If you’re a baby boomer who’s retired and thinking of starting your own new small business, have I got (FREE) help for you! It’s from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and its nonprofit partner, SCORE, founded in 1964. Don’t know this SCORE? You should and here’s why.
First, count 13,000 volunteers in 364 chapters who offer confidential small business counseling. These combined forces have 270,000+ hours’ experience across 64 industries. Your first step should be to easily identify and contact your local chapter. Let the person on the phone know what you want and why: Then, you’ll be matched with an appropriate mentor. Next, schedule an online consultation or meet in person. You’ll also learn about more than 200 different types of workshops that cover at least 30 topics. Oh, and don’t ignore SCORE’s free webinars, too.
SCORE even has a section dedicated to us baby boomers. Smart thinking!
VIP Mentors for You
Don’t think for a moment you’re getting second-rate help here. You may be connected with one of the most successful business people in your area: Business is business, and SCORE has someone among its expert ranks who can help you like she’s helping me with Mind Your Body TV. Any business owner may need help with a business plan, marketing plan, social media or legal issues. Maybe you want to qualify for a loan or need to buy, sell or valuate your business: The sky’s the limit at SCORE. Your mentor may have between 20 and 40 years’ experience in industries with skill sets that can highly benefit you—and maybe he or she will even be a horse owner! You’ll work either face-to-face or via computer.
“The mentors work every day, not getting paid. They’re people with real firepower who’ve succeeded in business and are fortunate to be where they are,” says SBA spokesperson Douglas Dare from Orange County, Calif. “They’re committed to helping people you succeed and make the best use of your valuable resources and time.”
Can’t Buy This Time
Bottom line: “You couldn’t get face time with some of these consultants at any price, and these are free,” says Dare. “They’re willing to listen to your input and if they hear an idea they think won’t work, they’ll feel an obligation to tell you. Your mentor may be someone with whom you affiliate for years to come.”
The industry doesn’t matter, he says, for it’s about getting to the business model itself: Ask yourself: What’s driving profit? What are the expenditures? How can you improve your model?
Even if you get no further than SCORE’s website, you’ll find a fabulous array of templates for relevant topics including:
- Business Plans and Financial Statements
- Six Essentials for Negotiating a Good Deal
- Eight Ways to Make a Customer Love a Local Business
- Ten Ways to Supercharge your Email Marketing
On that same page, SCORE has links to super-helpful workbooks, quizzes, e-guides and how-to articles, too, like a Small Business Basics guide—Who can’t use a little refresher course?
You get the idea. Now, go online and get a good SCORE. They’ve got your numbers, and they’ll add up to greater success for you. I’ve already received tips to take my business to the next level. I know SCORE can help you, too. Who knew?
(Photo courtesy: © Gualtiero Boffi | Dreamstime.com)