If you have dreams of someday owning your own business, or if you’re already an entrepreneur and want to sharpen your management skills, keep an eye on this space. Here, you’ll find concise answers to common small business questions, tips on finding new customers and keeping old ones happy, and insights into business-related issues you may never have thought of, but should.
This space is where you will find “Ask SCORE,” a series of informative columns provided by SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to the success of small business in America. The “Ask SCORE” columns address a wide range of business topics and provide insights into how to address particular business situations or issues. The columns also provide a sample of the kind of business advice an entrepreneur can expect from a SCORE business counselor.
Even with these regular columns, there are many other topics and issues small business owners need to consider. Feel free to call SCORE for assistance. Nationally, more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors donate their time and expertise to provide advice, explanations and information about small business ownership. SCORE business counselors are working and retired business owners, executives and managers-who have real-world knowledge and experience to share with you.
SCORE business counselors have particular expertise in business planning and help numerous business start-ups through the detailed and time consuming task of preparing a business plan, complete with financial projections. Often, start-up companies need to seek out sources of capital. SCORE business counselors will assist the aspiring entrepreneur with the preparation of the loan application package, which includes a business plan. Many clients request team counseling, in which several counselors with varied business experience will meet with a business owner to review strategies and plan for future business growth.
All SCORE counseling is offered as a free and confidential community service. There are 35 SCORE business counselors in the Grand Rapids SCORE chapter. While counseling is always free-of-charge, local SCORE chapters also offer small business workshops and seminars for modest fees.
To learn more about the Grand Rapids SCORE Chapter and its counseling services, call 1-616/ 771-0305, or go to at http://www.scoregr.org./