Minority Entrepreneurs

You, the franchisee, have supported this system with your royalties and initial purchase price and it now will be one of your biggest assets as you decide to grow your business.

Betty Otte, SCORE Counselor

You, the franchisee, have supported this system with your royalties and initial purchase price and it now will be one of your biggest assets as you decide to grow your business.  

Since the systems for the franchise are already in place, your biggest concerns as you grow your business are:

  • Finances –having sufficient capital and resources

  • Location – for many businesses, location is critical.

If you are thinking about purchasing a franchise, keep the following 5 tips in mind.

Betty Otte, SCORE Counselor

If you are thinking about purchasing a franchise, keep the following 5 tips in mind.

SCORE to Launch New e-Business Learning Website for Small Business

Date
Tue, 2011-03-22 23:02

Consortium of Public and Private Organizations

In Helping Entrepreneurs Leverage Technology to Fuel Their Growth and Success

 

Urban Solace

Urban Solace restaurant, located in North Park, is the first independent venture for partners Matt Gordon and Scott Watkins, who have 40 years of combined restaurant experience. Their restaurant serves delicious comfort food at neighborhood-restaurant prices, and it has exceeded revenue goals by 58 percent since opening in 2007. Urban Solace is also a critic's favorite, having received 13 food and restaurant awards in 2008 for such dishes as New York Cheddar Mac n' Cheese with caramelized bacon and charred tomatoes, and char-grilled prime Omaha hanger steak with homemade steak sauce and sweet potato mash.

Success was immediate at the North Park location, and he has since opened two additional “Solace” restaurants to accolades; Solace & the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas, and Sea & Smoke at Flower Hill Promenade, Del Mar.

Best known for his American comfort foods, served with health and sustainable ethics in mind, Gordon's newest restaurant, Sea & Smoke, an American restaurant, explores the flavors of the wood-fired oven, a central feature of the space, with a modern interpretation of an American menu.

See video
Owner/Founder
Gordon and Watkins
My Location
San Diego CA
United States
My Successes

When preparing to open Urban Solace, partners Gordon and Watkins used SCORE San Diego's free business consulting for financial advice and business plan guidance.  
 
"SCORE San Diego helped us with numerous aspects of opening our restaurant by pairing us with a diversity of counselors," said Gordon. "We had a team of consultants who could advise us on a wide range of topics because of their specialized business backgrounds, and there are no restrictions on the number of counseling sessions."  
 
Starting a small business is always tough, and the small business loan application process is especially difficult in the current economy. So, when Gordon and Watkins decided to open a second restaurant, they returned to SCORE San Diego for assistance.

Gordon's personal accolades include "50 People to Watch" by San Diego Magazine in 2011, "40 Under 40" by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine and "Best Chef" by San Diego Downtown News in 2008.

What's Great About My Mentor?

"Due to the current economic crisis, banks have increased their credit requirements and, at the same time, have decreased the number of loans they're approving," said Paul Hollenbach, SCORE San Diego business consultant. "Our business consultants know what information banks require when reviewing a loan application and are able to help small business owners put together a strong business plan and resume that will increase their likelihood of approval."  
 

How SCORE Helped

"We returned to SCORE San Diego for help because restaurants are notoriously risky investments and the help SCORE gave us the first time around was invaluable," said Gordon. "Their connections and knowledge of bank loans helped identify lenders willing to finance a start-up business during a recession."  
 
For more information about Urban Solace, visit www.urbansolace.net or call 619-295-6464. 

Backyard X-Scapes

While setting up national distribution of faux waterscape products more than 6 years ago, Jamie Kocher and Steve Raketich became convinced they could streamline the process by purchasing direct from the factories. As a result, they started Backyard X-Scapes, a landscape retailer/ wholesaler specializing in fountains, pottery, bamboo fencing, bamboo products, thatch palapas, thatch products, artificial turf, artificial rocks and rock waterfalls. 

