President’s Perspective: Larry Oberly

January 22, 2021

Larry Oberly, President of SpeedPro, is no stranger to the franchising industry. In fact, since the early 90s, Larry says the franchising model has had a piece of his heart and he wouldn’t change a thing.

“I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and franchising is especially tailored to entrepreneurs; people who want to get in there and work at it, but who want that safety net as well. Some are attracted to managerial models, but entrepreneurial models – like SpeedPro – really appeal to me,” said Oberly.

When you combine its entrepreneurial focus and the opportunity to become a problem-solver for your clients, SpeedPro presents a unique business model. No two projects are the same, keeping it interesting, shares Oberly.

“We are in the business of creating Great. Big. Graphics. for our customers. Whether they need permanent signage, floor graphics, wall murals, vehicle graphics, or a tradeshow banner or display, we’re equipped to take their vision to the next level. Consulting with them and understanding their desired end result is how we excel with every client interaction.”

How did COVID impact the brand?

Despite the challenges presented by COVID in 2020, SpeedPro continued to seek self-improvement and additional efficiencies. At the Home Office, the Denver-based team spent hours in training personally, as well as executing deep-dive training with franchisees across the country. No stone was left unturned – from marketing to equipment to business development – every resource was examined as a collaborative effort that impacts the entire network.

SpeedPro Home Office keeping connected in a socially-distanced world.

“Prior to COVID, our sales grew 18 percent to over $74 million (2018-2019). Then, when COVID hit, we quickly adapted to provide services and technologies that supported a greater than anticipated fourth quarter for us,” said Oberly.

Nearly every consumer-based business needed signage to comply with local, state and federal guidelines and recommendations for reopening and continued health and safety measures.

“We helped hundreds of businesses with signage related to masks, barriers, hand-washing and social distancing. I’m really proud of the way our owners stepped up and helped other small businesses, large and small, many of whom were new clients, obtain the signage they needed. We architected an online ordering system to make it simple to order from the local studio.”

SpeedPro Norcross owner, John Barber (far right), helped lead community recognition for first responders with Heroes Work Here signage.

“Then, we created InfoLnkX, our branded smart signage, around the need for touchless environments that can help our clients improve their marketing to their individual customers while keeping them as safe as possible,” said Oberly. “So many of owners found many ways to serve in 2020 and, as result, also had their best sales year to date. It was really a great example of ‘making lemonade out of lemons,’” Oberly shared.

What’s on the horizon for 2021?

“As an organization, we’re more nimble, more driven, and I believe SpeedPro is truly set-up to grow aggressively as we come out of the pandemic. Further we have committed ourselves to being more inclusive and diverse. At the Home Office, we’ve made important strides in this area. SpeedPro is committed to making our franchise offer more attractive to more people.”

Why SpeedPro?

For people considering investing in a B2B franchise this year, SpeedPro franchise ownership should be at the top of the list.

“SpeedPro balances entrepreneurship and independence with a proven model and network of benefits and services that would cost so much more if one was to do this independently.”

Work/life balance is super important as is peer network support, two areas incredibly important to SpeedPro.

“Our owners want quality of life while making a great living and enjoying their businesses. The bond they have formed with one another – whether that is through social or professional opportunities – creates such a healthy, non-competitive, incredibly fulfilling family.”

Multi-unit ownership, while certainly available, is not a pre-requisite to being successful. In fact, SpeedPro is highly-targeted to actually maximize profits in the same space footprint by adding equipment and services without adding additional overhead.

“We’re launching several exciting growth initiatives like fabric applications, packaging and labels, and we see nothing but upside in these areas. I can’t wait to see where 2021 takes us!”

6 Behaviors SpeedPro Owners Focus on to Grow their Wide-Format Printing Businesses

January 7, 2020

For any franchisee, there are a limited number of factors that drive a business’s success. No matter what revenue volume a franchise generates, the franchisee needs to be able to create sufficient margins. Margin growth is generated by increasing revenue (sales) and, at the same time, improving operational efficiencies.

These factors are the result of focusing on key studio behaviors, which are largely driven by what an owner does within the four walls of his or her studio. SpeedPro’s Business Consultants and Regional Developers actively coach its franchisees to succeed by leveraging each of the following six, key behaviors.

