Ask Me Anything!
Ray Palmer — President of the Alliance Franchise Brands Sign & Graphics Division which is the parent organization to Image360 Franchises — answers some frequently asked questions.
Q: What’s the biggest source of satisfaction expressed after a year or two of ownership by those who’ve acquired an Image360 Center? Perhaps an unexpected source of delight?
RP: Franchise members who’ve participated in the many Image360 programs and understand the rigors and benefits of entrepreneurship experience the satisfaction of being in control of their own destiny. It’s hard work but they’re working for themselves and achieving goals and independence.
Many franchisees also mention how good they feel about positively impacting their community. They get to know so many other business owners and decision-makers. They’re proud to see their work on showcased around town on a sign, graphic or display.
Q: Is there a network resource that new Image360 Center owners are underutilizing and therefore missing out on a good thing — operations or marketing-wise?
RP: I’ve noted that some new Image360 Center owners are reluctant to call the Home Office for support. But, please call anytime. We’re there for our Franchise Members regardless of how long they’ve been in the business and are ready to answer questions of any type.
Also, there are so many good programs that many of our Image360 Center owners don’t take advantage of. Whether it’s for Marketing, Sales or Operations, the Home Office is there to help our Franchise Members succeed. Don’t be reluctant to lean on our team. We’re here for you.
Q: What’s your view of Image360 as a good husband-and-wife business ownership opportunity? And, for couples who’ve acquired one, is there any typical way they divide responsibilities?
RP: Husband-and-wife operations, as well as family-run operations, are some of the best performing Imge360 Centers in our system. The ability to completely align the focus within the leadership of a center is a huge advantage for many.
Most of the time, duties are split between spouses. One of them handles the business side of the operation internally while the other is driving sales externally. This allows the outside person to focus on building the business without concern about what’s happening back in the Center since a trusted family member is at the helm.
Q: Converting an independent sign shop to an Image360 Center is one path to growth. How do the sign shop’s clients react to the change? And, what are they most pleased with when an operation is rebranded?
RP: History shows time and again that most clients react positively to the change. In most cases, the rebranding effort offers an opportunity for an independent sign shop to re-engage their client base. Aligning with Image360 provides owners the perfect chance to explore new opportunities with existing clients as well as to reach out and acquire new customers for the future.
As for the business owner, they’re no longer on an island and taking on the world without support. As part of the Image360 Network, they become connected to a supportive Home Office team, preferred vendors and successful fellow franchisees with whom to share experiences and socialize. While retaining complete business ownership, they quickly transform from an “army of one” to becoming a part of a well-supported team.
Q: Some Image360 Franchise Members say their biggest initial source of regret once acquiring a Center is concentrating too much on operating the equipment and not getting out immediately to meet their clients. Do you agree? And, if so, what’s your advice?
RP: It certainly can be something that happens to a number of new owners. Our most successful Image360 Franchise Members understand that it’s critical to quickly engage in the business community and with social networks. Owners who are disciplined to regularly drive sales and follow-up on marketing leads are those most likely to watch their Image360 Centers grow.
Q: What’s the most productive thing that new Franchise Members should focus on when they start?
RP: We recommend they concentrate from day one on acquiring new clients. An Image360 business is an outbound sales model. It relies on Franchise Members to be solutions providers to local businesses and organizations. For every sale an Image360 Center makes, the long-term value of that client is almost incalculable, given its potential for additional sales down the road.
On average, over 70% of new clients come from existing customer referrals. The business often builds on itself. However, with a sustained focus on outbound sales, Image360 Centers can grow more rapidly.
To fulfill your dream of business ownership, discover the Image360® opportunity
A quick look around your town will confirm that just about every local business needs to promote its brand and inform their customers. Image360 Centers are uniquely positioned to meet their needs. In one, convenient location, they’ll find the graphics, signage, and displays they require.
As a Center owner, you’ll be well-positioned to provide everything from design and production to installation and service. You’ll do it all, but you won’t do it alone. Our Franchise Members benefit from the unsurpassed support and relationships provided by Alliance Franchise Brands – a world leader in marketing and visual communications. For more information, Download a Franchise Kit.