Time to be your own boss? Make your dreams come true


Everyone who dreams of taking the plunge and starting their own business will be inspired and motivated at the Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo, starting this Friday 21 August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

“This year in Melbourne we have more exhibitors covering a wider range of businesses than ever before,” says Exhibition Manager Fiona Stacey. “Plus there is more industry knowledge on tap than you’ll find anywhere in one place – if you’ve ever had a question about starting or growing a business, you’ll find the answers here.”

A feature event of Victoria’s Small Business Festival, the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo will also feature free seminars full of practical advice and information, plus organisations such as the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) on hand to assist budding as well as established entrepreneurs.

This year’s free seminars feature a wide range of industry experts, including Suzanne Jarzabkowska from DC Strategy, Pack & Send’s Mike Smart, Grant Garraway from The Franchise Shop, Ahmet Ali from AA Business Brokers, Darryn McAuliffe from FRANdata, Victorian Small Business Commissioner Geoff Browne, and Brian Keen from How to Franchise Simply.

Here are Fiona Stacey’s top tips for first-time visitors on how to get the most out of the Expo:


  •  Start off by visiting the Franchise Council of Australia stand for general information about franchising.
  •  Attend ‘Is Franchising Right for You?’ seminar, on daily at 11am and 2pm.
  •  Check the rest of the seminar program and add the sessions that interest you to your schedule.
  •  Meet with a broad range of exhibitors and gain insights into the range of franchise and business opportunities.


The Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo is on Friday 21 August – Sunday 23 August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 10am-5pm.

Pre-register for discounted entry at www.franchisingexpo.com.au

Here are just some of the exciting exhibitors that visitors can meet this weekend:

AA Business Brokers – Stand D1

Dominating the marketplace in Victoria in the sale of quality franchises and general businesses, AA Business Brokers works closely with some 45 major franchise brands. Managing Director Ahmet Ali says about 70 businesses will be represented at his stand. 

“We will be able to provide specific details of any business currently for sale and/ or general information about how one buys or sells a business,” he says, adding that this year AA Business Broker’s major brand connections are Findit Smart, Ferguson Plarre, Gloria Jean’s, Coffee Club, Michel’s Patisserie, Sumo Salad, Muffin Break, Donut King, Jamaica Blue, among many others.

“In any business venture nothing beats hard work, energy, enthusiasm, customer service and a willingness to learn and be innovative,” he advises. Ahmet Ali will also give a seminar about buying a resale franchise business on Saturday 22nd August at 3.30pm.


BK’s Takeaway – Stand A33
With an affordable entry price and easy operation, BK’s Takeaway is an ideal franchise for husband and wife teams, says Managing Director Brendan Kingwill. “BK’s has over 15 years of operating experience and provides high levels of training and back up support,” he says.

Kingwill adds that BK’s also has a unique marketing support program that assists with widespread advertising as well as in specific areas where shops are located. Popular mascot Brendan Burger will be at the stand along with Kingwill and a franchising expert.

“People who are genuinely interested will leave with a wealth of information about our model and system, so that they can make an informed decision about a franchise that suits their needs and lifestyle.”


DC Strategy – Stand B20

This specialist team of franchise consultants and lawyers work together to ‘Build, Protect, Create and Secure Enterprise Value’. According to CEO Suzanne Jarzabkowska, DC Strategy has developed many of Australasia’s most successful franchise networks. “Over the last 10 years we have created a billion dollars worth of enterprise value for our clients, with over 1,943 locations franchised locations established.”

Hear Jarzabkowska’s eye-opening presentation “What it takes to build a $50 million franchise business – a holistic approach” as part of the free seminar program.


Essential Beauty – Stand B16

An established brand with 25 years in the industry, Essential Beauty has been franchised for 15 years. “The brand has evolved over this time to meet changing market expectations and has done so successfully,” says CEO Tony Maiello. He believes the benefit of being at the Expo is that visitors can talk to the CEO directly, not just a representative. “You can also talk to long-standing Essential Beauty staff and franchisees and asked them specific questions about the company,” he says.

Maiello adds that an Essential Beauty franchise would suit people who are systemised in the way they approach problems and who enjoy learning. “People who have been involved in some form of service based industry work best as Essential Beauty franchisees,” he says.


FRANdata – Stand A11

Established more than 25 years ago in the United States, FRANdata commenced Australian operations in 2013 to provide business intelligence to the franchising sector. Last year FRANdata created The Australian Franchise Registry™, which was widely welcomed as a tool to promote transparency and increased credibility in the franchise sector with increased availability of reliable and independent information.

