fbpx

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!

What Services Do You Provide as a SpeedPro Franchisee?

July 30, 2019

At first look, a wide-format printing franchise opportunity may not be as cut and dry as other business concepts. A restaurant franchise, for instance, is easy to understand as a category – albeit more complicated to operate than a business like SpeedPro.

And once you start to peel back the layers of what a wide-format printing business is, the more you realize what a simple concept it is built upon and how streamlined it can be for studio owners. Although there is a wide variety of solutions you provide as a wide-format print shop franchise owner, the fundamentals of the business are straightforward. To help familiarize you with the most common products and services SpeedPro franchise owners provide, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Architectural and Glass Finishes

Used for interior and exterior applications, glass finishes are applied to glass surfaces in primarily commercial spaces. Some examples include applying finishes to conference room glass walls, adding a frosted look to outside-facing windows to enhance privacy and reduce distractions, and installing tinted applications to reduce glare and make offices more energy efficient.

  • Decals

Businesses use custom decals to accomplish a variety of marketing and branding initiatives. Studio owners create vinyl decals that can be applied to walls, windows, floors, vehicles or even equipment like laptops. Decals can be used to promote an event, a limited-time offer or sale or give a business’s name greater visibility on company-owned vehicles. Meanwhile, they can be cut in any shape or size, providing SpeedPro clients with nearly unlimited creative options.

  • Environmental Graphics

Wall murals and coverings in corporate environments, restaurants, healthcare facilities, retail spaces and other areas are one of the most common types of environmental graphics. These are larger-than-life installations that help businesses breathe new life into a space. Applying vinyl adhesive graphics, SpeedPro studio owners work with their clients to create a more branded feel, adding logos, colors, slogans and other elements that communicate a company’s culture.

  • Event Graphics and Tents

Many clients come to SpeedPro studios with an idea but not a fully thought-out strategy when it comes to event marketing. Whether they’re attending a conference in Las Vegas or exhibiting at a local festival, it’s important for businesses to stand out with their displays to attract the attention of attendees. SpeedPro studio owners help identify the right style of tent or booth based on the event and the company’s objective. Some types of event graphics and tents include trade show displays, printed wall or stage backdrops and backlit graphics.

  • Indoor and Outdoor Signage

As a studio owner, clients will need to attract customers using high-impact, visually appealing signage on their business’s exterior, as well as compel customers to take specific actions once they walk through the front doors. Indoor signage can be directional or wayfinding in nature, helping people find where they want to go. Businesses can also build their brand by including signage that conveys their mission and values. Meanwhile, outdoor signage may come in the form of backlit signs, banners, flags, custom contour cut designs and A-frame sidewalk signs.

  • Point of Purchase Displays

A point of purchase (POP) display is a type of large-format printing product used when a consumer is making the decision to make a purchase. Retailers, auto dealers, financial institutions, sporting venues and large number of brick-and-mortar businesses depend on POP displays to help motivate their customers to make a purchase. The display may be a tablet stand or kiosk, a wall display, window decals or life-size cutouts.

  • Vehicle and Fleet Wraps

Complete or partial vehicle wraps give business owners the opportunity to increase brand awareness in whatever market they operate. Many organizations have a fleet of company cars that employees use. For example, logistics companies regularly need wraps to brand their vehicles to attract the attention of consumers and potential clients. At the same time, small-business owners may want to invest in a vehicle wrap for their service-based enterprise.

The SpeedPro business model is designed for individuals who excel at forging relationships with other business owners, appreciate and facilitate a consultative approach to working with clients, and know how to manage a small, yet dedicated team.

It’s with this team that you can leverage the large number of SpeedPro products and services to solve your clients’ marketing and advertising pain points. With industry-leading training and support, you can be confident in living up to the brand standards of uncompromising quality and quick delivery with each project – all of which facilitates repeat business and referrals.

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

How Our Studio Site Selection Process Positions Franchisees for Success

July 23, 2019

Finding the right location for your franchise is one of the first – and most important – steps you’ll take in the business ownership process.

