Monthly Archives: November 2018

The Benefits Of A Collaborative Franchisee Network

November 21, 2018

In some franchise systems, individual owners operate completely independently, or even competitively.

This setup leads to many missed opportunities for collaboration, troubleshooting and client-sharing. In the printing and graphics industry particularly, studio owners benefit immensely from openly sharing ideas and best practices.

That’s why SpeedPro Imaging fosters a community of franchise owners that support and work with one another. We’ve created concrete initiatives that put our franchisees in touch and lets them easily share feedback with each other and SpeedPro corporate.

John Barber, co-owner of the SpeedPro Imaging studio in Norcross, Georgia, exemplifies the collaborative nature of our franchisee network. John and his partner Don Neder spearheaded a joint model of studio ownership that other franchisees have since taken up – and for good reason. John and Don doubled their studio’s revenue and tripled its customer count in less than two years after forming the partnership.

After finding huge success by working collaboratively, John has some advice for aspiring business owners looking to leverage a friendly, knowledgeable franchisee network.

“As a SpeedPro studio owner, we collaborate and know that tenured owners can share and mentor new owners, which makes the brand and system stronger – one question, one studio, and one client interaction at a time,” he said.

Achieve More Together

undefinedAfter more than a decade in the franchising industry as an executive vice president of franchise development, chief customer officer, senior vice president of franchise sales and chief development officer for large systems like Orion Food Systems, Focus Brands and Global Franchise Group, John decided to semi-retire.

Well, kind of. For him, “retirement” meant transitioning from the franchisor side of the industry to the franchisee side, and he started working with a franchise broker to find a concept that met his qualifications.

After a few twists and turns, John approached SpeedPro with an idea: He would buy into an existing studio and take the business to the next level. His expertise would help the current owner grow the business, while the co-ownership would give John some much-needed time off.

“I had many choices of brands and industries when I decided to be a franchisee instead of a franchisor, and I am very glad that my first franchise venture was under the SpeedPro Imaging brand,” he said.

John’s idea ended up being a huge boon for Don Neder and his already-successful studio. Together, the two employed a “divide and conquer” approach to the business. John handles finance, accounting, risk management, human resources and business development, while Don takes care of operations, project management and client relations.

This ownership model is a good fit for any duo with complimentary core competencies, John said. Shared values are also a must. Both John and Don are firm believers that the needs of customers and employees must come before that of the owners.

John and Don’s partnership is a perfect illustration of the power of collaboration. By combining their skills and expertise, they broke through a sales plateau and achieved a new level of success. Other SpeedPro owners have since reached out to them to glean insight, and John and Don are quick to share lessons learned and mistakes to avoid.

“No individual in a system is as smart as all of us,” John said. “I spent over a decade of my career as the franchisor for 11 franchised brands in the hospitality industry. In that time, I never saw such a collaborative spirit among franchisees to help one another grow and succeed as a system, that I’ve witnessed and am now a part of with SpeedPro. There is no competition among owners here.”

Find a Franchisor that Supports Collaboration

Franchisors play a huge role in developing mutually beneficial franchisee networks. Since the franchise is the tissue that connects all owners in the system, it’s up to that central team to create platforms for networking and information-sharing.

SpeedPro Imaging goes above and beyond to help our franchisees benefit from our network’s collective knowledge. Here are some initiatives currently in place:

  • Monthly open-topic conference calls between owners and SpeedPro regional developers
  • Franchise Advisory Council works with corporate to develop strategic initiatives
  • Regional networking groups tailored to specific business topics
  • Buddy Studio program connects new studios with established studio owners to ease their launches
  • “Ask the Owners” email system, which owners across the continent use daily to consult on various projects
  • Monthly training webinars
  • Procurement support with suppliers and distribution partners

To learn more about SpeedPro’s model and what sets us apart in the franchising industry, read about some of the perks of being a SpeedPro studio owner.

