Franchise exhibitions - 5 reasons to go

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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 them 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, attending a franchise exhibition could give you the answers youre looking for.

Franchise Exhibitions - 5 Reasons to Go

There are countless benefits of attending a franchise exhibition, but today well look at the top five.

1. If you register in advance, the majority of franchise exhibitions are completely free. In fact, all of the BFA-accredited franchise exhibitions dont require an entry fee. If youre considering entering the franchise world, why waste such an amazing opportunity to speak to industry experts? Especially when it wont cost you anything.

2. Mingle with franchisees. Building on what weve just mentioned, franchise exhibitions are a great opportunity to speak to franchisors, industry leaders, current franchisees and other entrepreneurs in a similar position to you.

Potentially the biggest advantage is that you get to chat with current franchisees, so you can get a real idea of what running the franchise entails rather than simply believing what the franchisor says.

One thing to look out for in particular is the amount of support that youll receive. Assess how much support you think you will need to run the franchise and if you dont think it will be enough, either discuss it with the franchisor or look at franchises that provide more ongoing guidance.

Speaking to franchisees is instrumental in you making an informed decision and choosing the franchise opportunity that is best matched to you. We will explore this in more detail below too.

3. Access to helpful seminars. Choosing the right franchise is only the first step. Franchise exhibitions provide seminars from industry experts covering everything from crafting a business plan to financing your franchises development to standing out on social media to maximising the potential of an aging population.

4. Forming relationships. You can network and make contacts with the frontrunners in the industry who you might not have met otherwise. If you particularly enjoyed or were inspired by one of the speakers or workshops, then go out of your way to talk to them after. Try to be as enthusiastic and passionate as possible.

5. Face-to-face interaction with franchisors. Theres only so much that online research can do when it comes to providing an accurate representation of a franchisor, what they can offer and what they are looking for. Meeting the franchisor in real life will help you establish the dynamic of the relationship and whether you would be able to work together successfully. Otherwise you might waste time seriously considering a franchise where you dont gel well with the franchisor.

How to find the right franchise for you

Now lets look at some tips for finding the perfect franchise for you at a franchise show:

1. 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. These are The National Franchise Exhibition, Franchise Opportunities, The British and International Franchise Exhibition and the Northern Franchise Exhibition.

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.

Upcoming BFA-accredited franchise shows

The National Franchise Exhibition

The next BFA-accredited exhibition is the National Franchise Exhibition and takes place on the 4th and 5th October at the NEC in Birmingham. The two-day event is unmissable for both entrepreneurs considering becoming a franchisee, as well as potential franchisors.

There are over 100 franchise brands exhibiting there from a diverse range of industries. So, whether you fancy launching a clothes shop franchise or franchising your current automotive repair business, you can find all the answers you need at the event.

At the Finance Clinic, you can have a one-to-one meeting with a finance expert who can guide you through the types of funding that are most appropriate based on your business plan.

For more information about the franchise shows and exhibitions for 2019/2020 click here.

You can also find out more about franchise events, seminars and forums at the British Franchise Association website.

2. Keep calm

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.

3. Stay focused

Remember to stay focused 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.

4. Be prepared

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 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.

5. Make the most of the seminars

Ensure that 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 this is a hugely valuable part of the exhibition.

6. Learn from the experts

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.

7. Carefully consider the franchise opportunity

Always consult your loved ones and franchise professionals before you invest thousands of pounds into 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.

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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