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Categorized | Business

Ask Score: Business start-up


Ask the right questions before you open a small business


If your goal is to open a small business, chances are you have many questions. And that’s a good thing. For example, if you haven’t already, sooner or later you may be wondering:

How do I get a business loan?

Where are good places to advertise?

What workplace safety laws govern my business?

Should I be a sole proprietor or form a corporation?

What should my pricing formula be?

Can my community support another business like mine?

How do I interpret an advertising rate card?

Should I run the business from home or rent space?

Where will I find suppliers?

Should I trademark my business name?

Is my product marketable online?

What goes into preparing an employee handbook?

Should I have an attorney review all my documentation?

One proven resource for getting the right answers to all of these questions is SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit association that aids the formation, growth and success of America’s small businesses. SCORE Grand Rapids has 35 volunteer business experts who donate their skills, experience and insights through free, confidential counseling.

SCORE’s business counselors have worked for successful small businesses as well as companies known worldwide  such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, Xerox, Steelcase, Herman Miller and Fifth-Third Bank. You can be mentored by bankers, accountants, marketing experts, computer programmers, line managers, human resources professionals or CEOs. SCORE brings expertise that encompasses both the general issues every business must face and such specialized areas as contracting, marketing, design and manufacturing.

 To learn more about SCORE, visit our national website at www.score.org  or the local SCORE website at www.scoregr.org.These Internet resources provide information on starting, financing and expanding your business. In addition, SCORE’s Web site offers how-to information.

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