How this Award-Winning SpeedPro Imaging Franchisee Scored Big Business with HP

November 19, 2018

When a billion-dollar global enterprise announces plans for a headquarter remodel, architects and designers from around the world clamor for the chance to get a bid on the project.

But, even with thousands of international firms and decorators at their disposal, Palo Alto-based technology giant Hewlett Packard opted instead to go the local route.

A Local Business Owner’s Place on the World Stage

Designing and producing graphics for an international industry leader’s headquarters is enough to intimidate any small-business owner, but Steve didn’t shy away from the challenge.

And months later, HP unveiled their wildly successful Welcome Center rebrand – with much of the credit shared between Steve and his project partner, Berlin-based creative agency Art Lab Studios.

“We approach all client projects with the intent to create an exceptional final product,” Steve said. “But when it came to working with an industry partner like HP, the stakes for perfection were even higher.”

The pursuit of perfection paid off for Steve when the elaborately-planned final product came together.

Planning, Progress and Perfection

Steve and his partner agency dedicated the first six months of the nine-month project solely to planning out the ornate details of each design. After the planning stages, Steve spent the remaining three months installing intricate and mesmerizing wall murals, oversized window graphics and multi-dimensional wall treatments, including a direct-print brushed metal aluminum composite.

“The space was being completely remodeled, which meant multiple site visits and measurements to ensure we factored in all the modification and obstructions that would impact the mural and installation,” explained Steve. “We also ran numerous color tests to get the best balance for orange and grey – those two colors can be some of the more difficult ones to hit in CMYK.”

In the end, Steve was able to match the colors perfectly, as well as exceed all expectations with his designs and installations. Here are a few of his standout pieces from the project:

 

Forest Wall Mural

billion-dollar

Housed in the HP meeting room, this 38-ft. by 11-ft. mural completely transforms the environment. A secondary wall area is an inset window, allowing traces of direct light to illuminate the print from the back side.

Painted Ladies Dimensional Wall Treatment

billion-dollar

This wall graphic – depicting the Painted Ladies, a famous set of homes in San Francisco – was the most complex piece of the project. It is comprised of wall-covering media and an overlay of 16 secondary prints, which Steve contour cut to create precise alignment and overlay.

Vision Wall

The matte-laminate vision wall graphic included an adhesive vinyl application and white acrylic raised letters. Steve also contour cut these letters, in order to highlight their exact angles.

Meeting Room Windows

billion-dollar

The oversized window graphics on the meeting room windows were printed and mounted outside the room. Steve reverse-printed the interior graphics, then mounted them precisely to match the exterior prints. This method allowed him to accomplish HP’s main objective for the meeting room – which was to showcase dynamic branding in a high-traffic customer area, while still providing some privacy for meetings.

Brushed Metal Aluminum Composite Wall Treatment

 

Since much of the redesign’s graphic and visual elements were printed (primarily using HP printers) wallpaper, Steve and the design team agreed they should create a more dynamic look in certain areas by using different materials. So, instead of using wallpaper, Steve installed a direct-print to a brushed metal aluminum composite in a long hallway. The wall treatment consisted of three different images, and angled cuts were added both ends of the treatment to highlight the raised wall’s unique features.

Creativity – Not Industry Experience – Is Key

In spite of his incredible graphics work – and resounding success with the HP project – Steve actually didn’t start his career in the print industry, though creativity has always been at the heart of his professional life. Before opening his SpeedPro franchise, Steve spent the majority of his career in sports marketing. But, after nearly two decades, he was looking for a change and wanted to open his own business.

Steve started researching other industries and companies, and came across the SpeedPro Imaging franchise opportunity—and knew that was the direction he wanted to take.

“Every SpeedPro is owned by a former business manager or executive,” Steve said. “I really liked the model and the way it was positioning itself. The SpeedPro model puts a lot of emphasis on running the business.”

