The perfect opportunity to start your new career

The National Franchise Exhibition, taking place on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 October, is the perfect place for budding entrepreneurs to learn all about franchising as a career.

It is the UK’s largest franchise event, offering everything a potential franchise owner needs under one roof at Birmingham’s NEC. Not only can visitors to the exhibition meet with more than 140 franchise ventures covering a wide variety of industries, but there are also opportunities to meet experts and receive guidance and support in all areas of setting up a franchised business.

What’s on show? Over the course of the two days, there will be a comprehensive programme of free seminars led by experts covering all aspects, from how to find finance, to how to set up on your own. Accredited professionals will take all of the seminars and talks from the bfa and banks, as well as consultants and accountants.

Anyone who feels they have little experience in business should start at the Franchise Starting Point, where experts are on hand to advise on every aspect of franchising and who to meet. The Franchise Finance team at the Finance Clinic are also available to provide guidance on how to build a business plan and how to secure finance, amongst other things.

The Real Franchise Stories seminars will also give visitors the opportunity to hear inspiring accounts from people who have already become successful franchise owners – talking about the realities of making the transition from being employed to self-employed and their successes and failures. This is perhaps the best place to start, as visitors are welcome to ask questions on any aspect of how the speakers made it to where they are now.

One of the most popular aspects is the Grow Your Own Business conference, where this year successful entrepreneurs Matt Roberts and Nathan Littleton will be providing advice and assistance to their audience.

Matt Roberts will be telling visitors about ‘Starting a business – your rules, your way’ at 12:15 on Friday 4 October. His experience stems from setting up his own successful company, Bean2Bed, in 2005. The innovative guest-bed solution has since appeared on Channel 4 and celebrates a number of famous faces amongst its customers. Matt will be talking about his start-up story, the highs and lows and will be sharing his tips and advice with the audience.

Nathan Littleton will be speaking at 12:30 on Saturday 5 October on the theme of ‘What a 12 year-old can teach you about business’. An award-winning entrepreneur at the age of 23, Nathan set up his first business when he was 12.

Who is it for? The exhibition will provide opportunities for everyone, no matter what their interests, skills, experience or budget, with the added reassurance that every business exhibiting has been accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa). This means that they all adhere to the Association’s strict code of ethics and investors know that their hard-earned money will be well placed.

Any visitors looking to invest substantial capital in a high return franchise are encouraged to visit the High Investment VIP Lounge, sponsored by Platinum Property Partners. This is an exclusive area that is designed to facilitate private conversations in comfortable surroundings.

There are also high investment discussions in the High Investment Panel Sessions, which feature a number of well-known high investment franchises including Platinum Property Partners, Sign-a-rama, Mail Boxes Etc., Mobalpa and Papa John’s, offering the extra advice needed for potential investors in this area.

For those keen to buy an existing franchise – with cash flow and a brand presence in the local marketplace, the Franchise Resales Pavilion offers visitors the chance to learn about the benefits of buying a franchise resale and discuss specific opportunities in person.

Help is at hand In the world of franchising, there is something for everyone, which is why The National Franchise Exhibition has introduced an appointment system ensuring visitors make the most of their time spent at the exhibition. There is also a free of charge children’s activity centre run by the successful franchise, The Creation Station, so that parents can wander the event free of any concern about their children, provided that one adult stays with them.

What’s ahead? 2013 looks set to be an excellent year for franchises across the UK, as they have continued to grow over the past few year. The event at the NEC will provide a great opportunity for many more people to learn the joys of getting involved with the franchise industry.

Adrian Goodsell, Head of Franchise Sales at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The National Franchise Exhibition comments: “Franchise exhibitions are an excellent way to bring businesses and potential franchise owners together, as meeting face-to-face is crucial in helping both sides judge whether the relationship is right for them.

“The key to the event’s success is showcasing a range of businesses and expert guidance all under one roof. This is a major draw for visitors and we’re expecting another busy event this year.”

The National Franchise Exhibition is open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on Friday 4 October and 4pm on Saturday 5 October.