Finding the perfect fit – explore a wealth of opportunities at The National Franchise Exhibition

Looking to learn more about franchising, but don't know where to start? Read on

Investing in a franchise is a big decision, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you ever choose to do.

As with any major lifestyle change, it’s crucial you take some time to do your research, so you are informed, well prepared and have a good understanding of how to start your franchising journey.

Why franchising?

Franchising gives you the freedom of being your own boss and running your own business, with the benefit of an established brand. Ongoing support will be provided by the franchisor and you can turn to the head office team at any time if you need assistance.

A successful franchise should possess a strong brand and reputation, as well as know-how that has been developed over a number of years, making it far less likely to fail than a standard startup.

Finding the perfect fit

Meeting franchisors face-to-face is a vital part of the selection process. At The National Franchise Exhibition on 17 & 18 February at the NEC, Birmingham, you can speak to the owners of proven franchise models in a relaxed environment and discover if your values and expectations are in sync with your future business partner. Explore the largest range of national and international brands, and discover what it is like to run your own business.

For extra peace of mind, the exhibition is exclusively supported by the industry’s sole regulatory body, the British Franchise Association (bfa). All exhibiting brands have undergone stringent checks by the bfa to ensure they offer a viable opportunity that maintains best practice.

Claim your free ticket using code GLO2 at FranchiseTickets.co.uk

Making the leap into franchising can be intimidating so the event provides an extensive range of free presentations and support resources. You can attend free advice clinics on areas ranging from careers to finance, or speak to a wide range of impartial professional advisors who will give you the confidence you need to take the first step.

If you feel like your skillset needs a boost, the Growing Your Own Business Conference, which runs alongside the event provides a range of free workshops in essential disciplines, such as PR, digital marketing, finance and sales.

What should you consider?

Before investing in a franchise, it is vital you do as much as research and due diligence as possible from a variety of angles.

Research the market and your local area to make sure there’s sufficient demand for the product or service you want to sell. Avoiding crowded markets will reduce your competition and therefore greatly increase your chances of success.

Speak to as many current franchisees as you can, and not just the ones recommended by the franchisor, to get a real feel for the business before you make a commitment. Ask them questions such as: How is your work-life balance? Does the franchisor offer good support? Is the business what you expected?

It may sound obvious, but it’s important to extensively check your finances to determine how much funding you realistically have available. It’s worth noting that, should you require funding, high-street banks tend to look favourably at franchising as a business prospect, as there is access to historical trading figures.

The franchise departments within the high-street banks will ask you for a business plan. Be sure to put sufficient time and effort into developing your business plan and the associated projections, as it will be your yardstick for evaluating future performance.

Additionally, a franchise contract can be a very involved document. Make sure you get any documentation reviewed by an independent franchise lawyer before signing on the dotted line.

Finally, speak with the franchisor at length about their trading history and support structure, and ask to see copies of their accounts, reports and manuals. Ask if they are accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa) and find out why if they aren’t. 

For further advice, visit The National Franchise Exhibition on 17 & 18 February at the NEC, Birmingham.

Tickets are free if booked in advance using promo code GLO2.