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Manual Magic: Create the Operations Manual Your Franchisees Need to Succeed

Are Your Franchisees held back by an outdated or ineffective Operations Manual?

Manual Magic will help you transform your manual into an engaging, empowering and user-friendly asset that drives success and sets your franchisees apart from the competition. Penny Hopkinson's unique three-step approach creates a scalable, well-structured and accessible knowledge-sharing environment that enables franchise teams to participate, learn and grow.

Read this book and learn how to:

  • Capture the essence of your business system for effective replication across your franchisee network

  • Develop clear, efficient Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all your core processes

  • Streamline operations, reduce errors, enhance productivity and create a seamless brand experience for your customers

  • Cultivate a learning-centric environment using cutting-edge tools and techniques.

'Penny Hopkinson is the pre-eminent expert on planning and writing profitable Operations Manuals,' Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO, British Franchise Association.


She is the founder of Manual Writers International®, the leading operations manual publishing, coaching and mentoring consultancy specialising in documenting the franchisor's know-how and business processes. She has over 35 years of experience helping franchisees faithfully replicate the franchisor's business model for success. She works with start-ups, SMEs, multinationals, and social enterprises to solve their most complex challenges: organising their IP assets, sharing their knowledge, and engaging their franchisees with operational content.


Penny was awarded a Companion of the British Franchise Association in 2011 for an ‘outstanding personal contribution to the development of franchising in the UK.’

Penny lives in Stratford upon Avon, England with her husband, a fine art auctioneer and valuer, their Norfolk terrier Georgie, and Bertie, a large black cat. Her hobbies are photography and browsing antiques shops.

‘It’s a treasure trove. So much knowledge and information to incorporate. And, on top of that, making it readable.’

Sheryll Webb, HR Professional

‘Penny’s Manual Magic brilliantly deconstructs the process of creating an impactful and practical Operations Manual. Her three-step process is a great approach and equips franchisees with a useable framework to successfully emulate the franchisor’s Business System and achieve efficient growth. 100% recommended.’

Simon Hedley FCA, Strategic Alchemist

‘While working on The Eden Project system and Operations Manuals, I have found the 3-step principles in Manual Magic to be incredibly valuable. These principles have been successfully applied with multiple clients at Whitbread and in Java Group – East Africa. They have proven to be a great support for developing first Operations Manuals and upgrading current ones. The process ensures relevant and engaging content, as well as cross-functional collaboration. I highly recommend Manual Magic as a must-read and great reference tool.’

Joanna K Dawson, Consultant & Coach

'From not knowing where to start and everyone perceiving it as a chore, creating our AA Driving School Manual became a pleasure. It was very satisfying and rewarding because of the simple method Penny has developed and how the AA brand was represented throughout.’

Gill Balshaw, former Head of The AA Training Academy

Manual Magic: Create the Operations Manual Your Franchisees Need to Succeed

Penny Hopkinson, Author of Manual Magic


A former trade and tech journalist, Penny became Launch Editor of Media International, The European Journal for Planners of International Advertising, in 1973. After a brief flirtation with Public Relations, Penny spent over a decade as a socio-economics correspondent and travel writer reporting on the emerging Arabian Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, interviewing ministers, merchants and members of the ruling families.

The introduction of the UK Government’s White Paper on Quality in the 1980s and the new quality standard BS5750 (ISO9000) proved pivotal as a quality correspondent for Procurement Weekly and Purchasing & Supply Management. Many organisations require accreditation to bid for government contracts. A Procedures Manual – for compliance and continuous improvement – is critical to certification, which requires planned and phased updating. A subsidised UK government marketing initiative proved the concept and Penny launched Manual Writers International® in 1986 to serve markets that didn’t need accreditation but understood the value of well-structured, well-documented quality management procedures to underpin quality.

Penny swiftly found her niche in franchising. She set a gold standard for creating the Operations Manual with the British Franchise Association when she was invited to join the bfa in 1989 as an Affiliate Professional Advisor.


All franchisors must issue an Operations Manual to their franchisees upon signing the Franchise Agreement. The purpose of a well-structured, well-written, and comprehensive Operations Manual is to help franchisees absorb the franchisor’s Know-How and faithfully replicate the Business System. When followed, this helps franchisees across the network to become successful and profitable. 


Over the years, her manuals have evolved from a paper-based text-heavy tome to a substantial multi-media online knowledge-sharing environment focused on enhancing franchisee engagement and continuous improvement at all experience and skill levels.

Penny's book Manual Magic. Create the Operations Manual Your Franchisees Need to Succeed explodes the myth that all procedure manuals need to be dull, text-heavy tomes nobody reads.

Amazon No 1 Bestseller

Media Links

What Franchise - January 2024

It's Time for Change

WeAreTheCity - January 2024

Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs

Authority Magazine - December 2023

The Great Resignation & The Future of Work

Franchise Executives, Australia - November 2023

The Art of Crafting an Effective Operations Manual

Young Upstarts - December 2023

Visualising Success

Manual Magic Write Up in the BFA Magazine-September 2023
21 x 5-Star Reviews on Amazon
Amazon 5-Star Reviews
Penny Hopkinson, Author of Manual Magic


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

Recent Podcasts

I'd love to appear on your podcast, too! 

On Grow Your Business Podcast with Saul Edmonds

Roundhouse Podcast: Grow Your Business with Saul Edmonds

We delved deep into why establishing clear processes reduces guesswork across an organisation and why an up-to-date Operations Manual is vital to scaling, developing teams, delivering a consistent customer experience, enabling effective internal communications and collaboration, and accelerating customer outcomes.
🎯 How best to engage their reader
s according to age group - especially young millennials and Gen Z.

Creating an Operations Manual for Success

Franchise Pitfalls & Profits with Don Schin 

Think your operations manual is just something you "have to have", you'll think again about it after my interview with ops manual expert Penny Hopkinson.

How important is a good operations manual for a franchisor?

Podcast Guest
The Franchise Academy with Tom Scarda

The Franchise Academy Podcast with Tom Scarda

As the franchising landscape undergoes a significant transformation, industry stakeholders must adapt to the changing tides. By following the innovative strategies and principles Penny describes in Manual Magic, franchisors now possess the tools to craft a "magic manual” of their own to help their franchisees gain a competitive advantage and propel them into a brighter, more successful future.
Franchise Operations Manual Magic

Focus on Operations with Don Cohen & Harvey Tuck

For the first time in history, five distinct generations will soon find themselves working under one roof. Leaders, managers and supervisors must understand how to connect with team members who might be decades apart in age.


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