Case Study: Alan Grimes
Alan Grimes, had no experience of signage or printing when he decided to
open his FASTSIGNS centre in Milton Keynes in November 2006.
“My background was in Business to Business Sales and Marketing so I had no specific knowledge of the sector, just some transferable skills.”
Alan spent 5 weeks training shared between the FASTSIGNS US Headquarters in Dallas and at home in the UK.
“The experience was invaluable. I spent a couple of weeks shadowing another franchise owner in their centre, doing everything possible really – answering the phone, helping make signs and talking to suppliers.”
“After that I went over to the US with my team, a graphic designer and a customer service representative, for an intensive 2 week training programme.
“There are separate streams of training depending on what your role is, so for example our graphic designer was focused on design and production, whereas we had more training in the sales and administrative side of the business.
“Then we all came together for product knowledge and technology training, such as types of signage, substrates, how to apply vinyl, how to use printing and cutting equipment and laminating. It was very intensive; we started at 8am and didn’t finish until 6pm, and then we were given homework!”
Alan found the ‘work flow’ aspect of the training particularly useful in helping him and his team to run an efficient and well-organised business.
Alan continued: “FASTSIGNS have a great system for tracking and recording each enquiry through to an order and then the production, delivery and importantly the follow-up.”
“The support doesn’t stop once you’ve completed your initial training. Once I was back in the UK I had more training, plus support for my launch. We have a great intranet where we have access to over 500 FASTSIGNS franchisees across the world. There are also webinars on every conceivable subject from applying vehicle graphics to counselling your staff.”
“Above all, if you ever have a problem there is always someone available to help you.
It’s also good to know that we have access to all the latest technology developments and we know that when we get a new piece of equipment it has been thoroughly tried and tested. Tthere has been so much support from the franchisor that I have never felt alone.”