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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Franchising dreams: the lure of entrepreneurship in America in SearchWorks catalog
  3. The Lure of Entrepreneurship in America
  4. Franchising Dreams

But how did franchising come to play such a dominant role in the American economy? What are the day-to-day experiences of franchisees and franchisers in the workplace? What challenges and pitfalls await them as they stake their claim to prosperity? These are just a few of the questions explored in Franchising Dreams , a documentary-like look into the frustrations and uncertainties that entrepreneurs face in their pursuit of the American dream.

Editorial Reviews

Birkeland worked for three years in the front-line operations of franchise units for three companies, met with CEOs and executives, and attended countless trade shows, seminars, and expositions. All this firsthand experience gave him unprecedented access to the hopes and aspirations of franchisees.

His book closely traces different franchisees and follows them as their dreams of wealth and independence buckle beneath the weight of frustrating logistics and contractual technicalities. Through extensive interviews and research, Birkeland not only discovers what makes franchisees succeed or fail, he uncovers the difficulties in running a business according to someone else's system and values. Bearing witness to a market flooded with fierce competitors and dependent on the inscrutable whims of consumers, he uncovers the numerous challenges that franchisees face in making their businesses succeed.

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Handy Willie Dixon woman Yeah York. It gives you a real "feel" for the industry.

Franchising dreams: the lure of entrepreneurship in America in SearchWorks catalog

I am one of countless Americans who are actively involved in franchising almost every day if only as a consumer and have become dependent on others to provide various goods and services. In most instances, the emphasis is on speed and convenience. Others do for me and my family either what we cannot do e. Almost all of the franchises with which we do business are privately-owned. Until I read Birkeland's book, I knew almost nothing about franchising except as a consumer. And frankly, I never thought about franchising.

I simply assumed that all of those who work for various "quick" whatevers, for example, are employees of the same company. In the year , in the U. What impact has all this had on the so-called "Mom and Pop" family-owned business? The corporate parents of most major chains e. So, who owns most of them? Why do they own them?

The Lure of Entrepreneurship in America

How does it work? And also, have these local or perhaps regional owners made a shrewd investment? Birkeland answers these and countless other questions, most of which I hadn't even thought to ask. For me, this book was an eye-opener in many ways beyond educating me to the extent and impact of franchising within the national economy. I was also surprised to learn the "nuts and bolts" of franchising as an ever-increasing number of people pursue the American Dream which, in essence, combines both the excitement and the terror of entrepreneurship.

Here in a single volume, Birkeland provides a wealth of information about franchise fundamentals, examines three chains King Cleaners, Sign Masters, and Star Muffler , presents a "social profile" of franchisees, explains correlations between networks and alliances with survival, notes various franchisor "uncertainties, analyzes the nature and extent of control from various perspectives, and concludes with an Epilogue in which he observes, "The critical problem of controlling geographically dispersed workers is tractable for those franchisors who establish high levels of trust with franchisees.

For those who cannot achieve that, the problem of control is a never-ending battle.

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I rate this book so highly for two reasons. Were I thinking about becoming a franchisee, I would have a third reason. First, I learned a great deal about a segment of society in which I continue to be actively involved as a consumer. The information and insights Birkeland provides enable me to appreciate how important that segment is to the national economy. Second, while reading his book, I also gained a better understanding of the sociological, indeed anthropological implications of that segment, just as I did when reading Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America.


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I highly recommend all three, especially to those who are now considering an investment in a fast food franchise. First, let me say this is a book worth reading for anyone who may ever consider buying a franchise or becoming a franchisor of a business model or for anyone else who might have an interest in how franchising differs from other business arrangements.

The author picked three fairly small franchise businesses for his study - a muffler shop, a cleaning business and a sign making business. By interviewing and observing the franchisors and a group of the franchisees he makes observations and draws conclusions about franchising overall and characteristics of the key players - those who sell and administer franchise business opportunities and those who buy and operate the franchise sites.

I thought he did a pretty good job overall and his writing style was engaging. Now for my criticism. This really wasn't much of a sample to work with to make a broad study and draw the kind of broad conclusions in the book. It would have been interesting to me and valuable to the study to have a lot more data - bigger enterprises like McDonald's and many restaurants, other industries and types of business, etc. Without more data, I'd analogize this study to a study of the stock market based on the performance of 3 small cap stocks.

Interesting, but not really that much of a study of franchising overall. Still, read this book if you have stars in your eyes about buying a franchise. You'll learn a lot - widely used and greatly overblown claims about success of franchises versus individually started businesses, wildly one sided franchise contracts, hard to deal with franchisors and franchisees, etc. You'll also learn how some have succeeded and see if you can project yourself into that scenario.

This book was originally a PhD dissertation that focuses on the franchise culture, and more specifically, "how conflicts are resolved and how the system is controlled. Although the research was based on only three franchises, it makes many generalizations. Overall, it portrays franchising in a very negative light. Some points from the book: Little opportunity to differentiate.

A students, people without speeding tickets, people with long careers with one company, people with good credit, women, people who are risk averse. All you get is a brand, and some best known methods. As on franchisor said, "We need people who will follow our system.

Franchising Dreams

See all 8 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published on July 5, Published on May 28, Published on June 1, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. The Lure of Entrepreneurship in America. Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now.

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