Although initial site selection may seem to go by quickly, a site’s impact on your business’ success will be ongoing and paramount to your long-term success.

That’s why we offer unparalleled site selection support for our SpeedPro franchisees, as they seek out the most desirable, cost-effective locations to open up their studio.

Driven by industry-leading insight, along with one-on-one direction and market-specific strategies, our corporate team and field consultants offer franchisees an unprecedented level of sweeping expertise and individualized attention.

Here’s more on the comprehensive site selection strategy and guidance we offer franchisees to help them find and secure a second-to-none studio location:

Expert Advice and Oversight from Day One

At SpeedPro, our ongoing partnerships with local brokers and national real estate giant Berkshire Hathaway are an asset to our best-in-class site selection strategy.

As soon as you sign your franchise agreement, our home office will introduce you to local real estate experts to help guide you in your search for the ideal location.

You’ll also meet with your local SpeedPro business consultant, who will guide you throughout every step of the site selection process – from site visits and evaluation to contract negotiations and signing.

As your local, go-to resource, your field consultant will also help you understand the ins and outs of your market’s commercial real estate climate.

Well-versed in the specific requirements and desirable features for a strong SpeedPro site, your field consultant will also ensure any potential sites you consider are conducive to the success of your particular business.

Field consultants provide direction and clarity in every aspect of assessing your market and business needs, including:

•Local lease rates
•Space and power requirements
•Personal guarantees
•Buildout costs

Armed with market and SpeedPro-specific knowledge and insights, you’ll be able to find the best site possible – at the best market rate – to catalyze your business’ success. 

Expedited Build-Out Process Helps You Open Your Doors Sooner

Unlike commercial site development at many other business concepts, the typical buildout period for SpeedPro studios is only 30 to 60 days. We’re able to minimize our typical buildout period because we’ve also minimized the development requirements for franchisees. The only necessary components of each space are:

•Open floorplan for production space
•1-2 offices for studio owner and staff
•Vehicle bay

Whereas other businesses require franchisees to wait several months – or even years – before they can open their doors, SpeedPro studio owners are positioned to start turning a profit much more quickly from an expedited buildout.

Not only does our process help you start generating revenue sooner, it also helps you avoid additional expenses from unnecessarily long, drawn-out construction and design phases.

Sensible Sizing and Open Floor Plans Minimize Overhead while Maximizing Space

Our executive-style studios can operate with as little as 2,000 to 4,000 square feet of space, minimizing the hefty overhead associated with larger retail-type locations. Instead, SpeedPro studio owners are able to maximize a smaller space and avoid high overhead costs – both in initial investment and ongoing operational expenses.

By investing in a site with a smaller footprint, SpeedPro studio owners avoid the higher initial investment required for buying or leasing a larger space. They also save on ongoing expenses, like utilities and maintenance, which quickly mount when operating a location with more square footage.

Even within the smaller space, however, SpeedPro studio owners never find themselves yearning for more room. Our open-layout floor plan helps maximize the space, and because of the B2B nature of the business, studios rarely host clients or attract unpredictable levels of foot traffic.  

The Power of a Strong Franchise Brand and Leadership Team

No one understands the importance of a strong site selection and real estate development strategy more than SpeedPro CEO Larry Oberly, who came to the company equipped with more than a decade of experience as a top global executive at RE/MAX.

With an unmatched level of real estate expertise and insights, along with laser-focused, one-on-one franchisee attention and guidance, the fine-tuned site selection process at SpeedPro is unlike any other in the franchise industry.

We’re able to help franchisees find the most cost-effective and desirable development sites on the market, so they can open their doors sooner, attract more business and start generating strong revenue right away – and for all the years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about the SpeedPro franchise opportunity, download our franchise kit today!

What Initial and Ongoing Support Does SpeedPro Offer Franchisees?

