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So You Want to Franchise Your Business Paperback – August 1, 2008
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About the Author
Adina M. Genn is an award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times and the Long Island Business News. In 2007, the SBA named her New York's Small Business Journalist of the Year.
Top Customer Reviews
(1) There is no actual budget for specific items; just general statements, like "you will need between $100k and $150k to .... hire a franchise attorney .... and an experienced franchise consulting firm..." How much is needed for various categories like the franchise attorney, the franchise consulting firm, advertising and marketing costs, etc. are not detailed, except for a one liner later in the book that it takes $10k to $20k to launch a website (and how this is broken down is anyone's guess).
(2) Nor is it a good idea to hire a franchise consulting firm to write the operations manual as the author recommends. This produces a very mediocre, boilerplate document that is not only expensive but also filled with legal risk. See the article about this on the Franchise Foundations website on the Operations Manual page, based on my experience as a testifying franchise expert and having personally written and edited hundreds of operations manuals. The author talks about the McDonalds Operations Manual as a lesson in excellence, but fails to mention the most important lesson: it was all done in-house by McDonalds (as it should be) and not by outside franchise consultants who charge $25k or more to write boilerplate manuals.
(3) Then, beyond the initial $100k to $150k to franchise the business is the incredible statement that this investment "will not typically show any return for up to three years." So, how much needs to be budgeted for this 3-year period, and for what types of expenses? Good question, but absolutely no answers or guidance here either. One thing is crystal clear - not having adequate working capital to pay all bills and reach a break even point that can be 3 years down the road will cause business failure. Not bothering to address this critical issue is incredulous.
Which all points to the weak link in having someone who is just an attorney (franchise or otherwise) call the shots and make recommendations for franchise consultants, etc. when it comes to franchising a business. They don't understand the business aspects (see above), financial aspects (see above) or operational aspects (they've never written an operations manual before, etc.). Companies end up spending exorbitant amounts following this path and either get nowhere or fail. As I've been often quoted as saying, "it's takes a lot more to succeed in franchising than a FDD from an attorney, a boilerplate operations manual, their invoice and a handshake.
I. Why franchise? (1-3)
II. Moving forward (4-6)
III. Rolling it out (7-9)
IV. Keeping it going (10-15)
And it has the following 3 appendices:
A. Franchise Disclosure Document
B. Guidelines for an operations manual
C. Franchise resources
Each chapter ended with a wonderful summary of what was covered in the chapter. So the book was incredibly easy to breeze through. I read the summaries before I tackled the book. The book's target audience no doubt is comprised of entrepreneurs and small business owners who might want to consider franchising as an option for expanding their businesses. And after reading this book you will understand that given the right business coupled with the right leadership team, franchising can be a very lucrative win-win option to pursue and provide.
This book is clearly a marketing piece for the author's boutique law practice regarding franchising that also provides some non-law firm offerings too:
>>Determination of franchise format
>>Business plan development
After reading this book you should be an educated consumer when contacting the author to help you turn your small business into a franchise. Of course, depending on how entrepreneurial you are will determine how much you need the author to help you through the franchising process. You can do much of what is covered in this book yourself. Or you can use professionals to help you. But this is a wonderful book for any entrepreneur to read if they want to move their business to a new level and make an informed decision as to how best to achieve growth. 5 stars!
I was greatly disappointed in this book and its value is, effectively, nothing to anyone with much business experience at all.