Signworld Business Partners

rocket wrap 

Signworld provides its members with more freedom

than they would find in a franchise system. 

Some business models are suited to a franchise structure, but Signworld Business Partners

takes a different approach. Based in Lake Forest, Calif., Signworld is an organization of 340 sign

companies, more than 75 preferred suppliers and an experienced corporate team that supports

the organization and its members.

It has been in business for 30 years with continued growth

and expansion throughout the U.S. and Canada. Those on the leadership team have each had

their own sign business, giving them a unique and proven insight into what it’s actually like to be

in the industry.

 

 

President and CEO Jack Werner says this gives them increased credibility and it’s a big advantage in

their sales approach and training program. “We have actually lived the life and met the

challenges each new owner will be faced with. We can talk from experience, not just a textbook

premise.”

 

There are some striking differences between Signworld and a standard franchise. Signworld has a one-time buy in fee, eliminating the usual royalties associated with a franchise. This one-time payment gives them lifetime support, including full support to their children should they decide to enter the business at a later time.

 

There are no rules or regulations; you are free to run the business according to your own

structure. Werner claims this is a huge draw for many executives that are eager to leave the

corporate world and be an entrepreneur but don’t want to follow someone else’s rules. “They

have the experience and talent that they have developed working for large companies that they

now want to put into practice to their own benefit. A small manufacturing business fits many

personality profiles and it’s an easy transition from the corporate world.”

 

Signworld provides as much training as other franchise offerings including an annual conference and trade show; weekly sales classes; mastermind groups and weekly product, pricing and technical webinars.

One difference from other franchise programs includes training sessions taught by senior

Signworld owners, giving it an additional level of training than they would normally get.

 

“Changing technology and continually changing applications means that more training is

required. We’re constantly adjusting our program and increasing our courses to keep up with

the new applications. We are putting graphics in places you would never imagine, signage is

everywhere, the world would be chaos without them,” Werner notes. “Every day we hear of a

new project that confirms that creativity and technology is expanding the sign industry into new

territory. It’s an exciting time and the possibilities are endless. We love to hear these stories and

to know our owners are taking part in all of it.”

 

Unlike other sign franchises, owners generally start in a business park environment (not a retail

space – so rent is lower) with 1,800 to 2,000 sqf space and has an assigned territory of 3,000

businesses in your chosen zip codes. The territory is established to put physical space between

operations, but not to limit them to a specific area. Therefore, out of one location and territory

they have the ability to work regional and national accounts through their own contacts.

 

You are encouraged and trained to market your products via the internet and believe that one customer

should be a lead to the next. “We train our owners to think on a bigger scale, looking for the

corporate customer with ongoing signage requirements, bigger invoices and larger projects,”

Werner says, “not walk-in clientele looking for a banner.” With projects beyond their local market

they are able to rely on and use other Signworld locations for completion and installation and

still retain the customer.

 

“No two Signworld locations are the same. Each is built to the culture of the owner, they all have

a different look and feel. And they are all individually named and branded; you won’t find them

under a Signworld listing. Selecting their company name is a very personal choice for them and

Signworld encourages the premise that "if you name it – you own it."

 

If you visit all 340 locations, they are all different and this applies to their mix of customers and projects. Some specialize in vehicle wraps, others perhaps in electrical signage, universities, grocery stores – “the categories

are endless” Werner states, “we’re not dictating what they look like or what projects they do. We

encourage them to practice in whatever area best fits their general business climate or whatever

area interests them the best.

 

“All of our owners work from one location and grow that location as needed. On average, a smaller operation can enjoy $800,000 in gross revenues, others reach $1 to $3+million, it really depends on the owner and what they want to achieve. We do have one owner that has been with Signworld since 2001 and their business is all Internet based. They sell trade show pop-up booths, last year their operation achieved $34 million. This is proof that

more is achievable and its scalable to your ability” Werner says.

 

This brings us to probably the most interesting and unique element of Signworld and one that is

a huge differentiator: the Signworld owner’s partner network. “In lieu of paying royalties the

owners have all bought into the principal that they are willing and open to help each other. New

prospects are always skeptical of this concept” Werner says, “but through their due diligence

and attending our Discovery Day, they come to realize that this is something truly unique and

invaluable and it’s not something that you will find in any other franchise offering.“

 

According to Werner, each owner has something different to offer to the organization. If an owner needs

advice on a specific project or problem they are having, they contact other owners with

experience in that field. “Our owners foster this concept and it is something that I am the most

proud of. In today’s cut-throat business world, we have created an environment where owners

are willing to ‘give back and pass it forward’ in exchange for the support and encouragement

they initially received. Why? Because they believe it’s the right thing to do. I think that sums up

the Signworld difference better than anything else we could tell you.”

 

Signworld plans for more success ahead. “If we continue to do what we do properly and work

towards building an organization that stays current in the industry and continues to care about

its owners and their success, Signworld will thrive and expand,” closes Werner.

 

Premier Business Partner

Art Sign Works

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