No matter your background or experience, as a SpeedPro Imaging franchisee, you’ll be armed with all the tools, guidance and expertise you need to run a successful and profitable business in the strong wide-format graphics industry. And, the opportunity to exercise your creativity while partnering with leading clients across industries isn’t bad, either.

For more information about the SpeedPro Imaging franchise opportunity, contact us today!

Husband-Wife Veteran SpeedPro Imaging Franchisees Find Success, Happiness in Business Ownership

November 12, 2018

Jumping into business ownership can be a daunting prospect for anyone – especially for a husband-wife team with no industry experience. But, for two military veterans, whose first date included jumping out of a helicopter together, starting a business from the ground up was not something that even mildly fazed them.

 

 

 

 

Beating the Odds Stacked against Them – and Becoming Better for It

After years in the military, SpeedPro Imaging franchisees Ann and Borg Siburg were unintimidated by the potential ups and downs of business ownership. The couple opened their SpeedPro Imaging franchise in July 2009 – during one of the worst economic climates in recent history.

“Although we started our SpeedPro business at the bottom of the recession, we not only survived but actually thrived because of the lessons it taught us,” Ann said. “Our day was done when we were finished with each of our clients’ quotes. That kept us up at 2 a.m. some nights, but we knew it was a huge differentiator for our business, and that it would pay off in the end. It definitely has, and we are so lucky to be partners in our own successful business for almost a decade.”

While that kind of strong work ethic dedication is not easy to come by, it’s all Ann and Borg have ever known – they were both children of military officers. Ann’s dad was in the Army Reserves during WWII, and Borg’s dad was a career air force officer.

“The military has always been in my blood – I’ve always believed in serving my country,” Borg said.
Borg graduated from West Point in 1980 and became an artillery officer, stationed in South Korea for a year before switching stations to Fort Brag.

In college, Ann was a member of the ROTC and received her undergraduate degree in chemistry, going on to run airborne operations at Fort Brag – where she met Borg.

Trading in Camo and Commanders for Business Suits and Bosses

The couple eventually got married and began working in corporate America. After a few years, however, Ann and Borg realized they wanted to do something more.

“I wanted to work with Ann in something we would both enjoy,” Borg said. “We looked at different franchise opportunities, but we had a few boxes the businesses needed to tick. Not only did we want something we could enjoy together, we also wanted something that wouldn’t be harmful to the environment and that was more B2B-focused.”

The Siburgs looked at multiple different franchise opportunities but soon realized SpeedPro Imaging was a great fit.

“Even though the economic climate wasn’t favorable when we first opened up, we found the whole opportunity – the work, the clients and the business as whole – very rewarding,” Borg said. “It’s awesome to work with integral people you trust, and you also get a great amount of satisfaction from growing your business.”

Coincidentally, one of the Siburg’s largest clients is a sizeable firm run by an air force veteran who served in Vietnam.
“We really meet some of the best people through our business, but it’s always even more exciting when you work with a vet,” Ann said. “You have a different connection with them, and it’s just great to connect with people who have had similar life experiences – whether you meet them through business or not.”

Staying True to Their Military Roots

Ann and Borg are still actively involved in their veteran’s community. They offer veteran discounts and regularly support military and veteran events with their business. Borg is involved in the alumni association for academy graduates, serves on the executive committee for AUSA in Phoenix and creates the graphics and signage for different events, like the local West Point parents’ golf outing.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to use my business to help out the community and promote these events that are really important to me,” Borg said. “Especially as a business owner, it helps a lot to have a strong presence in your community.”

While the couple has a great deal of community support behind them, they maintain a strong work ethic is the primary factor driving a profitable and successful business.

“My advice for other business owners would be just to never give up, and put as much as you can into your business – it will pay off,” Borg said.

“When you wake up, do the best you can that day – in everything you do,” Ann added. “Never stop trying, and have integrity. Whenever we say we’ll do something, we do it.”

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