Monthly Archives: September 2018

Community Outreach and Giving Back is at the Heart of this SpeedPro Franchisee’s Mission

September 28, 2018

Many aspiring entrepreneurs look to business ownership as a means of maintaining a better work-life balance. SpeedPro franchise partner Pat McGinnis was able to not only find a work-life balance with SpeedPro, he also found ways to use his new business to give back to the community.

How He Got His Start at SpeedPro

Traveling every day for work, Pat McGinnis was essentially unable to see his family during the weekdays. He decided he needed to make a career change when his daughter, who was in seventh grade at the time, confronted him about it.

In 2006, Pat discovered SpeedPro Imaging, and found the franchise opportunity came with a flexible schedule to spend more time with family.

“SpeedPro was a great business opportunity with a strong model and demand – and even more importantly, it allowed me to sell a product I believed in and found interesting,” Pat said. “Obviously, the first year requires a little more time and dedication, but the flexible scheduling allowed me to take time off for my children’s school events and see my family regularly during the week.”

Pat’s wife, Susan, also became involved in the business and worked alongside Pat as a co-owner.

“Working with my wife was great, too, because we are good partners, and I was able to see her even more often,” Pat said.

Now, 13 years later, Pat and Susan’s kids are grown –daughter Megan is 26 and has a family of her own, and son James just turned 22.

“Life has an odd way of working out sometimes,” Pat said. “It was important for me to spend time with my kids when they were growing up, but it’s actually even more important now – particularly with my son.”

A Life-Altering Injury

In 2014, James, then a high school football player, was poised and ready to go to college – until he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a game. In the years since his injury, James has made incredible progress but still receives around-the-clock care and regular therapy to regain more motor function.

“Being a business owner is great because during the critical 7.5 months at a rehabilitation hospital I was afforded the ability to take off Mondays and Fridays to go to his therapy and see how it’s going,” Pat said. “My wife primarily works with James today. But, having that flexibility and being able to be there for my family is a tremendous gift that I don’t know I would have if I worked elsewhere.”

Pat and Susan have long been involved in philanthropy, working with organizations whose causes range from juvenile diabetes to leukemia and other chronic illnesses, especially in children.

But, after James’ injury, they realized an even greater need for their work– and they’ve continued to find creative ways to leverage their business to give back, especially when it comes to various brain injury awareness events.

Going the Extra Mile for Charity

Pat, Susan and James often participate in different charity events – whether it involves walking or running races or providing free marketing collateral. Over the years, Pat has offered his services free of charge to different charity runs, including printing large-scale banner announcements and advertisements, as well as directional signs to guide runners along the route.

SpeedPro giving back 1

SpeedPro giving back 2

“When you go to different charity events, you realize you’re the one who’s truly blessed – you forge new friendships and meet people with such strength and determination,” Pat said. “And, there’s really no opportunity as good as the opportunity to spread love and kindness – my son has taught me that.”

“As a small business owner, just be present and let people in your community know you’re out there and ready to help in any way,” he added.

Pat recommends finding causes you’re passionate about or have a personal connection with. Every cause he and his family have worked with has affected them personally.

He suggests working with clients for a common charity cause to deepen these client relationships. It’s also important to plan the timing of the events with your business schedule so they don’t interfere with one another.

“Every year, we try to pick one or two charities to work with,” Pat said. “Sometimes, it can be tough to balance charity work with business, but you just have to find the best strategic times. For example, our busiest times are late spring and early fall, so we’ll try to schedule philanthropy work around those times, and give back during our slightly slower months.”

What They’ve Gotten from Giving Back

Pat says each of his charity experiences has been humbling. And, he and his family have forged new friendships and business relationships through their extensive charity work.

“Working with charities is, I think, one of the best things you can do for your business and for yourself,” Pat said. “Instead of getting caught up in deadlines, it’s important to have some perspective and enjoy the journey. And, everyone is fighting a battle you may or may not know about, so just be kind – in business and in life.”

To learn more about a community-driven, flexible business opportunity that allows you the free time to give back, read about some of the perks of being a SpeedPro studio owner.

What’s Driving the Growth of the Digital Printing Franchise Industry?

September 25, 2018

What do fashion, high-end automobiles and the 2018 and 2020 elections have to do with digital printing?

They are just some of the markets driving demand and growth in the digital printing industry or will do so in the near future. With an increase in disposable income, more people want luxury accessories, jewelry and footwear, which is causing brands to increase their marketing and advertising budgets. Prestige auto-makers and high-end travel companies are hosting co-branded events at convention centers and resorts, which is driving demand for large backdrops, displays and a variety of smaller format print material, such as invitations and programs. And, as partisan elections begin to heat up and become intense, campaigns are expected to order more material for direct mail efforts, vehicle wraps and various types of signage.

