They come round thick and fast and can be a useful exercise but there are a few key things that matter to the would be franchise owner that are important factors. Here’s 10 things we know that you should keep in mind:

  1. A Franchisors attendance at a show is no guarantee of a good franchise or a successful business, don’t assume otherwise. We have seen franchisors go bust shortly after franchise shows!
  2. Don’t pay any money over to any franchisor at a show, we always recommend that you visit their Head Office and check them out first.
  3. Many franchisors remunerate their staff for a franchise sale, many just want your money not your friendship!
  4. If an existing franchisee is working on the stand take the time to have a good natter with them, ask them the names of their nearest 2 or 3 franchisees and then contact them after the show and compare what they say. No franchisor is going to put an unsuccessful or unhappy franchisee on their stand!
  5. The Franchise Show at Excel in London is our favourite because it isn’t exclusive to members of any particular trade association and has some non franchised business opportunities in there too which may be of interest to franchise buyers.
  6. Some of the best franchisors are not members of any franchise trade association, don’t assume that membership of the BFA or the AFA means the franchisor is honest, trustworthy or that you are more likely to be successful. Do your own due diligence!!
  7. Once you strip out the media, consultants, banks and general “hangers on” from shows there isn’t as many franchises to see as you might have thought, you’ll get a better picture of what’s available online. So before you make that long trip to a show check the exhibitor list to identify how many potential businesses there are there for you!
  8. Franchise shows can be good places to get confidential information because it isn’t very practical for a franchisor to get one signed there and then and stands often have staff working on the stand that don’t fully appreciate what they can and can’t tell you!
  9. Always remember that you will only ever see a fraction of the industry at a show, you’ll find out more by using Franchise Life’s free franchise finder service
  10. Make sure you give yourself enough time to really get to know the exhibitors, its amazing how many visitors wander past stands not really knowing what the business is all about – soak up time on dozens of stands without pre judging any and you might be surprised what you’ll find!