Advantages and disadvantages of a franchise without premises

advantages and disadvantages of a franchise without premises

Real estate, business consulting and services, esthetics, gardening and even leisure. Some activities can be carried out simply by meeting the customer. Without the need for premises. More and more retailers are trying their hand at it. Benefits? Disadvantages? Entrepreneurs testify.

Bump Game was born out of a desire to bring “unusual” leisure activities to the countryside. But how can this be done when land is increasingly expensive, even on the outskirts of major cities? By creating a franchise without premises, based on partnerships with indoor soccer complexes. Franchisees can then arrange for their customers to visit a partner’s premises at times when his or her sites are not being rented out. Or offer to come to a private home, company, sports club, leisure center, park, soccer field, etc. With all the equipment needed to play bubble soccer, archery bump (a bow and arrow game) or laser bump, “a completely nomadic laser game”, as Romain Billottet, head of the network, describes it. All stored in a van, garage or garden shed.

With five years’ hindsight, Romain Billottet finds nothing but advantages in franchising without premises. It provided the flexibility needed to “meet a rural need”. When business slowed down during the health crisis, “we didn’t have all the stress of paying rental charges”, he points out. There’s no need to worry about all the standards governing the management of establishments open to the public. “The franchisee has fewer financial and administrative constraints. It can be launched with a relatively modest initial investment. And fast. You won’t have to search for weeks for the ideal premises, invest in fitting them out, and budget for several months’ rent and service charges. Nor to recruit immediately to take care of the reception while he prospects.

He’ll be able to start developing his network right away. This is another advantage of franchising without premises. A model also chosen by Léo Dehlon when he took over the Litha espresso brand in 2019. The brand sells coffee machines, coffee and tea, in bulk, compostable capsules and bags, etc. The aim is to offer “a genuine wellness break solution for the workplace”. To make a name for himself, he wanted “people on the ground, who know the local fabric well, who are committed and who will follow customers over the long term, rather than salespeople who can leave at any moment”. Hence the franchise. The absence of premises removed the obstacles to installation. To “promote the entrepreneurial spirit”, to open up opportunities to those who have this spirit without necessarily having a lot of savings, adds Tempeos. A franchise that acts as a negotiator with retailers and leisure activity providers, enabling small and medium-sized businesses to offer their employees benefits similar to those obtained by the works councils of large companies.

“The business doesn’t require a storefront,” notes Clémence Dadu, recruitment manager and network coordinator at Tempeos. All the franchisee needs is a vehicle, a telephone, a computer and his or her skills. Johan Mouflier, 48, took the plunge with the fear of leaving behind the “comfort of a salaried position”. The absence of rent charges reassured him. He has since discovered many other advantages of franchising without premises. “Working from home optimizes the time spent on administrative tasks. There’s no time wasted chatting”, no distractions caused by “ambient noise”. And don’t worry: he can count on the network. And “feed off exchanges with customers and prospects”, which is what he does most of the time.

After four years as a Bump game franchisee, Pierre, 32, wanted to interact with people other than his customers and partners, “to have human contact during administrative time, and to pass on his experience”. So he recruited a work-study student and set up an office where they could meet “to facilitate communication and the transmission of information”. Thibaut, one of his colleagues, decided to join a coworking space and business network to exchange with other entrepreneurs and develop his skills and concept. But he would like a showroom for “greater visibility” and to make it easier “for our customers to understand our concept”. The next step?

At Litha espresso, six franchisees have opened a showroom or office. It seemed a logical next step, once they had generated enough sales to hire their first employee and pay for premises without putting themselves at risk.

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