The industry is healthy in 2018 and will continue to thrive in the foreseeable future. Consider this: Five years ago, in 2013, the digital print market was worth nearly $121 billion; in 2024, it will be worth more than $272 billion.

The digital printing franchise industry is booming and SpeedPro Imaging provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter this highly profitable market. Here’s how:

B2B is Booming

The nature of digital printing is to help other businesses make money with the use of several different applications. The ability to do this will increase as the capabilities of digital printing continue to expand. For example, esthetic options are increasing, which allow businesses to market themselves in many different ways and as vibrantly as they want in order to attract their desired audience.

SpeedPro Imaging franchisees have been doing this since before the recent industry growth and will continue to serve our B2B customers as digital printing evolves. We’ve accomplished this by providing our clients with the products and services they need to succeed, including:

• Various digital and print signage
• Architectural and glass finishes
• Banners
• Backlit graphics
• Boat and watercraft graphics
• Decals
• Dimensional projects
• Wraps for elevators, automobiles and fleets
• Environmental graphics
• Event graphics and tents
• Flags
• Floor graphics
• Point of purchase displays
• Table coverings and tabletoppers
• Tradeshow displays
• Wall murals
• Window graphics

SpeedPro Imaging franchisees have a significant earning potential to tap into with companies dedicating between 8 and 24 percent of their budget on marketing, which includes graphics and large-scale visuals. The high-quality work we perform leads to repeat business. But, because our franchisees develop good working relationships with their customers, we become the go-to and standard for many business’s printing needs.

Supplying with Savings in Mind

Our cost-effective practices also make owning and operating a SpeedPro Imaging studio profitable. Because we have established vendor relationships and significant buying power thanks to our more than 150 studios and counting, we are able to pass along the savings to our franchisees when they need materials. This allows our franchisees to slash operating costs to boost profitability even more.

Big Gross Profit Margins are a Reality

The booming digital print industry, our industry-leading stature and our cost-conscious practices contribute to SpeedPro Imaging franchisees’ high profit margins.

In 2017, our top performing quartile of franchise studios had gross profit margins of 64.2 percent – significantly more than the typical small business, which see gross profit margins of 25 to 35 percent.

For information about franchising opportunities with SpeedPro Imaging, contact us today.

4 Advantages to Owning a B2B Franchise Concept

September 21, 2018

One of the first decisions prospective franchisees need to make is whether to pursue a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) franchise concept. Working with other businesses creates a different environment than consumer-facing franchises, so it is important to carefully consider which option is the best fit for you.

A B2B franchise concept provides several benefits for franchise owners. The advantages of B2B franchises include:

1. Work-Life Balance

With B2B franchises, there is the benefit of typically only having to work while your clients (other businesses) are working, which means many B2B franchises are open Monday-Friday during business hours. This provides a greater amount of freedom for work-life balance than many B2C franchise concepts, such as restaurants or retail.

Because SpeedPro Imaging franchisees provide banners and graphics for special events to businesses, sometimes there are exceptions to the typical work-week schedule. But in general, our franchisees operate their businesses during standard business hours and are able to enjoy a great balance of work and play.

2. Services that are in Demand

B2B franchises offer services that are necessary for their clients. Most business owners understand that it is more cost effective to outsource certain services rather than hire staff in-house. For those companies, B2B businesses provide much-needed support in areas such as marketing, accounting or IT.

It is highly unlikely for a business to have an in-house large-scale printing department for their events and promotions, which is why SpeedPro Imaging clients rely on our services to help their businesses succeed.

3. Larger Transactions and Loyal Customers

A single B2B transaction typically generates more revenue than a single B2C transaction due to the scale of products and services that are sold. Simply put, there is more money to be made on large-scale trade show displays than a sandwich.

In addition, when businesses find a vendor who meets their needs and helps them achieve their goals, they tend to remain a loyal customer. By establishing relationships with clients, B2B franchisees benefit from long-lasting customer loyalty.

4. Helping Other Small Businesses in their Communities Succeed

For many B2B franchisees, even more important than the money to be made is the unique opportunity to help other business owners in their community thrive. By partnering with businesses in their community, franchisees are able to support their local economy and make a difference.

