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“Bitten by the bug”
No one, he explains, grew up saying they wanted to be a signmaker. But then people discover Signarama at a franchise expo and if they take time to learn about the opportunity, they’ll later drive away from the expo and all they’ll see are signs, because they’re everywhere! “You’ve been bitten by the bug when you start touching the signs,” says Tatem, who is Signarama’s brand leader.
Tatem has spent the last 30 years at UFG. While CEO Ray Titus was selling signs in the first Signarama store, Jim was making signs. Since then, he’s worn a lot of hats at UFG. He spends a considerable chunk of his time overseeing the company’s training programs for eight different brands, and he’s also in charge of the company’s Australian division, which includes nearly 20 people.
However, Tatem says nothing is more important to him than building relationships with people, especially franchisees. He values the opportunity to help people become their own boss, to own the American dream, even if it’s in another country (UFG is in more than 70 countries). Helping people achieve their dream empowers Tatem.
Building the relationship between the franchisor and franchisees is a commitment that sets UFG apart from other franchise organizations. “Developing the relationship comes first,” explains Tatem. “People do business with people, and preferably with people they like,” so Tatem looks for opportunities to spend time with franchisees, helping them realize that they can depend on him and the team at UFG.
“We’re not stiff suits who say send in your royalty the first of the month. Years ago, when Ray and the team put together the mission statement, it said: We have one customer, our franchisee, and when they’re successful, we’re successful.” There are now more than 200 people at UFG headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida, that work hard every day to fulfill that mission.
One of the first surprises that people learn about Signarama is that the company doesn’t look for franchisees who will make signs. Instead, they look for franchisees who want to build a business that primarily serves other businesses. With guidance from the UFG training team, franchisees hire the signmakers. However, that doesn’t mean a franchisee isn’t tempted to touch a sign now and then if for no other reason than to admire it!
Learn more about Signarama, UFG, and the company’s eight brands in this interview with Dr. John P. Hayes.Tags: Retail Franchise, Signarama, United Franchise Group
Categorised in: Franchise Concepts
This post was written by John Hayes