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Last Update: Saturday September 25, 2021

What does it take to start franchising your business?

Franchising is about perfecting systems

between the franchiser and their franchisees

Carrollton, Texas: This week's story began on the back of a paper napkin around a discussion over breakfast. You can hear them, "We can do this! What we are waiting for? We're not getting any younger." They applied new technologies before anyone else did. Then they were early adopters of the web (and it's now the backbone of their business). This is a story about how high tech meets high touch.

This story begins in 1985 when Gary Salomon saw how a computer was being used to make high-quality signs in hours instead of days. He jumped at the opportunity to build a business offering this service internationally. Today his company, FastSigns, is America’s leading sign company with over 500 locations worldwide.

Gary has been honored time and again for their work in the franchise industry. First, he received the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and then went on to be recognized by his peers:
» 2005 Franchise Update magazine’s annual STAR
» 2000 Entrepreneur International magazine's Top 200
» 1999 Entrepreneur magazine's #1 Sign Franchise

The first thing we learn from Gary is that you do not have to invent a product to own it. When Gary first saw the technology he is using today, he struck a deal with the inventor; he learned how to use it; and with vision and sweat equity, he now dominates his marketplace.  More...

Inventions stir economies

Study intellectual property and the heart of invention.
Explore all these videos yourself, and you will never be the same.

Courage, integrity, tenacity, a bit of genius, a maniacal focus on systems...

When you franchise your business, you begin building a community of interest and participation. It becomes your tribe.  Not only do you love and nurture each other into success, but you love your work so everyone is constantly striving for a higher perfection.  When we all work to make our community a better place, we make this world a better place, too

Make The Old New

2:01 | Play Now |  FastSign founder Gary Salomon said that temporary sign business is a niche that big companies weren't interested in so he jumped in with a technology solution.

Put Systems In Place

2:21 | Play Now |  Founder Gary Salomon opened one location and ran it himself to establish all of the systems and procedures needed to insure that a franchise owner could achieve success.

Create a New Breed of Owners

5:46 | Play Now |  This former banker and now FastSigns franchise owner is the type of person Gary goes after. Gary had the idea that seasoned executives who are highly trained and bright people might love to take a stab at owning their own business.

Seek Out Mentors

4:28 | Play Now |  Don DeBolt is President of the International Franchise Association and as a member Gary can depend upon sold support and advise from Don.

Buy an Unexploited Idea

0:24 | Play Now |  Most inventors are not business people and most business people are not inventors.

Stop Doing and Start Leading

5:03 | Play Now |  Founder Gary Salomon found a great technology which makes it easy to produce professional signs quickly and much cheaper than the old methods.  By teaching thousands of others how to sell and create the signs he has grown into a large business.

Look for Neglected Customers

2:25 | Play Now |  Blair Taylor owns and Athlete's Foot Store in Compton (near Los Angeles).  He says no retailer or business owner should shy away from any neighborhood if he has a product that the people in that neighborhood want or need. Blair is now the CEO of the LA Urban League.

Tap Into Experts

1:35 | Play Now |  Dr. John Hayes is just one of the country's franchise experts. Gary and his team take advantage of training offered by John and the International Franchise Association.

The stars of this television show

All the people who appear on this television show are recommended (1) by their community for their integrity and (2) by their industry for their creativity and courage. Our national sponsors -- from IBM, USPS, Verizon, Microsoft, D&B, Travelers, Business Week, and many others -- have paid for everything.  Nobody can pay or has every paid to be on this television show.