Want the scoop on Franchise Services, Inc.? Here’s our story.

The colorful history of Franchise Services, Inc. (FSI) got its beginnings in the 1970s. It would be easy to dismiss this decade as the time of lava lamps and avocado-colored appliances. However, it was also the age of amazing progress—the launch of SkyLab, the creation of the first microprocessor and breaking the sound barrier with the Concorde. It was also when a successful company called Kampgrounds of America (KOA) decided to purchase a large but strained network of quick printers—Sir Speedy.

At the time, Sir Speedy was the third largest franchisor of quick print centers in the U.S. The recession of the early 1970’s had taken quite a toll, so KOA assembled a group of veteran executives, including CEO Don Lowe, to get Sir Speedy back on track. By applying their considerable knowledge from the KOA franchise business model, the team quickly turned the network back into a thriving enterprise.

In the same year that Lady Diana Spencer said “I do” to the Prince of Wales, big changes were happening across the pond at Sir Speedy. Don Lowe became President and turned the franchise’s attention toward a new customer niche – small businesses. Through commissioned research, Lowe had found something very surprising ―nine out of ten customers were businesses. Sir Speedy realized they were much more than neighborhood copy centers. As a result, Lowe and his team had center layouts redesigned, launched a new advertising campaign and provided franchise owners with a 4-point marketing plan to present to business clients. Over time, centers moved from photocopying to offset printing and electronic services and were the first nationwide to provide facsimile service. By late 1987, Sir Speedy had moved up to the second largest franchise in the industry.

This leadership and pioneering spirit continued unabated into the 1990s. The Worldwide Web had built the information highway, and Sir Speedy was on it at full speed. The company established Sir Speedy Online and was the first in the industry to have a home page on the Internet. Sir Speedy had now become a major player in the digital technology revolution.

In 1996, Franchise Services, Inc. (FSI) was formed to better serve Sir Speedy and grow the network. During this time, expansion efforts included the acquisition of PIP (Postal Instant Press, Inc.), the first franchise organization in the printing industry and MultiCopy The Communication Company, the largest network of printers in Europe. The Global Digital Network was born, using the power of the Internet to further support franchise owners.

At the turn of the millennium, several important milestones occurred. Sir Speedy and PIP rolled out Web to Print services—the first to do so in the printing world. FSI then broadened their vision and launched TeamLogic IT, amanaged IT services franchise dedicated to serving the IT needs of small- to medium-sized businesses. Signal Graphics joined the network with its full service digital print business centers, strengthening the organization’s market share.

History, of course, is more than nostalgia or a timeline. It comes in handy when measuring the merits of an organization. We hope you found our trip down memory lane informative. With “Help Our Franchisees Succeed” as our mantra, we hope to continually serve our franchise owners needs and assist them with realizing their entrepreneurial dreams.