Since opening Fullerton Photographics, Inc., in 1999, I have experienced firsthand the extraordinary effort it takes to build a customer base and drive strong and steady sales. I’ve had my foot on the gas pedal designing and implementing the marketing for my small photo company since day one. Creating innovative products, services and special events has been part of my everyday thought process. At first, I didn’t consider using a B2B franchise.
However, there isn’t an independent business around that’s fueled by a marketing budget expansive enough to compete with industry giants like Shutterfly, Snapfish and Minted. Still, at Fullerton Photographics, our team has fought to stay relevant in our local community by coming up with new products and spectacular customer service that surpass the expectations of our diverse and dedicated client base.
First-Class B2B Franchise Yields Super Leads & Sales
Having said all that, I was thrilled to partner with a major international brand: FastSigns. Having explored the B2B side with photo clients, I was ready to expand and co-brand in the growing signage industry. The reality of doing business as a FastSigns franchise is that customers are delivered to your door. This is the biggest advantage as well as the best reason to become involved with such a powerhouse international brand.
On the first day of owning and operating our signage center, we received several e-mails from prospective customers wondering why we hadn’t gotten back to them on quotes! This was the first time we had even looked at our e-mail and we had $5,000 in order inquiries.
I had never experienced anything like this in all my years owning Fullerton Photo. I had no idea about the reach of an international brand and how that translates into actual sales. The results have been phenomenal.
Fulfilling the Void
Being part of a well-established franchise with such a strong SEO presence delivers clients in your immediate area and also in surrounding cities. Our most exciting project to date came as an inquiry following a Google search. It was from a project manager at the Void—an exciting virtual reality experience in Downtown Disney.
We received a call on a Thursday from a desperate project manager looking for vinyl wall graphics to be manufactured and installed by that weekend! We were up for the challenge and loved the idea of our first overnight installation.
The Void’s team was seeking a new sign company to use as a resource, as they were displeased with a different sign company on their last project. Knowing that the scope of this project was likely to grow and evolve, we jumped at the opportunity and expedited their products. They were beautifully installed, and the end result was a delighted client asking for several more signs.
Just being given the opportunity to solve the Void’s needs quickly gave us an “in” for their next few projects. We’ve now worked on three of their locations, resulting in excess of $60,000 in sales, within the past two months. This is absolutely spectacular for our small, growing center. We are hopeful they will ask our team to help in their other locations: Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; and London, England.
In contrast to working with a photo client, the our B2B projects are much larger in scope—and less exhausting. They also tend to grow into more business opportunities and long-term client relationships. The Void’s project is just one of many delivered to our inbox on a daily basis.
B2B Market: Key to a Profitable Future
In short, your business truly revolves around having a strong customer base that is continually replenished and growing. In the ever-changing photo industry, we all know just how difficult it is to maintain, let alone grow, our customer base. I could not be more thrilled with my decision to partner with this major franchise.
It goes without saying, you have to follow up on the influx of inquiries with the best, most standout customer service around in order to cultivate meaningful relationships. Clearly, the luxury of not having to “DIY” the marketing is the best part of this whole venture. The B2B market has proven to be where a profitable future lies. At FastSigns of Fullerton, we are going after it full steam ahead.