As well as the Registry, FRANdata specialises in assisting companies to obtain finance for franchise business. “FRANdata works with not only established franchise brands looking to achieve or maintain bank accreditation, but also with new and emerging brands seeking a path to formal bank accreditation,” says CEO Darryn McAuliffe. Hear McAuliffe’s presentation as part of the free seminar program, or visit the stand for more information.

www.frandata.com.au   www.thefranchiseregistry.com.au

GeoWash Stand D39

GeoWash is a globally renowned, hand car wash and detailing cafe franchise business brand, with a revolutionary concept and business model that has been successfully implemented in more than 30 countries worldwide.

“Our proven business model incorporates multiple profit centres and state of the art facilities,” says CEO Sanam Ali. “Franchisees will benefit from a powerful support system developed by our team’s franchising and carwash experience.”

Ali adds that visiting the GeoWash stand is the most cost effective means of sourcing information about successfully franchising a carwash in the growing Australian carwash industry. “We at GeoWash will offer our visitors new, fresh, innovative and exciting franchising and business opportunities in the carwash industry, by providing effective face to face communication and direct negotiation,” she says.


How to Franchise Simply – Stand C40

Franchise strategist and consultant Brian Keen offers workshops and expertise on the best way to grow a business by franchising.

“I’ve brought all my knowledge together in my latest venture, ‘How to Franchise Simply’, with the aim of showing business owners how to transform a family-sized firm into a multi-million dollar asset through a unique seven-step system, saving tens of thousands of dollars in consultancy fees in the process,” he says.

Find out more by listening to Keen’s seminar session “Should I Franchise My Business?” on at 1.30pm Friday and 11.30am Sunday.


Jim’s Shade Sails – Stand C24

With one of the most recognisable names in franchising, Jim’s Shade Sails is the first business in the shades and umbrella industry to be franchised with a known brand. Franchisor Shane Hutchings says the business incorporates so many trades in the one job, which keeps it interesting, and there is excellent profit potential.

“I’m looking for people who enjoy working outdoors, have multiple trade skills and are knowledgeable and personable,” he says. “Customer service is everything.”

Hutchings adds, “Attending the Expo is a great opportunity to explore the franchising options available to you, should you want to take control of your future and run your own business. Every day you waste you don’t get back!”


LuxCars – Stand D6

A unique business concept with zero competition, LuxCars offers the “Cinderella Limo” ­– a customised stretched limo that resembles Cinderella’s carriage.

“It is very different and appeals to people’s emotions,” explains Managing Director Alena Kouzmenkov. “It is a fairytale experience that we are creating based on childhood memories, a fantastic business to be in!”

New to Victoria, Kouzmenkov explains that the Cinderella Limo is hugely popular in Queensland with bookings three years in advance.

“It’s every girl’s dream to be a princess and arrive in style to a ball or special function,” she says. “It is hugely popular for a range of events – weddings, formals, hens’ nights and corporate functions, as well as kids parties.”

See the limo at the show and chat to the team to discover more about this exciting opportunity. www.gcluxcars.com.au/franchise

Malaysian Pavilion – Stands A2 and B2

The Malaysian Government is proud to showcase 14 different franchise companies seeking Australian franchisees. Located right at the entrance to the show, meet representatives from a range of industries include quick service restaurants, education, hairdressing, beauty, accessories and fashion. Some of the diverse and innovative companies include Brainchecker, Cosry, Global Art & Creative, Sugar Bun, Q-dees Worldwide Edusystems, and Snips Salon.

Mobile Services International – Stand C12

This innovative company is showcasing Australia’s largest, most successful leather repair franchise, The Leather Doctor. Even better, MSI is giving away an entire franchise valued at $75,000 to one lucky visitor! (Conditions apply, visit the stand for details.)

“As an investment The Leather Doctor franchise represents fantastic value and has done for over 20 years,” says Casey Reid, Franchise Business Manager. “We are eager to expand our team, though we are only looking to recruit highly motivated, proactive people, who enjoy working with their hands, being mobile, meeting new people, and most importantly reaping the rewards for their efforts.”

Reid is also giving a free seminar at 1.30pm on Sunday 22 August titled “Seven Secrets to Freedom”. See him and The Leather Doctor team at stand C12, or go to www.myleatherdoctor.com.au

PostNet Australia – Stand A16

PostNet operates printing, marketing, shipping, business services and private mailbox rental services, meaning that a PostNet franchise owner can offer all of the popular pack-and-ship services while also competing head-to-head with a full-scale printing franchise, with just a fraction of the investment.

