Is a Franchise Owner an Entrepreneur?

I recently was a guest on a small business radio show and the topic of franchise businesses came up. The question was posed whether a franchise business owner is an entrepreneur.

I would say mostly not.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers. They have an idea and attempt to build a company from scratch. They come up with a business name, have a logo designed, build a website, register their company name on social media platforms, (hopefully) write a business plan. They raise money, create systems, hire employees.

And most importantly, they make a ton of mistakes because they enter unchartered territories without a plan, safety net and without an inch of support.

Franchise businesses were created to minimize risk as much as possible. It’s a business in a box. The franchise business owner did not come up with the business idea, did not design the company logo and did not write a business plan or create systems. The roadmap has already been created for the franchise business owner to follow.

So why do I say mostly not?

Because when the individual has the initial ‘idea’ to be a franchise owner, they are essentially an entrepreneur, at least for a few moments . From there though, when they are provided the tools and resources they need to run their business, they turn into a business owner.

A franchise owner could turn into an entrepreneur if they contribute creatively to the system that was designed for them and grow the business as a result. If they simply stay in the box and follow the rules they are not an entrepreneur.