  1. Accurate Pricing
  2. Effective Use of Business Software
  3. Marketing and Sales
  4. Financial Planning
  5. Labor Management
  6. Defining a Workplace Culture

Here’s a closer look at each one.

Accurate Pricing

Each studio owner produces a different mix of products and services that the local market demands. One of the most fundamental aspects of accurately pricing products is ensuring that the cost of goods sold is fully understood. This helps the owner calculate a fair price that won’t drive customers away yet drive a fair return on the sale. By leveraging the costs of goods sold with what the market will bear, maximizes margin and sales conversion rates.

Effective Use of Business Software

SpeedPro owners use powerful business software that helps them ensure their studios are run efficiently and also assists with effective pricing. Franchisees use the web-based platform for complete workflow management. Owners work from a customizable dashboard that provides insight into production, enables sales with a customer relationship management tool, and integrated invoicing for back-office processes.

Marketing and Sales Strategy

Studio owners create a plan to generate brand and market awareness which creates demand for the SpeedPro products and services. They also have a clear strategy to close more sales. Many franchisees build name recognition through networking and building connections through their local business community. They also use their studios as demonstration and staging locations to give potential clients a tactile and tangible experience with their studio products and services.

Financial Planning

A strong financial plan helps provide studio owners with a framework and projections to lead them to where they want to be in the future. The plan takes into account the product mix and equipment needs. For example, some studio owners operate in an area with a significant number of tradeshows, conferences and events, which motivates them to market trade show displays and similar products more heavily than other owners. The product mix and owner focus ultimately determine the type of equipment each owner acquires to maximize their sales opportunities and financial results for one, three and five years down the road.

Labor Management

Successful studio owners identify the individuals they need to effectively run their businesses. SpeedPro studios tend to start with limited staff; generally, with two team members. As the business grows, owners expand the number of team members; to up four or more. These individuals may be designers, operations and project managers, sales personnel, marketing assistants, among other roles. The owner identifies the need and right fit for these positions.

Defining a Workplace Culture

People have many options for where they can and want to work. A strong, positive culture goes a long way to attract team members who fit the owner’s vision help ensure they’ll love what they do. The very nature of a wide-format printing studio presents professionals with a dynamic work environment that supports individuals who thrive on creativity, collaboration and exceptional customer service. Still, it’s up to the individual owner to develop and foster a unique culture that differentiates his or her business from the rest.

When a studio owner consistently and effectively leverages each of these behaviors, the business thrives and grows sales, profits and reputation.

Are you ready to learn more about becoming a SpeedPro studio owner? Get in touch with us today!

What Are the Top Revenue Generators for Wide-Format Printers?

December 31, 2019

On the surface, a wide-format printing studio may not seem like the most dynamic business concept. But once you dig a little bit deeper, you quickly realize the opportunities to provide solutions to organizations across a variety of industries and discover a breadth of revenue-generating channels.

For a snapshot of the top revenue generators, take a look at our infographic below:

What Are the Top Industries for Wide-Format Studio Owners?

The No. 1 industry for SpeedPro owners is advertising and marketing firms. A close second is small-format and commercial printers, as well as sign companies. Both are wholesale arrangements with other firms that serve the end user.

Advertising and marketing companies work with SpeedPro to help satisfy the marketing needs of their clients. This segment has helped grow the wide-format printing industry by 6 percent and Speedpro by 11 percent. Marketers use wide-format for brand and product awareness and cultural enhancement through environmental graphics, window graphics, POP displays and many other applications.

Quality and customer service follow-up are the most important requirements for satisfied clients. The gross profit margins for this industry tend to be some of the highest, as quality and service trump price every time.

Meanwhile, the partnerships SpeedPro owners forge with small-format and commercial printers and sign companies frequently yield steadier business. Franchisees become a wholesaler for small format and commercial printers, and we enable another sign company, for instance, to provide full service to their clients.

The relationship is often reciprocal. Commercial printers can help SpeedPro owners provide a full suite of printing solutions to their clients. In most cases, it’s a very cooperative arrangement – and not competitive. Margins are a little lower than those from projects with advertising and marketing firms and other end users, but the work is stable, which helps cash flow and allows a studio to cover more of its overhead.

Other important industries for SpeedPro include construction, retail and consumer products, and events and conventions. All of these are solid-margin industries as each project is completed in collaboration with the client and customized for their specific needs.

SpeedPro franchisees by and large experienced strong sales in each of our top ten industries from 2017 to 2018.

