Start Your Business

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SCORE is an acronym for Service Corps of Retired Executives.

Aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs often wonder where they can turn for help with their small business idea. What are the first steps to take, how should a product
be sold, and what is the best way to grow a business. If you’re not afraid to ask for advice, the SBA can help you navigate through he seemingly uncharted waters of
business start-up.

SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is the best source of free and
confidential small business advice to help you build your business – from idea to start-up to success. The SCORE Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a resource
partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. It is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneurial education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide.

SCORE’s extensive, national network of 10,500 retired and working volunteers are experienced entrepreneurs and corporate managers/executives. These volunteers provide free business counseling and advice as a public service to all types of businesses, in all
stages of development.

SCORE matches volunteer business management counselors with clients in need of expert advice. SCORE has experts in virtually every area of business management and maintains a national skills roster to help identify the best counselor for a particular client.
Volunteer counselors share their management and technical expertise with both present and prospective small business owners.

SCORE volunteers are members of 389 locally organized chapters offering assistance in almost 800 locations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

The key qualification SCORE counselors bring to clients is real-world experience. SCORE business counselors have general management and specific industry experience that can benefit your business. SCORE business counselors may be working or retired business owners, business executives or operations managers. All SCORE counselors receive specialized training in counseling and mentoring.

SCORE volunteers can help prospective and established small business owners and managers identify problems, determine the causes and find solutions. They are wellversed
in developing effective business plans and creating strategies for business growth.

In addition to one-on-one counseling, SCORE also offers low-cost workshops and seminars at the local chapter level. Topics are planned to help address specific interests in a given community. Workshop topics have included: Developing Your Business Plan;
Starting and Operating Your Own Business; Getting Financing For Your Business; Basic Business Accounting; Expanding Your Business; and Marketing – A Do-It-Yourself Approach for Small Business.

Any small business can obtain help from SCORE. The approach is confidential and personal. You don’t need to be applying for or to have an SBA loan to participate in the program. In fact, an idea is all that is necessary for consultation and counseling.

SCORE offers counseling online with a Web site created and managed by volunteers. Visitors to the site choose from a list of counselors with expertise in the business areas that interest them and write a question to the counselor who is the best match for their business or industry, and get an answer by email. Site users can keep the dialog going as
long as they have unanswered questions. Online counselors handle more than 60,000 email inquiries each year.

SCORE also offers a workbook entitled How To Really Start your Own Business, and a variety of other “how to” workbooks and planning guides, including information about how to get financing, how to choose a bank, how to start a home-based business and
other topics.

To get free and confidential business advice, and to find the nearest SCORE chapter, visit online at http://www.score.org , or call SCORE toll free at 1-800-634 0245. SCORE’s online e-mail counseling gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to send their small business
question by e-mail to a SCORE counselor anywhere in the country.

Jody K Young

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