Kick starting careers with franchising in 2016

The forthcoming National Franchise Exhibition and The British & International Franchise Exhibition mean aspiring entrepreneurs can start the New Year exploring exciting business opportunities.

With recent research by Groupon revealing that a third of UK adults are or want to become entrepreneurs, events such as The National Franchise Exhibition on 19-20 February at the NEC Birmingham and The British and International Franchise Exhibition on 11-12 March at London Olympia are an essential stepping stone to help turn this ambition into a reality.

As a nation of aspiring business owners, UK employees cite a desire to be their own boss and a dislike of working for others as the motivation for pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams. However, with almost half of start-up businesses failing in the first five years, franchising should be on the top of every would-be business owner’s list.

Operating in the UK for over 60 years, today franchising generates over £13 billion in annual revenue, and employs over 500,000 of the British public. Franchising also offers a proven business model with exceptional success rates according to the British Franchise Association (bfa) who regulate the industry. Their latest report shows that 92 per cent of franchise businesses register profits, and between 2008 to mid-2013 at a time when the country’s economic output shrank by 2.5 per cent, franchising grew by 20 per cent.

Pip Wilkins, Head of Operations at the bfa states: “Because franchising is based on proven, replicable business models, it offers a far higher chance of success than going it alone. If you’re looking to start your own business, this is a sector you should be considering. In fact, growth from 2003 to 2013, when the most recent comparable data is available, shows that franchising expanded by 42 per cent in terms of its turnover, well ahead of the 11.5 per cent growth in real GDP.”

The world of franchising
Showcasing at the NEC Birmingham and London Olympia, The National Franchise Exhibition and The British and International Franchise Exhibition will bring together franchise experts and well-established brands with potential franchisees from across the UK and beyond. Both exhibitions give visitors the chance to learn about the world of franchising and provide an essential stepping stone to becoming a successful and supported business owner.

Hundreds of successful global and national franchise brands across a wide range of sectors will be exhibiting such as property, care, travel, retail, food and drink, vehicle-based franchises and many more. With exclusive support from the bfa, only franchises with a proven commercially viable business model and who have met the associations strict code of ethics can exhibit.

Wilkins notes: “One trait that many franchisors look for is passion. Potential franchisees need to be driven and passionate about the product or service they are looking to invest in. Starting a franchise business from scratch is no mean feat, there will be long hours and hard work to get the business up and running so good franchisors want to know their franchisees share their passion to drive the business forward even in the toughest of times.”

Attendees to the exhibition will be able to experience a variety of free and informative features throughout both exhibitions facilitated by industry professionals. This will include an extensive seminar programme featuring experts from the bfa, legal and financial professionals, as well as from experienced franchisors and franchisees. The seminars aim to equip visitors with a fundamental base of knowledge to build a successful franchise and answer any burning questions.

Adrian Goodsell, director of Franchise Sales at Venture Marketing Group, explains: “The National Franchise Exhibition and British and International Franchise Exhibition are ideal opportunities for anyone eager to start their own business. They offer an all-encompassing experience enabling you to obtain advice, meet face-to-face with brands and see how franchising has successfully worked for others. With extensive research proving a third of the UK’s workforce wishes to work for themselves, visiting the exhibitions can be the first step to owning a successful business.”

Learning from the best
In addition to the huge range of national and international brands available to meet, the exhibitions offer a range of free and informative seminars, workshops and panel discussions facilitated by industry professionals. A comprehensive seminar programme is free to attend, and will be loaded with free expert advice from leading figures within the bfa.

The seminars include the ‘Real Franchise Stories’ panels, giving visitors direct insight into the day-to-day activity of running a successful franchise. A panel of knowledgeable franchisees will be on hand to give detailed accounts of their personal journeys to self-employment. Also returning to the 2016 exhibitions are the popular McDonald’s Open Sessions, which allow visitors to meet with McDonald’s staff and gain an insight into working with one of the world’s biggest brands.

Keynote speakers will be present throughout the two events, sharing the secrets of their success. In addition, the ‘Growing Your Own Business’ seminars and workshops are an excellent source of information for those who want to be their own boss. Advice varies from crowdfunding, SEO trends, publicity generation, using social media to build business and boosting sales.

For visitors concerned about finance there will be free, independently run clinics offering advice and guidance on everything from getting a start-up loan, creating a business plan, to balancing the books. Also running throughout the two day exhibition will be the popular Careers Clinic, offering drop in sessions to help visitors establish key skills and match them to the best suited opportunity available.

The National Franchise Exhibition takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 19 & 20 February 2016 and The British & International Franchise Exhibition will return to London’s Olympia on 11 & 12 March 2016.

Visitors can gain free entry for both events by registering online at and entering the promotional code GOV1 (saving £25).

Friday 19 February | 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 20 February | 10:00 - 16:00

Further Information

Event Diary

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