Signwave expands to South Australia

Signs and graphics franchise Signwave Australia is opening its first shop in South Australia, with new owners Jodie and Ian Sims, who already run another Adelaide business, window tinter Window Shield.

The new store located in Mild End, a western inner suburb in Adelaide, is the first opened by the current management of Signwave since they took over four years ago. The company has further plans for expansion, with another new store to open in Perth in a month and hopes to enter the Brisbane scene.

Sims says, “Expanding into signage was a natural progression to complement the tinting business. Co-branding with Signwave was appealing because of the support and resources of a national brand, while allowing me to help support the visual communication needs of this city’s ever-growing festival industry – among other opportunities.”

Linda Sultmann, general manager for Signwave Australia says, “It is our strategy to complete the national network. We wanted to cover Brisbane and Adelaide and as it happened, we had the opportunity to open in Adelaide first.

“We were interested in cobranding so you can have two stores collaborating or and independent shop could cobrand with a product range. For Jodie and Ian, who come from tinting windows, it is a nice product expansion. We put out a call for expressions of interest through ProPrint and a number of other places’ mailing lists and that is how they got in contact with us. They saw an opportunity for growth, going into a new product range and they are able to reach into their current client base with Window Shields.

“It is a brand new centre and it has a HP latex printer, a roller applicator, a plotting machine and a new point of sales system that is online. We made sure we had the latest technology for the shop.

 “We have got a chap on the Gold Coast who is interested in opening a franchise, so we might have a centre in the Gold Coast before Brisbane. We will be launching marketing to fill the gap in the market there. It is good that we have this momentum going. We have a new centre opening in Perth in one month. Currently we have one in Belmont and the new one will be in Osbourne Park.

“The response to the new store has been good, we have posted on our social media and we have been seeing likes. People are becoming aware that we are now there and we have only been open for three days.

[Related: Signwave implementing growth scheme]

 “The market and clients are responding to our proposition. The success of our network has come from providing a dependable, knowledgeable and professional visual communications service based on problem-solving and providing comprehensive solutions.

“We urge printers not to play the fool’s game of cutting prices. The print industry is challenged for growth and profitability so now is the time for printers looking to diversify or switch to signage and independent sign business to convert to the Signwave brand to grow.

“We wanted to claim the mid tier market place. We had different goals from when the business opened in 1995. We are not looking to open 100 centres, we are looking towards 35 or 40 but producing a higher volume of work. It took us a year longer than we thought it would, but we were aligning the existing owners to that vision."

Signwave says signage is estimated to be a $5.8bn market in Australia.

Dean Rowlands, franchise operations manager says, “We are excited about the momentum we are building to complete our national network and the excellent returns we are providing our centre owners.”

“We see Signwave as a great opportunity for commercially minded people to open new centres or as a conversion or cobrand opportunity for sign, print or even more window tinting businesses

Signwave says in the past year it saw an increase in average invoice values – well exceeding the company benchmark of $1000 average, with 40 per cent of centres exceeding $1m average centre sales. Its parent company, Fastsigns was named the number one franchise opportunity in its category on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500.

Rowlands says, “Prospective owners are responding to our key differentiators.  We are a B2B franchise focusing on only one brand with industry experts providing the training and support, so our franchisees can be experts day one."

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