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Franchise expos – why attend a franchise exhibition?

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Franchise exhibitions are a great place to start if you are looking to buy a franchise. In Australia annual franchise expos are held in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. These franchise exhibitions feature 100s of Australian franchise opportunities.
For those new to the option of franchising, attending a franchise expo can offer you the opportunity to go on a fact gathering mission, collecting information from all the franchise companies exhibiting to get a taste of the type of franchise opportunities available.  You need to remember though that exhibitors are there to sell and will be doing their best to convince you that you should pursue their franchise. Talk to them and tell them you are just there to find out as much as you can about franchising at this early stage and not in a position to consider which franchise you might consider.
The exhibitions will also allow you to attend educational seminars to get a better idea of what franchising entails. They will act as a starting point for your franchise research. The Franchise Council of Australia will run educational seminars that would be very beneficial for you to attend.
Franchise expos should not be used in isolation during your research, but be used alongside other tools such as websites and magazines during your research.
Attending a franchise exhibition allow you to speak face-to-face with franchisors to get a better idea of what the business entails. It is particularly useful to meet with franchisors you may have been in discussions with.
A more productive way of approaching exhibitions is go prepared! Make sure you have done your franchise research and understand what franchising is. It is also good to go with an idea of the type of franchises you are looking for, as well as the franchises that you can afford, maybe pinpointing a few who are exhibiting that you can speak to. It is worthwhile contacting the franchises prior to attending to make an appointment to meet with them; if you just turn up you may struggle to get sufficient time with them.
You can go with a list of questions to ask each franchisor. Take a note of their answer to compare with others. The type of questions you can ask are:
  • What does the day-to-day running of the business entail?
  • How long have you been established?
  • How many franchisees are in your network? How many have failed in the past 24 months?
  • What is the market for your product/service? What are the opportunities and threats?
  • What is the required investment? And how much is the franchisee fee? What ongoing fees are there?
  • What does the recruitment process entail? When can you receive a copy of the franchise agreement disclosure document?
  • What training is provided, initially and ongoing?
  • What marketing do you provide? How is this funded?
  • How do you assign territories? 
  • How long is the franchise term? What happens at renewal? Are you allowed to sell the business? What are the terms of doing so?
Be doing this you will get a clearer understanding of what the franchise offer and more importantly if it is a franchise that is right for you.