Our company, Ascentia Holdings (headquartered in Kobe, Japan; Akira Tsuchiya, President, http://www.assentia-hd.com), has been developing overseas franchises for Japanese food service and restaurant companies aiming for the global market, starting with Singapore in 2010. The company has a presence in 19 countries around the world.
As part of our activities to expand the number of attractive franchises we support for overseas franchise development to the domestic market, we came up with the “Franchise Business Meeting where the franchisees take the lead role” as a result of considering a more effective method of finding franchisees.
We have already held 3 meetings in Tokyo and Sapporo since November 2019, and determined that the “franchisees play the leading role” method could also be used for web-based business meetings using zoom, and have held 2 meetings so far, on May 27 and June 17, 2019.
Franchise Business Meetings in which franchisees play the leading role” are held each time with 4 to 7 franchised companies and 4 to 5 franchise headquarters who are proposing the idea, with the member companies setting up a booth. Just like a school’s timetable, the headquarters decides in advance which headquarters will make a proposal to whom and at what time, and then the headquarters moves from one booth to the next to make proposals.
In the case of a zoom event, you can use the zoom’s breakout sessions (a function that allows you to hold up to 50 small meetings at a time within a single zoom conference) and meet with your clients in individual meeting rooms.
In the past, franchisees could only hear about franchises that they are interested in, but in this business meeting, they have to listen to proposals in the designated time table, even if they are not necessarily interested in the field. However, you may be able to meet with unknown growth businesses.
The Franchise Business Meeting Where the Franchisees Take the Lead Role
In a typical business meeting or exhibition, a booth is set up by those who want to propose a product or business.
Those who are looking for a product or business come to the booth and listen to the interested parties.
While this format is suitable for promoting products and businesses to the general public, it is not the best way to reach business owners who are looking for new business.
Because we had a network of local small business owners across the country who were looking to grow through franchising from our years of activity, we devised a style that was the opposite of the traditional business meeting and exhibition – a booth for business owners looking for new business.
When we actually held the event in Tokyo in November 2019, we received positive feedback not only from those proposing businesses, but also from business owners looking for new businesses.
The meetings were held in Sapporo in February and Tokyo in March, and they were both very well received.
Real business meeting (Sapporo, February 2020)
Real business meeting (Tokyo, March 2020)
Background of the zoom business meeting
The two real business meetings held in Tokyo and one in Sapporo were well received by both the proposers and the recipients of the proposals, and because of the difficulty of holding a large-scale exhibition due to the effects of the corona, we decided to hold a small-scale business meeting across the country, and decided to hold the next one in Nagoya at the end of May, after Tokyo and Sapporo. However, after the participants were confirmed, Corona declared a state of emergency.
We puzzled over how to hold the event on May 27th and tried to hold it with zoom.
As a result of the change to using zoom, we received participation not only from companies in and around Nagoya, but also from the Kanto region and China, and the event was well received.
Because of the advantages of face-to-face meetings, we will hold monthly web-based business meetings with zoom, and we will hold real meetings in major cities four times a year in both real and web-based venues.
The member companies are companies that are members of some kind of franchise, that aim to use the franchise business for their own growth, and that understand the division of roles between headquarters and franchisees.
We hold a zom meeting with our company in advance to ensure that there is no mismatch in the business meeting.
In addition to the franchiseeship, the franchise headquarters also provides
- Business potential in the corona crisis
- Business potential in a new way of life
We have identified the following as our participating franchise partner members
- I always look for information on new businesses, but I only look for information in fields that interest me. It was a rare opportunity for me to hear about industries and business types that I would not have been able to encounter on my own.
- It was more interesting than I imagined. It was even more interesting than I imagined.
- There were a lot of things other than the restaurant business, so I learned a lot, and there were a few businesses that I wanted to work on, so I’d like to investigate and discuss them internally.
- I would like to consider joining all four of the franchises we discussed, because the information I received was different from what I would pick up at a franchise show.
- I was able to hear about industries that I would never stop by if I were at a trade show. I was reluctant to listen to them, but it was very interesting to hear them in person. Because this was a web conference, I was able to lower the bar and participate in the conference. This is the first time for me to participate in this conference, but I was able to get into the conversation smoothly.