It's widely accepted that creative industries are the most rapidly growing part of the UK economy, and in 2017 the sector contributed £101.5 billion gross value added (GVA) (creativeindustriesfederation.com). One of the 12 sub-sectors is design (product, fashion, graphic), and the focus of this article will be the latter. Today, we are going to provide some background into graphic design in the UK and the different forms it takes, then we are going to explore five of the best graphic design franchise opportunities.
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It’s thought that the average person’s attention span when visiting a new website lasts 15 seconds. As businesses compete for customers, an eye-catching brand identity can make all the difference. Many small businesses are prepared to part with substantial amounts of cash for the development of a new logo.
The design sector was responsible for around £3.95 billion of GVA in 2017, which was an increase of 7.7 percent from 2016. At the moment, there are around 163,000 design jobs in the UK, and it’s predicted that the total contribution of the design economy (including everyone employed in design job roles, and based on productivity, turnover and employment) is £71.7 billion (The Design Council).
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The value of descriptive and original graphics is clear to see, be that on the company website, in their store or in their signage. So, if you fancy using your creative eye to launch a profitable graphic design franchise, read on.
What is graphic design and what different forms does it take?
Graphic design involves creating visual content to communicate specific messages in a way that optimises the user experience. Graphic designers take on projects from various clients and, as a result, must become adept at meeting with art directors or other businesspeople to establish their requirements for a project. They perform a number of different tasks, including, but not limited to, creating content for signs and banners, email campaigns, websites, logos and product artwork, and generating pictures or graphics for anything that helps to establish a company’s image and ethos.
Because we as humans are swayed by attractive and colourful images and graphics, businesses that have spent time developing an eye-catching brand identity are much more likely to win the attention of customers than businesses who present themselves with dull or unimaginative graphics.
Why is starting a graphic design franchise a good idea?
- 1. In demand. With graphic designers in constant demand; there is never a bad time to join the industry. Given the broad range of methods used by businesses to promote their brand, graphic designers can find themselves working on a number of different projects, from online, to print, mail and signage.
- Express creativity. A job in the graphic design industry also allows high levels of creativity and is relatively affordable, enabling a designer to work from wherever they are, with just a computer installed with design software. This also means that graphic designers have the option to go freelance with minimal expenses.
Graphic Design Franchises
Point Franchise does not currently offer any franchising opportunities within graphic design businesses, but those interested in becoming a graphic designer have many options outside of opening a franchise. Working freelance or for an established graphic design company are viable options, but here are some franchising opportunities that incorporate graphic design into their product/service.
Operating under the motto “More than fast. More than signs.”, Fastsigns creates a variety of products, including print and digital graphics, promotional products and exhibitions. The brand, which began franchising in 1986, is involved from the very start of a project all the way through to production and installation.
There are currently around 675 centres in 10 countries across the globe. 20 of these centres are here in the UK.
What will I get in return for my investment?
Franchisees do not need any industry experience or knowledge of the business, and after a total investment of £120,000, will benefit from a comprehensive training scheme to equip them with all the necessary tools to launch their own successful franchise.
You will also receive:
- Protected territories and assistance selecting a suitable location
- A franchisee mentoring programme
- Preopening marketing campaigns
- Support and guidance for the big launch
- Dedicated business consultants
This list isn’t extensive either. For full details of what is included in the franchise package, click here.
Who is the ideal Fastsigns franchisee?
If you’re eager to be part of this exciting opportunity, you need to be highly motivated and extremely hardworking. Previous experience in a management position is preferred but isn’t essential.
2.Activ Net Marketing
Activ Net Marketing is one of the first digital marketing franchises in the UK. With 11 years of experience in the industry, the graphic design business has established a loyal customer base that look no further than Activ Net Marketing for their web design services.
According to the ambitious brand, 35 percent of the 5.7 million small and medium-sized UK businesses don’t have a web presence. Therefore, the market opportunity is huge and presents unlimited scope for attracting existing and new businesses who require web design support.
With Activ Net Marketing, franchisees have the option to work from home either part or full-time. There are countless benefits to this – to learn more, click here.
How much does it cost to invest in Activ Net Marketing?
Franchisees have to make a minimum investment of £9,995 to be accepted as an Activ Net Marketing franchisee. In return, you will have access to a three-day training programme that provides an introduction to the products offered and strategies and software used. You don’t have to be a tech expert to thrive as an Activ Net Marketing franchisee because the easy-to-use software can be operated with the most basic of computer skills.
Who is this opportunity aimed at?
This is the perfect career change for entrepreneurs who want a healthier work-life balance, as its bespoke software package means you can work whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. It’s also aimed at individuals who want to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them grow their business. Having an interest in digital tech is a bonus and certainly will help.
What sort of candidate is Activ Net Marketing looking for?
Those interested only need basic digital skills but must be comfortable and confident approaching and collaborating with local companies to gain business. Having taken advantage of this franchising opportunity, business owners can expect to make between £1,000 and £5,000 every month.
This franchise has been in the business for around 30 years and, in that time, it has earned itself the title of the largest and leading signs franchise in the UK. There are currently over 65 centres providing everything from digital signage to window graphics to outdoor business signs.
Do I need experience in the industry to become a Signs Express franchisee?
No, you don’t! Signs Express will train you in all areas of the business and the dedicated support team will be there every step of the way. If you have any queries, help is only a phone call away.
How much does it cost?
The total investment required is £115,000. The franchisee capital requirement is between £40,000 and £45,000, and the typical bank loan is £60,000-£70,000. What’s more, as Signs Express is so eager to see its franchisees succeed, it invests the franchise fee plus an extra £10,000 back into all new business start-up costs. This saves you a massive £30,000 on your investment. Also, it’s been found that Signs Express franchises achieve a 47 percent higher turnover than the industry standard (British Signs & Graphics Association).
4. Minuteman Press
Originally from the US, this printing and marketing brand is one of the most widely recognised ones across the globe.
Interested candidates need to have a solid understanding of marketing strategies and be able to follow the business plan successfully. You don’t, however, need to have any experience in the industry, as the two-week training programme will cover everything you need.
You need to make a minimum investment of around £25,000 to become a Minuteman franchisee but, in total, around £50,000 in capital is required.
Spoton.net was founded in 2003 and adopted the franchise model in 2008. When you join this franchise, you will become your very own digital marketing business owner and be the go-to choice when local SMEs need help with their website or need digital marketing services.
Training will include spending five days at the head office, and then a day with an existing franchisee, learning how they operate day to day. Having experience in graphic design or digital marketing is advantageous, as you can share your expertise with clients. To invest in Spoton.net, you’ll need a total of £14,000.
Graphic design franchises - shall I start my own?
Starting a graphic design franchise is a great way for you to use your creativity and capitalise on the high demand. While there aren’t many strictly graphic design franchise opportunities, many businesses incorporate elements of the broad field into their offering. If you’re keen to enter a design-related sector, you may not have considered starting a driveway design franchise; for instance, Daniel Moquet. Click here to find out more.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©