“The fact that we’re a franchise doesn’t mean we’re not local,” said Randall Bloomquist, who recently opened a FASTSIGNS franchise on East Trinity in downtown Decatur.
“Although we’re affiliated with a national company, we are locally owned and operated and absolutely part of the Decatur community,” Bloomquist said of his signage, graphics and visual communications company. “All our employees live in the area and we participate in nonprofit events here in Decatur. We chose to not just have a Decatur address but to be right in middle of the city’s business district.”
Calling Decatur “a diverse and thriving community,” Bloomquist said the city has the best of urban and small town living. “There’s lots going on here, but people still know and care about their neighbors.
“We’ve had several customers tell us that they are pleased that there’s now a company in Decatur that can handle projects they might otherwise have had to take to a company further away,” Bloomquist said, adding that 60 to 70 percent of the work is done in the Decatur shop. “For really large projects we work with an outside vendor.”
He said banners, yard signs and other small projects account for much of the business, but FASTSIGNS is able to handle large exterior signs. Bloomquist said his company recently provided new signs for a more than 30-year-old Decatur business that changed its name.
FASTSIGNS originated in Dallas, Texas, in 1985 and began selling franchises the next year. The company now has more than 650 franchised centers located in nine countries.
Bloomquist added, “Affiliation with a national company allows us to tap into resources and expertise that might not otherwise be available to us.” FASTSIGNS, he said, handles projects of all sizes—across a wide range of industries—ranging from business cards and printed materials to large-scale exterior signage, interior décor graphics, digital displays, vehicle wraps and other visual communications.
Despite the name, Bloomquist said, speed is only part of the company’s value package. In fact, its motto is “Not Just Fast. Not Just Signs.”
“We can complete a project very quickly when that’s what a customer needs. We have turned projects around the same day,” he said, “But we also offer a great depth of industry knowledge and skill. The feedback we’ve gotten from our customers so far has been really exciting.”
Bloomquist’s background is in media and marketing. He has worked for a newspaper as well as in public relations, marketing and broadcasting. “When I decided it was time to have my own business, I wanted it to be in an area that I already know well,” he said.
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