About

Countrywide Signs was born from the splitting up of the national estate agent sign board erection and management franchise ‘Agency Signs‘. In fact Countrywide Signs still own the ‘Agency Signs’ brand.

Three of the top ‘Agency Signs’ franchisees joined forces to take the remains of the company forwards. These franchisees invested in creating a new business ‘Countrywide Signs’.  The Directors created a transparent and ethical business structure where everyone benefits; the estate agents, the property seller/buyer, the local Countrywide Signs franchisee and the national network as a whole.  The directors invested in cutting edge technology, systemised the business to the highest level (ISO 9001 / British Franchise Association – Full Members) and quickly became the market leaders, a position they continue to hold today.

Countrywide Signs employ the most experienced and ethical advisors to retain their market leading position. Together they work hard continuously investing in improving the nationally managed systems and local service, supporting franchise owners and their teams. Countrywide Signs are committed to providing the best value for money sign board management service on the market, now and into the future.

Countrywide Signs is a unique business in that the management team is made up of the company's most successful franchisees.  Yes you read that correctly, the entire management team is made up of the top performing franchisees, each having built up their own highly successful local Countrywide Signs office.

This puts the business in a very strong position.  The motivation of the Board of Directors is to focus on improving the business for a common goal to remain the market leading estate agent signboard erection and management company.

Tony Williams
Managing Director
QFP
An impressive background with 12 years as Managing Director of his own security company as well as 18+ years as a Countrywide Signs Franchisee and now Managing Director with a total of over 24 Years in Franchising. Tony is well equipped to lead the team building and supporting the Countrywide Signs Network.
     
Martin Attwood
Director
QFP

As a Countrywide Signs Director Martin's role is to drive the development of the national network, supporting our franchise owners and their local Countrywide Signs businesses. 

Before joining the Management Team, Martin was one of Countrywide Signs most successful Franchise Owners with 16 years experience running his own territory.

     

Simon Smith
National Franchise Manager

 
Simon brings a wealth of experience in sales & marketing, both Nationally and Internationally.  Simon has adapted and developed these skills first as a Countrywide Signs Franchisee before joining the Management Team 11 years ago. He is now involved in leading the National Accounts team and supporting the network of franchise owners.
     
John Lynch
Franchise Manager and Master Franchise Owner (Ireland & Northern Ireland)
 
John came to Countrywide Signs from 12 Years as Sales Director in the photographic industry. He began with 6 years as a Countrywide Signs Franchisee before becoming the National Sales Manager and subsequently taking on the role of Master Franchise Owner for Ireland and Northern Ireland.
     

Angela Attwood BSc (Hons)
Technical Communications Manager

 
This new post has been created to enhance communications with the franchise owner network via Newsletters, Franchise Manual updates and User Guides plus raising the Countrywide Signs profile with the general public and Estate Agents for the benefit of all in Countrywide Signs. Angela is a highly dedicated and skilled IT specialist with a Bsc (Hons) Degree and brings a wealth of experience built up over the last 16 years helping to run the Countrywide Signs Newmarket territory.
     

Sue Wakefield
Head Office Franchise Manager

 
A vast wealth of experience in overall Office Management/Event Organisation and Marketing over 36 years within diverse industries, to include 26 years in the City of London within the financial sector (banks/investment companies); training as a Dispensing Optician prior to moving to the Newmarket area, joining Countrywide Signs 5 years ago, with progression to becoming Head Office Franchise Manager.
     

Tyler Smith
National Accounts Manager

 
Tyler has moved into his role in the National Accounts after several years operating his own multi-van Countrywide Signs territory based around Liecester since 2003. This puts him in the perfect position to represent the Countrywide Signs network to the new breed of online agents with his first hand knowldge of delivering the service leading agents demand.

At Countrywide Signs we take our responsibility towards minimising our impact upon the environment seriously. Sign boards are made of correx plastic which is non-biodegradable and has a life span of approximately 500 years. Currently around 85% of the millions of boards used each year end up in landfill sites across the country.

To vastly reduce the number of signs ending up in landfill Countrywide Signs has formed a unique partnership with Sold on Recycling Ltd, which provides a nationwide collection and recycling service for sign boards. At Countrywide Signs we believe that this is a significant step forward and are proud to be leading the way for the rest of the sign board industry.

Countrywide Signs main competitive advantage is the exceptionally high standards that the entire business operates to. Certified standards include ISO 9001 and Full Membership of the British Franchise Association, both of which require deep and thorough regular examination to achieve and maintain.

bfa

Countrywide Signs - Standards

The business was structured from the beginning to operate to ISO 9001 quality standards. This attitude towards lean systemisation combined with the industry’s leading online estate agent sign board management system and automated accounting systems has led to an incredibly efficient company.

