Discover a wealth of opportunities at the National Franchise Exhibition

The National Franchise Exhibition 2008, taking place on 3rd and 4th October at Birmingham's NEC, is the perfect place for anyone looking to start and run their own franchise business, providing a wealth of business opportunities to invest in

The National Franchise Exhibition will offer visitors the chance to discover a wide range of franchise opportunities, allowing them to assess the benefits of running their own business as part of an established brand. The exhibition, sponsored by Bartercard and in association with the Daily Express and Sunday Express, will showcase more than 250 proven franchise concepts, from health and fitness, motoring and recruitment to cleaning, food and drink, and home improvement. Visitors will have the opportunity to find the business that is the ideal match for their specific skill set and interests.

Among the companies exhibiting will be Apollo Window Blinds, BB's Coffee & Muffins, Bartercard, Dream Doors, Dietcare, Cash Generator, Chemex, McDonalds Restaurants, Prontaprint, Signs Express, Snap-On Tools, Snappy Snaps, Subway, The Garage Door Team, Wimpy, Shoes Galore, Dietcare, Mail Boxes Etc, Papa John's, Premier Sport, RockMasters, Tiffinbites and The Original Smoothie Co. In addition to the franchises on offer, there will also be specialist advice to help visitors with every key aspect involved in franchising from how to raise capital, to handling legal contracts and employment issues. Experts include leading representatives from the British Franchise Association (bfa), high street banks, including Lloyds TSB, Nat West, HSBC, accountants such as Accountax and solicitors Owen White.

The exhibition is exclusively supported by the British Franchise Association (bfa), with all of the franchises present having been accredited by the bfa. Attendees to the exhibition can therefore be assured that every exhibitor abides by the bfa's code of ethical franchising and have all proven to be viable enterprises.

The National Franchise Exhibition is pleased to welcome to the exhibition as keynote speaker Josephine Fairley, co-founder of the organic chocolate company, Green & Black's. At 2pm on Saturday 4th October, Josephine will address the audience on how to become your own boss, drawing on her experiences of launching and building Green & Black's into the nationally recognised brand that it is today. Josephine will present key issues including the importance of setting realistic goals and how to achieve them, the importance of external sources of support and guidance and the lessons learnt from starting her own business ventures.

Other features at the exhibition include:

The ideal starting point for anyone new to franchising is the Find Your Franchise Zone. Specifically designed to help match visitors with their ideal franchises, the Zone aims to enable participants to better manage their time at the event. Visitors will be provided with a bespoke route plan around the exhibition, identifying the most relevant franchises present, by taking into account their level of investment, key interests and location.

The bfa will be running a series of highly informative free seminars on both days of the exhibition. Designed to appeal to everyone looking to find out more about becoming a franchisee or franchisor, they will include seminars from leading bfa members and affiliates from across the UK franchise industry. The seminars include:

  • 11am & 2pm Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th October - 'An introduction to franchising' - for prospective franchisees.
  • Aimed at aspiring business owners new to the franchising concept, this seminar will address issues including the benefits of franchising versus other business formats; what the franchisor looks for in a franchisee; what a franchisee should look for in a franchisor; the size and the expected growth of the franchise market; the initial choice of a franchise; the business plan; the finance and how to get it.
  • 12.30pm Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th October - 'How to franchise your business' - for prospective franchisors.
  • This free hour-long seminar consists of an essential overview of franchising as a means of expanding an existing business or developing a new venture and is a must for anyone looking to franchise their company. All the panellists are either bfa affiliated or bfa members.

The Women in Franchising Zone, sponsored by Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs, is a dedicated area designed to help educate and assist women visitors looking to run their own business. The Zone, which will open with a presentation from Chris Ash, Group Business Development Manager and a successful Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs franchisee, will feature a series of free inspirational seminars providing visitors with useful ideas and tips on being your own boss from a woman's perspective. The seminars will address key themes including turning an idea into a business concept and overcoming challenges.

Josephine Fairley, co-founder of Green & Black's, will present the Women in Franchising keynote address at 12.30pm on Saturday 4th October, entitled 'The highs and lows of being in business for yourself from a woman's perspective'. Josephine will draw on her experiences of launching and building the Green & Black's brand, and will discuss the key factors to consider when starting a business venture, particularly from the viewpoint of a woman.

Addressing 'Success starts with you', will be Jessica Huie, founder of Colorblind Cards, a multicultural greeting card company which is the UK's only ethnic card range to be stocked in a high street chain, and Lara Boyle, joint founder of Beauty & the Bib, designers of bespoke baby bibs. Both Jessica and Lara will give a fascinating account into how to build a small business from scratch, providing essential do's and don'ts for women looking at going into business.

Elizabeth Ashby of Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The National Franchise Exhibition comments: 'The Women in Franchising Zone at The National Franchise Exhibition plays a vital role in helping enterprising women pursue their business goals by addressing many aspects and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in everyday business life.'

For those considering investing in a franchise, and who want to gain a realistic insight into what it takes to become a franchisee, attendance of the Franchisee Forum - 'from employee to franchisee' is a must.

The Forum, taking place at 1.30pm on both days of the exhibition, will provide visitors with the perfect fact-finding opportunity allowing them to question and network with existing franchisees. Participating companies include Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness, Belvoir Lettings, Dream Doors, Transformations, Complete Weed Control, WPA and Sign-A-Rama, who will take questions from the audience and provide practical advice on how visitors can make the successful transition from being an employee to working for themselves. The event will include a 40 minute question and answer session followed by a 20 minute networking session over afternoon tea.

By being able to meet and network with existing franchisees, visitors will be able to benefit from their knowledge and experiences, learn essential dos and don'ts of becoming a franchisee and ultimately better equip themselves for taking that first step into franchising.

The Exhibitor Presentation Theatre is a fascinating element of the show where the founders of leading franchising companies and their franchisees will explain the ideas behind their businesses providing invaluable insight into the ideas and thoughts behind their franchise concepts. Speakers include representatives from companies including Bartercard, Subway, Snappy Snaps, Daiso and Platinum Property Partners.

Reported by: Alex Shephard

National Franchise Exhibition