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More Than 400 Brands Prepare to Set Up Shop at International Franchise Expo

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If you've ever thought about opening a franchise, an event taking place later this week at the Javits Center aims to help you achieve that goal. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Ever dream of owning your own business or being your own boss? You aren't alone.

"Most people want to go into business for themselves," says Tom Portesy, president and CEO of MFV Expositions. "Very few do, and the reasons are there are barriers. Most people have that fear of the unknown."

Which is why so many entrepreneurs choose the road more traveled and opt for a franchise.

"Subway, 7-Eleven, McDonald's. Those are all franchise brands," says Steven Beagelman, CEO of SMB Franchise Advisors. "Franchising is a huge business. One out of every nine businesses out there is a franchise brand."

Restaurants are only one piece of that pie. This week, more than 400 brands will set up shop at the Javits Center for the International Franchise Expo.

"It's day care. It's senior care. It's pet care. It's automotive. It's business to business," says Tom Portesy, president and CEO of MFV Expositions.

Opening a franchise is a big commitment, both in terms of time and money. Initial investments can run from a few thousand to a few million dollars.

What you are paying for is two-fold. For one thing, there's a proven business model that smooths out the learning curve.

"They did the trial and error," says Heather Carver, a franchise owner with Cookie Advantage. "They had to figure out what worked and what didn't work, where I come in as a franchisee with a proven system that works and generates money on the first day."

There's also brand recognition, and often, the benefit of national advertising campaigns.

"We're 900-plus clinics in 48 states," says Eugenia Tzoannopoulos, a franchise owner with Massage Envy. "I don't think there's anything you can do individually to get to that same level."

Organizers expect some 20,000 people to browse the booths at this year's event. Think of it as speed dating, a chance for attendees to see what type of business they're most compatible with.

There will also be more than 70 seminars, plus an area of the show devoted to professional services, giving would-be franchisees a chance to speak with experts about the legal and financial issues involved in the process.

"How to finance a franchise. How do you go about the process of buying a franchise.
How to remove all the hurdles between themselves and getting into business," Portesy says.

The International Franchise Expo runs Thursday through Saturday at the Javits Center.

For free admission to the expo, visit https://secure.events-registration.com/ife2014/?source=ny1

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