Catherine Monson: An Undercover leader revolutionizing the Brand

Catherine Monson

Follow Us:

“When I was assigned to a group project, I would wait about 30 seconds for someone to lead. When no one would take charge, I would take the initiative. I knew in high school that I wanted to lead a company, and I made it my aim from there on out,” says Catherine Monson, CEO at FASTSIGNS.

A Natural Leader

Catherine is a natural leader. Early on in her career, she knew that she wanted to lead the company. Her franchising journey began in 1980, with Sir Speedy, Inc. where she got the opportunity to play several roles, starting as Sales Coordinator and quickly was promoted to Western Region Operations Manager. During her time at Sir Speedy, she had immerse growth and played a huge role in the success of the organization as well as in her own success.

In January 2009, she joined FASTSIGNS, utilizing all her past experiences, she had been on a mission to advance the brand from that of just a sign and banner provider to visual ideas and comprehensive solutions provider for all kinds of businesses. “I had years of experience in franchising and printing and appreciated that signage faced little to no displacing technology. So when the opportunity was presented to lead the incredible team at FASTSIGNS International, I accepted,” asserts Catherine.

Here at FASTSIGNS, Catherine brings a creative approach that helps in maintaining a positive and result-oriented culture. Though, her primary responsibilities in the company include visioning and a strategic focus on the business, driving hard for results, and building high performing teams with the right leadership and knowledge. As she continues to lead and manage, it is a more important to understand change and challenges effectively so that the franchisees can stay focused on driving the business.

Maximizing the Growth

Under the leadership of Catherine, FASTSIGNS is on the path of constant growth. Likewise, another factor that makes the company outshine is its vision of providing comprehensive services. At all the locations, the company has been always providing comprehensive signage and graphic solutions to help companies of all sizes, and across all industries attract more attention, communicate their message, promote their products, help visitors find their way, and extend their branding across all of their customer touchpoints. FASTSIGNS is also expanding its base by providing franchisee ownership to the local partners.

Franchising vs. Traditional Business

Catherine shares her opinion distinguishing the franchise business from the traditional one. She asserts that franchising helps people achieve their dream of going into business for themselves—but not by themselves—and benefit from the power of the brand, along with the brand’s marketing, advertising, training, and support. It is the most democratic wealth-building system there is, allowing the local franchisee to create jobs, create economic output, and build wealth for their family. Franchising allows the owners to benefit from economies of scale and allows franchisees to openly share best practices with other franchisees within the network. Catherine says, “The greatest compliments I have been given is from franchisees thanking me for helping them become millionaires!

FASTSIGNS International Inc. offers a Monday through Friday, low staffing, B2B, high margin franchise model with outstanding marketing, sales management, operations, and supply chain support just to name a few. It provides its franchisees with the tools and business intelligence they need to maximize their growth. It is implementing advanced business intelligence so the company stays knowledgeable on customer trends, buying patterns, and new products and services in order to help its franchisees better market to their customers. FASTSIGNS also offers extensive education and training for the franchisee and its staff.

Tactic to Confront the Pandemic

Unquestionably, on a personal as well as on a professional level several lives have been disturbed. The current pandemic has adversely affected several industries, though, with time the world might get adjusted to the concept of living with COVID-19. Sharing her experiences, Catherine says, “In early February I was in contact with some CEOs around the world to gauge thoughts surrounding the potential impact of COVID-19.” The immediate reaction to that was she asked her team to shift to a remote working model. By March 2020, FASTSIGNS International moved to a remote work model. She quickly prepared her team and franchisee partners to transition to remote-work.

Also, the company provided the necessary tools for FASTSIGNS centers to continue assisting other essential businesses while it’s inside sales, outside sales, and graphic design employees worked remotely. The team quickly created a “Prepared” site for its franchisees and their employees, filled with information and resources regarding COVID-related signage and safety barriers, how to sell and market remotely, how to keep employees engaged and connected while they work remotely, and much more.

Maintaining the Social Connect

Another vital change was the introduction of a video conference, Catherine conducted weekly connect that kept its franchise network informed. “I recorded weekly motivational videos to help our franchisees and their employees keep their spirits up during this challenging time,” says Catherine. The company quickly turned to virtual training opportunities, including new franchisee training, webinars for existing franchisees and their employees, and annual outside sales summit was held virtually. Also, it kept FASTSIGNS International team members connected and engaged with daily, weekly, and monthly group video conference meetings and fun.

Fortunately, the team of FASTSIGNS adjusted to these sudden changes swiftly and provided guidance and training for its franchisees for-complying with the FFCRA and applying for PPP loans. The team also created new products and services for its franchisees to sell and assist their customers and the surrounding communities be more prepared during this pandemic.

Catherine Monson

Related: The 10 Leaders Transforming Franchising 2020 

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Scroll to Top

Hire Us To Spread Your Content

Fill this form and we will call you.