Printing Franchise UK
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Printing Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running successful UK Printing Franchises.

Even as digital marketing has taken the world by a storm, traditional ways are still relevant. Buying a printing franchise UK can be a good way of generating additional income for yourself.

There aren’t many industries and sectors that franchising hasn’t been able to touch. While retail and food sectors have been completely disrupted by the franchising business model, others have managed to answer the scalability problems with their unique adaptations of franchising.

If you’re looking for a franchise opportunity that doesn’t require a great deal of capital to get off the ground and provides steady, predictable returns in the short run, UK printing franchises are just the right fit for you.

While discussing various franchise businesses across industry and sectors in the UK, we have always maintained that defining a ‘good’ franchise opportunity solely depends on what the franchisee is looking for. Most franchisees simply want to find a way to park their capital, hire staff for daily operations and let the business run itself. There are others who prefer a more hands-on approach and are involved thoroughly in the business. The ideal franchise opportunities for these two ends of the franchisee spectrum will vary based on the initial investment required, projected break-even period and resale value.

On that front, a printing franchise UK could be a good pick for someone who’s comfortable with not being involved heavily in the day to day operations of the business, and isn’t eyeing meteoric returns. Moreover, most printing franchises UK aim to recover their initial investment (and the interest thereon) through resale, making sure that they end up with handsome profits at the endgame.

In this article, we’ll briefly discuss what print and sign franchises UK are, what they do, how much they cost and what franchisees need to know before getting into a franchise agreement.

A Brief Overview Of The UK Printing And Signage Market

Every printing franchise UK has the advantage of operating in a stable, well-aged and diverse industry. Here’s our overview of the industry to give our readers an idea about its size, scope and potential:

  • The UK printing and signage industry has evolved to become incredibly robust. Some experts go so far as to assert that this industry has now attained an ‘essential’ status for its customers.
  • Printing businesses have long moved on from being consumer oriented (B2C) to business oriented (B2B). As a franchisee, it’s advisable for you to prefer B2B print and signage franchises UK over their B2C counterparts. Operating a high-street print centre makes little sense when that segment of the industry has shifted to an ecommerce-only mode.
  • The quick print industry (of which many SMEs are patrons) has grown larger each year over the past two decades. Presently, this industry generates annual revenues in excess of £1 bn.
  • The overall printing and signage in the industry (B2B) is thought to be much larger in size, generating revenues upwards of £5 bn.

Source: British Printing Industries Federation

What Does A Printing Franchise UK Do?

Printing franchises UK can be categorised comfortably as service-based product providers.

Every business out there – regardless of its size – requires printed materials in various forms. From the most basic, across the board necessities like letterheads and business cards to advanced requirements like billboards and sign posts, printing businesses offer a wide range of services to their customers.

The daily operation of a typical printing franchise UK revolves around two main aspects:

The Creative Side Of Things

If a business already has a set template for what they want done, there’s little need for UK printing franchises to perform in terms of creative inputs. On the other hand, if the business commissions an end-to-end project, the franchise will need to brainstorm ideas, submit prototypes/suggestions, have them approved by the customer and then optimise the final deliverables.

If your printing franchise UK does provide creative services, you will need to hire a team of talented, qualified graphic designer(s), artists and IT professionals.

The Delivery Side Of Things

Once the creative side of things is taken care of, the franchise can move on to producing the deliverables.

Depending upon the nature of the project and the franchisor, the production will either be done in-house at the unit level or be exported to the franchisor’s better-equipped production/printing facilities.

Examples Of Services Provided By Print And Sign Franchises UK

Here are some common services printing franchises UK offer for their clients and customers:

  • Office Stationary: Letterheads, envelopes, business cards, leaflets, greeting cards, manuals, diaries etc.
  • Product Labels: Product labels, disclaimers, information sheets, menu cards etc.
  • Advertising Materials: Billboards, flyers, handouts, mailouts etc.
  • Signage: Office signs, agency signs, marquee signs, directions, safety warnings etc.

Recommended: Should You Invest In B2B Franchises UK?

How Much Does A Printing Franchise UK Cost?

Quite surprisingly, despite being a relatively niche industry, printing franchises UK have quite a few varieties for franchisees to choose from.

