The best opportunity to get started in the world of franchising is to attend a franchise conference. The Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) and Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI), are the country’s top organizers of trade shows that allow international and homegrown franchises to gather in one massive venue and exhibit their retail concepts for many to feast on.
You will probably spend a lot of time walking and picking fliers left and right. It’s never a good idea to go into a conference unprepared. Your number one goal is this: acquire the right information from the exhibitors’ franchise development team without going in circles. Unfortunately, some people end up being lost and undecided after their first conference.
We made this quick survival guide to arm those who haven’t stepped foot inside a franchise conference before with a basic understanding of how to make the most out of franchise conferences. Here are our recommended to-do’s that can help you maximize your time while inside. Ready? Here we go!
- Focus is your best friend
Franchise conferences are huge. Hundreds of exhibitors are packed together, and it’s very tempting to hear what all the recruitment people have to say. Being fed with information like financial breakdown, return on investment, market leadership and brand superiority can be seriously mind-numbing.
Our #1 Tip is to know what type of business you want to immerse yourself in: is it the world of quick food service? Is it that of a gasoline station? Or are you more into being a restauranteur?
Pick a category, and spend a considerable amount of time listening and analyzing their business packages. Steer away from distractions. Focus your attention on the franchise you feel comfortably attuned with. It saves you an incredible amount of time when you’re able to focus.
- Spend more time asking
A franchise business has a lot of details a potential entrepreneur like yourself needs to know about upfront, and only some of those details will be listed on their flyers.
At a conference, recruitment officers are trained to answer every conceivable question about the franchise with expected proficiency. Converse with them. Choose to ask questions than stare at the colorful flyers. Soak in as much information from the experts.
- Understand what the franchise’s products are
You need to have a good orientation of the products that the franchise business are selling to customers. For instance, if you’re going into food business, then it’s imperative that you at least try their menu’s bestselling product. Ask yourself the following after: is the quality food something that I’d be proud of selling to the community? Adopt a consumer’s mindset. It’s important that you do, because the product will tell if the franchise will remain profitable in the long run. Franchising entails a lot of product development and improvement, so it’s crucial that you search for franchises committed to research and development.
- Listen to what the ‘other experts’ have to say
These “other experts” are the resource speakers invited to talk about their years of experience managing a franchise or taking up a position as a consultant to franchises here and abroad. Their knowledge and position as an authority figure in the subject of franchising should be taken advantage of. They might have opinions that could help you decide if franchising is for you, or opinions about how another franchise business may work for you. Their steep understanding of how franchises work can measure your personal level of entrepreneurial and financial preparedness, which is important if you don’t want your investment go somewhere else.