Book Review: Essential Steps To Research A Franchise Opportunity

Researching a Franchise OpportunityHave you ever entered a place like Panera or another bustling cafe or coffee shop, and seen loads of people, hanging out working on their laptops, sipping away and thought to yourself, “Gee, I’d like to own one of these. They seem really cool and I bet they do well.”

But then the next thought that pops up is, “Hmm . . . wonder what one of these costs?”

With questions like that rolling around in your head, it’s a good thing that Joel Libava has written an ebook titled, “Essential Steps To Research A Franchise Opportunity.”

Joel is President of Franchise Selection Specialists, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio, and is also a member of the Small Business Trends Expert Network. By now, many of you may already know him.

Joel’s book is a well-written road map to navigate your way through every step in the process of considering the purchase of a franchise.

There’s no extra verbiage or fluff.  At 35 pages, it is compact and gives just what you need — no more, no less.

One of the advantages of being an ebook (i.e., a PDF document that you download from the Web and print off in your office) is that you can make notes in the margins of the book.  If you are a husband and wife team considering a franchise opportunity, you can each print off your own copy and review it simultaneously, make your own notes, and discuss them later to see if you really are in sync about such a  major decision as buying a franchise.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

The ebook starts with an objective overview of the benefits — and possible downsides — of franchising, listing 7 pros and 7 cons of buying a franchise.  This is not a fast pitch type of book trying to convince you that you MUST plunk down a lot of money on a franchise RIGHT NOW.  Rather, Joel calmly presents you with objective facts so that you can decide what is right for YOU.

If you’re not familiar with franchising, you probably have not thought of some of the pros and cons.

For instance, did you know that if you buy a franchise opportunity and then one day want to sell it, the franchisor gets the right to approve or disapprove your buyer?  If you are an entrepreneur who is fiercely independent and hates being told what to do, it’s best to come face-to-face with these kinds of restrictions up front.  To someone like you, franchising just may not “feel” right after reading this book.

On the other hand, if you are a Baby Boomer coming off 25 years in a corporate position, such restrictions may seem perfectly comfortable to you.  In fact, having a safety net of a franchisor’s systems may be just what you are looking for, after decades of working in a corporate support structure.  You might vastly prefer that compared with, say, starting your own business from scratch.

The Research Process

The beauty of this book is that Joel breaks down the process of researching a specific franchise opportunity into 10 steps.  He also gives you a roadmap explaining what to do during each step of the process.

For instance, in one of the steps, he recommends interviewing existing franchisees as part of your due diligence — and he gives you a 4-page list of questions to ask them.

The real benefit to this book is that Joel has done half the work for you and gives you the benefit of years of his experience.

Financial Considerations

Money. That’s really what it’s all about right? Where will it come from? How much of it is your own? How much do lenders want to see down?

Joel provides some interesting options for funding and areas for you to explore — everything from SBA loans, to home equity loans, to retirement plans. And he keeps it real.  After all, you still have to eat. You still have to pay your household bills.  Joel advises, “You should have 6-12 months of living expenses put away, if possible.”

What I Liked Best

In Joel’s very realistic and practical down-to-earth approach he asks, “Are you full of fear?” Because you should be. It’s a lot of money, a lot of time and it’s your future. So being a bit fearful is a completely natural part of the process.

In my opinion, Joel has done a wonderful job of thinking things through — right on down to “D-Day” — the final decision day. The book guides you through the uncertainty to put you in a place of knowledge and confidence.

Who Should Read this ebook

This ebook is essential reading for anyone seriously looking at buying a franchise, who has never dealt with franchisors before.  It can be a confusing process.  You don’t want to go it alone or without help in conducting your due diligence.

The no-nonsense compact style is great for action-oriented people who don’t want to spend a long time reading a several-hundred page tome.  Instead you can buy it, download it instantly, cut to the chase and get just what you need from this 35-page ebook.

Get it from The Franchise Research Steps.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.