I wanted to read this book because I have been interested in the concept of franchising a business. At the time of listening to this book, I don't have a business that is ready to be franchised and I wasn't even thinking about creating a franchise. The one thing this book does really well is give a good overall view of the franchising experience. It was a short listen (about 2 hours) and it was packed with good nuggets of general knowledge information that anyone can learn from. Even with a normal product or service business not considering going into a franchise, this book broadened my perspective.
Create an Owner's Manual
The one major point I got out of this book is to create an Owner's Manual for the business. My ultimate goal is creating a business is to save my time. I want to eventually create a system for myself where I can pull myself out of the business and have it run on it's own. The goal seems to be the same when you want to build a successful franchise. Lisa talks about how it's vital to create an Owner's Manual of everything the business needs before franchising. She talks about creating a "family tree" of the different jobs and roles that are necessary for success in the business. She suggests writing every job down, assign a type of person to the job, and give each role a salary. The manual should be able to take any Joe off the street and tell them exactly what they need to do to succeed in your exact business.
Lisa lists tons of ideas to include in this Owner's Manual and I will most likely be referencing the sections she calls out in the future. The most prominent one for me was "What does the owner need to do for marketing on a daily basis?" "Weekly basis?" "Monthly basis?" This is important because a franchisee is likely going into the franchise because they are afraid of the marketing part of running a business. They want to rely on the brand in order to make sales.
The book does a good job going into the franchise-franchisee relationship. As with many things in life things usually start pretty grand, but it's the time after the "honeymoon phase" that is more important. One thing I found interesting is that Lisa mentions that franchisee's will sometimes come to resent the franchise fees. They start to think that they can do everything themselves and they aren't really sure why the franchise is even needed anymore. This is one reason why it's important to make sure that the franchisee's see and understand what you are doing for them on a periodic basis.
I took a lot of similarities between business owner and business manager in the case of a single business. Never let the relationship get to the point where the business manager doesn't know what the owner is doing. As the head of any company, it's really important to keep all the employees up-to-date on what is going on in the business and what you are doing to help make their lives better. Communication is of upmost importance. Lisa illustrates that it's the same principle in franchises.
Great General Overview
This book really does a good job of covering general ideas about franchising. I found it interesting that Lisa even goes into how to make sure a potential franchisee is serious about the business. She illustrates many examples where a franchisee will join the franchise, take the systems and processes, and then start their own business trying to compete. She did a great job explaining that as a franchise owner you need to make sure that anyone can run your business, not just enthusiastic entrepreneurs like yourself. It's important to really think about whether or not anybody off the street could run your business and build the Owner's Manual so that a monkey could operate the business and be successful.
The pros of this book are that it's a very short read. It's got great general knowledge information that can be applied to normal businesses, but are especially important for franchises. Lisa provides a lot of good ideas that can be implemented, especially when it comes to preparing your business to go into the franchise.
The cons of the book are that it could be seen as a little too general for someone already in the process of franchising. The concepts here can also be found in many other audiobooks, but it was nice that Lisa points out which concepts apply specifically to franchising.
This was a great introductory book to the concept of franchising. I came away with a broader perspective about franchises and network marketing companies and about how they are able to duplicate their businesses. I would suggest that this is a good book for anyone that has entertained the idea of franchising their business but hasn't taken any steps to do so.
I'm not sure about any other books that are similar to this one. I know the concepts are universal, but applying them to franchises really makes this book unique to anything I've read so far. That doesn't mean similar books don't exist, but I just haven't read any of them. For me this book gets a seven out of ten.