July 15, 2019

The SpeedPro vision statement helps clarify just how important franchise owners are to the success of our brand:

Through national and international expansion, SpeedPro will create a network of integrated studios that will enable our franchisees to more efficiently serve highly visible and highly profitable accounts that will change the face of businesses across the world.

It’s with this goal in mind that we strive to be the most supportive wide-format printing franchise brand out there. And we make good on that objective through the systems we’ve established – from our Ramp-Up Program to the ongoing training and support we provide studio owners.

Get Started on the Right Foot with Initial Training

One of the key differentiators of SpeedPro is how much we invest in getting franchise owners up and running as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here’s a quick breakdown of what that looks like:

10-day intensive training – Conducted onsite at your new studio, members of SpeedPro’s training and support team help you understand:

•The wide array of products and solutions you’ll be providing

•Techniques necessary to correctly apply wide-format graphics

•The equipment and tools you’ll be using to create your clients’ products

•How to operate your studio on a day-to-day basis

Your initial training will also equip you with strategies for new customer acquisition. Since SpeedPro is a business-to-business (B2B) franchise opportunity, it’s critical that you are able to build relationships with other business owners in the community to facilitate your studio’s growth.

With that in mind, we help walk you through the typical client lifecycle, including creating job quotes, fulfilling orders and demonstrating best practices tactics to provide exceptional customer experiences.

Once your initial training is complete, SpeedPro’s support team is there to ensure you stay on the right track.

Ongoing Support for Wide-Format Printing Franchise Owners

When you join the SpeedPro franchise system, you’re never alone. You’re joining an experienced group of franchise owners who operate more than 130 studios across the country. They’re resources for you as you maneuver through your initial ramp-up period.

We have a buddy studio program that establishes partnerships between you and existing SpeedPro owners, which helps you build a network of referrals. In many cases, you’re able to start on jobs even before your studio officially opens. The relationship you form with your buddy studio is meant to be long-lasting – you’re able to rely on your fellow franchisees whenever you’re in need.

At the same time, we’ve structured our franchise system so that each studio owner has an unparalleled level of support from our field consultants and regional developers. Each one of these individuals has:

•Owned and operated their own business

•Experience in the wide-format printing industry

•A keen understanding of the franchise business model

In addition to having extensive business experience, our field consultants are uniquely trained and equipped to provide studio owners with insights and strategies to help them achieve their specific business objectives. Those may be identifying opportunities to work on projects with higher profit margins, develop tactics to facilitate more repeat business or assisting with making sure your profit and loss (P&L) statements are in great shape.

We’re able to offer an exceptional level of support because of the ratio of field consultants to franchisees, which is 1:12. Most franchise systems are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:20 or 1:40, which reduces the amount of one-on-one attention they can provide to franchise owners. Whether you have questions about your equipment or are in need of technical support, our support team and field consultants are there to ensure you’re operating at peak performance.

Are you ready to learn more about joining a wide-format printing franchise with exceptional support? Get started by downloading our information packet here.

Why Businesses Are Investing in Wide-Format Printing

June 27, 2019

With a healthy economy comes competition across industries for consumers and workers. Wide-format printing businesses are enjoying these times and look forward to the days ahead because other businesses turn to them for solutions to attract customers and employees. SpeedPro studios, known for being solutions providers, are positioned well to capitalize on the demand for signage needs in their markets.

Offline Attention Grabbers

Although we live in a digital age, we rely on and take notice of a variety of signs every day. Businesses realize this and are investing in wide-format printing everywhere consumers are to grab their attention.

For example, out-of-home (OOH) advertising showed the most growth for non-internet media formats in 2018, including TV, radio, magazines and newspaper. In other words, spending by businesses on billboards, vehicle/fleet wraps, bench wraps, window graphics, banners and more is strong.

Online advertising is great when businesses want to go after specific demographics. But, OOH signage allows businesses to build brand recognition, be seen by a wider audience and attract customers they might miss out on otherwise. Brands become top-of-mind when consumers see advertising for them regularly and brand awareness grows.

