Take your first franchise steps

The UK's largest franchise event kicks off at the Birmingham NEC on Friday, October 4 and runs for two days. Emma Ward previews this prestigious event.

Taking the first steps towards becoming self-employed can be daunting. There are so many questions to consider such as which business sector to choose, how to finance the venture and whether franchising is an option. Research, therefore, is crucial and attending key industry events forms a key part of this.

A major event, which takes place in Birmingham later this year, puts budding entrepreneurs in contact with some of the UK’s leading franchise experts and enables them to meet face-to-face with franchise businesses to discuss opportunities. The National Franchise Exhibition, the UK’s largest franchise event, takes place on October 4 & 5 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham. It showcases a wide variety of franchise businesses from diverse industries such as food and drink, home improvement, property and fitness. This is a major draw for many visitors to the show.

Petra Gale, a Commercial Director of a motorsport company from Birmingham, who attended last year, said: “There is a nice mixture of exhibitors. We had researched and pre-arranged some appointments before coming today, but we’ve also found some new ideas that we did not think of before so now have extra prospects to consider.”

Some of the major names set to exhibit include Belvoir Lettings, Just Shutters, etyres, Anytime Fitness, Safeclean, Southern Fried Chicken, WPA, Top Gear, Rosemary Bookkeeping, Agency Express, Dream Doors and McDonald’s. Alongside the exhibitors, this renowned event includes many exciting free features to provide visitors with a greater understanding of life as a franchise owner and provide the help they need to build a career running their own franchised business successfully. The extensive free conference at The National Franchise Exhibition enables visitors to find out everything they need to know about franchising. Where to start? Who to talk to or go to for advice? Importantly, which franchise would best suit them. Experts from the British Franchise Association (bfa), members of the legal and finance professions and business advisers will deliver valuable advice and guidance.

Visitors can also attend informative seminars with a panel of industry leading experts include lawyers, bankers, consultants and franchisors.

Kerry Kimber, from Edinburgh, works in the education industry. She said: “I’ve been attending seminars and spoken to advisors such as lawyers. It has been really helpful. Everyone has been very enthusiastic. Well worth the trip.” Real Franchise Stories is an unmissable free feature. Existing franchise owners will provide first-hand accounts of being in a franchise team. They will share their personal experiences and details of their success and challenges faced.
What’s more, visitors can have confidence in the franchise opportunities available, as they are an ethical entity within the UK market. The National Franchise Exhibition is the only franchise exhibition in Birmingham to be supported by the bfa, which only allows franchise companies that have met the Association’s Code of Ethics to exhibit.

Admission on the door is £15, however visitors can gain FREE admission by using the promotional code TFMJUNE - please register your interest below for a link to the website.