UPS Store Franchise
Tom Scherwitz of San Antonio, Texas, never planned on running his own business. But after enduring two corporate downsizings, it seemed the best alternative to finding another job in a distant city that would require a long commute or uprooting his family. But with so many possibilities and pitfalls associated with being a small business owner, Tom was venturing into unfamiliar territory.
Fortunately, he didn’t have to look far for help. His father-in-law, Hap Appleman, a former business owner, was also a SCORE volunteer mentor.
Tom took Hap’s advice and contacted The Entrepreneur’s Source. After going through the Source’s testing and assessment process, Tom received a list of potential franchise opportunities to consider. Intrigued with the business potential of operating a mail and shipping service, Tom applied to the UPS Store for one of several franchises slated for metropolitan San Antonio.
“As with most franchise operations, the UPS Store’s area manager handled much of the advance work,” says Tom. “Still, I was glad to have Hap involved to double-check the franchise agreement and help with other issues to make sure I was doing everything I was supposed to do. And, of course, his moral support was very welcome.”
One year into his new career as an entrepreneur, Tom reports that his UPS Store is growing slowly but surely. “We’re still experimenting with different forms of advertising and other ways to generate business throughout the year, not just during the holiday season,” he says.
After discussing Tom’s experience, skills and interests, they decided to investigate the world of franchising. Hap recommended that Tom contact The Entrepreneur’s Source, a consulting firm that performs advance screening services for many regional and national franchisers.
Hap also recruited other volunteer SCORE mentors to help Tom secure an SBA-guaranteed loan, make leasing arrangements and set up an accounting system. After selecting a location and undergoing franchisee training, Tom signed his agreement with the UPS Store in July 2005 and opened his store on Northwest Military Highway three months later.
One of Tom’s regular visitors is Hap Appleman, who periodically stops by to check up on business. “Hap has been a big help in guiding me through this transition,” Tom says.
Tom says, “SCORE can cover the many different aspects of business. You can always find people there with experience in every area imaginable.”