Is a franchisee just another entrepreneur?

13 mai 2022
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The franchise model is a successful strategy for entrepreneurship, but it is no less demanding. So what distinguishes a franchisee from an entrepreneur or business owner? What, on the contrary, brings them together? To find out, we went to meet entrepreneurs who have launched a franchise and are convinced of their choice.


Before becoming a franchisee, Sébastien Mongellaz, current manager of a Moulin Roty boutique in Lyon*, had his own business. So it was with full knowledge of the facts that he joined the franchise system. “When I was self-employed, I had to deal with a lot of management, while suffering from loneliness and isolation. »

So it’s sometimes an appetite for business and entrepreneurship, followed by disillusionment with the reality of entrepreneurial life , that pushes the future franchisee towards this more collaborative and reassuring system.

Opening a franchise: the specifics of franchisee status

However, the franchisee is still an independent trader. As such, he owns his business and has a legal status (SA, EURL, micro-entreprise…). Sébastien confirms: “We have the same administrative procedures as an independent, plus a franchise contract.

Adrien Guillaume, Rhône-Alpes franchisee for Muy Mucho boutiques in Lyon and Annecy**, adds: “The risk is borne by the franchisee, as in any new business venture. The search for financing, the building of a team united around a new project, the conquest of a new clientele…”

Is the franchisee a business owner like any other, only less isolated? Not so simple. Both agree that their status is unique.

Franchising: the requirements of the status

Like a sole trader, the franchised business owner will have to attract a clientele… while respecting an imposed framework.

Sébastien explains: “I already had the premises in the Croix-Rousse area. We had to find a business that would meet the expectations of this family district, while differentiating itself from the surrounding stores. I was convinced by Moulin Roty because it’s a family business, reliable, beautiful, with a strong reputation.” For him, meeting the children’s toy and home decoration brand, which had long been looking to set up shop in Lyon, was an obvious choice… And a pleasant one at that.

But becoming a franchisee is a responsibility. Like a brand ambassador, you have to respect the concept and represent it. You also have to be completely transparent with the franchisor: sales figures, inventory levels, sales – everything is examined with a fine-tooth comb… Finally, becoming a franchisee also implies a financial commitment. An entry fee is often required to join a retailer’s network, and the retailer usually charges a fee based on sales, for example.

Becoming a franchisee: the advantages of this status

“Joining a franchise network has enabled me to become independent, while having the support of a group for purchasing and logistics deployment. As well as the support of a brand in terms of brand awareness, customer loyalty and the development of marketing tools”, explains Adrien.

Franchising allows us to focus on the very essence of our business: welcoming and advising our customers, as well as monitoring our teams at the point of sale,” he explains. It’s the same for Sébastien, who feels autonomous but supported: “I’m in control, while benefiting from the brand’s support. At the moment, I’m recruiting an employee and I can, if I wish, be helped by Moulin Roty’s Human Resources Manager”.

And this is where the main difference between a solo entrepreneur and a franchised entrepreneur lies. Whereas the entrepreneurial adventure is generally a personal journey, in which we sometimes feel isolated, the franchise system induces a collective notion. Sébastien even felt “welcomed into a family”, regularly taking part in seminars and chatting with other franchisees on a WhatsApp group. He concludes with a smile: “I wouldn’t set up my own business on my own again for the world.

* 47 Gd Rue de la Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon
** CC la Part-Dieu, 17 Rue du Docteur Bouchut 69431 Lyon Cedex 03 and CC Grand Epagny, Rue du Commerce,
74330 Epagny Metz-Tessy

Écrit par Vanina Denizot

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