The perfect place for entrepreneurs to explore franchise market prospects

For the many thousands of men and women across the country, and beyond, who are considering entering the world of franchising, there is no better place to start than The National Franchise Exhibition.

Entrepreneurs eager to develop a successful business as a franchise owner can meet with all the valuable contacts and gather all the important advice and information they need at The National Franchise Exhibition, which returns to the NEC in Birmingham on 3 and 4 October. The UK franchise industry’s flagship event will showcase a huge range of franchise brands, covering a diverse variety of sectors including health and fitness, food and drink, home care, property and cleaning. Over the two days, it will provide hundreds of excellent opportunities to suit all budgets and interests.

Anytime Fitness, Kare Plus, McDonald’s, Mail Boxes Etc, Marston’s Pubs, Platinum Property Partners and many more proven franchise companies will be offering exciting prospects at the UK’s largest franchising event.

With many thousands of keen aspiring franchise owners expected, a pre-booked appointments system has been introduced to make sure that visitors’ time at the exhibition is used to its full potential. The service allows visitors to choose which exhibitors they want to see and pre-arrange the times they would like a face-to-face meeting.

Craig Biggs, a retail director who travelled from Leicester to visit the most recent National Franchise Exhibition, left wanting more. “It has been full of very interesting ideas. I’ve enjoyed being able to speak directly to the franchisors. I’ve definitely got plenty of food for thought.”

What’s more, visitors can discuss the opportunities in complete confidence with the British Franchise Association’s (bfa) strict code of ethics applying to all the franchise brands exhibiting.

In addition to the vast array of franchise opportunities on offer, there are many more vital advisory features that, brought together under one roof at the NEC, provide a comprehensive source of insight and knowledge to build a successful business.

A cutting edge seminar programme will accompany the exhibition to ensure visitors are fully informed and educated for their search process. Every aspect of franchising will be explored to inform every level of existing knowledge about franchising. These presentations and discussions will enable ambitious entrepreneurs to gain answers to all their questions from experts such as banks, lawyers, financial experts, franchisors and franchise owners. The bfa will also deliver a series of unmissable panel seminars.

This year, The National Franchise Exhibition will host inspiring keynote speeches by Dina Dwyer-Owens, one of America’s most recognisable franchisors, who featured in the TV series Undercover Boss. Dina is CEO of The Dwyer Group, which includes well-established franchises Mr Electric and Rainbow International. Dina will be delivering her speech at 12:00pm on both days.

The ever popular Real Franchise Stories sessions and the Growing Your Own Business presentations will give visitors the chance to hear from and question those who have already successfully made the transition from employee to business owner. Recently established franchise owners and entrepreneurs will share their experiences, how they overcame any obstacles they encountered and the secrets of their success.

Banking executive, Anthony Kishore from Leamington Spa, was happy with his experience at The National Franchise Exhibition: “I’m in the very early stages of thinking about starting a business, so I came to find out more about franchising and what type of franchises are available. The seminars were very informative and the Real Franchisee Stores session gave a good idea of what it is like to be a franchise owner. It was encouraging to see that ordinary people have been successful.”

More valuable help for visitors is accessible at the event, with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with top law firms, high street banks and financial experts who can offer guidance on business planning. Why not make an appointment at the Finance Clinic, run by Franchise Finance, who will offer help with applications for funding. The Careers Clinic is an excellent place for those who are unsure of their plans for the future to start putting things into place.

Anil Epulea, an IT consultant from Bracknell, said that direct contact was what made the show so attractive: “Meeting companies face-to-face is a much more informative way of learning about them. It is much better than just reading what is on offer.” He added: “The seminars were also particularly interesting. It is good to learn from the personal experience of people who have actually already done it.”

With the prospect of taking on a food franchise so popular, McDonald’s is hosting Open Sessions at the exhibition on both days. Visitors can discover the inner workings of the McDonald’s franchise model, the opportunities available and what it is like to work for one of the world’s best-known brands.

Meanwhile, a dedicated High Investment VIP Lounge will be available for those visitors who are looking to invest their equity in the higher end of the franchise market. This area provides the perfect atmosphere for engaging in in-depth conversations and networking with franchisors, while enjoying complimentary refreshments.

Those with young ones will have a dedicated area for their needs. Kids (and parents!) can discover the arts and crafts delights of The Creation Station and, as long as they are accompanied by an adult, children can play all day at the award-winning franchise’s stand, freeing up their parents to explore over 140 opportunities available at the exhibition.

Adrian Goodsell, Director of Franchise Sales at event organisers Venture Marketing Group, said: “The National Franchise Exhibition offers fantastic prospects for prospective franchisees and all the advice and information they need to progress their plans. This is an unmissable opportunity to discover an exciting future.”

The National Franchise Exhibition is open from 10am both days, closing at 5pm on Friday 3 and 4pm on Saturday 4 October. Admission on the door is £15.