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This international enterprise has proven its ability to adapt

This international enterprise has proven its ability to adapt

FASTSIGNS offers the perfect franchise for uncertain times

The steady growth of international franchise FASTSIGNS over the last 35 years, even during periods of economic crisis, is the perfect example of just how resilient a strong franchise can be.

Deciding to strike out on your own and take control of your career is never an easy step to take. However, as the UK continues to navigate the current coronavirus pandemic and the after-effects of lockdown, this step could become a viable career option for many.

Since FASTSIGNS launched its first franchise in 1985, the devastating recessions of the early 1990s and late-2000s have marred the economic landscape. FASTSIGNS has been resistant to these challenges and over the last 35 years has grown to more than 700 outlets, operating in nine countries, and is confident about its ability to adapt when required.

Consistent opportunity

A perfect example of how the model works is Richard Wedgwood, the franchisee of FASTSIGNS Manchester, who launched his centre in 2009 after opting for voluntary redundancy during the recession.

“I was ready to do something which would allow me to establish my own future,” Richard says.

“I saw a consistent opportunity in signage - there’s always a demand for it. Whether it’s led by seasonality, helping businesses brand or communicate with their customers, product launches, events or directions, signage is a constant requirement.

“The technology and equipment specified to open the centre was also a huge draw for me.”

The years following the recession were hard for everyone, but Richard’s franchise not only survived it thrived and went on to become one of the top five UK centres for sales turnover.

“Recessions are a challenge for any business - new or established,” Richard says. “However, they also present a great opportunity, provided you are and remain vigilant, proactive and willing to adapt to change.”

Unique selling point

Adaptability is at the heart of FASTSIGNS’ success over the years.

“FASTSIGNS’ product offering has helped my business to remain relevant and helpful to customers in times of need,” Richard says. “The franchise’s unique selling point is delivered by its comprehensive solution offering.

Customers are not provided with a one-size-fits-all signage service, each customer’s project is bespoke and designed to fit their unique set of circumstances.”

Working collaboratively

A great deal of FASTSIGNS’ strength comes from not only what the company offers franchisees, but from what the network offers its members.

“One of the greatest positives of FASTSIGNS is the power of the network in sharing best practice and working collaboratively,” Richard says. “In particular, learning what others have successfully introduced to their markets, either driven by specific customer requests or by proactive product development.

“A lot of success comes from mindset and outlook. We are fortunate to have, in FASTSIGNS, a franchisor who actively promotes, educates and encourages the network to spend time ‘sharpening the saw’ as business owners.

“Running a business can be lonely, but with the benefit of a supportive franchisor there is always an opportunity to share the load.”

At a glance FASTSIGNS



Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

Birmingham, Bolton, Brighton, Chelmsford, Crawley, Enfield, Gloucester, Guildford, Hammersmith, Huddersfield, Hull, Islington, Kingston upon Thames, Leeds, Leicester, Maidstone, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Southampton, York

Investment range:


Minimum required capital:



01785 253140.


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