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Thank you for visiting the Office of Small Business Development Center's Project Officer Portal. Content on this site is intended for SBDCs and SBA employees only.

Location

Small Business Development Center
OSBDC 409 3rd Street SW Washington, DC 20146
United States

You may have heard the quote, “When you dance to your own rhythm, life taps its toes to your beat.” Bridget Rowsey, owner of Bridget’s Dance Academy, finds this rings true in her personal and professional life - especially after recently receiving the coveted Small Business Administration’s West Virginia 2014 Young Entrepreneur award. With over 15 years of dance experience, Rowsey knew she wanted to make a career out of her passion.

Searching For A Franchise? Don’t Complicate It

By FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
Published: June 17, 2014

It’s easy to do. It’s easy to search for a franchise. Looking for a franchise...or even a couple of franchise opportunities to investigate isn’t hard. There’s no pressure. You’re just “looking.”

It only starts to get difficult after you find one or two franchise concepts that actually make sense to you. I’m talking about franchises that you can “see” yourself owning.

Let The Fun Begin

A lot of things happen internally when you start to see franchise opportunities that you can visualize owning.

1.      Your adrenaline* levels increase. You start getting excited. More energetic. Nervous, too.

2.      You change from “casual looker” to “would-be franchise owner.” Things start to feel a bit more serious.

3.      You start thinking.

Don’t Complicate Your Franchise Search

Once you find a franchise you’re interested in, your wheels start spinning. You start thinking about lots of things. Like:

·        Where can my new business go? What would be the best location for it?

·        How many other franchises of the concept I’m interested in are there around my area?

·        Will I be able to secure a small business loan?

·        Will I make enough money?

·        Could I lose all of my money in this venture?

·        Will my family be okay with me buying this franchise?

·        Should I just get a job instead of risking my money now?

·        Etc. Etc.

Stop.

None of those things matter. You’re complicating your search for a franchise.

First Things First

There will be plenty of time for you to ask those questions. But, you’re wasting your time, and a lot of energy, if you start asking yourself questions like the ones I wrote above before you find out if the opportunity you’re interested is even a viable one.

In other words, don’t put the cart before the horse.

Instead, do this:

1.      Go to the franchisors website

2.      Look for the “contact” link

3.      Fill out the contact form

4.      Wait to get contacted

5.      Arrange a call with a member of the franchise development department

6.      On the call, share your story-and listen to theirs

7.      Decide if you’d like to continue learning more about the franchise

8.      Follow the franchisors “next steps”

Take the steps

If you’re still interested in possibly buying the franchise, continue down this list. If not, start your search for a franchise again.

1.      Call several franchisees, and ask questions like these*   

2.      Visit franchisees-spend a day with one or two of them

3.      Start writing a business plan*

4.      Find a franchise attorney

5.      Visit franchise headquarters   

6.      Have your attorney look over the franchise agreement

7.      Make your decision

Your Wheels

It’s right before your decision that your wheels will be spinning. Sometimes, they’ll spin out of control. Things like self-doubt will creep into your head. Fear…real-live fear will also appear on your doorstep. But, don’t worry. It’s completely normal.

If you ask the franchise development director, the franchise executives at headquarters, and existing (and former) franchisees great questions, and their answers are satisfactory, it may be time for you to become the owner of the franchise you’ve been focused on for the past few months.

But, you don’t have to say yes. You always have a choice. Don’t complicate your search for a franchise-the right franchise.

Keep it simple. Go step-by-step. Don’t get ahead of yourself.

Are you ready to start searching for a franchise?

*Non-US Government links.

About the Author:

FranchiseKing
Joel Libava

Guest Blogger

The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of Become a Franchise Owner! and recently launched Franchise Business University.

Mission

The Sacramento Loan Processing Center (SLPC) efficiently evaluates and issues guarantee commitments to eligible and creditworthy 504 loan applications. 

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Location

Sacramento Loan Processing Center (SLPC)
6501 Sylvan Road Suite 111
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
Phone: 916-735-1214

Resources

Center Forms

Useful Links

Mission

The mission of the Center is to efficiently process guaranty purchase requests and to provide assistance and oversight, as necessary, to lenders during loan liquidation. The National Guaranty Purchase Center located in Herndon, Virginia , was created to centralize SBA’s 7(a) loan guaranty purchase function into a single national location.

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Location

National Guaranty Purchase Center (NGPC)
1165 Herndon Parkway
Herndon, VA 20170
Phone: 703-487-9283
Fax: 202-481-4674

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Center Forms

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Mission

The mission of our Center is the efficient and effective servicing of SBA’s commercial loans, the liquidation of SBA’s 504 Debenture Loans, the processing of guaranty purchase requests, and the liquidation of defaulted  loans made under the SBAExpress and Community Express programs.  We strive to provide quality professional assistance to our lenders and lending partners during loan servicing and liquidation.

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Location

Commercial Loan Service Center (CLSC) - AR
2120 Riverfront Drive Suite 100
Little Rock, AR 72202
Phone: 501-324-5871
Fax: 202-292-3878

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Center Forms

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Mission

Welcome!  SBA’s Commercial Loan Service Center in Fresno, California, has been serving our valued stakeholders since 1989 when SBA District Offices in Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii first envisioned the many benefits associated with centralization.  These benefits include consistent decision-making, fast and efficient models of operation, and lower per-unit cost to the taxpayer.  In 1994, SBA took centralized servicing of government guaranteed loans national.

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Location

Commercial Loan Service Center (CLSC) - CA
801 R Street Suite 101
Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: 800-347-0922
Fax: 202-481-0483

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Center Forms

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Mission

The mission of the Center is to efficiently process 7(a) loan guaranty applications and to provide assistance and oversight, as necessary, to lenders before and after submission.

The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Processing Center (LGPC) has two physical locations - one in Hazard, Kentucky and one in Citrus Heights, California - that are linked technologically into one process for efficiencies and optimal staff utilization.

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Locations

Standard 7a Loan Guaranty Processing Center (LGPC) - CA
6501 Sylvan Road Suite 122
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
Phone: 877-475-2435
Fax: 202-481-0861
262 Black Gold Blvd
Hazard, KY 41701
Phone: 606-436-0801
Fax: 606-435-2400

Resources

Center Forms

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Elvina “Penny” Emerson, a member of the Navajo Nation, earned a degree in Health Services Administration from Northern Arizona University. After that, Penny spent 10 years administering reservation-based community health services. In 1990, following years of listening to medical professionals express frustration, Penny recognized a huge unmet need on the Navajo Nation for transporting elderly and disabled patients to their medical appointments. Penny quit her job and put her education, experience and entrepreneurial spirit to work by starting Native Resource Development Company, Inc.

Location

National Disaster Loan Resolution Center (NDLRC)
200 West Santa Ana Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA 92701
United States
Phone: 855-778-3154
33° 44' 49.2612" N, 117° 51' 44.928" W

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