Because consumers today spend so much time in front of screens, where they’re exposed to a plethora of digital ads, OOH advertisements stand out. This helps brands stand out from their competitors.

At the same time, OOH ads can be a strategic complement to businesses’ online marketing efforts and provide an impressive return on investment. For example, every dollar spent on OOH advertising generates an average of $5.97 on sales.

Endless Possibilities

Wide-format printing provides businesses with versatility and variety. From large-format graphics seen by millions of commuters on their way to and from work to vehicle wraps observed by pedestrians waiting for the light to change, wide-format printing solutions allow businesses to increase their presence in ways that other forms of media cannot.

Even at trade shows, businesses can stand out among their competitors with the right displays. Backdrops, table coverings and toppers, floor graphics, and other forms of signage will help catch the eyes of attendees.

Businesses, especially retailers, use windows graphics to entice consumers inside. Once in the store, customers can be encouraged to make purchases with an attractive and persuasive point of purchase displays.

Happy Employees are Productive Workers

Wide-format printing can be influential when attracting consumers, but businesses also use the versatile medium for help retaining employees, by keeping them engaged and happy. Businesses in the United States lose $550 billion each year just because workers don’t feel connected to their work environment. With the current tight labor market, businesses want to hang onto their valued employees as long as they can.

Depending on the workspace, companies use experiential design, wall murals, elevator wraps, floor graphics and directional signs to increase contentment, satisfaction, brand pride and other positive feelings at work. A well-designed office can boost productivity by 20 percent.

Why Businesses Invest in SpeedPro

Businesses turn to SpeedPro franchise owners for wide-format printing solutions because we work as true marketing partners, not just as another vendor. We are a part of each community where we have a franchise location – reputation means everything to us because we often rely on repeat business.

Because we’re a franchise, business owners can rely on us for consistent, high-quality work across the entire system of 150-plus studios in North America. As a franchise, we are able to utilize system-wide coordination in developing and delivering marketing materials anywhere in the United States.

We also have abundant resources to stay current with the latest trends pertaining to operations in the wide-format printing industry. Ongoing training and general business operations help each studio owner remain competitive and appealing to other businesses interested in wide-format printing solutions.

To learn more about SpeedPro’s appeal to other businesses for wide-format printing, visit our website.

Who Are Your Clients as a SpeedPro Franchise Owner?

June 17, 2019

More than four in 10 small-business owners cited cash flow as one of their top challenges.

Rightly so – ensuring you’re keeping cash on hand as you grow your business is critical to cover your operating expenses without dipping too much into reserve capital.

One way business owners can mitigate cash flow issues is by ensuring they’re able to diversify their client base, in line with the amount of revenue each segment brings their business – ideally on a consistent, ongoing basis.

SpeedPro franchisees operate within a simple, business-to-business (B2B) model that focuses on three primary client segments. These are your primary drivers of business growth. Here’s more information about each client group and how SpeedPro franchisees are able to work with them.

Corporate Marketing Departments

For many SpeedPro franchisees, corporate brands represent some of the most exciting and fun clients to work with. Many of the projects involve environmental graphics, event graphics and other large-scale projects that give studio owners the opportunity to flex their creative muscles.

Thanks to SpeedPro’s reputation for unmatched service and high-quality graphics, we get to serve the needs of everyone from small-business owners to Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, universities and more.

In fact, one SpeedPro studio owner worked with a local Rock Bottom Brewery, a brewpub with locations across the United States, to create window and wall graphics.

“Beer is obviously one of my passions, and [SpeedPro] was able to create new logos for us, create new prints to put up on the wall,” said Jason Simonson, General Manager at Rock Bottom Brewery. “It really just revitalized this restaurant.”

SpeedPro franchisees help businesses of varying sizes and in different industries find solutions while staying within their ideal timeframe and budget.

Advertising and Event Agencies

A level removed from the end client, many SpeedPro franchise owners work with agencies as a preferred vendor for wide-format graphics.

