Craig Hohler says a new large format signage suite at his AlphaGraphics Business Center has been a game changer for his team – with the capability to print virtually any size on any material, even in three dimensions, all it takes is a creative idea. As one of seven AlphaGraphics locations in the Houston area, Hohler is helping lead the company’s growth in one of the nation’s strongest business markets.
“The new flatbed printer is 5 feet by 10 feet, so we can produce individual components up to five feet tall and create 3D signage on aluminum, acrylic, fabric – really anything we can dream up,” Hohler says. “And we work closely with the other AG locations in the area, so we have a network of resources available. Houston is a strong market that offers a lot of opportunity for us as franchisees and for new entrepreneurs to join us as we continue to increase our reach.”
Seven AlphaGraphics Business Centers currently serve the Houston area, including Hohler in West Houston and other locations in Willowbrook/Cypress, Northwest Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, the Woodlands, and near the Houston Medical Center. AlphaGraphics Business Builder Program Manager Kelley Rieves sees significant growth potential in the Houston area for existing and new franchisees, as well as for partnerships with independent businesses.
“We’re really bullish on growth in areas including Houston proper, Humble, and on the south and southeast sides of the city,” Rieves said. “We’ve got some great brand coverage, but it’s amazing to look at all of the potential areas – nearly all of the actual city of Houston, areas like Pearland, League City, Webster, Pasadena, the Kingwood-Humble area. We’re working with aspiring entrepreneurs and independent business owners in the area who are looking to either transition the business from buyer to seller or convert the brand and join the network.”
AlphaGraphics’ Business Builder program is designed to connect buyers with sellers, and share the network systems and resources with capable independents who are wanting to make their businesses stronger.
“We help guide candidates and independent owners through the entire process, from finding acquisition opportunities based on individual needs, understanding the assessments, securing funding, exploring deal structures, and facilitating through the completed purchase,” Rieves said.
As a native of Houston, Rieves knows the market well and is excited to see the brand grow.
“If you look at AlphaGraphics’ presence in Dallas-Forth Worth, for instance, we’ve got considerably more business centers there,” she said. “We’re able to work with more small and medium-sized businesses, and we’ve been able to use our conversion program to partner with strong independents. Everyone wins – our franchisees, the independents and franchise candidates.”
AlphaGraphics’ nationwide same-center sales were up more than 10 percent in the fiscal year that ended in July, and the Houston market led that gain. Rieves says they’ve done it by leveraging the power of the brand, implementing network initiatives like AG Signs, and evolving the business from the simple print shop to a full-service marketing communications solution for small and medium-sized businesses.
Cher Schmitt, a graphic designer at AlphaGraphics Willowbrook, attributes their center’s drastic growth to educating customers on capabilities.
“When customers come in, we talk to them about their goals,” Schmitt said. “Then we make recommendations on how to brand themselves, catch the attention of their prospects, communicate with their customers and reach new ones. It’s a lot of fun to help our customers grow, and watch us grow as they do.”
Rieves says the success of the Business Builder program is rooted in partnerships.
“We’ve really beefed up our partnership program with independent businesses,” she said. “Whether they are looking to grow and expand, position themselves for their own exit strategy, or find the best candidate possible to buy their business, we’re ready to take them through the entire process. Time and again, this has meant a new business opportunity for one and a leveraged exit strategy for another.”
To learn more about the AG Business Builder program, or to read franchise partner profiles, customer case studies and industry news, please visit www.alphagraphicsfranchise.com.