Attend franchise exhibitions to find the right opportunity for you

19/07/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Franchise exhibitions to find the best franchise opportunity

A franchise exhibition is a great way to find out about a whole range of franchise opportunities that are available to you with the added benefit of all being in the same place.

Hundreds of franchise brands share their opportunities in franchise events up and down the country. If youre considering becoming a franchisee or youre unsure of the type of industry that youll be best suited to you, attending a franchise exhibition could give you the answers youre looking for.

Here are some tips on finding the right franchise for you at a franchise show:

Find an exhibition accredited by the British Franchise Association

Although many franchise events take place every month, there are only four exhibitions that are accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa) each year. Attending one of these big four events will allow you to confidently discuss your future with franchise brands safe in the knowledge that theyre bfa members or have been approved as exhibitors by the bfa.

Whats more, the exhibitions held in association with the bfa are free to attend. All you have to do is pre-register, and you can get access to a whole host of interesting seminars and reputable franchisors at no cost at all.

The next bfa-accredited exhibition takes place on the 5th and 6th October at the NEC in Birmingham. You can find out more about franchise events, seminars and forums at the British Franchise Association website.

Keep calm

To ensure you get the most out of the day, look on the exhibition website or request a catalogue and plan your day carefully. The events can be busy and overwhelming if you haven't got a strategy in place. If you know who you want to speak to before the event, you'll leave feeling like you've achieved what you set out to.

When you arrive at the event try not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the exhibitors. Remember that they are there to get people excited by their franchise opportunity. They will have invested time and money into producing the most eye-catching stand with a compelling sales pitch to match.

Remember to stay focussed and look for the franchises that you have short-listed before the event. It can be easy to become distracted by other stands but try to meet everyone that you have planned to first and if theres still time you can consider some other opportunities later in the day.

It can also be tough not to get carried away when you find a franchise that appears to be the perfect fit. Some exhibitors may attempt to get you to sign up for an opportunity there and then, but this is strongly advised against. If the event is the first time that you have met with representatives from the franchise, youll need more time to reflect on whether its right for you.

Always consult your loved ones and franchise professionals before you invest thousands of pounds on a franchise opportunity. If you're feeling pressured into agreeing to join a franchise, then it's probably not the kind of business that you want to be part of anyway.

Just keep calm and walk away.

Be prepared

When you apply for a job, you can expect to be quizzed in an interview environment which can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. But when you attend a franchise exhibition, youre the one doing the interviewing.

So that you can find out the answers to all the questions that you want to ask, prepare them before you attend the event. You have an excellent opportunity to speak directly to franchisors, but if your mind goes blank, you may come away from the discussion with less information than you'd like.

With so many prospective franchisees at the exhibition, franchisors will be keen to spend most of their time with people who are genuinely interested in the opportunity. For this reason, it's vital that you make it clear that you have done your research and have prepared your questions as you're serious about investing. This should ensure that you get the time and attention that you need to make an informed decision.

Make the most of the seminars.

Make sure you schedule time in your day to learn more about franchising while youre at the event. Most franchise exhibitions host seminars which aim to educate and inform you about crucial topics shared by industry experts.

The seminar subjects range from an introduction to franchising' for complete beginners, to how to grow your franchise' for the more experienced franchisees in attendance. There is something for everyone and is a hugely valuable part of the exhibition.

As well as the seminars, youll get to hear inspirational stories from real life franchisees, motivational advice from keynote speakers, and lots of educational presentations and workshops.

Theres a lot to take in, so just like youve planned to meet with certain franchisors, review the exhibition catalogue and highlight the sessions that youll get the most out of. This way youll know where to be at what times before you even step foot in the venue.

Take time to think over your options.

When the event is over, you should take time to reflect on everything you've learned. If you've made notes, then look over them the next day with an open mind. Hopefully attending the event will have given you an idea of which franchise brands will be best for you so now you can concentrate on researching your favourites.

A big part of your research should be consulting accountants and solicitors who specialise in franchising to validate the claims that franchisors have made. Buying a franchise is a huge decision to make so you should do so only once you fully understand what is expected of you and what the total investment costs are.

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