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Definition: Frantrepreneur

 A frantrepreneur is the cross between a traditional entrepreneur and the traits needed to be a successful franchise owner. A person with the desire to become a business owner yet does not have the skills, interest or desire to reinvent the wheel. A person that has the ability to follow a proven business system for the benefit of his/her own personal and professional gains.

The first time I heard the term used was in 2003 by Russell A. Smith, CFE, at that time Vice President Franchising, of Planet Beach. He was explaining to me what Planet Beach Tanning Spas was looking for in a franchisee. He said, “For years we have been searching for qualified entrepreneurs to join our franchise organization. Unfortunately, the entrepreneurs that we had recruited tended not to be our best franchisees.” Russell went on to say “An entrepreneur blazes his/her own trail in business and has trouble following someone else’s lead. Our best franchisees are more like frantrepreneurs; they represent the middle ground between “employees” and “entrepreneurs”.

In franchising, it’s important for the franchisor to develop and enhance a profitable business model, it’s up to the franchisee to follow the lead.  The franchisor provides the innovation - not just a good idea but an idea that works and makes money. The franchisee supplies the capital, time and commitment. The synergy created (1 + 1 = 3) builds the brand for the benefit of all parties.

The ability and willingness to work hard is a must have quality in order to succeed as a franchisee. Unfortunately hard work is only a part of the franchisee picture. Not everyone is a suitable candidate to own a franchise. To me franchisees represent the middle ground between “employees” and “entrepreneurs”, frantrapreneurs is a great term to use. The vast majority of people will be most successful as an “employee”. True entrepreneurs are few and far between. They are founders of companies that begin from nothing more than a vision. Entrepreneurs are willing to take all out risk; they put it all out on the table.

Frantrapreneurs on the other hand take a tried and proven concept that a franchisor has developed and follow established procedures to run the business. Frantrapreneurs are willing to accept measured risk. Expecting franchisees to assume too much risk is a recipe for disaster.

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About Jim Coen

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Franchise Specialist

With over 30 years of franchise, marketing, and entrepreneurial experience, Jim Coen is a franchise expert. Who can help prospective franchisees, private equity investors, franchisees, multi-unit franchisees, and stockholders, evaluate franchise business models and Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD). Jim is not an attorney his specialty is analyzing the franchise business model for all stakeholders.

In May 2014 Jim was named the Interim Executive Director of The Planet Fitness Independent Franchisee Association (PFIFA) he finished in that capacity on October 31, 2014.

From September 2013 to November 2014, Jim served as the Executive Director of the Maine Franchise Owners Association (MFOA), this Maven served in that capacity on a part-time basis. This Maven is now a Member of the Board of Directors.

From April 1, 2008 thru November 2012 this Maven served as President of the Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners (DDIFO). DDIFO represents franchisees that own and operate over 2600 Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the US.

Jim served as the Vice Chairman of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA), from 2009 – 2011. As Vice-Chairman, Jim worked with the Fair Franchising Committee to develop the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights (UFBOR).

From 2006 thru 2008, Jim was the Executive Director and Board Member of the New England Franchise Association (NEFA). NEFA is a franchise trade group that brings franchise executives, area developers, and vendors together to share ideas and best practices.

Prior to that Jim sold and trained franchisees at Supercoups, a direct mail company based in MA that is similar to Val Pak. Jim became VP of Sales for the largest Super Coups franchisee based in the Boston area.


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Franchise Consultant