See video
My Location
San Diego CA
United States
Employees
5
Year Company Formed
2003
My Successes

In need of financial planning and marketing guidance, Kocher and Raketich contacted SCORE San Diego and attended several workshops, including Internet Marketing, Small Business Marketing and Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Competitive Advantage. The Internet Marketing workshops proved especially beneficial as the Backyard X-Scapes and their Bamboo and Tikis web sites currently account for more than 25 percent of total sales. To further expand their horizons, Backyard X-Scapes has hired an online marketing team to increase sales and awareness of the Backyard X-Scapes name. 

What's Great About My Mentor?

Kocher and Raketich received financial planning guidance from SCORE San Diego counselor Paul Hollenbach. "Paul explained how important it is to have open lines of credit for future expansion. We supply bamboo fencing, carved tikis, and faux rocks to more than 120 Home Depot stores nationwide, and when The Home Depot wants us to supply more stores, we now have the ability to finance this expansion immediately," said Kocher. "Having great cash flow and this solid line of credit has also allowed us to purchase our products in container load quantities directly from the manufacturer and sell at wholesale prices, which gives us an advantage over any and all competitors. We guarantee the lowest pricing of everything we sell, plain and simple."  
 

How SCORE Helped

Kocher and Raketich continue to use SCORE San Diego's services to stay in touch with the latest developments in the business world. Kocher states "Six months ago, Steve and I handled most aspects of the day-to-day business, but with Paul's guidance, we hired Ray Valdez as controller and general manager to solidify operations for the future. SCORE San Diego has been a great source for information and guidance. I cannot say enough good things about them and how much they have helped us."  
 
Even in the current economy, Backyard X-Scapes continues to prosper, with sales up 27 percent this year. Due to this success, Torrey Pines Bank has nominated Backyard X-Scapes for the Small Business Administration 2009 Small Business of the Year award.  

 

More Than Moving

Susan Campbell founded “More Than Moving for Seniors,” in 1998. The idea was conceived after helping her father move from the family home to a retirement community. Susan recognized the need for a caring, compassionate company to assist families as their loved ones faced life-changing transitions.

See video
Owner/Founder
Susan Campbell
My Location
8006 Staples Mill Road
Richmond VA 23228
United States
My Successes

Now the company offers a wide range of services with individual attention to every aspect of a household move including packing, moving, unpacking and clearing the former home as well as a consignment shop, and an Estate Sale division to help dispose of unwanted household items.

What's Great About My Mentor?

In order to get an outside perspective and to help improve the company’s profitability, Roy approached Richmond SCORE in late 2009 and was assigned to counselor Art Mattox, who encouraged Roy and Susan to devote more of their time in sales related activities. Another Score counselor, Eric Sunberg, suggested changes to their website. As a result sales are up 70% over 2009 year to date.

 

How SCORE Helped

Susan & Roy express their appreciation for the assistance provided by Richmond SCORE and recommend the free service to any small business owner or would-be entrepreneur.

 

Dabney Properties LLC Finds Success With SCORE

Meet Slayton Dabney, President of Dabney Properties www.dabneyproperties.com, a corporate housing firm he started about four years ago. His niche is satisfying folks in need of upscale temporary housing. His clients include individuals on temporary business assignments and those who have their job relocated. Also, people displaced due to a property insurance loss, and Virginia legislators while the General Assembly is in session.

See video
Owner/Founder
Slayton Dabney
My Location
Richmond VA
United States
My Successes

Dabney leases fully furnished apartments and condos at such downtown Richmond addresses as Vistas on the James, the Miller & Rhoads Residences, and the River Lofts. They also have properties listed in Richmond’s West End as well as Fredericksburg and Charlottesville.

Dabney says “I wanted to own investment property. When I was still working at IBM, I bought a townhouse and lived in it for
6 months. I furnished it and set it up to be a corporate unit. I advertised on Craigslist and an executive from Mead Westvaco contacted me, and signed a 6 month lease.”

