open a business in 2021

Florists, butchers, ready-to-wear shops… Independent businesses are thriving throughout France. Endowed with good interpersonal skills and eager to be your own boss, are you looking to open your own business? For your project to be successful, there are many elements to study: position selection, formalities, key steps… we tell you everything!

Choose Between Independent Businesses and Franchises

The first question to ask yourself when considering your project is the choice between independent and franchise status. Both possibilities give you advantages, but there are also equivalents to keep in mind, let’s take a closer look!

benefits of freedom

The main advantage of opening a freelance store is the freedom you want to implement in your business, such as:

  • the name of your store;
  • Concept ;
  • the product ;
  • prices;
  • visual identity;
  • communication skills;
  • your business approach.

However, you should keep in mind that it requires more work on your part in terms of positioning strategy, communication or even the choice of suppliers.

Benefits of Franchising

The main advantage of franchising is that it gives you access to the network. You are supported during the opening of your business, and throughout the life of your store.

The notoriety already achieved thanks to the brand name is a real plus because your future customers will immediately recognize your offer, and will already know about the products and prices. However, you will have to pay an entrance fee when your store opens. You will also be subject to payment of royalties during the entire activity of your franchise business.

The right to slander and profit from Mark’s products also commits you to respect its concept. For example, you’ll have less freedom about the layout of the store, the sign, or even the employee’s uniform. These constraints are more or less significant depending on the network you enter.

What is the legal status for opening a business?

You will need to choose a legal status in order to complete the opening of your business. While it is possible to start out as a self-employed individual, certain positions will be more suitable for the potential growth of your business. So be sure to ask yourself the right questions. Will you be the only participant or do you plan to develop your project with other people? Base yourself on your forecast and also on your business plan to select the solution that best meets your needs.

The choice of legal status is a step that can sometimes prove to be complicated and worrying if you are not familiar with such administrative procedures. Don’t hesitate to inquire about platforms like LegalStart, Captain Contrat, or call a legal professional.

Can you open a business without a diploma?

Getting a diploma is mandatory to open your business depends on the field in which you want to establish yourself. Some professions are regulated or require a degree. The same is true of pharmacies, or even artisan shops.

While this is not the case with all professions, some can be quite open without a university degree.


Please note, obtaining a license often requires elective or compulsory training courses! This is also the case, for example, for sanitary standards for tobacconists, drinking establishments or restaurants.

What are the formalities for opening a business?

Depending on the type of business you want to open, you will need (or be able) to attend training. We recommend you participate! In addition to these trainings, there are formalities to be followed in order to be able to open your business to the public.

If your shop encroaches on a public square, or sidewalk, the town hall must give you an authorization to occupy the public domain (PDO). It mainly deals with shops offering roofing to their customers.

If the area of ​​your premises exceeds 1000m2, you must also obtain a commercial operating license. To submit your request, contact the Departmental Commercial Development Commission of your department’s province. At the administrative level also you have to think about:

Opening a Business: 5 Key Steps to Success

1 – Study the market and make a business plan

The number of new stores opened in France has been increasing over the years. In order to open your store successfully, and for the relevance of your offer, it is imperative to conduct a market study. This will specifically allow you to:

  • Know your potential customers : Age, gender, professional activity, expectations and needs, price sensitivity with reference to offers on the market you are in.
  • successful execution : Through a catchment area analysis, which identifies key elements such as passer-by flow, ease of parking and proximity to places of attraction.
  • Identify your direct and indirect competitors : Other shops with similar situation nearby.

A good market research will allow you to gather all the necessary information about your target market and the environment in which you wish to operate.

To ensure the viability of your project, and to persuade banks and investors to give you loans, you will also need to create a business plan. This file allows you to present your project and the market it fits into, but also the resources you have. You have to take into account the various capitals you have: human, technical and financial resources.

Finally, you need to establish a financial forecast for the coming years. This will require estimating your turnover, but also identifying all related expense items (start-up costs, social charges, raw material purchases, etc.).

2 – Choose a strategic location

Once the idea of ​​opening a business is chosen and validated, the location of your store is a point that should not be overlooked. The catchment area analysis will allow you to better understand the different areas of the city in which you wish to establish. A strategic location places your business on a route, and/or in locations near attractions (busy streets, shopping centers, city centers, train stations, etc.).

Don’t neglect the type of location, visibility, width of sidewalks, proximity to parking spots, etc. Finally, you should also define the sales location and storage area, as well as the price you are willing to pay for it. rooms.

3 – Equip yourself with the right equipment

Your hardware needs depend on the type of business you want to open, but there are many tools that are common to traders as well. In particular we can think of:

Some tools may be free or paid depending on their level of development and related options. In general, choosing quality equipment, in addition to the tools needed for the growth of your business, is essential to the sustainability of your store.

4 – Communicate about your business opening

If you choose to open a franchise business, the communication needs will be less than opening a freelance store. Communication about openness is important because word of mouth is very useful for promoting your business.

To communicate on the opening of your independent business, don’t hesitate to communicate with your surroundings within your personal networks (friends, neighbors, small shops nearby) or social networks (LinkedIn, city Facebook groups…). Remember to adapt the tone of your message according to the target audience. You will not adopt the same communication format if you open a florist’s shop as a tobacco shop.

5 – Build customer loyalty

A loyal customer base is the key to the success of an independent business. Beyond the required diploma, training or license, your interpersonal skills will make a difference.

To retain your customers, it is important that your customers appreciate coming to your business. A team of smiling, courteous and dynamic salespeople makes for a very pleasant treat to the customers. If you succeed in building a closer relationship with your customers, that’s even better!

general question

Can we open any business without contribution?

It is proving difficult to open a business without contribution. Don’t hesitate to approach banks for loans. However, they require a personal contribution of 20% to 30% for lending.

Is it possible to open a business without a diploma?

Depending on the type of business you have, diplomas, compulsory training or licenses may be necessary. However, it is possible to start without a diploma if your field of activity does not require one.

What financial assistance to start a business?

Don’t hesitate to turn to Pôle Emploi, which offers ACRE for Entrepreneurs. Apart from bank loan applications, you can also register on crowdfunding platforms.

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