Most ad agencies, design firms and event marketing companies or event planners don’t have the technology or the know-how when it comes to creating large-scale graphics. As a result, they partner with SpeedPro studio owners to help them achieve their clients’ objectives.

“When I design something and come to SpeedPro, I know it’s going to look exactly how I want it to look,” explained Garret Spradlin, a marketing and design professional with DNM events. “And my client is getting exactly what I described.”

Clients turn to SpeedPro as a reliable, professional and efficient partner. And forming lasting relationships allows us to serve as the provider to the end clients.

Small-Format Printers

As a B2B concept, it’s important for studio owners to make their presence known within the local business community.

One of the best places to get started is by networking with small-format printers. These are vendors that create products like business cards, mailers and other items that fall outside SpeedPro’s core business model.

We partner with small-format printers and sign companies to be their back-end print provider. We serve as white-labeled providers of large-format graphics, due to our expertise in the space and ability to confidentially and professionally work on behalf of our clients’ end customers.

Similar to agency partners, small-format printers turn to SpeedPro studio owners projects they don’t have the capabilities or expertise to complete. These relationships often help kick-start your business as a SpeedPro franchisee.

Learn More about the SpeedPro Model

In addition to providing a simplified, B2B franchise model to aspiring entrepreneurs, SpeedPro also boasts an exceptional gross profit margin.

Learn more about how franchisees can generate up to 65 percent gross profit as a SpeedPro studio owner today.

SpeedPro Franchisee Project Spotlight: John and Stephanie Phelan

June 5, 2019

John and Stephanie Phelan recently had the opportunity to work alongside their son, Sean, who is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Michigan, providing the graphics to adorn an all-electric, formula-style racecar their son and his team had built from scratch for Michigan Electric Racing (MER).

It was a project that allowed them to stretch their technical and creative muscles as owners of SpeedPro North Shore, located in the northern suburbs of Chicago. And it’s a unique example of why the Phelans embraced the business in the first place.

A Business-to-Business Franchise Concept that Plays to the Couple’s Strengths

John had spent his career in a corporate setting focusing on international sales and marketing. Stephanie, meanwhile, had also worked in sales before her company had downsized her department, and she had then been a stay-at-home mom.

The pair eventually came to the realization that the entrepreneurial path was the best way forward.

“If we’re going to work for anyone, it might as well be for ourselves,” said John.

John and Stephanie had looked at different franchises and attended multiple discover days. SpeedPro stood out because of the blend of technology and creativity. John, specifically, had spent more than a decade with a leading international manufacturer of audio equipment, as well as a global tool manufacturer. Meanwhile, Stephanie had more of a creative background.

“I think that’s what SpeedPro is all about,” Stephanie explained. “There’s just a tremendous amount of technology and creativity that go into operating the business.”

The Michigan Electric Racing project showcases the pair’s skills as adept project managers and creative problem solvers.

Adding a Key Aesthetic Appeal to an Engineering Feat with Vehicle Graphics

The team at MER – formerly Michigan Hybrid Racing – design and build a formula-style racecar every year for a competition.

Since the Phelans’ son was part of this year’s team, the duo had the inside track for helping provide the graphics and decals for the vehicle.

However, the Phelans couldn’t simply wait for the team to build the car before they started designing the graphics.

“They originally sent us a mockup,” said John. “It had the sponsor logos and the racing stripes, and we worked with them from there.”

The car is hand-crafted from black carbon fiber elements. Any of the additional color on the racer is thanks to the graphics supplied by John and Stephanie.

The graphics that MER supplied the Phelans were created by a video game designer, so they were laid out in 3D renderings that a designer could manipulate and rotate. However, it was impossible to develop a flat file from which to print graphics using those designs.

Converting the 3D renderings into a flat file was one of the first steps for the Phelans in designing the graphics.

“That took quite a bit of work between their graphics team, our production manager and their sponsors,” John noted.

