Telling The Good From The Bad: Top-4 Sign Alliance Quality Indicators

Telling the Good from the Bad: Top-4 Sign Alliance Quality Indicators

Google “sign business alliances” and try not to get overwhelmed by the results.

How is one expected to sift through millions of search results and tell the good from the bad?

Today’s post sheds some light on the subject by sharing our top-4 sign alliance quality indicators. Put these at the top of your research criteria and watch the cream rise to the top!

Time In Business

Why ally yourself with somebody with less experience?

As a general rule, you should not look to join up with alliances with less than 5 years of experience and fewer than 5 partners. And even that’s pushing it–the longer their history and the larger their roster, the better. More time in business means the model in question is profitable and more likely flexible enough to deal with market shifts. More partners indicates real value, and shows that the start-up process is replicable and worthwhile.

Signworld has been in business for over 32 years. In that time, more than 350 owners have joined us to build the business of their dreams.

Start-Up Cost And Fee Structure

Low-quality alliances cost lots and offer little in return.

Excessive start-up expenses and heavy-handed “royalty” fees or similar ongoing payments should be considered major red flags. The former indicates gouging or overspending; the latter directly eats into your profits. If you are willing to pay royalties, make sure you’re getting plenty in return, since there are not many premiere sign alliances out there that won’t charge you a penny once the start-up phase is past.

Starting a successful sign business from scratch cost less than $225,000 with Signworld. And though we offer franchise-level support, we do not collect any royalty fees.

Available Support

One of the biggest perks of joining a business alliance is the access to support that self-starters simply don’t get.

Low-value business alliances offer very little in the way of assistance to sign shops that need support.

Fortunately, information on available support is usually quite easy to find, since it’s usually of the best “selling points” that the alliance will have to offer. If the business alliance you’re considering doesn’t have much to say about support, consider this a big red flag.

When it comes to support, Signworld is at the top of the pack. We provide our partners with weekly webinars on sales and marketing; annual 3-day conventions packed with more resources for continuing education that any single person could use; 24/7 support from 350+ sign allies via our Owner’s forum; on-site coaching and next-day equipment repairs as needed, and much more.

Organizational Culture

Toxic organizational cultures can leech away your passion and sink your business fast. It affects your company at all levels, from new hires to executive decision makers.

On the “micro” level (e.g. within a single business), symptoms include low morale, anxiety, communication gaps, office drama, reigning dysfunction, and high employee turnover. On the macro level (i.e. across a business alliance), it’s even worse, as intra-alliance conflict and competition leads to missed opportunities, stunted growth, and missing out on all the best benefits of business alliances.

Thus, one of the most reliable ways to tell the good from the bad is to assess the alliance’s organizational culture. Look for partners to be helping one another, sharing referrals, volunteering their time, cheering each other on, and respecting boundaries.

The Signworld business alliance stands for nothing less than a supportive family-style organizational culture. Our owners never hesitate to help one another, whether that means giving your social media campaign a few extra “Likes,” referring clients to your local shop, or providing online support via the Owner’s Forum. We go to great lengths to vet candidates during the validation process via a series of discovery calls, tours and meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Visit the Signworld website or call 888-765-7446 to learn more about our opportunity.


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