Naturally, the minimum initial investment required varies from one type to another, depending on the nature of the services, the equipment required, franchisor’s brand value and your location.

“Our survey of multiple print and sign franchises UK reveals that you need to invest £8,000 to £35,000 in minimum initial investment to get a franchise off the ground. The resale opportunities tend to lie in a similar range, as well.”

The revenue model for UK printing franchises is slightly more convoluted than other businesses.

The most common model is straightforward – the franchisees are responsible for acquiring their own customers and the franchisor offers ongoing support, while taking a fixed percentage of monthly sales in royalties.

Another model sees franchisees handling only the lead generation and creative side of things, while outsourcing the actual production to the franchisor. In such a model, it’s franchisees who get paid by the franchisor.

The last – and the least common – model requires franchisees to act as mere lead generators in the given territory. All the leads are forwarded straight back to the franchisor, and the franchisees are paid commissions per lead/per sale basis. This model is similar to that adopted successfully by estate agent franchises.

How Long Does It Take For A Printing Franchise UK To Break Even?

There’s no set formula for success – a printing franchise UK with something unique to offer, operating in a busy business district can break even in as few as 6 months.

In general, we have observed that UK print and sign franchises tend to break even within 12-15 months of trading.

The Importance Of Digital Marketing And Online Presence For Printing Franchises UK

As we discussed earlier, the B2C segment of printing and signage businesses has now moved into the ecommerce sector. Custom printed accessories, clothing items and stationary are great examples of this phenomenon.

Even if your franchise operates in a B2B sphere, digital marketing is incredibly important as far as lead generation is concerned. Most franchisors do offer marketing support that includes setting up your own website, PPC ads, social media promotions and search engine optimisation.

Marketing support should be an important part of the equation when you shortlist franchise opportunities.

Recommended: The Only Franchising Checklist You’ll Ever Need – Free Download

Should You Buy A Printing Franchise UK?

Every franchise opportunity requires a unique set of skills on the franchisees’ part. Any imbalance in this equation puts your investments at a higher risk.

Here are some points in this regard:

  1. You do not need to possess any creative experience to be able to buy and run a printing franchise UK. Most franchisors prefer to work with franchisees who avoid meddling in the creative processes of the business.
  2. The most desirable qualities that franchisors look for are business management, sales and marketing.
  3. If you have any previous experience of running a business, franchisors are going to count that in your favour.

Top UK Printing And Signage Franchises

Here’s our roundup of some of the most popular printing and signage franchises UK.

1. Countrywide Signs

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £9,995 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Customised agency sign boards
  • Proven business model
  • Flexible investment options
  • Ongoing support
  • Finance assistance may be available
  • Full BFA Member

2. Minuteman Press

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £40,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Design, print and marketing solutions for businesses
  • Unique business model that combines printing with marketing
  • Ongoing support
  • Highly scalable
  • Exclusive territories may be available

3. Signs Express

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £40,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: B2B signs company
  • Reputed brand name
  • 25+ years in business
  • 60+ franchise units in operation
  • No previous experience in the industry required
  • Fair returns on resale
  • Ongoing support
  • Full BFA Member


  • Minimum Initial Investment: £36,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Full range of signage, banner and graphics services for businesses
  • Valuable brand name
  • 700+ franchise units in operations around the world, 20+ in the UK
  • Full training and support
  • Pre-opening marketing support
  • Mentoring programme for franchisees
  • Outside sales support
  • Full BFA Member

5. Agency Express

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £24,500 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Real estate signage design and production
  • Recognisable brand name
  • Affordable franchising opportunity
  • No industry experience required
  • Centralised invoicing and payments system
  • Benefit from an extensive network of clients
  • Stress-free working hours
  • Full BFA Member

UK Printing Franchises – The Takeaways

  • You don’t need to possess any industry experience to buy and run a printing franchise UK.
  • Print and signage franchises in the B2B sector tend to perform better.
  • Define your market accurately to cut down on marketing expenses.
  • Hire an efficient sales team.
  • Choose your franchisor with care.
  • Know how to raise franchise finance and prepare an in-depth business plan.

Related: Print & Sign Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

If you run a print and signage franchise UK, we’d be happy to hear from you. Write to us here and we’ll try our best to put you in front of thousands of readers who regularly visit the franchise4u website.

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