There are two main misconceptions around franchising, according to the man in charge of the nation’s biggest franchise expo: That you need $1 million-plus to enter the market, and that all franchises are food related.
While food businesses represent a big percentage of franchises, he said, they’re a minority when you take all other options into account.
“People say ‘tell me the range,” said Tom Portesy, president and chief executive officer of Glen Rock-based MFV Expositions. “I say ‘there’s pet care, child care, and senior care here.’ I can’t think of an industry that doesn’t have something franchised, whether it’s automotive or kitchen repair. They come in every industry now.”
Franchise investment opportunities can start as little as $10,000 and be as high as $5 million, he said.
MFV Expositions will host the International Franchise Expo at the Javits Center in New York May 30 through June 1, and will expose an estimated 15,000 attendants to more than 400 emerging franchise brands as well as education on financing options.
New Jersey-based exhibitors with franchise offerings include K9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel, Lightbridge Academy and PrimoHoagies.
Business solutions exhibitors from New Jersey include payroll service company ADP, New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, and law firm Stark & Stark.
Last year’s turnout included potential entrepreneurs from 49 states and 83 foreign countries. This marks the IFE’s 28th year. Portesy took the helm 15 years ago after becoming the show’s first director 13 years before.
“When you buy a franchise you’re getting a proven track record, a proven operation, training, support, buying power, brand recognition. You’re going to get all the things that really become humongous hurdles in business,” he said. “Unfortunately most businesses abort themselves in the first few years because so many mistakes are fatal. There’s not a big margin of error in small business. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard in a franchise or that everyone is going to be successful, but it does mean you have a road map to success.”
The over 70 educational seminars are nearly all free, covering topics like private equity investing and franchising and negotiating your first international franchise.
Tickets for the event are $10 in advance and $20 at the door, but those who register online and use promo code FPR1 will receive complimentary entry.