Another challenge that cropped up during the design stage was by virtue of the fact that the vehicle was a work in progress and many of the parts for the racecar were hand molded. As a result, some of the dimensions would change as the project moved along, which the Phelans then had to account for with their designs.

One workaround for the racing stripes, in particular, was printing them slightly larger than what they needed to be, so that when the Phelans went to apply them, they’d be able to trim them down by hand to fit properly.

“Installation took about nine hours,” Stephanie said. “And that’s mainly because they were still working on it, so we’d have to start and stop as pieces were installed or removed.”

The Phelans’ son had the honor of applying the final graphics to the car before the final unveiling.

A Project that Puts a Feather in the Phelans’ Cap

Although John and Stephanie have done projects in the field before, this was the first where they were somewhat in the dark as to what the final vehicle design would end up looking like. And their studio was roughly two states away.

“Even if you’re an hour away, a lot of the time you can run back to a SpeedPro studio and reprint or recut the design,” Stephanie noted. “This was really out there. There was no safety net”

At the same time, the pair were excited at the prospect of a fun project that would end up looking really cool. It ultimately ended up being a source of great pride for the whole family.

From a business perspective, the project also potentially opened the door to a new partnership with a small-format graphics provider.

“Their logo was missing from the car, so I went to look it up on their website and gave them a call,” said John. “I said, ‘If you ever need larger graphics, we can print at up to 74 inches and cut at 66 inches,’ and he responded that he was thinking about investing in a large-format printer but didn’t want to spend that much on equipment and would much rather work with us.”

So, while the MER racecar was a feel-good project, it also provided avenues for networking and growing their business.

To learn more SpeedPro franchising, download our information packet here.

How SpeedPro CEO Larry Oberly Embodies Company Culture/Vision

March 21, 2019

In order to succeed in the business-to-business (B2B) world, one of your key attributes must be the ability to build relationships. Those relationships are a cornerstone of SpeedPro’s success as the premier choice of businesses for wide-format graphics.

Since Larry Oberly became CEO of SpeedPro in late 2017, the franchise company has grown in large part because Larry lives to form connections – with clients, businesses and franchisees. It’s this quality that propelled him from owning ice cream shops to leading the growing wide-format printing franchise in a competitive industry.

Appreciating Cast Members

It was 1992 when Larry owned Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops in St. Louis, Missouri, when his leadership style of nurturing relationships in franchising began. It was born out of competition, realizing he had to do something to keep his employees from leaving to earn 10 cents an hour more at the fast-food hamburger chain down the street. Instead of paying more, he built an irresistible culture.

Larry cultivated an environment where comradery was part of the ice cream shop culture. By doing this, his best employees referred their friends to the business. This included referring to employees as “cast members,” which was a more humanized title and it encouraged his mostly teenage workforce to “perform” for customers.

Larry’s leadership style is also collaborative and consultative, which he has put to good use nurturing his professional relationships. This was evident at the work parties he hosted at his home, where Baskin-Robbins cast members created their own games to play.

Ultimately, Larry’s main store ranked No. 2 in terms of sales in a region consisting of 240 stores.

Team Spirit Achieves Results

Larry brought his leadership style to RE/MAX as a franchise development consultant in 1998 and was promoted three times in seven years at the real estate company. He served as Regional Vice President, Vice President of U.S. Regional Development and Vice President of Global Development.

Like at Larry’s Baskin-Robbins stores, he fostered a culture of comradery and celebrated accomplishments with his teams. For example, when new global master franchises visited Denver for training, Larry would host a welcome reception at his home with his team. He found these social gatherings to be an effective way to build relationships. The numbers speak for themselves.

As VP of the Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico Region between 2000 and 2005, Larry’s team added 120 franchises. In 2017, the global master franchises completed more than 800 franchise sales. This is just a smattering of the expansion that Larry and his teams achieved.

By the end of his tenure at RE/MAX, Larry was ready to lead a business in a more creative industry.