What Are the Products for Wide-Format Studio Owners?

Wide-format printing business owners deliver a wide array of product-based solutions to their clients. Like any product, there are those that provide higher and lower profit margins.

Wall, window and floor graphics are high volume and some of the higher-margin products among SpeedPro studio owners. The cost to produce and apply these products is relatively limited compared to other products. The next two highest volume products are signs and vehicle wraps. Vehicle wraps typically yield a slightly lower margin as they require more labor hours to apply. The volume of these products among SpeedPro studio owners vary widely – some do a large number of vehicle wraps while others do very little. It depends on the market demand.

Banners are among the highest volume products based on materials needed for production but offer the lowest margins. They help with cash flow to cover overhead costs while the other main products drive the greatest per-product profit.

Textiles and soft signage are among the fastest-growing wide-format printing products, replacing rigid substrates due to lower cost over the long term. They’re also increasingly in demand because they:

  • Are reusable
  • Don’t require skilled installers
  • Are more environmentally friendly
  • Are easy to ship and store

Most of these products are custom and require collaboration with the client. They are not commodities that clients can simply order online. This helps to keep margins strong as studio owners seek opportunities to deploy these products.

For a better understanding of the services and products SpeedPro studio owners provide, take a look at one of our recent articles.

Inside the $11 Billion Wide-Format Printing Industry

December 23, 2019

Competition to grab consumer attention is creating robust demand for services in the $11 billion wide-format printing industry. Thanks to digital ad fatigue, businesses look to advertise and market their products or services in a holistic way. That includes a diversity of signage in the real world.

Here are just a few areas where wide-format printing businesses, such as SpeedPro, are experiencing demand and where growth opportunities in the industry are emerging:

Building Better Business Environments

With increased competition among industries in a booming economy comes the demand for increased productivity from employees. And, everybody knows, employees that are happy and engaged in their work are the most productive workers.

Businesses across North America are improving their work environments with window graphics, wall murals and other large graphics. The right graphics can brighten workspaces and inspire employees. Replacing drab, white office walls with scenic murals, company logos, mission statements and motivational quotes can promote company culture and convey to new employees and visitors what the brand is all about.

Immersing Consumers into Brand Experiences

Millennials, today’s largest living generation with tremendous spending power, demand memorable experiences with most of their purchases. In order to capitalize, businesses seek to immerse them and consumers of all ages in captivating experiences that promote their brand.

One popular way to do that is with pop-up bars, stores, salons and other venues. Businesses using the pop-up format are utilizing wide-format printing products to pull audiences into their brand’s messaging. Products that can easily be installed and taken down are most prevalent in pop-up venues, including floor and window graphics, three-dimensional signs, retractable banners and stands, and other temporary signage.  

The pop-up trend – which is increasingly being considered a marketing mainstay – is creating demand for wide-format printers because the format is an effective marketing tool.

Grabbing Consumer Attention on the Run

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising has shown significant growth in recent years. Spending by businesses on advertising on banners, bench wraps, billboards, vehicle and fleet wraps and window graphics is strong. Businesses in the wide-format printing industry are there to meet the demand.

OOH signage on the aforementioned mediums allows businesses to build brand recognition, be seen by a wide audience and attract customers they might miss out on otherwise. OOH signage stands out to consumers because they’re used to seeing advertising on digital devices – smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers – and therefore advertising in the real world stands out as memorable.

Brands that use OOH signage as well as advertise and market online have an advantage over their competitors.

What’s Next in the Wide-Format Printing Industry?

Emerging growth opportunities for wide-format printing businesses include the use of white ink for graphic designs and non-traditional substrates for signage.

Until recently, to get white in a graphic design with other colors, printers were limited to using white substrates. For anything that required white on a sign, the colored inks just would not be applied to that section so the white of the substrate could show through. But, there were few white options among those substrates, which limited the vibrancy of the white that showed through.

However, current printer technology now allows you to use white ink on a wide variety of substrates – not just white – and the vibrancy of whiteness can be adjusted to the marketer’s preference. When white ink is used as the base, other colors are more vibrant, too. Marketing professionals now have more options for signage with white in it.

Marketers also have more choices in substrates, spurred on by mounting environmental concerns. Materials that are more environmentally-friendly than PVC and other plastic sign bases, such as polyester-based fabrics, are gaining traction of traditional substrates. Polyester is often made with recycled materials and can be recycled repeatedly. Substrates made with bio-degradable materials are also on the rise.

