy and Simon in the new year and find out how their first few months have gone as Signs Express franchisees!

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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