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Franchising DreamsThe Lure of Entrepreneurship in America$
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Peter M. Birkeland

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226051901

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226051925.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

Sign Masters

Sign Masters

(p.49) Chapter 4Sign Masters
Franchising Dreams

Peter M. Birkeland

University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides a discussion on the nature of work franchisees perform at Sign Masters. In particular, it considers the roots of uncertainty they face. The troubles of Sign Masters are often pinned on Stu Beyer, the founder. Beyer's mistakes in running franchise units are addressed. It is noted that he sold the company store because of a financial crisis, but in doing so, he lost far more than a revenue stream. Sign Masters became a weaker company as a result of the scoured trust that franchisees once held in Stu Beyer. Thus, Beyer added to the financial sufferings of many franchisees by designing a franchise system with a limited range of services, and he continued their troubles with a poor marketing strategy, poor technical and franchisee support, and weak criteria for franchisee selection. It can also be stated that custom products and franchising are strange bedfellows.

Keywords:   Sign Masters, Stu Beyer, franchise system, marketing strategy, franchisee selection, custom products, franchising

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