Do your homework before the event
Buying a franchise is like getting a pattern for that jumper you like, or that recipe for that “to-die-for-chocolate-cake”. You have in your hands the formula to make things happen, but it’s up to you to activate either the pattern or the recipe. Similarly, a franchisor only provides you with a blueprint for business success – he will give you the tried and tested recipe, but he won’t bake the cake for you.
The first challenge is to choose a business that you can afford, that you enjoy, that gives you the training and know-how, that gives you the support you need and provides the financial return you want.
The second challenge is to take the proven formula for business success and make it work for you. The challenge of a franchise opportunity lies in three vital ingredients – opportunity, means and motivation.
1. Come Prepared
It is easy to get the information you are looking for if you do your research before attending the Franchise Expo. The internet provides a wealth of information, look up the franchise businesses you are interested in speaking to.
Make a list of questions you would like to ask specialists at the Franchise Expo.
2. Networking Mindset
Come with a networking mindset and allow for a good few hours to work the show and get a sense of what’s on offer. Collect cards and leaflets and remember, you are there primarily to gather information and make new contacts so give yourself enough time to do the rounds.
3. Consult with FASA
The Franchise Association of South Africa, who stages the exhibition, has a stand and can help you with any questions you might have about franchising in general. They also have a series of books on sale which will help you make the right decision.
4. Consult with the Professionals
Besides the franchisors themselves, the IFE Franchise Expo has all the auxiliary professionals to the franchise industry exhibiting – the franchise consultants who can help you if you want to franchise your own business, the banks who specialise in assisting franchisees, the lawyers and the auditors who can assist you with the legal and financial part of buying a franchise.
5. Talk to the Franchisors
The expo gives you the opportunity to talk to a wide range of established and new franchisors about their concepts. Don’t be afraid to compare concepts and to ask questions in order to get as much information about how franchising works.
6. Don’t be Pressurised to Sign Up
Franchising is covered by the Consumer Protection Act, in that it requires franchisors to issue a Disclosure Document to prospective franchise buyers that disclose pertinent information on the franchise opportunity. Don’t be rushed or pressured into buying; take time to do your homework and think carefully before you decide. Once you’ve signed the franchise contract, you are bound by that business decision.
7. Give a Good Impression
Franchisors, from their side, can be quite selective when choosing a franchisee so, in the same way a franchisor will put his best foot forward at an expo, you too should give a favorable impression on your skills and potential.
8. Don’t be Taken in by the Hype
Franchising is one of the most exciting business sectors to be in and it is easy to get carried away with how wonderful an opportunity is and how much money there is to be made. A responsible franchisor will always give you both sides of the picture – giving the positive side but also pointing out the serious commitment you will be buying into and the hard work that it entails.
9. Can You be Your Own Boss?
Take a long, hard look at yourself and ask yourself if you’re cut out to own your own business. You might not be used to working long hours or don’t want to give up your leisure time to devote 24/7 to a business. You must also always have the support of family before you take the plunge and be your own boss!
10. Bring the Family for a Day of Fun, Competitions and Entertainment
The IFE Franchise Expo is an educational and experiential event – bring the family along for a day of entertainment, education and fun filled events. Food franchises are showcasing their products for you to enjoy. Lots of interesting products and services on sale.
Early Bird Price R50 if you book your ticket online before 28th February
R80 online between 1st and 6th March
R100 entrance fee at the door
FREE ENTRY for anyone aged 16 or under