Archive for September, 2014

September 24th, 2014

AlphaGraphics Launches Innovative New “Business Builder” Program

As one of the nation’s leading print and marketing services providers, AlphaGraphics is continually finding innovative ways to cultivate growth by connecting qualified entrepreneurs with attractive business opportunities.

The franchise organization with more than 250 owner-owned locations has launched an innovative new Business Builder process for prospective owners, focused on reducing the up-front cash outlay, providing a unique opportunity for franchisees to learn the industry from day one, and drastically closing the gap between the purchase and profitability.

“We’ve found that our most successful pathway for new franchise owners is the acquisition and conversion of a pre-qualified existing independent business – print shops, graphic design firms, sign producers and others,” said AlphaGraphics Chief Development Officer Dave Buzza. “Through the Business Builder model, we’re offering a viable solution for a wider range of candidates by assembling an inventory of attractive acquisition prospects.Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 4.08.46 PM

AlphaGraphics introduced the Ramp-In model several years ago, a proven system in which new franchise partners start in a professional office environment, fully equipped with training, management information system operations software and support, and all of the critical lead generation and marketing programs of our global Network. New franchise partners can immediately begin selling and building a book of business, utilizing the AG Network to fulfill the projects, while looking for a suitable business to acquire and convert to an AlphaGraphics Business Center.

The Business Builder Program takes the Acquire/Convert model to the next level – offering a diverse inventory of pre-certified independent businesses that fit well with the AlphaGraphics brand. The AG Business Builder Team helps guide candidates and independent owners through the entire process, from vetting acquisition opportunities based on individual needs to understanding the assessments, securing funding, negotiating real estate leases, mastering the system standards and more.

“Once we’ve helped the new franchise partners get set up, they spend their next chapter as a franchisee with an OnBoarding Partner dedicated to them and their business – ensuring success through the launch and beyond,” Buzza said. “It’s a logical next step in our evolution, and one that’s already paying dividends.”

Whether starting a new center, acquiring an existing location or converting a profitable business to AlphaGraphics, we have a lot of options to offer.  Click here to send us a note, and let’s discuss how we can help you realize your personal and professional goals through small business ownership.

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September 22nd, 2014

New Franchisee Brings Decades of Experience to Connecticut Center

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 4.36.10 PMBob Talbot has a history with entrepreneurism – his family owned an auto repair business in Bridgeport, Conn., where he worked as a young man. After a brief stint with General Motors, he left the corporate world and became a real estate agent, where he sold a home to an Allstate Insurance executive. Soon, the buyer was making an offer to Bob.

Thirty-five years later, Bob and his wife, Paula, recently sold their Allstate franchise and bought an AlphaGraphics location in nearby Hamden, Conn.

“We had built a multi-million dollar business, but we found we were working harder and harder for less and less,” Talbot says. “The commission rates kept going down while the administrative costs were going up. It got to the point where it didn’t make sense anymore, so we started looking for a new franchise opportunity.”

The Talbots explored everything from foodservice to automotive before meeting business broker Ben Adamo by chance. Adamo had found success placing candidates with AlphaGraphics before, and he suggested the Talbots look into the option.

“It was like a gong went off,” Talbot says. “I had done some vocational training in high school with printing presses and had worked in a print shop over the summers. Our experience in the insurance industry with marketing and customer service was applicable, and there was an AG center for sale close by. As we looked into it, we became more and more impressed.”

Bob says he was deluged with requests to attend various Discovery Days, and it would take a lot to get him to fly 1,500 miles and spend the week hearing about a franchise opportunity. But AlphaGraphics stood out as a different kind of company.

“I started talking to other owners and understanding more about the offering, and we were blown away by the people, the processes… they were so welcoming and genuine and open,” he says. “The level of expertise they demonstrated was so impressive.”

Now the Talbots are three weeks in at their new AlphaGraphics Business Center, a four-year-old location with the right equipment, a solid book of business and a great staff. Paula is focusing on the bookkeeping and customer service aspects – the pair boasted an unheard-of 90%+ renewal rate in the insurance business – and Bob will handle everything from equipment operation to outside sales.

It’s a learning experience, he says, but he’s immersed in training and soaking it all up.

“This is a new industry for us, but many of these things have been a large part of our business for the last decade, from web development to variable data direct mail. It’s marketing, business-to-business, and driving the highway is the same as it was in 1929. The cars are just more modern! The fundamentals are the same, but the vehicles are faster, smarter and higher quality. We’re excited for this new chapter.

“This is a relationship business, and we’re focused on their interests, on helping our customers improve and grow. Just as AlphaGraphics is invested in our success, so are we in ensuring that our clients are succeeding in their businesses.”

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