Franchise Gator had the pleasure of learning more about Plan Ahead Events from Erin Crawford, Director of Franchise Development.
How was Plan Ahead Events originally conceived and started?
We fell into this business! One year we decided to outsource our annual convention to a couple ladies who were meeting and event planners. After examining their business model, we decided to turn it into a franchise. Today it is the largest industry we serve.
What was your original vision for Plan Ahead Events and how has that changed?
Our original vision was to target individuals who have some knowledge of the industry to become franchisees in our system. Today we are seeing candidates with all types of backgrounds come through. The business is both appealing and exciting across the board.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
The support offered on an ongoing basis well after the initial training. This is a key area of focus for our team.
Why should someone choose Plan Ahead Events over other similar franchises?
Our experience in the franchise industry coupled with our commitment to franchise support & satisfaction.
What makes your industry attractive?
It is a $650 Billion industry worldwide and the largest industry we are in with all of our franchise brands. This industry was in need of a brand when we started, and we are set to create one that is synonymous with meetings & events globally.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
Give me someone with good people skills and a burning desire to succeed and we have the recipe.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
Ongoing training and support, trademark usage and operations manual/system.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
We create protected territories for our franchisees. This being said, franchisees in our system can conduct business outside of their areas as the nature of our industry is so far reaching.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
I attribute this to our diligent franchisee selection process and our ongoing support for our strategic partners.
Where do you see your Plan Ahead Events in the next 5-10 years?
In 5 years we will have over 500 locations in 12 countries. In 10 years we will have over 1000 locations in 20 countries.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Don't reinvent the wheel. Systems are designed to build success. Follow the system and leverage all of your available resources.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
All of America's greatest business success stories began with an idea and someone taking a leap of faith. If you believe in yourself & have a passion for the business, it makes sense to invest in you.
Can you explain your financial assistance?
We have aligned ourselves with great third party finance options that have assisted a good number of our franchisees with getting started in the business.
On average, how long does it take to start a new Plan Ahead Events from the franchisees point of view?
6-8 weeks is our approx average for getting new franchisees started in the business.
What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
Franchise marketing & sales.