SpeedPro is Your Entry into the Lucrative Industry

Earning potential for entering the wide-format field looks promising, as evidenced by a jump in the number of print businesses considering adding wide-format printing capabilities, according to a PrintingNews survey last year. Twelve percent of respondents said they saw adding wide-format printing as a business opportunity in 2019, which is up from 10 percent the previous year.

As solutions providers, SpeedPro franchise owners offer these and many more products and services to clients. In the growing industry, SpeedPro franchisees experience 11 percent growth in same store sales, our top 25 percent of studio owners enjoy $1,124,244 in gross sales and a gross profit of $738,448.*

We provide comprehensive initial and ongoing support and training so you and your team of two to three employees are ready to help clients and adapt to changes in the industry. Because your success matters to us, we even help you begin generating revenue before you open through our Ramp-up Program.

With 180 studios throughout North America and counting, there are opportunities in markets in the United States and Canada to open a SpeedPro franchise and grab a share of the robust and growing wide-format printing industry.

To learn more about joining a wide-format printing franchise committed to sustainability, contact us today!

*These figures are included in the 2018 SpeedPro Franchise Disclosure Document (the “FDD”) and involve the average sales information for the twenty-six SpeedPro Studios that comprise the top 25% (based on their 2017 fiscal year financial performance) of the 107 SpeedPro Studios that have been in operation for at least two years and that satisfied the other reporting criteria set forth in the FDD. Within the top 25%, 10 of the 26 SpeedPro Studios met or exceeded the average Gross Sales figure, 8 Studios met or exceeded the average Gross Profit figure, and 14 Studios met or exceeded the average Gross Margin figure. The Gross Sales, Gross Profit, and Gross Margin figures are based on each franchisee’s actual 2017 fiscal year unaudited financial statements submitted to SP Franchising LLC. Your financial results are likely to differ from the figures presented.

What Does Sustainability Look Like in Wide-Format Printing?

December 16, 2019

The push to become more environmentally-friendly has sparked innovation across industries, even carving out entirely new categories in green technology, sustainable energy, waste management and more.  

Just as environmentalism has fostered eco-friendly practices across industries, sustainability continues to drive demand and customer loyalty in business. More than two-thirds of consumers consider environmental impact when making a purchase – a value that has transferred over to the B2B realm as well.

By tapping into the green economy, business owners can not only foster stronger demand for their products and services, they can also capitalize on additional revenue opportunities. This is particularly true in the wide-format printing industry, where 45 percent of print service providers reported a growing number of customer requests for graphics and signage made with green printing practices.

From minimizing waste in the design process to leveraging eco-friendly materials and technology, wide-format printing businesses stand to gain by employing sustainable practices.

Here are three ways wide-format printing businesses can promote sustainability:

  1. Use Eco-Friendly Inks

Print solutions providers are increasingly sourcing sustainable materials and supplying greener alternatives to answer growing customer demand. This, in turn, has also prompted ink suppliers to move toward offering more environmentally-friendly options.

Many traditional inks use harmful solvents, which exude a cocktail of chemical emissions when used. However, UV-curable inks, as well as latex and water-based solutions, produce far fewer emissions and are becoming more commonplace in the industry.

Similarly, vegetable-based, VOC-free and other eco-friendly inks are designed specifically to break down easily during the recycling process. These inks can be particularly useful when printing signage on plastic, cardboard and paper-based substrates, which businesses are more likely to recycle at the end of use.  

  • Leverage Sustainable Substrates

The substrates and applications involved in wide-format printing projects also play an integral role in sustainability. Some of the industry’s go-to plastic substrates are high in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – a non-biodegradable material. Fortunately, many print solutions providers are migrating toward PVC-free vinyl, banners and other substrates.

Recyclable substrates made from 100-percent natural materials are also becoming more popular. Cardboard, cardstock and other paper-based products have long been popular options for point-of-purchase (POP) collateral, trade show displays and other wide-format graphics and signage.

Meanwhile, print suppliers have also created many new branded options for recyclable substrates, from EnviroBoard to Falconboard™. Some suppliers, such as Hewlett Packard, even provide a shipping label so business owners can easily return biodegradable substrates to the HP facility to be recycled.