One of the bfa's main roles is to help potential franchisees recognise the good franchises and the not-so-good, as well as to help businesses involved in franchising to secure their own position amongst the "good".

This work is not just a philanthropic exercise for reputable and responsible franchisors. It makes good commercial sense. The ability of franchisors to attract potential franchisees to invest in their systems depends crucially on their own reputation, and on the reputation of franchising in general.

It was for these reasons that in 1977 the major franchise companies in the UK decided to set up their own association. The British Franchise Association (bfa), was formed to act in the interests of the industry as a whole in assessing and accrediting franchising companies as those which meet its criteria for the structure of the franchise business, the terms of the contract between franchisor and franchisee, the testing of the system and its success as a franchise.

bfa Full Member

Full Members of the bfa are established franchised businesses, with a proven trading history and record in franchising they will have an established network of franchisees

There is a real business up and running where end products and services are being sold successfully to customers. The franchise agreement is sound, and by joining the bfa the company has committed itself to develop the business in accordance with bfa industry standards.

The franchisor will be continuing to invest in support and development of their network.

There will be franchisees whose experience you can research before deciding to invest and the business will have been tested over a period of time and there will be evidence of its ability to establish a solid network.

Full Members of the bfa are prepared to have their reputation examined by the bfa.

ISO 9001 sets out the steps necessary to adopt a quality management system.  It is designed to help organisations ensure they meet the needs and expectations of both customers and other interested parties, based on internationally recognised quality management principles set out by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

At the heart of the standard is a quality policy and set of systems and principles that tie together business objectives, customer needs and your marketing plan.  When this approach to quality is embedded across the business every employee understands how their actions create a better customer experience and processes are put in place to continually review and improve that customer experience.

ISO 9001 is what is known as a ‘generic standard’ – this means it can be applied to any organisation no matter its size or complexity.

ISO 9001 Principles

Each principle features ISO 9001 procedures which management can implement and the benefits derived from making these changes.

Read More about ISO 9001 principles

The Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) is the only nationally recognised qualification specific to the franchising industry. It signifies a highly developed level of expertise and experience in franchising and a thorough understanding of its complexities, ethical standards and best practices. 

Unlike membership of the bfa, the QFP is specific to an individual and not to a company. It’s a recognition of a personal level of commitment, time and continuous professional development by a member of the franchising community.

Encouraging Women Into Franchising's (EWIF) primary focus is to support women who are looking for a route into the franchise industry. EWIF's remit is threefold; to encourage women to consider buying a franchise, to encourage business women to franchise their existing operations and to help franchisors attract more women to their networks. EWIF is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, providing advice and guidance to anyone looking at trying to break into the franchise industry. 

EWIF partner with other professionals in the franchise industry in order to offer the best guidance and support possible. Giving expert advice has enabled EWIF to partner many women with suitable franchisors and allowed them to build successful businesses. MPs such as Nicky Morgan, Minister for Women and Equalities, and Justin Tomlinson, Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party, have attended EWIF meetings. They also hold regular meetings in the House of Commons which allows them to lobby for changes in areas that affect their members and to spread the word about franchising and its benefits even further. 

The NatWest/bfa franchise survey for 2013 revealed that women now account for 30% of franchisees in the UK which is a 2% increase since 2011. However, over the last two years, only 18% of new franchisees have been women which is a dramatic decrease since 2011 when 38% of new franchisees were female. Franchising can be a great move for women who are looking to take their career a step further or to have a career that fits in around their home life. EWIF are looking to change the face of the franchise sector so that women have a much larger presence than they do currently and to balance out the ratio of men to women in the franchise industry. 

EWIF regional meetings are held around the UK on a regular basis to allow franchisors and prospective franchisees and franchisees to meet, network, discuss best practice and hear from a range of industry experts. EWIF also hold an annual awards ceremony, sponsored by NatWest, to recognise the achievements of women in franchising and to boost their position and give them more credibility in their industry.

Countrywide Signs has an established Master Franchise covering the Republic of Ireland which has been operating successfully as an integrated part of the network for over 10 years.

About Us


Countrywide Signs is a multi-van management franchise. This franchise model actively encourages franchise owners to work on their business' rather than being stuck 'working in the business.' We want you to grow your business!

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Contact Us

15 Kings Court
Newmarket
Suffolk
CB8 7SG
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