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Melbourne, Australia


Australian Franchise News – 11-07-14


SIGNWAVE a leading visual communications/sign and graphics franchise with more than 535 centres worldwide (known as FASTSIGNS internationally) today announced Craig Buchanan as the new owner of SIGWAVE South Melbourne.

Previously owned by one of SIGNWAVE’s three Master Franchisors, Leo Baker, the store was established in 2000 and built into one of the organisation’s top earning franchises.

Since acquiring the master franchise licence six months ago, Baker and business partners Dean Rowland and Linda Sultmann have been working tirelessly to assess the company’s systems and processes and are now instigating changes that will further support current centres and their owners. They also plan to move to a proactive strategy for franchise development in 2015 in response to a growing number of expressions of interest from prospective franchisees.

“Things are definitely hotting up for SIGNWAVE in Australia,” says Baker. “Since taking over the local ownership of the brand, we have received many enquiries from people interested in opening new centres, converting their existing sign business or co-branding with SIGNWAVE, so selling South Melbourne allows me to fully focus on my role in franchise support and development.”

With SIGNWAVE Australia expected to expand significantly in the coming year, the sale has given Baker first-hand experience on what is required for a smooth transition on both entering and exiting the franchise. “Both Dean and I can relate to the franchise owner experience and know how to make it work for everyone’s best interests. Through Linda’s recent market research and business analysis, we have discovered there is still strong market generated demand for signage and graphics and combined with the project trends that are emerging as a result of new print technology innovations, it is obvious there is scope for so much more market growth – despite some recent, incredibly short sighted claims by others, that the industry is contracting.”

He adds, “We believe turning a franchise into a highly profitable enterprise is more easily achieved by individuals with a strong commercial background, experience in people management and skilled in sales and Craig Buchanan certainly fits this profile.”

With over 20 years in sales, marketing and business management in commercial environments, Craig sees the opportunity for the industry and the SIGNWAVE brand in Australia. “The attraction for me was a combination of the commercial return the business model can generate; the support offered by the SIGNWAVE network; and, most importantly, that SIGNWAVE’s B2B focus means that the hours are very lifestyle and family friendly,” says Buchanan.