FASTSIGNS

30 09, 2020

Turning the Tide with Courage and Positivity

2020-09-30T17:57:54-04:00September 30th, 2020|Tags: , , |

Catherine Monson is recognized again this year by Franchise Dictionary Magazine as one of the WOW: 50 Women Of Wonder and she graces our cover for excellent reasons. Under her leadership as CEO of FASTSIGNS since 2009, the brand has become one of the country’s largest franchise companies. It has benefited significantly from Monson’s strategic positioning and her franchising and broad business and marketing experience. By Rose Mango

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31 05, 2020

A Day in the Life of a FASTSIGNS Franchise Owner

2020-06-01T14:52:41-04:00May 31st, 2020|Tags: , , , , |

For more than a decade, Brent Walker worked as a contract ICU nurse, traveling from Michigan to Southern California, offering his services in 14 different hospitals. He was burned out and looking for a career transition when a friend started talking about an entrepreneurial opportunity. By Jessica Jones

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1 10, 2019

October 2019: FASTSIGNS® CEO Catherine Monson

2019-10-03T17:06:06-04:00October 1st, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

ON THE COVER

Leading the Charge

CEO of FASTSIGNS® outlines the must-have ingredients for business success

by Rose Mango

Catherine Monson
FASTSIGNS

FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson leads one of the country’s largest franchise companies. She tapped her education and tenacity to overcome many obstacles in reaching the top spot at the company and in becoming one of the franchise industry’s most respected leaders. Monson says she is driven to make – and keep – FASTSIGNS the nation’s best franchise, and she has worked tirelessly to cultivate a culture that fosters an exceptional work environment.

As she navigated life and career challenges to the top spot at FASTSIGNS, Monson says she learned early, at least for herself, that although women may have been told they can have it all, they really can’t. “I don’t believe anyone can have it all,” Monson says. “Vince Lombardi said, ‘To achieve success, whatever the job, we must pay the price.’ I believe there is a cost to becoming an excellent CEO. I believe there is a price to be paid.” That opinion may be controversial, but Monson looks at business and her career as “a professional meritocracy.” Much like sports, she says, you must stay laser-focused, build muscle strength, and push-push-push every day, “always perfecting your game.”

“Although I had a tough childhood that was marked by hardship and some tragedy, I found a way to have self-discipline and to think about all the things I have to be grateful for. I chose not to be a victim of a bad childhood. The ability to discipline the mind and develop a positive mental attitude is a learned skill that everyone can develop.”

Monson sees herself as an educator as well as a leader. “I love teaching people how to set and achieve goals. Self-motivation is key. You don’t have to do twice as much as anybody else. You just have to do 2% more, 5% more. You develop the discipline to learn how to make yourself do one more thing each day. I developed the habit of deciding, ‘OK, I’m going do one more thing before I leave today.’ It’s about learning to stretch yourself.”

Perseverance also has been crucial to her success, she says. “Never give up. Don’t give in. If it is important to you, keep trying. You must surround yourself with positivity. At FASTSIGNS Corporate, we created a hallway that envelops you in positivity as you walk through. We call it Inspiration Hall. It is filled with over 150 quotes on positive mental attitude, goal-directed behavior, self-motivation, perseverance, and never stopping learning.” Monson says. “It helps all team member fill their minds with positive and motivating messages. It’s part of our culture.”

Another element of that culture is empowering male and female franchisees alike. “Women, just as men, can do anything they put their minds to. FASTSIGNS has many female franchisees that are single moms, married with a family, all kinds of women who are very successful franchise owners.

We also have a great deal of women who are sales professionals working for our franchisees. None of them would say being a female is a detriment,” Monson insists. “What they would say is, ‘As long as I am smart and as good as or better than my competition, it doesn’t matter at all that I am a woman.’ The truth is, if you’re not bringing the most value, you won’t succeed the most.”

The company’s respected brand is a big help to all of its franchisees, she says. “The brand has created a proven, successful, winning business model. FASTSIGNS teaches our franchisees our proven method of doing business, right on down to how to make signs that happen to be higher quality and dot it more efficiently than other ways to make signs. We have created a certain way that our centers look, and we have a customer-focused approach that is unbeatable. We have built a proven model for success, and our franchisees benefit from that.”

FASTSIGNS franchise owners can still flex their individuality, though. “Our franchisees create their work environment based on their personality. Our franchisees contribute to their local communities in the way that fulfills themselves. Our franchisees put their own personal stamp on their business in the context of looking and acting like a FASTSIGNS franchise that is recognizable for its superb quality and customer service. We give our franchisees the tools to fulfill our brand promise to ensure the consumer knows what they’re getting.”

