Printing Services Franchises in the UK

28/09/2018 18:00 | Start a business

printing services

The printing industry is home to some of the most successful franchises in the UK. The size of the industry, as well as constant innovation by businesses within it, ensure that there are always opportunities for individuals who want to open their own business. Here, we take a look at the industry as a whole and some of the most popular franchises to invest in.

Printing industry

The printing industry is incredibly competitive and consists of a diverse array of businesses, delivering incredibly varied services. While many organisations offer business to business services, others cater to student populations or advertise themselves as marketing experts. This means that companies need to provide an affordable service and distinguish themselves from the competition if they're to succeed.

Fortunately, the print industry is large enough to sustain a wealth of business opportunities. The UK print industry is the world's fifth largest producer of printed materials and generates £13.8 billion in turnover each year. It contributes approximately £5.8 billion to the national economy and employs more than 115,000 people.

Franchising has proven particularly successful in the industry because of its ability to take a simple business plan, develop a strong brand identity, and facilitate rapid expansion across a large area. While there are extremely popular print franchises that originated in the UK, most of the biggest names in the industry have been imported from the US.

Printing services London

In London, the Minuteman Press franchise is particularly prevalent, though there are other franchises in operation. Due to the concentration of businesses in the capital, print businesses receive high quantities of b2b custom and often successfully combine straightforward print services with marketing consultancy services.

Businesses in London are typically at the forefront of the industry and generally keep abreast of the latest technological developments. They're the first to utilise new techniques and employ new printing technology, ensuring they remain ahead of printing businesses elsewhere in the country. This makes the city the ideal place to launch a franchise, as a flagship store in the capital sets the standard and allows you to establish yourself at the head of the industry.

In-store print shops

In-store print shops are by far the most popular type of business arrangement in the UK. They require physical premises and cater to both passing trade and enquiries received on the back of the business' marketing efforts. Depending on the franchise, each company will offer different types of services. Though nearly all will provide essential print products, such as business cards, copies, and leaflets, others will go further and operate a design consultancy service, too.

The biggest name in UK print franchising is Minuteman Press. Though the company originates in the US and has existed for more than 40 years, it now has more than 25 years of experience in the UK market and understands precisely what it takes to succeed. Over the years, they've developed their services to ensure that they're able to provide the modern consumer and business clients with everything they need to create, develop, and distribute print materials.

The offer a wide range of products, including clothing, banners, blueprints, packaging, stickers, flyers, and reports, amongst other things. Theyll also help you develop a distinct brand identity, create eye-catching infographics, and design logos. In other words, theyre a one-stop shop for all your printing and marketing needs.

Though many other in-store print franchises are operating around the country, Minuteman is the organisation that offers the best-developed franchise package and can offer their franchisees the most. Though they're an established and reputable business, the franchise fee remains affordable, and new franchisees can expect to invest around £55,000 to get their unit off the ground. Compared to many other franchises the vast majority of which don't benefit from as recognisable a name or brand identity this should be considered a very reasonable price to pay.

Online printing services

As with all industries, the print sector has been heavily impacted by the growing influence of the internet and e-commerce. While in-store print services are still dominant, there are more and more businesses attempting to take their work online and limit the need for a physical "brick and mortar" store.

Due to the nature of the franchise system, franchising has had a limited role to play in the online print sector. Franchising typically depends on being able to offer franchisees access to an exclusive territory or guaranteeing them customers. However, online print stores aren't particularly well suited to this type of business, as online customers can come from anywhere and everywhere.

That being said, ASKPrint attempted to franchise their online print shop in 2015. However, there is little information as to how successful this attempt was and the company, though still in operation, are not currently looking for franchisees. While there are obvious difficulties to overcome when considering online print franchising, there is also a gap in the market.

Photo professionals

Alongside your traditional print shop, there are also photo specialist franchises to think about. These businesses focus on high-quality photo printing, manipulation, and marketing, though they'll generally offer other services, too. One of the key UK franchises in this sector is Snappy Snaps.

Snappy Snaps have been around since 1983 and have grown into one of the countrys leading photo printing specialists. While they offer standard photo printing services, they also apply your photographs to merchandise or clothing and stock an extensive range of personalised photo gifts.

To become a franchisee with Snappy Snaps, you'll need to raise a total investment of around £140,000. However, this figure will vary depending on your location and the size of the store.

Signs and specialist printing

Finally, potential franchisees should also consider sign printing specialists. The leading franchise in this sector is FASTSIGNS. With over 660 units spread across the planet and over 30 years of experience, FASTSIGNS is an ideal opportunity for an individual who feels as though they require expert advice and support when setting up their business. A FASTSIGNS franchise unit will cost approximately £120,000 to set up, though much of this can be financed by a major lender.

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