Focus on Growth and Franchisee Success

Since coming to SpeedPro at the end of 2017, Larry has made a point of visiting with most of the franchisees that make up the brand’s 130 locations at their studios and build relationships with them. While expanding the number of studios and increasing SpeedPro’s market share is important, Larry also wants to make sure existing franchisees are profitable.

“My goal is to grow our brand well beyond 130 studios, of course,” he said. “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.”

To make sure all franchisees feel involved, Larry either films a video or does a live webinar every three weeks or less for studio owners, so they are informed, share ideas, provide education and ask questions to reach common understandings between the home office and the team on the frontlines. Larry will begin hosting town hall meetings in major markets in May.

SpeedPro is a franchise concept that requires studio owners to get out in their communities, network with other business owners and build relationships with them. It’s fitting then that relationship building is what drives SpeedPro’s CEO.

“I love that the SpeedPro model requires studio owners to engage with their customers to acquire more and retain who they serve,” Larry said. “It’s all about the collaborative and consultative spirit, and using creativity and innovation to help other businesses solve their marketing needs.”

To learn more about what sets SpeedPro apart from other franchise opportunities, visit our website.

SpeedPro Continues to Earn Industry Recognition

March 15, 2019

For more than 20 years, SpeedPro has stood at the forefront of the wide-format printing industry, providing enterprising entrepreneurs with the opportunity to build a business uniquely positioned in the business-to-business franchise sector.

Across the United States, there are over 130 SpeedPro Imaging studios owned and operated by local business owners who are able to capitalize on a business model built around minimal staff, repeat clientele and high-margin projects that provide exceptional opportunities to scale and grow.

It’s for these and many other reasons that SpeedPro continues to be recognized by the franchise industry and larger business communities.

Here’s just a sampling of some of our recent accolades:

10 Years and Counting as a Leading Large-Format Graphics Franchise

We were once again recognized in the exclusive Franchise 500® by Entrepreneur. Since 2009, SpeedPro has been included in the prestigious ranking, reflecting our consistently strong growth and our dedication to helping franchisees succeed at the unit level – in fact, we have one field consultant for every 12 franchise business owners, which is a far better ratio than the 1:20-40 average you see across franchising.

The magazine evaluates franchise brands based on a number of key factors, including costs and fees, size and growth, corporate support, brand strength and financial strength. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500® in ranking order.

SpeedPro was also selected by Franchise Gator as a Top 100 franchise for 2019. This is the 6th annual Top 100 list the online franchise directory has been released and was developed to assist prospective franchisees in their search for a franchise opportunity to invest in. The list focuses on identifying franchisors with strong growth potential at an investment level that is more in line with the average franchise buyer.

SpeedPro is ranked as the number 53 franchise opportunity overall. The ranking was developed using a formula based on several criteria including financial stability, growth, sustainability, profitability, transparency and franchisee satisfaction.

“Each opportunity on the Top 100 list has demonstrated strong growth potential coming into the new year,” said Eric Bell, General Manager at Franchise Gator. “Not only are these opportunities among the very best in the industry, but they also offer a solid investment for the everyday franchise buyer.”

Innovation at the Heart of Our Wide-Format Printing Franchise

In addition to franchise industry recognition, SpeedPro Imaging was recently included among the “The 10 Most Innovative Print Management Companies 2018,” according to Insights Success, a magazine dedicated to providing business leaders and executives with a platform for sharing their experiences and perspectives.

A contributing factor to the recognition is the fact that SpeedPro is leading the way in wide-format printing technology and solutions, which is the fastest growing segment of the printing industry.

With brand messaging and advertising proliferating across digital channels, an increasing number of companies are seeking solutions to reach and influence their target audiences using large-format graphics, including exterior signage, wall murals, window decals, vehicle wraps and a wide variety of other graphics. Clients seek out SpeedPro franchisees on a consultative basis, working with them as an extension of their marketing and advertising teams to bring their projects to life.

Want to learn more? Check out how our business model distinguishes us as a franchise opportunity.