How to find the perfect franchise match

Franchising is less risky business than starting up on your own. Find out what you could gain by attending The British & International Franchise Exhibition

Running a franchise is an attractive option for anyone wanting to be their own boss.

A tried-and-tested blueprint for launch and operation, combined with ongoing support from the franchisor and the network of franchisees, make franchising an efficient and reduced risk route to business ownership.

Thorough and diligent research from the get go is however, fundamental to the success of any business, fuelling the ongoing popularity of Franchise Exhibitions. Here’s why:

1. A wide range of franchise opportunities under one roof

Whether you have a clear idea what sort of franchise you’re interested in, or you are just curious to find out what options are out there, having a wide range of brands under one roof allows you the chance to compare and contrast different opportunities in a short space of time.

Perhaps you are keen to pursue a fitness franchise; then why not meet four or five brands in one day to see which product and business model suits you best?

Or, perhaps you’ll find a business-type you’d never considered which offers you the working style and investment-level you need.

Franchise case study

Hashim Alsaidi attended The British & International Franchise Exhibition thinking he’d invest in a food franchise, but visiting the event helped him realise that a completely different kind of business would suit his and his family’s interests better.

He commented: “Given my ongoing career in the food and beverage industry, I attended the event assuming a restaurant or coffee franchise would be the right path for me and I spoke with a variety of brands in this sector.

“However, after seeing a presentation made by a gym network, I had the realisation that if I wanted to pursue my plan of keeping my day job while owning a franchise, then a gym would be a better, in fact, an ideal business type for me.”

Alsaidi continued: “With this change in direction in mind, I returned to the exhibition the next day, this time targeting all the fitness franchises on offer and I opened my Fitness Space studio in Wimbledon at the start of this year.”

2. People do business with people

It’s possible to do a great deal of research on franchise opportunities online and via industry press. Many franchise brands will publish the headline information about their franchise models on their website or third party directories, accompanied by case studies and even video testimonials from existing franchisees. You can request further information via a form or phone number, and you might even have a telephone call with a member of the head office team.

Ask any franchisee what made them choose the brand they did to invest in, however, and inevitably a reason at the top of the list is the people.

Keep in mind, the working relationship between a franchisor and franchisee will last years, so its essential that you work well together.

Core values, work ethos and long-term vision need of the franchise and franchisee need to be aligned. Having a face-to-face chat early on in proceedings ensures you don’t waste time pursuing a brand that isn’t a good fit.

Phil Mowat, national partnerships manager at ActionCOACH UK and a long-standing exhibitor at The Franchise Exhibitions, commented:

“There’s nothing like meeting people in person at the exhibition and having a real chat so visitors can gain a better understanding of our brand, and for us to find out more about them too. They’ll gain so much more than they would from an email or an online video.”

3. One-to-one advice from experts

Choosing the brand you’d like to partner with is just one step on the path to franchise ownership. You’ll need to put together a compelling application and business plan, and will likely need to access to additional finance.

Exhibitions bring together industry professionals and specialists in one place so that you can receive informed guidance on every aspect of franchising, either through dedicated seminar programmes or one-to-one meetings.

Franchise case study

Matt Markham and his wife attended The National Franchise Exhibition in 2016. They subsequently took out a franchise with EweMove.

Markham commented: “Though my wife and I visited the exhibition to meet face-to-face with franchise brands, we actually gained a lot more from our attendance.

“We benefited from some essential advice on our business plan, as well as guidance on the funding options available. It was invaluable being able to conduct so much due diligence under one roof and meant we were able to pursue and open our dream franchise in the quickest time possible.”

Find out more about the upcoming Franchise Exhibitions held in exclusive partnership with the British Franchise Association (bfa) and book your free tickets today using promo code STU1.