  • Reduce Waste with Greener Techniques and Technology

It’s not just the inks and substrates used in the finished product that are becoming more eco-friendly. Many wide-format printing businesses have also been working to optimize their design and printing processes to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint.

This comes largely as a result of innovations in green printing technology, such as UV flatbed printers. Not only do these printers leverage low-impact UV-based inks, they also print directly to rigid and flexible substrates, cutting down on the materials used and discarded in the printing process. Allowing studio owners to load, print and collect media simultaneously, efficient and eco-friendly printers also have a faster turnaround time for the end product, which saves energy.

Greener practices, processes and technology in wide-format printing continue to drive industry demand, while creating additional revenue opportunities for print solutions providers.

To learn more about joining a wide-format printing franchise committed to sustainability, contact us today!

A Look at SpeedPro’s Company Culture

October 23, 2019

Coupled with business strategy, a well-defined and differentiated company culture is one of the most important factors influencing an organization’s success. Research from the consulting firm Deloitte found 94 percent of executives and 88 percent of employees believe this to be true.

As industries across the board become increasingly crowded with competition, a distinct culture that helps support and guide business strategy gives companies an advantage. Organizations that put specific focus on their culture tend to have happier employees who feel valued at work.

As a franchise brand, we have worked – and continue to work – diligently to create an organizational culture that helps to motivate SpeedPro studio owners and gives them the foundational guidance and tools to keep their individual teams inspired to put forth their best effort.

Here is a sample of some of the attributes of the SpeedPro company culture that helps to inspire our brand’s growth:

  • Highly Collaborative

SpeedPro franchisees are part of a family of studio owners.

“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,” said John Barber, owner of the SpeedPro in Norcross, Georgia.

When new studio owners are ramping up their business, an existing SpeedPro franchisee will act as a buddy studio for that individual. As a result, an owner who hasn’t officially opened their doors yet can start building a client roster and working on projects with the help of their fellow franchisees.

  • Client-Centric Philosophy

As a business-to-business (B2B) franchise concept, SpeedPro owners are invested in ensuring their clients’ needs come first. The brand promise is built around the idea that each studio is an extension of their clients’ design, event planning, marketing and advertising teams.

It’s a consultative approach that distinguishes SpeedPro from other printing franchise concepts that are more focused on solely delivering a product. It’s critical that franchisees and their teams take the time to understand and help visualize a strategy that will help ensure their clients achieve their business objectives.

  • Dedicated to Growth

Most franchisors will tell you they want to expand their footprint by adding new units at a consistent pace. The same is obviously true of SpeedPro as well, but we’re also equally dedicated to making sure existing franchisees are achieving the strongest unit-level economics possible.

“My goal is to grow our brand well beyond 130 studios, of course,” said Larry Oberly, SpeedPro CEO. “But, we also have to make sure we never lose sight of helping our current franchisees by expanding and enhancing our infrastructure and support services. That, in itself, is a tremendous draw for entrepreneurs interested in owning a SpeedPro studio. By collaborating, the SpeedPro home office and our studio owners will do this together.”

  • Focused on Innovation

As a leader in wide-format printing, we need to ensure we’re doing everything we can to stay ahead in our industry. This is reflected in the tools and operational guidelines made available to studio owners to assist them in marketing their studios to different types of clients, including designers, architects, creative directors, marketing professionals, small-business owners and members of the C-suite.

At the same time, you can see innovation in the products and services franchisees can offer their clients. For example, studio owners can print on acrylic, brushed metal and glass surfaces, in addition to many other substrates. This expands the types of applications and fosters creative freedom for studio owners and their clients.

As you investigate franchise opportunities, remember that you have to weigh any potential financial gains alongside cultural alignment with the brand. Investing in a franchise is a serious commitment, so you want to ensure that you’re in step with the franchisor.

Learn more about SpeedPro’s business model here!

How the McKenny Family Runs their SpeedPro as Husband and Wife Franchise Duo

October 10, 2019

When Mike McKenny graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in music, owning a wide-format printing business wasn’t in the cards. Mike went on to become a music teacher and work at a large insurance company. Molly McKenny, Mike’s wife, business partner and high school sweetheart, also held a position in insurance for 10 years after completing her duty as a member of the United States Army Reserves.

The couple’s careers were soon uprooted once Mike approached Holly with an idea.

