The stars and celebrities of the franchising world were out in force at the Sydney Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo, sharing expertise, knowledge and of course the chance to be a part of their success story.

Pippa Hallas from Ella Baché, Sara Pantaleo from La Porchetta, Elaine Jobson from Jetts Fitness, Lee Moore from Poolwerx, Dr Sam Prince from Zambrero, even two-time gold medal Olympian Michael Diamond representing See Thru Cleaning – all were on hand to meet visitors and discuss the ins and outs of being your own boss with the backing of a tried and tested brand.

Held at the Royal Hall of Industries at Moore Park 27-29 March, the Expo featured a wide range of franchising and other business opportunities, from G-Force’s virtual racing car or Monkey Mania’s children’s playcentres, to customised mobile phone covers at The Kase or cafés like Degani, The Coffee Club and Coffee Emporium. The Malaysian Government also brought a dozen companies to Sydney with an exciting range of business ideas.

The Sydney Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo is the first in a series of three expos held annually around Australia. The next show is in Brisbane 18-19 July, followed by Melbourne 21-23 August. 

As in previous years, the free daily seminar sessions were a popular feature, with many visitors taking advantage of the chance to hear presentations from franchisees, franchisors, consultants, and other business experts. This year there was also the Business Soapbox, giving leading as well as upcoming brands the opportunity to explain their concepts and business structure. 

High profile women such as Ella Baché CEO Pippa Hallas, La Porchetta CEO Sara Pantaleo and Jetts Fitness General Manager Elaine Jobson gave motivating and inspiring presentations at the seminar sessions, proving just how far women can go as entrepreneurs. “I believe women really can have it all – work, family and personal life – but they just have to let go of the idea of doing it all, and delegate wherever possible,” Hallas told seminar attendees. 

DC Strategy’s CEO Suzanne Jarzabkowska also gave a powerful presentation titled ‘What it takes to build a $50 million franchise business – a holistic approach’, while Darryn McAuliffe advised visitors on how to obtain finance for franchise businesses.

Exhibition Manager Fiona Stacey says the historic venue provided a great ambience, but what really made the show stand out was the quality of the exhibitor’s stands. “There were some very impressive stands this year,” she says. 

“Visitors enjoyed checking out the various vehicles – from New York Slice’s authentic New York Taxi and G-Force’s racing car, to a range of mobile businesses like HydroKleen, Xpresso Mobile Café, Dream Doors, VIP Home Services, Jim’s Test & Tag and Wheel Change U.” 

“Overall the stands were colourful, dynamic and professional; you could see how much effort and energy went into their design.” The preparation and effort paid off for exhibitors, with most reporting a very successful show.

“It was our first show in some years and we weren’t sure what to expect,” says Danny Messenger from Lenard’s Chicken. “We were hoping for five strong leads from the show, but we’ve ended up with more than 40 good quality people to follow up. Some were very keen and wanted to pack up our stand and take it with them!”

First-time exhibitor Fadi Barsoum from Zambrero says nobody expected to have so many enquiries, with the team taking home more than 90 strong leads. “We were impressed by the quality of people, they were very serious and ready to invest,” he says.

John Bozuwa first exhibited 30 years ago, franchising a business he bought for $1000 called Mobile Plastic and Vinyl Repairs. “I sold three franchises that weekend, and within 18 months I had 26 franchisees,” he reflects. “After five years I sold the business for $1.3 million.” 

This year, Bozuwa was representing his son’s business Bozzy Shade Blinds, and enjoyed sharing his passion for franchising with show visitors. “I just love talking to everyone, this is a great business to get into and I think anyone can be an entrepreneur, you just have to take the first step.”

Derek Lilley and Cam Hadlow from Dream Doors celebrated their first anniversary at the show – the New Zealand based company premiered at the Sydney Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo in 2014. Since then they have grown the business with 12 franchisees in 12 months. 

“It simply would not have happened without the Expos,” says Lilley. “We found two franchisees in Sydney, one in Melbourne and three in Brisbane, with a few more strong leads we are still talking to. The shows really gave us the momentum to get established in Australia.

Fiona Stacey says organisers are gearing up for an exciting two-day show in Brisbane this July. It will feature a mix of local Queensland franchisors and advisors, as well as Australian household names. 

Pre-registration is available online for the Brisbane and Melbourne shows, and Stacey says companies wishing to exhibit will need to contact her soon to secure the best stands.

“The Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo is the best place to take the first steps towards being your own boss, or growing your business,” says Stacey. “It’s also an event where the industry comes together to educate, inform and network – the place where you can really turn your ambition into action.”

Source: Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo media release.