My name is Lori Davis, and I’m a photographer. I began meeting some time ago with counselors from the Downeast Maine SCORE office. Although I had been working at my photography business for years, I was anxious to make the plunge to a full time career as a freelance photographer. Specializing in nature, wildlife & landscape imagery, my chosen field is not in demand as much as one who photographs portraits or weddings on a regular basis, so I knew it wouldn't be easy.
Although my business was profitable and expanding every year, when I put my finances to paper, my condition looked dreadful. As with many businesses, I was investing my earnings back into the business again. When it came to tax time, once I took all of the deductions into consideration, it made one wonder how on earth I could survive on so little income.
The SCORE counselors were enthusiastic and energetic right from the start. They didn't sugar coat things, but they seemed to believe in my work and my business sense and came up with some great promotion ideas. One counselor in particular was indispensable when it came to organizing a business plan. He was able to dig through my finances and really prove that my business was indeed profitable. He went above & beyond what I ever could have expected in providing help and guidance putting together a business plan. With his assistance, I was able to approach my bank and even impress the bank officer with my paperwork and portfolio. I was granted a business loan which allowed me to invest in materials, supplies and equipment that I needed to expand my business.
It's been several years now since I was able to quit my previous job. I am living my dream and I have the folks at SCORE to thank. I truly never would have been able to get the bank loan without their guidance. I walked into their office frustrated, needing help and embarrassed by my finances. The experience was pleasant and I learned a lot. With their guidance and my hard work and follow through, I'm proud to say I'm one of the many success stories of SCORE.
Thank you for letting me tell my story.