With over 750 retail locations that can be found in eight countries around the globe, FASTSIGNS is one of the largest sign and graphics organizations in the world.
Founded in 1985 in Austin, Texas, FASTSIGNS International, Inc., franchisor of FASTSIGNS, is a business-to-business franchise that creates custom signage and graphics for companies of all sizes. Since the brands’ inception, it has gone on to be recognized globally as the leading sign, graphics, and visual communications franchise in the world.
FASTSIGNS is a constantly growing and evolving brand that continuously adapts to stay relevant and provide its customers with the best signage experience possible. Today, FASTSIGNS is a brand under the corporate umbrella of Propelled Brands, a franchisor with a focus on assisting and encouraging the operations and development of service-industry franchise brands.
The concept of FASTSIGNS was, initially, to provide signs and banners on a quick turnaround basis, using a new sign-making technique. This computerized process of making signs out of precision-cut vinyl allowed FASTSIGNS to offer signs next-day, something that was not readily available before. This next-day turnaround for signs led to FASTSIGNS’ first slogan, “One Day Sign and Lettering Experts.”
In 2003, FASTSIGNS was acquired by Roark Capital Group. The brand hired Catherine Monson to be CEO in 2009, bringing over 25 years of franchising and management experience. This evolved into Propelled Brands in 2021, creating an umbrella corporation that allowed FASTSIGNS to grow and add additional brands to its successful portfolio.
Today, FASTSIGNS is a leading visual communications company in growth and innovation, with more than 750 franchised centers operated internationally, including in the United States, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Grand Cayman, Malta, the Dominican Republic, and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE).
What FASTSIGNS offers
FASTSIGNS locations provide comprehensive sign and graphic solutions to help businesses and organizations – including manufacturers, schools and universities, retailers, construction companies, healthcare facilities and many other industries – extend their brand’s reach and communicate messages to their specific audiences.
Companies work with FASTSIGNS because they have a need to solve visual communications challenges such as building brand awareness, increasing location “findability,” promoting a product or service, helping people find their way around a facility or campus, hosting an event, communicating with employees, improving workflow, meeting safety and compliance regulations, and more.
FASTSIGNS creates more than the simple signs such as banners, posters, or safety and identification signs. FASTSIGNS does complex projects that require discussions about objectives and obstacles and often involve multiple people in a company and outside vendors. Measurements, permits, and installations are part of a FASTSIGNS center’s daily processes. These complex projects include interior and architectural décor graphics, digital signs and digital signage content, fleet vehicle graphics, and many more, depending on the needs of their client.
Placing the success of franchisees first
One of the largest reasons for the success of FASTSIGNS is its stance of placing the success of its franchisees first. FASTSIGNS is known throughout the industry for equipping its franchisees with tools vital to securing the ongoing success of each individual location.
In addition to the brand’s online FASTSIGNS University, FASTSIGNS partners with 1HUDDLE, a workforce-training platform that converts unique training content into science-backed, quick-burst training games that are proven to accelerate workforce productivity.
“All of our achievements and successes are only possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of our franchisees and executive team who work tirelessly to support each other,” said Mark Jameson, chief support and development officer at Propelled Brands. “At FASTSIGNS, we believe that our franchisees’ success must always come first. We are by their side every step of the way when they join our brand to ensure our franchisees become the go-to resource for visual communications in their communities.”
This dedication is proven every day as FASTSIGNS franchisees receive ongoing training and support to exceed the needs of their local business community and stay ahead of any competitors in the market. The roadmap for FASTSIGNS’ continued growth also includes the progress made and the continued investment in building FASTSIGNS to be a diverse community of franchisees from all walks of life. This dedication can be seen in FASTSIGNS’ commitment to help veterans and the formation of a Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Diversity is the key to success
The FASTSIGNS Diversity and Inclusion Committee was created to foster an environment that promotes and prioritizes diversity and inclusion within the FASTSIGNS system.
The committee is composed of eight members who tackle major and minor subjects concerning the diversity and inclusion of FASTSIGNS as a whole. These subjects include increasing the number of minority franchisees within the FASTSIGNS system, training protocols, promoting more open dialogue and collaboration, education, workplace environments, and other topics to create more inclusive initiatives. Additionally, the committee works to ensure the diverse individuals within the network can lead a rewarding career at FASTSIGNS locations worldwide.
“It is essential that every company values diversity and inclusion due to the richness and strength it brings to their business,” said Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., CEO of Propelled Brands, and former chair of the International Franchise Association.
“Every person has different points of view, different backgrounds, different circumstances, and I think it’s crucial that every member of our network understand that for the good of our business. If our franchisees let a preconceived bias control them, they may lose what could have been a great customer or even a future franchisee. FASTSIGNS is proud to lead the way, as the leader of our sector, as the signage and franchising industries continue to become more diverse and inclusive with every passing year.”
The ideal franchisee
FASTSIGNS is always seeking qualified franchisees to become owner-operators and help the brand grow across the United States. To facilitate this growth and find productive franchisees with good work ethics, FASTSIGNS views veterans as ideal candidates for the skillsets they cultivate during their military experience.
Many of the elements that allow veterans to excel within the military environment also make them ideal for owning a franchise. The world of franchising represents a marriage between the self-start world of entrepreneurship and the rigorous discipline needed to follow a set of instructions and execute on a proven plan. The ideal franchisee is someone who can take direction and work within guidelines provided by the franchisor, but who can also effectively lead a team and achieve the targeted goals.
“Over the past several years, we have seen many veterans become highly successful franchisees due to their strong work ethic and motivation to succeed,” said Mark Jameson. “Because of this, we look forward to each chance we get to add a veteran to our growing network of FASTSIGNS franchisees as we know their dedication and mindset allows them to work through challenges to gain success.”
In addition to being suited to business leadership, military personnel are also often offered benefits or cost concessions as incentives to become franchisees. Already associated with low start-up costs, FASTSIGNS provides veteran-friendly financing options, including 50 per cent off the initial franchise fee for veterans and first responders as well as reduced royalties for the first 12 months of business.
To date, of the more than 750 locations FASTSIGNS operates worldwide, more than 20 per cent are owned by veterans.
Do you want to build a franchise?
Overall, FASTSIGNS is recognized as an invaluable resource for any potential franchisees. As the winner of countless awards, such as one of Franchise Business Review’s top 100 recession-proof franchises, as well as the current leader in its sector, FASTSIGNS is an ever-evolving brand that has helped numerous individuals and business owners achieve success by meeting the growing demand for signs, graphics, and visual communications.
“We encourage everyone – from the next generation to people who have been working for many years – to consider a career in the sign and graphics industry,” said Catherine Monson. “Our franchisees’ role of being the go-to resource for visual communications in their communities continues to grow stronger every day. The growth and momentum we’ve experienced is a true testament to the strong FASTSIGNS network, our brand’s adaptability, and the rising demand for our services.”
The total investment for a FASTSIGNS franchise is approximately $233,555 to $307,308 including a $49,750 franchise fee. Ideal candidates have a net worth of $300,000, of which $80,000 is liquid.
Additionally, the special incentive for veterans and first responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, sheriffs, and firefighters, is a 50 per cent reduction on the franchise fee – a savings of $24,875, along with reduced royalties for the first year of business.
At a Glance FASTSIGNS
Number of locations: 750-plus
Location of units: Eight countries globally
Franchise investment: $233,555 – $307,308
Franchise fee: $49,750
Net worth required: $300,000 ($80,000 liquid)
Contact: Mark Jameson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 214 346 5679