Wagga printer eyes growth by bolting on Signarama franchise

The Wagga Wagga commercial printer expects to open its signage franchise in August. Active Mail and Signarama Wagga will be run from the same building but will have different shopfronts and operate as separate businesses, said co-owner David Foster.

Foster said that he and partner Alan Dejong, who have owned Active Print since 1991, saw wide-format printing as a growth area and had identified “plenty of synergies between a signage business and a commercial printer”.

He said Signarama would be marketed to all of Active Print’s clients – and that Active Print would be marketed to future Signarama customers.

[Profile: Meet Signarama’s local boss]

“I would imagine that we have the opportunity to sell signage to everyone on our client list,” he told ProPrint.

“We believe that with our existing client list and database, we will get reasonable growth in the first 12 months and be able to meet our budget expectations.

“From there, we hope to continue to expand the business and get it to a level that’s comparable to other Signarama businesses across Australia.”

Foster said he was unsure what signage margins would be like, but expected they would be healthier than print margins due to the lower competition.

He said another reason Active Mail opted for Signarama was because the franchisees they consulted spoke highly of the support provided by head office and the brand’s reputation.

Foster said the franchise would hire extra staff in the future, but would initially rely on a team drawn from Active Print’s 14 employees. One staffer will be dedicated to Signarama, while several others will work across both businesses.

Active Print has a five-colour Shinohara, a four-colour Ryobi, a two-colour Shinohara, a two-colour Ryobi and a B&W Fuji Xerox, he said. The firm ordered an HP Designjet LX26500 latex printer at PacPrint for signage production, he added.

Foster told ProPrint he was optimistic Active Print could continue growing, despite the tough market. He said Wagga Wagga had “a good flow of money coming into the city”, which is home to Charles Sturt University and a major armed services base.

[Related: More news about regional printers]

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