Starting a Business

The Arizona Department of Commerce offers a must do Small Business Services Online Program that guides you through what you need to know to start or expand your business in Arizona. The step by step guide acquaints you with all the statewide resources and information needed to start up your Arizona small business!  Included in the guide is detailed “how to” information on the following subjects:

  • Business Structure

  • Business Name Registration

  • Specific Business Activities

  • State Regulatory Licensing

  • Transaction Privilege Tax

  • Employee Hiring

  • City/Town Compliances

  • Loans

  • Procurement Opportunities

  • Certification for S/W/W/DBE

You should NOT start a business in Arizona without going through this guide. It is available 24/7 and you can proceed at your own pace. It is extremely valuable! : Click This Link  

You should NOT start a business in Arizona without going through this guide. It is available 24/7 and you can proceed at your own pace. It is extremely valuable!

BUSINESS PLAN - a five-page comprehensive, bulleted outline as a helpful, short model.

Here is a Web link to a relatively "friendly", five-page outline for a comprehensive generic Business Plan. Some Worcester SCORE mentors like its brevity and ask new clients to draft a Word document using it as a model (initially without financials), for their subsequent review and discussion. Other mentors refer clients to SCORE's National Tools & Templates, including more detailed instructions for drafting various types of Plans.

SPANISH: Creacion de un Plan Estrategico


This free online business workshop will help you: understand how a strategic plan can strengthen your business, draft each section of a strategic plan, and put it all together with provided worksheets.

SPANISH: La identificacion de su estrategia de ventas


This free online business workshop will: help you develop a sales plan that will achieve maximum results, walk you through the steps to implement your chosen strategy, provide a self-assessment and worksheet to put it all together.

SPANISH: Correr en una empresa rentable


This free online business workshop will: examine how to run a profitable company with a healthy margin, help you analyze your company's profitability, and provide interactive worksheets to help put it all together.

Stress can paralyze some people, while others find stress invigorating. While you can't control all of the stress related to your clients and your business, you can control various factors within your office that can help minimize stress and improve your productivity.

About the Author

Lisa Kanarek HeadshotLisa Kanarek is one of the nation's leading home office experts and the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life. She is the founder of HomeOfficeLife, a consulting firm that advises home-based business owners on all aspects of working from home including home office set up, function, productivity and technology, and is founder of the blog

SPANISH: Precios de Productos y Servicios


This free online business workshop will help you: develop your pricing strategy for your product or service, determine if your prices are working for you, and put it all together with provided worksheets.


Sometimes it’s hard to be taken seriously when you work from home. The stereotype of the typical home office worker is someone who spends most of the day in a robe. Yet how much of that is reality?

Sure, there are days when I start writing early, get on a roll and look up to see it’s noon or later and I haven’t taken a shower. But most of the time I try to get ready before I sit down to work. It’s too easy to spend the day in pajamas.

It’s not fair, but it’s true that when you work from home you have to be more organized, more disciplined and more professional than your corporate counterpart.

Working at HomeIf you answer the phone in a corporate office with co-workers talking in the background, it’s fine. If you answer the phone in your home office with the dog barking, the baby screaming and the doorbell ringing, your professionalism takes a nosedive.

There are a few simple things you can do to maintain your professionalism:

About the Author

Lisa Kanarek HeadshotLisa Kanarek is one of the nation's leading home office experts and the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life. She is the founder of HomeOfficeLife, a consulting firm that advises home-based business owners on all aspects of working from home including home office set up, function, productivity and technology, and is founder of the blog

SCORE Mentors Virginia Horse Journal to Success

When Dean and Darlene Jacobson moved from Philadelphia, PA, to Charlottesville, VA, they were anxious to become involved in Virginia's horse community. They searched for a local horse publication that included information about upcoming events, classified ads and horse news. When they couldn't find such a publication, the Jacobson's set out to create it themselves.

Dean and Darlene Jacobson
My Location
Charlottesville VA
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Motivated by their love of horses, they began to write the Virginia Horse Journal, a pamphlet-sized publication of about 20 pages, from their home. Without prior publishing experience, they struggled to produce two issues and then reevaluated their enterprise. Darlene thought that there must be someone with experience who would be willing to help them avoid the common pitfalls. A friend suggested SCORE.

In just three years, Virginia Horse Journal has grown to 80 pages of content. The Journal's 30,000 readers find it informative, as well as personable and entertaining. It is available for free in more than 500 locations throughout Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and over 1,000 loyal readers subscribe to the publication. This year's revenue is expected to top $100,000. The Jacobsons have also developed a Web site that posts current horse news, events and classified ads ( The site has gotten 58,000 hits since February.

