Books offer better business plans and new ideas about franchising. – Review – Brief Article

Books offer better business plans and new ideas about franchising. – Review – Brief Article – book reviews

Michael Schrader

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD REALLY LAUGH, SHOW HIM YOUR BUSINESS PLAN, Barry J. Gibbons, 195 pages, New York: Amacom, $22.95.

Gibbons was chief executive of Burger King from 1989 to 1994–very good years for that chain, marked by growth and reduced layers of management. His experience there is an underlying theme in this book, which will certainly have an effect on the way you look at your own corporate structure.

The subtitle of the book, “The 101 Universal Laws of Business,” might lead one to think that this is another of the ubiquitous books that list numerous rules for fixing a business plan. Fortunately, that is not the case. This is a well-thought-out, well-written and provocative opus. Each law is formulated out of the analysis of a corporate blunder and then summarized in a box on the margin of the page.

Gibbons uses lively and often hilarious examples of the gaffes that occur in the business world. They are based on his own experience, and studies of many companies, from small start-ups to such giants as IBM, Disney, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.

HOW TO BUY A FRANCHISE, James A. Meany, 219 pages, Greenport, N.Y.: Pilot Books, $13.95.

The author, a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee on Franchising, has written several books on franchising, including “Evaluating and Buying a Franchise.” His current book is a useful guide for those who have decided to set sail on the sometimes perilous seas of franchising. It focuses on the complicated franchise agreement and the presale disclosure prospectus.

We are told early on here that one-third of all retail businesses are part of a franchise system, and we are also told of the middle-aged couple who lost $20,000 in a franchising scam. There is much useful information here, all of which the would-be franchisee needs to know.

RESTAURANT FRANCHISING, Second Edition, Mahmood A. Khan, 399 pages, New York: John Wiley & Sons, $49.95.

The author is director of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

This is an excellent textbook about restaurant franchising, and one need not be a student to profit from perusing it. Especially interesting are the sections on the pros and cons of franchising, agreements and legal documents, and the financial aspects of franchising. Fifteen restaurant studies showcase such chains as Godfather’s Pizza, Subway and Blimpie.

COPYRIGHT 1999 Lebhar-Friedman, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group