Big Apple has franchise success at its core

Joel Goldstein, of MFV Expositions, explains how the International Franchise Expo on June 15-17 will provide the perfect launch pad for expanding a franchise network.

Growing their franchise network is a high priority for franchisors across the globe and there are ample resources to do this, but only few will produce the most positive results.

There are specific, strategic steps to take on the road to expansion, and before considering growth of any kind, franchisors must establish a solid brand identity and consistent brand messaging, along with the due diligence to discover which markets are right for a brand. When they are ready to expand, it’s time to find the people who will play the crucial role in their success and growth.

The International Franchise Expo (IFE) provides a perfect outlet for franchisors to reach investors who are ready to grow their business. This year, the IFE is relocating to the USA’s business capital – New York City – attracting thousands of investors from all over the world who are serious about starting or expanding their business. Many franchise opportunities are looking forward to the new location as a chance to meet new prospects.

John Twist, Vice President of Development at Batteries Plus, says: “We’re looking to expand Batteries Plus’ store presence in Northeast America and the IFE’s move to New York affords us a better opportunity to directly reach out to prospective franchise owners in a market where we will be opening stores.”

If you’re going to be utilising the highly regarded exhibition as a tactic to build your brand, there are a few important things to consider regarding growth from the Big Apple.

New York = new opportunities

No matter where you plan to grow your business, New York City provides a perfect opportunity to reach investors from all over the world, with the IFE attracting visitors from more than 45 countries. Warren Christiansen, Vice President of Franchising at Fatburger North America, explains that his brand has already penetrated several international markets, and will be exhibiting at IFE to explore new markets that meet Fatburger’s expansion goals.

“Our growth has been strong in the Middle East and Asia and there are a number of large markets that we plan to expand into,” he reveals. “We’ll be at the IFE to meet candidates from Europe, South America and the USA. We expect to see great results.”

New York City offers a rewarding opportunity for those brands outside of the USA interested in coming into New York to grow internationally. The Noodle House, based in Dubai and part of Jumeriah Restaurants, is a brand that is looking forward to capitalising on opportunities in New York City – the centre for food and beverage across the States.

“Exhibiting at the IFE really puts our brand in the fray of all those that are already in New York City,” reveals Phil Broad, Managing Director of Jumeriah Restaurants and The Noodle House. “It’s a competitive market to enter, but I think we have a brand that can show people what you can really do with Southeast Asian cuisine.”

As you get excited about all the prospects you can meet at the show, it is important to conduct sufficient research beforehand. Your brand may be well known in your home market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will translate to markets around the world. Solid research will yield the most potential for your brand, especially if you’re just beginning to expand.

New York = new relationships

In addition to the beneficial opportunity for franchisors interested in expanding internationally, IFE offers a prime outlet to build and establish relationships with serious individuals that are interested in being part of franchising.

IFE exhibitors benefit from face-to-face contact. David Tarr, Director of Franchise Development at Liberty Tax Service, feels that being present at the IFE delivers opportunities to get to know people, build a rapport and set a tone for the exchanging of information and a follow-up phone call.

“The process flows a lot smoother when you can put a face with a name and the personality of the prospect that you’re going to be working with,” explains David.

“We’re looking forward to being part of the IFE and growing with the show. We’re excited about it – it’s a new city for the IFA and MFV and we know we’re going to get a whole lot more exposure among people who are looking for a specific opportunity in franchising, and that’s where our bread and butter is.”

Exhibitions are a great way to meet serious people who are looking to expand into a new business and get a great return on their investment. Jerry Cohn, Area Developer at Lucille Roberts, feels that there is nothing better than meeting prospects in person.

“You can read body language and communicate a lot better,” says Jerry. “When you talk to someone personally and shake their hand, you have the relationship and rapport that is essential to get to the next step. It’s a wonderful opportunity and a great way to market your business.”

Tony Foley, International Director of Untied Franchise Group, believes that in today’s economy, you need every resource available to generate leads and build your business. Face-to-face contact is irreplaceable and events like the IFE help successfully promote a lot of franchises for that reason. “The IFE in New York City will offer United Franchise Group yet another opportunity to develop our brands and make franchise sales,” adds Tony.

While exhibitions deliver thousands of candidates to your stand, as an exhibitor it is important to have a strategy beforehand and to make sure every member of your team is clear on what you are trying to accomplish. You may need to identify a certain type of prospect who aligns closest to your goals.

While there will be plenty of people to meet, you’ll want to be sure to build relationships with those who matter. Having a strategy will ensure that you make the best use of your time and see the most results. Exhibitions present a great opportunity to set expansion plans into motion and meet investors from all over the world that are interested in new business opportunities in franchising. New York City opens the doors to expansion for franchises of all kinds looking to expand here at home and around the world.

The International Franchise Expo takes place in The Javits Center, New York City, from June 15 to 17.