Ownership is expensive, so the majority of properties are rented by Dabney Properties from property management companies
or their owners. Dabney then furnishes the apartments and subleases them to their clients. “Right now we have about 50 individual units, and all are rented”, says Dabney.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Dabney, age 33, received his master’s degree in business from Georgia Tech and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia. He says “Initially a financial advisor and friend suggested I contact SCORE for guidance. In 2007 I called the Richmond SCORE office and was referred to counselor, Hank Farrell. At the time my business was less than a year old and Hank and I met several times. He offered me good advice in creating a viable business plan, website and promotional literature”. 
“I came to realize it was important to have a business line of credit if I was to continue to grow the business. Although the economic climate was deteriorating, we were able to secure a fairly substantial credit line from two banks”.

How SCORE Helped

“Hank Farrell has proven to be a real friend. I have always felt like I could pick up the phone and Hank would be willing to meet with me at a moments notice. Dabney properties is grateful for the support we have received from the Richmond SCORE Chapter. You have made a real difference”, states Slayton Dabney.

Memphis Best BBQ-National SCORE Success Story

As a young man I started researching how to write a successful business plan and what you need to get going. Several years before I retired from the Marine Corps, I relocated to Peoria Arizona. I had heard from several friends in Okinawa, Japan, that Phoenix was the new place to be and that it was growing faster than any other state.

See video
My Location
Buckeye AZ 85326
United States
My Successes

So I decided to take a trip to the area from Japan and check out the real estate. It caught my eyes and so my decision was to sell my condo in California and purchase in Peoria. I moved my family to Peoria and remained in California to f inish out my term. Doing this time I was zeroing in on my dream. I continued working on my business plan and attending numerous business classes and seminars offer in San Diego, California. Every time people would ask what type of business I was opening and I mentioned BBQ, their eyes would light up.

What's Great About My Mentor?

This was my personal reward for all my hard efforts and it has paid off. My restaurant is doing great and we are approaching the one year mark. Thanks to Jim Batz and all of you at SCORE and Marva Booker at Wells Fargo Bank. It's God that knows I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for these great people. 

How SCORE Helped

Goodyear had a SCORE Counselor. I called and made an appointment and met Mr. Jim Batz. I remember that day very well because of his face and his look as I introduced myself. I think he immediately felt sincere about my business plan and immediately went to work counseling me on my vision and what I needed to do before going to a bank. This was a well-executed effort for over two years working with Jim. My last meeting with Jim was simple, “Okay, what else do you need from me”, were his words. “I think you are well on your way. Keep
me informed.” I also attended the Self Employment Loan Fund course at Glendale Community College.

New-Age Preparatory Academy Finds Success With SCORE Mentor

Tanya and Chris Furlow had a passion to create a quality day-care center in their community.  This husband-and-wife team planned to combine their talents, Tanya bringing her experience in childcare and Chris his experience in building renovation.

In 2005, they came to SCORE seeking advice on how to develop a business plan for their day-care facility.  However, their plan required a substantial amount of money since they wanted to purchase a building on a spacious lot. Their primary counselor was Kisoon Park who introduced another SCORE counselor, John Costello, to help them with the financial section of the business plan.

www.newageprep.com

Owner/Founder
Tanya and Chris Furlow
My Location
8938 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago IL 60619
United States
Employees
16
Year Company Formed
2006
My Successes

Their loan application was approved later that year, which Tanya and Chris attribute to the strength of the business plan that SCORE helped them develop.  They believe that in-depth demographic research combined with detailed competitive analysis for each and every day-care center in their target market was a key to their success in obtaining the loan.

Building and facility renovation took almost two years to complete, and the New-Age Preparatory Academy opened its doors in late 2007. 

Tanya and Chris’s strong business plan, close teamwork and meticulous execution paid off.  New-Age has already opened a second location and total enrollment in their academy reached over eighty children by late 2010.

What's Great About My Mentor?

“SCORE counseling helped us in doing detailed market studies with emphasis on competitive analysis," say Tanya and Chris. "This enabled us to develop business strategies that separate us from the competition and, most importantly, helped us in securing the building loan.  Working with SCORE counselors over a period of time helped us in the successful implementation of our business plan.”

Syndicate content