Print & Sign Franchises: Not All Digital

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As you may have guessed from the title, the print and sign industry is performing well despite that most people think the digital revolution has taken over many industries, including this one. The simple fact is print and sign still exist in huge quantities all over the UK and the world. It is true that some of the market will have been replaced by screens where they have digital images/animations, however this hasn’t stopped the Print & Sign market growing.

UK Print Industry Report

(According to




£13.8 Billion Turnover

£13.5 Billion Turnover

£14.1 Billion Turnover

116,000 Employees

122,000 Employees

130,000 Employees

8,400 Companies

8,600 Companies

10,000 Companies

£775 Million Positive Trade Balance (2016)

£750 Million Positive Trade Balance (2014)

£700 Million Positive Trade Balance (2012)


When you review the figures in the above table you will see a few key indicators that explain what trends are happening in the market. If you just look at the total employees and companies in the market it will seem as if the industry is in decline as every year, as both values decrease quite significantly. This however isn’t a true representation of the market and once you consider the turnover and positive trade balance you will start to understand the main shift in the market. Positive trade balance has increased every year and turnover has increased over the last 2 years which, when combined with the decline of companies and employees, it shows that the market is still healthy for those who have adapted to shifting market trends.

The decrease in companies and increase in turnover demonstrates that the market is shifting to have less companies overall, but those that are still here are prospering and growing. This shows a competitive but healthy market where a franchisee with a great business mind can really succeed, however those that don’t might not be around too long.

Territory/Location of your franchise

The location of your territory is very important in the Printing Franchise Industry, as seen in the 2017 UK Print statistics in a selection of areas below:

East England

  • Companies: 998
  • Turnover: £1,633,662


  • Companies: 1,223
  • Turnover: £1,588,435


  • Companies: 307
  • Turnover: £578,000

North East

  • Companies: 243
  • Turnover: £753,725

These figures demonstrate how some areas are much more competitive, where companies hold a much smaller share of the territory than in other areas. For example, in the North East, printing companies will earn, on average, more than printing companies in London. The shift in competitiveness and likely size of competitors should be a determining factor when you are decided upon your franchise territory.

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The Ideal Franchisee

You may be surprised that such a creative focused job doesn’t necessarily suit creative people; this is because of the role that you will be taking being a franchisee. As a franchisee, you will be expected to run, manage and grow your business - this means that you need many skills to run the business which mainly focus around sales, marketing and management. Having a creative nature will act as an added bonus in this franchise scenario, but it is vital that you ensure that all other aspects take priority and are covered first.

Consumer demand is forever changing in this industry and with new trends for creative advertising constantly coming out, it means that a franchisee needs to be able to adapt; this is apparent in the report above, by the amount of companies that haven’t shifted and declined. Franchisees need to stay atop market trends, spot them early, adapt and evolve to encourage customers to keep coming back.

The nature of the business means that no two days are exactly the same, as customer requirements alter and, as a franchisee, you will also be require to manage clientele and travel to prospect and existing clients.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to make it in this market take a look at our Print & Sign Franchise Opportunities