The Annual British and International Franchise Exhibition returns to London
With over 44,000 units and 621,000 employees, Britain is fast becoming one of the key world-players in franchising. The sector has previously been dominated by the US, but in recent years Brits have been stepping up their game. The franchise industry is currently worth an estimated £15.1 billion to the UK economy, with an impressive 38% of British franchises operating units abroad. The British and International Franchise Exhibition, returning to London’s Olympia on 20 & 21 January, is at the crux of domestic and global franchising success; this year it will feature a number of international brands, such as McDonald’s, Anytime Fitness and Gautier, alongside its renowned International Franchising Conference.
Franchising is certainly an attractive prospect to entrepreneurs in that it offers the flexibility of running your own business with the security of adopting an established brand. The basic premise of franchising is to replicate a proven business model. The company (franchisor) gives rights to an individual (franchisee) to run and own a business under the umbrella of the recognised company and the proven systems of the franchise. Franchisees benefit from minimising the risks associated with starting up a business from scratch, while franchisors can expand their business and gain a diversity of expertise from new investors.
However, becoming a franchisee is not a decision that should be taken lightly and gathering accurate and reliable information is essential. The British and International Franchise Exhibition will showcase over 100 brands and offer a space for people to access expert opinions and advice on the industry.Specialists in International trade, franchise decision makers, and entrepreneurial keynotes will share their knowledge, whilst the industry regulators, the British Franchise Association (bfa), will host a series of highly anticipated seminars covering the fundamentals of franchising.
The British and International Franchise Exhibition is the only event of its kind to be fully accredited by the bfa, meaning that all of the brands exhibiting have passed the bfa’s strict accreditation process and offer a tried-and-tested business model.
Pip Wilkins, CEO, bfa, has predicted big things for the international franchising scene in the UK. She comments: “We expect to see the franchising sector continue grow as more and more people look into running their own businesses. Franchising as a model to expand an existing business is something that has been successfully deployed in the UK by many brands. The model’s structure of a local business owner, combined with the proven system, franchisor support, the brand and economies of scale from the network as a whole is a powerful mix.
“When looking at taking on a franchise from an overseas-based business, as with all franchises, you need to do your research on the company, the market and your own capabilities. Interviews and meetings with the franchisor are a part of the process with any franchise, so if you are dealing with a business coming over from abroad you need to know if you will be dealing with the business directly from their home country or a master franchisee, based in the UK. Franchise exhibitions give you a great chance to do this research as you can meet with the franchisor face-to-face from the outset.”
The exhibition also offers guidance for entrepreneurs who want to go it alone. The Growing Your Own Business Conference will feature expert speakers covering everything from digital marketing and PR, to finance and sales in a series of interactive workshops. High-profile keynote speakers at the conference include Joseph Valente, the winner of BBC’s The Apprentice, Andrew Reeves, the brains behind successful craft beer subscription service HonestBrew and the senior team from health food start-up BOL foods: Paul Brown and Katy Cottam.
The British & International Franchise Exhibition provides a great source of inspiration for those looking to turn over a new career leaf in 2017. The two-day event will offer an abundance of exciting opportunities with a number of world-leading franchise brands.
Adrian Goodsell, Franchise Sales Director at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of the event said:“Franchising is not a tool to fix a bad business; it is not there to provide injections of income from other people to underpin failings elsewhere. Franchising replicates a successful and proven business model and brand, using the investment and skills of new individual business owners, who will be trained and supported to run their business under the contract, conditions and proven format that have been agreed. We are proud to showcase the hundreds of universal franchising opportunities at the British and International Franchise Exhibition in London in January. What better way to kick off the New Year than by embarking on a life-changing career move?”
The British and International Franchise Exhibition takes place at London’s Olympia on 20 and 21 January, 2017. Visitors can gain free entry by registering online with promo code DET1 at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk.