Several companies produce franchise “expos” around the world, and I have been both an attendee and an exhibitor.
When you start looking into the idea of investing in a business of your own it can be an exciting time. You start visualizing what this business will look like and what role you will be playing in this new venture of yours. You also envision yourself enjoying the fruits of your success.
The next step in the process for you is to find that perfect business. The world of franchising offers a huge menu of choices (over 3,000 different franchising concepts).
Looking online is of course one way to start your journey. But what if there was a venue that enabled you to “shop” around a bit, and meet face to face with representatives of different franchise and business opportunities, all in one place? Coming to a city near you?
Just to be clear, exposition companies like National Event Management, MFV Expositions (sponsored by the International Franchise Association) and Diversified Exhibitions-Australia, are for-profit enterprises. Franchise companies pay for booth space.
When you attend a franchise show, you will see rows of booths set up, with various attraction techniques designed to get you to stop by. Rotating light beacons, wireless-headset equipped hawkers, and free food samples (and the wonderful smells that go along with them) are just a few examples of what you will be tempted with, as an attendee.
One thing that may surprise you is the number of non-franchised offerings. These “business opportunities” run the gamut from fancy coffee vending machines to T-shirt making equipment to jewelry and perfume sales opportunities. These may look like franchises, but they are not. They are a lot less expensive, and in general, don’t offer the same type of support and systems that franchise opportunities do. They are also regulated differently.
To get the most benefit from a show like this, don’t look at any opportunities that are just not “you.” Try to spend time with representatives from the ones that look professional and make sense at first glance. It can be somewhat overwhelming to go to a franchise show, and you may start to get burned out from all the hawking that goes on.
Franchise shows can be a great way to get an overview of what types of opportunities are out there. You may find “The one.” You may also find that the idea of business ownership is more exciting than the act of actually investing in one. It is better to find out before you invest in a business of your own, than after.
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About the Author: Joel Libava is President and Life Changer of Franchise Selection Specialists. He blogs at The Franchise King Blog.