Is Franchising for Dummies?
Is Franchising for Dummies?

Buffalo Wings & Rings chief development officer Philip Schram explains why the book has been so helpful throughout his career, and how it can help others.

The For Dummies® book series has found success over the past decade by presenting, in layman’s terms, non-intimidating guides for readers who are new to various topics, industries and more.

In 2000, the For Dummies® series issued Franchising for Dummies. As a freshman in Franchisor Management at the time, the book was exactly what I had been looking for. It was comparable to a 101 class, and it covered all aspects of franchising: from navigating franchise options and becoming a franchisee to the ins-and-outs of operations and the strategies involved with brand expansion, the book seemingly had it all. And for good reason—it was written by two franchise veterans, Michael Seid, one of the nation's leading franchise consultants, and Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's International.

Then, in 2006, For Dummies® issued an updated version, and once again in 2017.

This April, I had the privilege to meet Joyce Mazero at the Multi Unit Franchise Conference in Las Vegas. Joyce co-authored the newest edition alongside Michael Seid. Meeting her was a privilege—she was lively and passionate about her work, and an interesting lawyer who deeply understood the business of franchising. This wealth of knowledge is inspiring to me--I am an avid reader of magazines, web articles, newspaper and books. But because time is limited, having a book like Franchising for Dummies® has put the answers to just about every question I have right in front of me.

This book has been a valuable asset in my career—and I think it could do the same for you, too, depending on your existing knowledge of franchising.

Amazon offers both the 2006 and 2017 versions. So which one should you consider? I recommend buying the most current. That’s because things like legal guidance, financial information, support services and marketing strategies are always evolving. 

So who exactly is this book designed for? For starters, if you’re new to franchising, Franchising for Dummies is a great way to get your feet wet—read it once, from cover to cover. If you have five to 10 years of experience in franchising, the book is still a useful piece of literature. Among a lot of the basics, the book also addresses multi-unit expansion—an important element in today’s franchising landscape. On the other hand, for seasoned multi-unit franchisees, this book may not offer much use—but it is an excellent way to bring junior staff members up to speed.

This book has good information for franchisors, too. For example, it explains why an entrepreneur may choose to franchise his or business, and the steps involved in launching a franchise opportunity.

If you still aren’t sold on the book, here’s a breakdown of what’s inside its 400 pages:

  • Foreword by Robert Cresanti (someone you should be familiar with if you’re in franchising)
  • Part 1: Wrapping your Brain Around Franchising
  • Part 2: Buying a Franchise
  • Part 3: Operating Like a Well-Oiled Machine
  • Part 4: Expanding or Cashing Out
  • Part 5: Building Your Own Franchise
  • Part 6: The Parts of Tens

Long story short, this is a book you want in your library—and your reading rotation. Based on your experience in franchising, this book can be either be something that you read from cover to cover or as a convenient reference for yourself and your staff members/affiliate franchisees. Whatever end of the spectrum you’re on, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If you have any questions, I am more than happy to answer. Please contact me through the contact function of