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The fundamentals of franchising

Click here for free tickets, using promo code EXPO1
Case study: Local People

James Wallis is the owner of WirralPeople having met LocalPeople at The National Franchise Exhibition last year.
After nearly 30 years in sales and marketing, he was looking for a change of direction in order to become his own boss and achieve a work-life balance, but have the support of a large organisation.

As part of his research process, James monitored the emerging LocalPeople franchise and met with John Taplin, the franchise manager, before taking
the plunge.

Following a comprehensive training week, giving an overall understanding of writing, reporting, sales, accounting, social media and basic site maintenance, he was able to launch his site.

James commented:

“Living in the middle of the WirralPeople area allows me a great understanding of what interests local people and also how local businesses need to reach out to their customers. Local knowledge and understanding is key to the success.

“It is exciting to see WirralPeople growing, the site content building, more businesses coming on board and to see my effort being rewarded by local people and local businesses using my site.
“With the continued support of the team, I would definitely recommend looking at becoming a LocalPeople franchisee, I’m glad I did.”

Avisit to the renowned exhibition is a useful introduction to the world of franchising as Azhar Mahmood, a student from London and visitor at the event last year, discovered: “I have a general interest in franchising and came to both days of the exhibition. I thought the seminars were informative, constructive and really useful.”

Representatives from franchise businesses across sectors such as finance, home improvement, technology, leisure and home care will all be on hand to discuss career opportunities with visitors. These businesses include Mail Boxes Etc., thebestof, SIGNARAMA, Aspray, Cash Generator, Apex 360, Yo Yo Noodle, MyHome, McDonald’s, Ecocleen Services, WPA Health Insurance and Kare Plus.Visitors can have full confidence in the franchise opportunities available as The National Franchise Exhibition is the only franchise exhibition in Birmingham supported by the British Franchise Association (bfa), this means companies can only exhibit if they have met the bfa’s Code of Ethics.

New this year is an appointment system where visitors can pre-book appointments with their chosen exhibitors through This allows visitors to make the most of their experience at the event by planning the time to discuss opportunities and ask questions.

As well as the diverse choice of exhibitors to meet, there is a variety of features providing further insight and guidance for visitors interested in the many opportunities afforded by franchising. A key feature is the comprehensive conference offering a fundamental grounding on key topics such as hands-on franchising, high-level investment franchising, executives in franchising, plus a series of bfa franchising panel seminars with expert consultants, solicitors, bankers and franchisors offering valuable advice.

The conference also has seminars on the topic of Growing Your Own Business with an exciting range of inspiring speakers passing on their business know-how.

As CEO of, Jamie Ward will explain the story behind the creation of the company and its aim to help more people get fit and stay healthy by creating a simple, flexible and affordable service. Pay-as-you-go gym is the UK’s largest network of gyms, whereby gym-goers load cash onto an online account to access a choice of over 750 gyms.

Jamie launched the company in February 2011 with his two friends Neil Harmsworth and Mike Blake. They came up with the idea when travelling back from a meeting and discussing how difficult it was finding a gym to visit on a casual basis.

On the second day of the exhibition, Fiona Wood, founder of Naturally Cool Kids, will deliver her seminar ‘Starting your own business – your rules, your way’. The mother of two founded Naturally Cool Kids in July 2010 after years of being frustrated by the lack of affordable, natural skincare for kids. As a qualified reflexologist and beautician, Fiona used her experience to create a healthier children’s skincare range, and has won awards such as the Mumpreneur Business of the Year at the Startups Awards.

Alongside the conference is a range of exciting free features providing insightful and valuable information and advice. These include the ever-popular Real Franchise Stories where existing franchise owners share their experiences, and the Finance Clinic where experts provide guidance on financing a franchise and writing a business plan.

At the High Investment VIP Lounge, potential franchise owners with a greater amount of capital to invest can meet with relevant franchise businesses to network and explore interesting opportunities. New to the VIP area this year is the addition of the High Investment Panel Sessions, featuring a number of high investment franchises such as Platinum Property Partners, SIGNARAMA and Papa John’s, offering their advice and discussing all aspects of high-level investment franchising.

McDonald’s is holding franchise owner recruitment Open Sessions exclusively on-site at the exhibition. Visitors can meet with McDonald’s staff to gain a unique insight into being part of one of the world’s biggest brands and learn more about its franchise owner training programme.

Finally, visitors with families can make good use of the Children’s Activity Centre, hosted by kids activity franchise The Creation Station, to keep the little ones entertained while the rest of the group explores the exhibition.

To register for The National Franchise Exhibition, call 0844 257 8668 or visit Admission on the door is £15, however visitors can gain free admission by using the promotional code BTFMPR when pre-registering online.

The National Franchise Exhibition is open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on Friday, February 22 and 4pm on Saturday, February 23 2013.

For the latest news and updates about The National Franchise Exhibition, follow the exhibition on Twitter @ukfranchising, join The Franchise Exhibitions Group on LinkedIn or become a fan of the FranchiseInfo group on Facebook.