Recruiting entrepreneurs for success

With a range of experts and industry insiders on hand to answer questions, the National Franchise Exhibition offers a great opportunity to meet the movers and shakers of franchising

As the UK's largest and most important franchise event the National Franchise Exhibition creates new and highly successful franchise entrepreneurs each year. This year the event will be held on 2nd and 3rd October 2009 at the NEC in Birmingham, featuring the most diverse range of proven franchises. The exhibition provides an opportunity for aspiring business owners and existing entrepreneurs to learn everything they need to know about franchising. Whether looking to franchise an existing company, or becoming a franchise owner, the event will be the ideal one-stop shop for anyone's business needs.

Weathering the downturn better than most industries, franchising contributed £11.4 billion to the country's GDP in 2008. During this turbulent economic period investors have turned to the franchise industry, attracted by the security of an already established brand, proven business model and support network on-hand. Banks have also remained supportive of the industry because of its proven model - based on businesses which are already successfully trading. As one of the few sectors to hold its own over the past year - with 90 percent of franchises reporting profitable trading in 2008, as they did in 2007 - the franchise market continues to contribute significantly to the nation's economy.

The National Franchise Exhibition provides a comprehensive overview into this prospering industry and gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the structure behind some of the country's most well-known brands and meet the people behind them and existing franchise owners. The exhibition, supported by the Daily Express and Sunday Express, will showcase more than 150 proven franchise concepts, from health and fitness, motoring and recruitment to cleaning, food and drink, and home improvement. With a franchise concept to suit every budget, lifestyle and skillset, people looking for their next career can't afford to miss the event.

Each year, the National Franchise Exhibition delivers a dynamic range of franchise concepts to potential franchise owners and 2009 is no exception. This year, exhibiting companies include Agency Express, Cash Generator, ChipsAway, Computer Xplorers, Diet Care, Energie Fitness, Go-Kart Party, McDonald's, Papa John's, Prestige Nursing, Snappy Snaps, Subway and WPA. "This event is a showcase of proven business opportunities that are ready to be bought and launched," says Mike Seaman, Franchise Portfolio Manager at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The National Franchise Exhibition.

"We know franchising boasts particular elements of security that independent business start-ups don't offer and people are really starting to take notice of that especially due to the economic downturn. They are learning more about franchising and confidence in the business model is spreading to all demographics, so we're anticipating a healthy number of knowledgeable visitors who are serious about the investment opportunities presented to them."

An extensive conference programme comprising of a series of seminar tracks on key franchise-related topics will also be available to visitors. The tracks include: the British Franchise Association (bfa) seminars; women in franchising; growing your own business; as well as high level investment franchising, which is directed at those visitors who have a large amount of capital to spend on a franchise; franchise resales, a case-study and educational session looking at how to sell a franchise and the advantages of buying an existing franchise outlet; management in franchising, defying the misconceptions on the day-to-day running of a franchise; and couples in franchising, which will identify how couples can successfully strike a work-life balance with a franchise business. All aspects of running a hands on franchise will be discussed for those entrepreneurs wanting a practical business who enjoy meeting new people all the time and getting out and about. These are traditionally highly popular with visitors and attract lively capacity audiences to the presentation theatre, keen to listen and ask questions.

The enlightening Growing Your Own Business seminars will also be held again at this year's event. A range of entrepreneurs and specialists will speak about all aspects of business that an entrepreneur needs to know to be successful, from how to raise finance to marketing.

The Franchise Starting Point, based on the Business Franchise magazine stand, will be dedicated to helping visitors completely new to the concept of franchising learn the basics of the business model. Franchise owners and franchisors will be on-hand to offer advice and guidance and shed light on the realities of working within a franchise network.

The Franchisee Panel will offer visitors the opportunity to hear from franchise owners about their success, failures and transition periods from employee to a self-employed franchise owner. Encapsulating the 'working for yourself, but not by yourself' mantra of franchising, speakers on the panel will provide matter of fact stories, anecdotes and advice which no handbook can offer, proving to be invaluable for anyone looking to enter the franchise market.

The National Franchise Exhibition is exclusively supported by the bfa and only features franchise companies that have met the Association's code of ethics. This means visitors can be confident in the franchise opportunities presented to them as they are an ethical entity within the UK market.

Reported by Louise Smith

National Franchise Exhibition