Very cool. This morning I received an invite to a Small Business Fair hosted by my local Congressman Mike Honda and SCORE. For those of you who aren't familiar with SCORE I'd like to share a bit about them with you.
For starters they are the Service Corp of Retired Executives who volunteer their time to mentor people who want to start or improve on their own small business.
What they offer you as a small business entrepreneur:
Mentoring advice 24/7 Ask SCORE online.
In Person Mentoring 370 offices. Find an office.
Low-cost workshops nationwide. Find an office.
"How to" articles and business templates.
Online workshops and learning.
I first went to SCORE years ago. A friend had told me about them and two words stuck in my head: FREE ADVICE.
I called and signed up for a session. What did I have to lose? Each time I went I got to talk to not one, but two retired executives. I will say this. I wish I'd have gone to SCORE before I ever launched my first company 12 years ago instead of 5 or 6 years later. It seems to me that many people don't create a formal business plan when they start their own company. They tend to focus more on how much will it cost instead of how to create a business plan.
Yes, it is possible to create a viable business by taking your hobby to the next level or, like myself, accidently discovering you have a marketable skill. But if you want to enter the arena one step ahead of your competition, working with a business advisor can help you save precious time and money.
So if you're starting a new company or are finding a need to reinvent yourself during this tough economy... A visit to SCORE might be worthwhile. They offer their services nationwide so check out their site to see if they have a local office where you live. If they don't make the most of their online mentoring service. It's like having your own business development team and it doesn't cost you anything but a few hours of your time.