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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Straight Talk About Franchising: What I Learned and You Need to Know: A Comprehensive Guide to Making a Choice and Putting It into Action is a non-fiction business/finance book written by Cynthia Readnower. The author was a franchisee for six years and owned two franchise locations; one of which was a top-ten performer. She shares her experiences with the reader, gives her opinions and takes on prevailing standards and trends, and provides guidance for those considering investing in a franchise business. The first issues she addresses are the ways that a franchise can be an attractive way for getting into a business and the benefits that can be gained from having a good franchise organization to help support that new business. Readnower acknowledges, however, that franchising is not for everyone, particularly those who prefer to be creative and have more independence in decision-making. Franchises can also require a huge outlay of money, with hidden expenses that most do not consider when reviewing the profits made by some of that franchisor’s more successful franchisees. She advises that prospective franchisees thoroughly read and study any available materials on the company and all legal documentation before entering a contractual agreement as well as making sure to obtain any and all concessions in writing.
As I read Cynthia Readnower’s non-fiction business/finance book, I thought back to my one adventure as a franchisee of a small franchise operation. While the scope of that business was infinitely smaller than the ones Readnower discusses and the requirements much less stringent, I still found myself wishing I had come across this book before signing any contracts and getting my own surprises further down the road. Readnower covers just about all the possible eventualities in this insightful guide, but that still doesn’t relieve the reader who is considering a franchise of their own obligation to read documentation, research the franchisor in question’s business and operations, and be cognizant of the reality that the franchise could be a major part of their lives for 10 years. The author includes anecdotal material covering her own experiences as a franchisee throughout the book, and I found myself particularly looking forward to these candid and sometime rueful excerpts. Straight Talk About Franchising is well-written and meticulously researched, and the author presents her subject in an engaging and informative manner. It’s highly recommended not only for those considering buying into a franchise, but for anyone who owns, or plans to open, a business as well.