Asset Building the Speedy Way

Speedy Signs proves the ideal tool for middle and senior managers to increase their net worth

Speedy Signs offers an ideal opportunity for people in middle to senior management to use their business expertise for their own advancement. The formula is simple: buy into a great brand, work hard, build it up, enjoy an excellent income and on-sell the business at the right time.

When Craig Simmons was looking for a business, he asked all his friends and family if they could name a signage firm. ‘Having worked for a supplier to the printing industry I knew them all, of course, but the only common name others came up with was Speedy Signs. That was quite revealing to me. I’d become bored with being a manager for someone else and having no say in the direction of the company. I was thinking of setting up on my own. The problem is that a stand-alone company has a lot less value when you want to sell, so you’re not really building an asset. Speedy Signs, on the other hand, has considerable brand value, so I could see real potential in going with them.’

Craig Simmons – “The Speedy Signs name means I’ll have a valuable business to sell”

Craig bought an existing Speedy Signs in Penrose in 2014 and has since turned it into a top performer. In only 2 years, he had increased sales by a massive 85 percent and increased his net worth considerably. ‘I think much of it has been down to renewed energy and a focus on saying “Yes” to customers,’ he says, modestly. ‘Speedy Signs is an excellent system and customers appreciate the efficiency and ability we bring to every job.’

a business and a brand worth selling

Speedy Signs franchisees all go through a comprehensive initial training course, and Craig was no exception despite his related industry knowledge – something for which he is truly grateful. Talking to other owners was an excellent opportunity to learn, network and create supportive relationships, and the emphasis upon how to build a successful Speedy Signs business was invaluable.

‘I could see the potential, but this was how to do it. Of course, the early months were a steep learning curve but once I got on top of it I could see the growth coming. And I wasn’t on my own, with help from the support team and other franchisees.

‘One thing the training highlighted for me was the need to focus on an exit plan. I don’t want to work forever, but I have no target date and I’m confident that when the time is right, the Speedy Signs name means I’ll have a valuable business to sell.’

Speedy Signs Conference – Christchurch

it’s a great network

Dean Davis also had a senior management background – in his case, with Goodman Fielder. After a relocation sent them to Auckland, he and his partner Jackie were keen to get back to family in Christchurch. ‘We looked for a franchise because we didn’t want to start a grassroots business and wanted a proper structure and support network behind us. We did lots of research and took our time to decide as we wanted to be sure it was something we could do.’

Dean and Jackie finally bought the Riccarton branch of Speedy Signs. ‘All the roles I’d had before involved considerable responsibility, but back then I wasn’t handling my own money!’ he smiles. ‘There were a few moments when we thought “What have we done?” but the training and support carried us through.’

Like Craig, Dean has enjoyed considerable growth – something he attributes to leveraging the Speedy Signs brand. ‘People regularly come to us on the back of the group marketing alone. Speedy Signs has a simple sales growth philosophy which is get out and meet people, turn the quotes round and give consistency of service. We keep to that, and we’ve found efficiencies by continually scrutinising our operations. From a management point of view, one of the biggest strengths within the group is their formal mentoring system. It’s a great network and, even after nearly five years, when I’m asking questions they get answered promptly.

‘You asked if we’d built an asset? Well, we most certainly have and our target growth is another 25 percent this year. It may sound clichéd, but our greatest asset is our team. We have eight staff and everyone enjoys coming to work – Jackie and I went on holiday in July for two weeks and had only one message about work in all that time.’

lots of advantages

With 25 locations from Whangarei to Invercargill, Speedy Signs is the largest network of sign companies in New Zealand. ‘Speedy Signs offers experienced managers the chance to buy a business and take it to the next level,’ says Grant Archibald, founder of Business Franchise Group, NZ master franchisee for both Speedy Signs and its sister franchise, EmbroidMe, which specialises in the supply of branded apparel and promotional products.

‘Dean and Craig have demonstrated just how much can be achieved. Both Speedy Signs and EmbroidMe offer real opportunities to build a serious asset, and offer other advantages such as Monday to Friday trading hours as well. We have existing and new opportunities available in many parts of the country – find out more by contacting us today.’.

First published in Franchise NZ Magazine. (Revised 2020)

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