Signwave sees ‘significant’ future growth

Wide banner stands (1200mm) for OI, by Signwave South Melbourne

Wide banner stands (1200mm) for OI, by Signwave South Melbourne

Signwave Australia’s new master franchisors say they expect the company to ‘expand significantly’ in the coming year, as they bring on new talent to manage strong demand, with no market contraction in sight.

Leo Baker, partner development manager and one of the trio now heading up Signwave in Australia, says, “It is obvious there is scope for so much more market growth, despite some recent, incredibly short sighted claims by others that the industry is contracting.

“There is still strong market-generated demand for signage and graphics, combined with the project trends that are emerging as a result of new print technology innovations.

“We believe turning a franchise into a highly profitable enterprise is more easily achieved by individuals with a strong commercial background, experience in people management and who are skilled in sales.”

Leo Baker

Leo Baker

Baker is selling his franchise, Signwave South Melbourne, to newcomer Craig Buchanan – the group’s first new owner-operator since the entrepreneurs acquired the license six months ago from US parent Fastsigns.

Buchanan will turn his 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and business management in commercial environments to managing the busy Signwave store.

He says, “The attraction for me was a combination of the commercial return the business model can generate, the support offered by the Signwave network, and, most importantly, the company’s B2B focus means the hours are lifestyle and family friendly.”

According to Baker, Buchanan exactly fits the profile of owner-operator the franchise is looking to attract, not just for his store but for future expansions beyond the existing 17 Australian outlets.

Baker established the South Melbourne store in 2000 and built it into one of the organisation’s top earning franchises. He says the sale means he will now be able to focus entirely on his role in franchise support and development, working with general manager Linda Sultmann and franchise development manager Dean Rowland to grow the business.

He says, “Things are definitely hotting up for Signwave in Australia. Since taking over the local ownership of the brand, we have received many enquiries from people interested in opening new centres, converting their existing sign business or co-branding with Signwave.”

The power trio say they have been working to assess the company’s systems and processes and will now instigate change across the group to further support the existing centres.

They plan to move to a proactive strategy for developing the network in 2015, in response to expressions of interest from prospective franchisees like Buchanan.

Baker says the sale of South Melbourne has equipped the group with firsthand experience in creating a smooth transition on entering and exiting the franchise.

He says, “Both Dean and I can relate to the franchise owner experience and know how to make it work for everyone’s best interests.”


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