'My advice to franchisees is, make sure to go visit each and every event taking place during the BUYBRAND exhibitions. I remember, last time I visited the exhibition, I ended up listening to the speakers non stop the entire time the exhibition lasted. I was convinced I knew everything, and still I learned a lot of things. So that's a highly useful event for aspiring franchisees in particular. They will learn the key principles of how to best choose a franchise. They will also have an opportunity to have conversations at stands. Every franchiser tries to communicate the ideas he deems important to the audience. As for us, we'd like to expect that all our partners either have purchased two or more franchises, or are currently at the stage of signing a contract. There's still no such partner that wouldn't like to keep on opening new franchises. And that's the key factor. So, first and foremost, I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs to address the question of how current franchisees act in the first place.'
Sergey Rumyantsev, Founder, One Price Coffee
'Let's put it straight, people, who are able to come up with their own successful business, are one in a million. Usually "conventional" businessmen either replicate the Western cases, or somehow extrapolate their own experience. That's a fairly difficult task to handle, and how it's handled mostly depends on the primary goal at hand. Let's imagine, you want to make a name for yourself and become a pioneer, but then all of a sudden you end up wasting energy and financial resources, while someone just replicates and then eventually improves what you've been trying to undertake. Maybe you'd be lucky if your business even survived. On the contrary, franchising is a tested tool to make money. That's why this exhibition gathers those who simply prefer making money, looking for a tested and reliable option and purchasing a franchise rather than realizing ambitions to create a new brand or a complex retail chain. In my view, again, that's the most effective tool for entrepreneurs to make money.'
Ekaterina Lopatina, Franchising Department, the Fitness-Club Chain 'World Class'
'The BUYBRAND is the best way to build up communication and present yourself in maximum detail. Having a website and relying on it aren't whatsoever helpful in this regard. As a sales expert with extensive experience, I am perfectly convinced that it's of utmost importance to communicate live. Because that's how you can tackle doubts if any.
A determining factor in the selection of a franchise comes down not only to the payback period (which you can never tell for sure as to how it was calculated, roughly or scrupulously), but to the communication with a potential partner as well. At the very initial stage you can tell whether either you are going to receive help and support, or you are just going to be given a brand sign and end up doing everything yourself. This can be judged only upon personal live communication in the course of negotiations on a contract.
We've conducted a research on what lies behind people's decision to buy a franchise. According to its results, branding constitutes 40 per cent of success. Trust in the brand or the company is, undoubtedly, a powerful thing. Promotion, building reputation, and self-presentation are among the main marketing expenses. What's more, the power of the brand also implies the power of the technologies which this brand relies and is based upon. Therefore, why would anyone need to "reinvent the wheel" if it can be simply bought, utilized and further developed?'
Natalya Vizer, Head of Department for Sales at X-Fit
'People oftentimes choose to focus on franchising as apposed to a startup or an already operating business. Franchising is a business model based on the entrepreneurs most of whom have made certain mistakes, learned their lessons, and cleared the path in a sense. Moreover, in order to set up own business, one would require professional support and relevant experience. For example, the X-Fit has thirty-year business experience. We run over forty fitness clubs, sixty of which are being developed as franchises. So obtaining such experience "here and now" is, undoubtedly, of immense value. Moreover, we have developed our own IT infrastructure, such as an application and a website. At first glance, that doesn't seem like a big deal, and absolutely anyone can create both a website and an application. However, firstly, it certainly takes time, and secondly, it's rather expensive, and investing into a single project is bound to lead to unnecessary expenditures. Whereas one simply could invest in a well developed and tested technology or a know-how, and just extrapolate it to own business. I am therefore convinced that franchising brings less risks, as it is based on ready-made solutions introduced by someone else for you.'
Olga Maremyanina, Head for Reverse Franchising at the Pyatyorochka chain
'Franchising normally implies that the head company has already taken care of all the necessary IT solutions and business processes. Therefore, when selling a franchise, a franchiser sells intellectual property and handles management aspects as well. So opening a franchise, at least in case of the Pyatyorochka, is ten times as simple as setting up own business from the scratch. We will always have your back, and we have tested technological solutions and a famous brand which is widely known! Our business is an absolutely win-win option.'