“One day I told Holly, ‘Hey I have this crazy idea – we’re going to start our own company,’” Mike said. “She thought I was absolutely nuts. Then I told my dad that I needed to pull him out of retirement, and I dragged everyone into this fun, wild craziness.”

For the past three years, Mike and Holly have been running their own SpeedPro in St. Petersburg, Fla., and living out Mike’s crazy idea of business ownership.

He Says, She Says: Owning a SpeedPro as a Married Couple

If you asked Mike and Holly five years ago if they could ever work well together professionally, the answer would have been “no.”

The reason their business partnership works, however, comes from their strategic approaches. Holly is more focused on the day-to-day operations, which allows Mike to dream big. She calls him the “Yes Man” of their SpeedPro team – no idea is too outlandish, and no goal is unattainable.

“What makes our relationship work is that we’re opposites,” Mike said. “I tend to be very big picture, throwing stuff up on the whiteboard and hoping it works.”

Together, Mike and Holly embody the hard-working, entrepreneurial traits and skillsets we look for in a SpeedPro franchisee.

Growing the Business on Their Own Terms

With minds as creative as Mike and Holly’s, it’s important for them to be given license to mold their business how they see it. One of their favorite parts of coming to work each day is the freedom they feel as owners of their own business.

“SpeedPro gives us the freedom to do what works for our particular location,” Mike said. “The products we offer, staffing, pricing and equipment is all up to us.”

One of the ways Mike and Holly have used that creative liberty is in the equipment they have acquired over their three years in the wide-format printing industry. The husband-wife team opened with store with a simple printer and laminator. After seeing the needs of their clients and considering how they can improve the service they offered, they began buying new equipment, including a full flatbed printer. Mike and Holly’s SpeedPro is now so equipped and customized for their clients that their new concern is a lack of in-store space.

Mike and Holly run their business with client satisfaction as their highest priority. If their clients are happy, they’re happy.

“I’m fulfilled being a SpeedPro owner,” Mike said. “That’s the best way to say it. I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy the growth.”

Are you looking to start your own business? Contact us today to learn more about our franchise opportunities.

A Day in the Life of a SpeedPro Husband-Wife Franchisee Team

October 1, 2019

After decades in the workforce, many employees spend the twilight of their careers watching the clock and dreaming of retirement. Yet, a growing number of older adults who give retirement a try end up changing their minds.

While some go on to pursue part-time careers to maintain some structure and specialized skillset, more former retirees are finding a successful second-act career by building their own business. More than 50 percent of small-business owners are over the age of 50.

Pat DelBrocco was one of many who reached retirement age but wasn’t yet ready to close the door on his career. Instead, after nearly four decades as a top sales executive at The Coca-Cola Company, he decided to open his own SpeedPro franchise.

“When I was looking for a new opportunity as I was retiring from Coca-Cola, I ran across the SpeedPro brand, which from my perspective was a very exciting prospective business for a number of reasons,” said Pat. “With the endless opportunities and growth potential, I kept going back to that brand for business ownership.”


Taking the First Steps toward a Second Act with SpeedPro

After looking further into the SpeedPro franchise opportunity, and the booming large-format printing industry, Pat was sold on the business. He and his wife, Charmane, decided to open their own SpeedPro franchise and begin building the business in their Tampa Westchase community.

“I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years before Pat and I bought this franchise, and while I was at home, I was very active as a community volunteer – particularly with the PTA,” Charmane said. “When we decided to invest in SpeedPro, I was browsing the client verticals. One of those verticals was education, and I immediately felt a connection there.”

Almost four years after opening their doors, the DelBrocco’s continue to have longstanding client relationships and partnerships with area schools to this day.

“When I’m dealing with SpeedPro and particularly with Pat and Charmane, I know that they are going to partner with me and help my vision come to fruition – and see that process all the way through,” said Robert Florio, a longtime SpeedPro client and local high school principal.

At SpeedPro, no two days – or two studios – are the same, but developing a strong B2B client base for long-term, repeat business remains a universal, system-wide key to success.

That’s why the DelBroccos spend much of their time nurturing these client partnerships, in addition to participating in the hands-on printing and production process.

“For us to be successful, it’s really important to have a longstanding relationship with clients,” said Pat. “That way, we can understand the client’s buying and printing needs, so we can develop solutions they may not even be thinking about and really ‘wow’ them. That’s one of the areas we pride ourselves on – going above and beyond to really impress our clients.”