Experiencing great success today, the Jacobson's have not had much time to rest lately. Last year, they were named the Official Horse Publication of the Virginia Horse Council and the Virginia Horse Industry Board. They still meet with their SCORE mentors frequently, about every six weeks or when a problem arises. "They keep us in line. Sometimes we are scared to move forward and make a decision, but we are more scared to not listen to them…they are always right about everything!"

Virginia Horse Journal continues to gallop along, having gone from a bimonthly to monthly publication, which means more income for the Jacobsens. "We've also added a Web site and received a grant to do a directory of the state horse industry," adds Darlene. "Things couldn't be going better."

There have been a few changes, such as a move to Northern Virginia. But the Jacobsens have already made contact with the local SCORE chapter. "There are a lot of things that we want to talk about, such as adding new products, making our Web site more productive and dealing with potential competition," says Darlene.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Darlene and Dean met with SCORE mentors Reg Hubley and Arlene Anns, both former McGraw-Hill publishing executives. "It was like an angel was watching out for us. We knew nothing about publishing—we couldn't have found two more perfect people." They met with Arlene and Reg frequently to work on editorial improvements and format and layout changes. They would also speak on the phone whenever something important came up. Twice a month, when the issues were ready to go to the printer, the Jacobsons would invite Arlene and Reg to their house for lunch and they would spend the entire afternoon going over the proof and revising the layout for the magazine.

Reg and Arlene also offered advice on circulation and advertising sales. To develop a circulation base, the Jacobsons began delivering copies of the journal to local retail horse businesses, such as tack and feed stores. Dean sent more than 100 letters to advertisers and received an overwhelming response. The Journal offered an ideal forum for retail horse businesses and horse owners to exchange information about the trade.

How SCORE Helped

Specific industry expertise made SCORE a valuable resource to the Jacobsons. Both Reg and Arlene were able to assist the budding publishers with developing rate schedules, ad sales strategies and plans for how to balance the volume of editorial and advertising content in the publication. As a niche publication, the Jacobsons' SCORE mentors provided solid information on how to make a very targeted publication a profitable business venture.

Native Ground Music Succeeds By Using Advice From SCORE Mentor

For as long as he can remember, Wayne Erbsen has been fascinated by traditional American music. Whether it's an up-tempo Civil War marching anthem, a lonesome cowboy's lament, or a simple holiday song that delighted your great-great-grandparents, chances are that Wayne has sung and played it many times.

Twenty-five years ago, Wayne turned his passion of collecting, preserving, and performing these precious pieces of Americana into a business. While Wayne was teaching American History and banjo at Central Piedmont College in Charlotte, NC, he compiled the music sheets from his classes into a book, Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus, which was an immediate hit at local music and books stores.

Wayne Erbsen
My Location
Asheville NC
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Wayne's new business, called Native Ground Music, grew as he added other instructional books, tapes, and CDs. Along with selling his products through local merchants in North Carolina's scenic Blue Ridge mountains, Wayne would research and perform songs from a particular era or theme, then market the books and albums to specialty stores and catalogs.

Wayne has since used his SCORE mentors advice to bring his music to new markets across the country and around the world. Operating from his family's century-old house near Asheville, Wayne distributes a wide range of books, music, and historical lore via gift shops and his online Internet catalog. When the time came to hire additional employees, he returned to SCORE for advice on incentive pay and benefit plans.

Wayne continues to be a man of many talents. Along with running Native Ground Music, he serves as Director of Appalachian Music at Warren Wilson College, hosts a program at his local public radio station, and teaches classes in banjo, fiddle and mandolin.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Although Native Ground Music was making good progress as a part-time enterprise, Wayne knew that in order to take that proverbial "next step," he would need help expanding his distribution network. In 1994, he visited the Asheville chapter of SCORE and met with Dale Benjamin, a retired labor relations director with GTE Services Corporation. Although Dale's background in the telecommunications industry was a far cry from the world of publishing, his interest in Native Ground's success was music to Wayne's ears.

"Dale had no experience in my area of business, but he was extraordinarily helpful," Wayne recalls. "He was eager to learn about what I was doing, and locate the kind of help I needed."

Dale put Wayne in touch with another book and music manufacturer who provided valuable advice about dealing with distributors. "That person was very friendly and gave me a lot of good advice," says Wayne. "It was nice to get some insights from someone with experience doing something that I had just begun to learn."

"It's lonely when you're out there running a business for the first time," Wayne says. "It certainly helps to have an older, wiser person to confide in. With Dale, I always felt like his door was open, and he'd be there ready to listen."

How SCORE Helped

Even though Wayne’s business is doing well, he knows where to go in case his business hits a sour note. "SCORE is a good service," he says. "If I ran into a problem that I couldn't handle today, I would probably call on them again. It's comforting to know that they're out there."

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