Effective Strategies is devoted to sharing ideas that can improve your business performance. Last issue, we discussed making a powerful first impression. This issue, we look at the resources for getting advice and information to make your business successful. If you missed the last issue, click here to read it. Feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who can benefit from this information. To sign up to receive this e-zine, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Every day, thousands of people decide to make the jump from employee to entrepreneur. While not for everyone, running a business provides unmatched thrill and challenge. I have been a SCORE counselor since 2001. Never heard of SCORE? Read on. Through SCORE, I get to help entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations turn their dreams and vision into reality. Here are five of my favorite resources for start-ups.
Your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is an excellent place to go for classes, business loan preparation assistance, and information for your business plan such as demographic data. It is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov). The SBA website is loaded with great business information. To find an SBDC office near you, go to www.sba.gov/sbdc. Most of the SBDC services are free; however, they charge a small fee for their classes.
Your local chamber of commerce will often have an economic development
professional on staff who can answer some of your questions about your specific
region such as health department and city regulation contacts.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is best recognized as Counselors to Americaís Small Business. It is a sister organization to the Small Business Development Center that is also funded by the SBA. SCORE is staffed by volunteers with real-world business knowledge. Most SCORE services are free. From time to time, they may teach some classes in your area that cost a small fee. They provide counseling specific to your needs ó one-on-one, group, telephone, or e-mail. The website (www.score.org) is full of articles and resources on your topic. They have Spanish resources online as well. If you choose e-mail counseling (you can sign up for that on their website), you can request a counselor who has specific experience in the restaurant industry. While most businesses run essentially the same in the background, you will have some issues specific to your industry. If you go to your local chapter, they may not have a counselor with industry-specific experience. However, they will have counselors with beneficial general business knowledge. I recommend getting a counselor from a local SCORE chapter AND an e-mail counselor. You can find a local chapter at the SCORE website.
Finding one or more mentors who own small businesses in your area will help you understand business norms and practices. Get to know other business owners and ask enough questions to see if they are confident enough to be open and transparent with you. They are busy business owners too, so be an exceptional steward of their time and keep an open mind.
Finally, my favorite book for start-ups is The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. Pick it up. Itís inexpensive and easy to read. It talks about how to work ON your business instead of IN your business. I recommend it to most of my clients and it has provided insights on how to run my own business smarter.
Here are a few things to remember.
As challenging as it is to build an organization from the ground up, it is a great experience. There is no reason to venture out alone. These tools will help pave the way to your own business success.
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Carrie Perrien Smith
President, Soar With Eagles
Release Your Potential
Soar with Eagles equips successful individuals and organizations to reach their peak performance through teamwork, communication, strategic planning, and execution.
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