First step on new career path

Kevin Winch, a retired purchasing manager from Manchester, was just one of the many visitors who found that a day at The British Franchise Exhibition last year was highly worthwhile

Businesses spanning sectors such as travel, property, finance and technology will be exhibiting, with options to suit a range of budgets, lifestyle and tastes. Companies confirmed so far include Plug and Play, Kare Plus, Chemex International, Cash Converters, Dublcheck, Service Master, Anytime Fitness, Agency Express, Platinum Property Partners, McDonald’s,
Caremark and Rosemary Bookkeeping, with many more major names to follow.

Being able to meet a wide variety of franchise businesses under one roof is a major draw for budding franchise owners. Ming Jiang from Sutton Coldfield, who works in the hotel industry and visited the event last year, explains: “It was good to compare companies in this sector all in one place. I thought The British Franchise Exhibition was very good overall.”

Visitors can have confidence in the companies they meet, as the exhibition is still the only franchise event in the North endorsed by the British Franchise Association (bfa), the regulatory body for franchising in the UK. This means that all companies exhibiting have met the Association’s code of ethical franchising.

As well as the many varied exhibitors, there is an extensive free conference programme which includes practical advice seminars by the bfa, providing visitors with the information they need to progress their research. During these sessions, a panel of experts will cover all aspects of franchising including how to find funding, where to go for legal advice and what a franchisor looks for in a franchisee.

Real franchise stories is always a popular feature as it offers a valuable insight into life as a franchisee, providing an opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the transition period from being employee to a self-employed franchisee.

Exclusive to The British Franchise Exhibition are the Open Sessions held by McDonald’s. Visitors can find out what goes on behind the scenes of one of the world’s biggest brands and investigate whether becoming a McDonald’s franchisee is right for them.

At the Careers Clinic, experts from Personal Career Management will help visitors benchmark their skills to help create a clear, focused and realistic career plan. Also, facilitated by Franchise Finance, specialists in securing finance for franchise businesses, the Finance Clinic is a free-to-attend area at The British Franchise Exhibition, designed to offer expert advice on how best to raise funds to buy a franchise and how to fulfil the banks’ lending criteria.

Two further events later this year provide the chance to meet face-to-face with franchise companies and learn more about the industry. Franchise Opportunities Live will take place in London on September 6 and 7, the UK’s largest franchise event, The National Franchise Exhibition,will be at the NEC in Birmingham on October 4 and 5.

Visitors can, however gain FREE admission by using the promotional code TFMAPR when they register on the website.