The perfect place to choose a franchise - The National Franchise Exhibition

If you are considering a new career as a franchise owner, then you must visit The National Franchise Exhibition, the UK's largest franchise event, held on 1 and 2 October 2010 at the NEC in Birmingham.

The National Franchise Exhibition will be packed with superb business opportunities from the most diverse range of proven franchises, as well as providing an opportunity for aspiring business owners and existing entrepreneurs to find the latest new business ideas and learn everything they need to know from seminars and by speaking to experts. This one-stop shop for franchising will provide a comprehensive overview of the industry and give visitors the chance to learn about some of the country's best-known franchised brands and meet the people behind them.

At the exhibition there will be a franchise concept to suit every budget, lifestyle and skill among more than 150 proven franchise concepts on show. They range from health and fitness, motoring and recruitment to cleaning, food and drink, and home improvement.

This year exhibiting companies include McDonald's, Papa John's, 5aday Box Supplies, Banana Moon Day Nursery, Barrett & Coe, Dream Doors, Colourfence, Jabber Jacks, Little Angels UK, Raleigh UK, Subway and MOLLY MAID.

Visitors can be confident that the franchise opportunities presented to them are a reliable choice within the UK market because The National Franchise Exhibition is exclusively supported by the British Franchise Association (bfa) and only features franchise companies that have met the Association's code of ethics.

"This event is a showcase of proven business opportunities with highly reputable established brands that are a valuable asset to anyone starting up on their own," says Adrian Goodsell, Franchise Exhibition Manager at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The National Franchise Exhibition.

Over the years many current franchise owners have found their ideal opportunity at The National Franchise Exhibition. For example, father and son franchise owner team, Keith and Robert Walker, from North Staffordshire, saw the potential of franchising and came across Recognition Express when Keith visited the exhibition.

"I've always wanted to run a business. I did some part-time courses while I was a policeman, an MBA and a course in HR, and they inspired me to put the theories into practice," says Keith.

"I visited The National Franchise Exhibition two years before retiring and met Recognition Express. I didn't do anything at the time but when I retired from the police I was only 49 and a bit too young to stop working. Rob was looking for another job and I thought it was an ideal opportunity to work together. We did a bit of research and then decided to go ahead and have been in business for just over a year and achieved our initial targets. We still have a way to go and are now planning to expand the business."

Invaluable business plan advice
This year The National Franchise Exhibition will be packed with more features than ever before. For the first time, regular exhibitors Lloyds TSB will host the Lloyds TSB Business Plan Clinic where visitors will be able to gain practical advice about how to prepare a credible business plan, and to be ready to meet with Bank Managers and Finance Consultants.

As gaining funding is crucial, the Lloyds TSB Business Plan Clinic is a vital resource for aspiring entrepreneurs to ensure they are ready to meet their Bank Managers well prepared.

Franchise Resales
Also new to the show this year is the Franchise Resales Pavilion, where budding business people can learn about the benefits of investing in an already-established outlet. According to research in the annual British Franchise Association (bfa)/NatWest survey, over a third of all new franchise owners who join franchisors are doing so through a resale opportunity, so visitors therefore should consider this as another approach when identifying potential business option for their next career challenge.

Franchise Starting Point
The Franchise Starting Point will be dedicated to helping visitors completely new to the concept of franchising find ideas to suit them. Franchising experts including the bfa team, specialists from leading banks, accountants, lawyers as well as current franchise owners and franchisors will be on hand to provide visitors with all the help and advice they need as they consider their options and prepare to develop a successful franchise business.

A series of Franchise Owner Panels
The popular and inspiring Franchise Owner Panels return with even more opportunities to hear from franchise owners about the reality of the transition period from being employee to a self-employed franchise owner. These panel sessions enable visitors to have all their questions answered and find out the pros and cons of becoming a franchise owner.

Children's activity centres
The Creation Station, one of the UK's leading creative arts and crafts class provider for children, has teamed with the exhibition organisers to help parents concerned about what their children can do while they visit the exhibition. The Children's Activity Centre, which is completely free, will take place 10:15am-11:45am and 2-3:30pm. It will provide fun workshops where children can try out artistic creative activities that will stir their imagination, engage and entertain them in a safe environment while parents are looking around the event.

Free seminar programme
A key element of The National Franchise Exhibition is the extensive free conference programme which includes seminars by the bfa. During these sessions, a panel of experts including bank representatives, lawyers, franchise owners and franchisors, will cover all aspects of the business model including how to find funding, who you should go to for legal advice and what a franchisor looks for in a franchise owner.

There will also be a series of free seminars on key franchise-related topics including women in franchising, growing your own business, high level investment franchising, franchise resales, executives in franchising, hands-on franchising and couples in franchising.

In addition, The National Franchise Exhibition will feature expert speakers including Richard Forte, Chief Operations Officer at McDonald's UK, who will examine Why Franchise Owners Are Well Placed To Weather The Economic Storm. Mark Scott, Director of Franchise Development at NatWest will share his expertise during Finding The Funds For Your Business and Professor Roy Seaman CFE, founder and Chairman of Franchise Development Services, will be introducing a number of experienced franchise consultants delivering seminars How to Successfully Franchise Your Business.

The inspiring Growing Your Own Business seminars will, as usual, feature entrepreneurs and specialists who will speak about all aspects of business that an entrepreneur needs to know to be successful, from how to raise finance to marketing.

Reported by Chris Lewis

National Franchise Exhibition