To learn more: https://www.fastsigns.com

ON THE COVER

Leading the Charge

CEO of FASTSIGNS® outlines the must-have ingredients for business success

by Rose Mango

Catherine Monson
FASTSIGNS

FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson leads one of the country’s largest franchise companies. She tapped her education and tenacity to overcome many obstacles in reaching the top spot at the company and in becoming one of the franchise industry’s most respected leaders. Monson says she is driven to make – and keep – FASTSIGNS the nation’s best franchise, and she has worked tirelessly to cultivate a culture that fosters an exceptional work environment.

As she navigated life and career challenges to the top spot at FASTSIGNS, Monson says she learned early, at least for herself, that although women may have been told they can have it all, they really can’t. “I don’t believe anyone can have it all,” Monson says. “Vince Lombardi said, ‘To achieve success, whatever the job, we must pay the price.’ I believe there is a cost to becoming an excellent CEO. I believe there is a price to be paid.” That opinion may be controversial, but Monson looks at business and her career as “a professional meritocracy.” Much like sports, she says, you must stay laser-focused, build muscle strength, and push-push-push every day, “always perfecting your game.”

“Although I had a tough childhood that was marked by hardship and some tragedy, I found a way to have self-discipline and to think about all the things I have to be grateful for. I chose not to be a victim of a bad childhood. The ability to discipline the mind and develop a positive mental attitude is a learned skill that everyone can develop.”

Monson sees herself as an educator as well as a leader. “I love teaching people how to set and achieve goals. Self-motivation is key. You don’t have to do twice as much as anybody else. You just have to do 2% more, 5% more. You develop the discipline to learn how to make yourself do one more thing each day. I developed the habit of deciding, ‘OK, I’m going do one more thing before I leave today.’ It’s about learning to stretch yourself.”

Perseverance also has been crucial to her success, she says. “Never give up. Don’t give in. If it is important to you, keep trying. You must surround yourself with positivity. At FASTSIGNS Corporate, we created a hallway that envelops you in positivity as you walk through. We call it Inspiration Hall. It is filled with over 150 quotes on positive mental attitude, goal-directed behavior, self-motivation, perseverance, and never stopping learning.” Monson says. “It helps all team member fill their minds with positive and motivating messages. It’s part of our culture.”

Another element of that culture is empowering male and female franchisees alike. “Women, just as men, can do anything they put their minds to. FASTSIGNS has many female franchisees that are single moms, married with a family, all kinds of women who are very successful franchise owners.

We also have a great deal of women who are sales professionals working for our franchisees. None of them would say being a female is a detriment,” Monson insists. “What they would say is, ‘As long as I am smart and as good as or better than my competition, it doesn’t matter at all that I am a woman.’ The truth is, if you’re not bringing the most value, you won’t succeed the most.”

The company’s respected brand is a big help to all of its franchisees, she says. “The brand has created a proven, successful, winning business model. FASTSIGNS teaches our franchisees our proven method of doing business, right on down to how to make signs that happen to be higher quality and dot it more efficiently than other ways to make signs. We have created a certain way that our centers look, and we have a customer-focused approach that is unbeatable. We have built a proven model for success, and our franchisees benefit from that.”

FASTSIGNS franchise owners can still flex their individuality, though. “Our franchisees create their work environment based on their personality. Our franchisees contribute to their local communities in the way that fulfills themselves. Our franchisees put their own personal stamp on their business in the context of looking and acting like a FASTSIGNS franchise that is recognizable for its superb quality and customer service. We give our franchisees the tools to fulfill our brand promise to ensure the consumer knows what they’re getting.”

To learn more: https://www.fastsigns.com

31 03, 2019

April 2019: Franchisee of the Month

2019-04-01T13:40:20-04:00March 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Going all-in on their next chapter

by Jill Abrahamsen

Stephanie Basile-Drileck and her husband Chuck did their due diligence before finally investing in a FASTSIGNS® business. The San Antonio couple looked at opportunities in every area of franchising—from food to fitness—and then weighed the pros and cons to each industry. Finally, they decided that drawing on their advertising and marketing backgrounds was the way to go.

“While we didn’t know anything about creating or installing signs, we did know how to help people market their businesses. Our advertising experience helps us help our customers. Collaborating comes naturally for both of us,” Chuck says. The couple ultimately chose FASTSIGNS above other brands because of franchisees’ comments about the company. “FASTSIGNS gave us a list of all their current store owners, not just the ones they wanted us to talk to,” Stephanie says. “Across the board, everyone we spoke to had great things to say.”

For Chuck and Stephanie, the process of looking and deciding took a couple of years. “This was a big investment for us and we wanted to make the right choice,” Chuck explains. “The FASTSIGNS brand is very strong and has a great reputation.”
Once the couple signed the agreement, the corporate team guided them through every step. “The support is amazing,” Stephanie says. “There are more than 120 people working in the corporate office to guarantee our success. That’s a great feeling.”

