Richard Simtob and Gail Parker – Franchising Success Workbook

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

The “Franchising Success Workbook: The secrets of how to find and run a successful franchise business,” is a primer for anyone who wants to buy a franchise.

It’s also a great tool for anyone thinking about starting a business of any kind because some of the steps are the same. For example, we explore discovering your likes and dislikes as well as taking a real look at how much money you have to invest.

Tell us something about yourself.

Richard Simtob is a passionate entrepreneur. In addition to serving as CEO of, he is also a principal of Zoup! Fresh Soup Company. Simtob co-founded Talking Book World Corporation, America’s largest chain of retail audio book rental outlets. He later played a key role in the expansion of Wireless Toyz. Thanks in part to Simtob, the company appeared on the 2006 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing, privately held U.S. companies, and on Entrepreneur’s 2007 “Franchise 500” and Entrepreneur’s 2007 “Fastest Growing Franchises.”

Gail Parker enjoys teaching and training entrepreneurs. In addition to serving as President of, she facilitates workshops in entrepreneurship through the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Region 9, and with Wayne State University’s FastTrac for Entrepreneurship, a Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship Program. Parker is active with the International Franchise Association’s Detroit Franchise Business Network, and the Women’s Franchise Network of Southeast Michigan. Parker worked with Simtob at Wireless Toyz and was also key to that company’s expansion and national recognition.

What inspired you to write this book?

People kept asking us, “What do I need to know to buy a franchise? How do I know which one is right for me? How much does it really cost?” and the ever popular “Why can’t I get a loan?” We were writing about most of these topics on our website,, so we decided to pull together some of our writing, add some useful worksheets, and voila!

How did you choose the title?

We designed the book as a workbook. There are questionnaires and worksheets to guide you through the process. With thousands of available franchise concepts in every category from restaurant, to cleaning and maintenance, from home-based, low-cost franchise options to larger, more expensive food franchises, people need help when researching their options. Whether you want to sell pizza, clothing, computer services, home care, kids’ classes or coffee, there is a franchise for that. The key is to match your skills and desires with the franchisor’s offering. The workbook helps you do that. The closer the match, the better chance for franchise success.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Since it is an e-book, we didn’t have any printing issues and for that we are grateful. Also, we are busy running our own start-up company, so we hired a writer to edit the first draft.

We were fortunate to have a relationship with the people at and were in contact with them just as they were expanding their “Knowledge Hub” area. Our book concept fit, so we finished it with them in mind. They managed the design and distribution.

How did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? How did you get started?


I loved music and I wanted to entertain. At 14 I invested in equipment and music and started playing music at parties. Soon I decided I was a real company so I registered the name “The Music Team DJ’s,” opened a bank account, and bought shirts with the company name on them. I got into business by following my passion.

From that experience I discovered that my passion is also starting businesses. I have since started and grown several businesses. I never go into business just to make money, however I get into business to make something better.


My passion is for coaching people to implement their plan to get into business for themselves. I had an office rental business for small businesses that operated like an incubator.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Brainstorm ideas to be conveyed, organize then add content.

How do you come up with the names for your chapters?

We try to give an accurate picture of what the reader will learn, while also being engaging and entertaining.

For example, Chapter 1 is called “Make Sure you Know what a Franchise is (and is not).” And another is called, “Who are You and Why do You Want to Own a Franchise?”

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that everyone is different with so many choices they is something for everyone who desires to open a business. When reviewing the book with franchise candidates I learned how scary it is to open your very first business.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

We love sharing our experience. We are currently writing an eBook-“Why Franchisees Fail”.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

We are passionate about biographies of entrepreneurs and franchisors. Recently read “Delivering Happiness” and got excited about operationalizing our core value-“Have fun”.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Collaboration really helped us on this book. We both have experience in getting franchisors and franchisees started in business. It was helpful to work together and expand on each other’s ideas.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

If you have ever thought about owning your own business or being your own boss, this book is for you. Read this before you begin the search for your new business opportunity and your search will go much more smoothly with fewer disappointments.