Perhaps you have finally committed to conducting some serious research in your quest for a new business. If so, here’s a way to see numerous opportunities under one roof. However, how do you make the best use of your time at a free franchise exposition? Read on to find out…
Franchisors are breathing a sigh of relief that larger scale franchise exhibitions can take place post-COVID. A few events are already taking place that have the potential to draw in thousands of people like you. A few hundred franchised brands will be represented, offering just about anything you can think of, from food to cleaning and health businesses.
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. It would be a fair question. Exhibitions are rarely a place for franchises that get sold. Instead, you might notice that many franchisors will have a brief conversation with you, opting instead to take your details for a post-show follow-up. The environment simply does not encourage extensive dialogue because the numbers are usually too large.
Moreover, the franchisors want to capture everyone who shows significant interest. So, do not be put off if you feel rushed. The franchisor will definitely not want to come across as being that brief, but there will be people behind and in front of you pressing for more information too!
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, investment level, or even simply what you like the physical look of. You will probably find that the list of 200 gets limited down to a quarter of that.
While that is still a high number, it is way more manageable than just what is there. Now, you need to focus on the ones that you have decided on.
Look for the right fit for you
Most people think that just about anyone can rock up and buy a franchise. This could not be further from the truth! You need to change your thought process. You will be looking to be awarded a franchise opportunity.
This is a definite change in mindset, though. While 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. There will be no long-term business for the franchisor, and a failed franchisee is always dreadful news for any franchisor and the entire network. This can often take years to overcome.
Also, thinking about you, your dream of owning your own business is shattered, and there might be longer-term consequences of failure. It could be written into your agreement that any termination (irrespective of fault) would have financial consequences. You do not want to be on the receiving end of that if your business is already in financial ruin.
How Do You Know If A Franchise Represents Value?
Let us be clear on this point. You must perform your own due diligence on any franchise you look at. This means asking difficult questions when you need to and receiving appropriate answers that make you comfortable.
Be sure to ask for the opinions of anyone who helps you make the all-important life decisions, whether professional advisors or family and friends.
Either option should be an excellent choice as neither will have an emotional attachment to consider as they look at pure facts to help you decide.
There Are Free Seminars And Workshops
Use the seminar space as a way to avoid necessarily interacting but still hear the facts about the franchise opportunity.
There are limited spaces for franchisors to be able to offer this, so many of the brands you want to check out will not be able to provide this facility. However, do not let that put you off, as this is not necessarily a sign of whether a franchise is viable or not.
In fact, this could be to your advantage. Often, when seminars are taking place for a particular brand, you might find that their competing brand (who is not performing a seminar) could be empty, giving you a perfect opportunity to 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. Finding the right franchisee will not be anyone who 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 utilise the time to gather information to make an informed choice. You are making a considered purchase; franchising is not an impulse buy.
More information will duly follow after the event. Some of this information will include getting sight of a franchise agreement, for which you might even require a professional opinion. These agreements are often dozens of pages in length or more, and you need to be in full concentration mode to fully 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.
If you decide it is not for you, you might ignore calls or emails. For example, it is up to 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. While any franchise brand owner or consultant wants to sell a franchise, they will want the right fit and will not want to spend their precious time on anyone who is not genuinely interested. So have the confidence just to say so. They will appreciate your honesty, and you will save them time. They will move on to the next enquiry in the nicest possible way!
Franchise exhibitions are a great resource when used correctly. There will be plenty of people to talk to, and you will find that the franchise sector is very open to dialogue. There are many great people to get to know in this sector. Now you need to decide if franchising is right for you!