Are you contemplating purchasing a franchise business but not sure if it is the right opportunity for you? Considering the challenges faced by entrepreneurs trying to launch a small business from the ground up, franchising can provide an alternative pathway to successful business ownership. Unlike a typical small business owner, new and existing franchisees receive ongoing training, support systems, technology and marketing from an established franchisor. In fact, franchising continues to outpace the rest of the economy, according to the IHS Global’s Third Quarter Franchise Forecast for 2013. In the past year and a half, the franchise sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of all new jobs, bringing total jobs in the industry to more than 8 million today. As the economy continues to improve in 2014, thousands of new and existing franchisors are now seeking dedicated franchisees to grow their business.
To kick off 2014, the largest franchise event in the South will debut its eighth annual show for the first time at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. From February 6-8, hundreds of today’s leading franchise concepts and thousands of entrepreneurs are expected to turn out for Franchise Expo South to learn what opportunities are in store for Houston and across the U.S. In addition to networking, the show will also highlight the latest issues affecting the franchising industry and provide attendees with an opportunity to learn from franchising’s leaders during free seminars and in-depth symposia.
Widely recognized as one of the industry’s premier events, the Expo has successfully helped thousands of entrepreneurs find a path to business ownership and become their own boss. If you plan to invest your time and money to attend Franchise Expo South, the time is now to focus your attention on the larger investment at hand. Just like exhibitors, trade show attendees cannot just show up to an event and expect instant results. Attendees need to be prepared in order to make the most of the experience. With careful planning, prospective business owners can navigate the wide variety of industries and investment levels presented on the trade show floor.
Hundreds of Companies
With hundreds of franchise brands in every industry, Franchise Expo South is a great one-stop shop for finding the right match for you. From restaurant concepts to service-based franchises and everything in between, this year’s Expo promises to offer prospective franchisees plenty of options and new business opportunities across Texas, the U.S. and Latin America.
As a potential franchisee, there are a number of things to consider prior to attending the upcoming trade show. What type of franchise business interests you? What skills do you already possess? What is the ideal business model that best suits your needs? Do you have enough funds to get started or will you need financial assistance from the franchisor? Having the answers to these questions will help narrow down your search to find the best opportunity.
Prior to attending Franchise Expo South, it is important to visit the show’s website to see what companies will be exhibiting and compile a list of the brands that interest you. Once these franchise concepts have been identified, you can begin an in-depth evaluation of each company’s opportunity including its business model, initial investments and franchisee requirements. Upon doing this research, you will probably have even more questions, but that is something to be expected. Most of these questions can be answered during your meetings with the franchise representatives at the trade show. Through these discussions, you will get a better idea if a particular brand is the right business for you. Once at the Expo, you should keep an open mind while walking along the trade show floor, as another concept may strike your interest that you did not previously consider.
In addition to franchising opportunities, Franchise Expo South features many free seminars and symposia approved for Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accreditation on a range of topics that are beneficial for new and existing franchise business owners. Topics include financing, how to evaluate the right franchise, how to franchise your current business, opportunities for veterans and much more.
Post-Event Next Steps
Attendance at Franchise Expo South can provide you with greater confidence during your franchise decision-making process. The key to success is to conduct a post-show evaluation by assessing your notes taken during the Expo and prioritizing the concepts you had the most engagement and meaningful conversations with. Typically, franchisors will initiate follow up after the Expo, but you can take the lead and set up secondary conversations to determine which brands make the most sense for you and your future.
See you in Houston!
Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity! Visit Franchise Expo South’s website and register for free using promo code “FRANUSA.”
Sonia Perrone is the Director of Marketing of MFV Expositions, which has been producing leading franchise events worldwide for more than 20 years. These global events consistently bring together franchise concepts, at all investment levels, with the most qualified visitors seeking to own their own business.