Every year, there are countless franchise exhibitions held all around the world, showcasing franchise opportunities from all over. At a single location, visitors could be exposed to up to 300 brands (or more) and these events act as an interactive channel to provide visitors with first-hand knoweldge about the brands and the investment opportunities on offer. But with so much information being thrown their way, how are visitors expected to consume and digest it all at once?
Figure Out Why You Are Going
First of all, you need to figure out why you are interested in going to the exhibition. Are you going with the intention to find an investment that suits your budget? Are you going to find out how franchising works? Or is it simply just for sight-seeing? Whatever the case, there will be so many franchises exhibiting themselves so chances are you will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities available. Making your way down to the exhibition with some basic research performed could help.
Research The Franchises On Showcase
Log on to the franchise exhibition’s website and try to find out which franchises are participating. From there, see which one catches your eye and try to find out more about these brands online - i.e. customer reviews, store locations, etc. This will help you to gain a basic understanding of the business. But keep an open mind; when at the exhibition, don’t solely focus on those you identified, because sometimes, what you see online is not what you get in reality. Look around and if your interest is sparked, go for it and talk to the franchise that weren't on your initial shortlist. Furthermore, there should be seminars or workshops that you can sit in to gather a better understanding of franchising, how it works or simply whether it suits your style.
Sit In For Seminars Or Workshops
Most franchise exhibitions will dedicate a segment for a panel of speakers to conduct talks about franchising. These speakers typically come from backgrounds of experienced professionals, franchisors or franchisees who had achieved success with the franchise business model. This is a great opportunity to hear about not just the good, but also the bad of it. Once that's out of the way, you can start throwing questions at franchisors.
Have Your Own Questions Ready
Prepare some questions you’ll like to have answered by the franchisor. This will help to make the information gathering process more efficient and also easier to make comparisions later. While preparing your questions, you should focus on these 5 key aspects:
- Expected total investment outlay for taking up the franchise.
- Requirements of becoming a franchisee.
- Franchisor support from initial preparation phase to on-going operations.
- Franchisee's rights and obligations.
- Franchise goals for the year.