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Meet Gary Salomon
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Overview Transcript Case Study Video
FastSign
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Gary Salomon is a global, trend-setting franchisor and Don DeBolt, CEO, IFA, provides the perspective.
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Key Ideas of this episode
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1. Small Business School Make The Old New
2. Put Systems In Place
3. Create A New Breed Of Owners
4. Seek Out Mentors
5. Buy An Unexploited Idea
6. Stop Doing And Start Leading
7. Look For Neglected Customers
8. Tap Into Experts
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Carrollton, Texas: In this episode of the show we take our cameras into a fast-growing business that quickly focused on expanding through becoming a franchisor. Can you?

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:
»Small Business School 2005 Franchise Update magazine’s annual STAR (Speaking To And Responding) Awards
»Small Business School 2000 Entrepreneur International magazine's Top 200 Global Franchises
»Small Business School 1999 Entrepreneur magazine's #1 Sign Franchise in North America

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. Gary said, "Not only did we create a niche that really wasn't being serviced properly, no one cared about it either."

Don DeBolt, the president of the International Franchise Association, talked with us about what it takes to become a successful franchisor and a successful franchisee. This is the largest organization for franchising in the world. Read their monthly newsletter on the web; it is filled with timely information.

Or, read about a successful franchisee, Blair Taylor, owner of an Athlete's Foot Store in the Watts section of Los Angeles.

Want to see an episode of the show on TV? To find out IF and WHEN this episode is airing,Small Business SchoolSmall Business Schoolclick here. To find out which episode of the show is airing on your local PBS-member station,Small Business SchoolSmall Business Schoolclick here. The people in Fast Sign's headquarters watch SmallBusinessSchool on KERA, Channel 11, in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

Contact:
FASTSIGNS
American Fastsigns, Inc.
2550 Midway Road
Carrollton, TX 75006
Tel: 972-447-0777 Fax:972-248-8201
URL: http://www.fastsigns.com


We invite your questions or comments

  • JOIN, JOIN, JOIN: Your professional associations in your industry are your key to continuing education, market research, collaborations, strategic partnerships, capital and so much more ... often you'll find that you enjoy like-minded people and many will become friends for life.
  • SUPPORT PUBLIC TELEVISION:
    Become a member of your local station. If you are already, great. If not and your business is doing well, consider joining the Producers' Club ($1000).
  • FIRST PRINCIPLES: Starting a business is the road to economic independence for most of us average people. Read a little more to see why incorporating a business keeps the passion of the American revolution alive!
  • RESOURCE: The International franchise Association, better known as the IFA, is the definitive resource about franchising. For more, go to their site at http://www.franchise.org
  • NATIONAL TRADE ASSOCIATIONS / LOCAL CHAMBERS. Small Business SchoolThere are national trade associations for every industry and business sector. These associations are the most relevant resources for continuing education and networking for small business owners. We are not alone.

    In this episode of the show we talk about direct marketing. There is much more at the Direct Marketing Association!
  • CASES BY BUSINESS TYPE. Click on the heading to find all the business types and then click on your type of business to check out those case studies.
  • Successful Franchising Dr. John Hayes also writes and speaks about franchising. You can quiz yourself to see if you are a good candidate to own a franchise. It costs $19.95, but may spare you years of agony and wasted money on an investment not for you.Or, it may well give you the confidence to take that flying leap! Go on-line to Checklist.
  • Work with your local office of the following organizations:
    1. SCORE: Service Corps of Retired Executives can give you very strategic advice. Find a local SCORE person..
    2. Chamber of Commerce: Your local, state and the national Chamber are well worth your time. Some of these people could be on your own board of advisors.
    3. NFIB. Small Business SchoolSmall Business SchoolAn advocacy group for small business, the National Federation of Independent Business has been looking at legislation from the city to the state to the federal governments.
    4. Small Business Development Center. Associated with the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are over 1400 in the USA and they are an excellent resource for help and continuing education.
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