SCORE!


Don’t get too nervous about me making more than one post in a given month or year.  This is supposed to be the normal thing in this quiet corner.  With this being the end of my first week of externship for my degree, I thought I’d summarize what I have been doing.  This isn’t just for me, but this is also part of my assignment for the week at Brown Mackie and for the woman I am working with at SCORE.

What is SCORE you ask?

SCORE used to be an acronym for Service Corps of Retired Executives, but, this has changed in the last several years to be just SCORE.  The name change is because there are more than just retired execs volunteering.  They have people from all types of businesses both retired and working giving their advice to potential business owners and current business owners looking to expand their business.  Across the nation there are almost 400 chapters; ensuring there is one close to even the smallest of towns for business advice.

The chapter I am working is here in Tulsa, just at the edge of downtown.  The people in this chapter are great and so knowledgeable about their work.  There are people who have worked in the oil and gas business, international business, human resource, retail, hospitality, banks, medical, lawyers, CPAs… the list can go on and on.  They work with the Small Business Administration and other non-profits.

What have I been doing?

I’ve been sitting in on several workshops, seeing what it is they do as well as taking notes on making the business legal, creating business plans, and getting to know some of the tax forms business owners need to have, and the most important, things you need to know before writing your business plan.  That kind of research is key if you are to be successful.

Not only do they give vital information, they also offer up their services as mentors and give resources for more information such as the american community survey to find out about demographics for the area you want to set up shop.  They even help with ideas to gather funding.  Their knowledge will also help to figure out some very important considerations.

Tuesday was essentially the same workshop but with different speakers at the Sun Building where SCORE is located.  Both sessions went over things like who your customers are, the business idea, the feasibility of your business idea, and the different hats you will wear as the entrepreneur.  They cannot stress enough that you be decisive and learn how to delegate so you don’t put yourself into an early grave from the stress.  You are going to work hard, but you should be able to enjoy the benefits of your hard work.

The afternoon session had one of the mentors speaking who is a lawyer.  His started off entertaining enough to grab your attention then he went over some of the legal issues such as the different types of business and what was required for them.  After him, a woman who is a CPA took his part and expanded further explaining more about sole proprietors, partnerships, limited liability and c-corp and s-corp.

All was very informative and I have plenty of notes and handouts to go over.  Far too much to bring up here.

Thursday’s session took basically the same thing but in a more orderly fashion going over Start-up Basics as well as what SCORE has to offer.  This session was the first of five and the only free one of the five.  The others are $25 a session of $75 for the four.  (No, this is not an advertisement)

They covered the different options you have for your business with advantages and disadvantages.  They touched in briefly on pricing and how each business type does this and how you are to be competitive.  They even went over things to consider with your competition.

Above all, the speakers said you have to keep it simple.  Yes, the K.I.S.S. method was mentioned and is followed by many.  This same method goes for writing your business plan, figuring financials if this is a new business and what is needed if you are purchasing an existing business.

There is a long list of things all business owners need and need to know.  The biggest comes from insurance.  Find an experienced commercial insurance agent to help figure what it is you need.  The same goes for finding a good banker and lawyer, and, naturally, a CPA.  All of these will help keep you on the right path and make sure you don’t miss a license of fee that is required

There will be a lot more coming in the future.  Soon, though, this blog will return to being about my writing.

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