Big Money in Franchising: Scaling Your Enterprise in the Era of Private Equity

Alicia Miller

Publisher: Figure 1 Publishing Pages: 384 Price: (hardcover) $32.00 ISBN: 9781773272375 Reviewed: February, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Founder and Managing Director of Emergent Growth Advisors and veteran franchise investor Alicia Miller explores the effects of the massive inroads private enterprise has made into the world of franchising in this cogent, exhaustive reference and guide.

Franchising offers an entree to business for entrepreneurs who don’t have the capital or expertise to begin from scratch, writes Miller. Examples of traditional franchising include “license agreements such as car dealerships and soda bottling.” But, she adds, “business-format franchising is what most people think of when they think of a ‘franchise.’” Purchasers of such franchises receive the brand, operating information, etc., and agree, in return, to abide by the franchise’s operating standards. Miller’s book focuses on the latter.

While such franchisors used to be single entities, she notes, the field is now “dominated” by private equity, which means that the franchises are not exactly the same type of small business they used to be. What is the impact on investors? Is partnering with private equity firms, or purchasing a franchise from a franchisor that already does, a good decision—whether as an initial purchase, a portfolio enhancement, or a retirement exit strategy?

Miller takes founders and franchisees through all the steps to consider in this decision tree and explains the ways they might benefit or lose out by getting involved with private equity; it’s a mixed bag, she writes. She provides a wealth of information—which works both for and against her. The sheer density of the book, the sometimes-dry writing, the plethora of case studies, and the many lists and bullet points make the whole feel more like a reference guide than a book intended for a trade audience. This is likely overkill for Miller’s target readers, who need to know about their own particular circumstances, not every conceivable iteration thereof.

Still, this would be invaluable to MBA students and others who want to get into the weeds on this topic.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Dublin, Ohio
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