Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
On paper, the Emerging Franchisor Conference (EFC) is an event for emerging and re-emerging franchisor brands to discuss, learn, and gain critical insights for growing your franchise business. It’s that – and so much more. This year, the Emerging Franchisor Conference will take place in the great state of Tennessee in the entertainment capital of the southeast, Nashville, November 2-4.
What to expect at the EFC
Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with fellow franchisors at their same stage of growth – as well as the most seasoned experts in the business – from across the United States. Each attendee shares the universal experience of pursuing success through the franchise business model. Franchising is unique in the opportunities and challenges it can present to managers and executives, and this conference is the place to find solutions to what you’re facing and discover new areas of expansion. The sprawling network of connections made at EFC lasts far beyond the three-day conference.
Related: Emerging Brands Fuel Consistent Growth in the Franchising Industry
Last year, Aamer Rehman attended EFC for the first time after making the decision to transition his business into a franchise. Aamer has spent the last ten years building his business, Primera Insurance and Tax Services – and is using the connections he made at EFC last year to create a growth strategy.
Aamer took advantage of one of the many benefits of becoming an IFA member and joined the Franship program. The Franship program connects emerging franchisors with experienced veterans of franchising to mentor and guide them through the challenges. Aamer was matched with Nancy Bigley, President and CEO of Little Gym. While Nancy and Aamer own two different types of business, they share a common goal: to grow their business, maintain excellency across their brand, and continue to learn from one another. The two met for the first time at the Emerging Franchisor Conference and have been in touch ever since. Throughout the last year, Aamer has reached out and had conversations with Nancy whenever he found himself in a bind that needed the expertise and knowledge of a veteran franchisor.
After attending his first EFC conference, Aamer realized, “I am not alone, there are tons and tons of people that are either on the same timeline of their business as I am, or they have gone through what I’m going through in the past, so they understand where I’m coming from. I can relate to them, and they are always willing to help me.” This year, Aamer is attending EFC with an employee from one of his eight locations in Texas.
Get franchise experts’ advice
As a franchisor, the challenge of scaling and growing your business can be scary and daunting. At EFC, there is a sense that no one is alone in franchising. There will be a range of experts from across the industry varying in size, market, and reach. Every sector of franchising will be covered: food and beverages, education and technology, service and lodging, Retail, and more.
The International Franchise Association created this conference around the unique needs of emerging franchisors. Speakers, panels, and general session meetings will cover topics specifically tailored to those newest to franchising and looking to learn more. Sessions will dive into hot-button issues like today’s inflationary climate and how it may be affecting your business. IFA CEO Matt Haler will host a session on the importance of advocacy, sharing why the recent passage of the FAST Act in California matters to you and your business. And of course, there will be ample time for networking, roundtable discussions dedicated to exchanging ideas, and certainly some live music with fellow franchisors at one of Nashville’s famous honkytonks.
Related: 2022 Franchise 500 Ranking
The EFC Conference is the place to immerse yourself in the franchising community. It is the opportunity to be a sponge, soaking up knowledge and information from peers. When asked about how he felt following his first EFC Conference Aamer said, “We win together as a franchising community, that’s what I felt and that’s what I walked away with.”