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Your Free Pass To A Franchise Exposition

Maybe you have finally made the commitment to do some serious research in your quest to find a new business, and here is a way to see lots of opportunities all under one roof; however, how do you make the best use of your time at a free franchise exposition? Read on to find out…

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Franchisors will breathe a sigh of relief that larger scale franchise exhibitions are now able to take place post-covid, and there are already a few events taking place that have the potential to draw in thousands of people, just like you, where there are only a few hundred franchised brands representing with just about anything you can think of from food to cleaning, health businesses etc.

There Is A Franchise Opportunity For Just About Everything!

But why would any franchisor spend a small fortune to attract you if their offering was so good, you might ask, and it would be a fair question!

It is fair to say that exhibitions are rarely a place for franchises that get sold, instead, you might notice that many will have a briefest of conversations with you, opting instead to take your details for them to be able to follow up post show. The environment simply is not one that encourages extensive dialogue, usually the numbers are way too large, and on top of that, the franchisors want to ensure they capture everyone that shows some significant interest. So do not be put off if you feel you might have been rushed, the franchisor will definitely not want to come across as being that brief, but there will have been people behind and in front of you pressing for more information too!

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Make A Plan To Get The Best Result

There might be more than 150 to 200 franchised brands at the exhibition and you will not have time to get to them all, so, take a copy of the exhibition magazine if you are already there - most will also have an online version - and prepare to mark out just the ones that are of significant interest to you. This could be defined by a few things, such as the sector they operate in, or investment level, even simply what you like the physical look of. You will probably find that the list of maybe 200 gets limited down to potentially a quarter of that, and while that is still a high number, it is way more manageable than just what is there. From there, you will need to focus on these ones that you have decided on.

Look For The Right Fit For You

Most people think that just about anybody can rock up and buy a franchise, this will not be further from the truth! You need to change your thought process that you will looking to be awarded a franchise opportunity. This is a definite change in mindset though and whilst it is always advantageous for a franchisor to sell another unit, or territory, if they have sacrificed any initial franchise fee over their ideal franchisee, then it will not end well for either of you. For the franchisor, there will be no long-term business and a failed franchisee is always dreadful news for any franchisor and the entire network that can often take years to overcome. But also thinking about you, your dream of your own business is also shattered and there might also be longer term consequences of a failure; it could be written into your agreement that any termination (irrespective of fault) would have financial consequences, and you do not want to be on the receiving end of that if your business is already in financial ruin do you?

How Do You Know If A Franchise Represents Value?

Let us be really clear on this point; you must perform your own due diligence on any franchise you look at. This means asking the difficult questions when you need to and receiving appropriate answers that make you comfortable. Be sure to ask for opinions of anyone that helps you make the all-important decisions in life, whether these are professional advisors or family and friends. Either option should be a good choice to use as neither will have an emotional attachment to consider as they look at pure facts to help you come to a decision.

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There Are Free Seminars And Workshops

Use the seminar space as a way to not have to necessarily interact but still hear the facts on the franchise opportunity. There are limited spaces for franchisors to be able to do this as many of the brands that you want to check out will not be able to offer this facility. Do not let that put you off though as this is not necessarily a sign as to whether a franchise is a viable one or not, in fact, this could be to your advantage as often when the seminars are taking place for any particular brand, you might find that their competing brand (who is not performing a seminar) could well be empty and then that is your perfect opportunity to go and have a decent conversation with them!

Do Not Look To Try And Buy There And Then!

This would be a huge red flag for a franchisor. The right franchisee will not be anyone that tries to buy on the day, unless of course, you are using the exhibition as one last opportunity to see people again face to face to confirm your commitment. Anyone else should be utilising the time to gather information so that they can make an informed choice as you are making a considered purchase. Franchising is not an impulse buy and more information will duly follow after the event. Some of this information will be getting sight of a franchise agreement for which you might even require a professional opinion on. These are often dozens of pages in length, or more, and you need to be in full concentration mode to full absorb things like your obligations to the franchisor and what you are committing yourself to.

Be Prepared To Say No!

Having gathered lots of information at the free show, sometimes the franchise is not what you thought it might be; however, you have probably ended up in some sort of follow-up sequence by the franchisor and if you then decide it is not for you, you might be ignoring calls of emails for example, and that is for the franchisors to see if you still have sufficient interest in the franchise. Ignoring these follow up processes is not the correct approach to adopt as franchise brand owners/consultants want to sell a franchise and they will want the right fit. This means that they will not want to spend their precious time on anyone that is not genuinely interested, so have the confidence to just say so. They will appreciate your honesty as you will save them time. They will simply move on to the next enquiry, in the nicest possible way!

Franchise exhibitions are a great resource when used correctly as there will be plenty of people to talk to. You will find that the franchise sector is very open to dialogue and there are many, many great people to get to know in this sector. All you now need to do is decide if franchising is right for you!

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Richard Pakey is a franchising expert and Managing Director for the award-winning Lime Licensing Group and can be contacted in the following ways:

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