The BFA/IFA/EFF International Franchising Symposium
With global expansion being a milestone in development for many businesses, more and more franchises are looking to go international, reports Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the British Franchise Association (BFA).
The appetite to expand globally is seen all over the world and franchising is the perfect model to support that ambition.
The franchise model’s structure of a local business owner, combined with the proven system, support, brand and economies of scale of the network as a whole is a powerful mix. This helps brands have the confidence to take their business abroad, knowing that there is already a successful business model in place, proven to work as a formula.
Many home grown franchises, such as VIP Bin Cleaning and Water Babies have already made this leap, and with 38 per cent now franchising outside of the UK it is a path that many are following.
One in nine brands are considering franchising internationally in the future, and 20 per cent of our franchisors are the master franchisees of businesses from outside the UK. This can be very positive for the UK economy, as it means that much of the revenue generated by the franchise businesses in the UK remain in this country.
The BFA/IFA/EFF International Franchising Symposium at the Royal Garden Hotel, London, on the 16 and 17 March is the perfect chance to learn more about expanding internationally, the challenges you may face, and also the opportunities it provides.
The symposium will showcase speakers from the U.S., Europe and the UK sharing the realities of their worldwide success and the problems they have encountered.
It is held in association with the BFA, International Franchise Association (IFA), and European Franchise Federation (EFF).
Brian Smart, BFA director Europe, International; will talk about preparing to expand your business internationally, covering selecting the right country for your brand, and ensuring you have the correct strategies in place.
He will also join Josh Merin (director of international affairs, IFA), Chantal Zimmer (executive director, FFF) and Carol Chopra (executive director, EFF) in a session on ‘The changing face of franchising from around the world’, sharing their experiences and some of the challenges and opportunities facing their countries today.
Christian Fruleux (Decathlon), will discuss the legal aspects and foreign investment, and Oliver Binder (Granrut), will expand on this in a roundtable on worldwide trends in regulation.
Paul Thompson, the founder of Water Babies, will give his experience in a keynote session on its experience of global expansion. Thompson said: “It is a great honour to be invited to speak at the symposium. This represents a truly exciting opportunity for the franchising community to come together and share their knowledge and expertise, at a time of unprecedented growth.
“Here at Water Babies we’ve also grown dramatically in the last few years. Since founding the company in 2002, we’ve expanded incredibly fast to become the largest baby and toddler swim school in the world, run through a network of family-owned businesses, each strongly rooted in their own local communities.
“We are very proud to currently have a total of 57 franchises, running 64 outlets across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and China, with Germany looking set to launch this year.
“I suppose this represents how the franchising model can really work, not just in one’s home market, but through careful expansion into global markets too. We are not alone either – this is being witnessed by a wide range of companies offering diverse and distinctive services and products across the world.
“I really look forward to this unique event which represents a fantastic opportunity to swap stories, ones ups and downs, as well as examine the opportunities and challenges that franchising offers to us all in the future.”
Other interactive sessions include ‘How to enter the UK, EU and U.S. markets’ from various speakers such as Richard G. Greenstein (DLA Piper), Farrah Rose (The International Franchising Centre), Sean Derrig (Chemex International), and Emile Spruijt (Straetus International).
Other topics included range from the future of digital marketing to the nuts and bolts of different markets. Join interactive round-tables discussing topics such as managing franchise resales, use of social media for recruitment, franchising in the UAE and Brexit – will it make a difference?
It won’t be all work and no play! There will be lots of opportunities to network, including our Gala Dinner on Thursday, 16 March. This will include a keynote speech from Gavin Hewitt, BBC news chief correspondent.
The second part of the week will give delegates an opportunity to transfer to Paris for Europe’s largest franchise exhibition with the French Franchise Federation as your host.
With interactive and expert-led sessions for you to join over the two days, the symposium is an event not to be missed.
For more information, visit www.thebfa.org/internationalfranchising, contact the BFA at email@example.com or call 01235 820 470, and keep an eye on our social media channels for exciting updates in the run up to the event.