“Starting and growing a small business isn’t easy,” explains Robin Lau, CEO at PostNet Australia. “Most small business owners have skills and professionalism — but they often lack the knowledge and skills to effectively market themselves and grow their business. As a PostNet franchisee, you have support and proven systems from a headquarters team with business experience.”

Lau says franchisees don’t need a background in graphic design or digital printing to succeed with PostNet. “You don’t need years of shipping experience, either. Our franchise owners have diverse business backgrounds, and very few of them were in the printing or shipping business before joining the PostNet family.”

Find out more from Robin Lau and the team or go to www.postnet.com.au

Retail Food Group – Stand B36

RFG’s franchise systems are some of the most successful in Australia – household names offering high quality products, innovative store designs and exceptional customer service. In Melbourne RFG will showcase leading brands including Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakery, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Pizza Capers, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, and Café2U.  

RFG’s Sales & Leasing Manager Sarah Kidman says Cafe2U is expected to attract a lot of interest from potential franchisees. “Since the brand was acquired by RFG in 2014, Café2U has identified an enhanced investment opportunity for new Victorian territories,” she says. Changes under RFG’s stewardship include improved operating procedures and running costs, and the prospect of increased profit through benefits of scale for items like disposable cups and coffee.

Cafe2U’s General Manager John Stanton adds that with RFG behind the brand, Victoria is the key market for growth. “The franchise has proven to be extremely successful in other areas of Australia, as well as internationally,” he says. “We believe our new offering will appeal to Victorians like never before,” says John Stanton, General Manager of Cafe2U.

RFG’s expert sales executives will be manning the stand and – as expected of Australia’s leading multi-food franchisor – they will be offering tasty treats to sweeten the deal for expo attendees. www.rfg.com.au

Smartline – Stand D40

Voted Australia’s Top Franchise for the past six years by 10 Thousand Feet Strategic Research, Smartline has a proven track record in helping people develop a sustainable business within the $300 billion dollar Australian mortgage market. Recruitment manager Matt Fitzpatrick explains Mortgage Broking has transformed the way Australians arrange their home finance, with 51.4% of borrowers now choosing to use a mortgage broker to look after them. “Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers offers a low cost of entry opportunity for individuals to get into a growing market sector with one of the franchise industry’s most supportive groups,” he says. “If you’re self-disciplined and comfortable going out there and meeting new people and helping them, you’ll love this business.”

Superior Accounting Solutions – Stand D26

Superior Accounting Solutions was founded in 2004, and is one of only a handful of accounting firms who are active investors, constantly learning how to better protect their clients’ financial position. Finding the right accountant is a vital step in any small business journey, and Superior Accounting Solutions’ mission is to minimise tax and maximise asset protection, while supporting and mentoring people and providing the right advice at the right time.

Founder Adrian Hill will be giving a dynamic seminar on Friday at 3pm titled “How running a business can minimise tax and maximise asset protection”, and there will be free copies of the book he co-authored, Think and Grow Rich in Property, available at the stand.


Top Cut Lawn Mowing – Stand D16

Top Cut is offering an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in starting their own lawn mowing business, with fully comprehensive packages and a hands on training approach.

Sales Manager Michele Ashton says this opportunity would suit anyone who has an interest in working for themselves, with very low overheads and ongoing advertising and admin support, plus the possibility to get with the expansion and growth of the company as it gains national momentum.

Top Cut is offering a special deal for show visitors, with $1000 off the advertised brochure price, plus $250 off the franchise application fee. (Conditions apply.) “Our aim is to expand services to cover all suburbs in Victoria, and eventually Australia-wide,” Ashton says.


Yarra Valley Farms – Stand D42

Yarra Valley Farms is a wholesale supplier of quality fresh fruit and vegetables servicing the commercial and hospitality industries throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

“Fresh fruit and veg is not a fad or new business idea,” says Scott McDonald from Yarra Valley Farms. “Consumption is ever-growing because of population growth and people eating healthier.” McDonald says this business would suit people with a background in hospitality or customer service. He adds that the franchise model offers personalised service for the customers, while being backed by a franchisor who provides buying power, product variety, farm fresh product, technology support and product information.


Your Social Village – Stand C36

The Expo’s social media partner, Your Social Village is a specialist social media marketing company with branches across Australia that many businesses trust and rely upon because it is made up of social media marketers only.

This forward-looking company excels in leveraging the power of social media for businesses across Australia keen to generate results fast. Their social media consultants work with clients one-on-one to determine the best use of resources, then create and implement a social media strategy that will generate the greatest returns.