SCORE Small Business Blog

Do I want to do this?

When I left my position at the med school at the university to open a franchise, it was a pretty scary move. However, I was at an age where I probably would stay at the university the rest of my career if I didn’t move on.

Though my 10 years of consulting at SCORE, I have met many people in this same situation. There is a fear of the unknown, but a tedium that being at the top or in a capped career brings. That is why I am a big fan of franchising. It is an opportunity to have your own business without having a strong business background. It is the franchisor’s requirement to bring structure, branding and marketing to the table for the new franchisee. The given phrase is to “be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.” Unfortunately, many people believe franchising is an automatic road to success. Not true. As much research needs to be done when selecting a franchise as when purchasing a new business or starting one from scratch.

Franchisors are required to provide you with a strong operational manual, a policy and procedural manual and a Franchise Disclosure Document. (FDD). This FDD has 23 components that define what the franchisor expects of you and what you can expect from them. It is a regulated document and binding in the same way a lease would be binding so it requires complete understanding. The FDD is required to list all the existing franchisees so it is your responsibility to contact these owners to determine if the franchise is right for you. There are many steps to research in finding the correct franchise, but I don’t know what questions you have or which of the 80 different industries in franchising interest you. Or – are you just plain scared to make that big move into a small business. That is where SCORE kicks in. Call us or ask me.

I’m just a keyboard away or a SCORE counselor is just a phone call away. Let us hear your concerns.

-Betty Otte, SCORE Orange County
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Discussion (4) Comment

  1. Betty OtteVisitor

    Hi, Susan: you are totally correct regarding alternative business models. I know of several different industry segments that have hugely successful network marketing opportunities. The trend may have started with cosmetics, but now there is literally an industry segment for almost anyone’s liking. Thank you for making that point and for bringing up the importance of a mentor. That is what SCORE is here for and in most cases we are able to provide someone that was in the same industry you are in. Check out for the chapter nearest you.

  2. There are excellent network marketing companyies out there who offer benefits very similar to a franchise but do not require a large investment to get started. Sometimes the money is what stops people from following their dreams of being self-emoloyed. I would also like to add that regardless of the business model, the value of having mentors and people who will guide you is immeasurable

  3. Betty OtteVisitor

    Hi, Derryl: If you live in the Los Angeles area there is a very large Franchise show in town this week. I went on google and found
    3,760,000 sites for buying a franchise. I can see where that would be
    overwhelming. Each January Entrepreneur Magazine lists the top 500 franchises in all the 80 plus industries. A public library would have the ’08 edition which is a good place to start narrowing down categories of interest. is the industry informational source and a good place to start on line as is There are franchise brokers such as Frannet,who are there to help you sift through the opportunities, but remember they will only lead you to franchises they have for sale.
    Hope this helps, Derryl. It is only a start, but if you call your local SCORE office and ask for a volunteer with franchising expertise, they can walk you step by step through the exploration process.

  4. DerrylVisitor

    Hi Betty:
    Thanks for the posting. Can you recommend resources that I could use to survey the various franchise opportunities that exist? Are there websites, books or trade events where all the opportunities are presented in one place?


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