Besides wanting to invest in a solid business, another must-have for the Drilecks was a franchise that let them contribute to their community. “We get to do that with FASTSIGNS. We never turn down an opportunity to help people,” Stephanie says. They work regularly with the Petco Foundation and the Fisher House, providing signage for events and helping raise money. “It feels good to give back,” she adds.

The Drilecks love that they can customize the business to their market and to their strengths as business owners. “We can add on services as we wish, but don’t have to offer everything FASTSIGNS produces,” Chuck says. “We are able to scale the business at our own pace.” In fact, the Drilecks plan to open another location and will bring their daughter on board to help.

The Drilecks are thrilled with their decision to go with FASTSIGNS. “We get great joy from what we’re doing now. I only wish we had done this 20 years ago,” Chuck says.

For more information, visit www.fastsigns.com or call 214-346-5679.

Share this story

Going all-in on their next chapter

by Jill Abrahamsen

Stephanie Basile-Drileck and her husband Chuck did their due diligence before finally investing in a FASTSIGNS® business. The San Antonio couple looked at opportunities in every area of franchising—from food to fitness—and then weighed the pros and cons to each industry. Finally, they decided that drawing on their advertising and marketing backgrounds was the way to go.

“While we didn’t know anything about creating or installing signs, we did know how to help people market their businesses. Our advertising experience helps us help our customers. Collaborating comes naturally for both of us,” Chuck says. The couple ultimately chose FASTSIGNS above other brands because of franchisees’ comments about the company. “FASTSIGNS gave us a list of all their current store owners, not just the ones they wanted us to talk to,” Stephanie says. “Across the board, everyone we spoke to had great things to say.”

For Chuck and Stephanie, the process of looking and deciding took a couple of years. “This was a big investment for us and we wanted to make the right choice,” Chuck explains. “The FASTSIGNS brand is very strong and has a great reputation.”
Once the couple signed the agreement, the corporate team guided them through every step. “The support is amazing,” Stephanie says. “There are more than 120 people working in the corporate office to guarantee our success. That’s a great feeling.”

Besides wanting to invest in a solid business, another must-have for the Drilecks was a franchise that let them contribute to their community. “We get to do that with FASTSIGNS. We never turn down an opportunity to help people,” Stephanie says. They work regularly with the Petco Foundation and the Fisher House, providing signage for events and helping raise money. “It feels good to give back,” she adds.

The Drilecks love that they can customize the business to their market and to their strengths as business owners. “We can add on services as we wish, but don’t have to offer everything FASTSIGNS produces,” Chuck says. “We are able to scale the business at our own pace.” In fact, the Drilecks plan to open another location and will bring their daughter on board to help.

The Drilecks are thrilled with their decision to go with FASTSIGNS. “We get great joy from what we’re doing now. I only wish we had done this 20 years ago,” Chuck says.

For more information, visit www.fastsigns.com or call 214-346-5679.

Share this story

18 02, 2019

FASTSIGNS International, Inc. Executives to Share Insights at the 2019 International Franchise Association Convention

2019-02-18T16:35:10-05:00February 18th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

CARROLLTON, Texas — Executive team members from FASTSIGNS International, Inc., franchisor of FASTSIGNS(R), the leading sign, graphics and visual communications franchise worldwide, will share their insights with attendees at the 2019 International Franchise Association (IFA) Convention being held in Las Vegas, Nevada from February 24 through February 27.

Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc., Vice Chair of the IFA, Chair of the FranPac Task Force and a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), and Mark Jameson, the Executive Vice-President  of Franchise Support and Development at FASTSIGNS International, a member of the IFA’s International Committee and also a CFE, will both serve as Problem Solving Mentors during the “Emerging Franchisor Boot Camp.” They will share insights that help people leading new franchise systems improve franchisee results,  increase unit growth, foster positive franchisee relationships, overcome business challenges and much more.

Monson will also moderate a breakout session titled “C-Suite Think Tank and Forum Exchange,” where she will facilitate an interactive discussion focusing on the biggest challenges Franchisor C-Suite leaders are faced with and brainstorm potential solutions. Jameson will also host a Business Solution Roundtable with Natalie Barnes, President of Business Alliance, Inc., called “Outbound Franchisee Recruiting – Utilizing Brokers/Consultants”.

Drue Townsend, Senior Vice-President of Marketing at FASTSIGNS International, will serve on a panel during a Learning Lab session titled “Finding Balance Amidst Chaos: Learn How to Leverage the Best Tactics, Platforms and Channels to Satisfy Location-Specific Marketing Needs without Losing Focus on Your Franchise’s Target Audience.” Townsend will share digital marketing strategies and insights that can help brands market better online and help franchisees reach local prospects and customers.

FASTSIGNS International has seven Certified Franchise Executives (CFE) on the management team.  Eight corporate team members are attending the IFA Conference this year.

