If you’re looking to buy a franchise, it’s important that you gather as much information about the franchises you’re interested in. Taking the time to explore franchises, their history and their demand, is called due diligence. There are many ways to learn about franchises. Simply visiting a franchised business’s website, maybe even social media. But what about franchise shows and exhibitions, are they worth the effort? Should you attend a franchise exhibition?
Investing in a franchise is a big commitment. Owning a business is a lot of work but it is very rewarding. Franchise exhibitions are a great way to find out about franchises for sale. Here are some reasons why you should certainly consider attending a franchise exhibition.
Franchise Exhibitions Are Free
Well, most of them are. The main franchise exhibitions in the UK are always free. You simply register online for an eTicket and this grants you access to the exhibition. These franchising events are usually very well placed, situated in the busier yet more accessible parts of the country. Namely Birmingham (NEC) and London (ExCeL).
Both of these cities are easy to access by train, with a station within 5 minute walk of both of these centres. While you’d typically expect to pay for a show or exhibition at one of these places, franchise exhibitions are almost always free. This is a great way to find out about what opportunities are out there.
Plenty of Franchise Opportunities
If you’re still at a learning stage, or are still open to ideas, exhibitions are a great starting point. At an exhibition, you can expect to see over 100 franchises, some of which you have probably never heard of! At each of the stands, franchisors will be speaking to visitors and handing out leaflets/brochures. It can be a lot to take in, visiting multiple brands throughout the day. Taking home a flyer or magazine can enable you to process the information better later on. The papers franchisors give you will tell you more about the opportunity, what’s included, the support etcetera.
Franchisors won’t be selling franchises to you there and then. They’re simply there to answer questions and explain more about their franchise. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for the right franchise, but the franchisor will be looking for the right franchisee too. Franchise exhibitions exist to help with due diligence and to share information, nothing more.
A Wealth of Knowledge
You’ll be able to find plenty of franchising experts at the exhibitions. This knowledge and information can be delivered in a few ways. You might find franchise consultants, partners and suppliers with their own stands (for example banks, vehicle leasing experts etc). And on the other hand, you’ve got insightful seminars. Franchising professionals will deliver speeches to an audience and you can drop in, take a seat and listen to their seminar – at no cost. There is no such thing as too much information.
At a franchise seminar, you might expect to listen to franchise consultants talking about franchising a business. Or they might talk about the steps involved with buying a franchise. You may also hear from franchisors talking about their brands. In the same manner, you might hear from franchisees talking about their first-person experience buying a franchise. Banks may also take to the stage to explain more about how they can help you fund a franchise. There is a lot of financial support out there for people looking to buy a franchise. Banks are able to bring franchises within reach of many people.
Franchises Want to Speak to You!
Franchisors won’t be trying to sell franchises there and then, but they do very much want to speak to you. Franchisors will be spending thousands of pounds on stands, banners, leaflets and more. The typical cost of a stand could be anywhere up to £6,000! Given that some of their own competitors will also be exhibiting, speaking to attendees and raising brand awareness is very high up on their list.
Do take the time to speak to franchises because they are spending a lot of money to be there. The goal of an exhibitor at a show is to share more information about their brand, and for anyone interested in their brand, the next step will usually be a franchise discovery day or a one to one call. It certainly won’t be signing a franchise agreement. So don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A Chance to Ask Questions
Both you and the franchisor will have many questions to ask before buying a franchise, and this is a great chance to ask them. Find out more about their franchisees – how many do they have? Is your franchise territory available? What is the role of a franchisee, what will your daily role consist of? This is a great opportunity to ask questions of the franchisor. But they will also want to ask you a few questions. Why are you considering franchising? What sort of business are you looking for? Where are you hoping to open a franchise?
Attending Franchise Exhibitions – In Summary
It is a good idea to attend franchise exhibitions, making them one part of a whole in your search for franchises. Using other mediums such as social media, franchise directories alongside franchise exhibitions can help you establish a clear path of what you want to achieve in your search for a franchise.
It is a good idea to make a list of brands you want to see before attending the exhibition. This helps you to avoid walking around aimlessly and not fulfilling what you set out to achieve before attending. Make a list of brands and a list of questions, and gather info from each. After the event, use the information you’ve garnered, from leaflets, brochures etc, and research them in more detail.
If you like what you’ve seen, the next step would be to speak to the franchisor a bit more. Come up with more questions, and maybe look at attending a franchise discovery day.
Franchise exhibitions usually occur several times a year, in different parts of the country. Find out when the upcoming franchise exhibitions are and why not pop along?