Foreword - Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 Editor Tracy Stapp Herold

For many aspiring entrepreneurs, finding a path to business ownership can be challenging. With so many great ideas, products, and services already in the market, it can be hard to think of a new niche to pursue. And if even if you do know what type of business you’d like to start, there are numerous obstacles that prevent many people from ever actually taking the leap from entrepreneurial dream to business ownership reality.  For those who have taken that leap, and have created a successful business, finding a way to expand that business can prove equally daunting. If you try to go it alone, your growth will likely be restrained by limited finances, time, energy, and resources.

These may seem like two very different problems, but whichever one you find yourself relating to, the answer to both lies in a word: franchising. The beauty of franchising is that it offers two unique and useful paths to growing a business, whether you are just starting out or you want to expand an existing business. For the aspiring entrepreneur, becoming a franchisee allows you to buy into a company that already has a proven model for success. For the existing business owner, becoming a franchisor offers a systematic way to allow others to help grow your business and brand with reduced financial risk on your part.

We at Entrepreneur pride ourselves on our coverage of the franchise industry, including the first, best, and most comprehensive franchise rank- ing in the world, the Franchise 500®. Over the 37-plus years we’ve published that ranking, we’ve seen how franchising has evolved and adapted to changes in the economy, business climate, and technology. Through it all, the industry continues to thrive. Franchising has made entrepreneurship possible for thousands of people who might not otherwise have ever started their own business, and helped others take their business from local success to nationally-known brand. We’ve talked to these people. We’ve listened to their success stories as well as their struggles and shared them often in the pages of our magazine and on our website. We’ve heard over and over about the positive impact that franchising has had not only on their lives and livelihoods, but on communities and economies around the country and around the world.  In short, we believe in the power of franchising.

But we also know that putting that power into action requires knowledge. That is why Entrepreneur is joining forces with franchise expert Rick Grossmann and franchise attorney Michael Katz, Esq. to bring you the eighth edition of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise Bible. Following in the footsteps of his mentor and original author of the Franchise Bible, Erwin Keup, Rick (along with Michael) has put together the most up-to-date, all-inclusive information on today’s franchise market for both franchisees and franchisors. The Franchise Bible is designed as just that—a bible (no,not that one), a full-on reference for all things franchise.

The book you are holding offers up easily accessible information on everything you need to get started on the franchise journey and includes value-added content both on the Entrepreneur Franchise site (www.entrepreneur.com/franchiseresources) and on the author’s dedicated landing page, www.franchisebiblestudy.com. There, you will find links to useful forms and resources to help you make your franchise dreams a reality.  This updated edition includes an interactive roadmap that allows you to customize what you read and access based on your individual business circumstances and goals. It also brings you the latest information with tutorials, tips and tricks, and anecdotes and stories from franchise experts.Whichever path you’re hoping to follow—that of franchisee or franchisor—we wish you success on your entrepreneurial journey, and we’re sure you’ll find the Franchise Bible to be an invaluable guide along the way.

—Tracy Stapp Herold, Special Projects and Franchise 500® Editor