“Franchising creates great opportunities for business owners and it creates positive economic growth for their local communities,” explained Monson. “FASTSIGNS continues to experience record-breaking growth and we look forward to sharing our knowledge at this must-attend event for franchisors.”

Thousands of franchise business leaders and suppliers are expected attend the IFA’s Annual Convention to hear the latest information about protecting and improving their brands with almost 50 compelling sessions and countless networking opportunities. For more information about the event and to register, visit: https://www.franchise.org/convention.

fasts

About FASTSIGNS®

FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the largest sign and visual communications franchisor in North America, and is the worldwide franchisor of over 700 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS® centers in nine countries including the US, Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Chile and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®). FASTSIGNS locations provide comprehensive sign and visual graphic solutions to help companies of all sizes and across all industries attract more attention, communicate their message, sell more products, help visitors find their way and extend their branding across all of their customer touch points including décor, events, wearables and marketing materials. Learn more about sign and visual graphic solutions or find a location at fastsigns.com. Follow the brand on Twitter @FASTSIGNS, Facebook at facebook.com/FASTSIGNS or on LinkedIn.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 58 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

14 02, 2019

FASTSIGNS International, Inc. Hosts Community Giveback Project

2019-02-14T22:26:58-05:00February 14th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Group assembles 17,000 meals during the 2019 FASTSIGNS® International Convention in Orlando

CARROLLTON, Texas — FASTSIGNS® franchisees and their employees, vendors and FASTSIGNS International, Inc. corporate staff participated in a “FASTSIGNS Community Giveback” by assembling 17,000 meals for local children and their families with the organization, Feeding Children Everywhere. This event occurred during the 2019 FASTSIGNS International Convention held January 16-19 in Orlando, Florida.

“Through our FASTSIGNS Community Giveback Projects, our meeting attendees and vendors come together to support a local cause and make a positive impact in the cities that host our events,” said Tracy Lake, Director of Events at FASTSIGNS International, Inc. “We are so grateful for organizations that work to end hunger. With the help of our partners in giving, we were honored to join Feeding Children Everywhere to help make a dent in hunger for Orlando and the surrounding areas.”

Under the direction of Feeding Children Everywhere leadership, attendees measured, weighed, packaged and boxed 17,000 meals by forming 14 assembly lines. This was accomplished in 30 minutes during the FASTSIGNS Community Giveback Breakfast with a Purpose event.

“Our partners not only provide meals, they provide hope,” said Sarah Davila, Public Relations Manager at Feeding Children Everywhere. “Our event with FASTSIGNS created the opportunity to impact hundreds of families struggling with hunger in Orlando. Together we were able to provide 17,000 meals to children and families in need.”

This event was also made possible by the generous support of the FASTSIGNS Community Giveback sponsors including Vista System, swissQprint, peerhatch, Ornamental Post & Panel, Click2Sell, Digital Designed Solutions, Banner Ups, Computerized Cutters, Inc. and N. Glantz & Son.

ABOUT FEEDING CHILDREN EVERYWHERE:

Feeding Children Everywhere, based in Orlando, Florida, is committed to providing healthy meals to those in need, sustainability and making contributions matter. Creating a hunger-free world will be possible if we have an awareness of our impact on the world around us. Feeding Children Everywhere has implemented sustainability goals to reduce their carbon footprint to eliminate the utilization of harmful plastics as well as helping to create self-sufficient and sustainable communities throughout program areas. Financial efficiency and meaningful impact are the pillars of their commitment as they believe that financial transparency combined with a high-energy, tangible impact volunteer experience is the key to a contribution that makes a meaningful difference.

About FASTSIGNS

FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the global franchisor of FASTSIGNS® sign and graphic centers. We are a business-to-business franchise with over 700 independently owned and operated franchise locations in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Chile and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE(R). Locations will be opening in Malta and Spain in 2019.

FASTSIGNS locations provide comprehensive sign and graphic solutions (custom signs and visual graphics) to help businesses and organizations – including manufacturers, schools and universities, retailers, construction companies, healthcare facilities and many other industries – solve their visual communications challenges such as building brand awareness, increasing location “findability”, promoting a product or service, helping people find their way around a facility or campus, hosting an event, communicating with employees, improving workflow, meeting safety and compliance regulations, etc.

FASTSIGNS centers provide custom signs and graphics, including architectural and interior décor graphics, fleet vehicle graphics, digital signs and digital signage content, event graphics, displays, banners, posters, ADA signage, safety and identification signs and much more, as well as handle everything from design to installation.

To learn more about sign and visual graphic solutions or to find a location, visit fastsigns.com. Follow the brand on Twitter @FASTSIGNS, on Facebook at facebook.com/FASTSIGNS or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/fastsigns. Watch a video at https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialFASTSIGNS.