Entrepreneur grows 20% per year to become million-dollar star

A million-dollar regional franchise has beaten almost 100 other stores to the title of Signarama's leading business.

Signarama Tuggerah received the Most Valuable Player Award ahead of 96 other franchises, six years after being founded as a greenfield site by Tim Andersen.

[Photos: Drinks and awards]

Andersen said the nine-staff signage shop had achieved $1 million in sales for the first time in 2012 and had also passed that mark this calendar year.

"I think the thing we've been lucky with is that we've had continued steady growth. We've grown about 20% per year and that has helped to be able to plan and put staff on at appropriate times," he told ProPrint.

The New South Wales franchise, which is located just north of Gosford, was also named Signarama's Regional Store of the Year in 2011.

Andersen said his success had been driven by hard work, an "absolute determination that I wasn't going to fail", adherence to Signarama's systems and a strong focus on sales.

He said he'd had to work especially hard in the early days when he did a mix of sales, production, installation and office work, but had since been able to reduce his workload because he was now mainly involved with sales.

[Profile: Meet Signarama's Australian boss]

He added that he would probably take on a more strategic role in the future.

"I'm at a crossroads at the moment. The business is probably at a stage where I need to let go of some of the sales," he said.

"I'm probably getting to the stage where I need to put on another salesperson, and concentrate on the top-ten customers and concentrate on fixing up workplace practices that I can see dipping because I haven't had the time to focus on them."

Andersen told ProPrint he had no print or signage experience when he founded the business.

The franchise spent its first five years at a 285sqm leased shop and then moved into its own 360sqm site in 2012. It runs a Roland DG wide-format device, HP latex printer, Summa plotter and Royal Sovereign laminator, he said.

Andersen received his award at Signarama's biennial conference in Adelaide. Regional franchises claimed 10 of the 18 awards.

 

WINNERS LIST

Most valuable player

Tuggerah, New South Wales

Marketing achievement

Burleigh Heads, Queensland

Team player

Casino, New South Wales

Customer service

Boronia, Victoria

Mentor of the year

Peter Reading, Bendigo, Victoria

Regional store of the year

Wollongong, New South Wales

Management award

Bankstown, New South Wales

Overall improvement

Osborne Park, Western Australia

Rookie of the year

Albury-Wodonga, New South Wales

Vehicle graphics – vinyl only

Wollongong, New South Wales

Vehicle wraps – full digital

North Manly, New South Wales

Vehicle wraps – combination digital & vinyl

Casino, New South Wales

3D/router output

Gympie, Queensland

Electrical – neon & illuminated

City North, New South Wales

In-house design concept

Joondalup, Western Australia

Statutory & directional

Bendigo, New South Wales

Self-promotion

Bankstown, New South Wales

Digital printing

Bankstown, New South Wales

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