“There’s nothing better than having a client say they love the work you did,” Charmane added.

A Strong Base of Repeat Business that Builds Itself

Plus, by developing a foundation of high-value, repeat clients, SpeedPro franchisees benefit from a built-in network of business prospects – so they can seamlessly grow their business without spending their days generating new leads.

Instead, they can also enjoy the creative and collaborative process that goes into the creation of unique marketing solutions, which help clients achieve their business goals with large-scale graphics.

“My role in this industry is helping customers take advantage of our resources that can help build their brand, generate awareness and boost their business,” said Pat.

Although neither Pat nor Charmane came from a background in marketing or large-format printing, the comprehensive, interactive training and support they received from the SpeedPro home office helped prepare them for any and all projects thrown their way.

But, because each day, project, graphic and client is so unique, the DelBroccos still haven’t found a dull moment in business ownership with SpeedPro.  

“In this industry, I’m always challenged to find the best possible solution for our clients,” Charmane said. “It is a challenge, but it’s extremely rewarding as well.” 

To learn more about becoming a business owner with an industry-leading franchise, contact us today!

This Wide-format Printing Franchise Owner Draws on Passion and Strategy to Grow his Business

September 26, 2019

Not having a background in the large-format graphics industry never impeded Bob Mejerle’s progress as a business owner.

Bob decided to become a SpeedPro franchisee after spending more than three decades in a corporate career in the global technology sector.

Having reached a point when retirement is the pathway for many people, Bob chose franchising.

“I wasn’t interested in going out and trying to prove a brand new concept,” said Bob, who is based out of Alpharetta, Georgia.

Bob also ran a number of consulting businesses, but a wide-format printing franchise was a completely new venture.

Building Momentum with their SpeedPro Franchise

When Bob and his wife Laura Lee first got started as SpeedPro studio owners, they admittedly had to wear many different hats.

“When you’re first starting out, you typically have a small staff so you’ve got to be resourceful,” Bob emphasized.

Generating brand awareness and recognition within their local market was one among many different tasks Bob and Laura Lee had to accomplish. Bob spent a significant amount of time doing his due diligence within the Alpharetta business community to identify potential clients, taking on opportunities to prove themselves as a wide-format printing vendor and converting the initial projects into long-standing relationships.

“Once you start proving yourself, all of a sudden more and more business opportunities arise,” said Bob.

One of the first big projects Bob and Laura Lee landed was applying vehicle wraps to a fleet of trucks, trailers, chaser cars, busses and other types of vehicles for a global pharmaceutical corporation that sponsors this professional cycling team that races internationally. Ever since, vehicle and fleet wraps have been a significant segment of their business.

Meanwhile, they’ve been able to foster growth in the area of corporate events; helping large organizations set up for such occasions by designing, producing and installing branded graphics for large meeting venues.  For example, the Mejerles worked with a global technology company, which was hosting a multi-day event at a local hotel. Branded signage was installed throughout the entire venue, which included: parking areas, escalators, elevators, floors, and meeting rooms and hallways.

Additionally, Bob and Laura Lee have expanded their business to include a greater focus on interior and exterior signage, fabricated displays, large-scale exhibits and many other applications, including wall murals and dimensional signage.

“In our business, we’re able to do a lot of fabrication,” Bob said. “Building things is a particular love of mine.

Not only are these passion projects for Bob, but he’s also compensated well for these types of installations because they’re highly customized for the client.

Stepping Back from Operations as a Wide-Format Printing Franchise Owner

Each year, Bob and Laura Lee have been able to pare back on their time working in the business, and focus more on growth instead.

Bob drew upon his experience in Corporate America, where he oversaw different service divisions and focused on hiring the right talent who had the requisite technical skills that he lacked.

It’s been within the past two years that Bob’s put more of his time into business development – or, sales and marketing.

“It’s really easy to sell something that you’re passionate about,” said Bob. “And I really do enjoy this business.”

A big reason why Bob is so enthusiastic about being a SpeedPro studio owner is the concept is based on the business-to-business (B2B) model. As opposed to dealing in the end-consumer market, Bob is able to work with everyone from business owners to members of the C-suite to marketing executives.

Today, one type of clientele that’s gaining the most momentum is commercial interior designers. These are the people who typically work with architects and builders to complete projects, including wall murals, wall coverings, floor graphics, window graphics and acrylic graphics.

