New year, new career as a franchise owner

2015 is fast approaching and for many it is the time to make that move into becoming a franchise owner.

The National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham, will next take place on 20 and 21 February, kick-starting the year as the first platform for those looking to research the franchise market in further detail.

This fascinating and inspiring event offers superb business and career prospects, one-to-one meetings with a wide choice of major franchise brands and a comprehensive range of inspiring, informative and educational free seminars and advice all under one roof.

“It’s definitely worth a visit,” says Mubashar Saeed, a Garage Owner from Birmingham, who summed up the views of many visitors after his visit to The National Franchise Exhibition in 2014.

He added: “I have had a really informative and enjoyable day; it makes such difference to meet companies face to face and to have so many all under one roof is great.”

Kathy Creek, a Therapy Rehab Case Manager from Grimsby, also found the experience valuable: “I have found out everything I wanted to learn and discovered a lot more about particular franchise opportunities from meeting them.”

For those who visit in February, there will once again be a vast selection of top franchise brands ready to meet with potential franchisees, talk in-depth about their franchise models and offer exciting prospects. They will include McDonald’s, Agency Express, Anytime Fitness, Auditel, Chemex International, Dublcheck, Expense Reduction Analysts, Mac Tools, SmartPA, The Creation Station and WPA, to name but a few, while those from the care at home sector will include Kare Plus, Home Instead Senior Care and Clarriots Care.

With the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with senior people from individual organisations, visitors are encouraged to browse the profiles of those that they would like to meet before arriving and to pre-book meetings to ensure that they have time with them. To take advantage of the pre-booking system, simply visit: www.franchiseinfo.co.uk.

The National Franchise Exhibition is the only franchise event this coming February 2015 exclusively supported by the British Franchise Association (bfa). So visitors can feel confident that all franchises exhibiting have been approved by the bfa and can browse in confidence knowing all franchise models are proven, commercially viable businesses. The prestigious seminar programme fills every theatre seat and is a huge attraction at the exhibition. Designed to educate and assist visitors as they learn about all aspects of choosing and running a franchise business successfully, there are seminars both for those starting to learn about franchising and for those who have progressed further.

Many of the bfa panel seminars, consisting of a banker, lawyer, franchisor and a representative from the bfa for instance, provide an ideal introduction to franchising and educate visitors through a series of seminars how it works, while those closer to choosing a franchise will find, for instance, dedicated presentations delivered by a particular brand they are interested in extremely insightful.

For those considering high-level investments a range of brands will be presenting, as well as a high investment panel session consisting of four high investment franchise brands. Those wanting to invest in a franchise at the higher end of market will also have exclusive access to the VIP lounge where they can enjoy complimentary refreshments and a relaxing environment to discuss opportunities further.

Anil Epulea, an IT Consultant from Bracknell, says: “The seminars were particularly interesting. It is good to learn from the personal experiences of people who have actually already done it.”

While Tim Horne from Evesham adds: “The seminars, both the bfa and ones by particular franchisors, were very good; I learnt a lot and now understand more about specific franchises. I’m now clearer about investment levels and the type of industries that might suit me. I’ve got plenty to read and think about!”

While the series of seminars always generate great interest among visitors, many also highlighted the importance of the Real Franchise Stories sessions, which regularly draw huge crowds.

They are “a real eye-opener” and a great way to get inside information and learn how franchise owners successfully opened their own businesses and change from being an employee to employer, with their own staff and overheads whilst running a new business on a day-to-day basis.

Preparing a business plan and sourcing the relevant funds are vital steps in the progression, The Finance Clinic, provided by experts from Franchise Finance, will offer valuable free advice on how to prepare the plan and insight into sourcing funding.

Those that are not sure on their next career move can discuss their individual skills and achievements at the Careers Clinic where experts Personal Career Management will give advice and guidance on career opportunities.

Adrian Goodsell, Director of Franchise Sales at organisers Venture Marketing Group, comments: “The National Franchise Exhibition is a vital step for anyone wanting to consider franchising as a career. With so many opportunities and so much valuable information available, it’s not surprising that many aspiring franchisees have already booked their tickets.”

The National Franchise Exhibition is open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on Friday 20 February and 4pm on Saturday 21 February 2015.