Former Engineering Manager Finds Future in Franchising

Opens New Signs Now Center and Offers "Green" Sign Making Technology

August 26, 2010 // Franchising.com // WATERFORD, Mich. — In 2008, Michigan businessman Tom Kiihr became another casualty of the U.S. auto crisis and failing economy. Along with thousands of others, his engineering management position with Delphi was eliminated after the company declared bankruptcy. After some job searching and coming to the realization that he no longer wanted to get back into the corporate world, Kiihr decided to consider franchising. This month, he opened a brand new Signs Now center in Waterford, Mich. An open house and grand opening will be scheduled in the near future.

"Franchising seemed to offer the best of both worlds, the opportunity to be in business for myself, along with the support of a proven system and the people who know how to make it work," explained Kiihr. "As I went through my research with a franchise broker, I became more and more intrigued with Signs Now and after a Discovery Day visit in Florida, my wife and I fell in love with the company. The people and programs were just fantastic."

The Signs Now service base includes business solutions and digital imaging for outdoor and indoor signage, exhibit and vehicle graphics, magnetic signs, banners, trade show displays, window graphics, ADA signage, dimensional letters, directional systems and many other visual communications tools to businesses across the region.

"At Signs Now Waterford, we partner with our customers to help their businesses prosper. It isn't always about the biggest sale; it is about doing what is best for the client," Kiihr said.

In addition to the focus on customer service, Kiihr has also purchased an HP L25500 60" Large Format DesignJet printer utilizing Hewlett Packard's Latex Ink technology, becoming the only truly "green" sign producer in the area

The L25500 produces indoor quality prints with state-of-the-art outdoor durability. However, unlike traditional solvent based ink technologies, the L25500 does this without producing any harmful levels of VOC's or any Hazardous Air Pollutants, providing Signs Now and the community that they serve with odor free printing without the need for external ventilation equipment. And with the HP Planet Partners Program and HP Media Take Back Program, Signs Now will be able to recycle 100 percent of the waste generated by the printer from print heads to empty ink cartridges.

"Signs Now Waterford has made the right choice not only for their production needs, but for the environment and all of the businesses and consumers that will make sustainability an issue when choosing where to go for their sign and graphics needs" says John Stevens, strategic account manager at Hewlett Packard.

Signs Now, a division of Allegra Network LLC

As a leader and top innovator in the sign and graphics industry, Signs Now truly stands out in a crowded world. Signs Now has nearly 200 franchise locations across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The corporate offices and the Signs Now Training Academy, Sarasota Campus are headquartered in Sarasota, Fla.

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