We are nearly at the end of the year already and what a year Gti have had! Apart from everything else we do, we ran 4 conferences in Sheffield, Hull, Nottingham and Lincoln it’s been a crazy year.  We have made lots of fantastic

Franchise Conferencecontacts and found some amazing businesses out there that with a bit of support and guidance could become great franchise opportunities. Guidance is probably the wrong word, they needed a bit more information to create a vision of how to take their business forward, and maybe now franchising can be that way.

Starting with Sheffield in June, the conference was sponsored by Knowles Warwick accountants, Taylor Bracewell Solicitors, Loven Patent and NatWest. It was our first conference of 2014 and the event was a huge success.  It’s the first time a conference like this has been held in Sheffield and we had over 70 people attend the event.  We had 70 people at our first ever Franchise Conference in Lincoln last year, but we are from Lincoln so kind of expected a good turnout.  But to do this in a new city with completely new people was a fantastic achievement.  I had done a lot of networking in the run up to the conference and it really shows networking does work.  The amount of people who attended because it was mentioned by somebody else was amazing.

The speakers on the day were superb, we had Steve Knowles speaking about how cash is king, and Sharon from Taylor Bracewell speaking about the legalities of franchising.  Carrie Bradley from Loven has spoken at all our events about the importance of owning your brand.  As well as a franchisor and franchisee panel for people to ask questions of – why did they go into franchising etc. And then, Eric Ho finished it off in style. We came out of Sheffield beaming and full of excitement for the rest of the year. Thinking back on it now planning the next 3 conferences in Sept, Oct and November was the stupidest idea I’ve had!

Hull was the next conference; Hull came about because an accountant from Smailes Goldie attended the first event in Lincoln in November 2013.  Alicia loved it so much she asked if we would hold a conference in Hull and offered to work with us to do it. Hull was sponsored by Smailes Goldie accountants, Andrew Jackson Solicitors, Loven and NatWest. There was a quieter atmosphere in Hull, even the run up seemed like not many people were really interested in the idea of franchising. I struggled with this, knowing that there are a lot of SME’s in the area. However, the support from the sponsors and the Hull Chamber of Commerce was superb and it was still a good event.

Lots of people came out of the event with ideas that they can put into their businesses.  Everybody was on top form though and the speakers really knew their subjects.  The best part of the day in my opinion was having Mike Hanrahan there from Maid2Clean.  He is a very successful franchisor who had a great story and came across so positive about franchising. He has a book out which I still need to read, plug! If you are interested in franchising then speak to the people who have done it.  The lunch was fantastic, the only thing that really let the day down was people not attending after they had committed to it, even stand holders not turning up! I don’t get that, I understand people have things come up but please let organisers know if you can’t make an event.   – But it didn’t stop us having a great day.

Next on the 2014 journey was Nottingham & Derby, held at the belfry hotel in Nottingham. In my opinion this was the best conference yet! Now I don’t know if that was because Nottingham has a big city buzz about it or the fact I had got a suite in the hotel, but the whole day was buzzing!! The night before on the other hand was slightly tetchy. (Having forgotten the PA system the night before and my Grandad saving the day and bringing it out at 6:30am. Thank goodness for my family once again!!! ) The speakers were fantastic, we had a lot of people there thinking about growing their business, so the whole day was great.  Dennis and Turnbull accountants and Geldards solicitors sponsored the event alongside Loven and NatWest Bank. The franchisor and franchisee panel was really interesting for everyone.  I don’t need to go on and speak about who said what, I’m sure you have got the idea now as to what goes on. We did have one of Eric’s first new franchisees for QIS there and Craig did a 15 minute motivational speaker slot, he did really well considering it was his first event.

We have learnt a lot this year and we will be taking that forward in to next year, we already have a North Yorkshire and East Midland conference pencilled in for next year, and maybe a South East so watch this space.   So thanks for reading have an amazing Christmas and new year period we hope Santa brings you lots of presents.

We hope this has given you an insight into what the conferences are all about.

So if you’re thinking of franchising or know someone who is then let’s chat in the New Year.

Michael Bohan