At SpeedPro Imaging, we help our clients get the word out about their business through creative graphic displays. Each banner, trade show display or vehicle wrap that we create helps our clients generate leads, grow their business and accomplish their goals.

Greater work-life balance, in-demand services, large transactions, loyal customers and the ability to make a difference in the community make B2B franchising appealing for many entrepreneurs. With SpeedPro Imaging, franchisees have the added bonus of a B2B franchise concept that fosters creativity and encourages them to think big.

Are you interested in a B2B franchise concept that empowers you to dream big and use your creativity every day? For information about franchising opportunities with SpeedPro Imaging, contact us today.

How Our Pilot Programs Set Franchisees Up for Success

September 18, 2018

With new technological innovations launching every day, it’s an exciting time to be part of the wide-format printing industry. In the midst of all the excitement surrounding new technology, business owners also face the challenge of staying agile and keeping pace with new trends.

Before SpeedPro rolls out products or services system-wide, we conduct pilot programs to test each new potential technology or equipment offering as it emerges. This helps ensure they are viable and can be seamlessly implemented by studio owners.

We’re currently running two pilot programs – one testing interactive touchscreen digital signage and another testing Americans with Disability Act (ADA)-compliant signage. SpeedPro Vendor Relations Manager/Field Consultant, Jodi Olin, explains the importance of running these programs before making any system-wide add-on offerings:

“It’s critical to stay in front of new technology trends, so we’re always looking for new equipment and programs to offer our SpeedPro studio owners,” Jodi said. “From vendor recommendations and trends we see at conferences or trade shows, we’re able to introduce and try out new offerings that will bring a great deal of value to our franchise owners.”

ADA-Compliant Signage

We currently have two studios participating in our ADA-compliant signage pilot program, which includes testing out a new Ultra-Violet ADA printer in different markets. This printer produces textured print items by layering ink and allows for easier navigation and readability for individuals with disabilities – particularly those who are visually-impaired.

This printer can produce durable and ADA-compliant braille signage, as well as textured way-finding signage and exhibit signage for different public buildings. Hotels, zoos, convention centers, schools and universities and government buildings are just a few examples of public areas that need ADA-compliant signage to cater to individuals with physical disabilities. These signs help them not only read and comprehend exhibit signs in public buildings, they’re also important resources to help these individuals safely reach their destination.

“This pilot program has proven extremely successful in just a few months,” said Jodi. “The product is great to market to construction or property management companies, since it provides them a great value-add to offer customers. Instead of having to look elsewhere for compliant, specialty signage, building managers can depend on their construction company to take care of this aspect for them as well.”

Interactive Touchscreen Digital Signage

We also have four studios in different markets testing interactive touchscreens with digital signage, available through CloudTouch. These interactive touchscreens are a significant value-add for our clients that use us for convention and event signage, so we’ve made sure to implement the pilot programs in some of the biggest convention hubs – including New York City, Atlanta and Dallas-Fort-Worth.

“We’ve also seen a lot of success so far with our interactive touchscreen pilot – there’s definitely been a great deal of interest,” Jodi said. “It’s a great product for studio owners with many clients who are event planners or participate in trade shows frequently. We can easily rent out touchscreen digital signage as a value-add on top of the graphics we already print and install for them.”

Interactive touchscreen signage is an easy way for clients to make their booths stand out at trade shows and make an impact on potential leads.

“Since graphics and printing solutions are part of the technology industry, everyone wants the latest and greatest industry developments,” said Jodi. “But, we run these pilot programs to make sure we’re protect our studio owners with their investments. Before we offer them system-wide, we make sure they’re profitable and easy to implement, as well as in line with many of our studio owners’ clientele.”

The Next Step in the Pilot Process

Once a successful pilot program has been completed, Jodi and her team take the offer out to all studio owners within the system and give them the option of investing in the equipment as an add-on.

“Each studio owner can decide if they want to invest in one add-on, both or neither – it really just depends on their preference and if they think they’ll have a lot of demand for the new offerings, based on their existing clients,” said Jodi.

Studio owners are under no obligation to integrate the products or services rolled out through pilot programs. Instead, owners can decide what will generate the strongest return on investment for their businesses.

At the same time, they benefit greatly from having these new options regularly presented to them based on the latest industry trends. That’s something that small business owners don’t have – they need to constantly make sure they’re staying up to date. Conversely, our franchise partners have these new innovations consistently presented to them, and they can see tangible data on ROI, and how they’ve performed at another SpeedPro location.

To learn more about how SpeedPro Imaging is a forward-thinking, innovative franchise brand with cutting-edge technology, visit our website.