Key Lessons Learned as SpeedPro Franchise Owner

An important lesson Bob has learned operating his studio has been aggressively managing the materials used in producing the various project deliverables. Ultimately, when a franchisee is seeking ways to grow their profitability, they have to keep these costs in mind – as well as the frequency of specific projects – to determine a fair price that has sufficient margins.

Another resource that Bob found to be invaluable is his fellow studio owners. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge sharing regarding the use of products/materials, installation tips, equipment and pricing.   

For example, Bob was proposing work for a local ice skating rink. He was trying to determine the appropriate vinyl that could be branded and installed successfully under the ice. Since there are not a lot of ice rinks in the South, this was a perfect opportunity to tap the knowledge of owners in the Midwest and Northeast where there are plenty of ice rinks. Consequently, a Denver-based franchisee walked him through the use of tried and proven media, as well as installation tips. Clearly, one of the hallmarks of Speedpro is the ability to provide our clients with experienced based solutions.

Are you ready to learn more about owning a SpeedPro studio? Get in touch with a member of our franchise development team here!

Capitalize on the Latest Marketing Trends with a Wide-Format Printing Franchise

August 13, 2019

Wide-format printing is becoming an increasingly popular solution for businesses in search of effective marketing strategies. In today’s digital age, there’s ad fatigue with smartphones and other digital devices, making large-format graphics are an eye-popping way to capture consumers’ attention in the real world.

At SpeedPro, we change with the times to make sure franchisees are able to  provide their customers with the latest, on-trend designs to tell their stories. And this means opening a business that will remain in-demand and continuously evolve to ensure our brand is synonymous with innovation.

Here are just a few examples of marketing trends that SpeedPro franchisees have integrated into their suite of solutions:

Experiential Marketing

Immersion has become an invaluable tactic in the marketing world. The ability to pull an audience completely into your message and story isn’t easy, but large-format printing is an effective way to do that.

Experiential marketing has the potential to be the future of businesses connecting with their audience and leaving a powerful impression on them. Allowing people to physically walk alongside a 40-foot wall mural designed to create a hip, forward-thinking aesthetic or even transforming a bar into the iconic Moe’s Tavern from The Simpsons to help it stand out from its competition creates a lasting connection between the business and its audience. They’ll remember those moments and that company far longer than seeing an ad for the same product or service on Facebook.

At SpeedPro, our franchisees work hard to come up with creative solutions to clients’ needs. They have freedom to brainstorm and execute any experiential marketing ideas that will meet their clients’ needs and situation.

Our franchisees know how to create experiences for their clients to make their marketing as powerful as it can be.

Improving Work Environments

Another use of large-format graphics that is growing in popularity is the installation of window graphics and wall murals inside of businesses to improve internal productivity.

Bright colors, graphics and motivational quotes all go a long way to increasing a company’s productivity. Not only does large-format signage make a business setting more exciting and creatively inspiring, it also promotes company culture and lets new employees and visiting partners see what type of organization a business is. It helps with recruiting new workers as well as inspiring old workers.

As a SpeedPro studio owner, your clients may ask you to create anything from a wall mural in a basketball arena to one-way glass paneling in a business overlooking a city sidewalk. You and your team come up with the perfect printing solutions to all of your clients’ needs.

This is more than just making a cup of coffee – you’re helping businesses transform their workplace and improve how they operate. A particularly striking business space can mean a loyal client as well as free marketing for your SpeedPro studio when workers ask who designed it.

Client Customization

In 2019, people want customization. They want the product or service they receive to be just for them.

Embracing this strategy of personalizing our service has numerous benefits. Giving clients exactly what they want greatly increases their satisfaction with your work. In addition, it leads to brand loyalty, establishing SpeedPro as the industry leader in wide-format printing.

When people approach you in need of signage, they have often have a specific conceptual idea in mind. As a SpeedPro Imaging franchisee, it’s your job to help turn that conceptual idea into a visual idea.

All of your projects will begin with a client meeting intended to clarify what kind of visual communication the client wants. After you have an idea, you’ll propose your recommendation on how best to clearly convey your client’s message. Once your client is happy with an agreed-upon, you’ll move forward in creating the signage that will blow their audience away.

Do you want to own a business that capitalizes on the current large-format printing marketing trend? Contact us today!