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Gay Turner from GTPR looks at Franchise Exhibitions and how to gain the most from visiting an exhibition.
If you want to have your own business but not be entirely on your own, then franchising is probably for you. When you’re thinking about buying a franchise, it’s worth remembering that you’re also considering making a major personal and financial commitment and, with that, big changes in your life.
It’s important to research the whole franchising sector first to make sure you understand just what being a franchisee means and your responsibilities and obligations. You also need to check the benefits and advantages of each franchise that interests you, as well as precisely what you will get for your investment and the likely return on investment.
It’s sounds like an obvious course to take but it is amazing how sometimes people get so excited and carried away when they think they’ve found the perfect franchise that they forget to check all the facts.
There are many different ways to research franchising, including reading the advice from many experts on this website and directly from the bfa. Another excellent option is to go to an exhibition where you can meet the bfa and attend informative seminars. You can get advice from specialists at a show and also have the opportunity to meet people from many different brands, all conveniently in one place. A single day’s visit offers the potential to acquire a vast amount of knowledge and insight from those in the know – and saves you much legwork in the process.
The next exhibition is on the 19th and 20th March at Olympia, the British & International, where there will be a huge choice of franchised businesses, across a vast range of sectors and industries. You will be surprised how many well known brand names you recognise. Franchising is so diverse, with something for everyone, to suit all talents and interests, and match all budgets.
Increasingly, people surf the net to seek out opportunities and to access information. But acquiring bland facts does not give any indication of what people in the franchise are like and how you will relate to them. Meeting people face to face is probably the best way to assess them as individuals and to judge whether you could form a business relationship with them if you become a franchisee. Franchising is a partnership based on mutual respect and where the success of one party is dependent on the other, which is why it is often likened to a marriage.
I’ve heard many franchisors and franchisees say how much they rely on intuition: if the chemistry is right on first meeting, then the relationship is likely to be extremely successful. Equally, I’ve known franchisees who have walked away from an opportunity because they just didn’t feel comfortable with the people they met. Not only that, at an exhibition franchisees are on many of the stands to talk to prospective franchisees – with “straight from the horse’s mouth” very realistic accounts of running a franchise and the benefits of being part of a big organisation.
Fortunately, you don’t need to make any instant decisions at a show, so you have plenty of time to decide if you want to go forward or not. The chances are that you will – and as quickly as possible!
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