Getting laid off is a shocking situation for many workers. But some entrepreneurs are using that situation to take advantage of a small business or franchise opportunity.

The Augusta Chronicle found one Georgia resident, Sheri Osburn, who spent 17 years working in information technology for a transportation company before being laid off. Less than two years later, she is the owner of a successful painting franchise that employs six different painting crews, and she was nominated for Franchise Rookie of the Year in 2009.

"It's something that I always wanted to do, but I was afraid to try. Losing my job - it's not something that I would have ever wished for - but it was probably the best thing that happened to me," Osburn told the paper.

While franchises do require owners to pay a franchise fee out of their pockets, franchise businesses have a much stronger pattern of success than traditional small businesses. Tom Maydew, executive director of the Small Business Development Center, told the Idaho State Journal that entrepreneurs who start a franchise have an 85 percent success rate.

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